Jack

fallsilently


Fall Silently

A fantasy story by Itsasu Deauxnim


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Chapter 2
Jack
fallsilently

Camellia’s house—if one could call it that, is a wooden shack on the outskirts of a bigger village. He lay in a corner of the house, with bandages wrapped around his shoulder and leg. His armor scrapped beside him—and with his sword somehow still kept tightly in his hand. To see a wounded man, bandaged, hurt, and ultimately vulnerable fiercely refuse to let go of a sword was bizarre, Camellia thought. But to Andrej, the sword was his only bargaining chip. Without it, he could be thrown out back to the cold, unnursed and unable to move.

“Camellia,” Andrej said.

“What?”

“Do you not have a healer or a cleric in this village that will speed up my recovery?”

“Nay.”

“Why not?”

“Few people are educated enough in this village to be able to read and study magic.”

“Ah.”

“And even then, those who do will not take a liking to your kind.”

“My kind?”

“Soldiers. Dogs of Lerciveu. You must remember what war you fight, do you not?”

“The peasant rebellion. Aye.” Andrej sighed. “So you do have a cleric in this village?”

“Aye,” Camellia answered. “A priestess of the god Wisdom.”

“And she will not help me?”

“Nay.”

“Damn.”

Camellia sighed and walked outside the straw house. As she left, Andrej began to imagine his days as an academy student, running to the library inbetween his training to read books. Mostly novels, fictional tales of the great wizard Maerlyn or tales of the other round table members. Sometimes, though, he scanned through books of magic, read of its rituals or the magic sigils needed to cast certain spells while comparing it side by side to the descriptions of Maerlyn’s spells in the fiction books.

Most were incredibly inaccurate.

While this could’ve made an interesting anecdote about the realization of the falseness of childhood heroes, he focused more on the spells he read in those magic books.

How did a basic healing spell go again?

He attempted to trace a sigil on the dirt floor, constantly rethinking the page he read in the book.

Andrej traced a circle on the ground, carefully making it as perfect as he can. He moved on to make a smaller circle in the middle, then straight, symmetrical lines from the center circle to the outer.

It looked like some strange sun. Or eyeball.

To tell the truth, Andrej has never casted a spell in his life. He read those magic books only for the enjoyment of his Maerlyn books, and never really figured out what to do next. According to the Maerlyn books, all he needed to do now was place his hand over the sigil and concentrate.

Then again, fiction was not always truthful to him.

What is the difference, then, he thought. The medics he saw in the academy did the same thing. Take a piece of paper with a sigil drawn on it and concentrate. What could be so different from what they were doing?

As he moved his hand to try for himself, another thought occurred.

What if this is the sigil for the wrong spell? What if it’s a fire spell? Or an explosion spell? Or a spell that releases toxic mist?

All of a sudden, Andrej decided to draw his hand back and not touch the sigil.

“What are you doing?” Camellia walked back in the house. She saw the sigil marking on the ground. “What is that?”

“Not a thing.”

She stepped on the sigil and covered the traces with dirt. “Were you trying to cast a spell so you could escape?”

“I do not know how to cast a spell. I have never done so.”

“I expected as much.”

Andrej turned his head quickly toward Camellia’s direction. “What? What do you mean?”

“Scholars learn to read. As do clerics. Mages learn to write and draw mystic sigils. But our kind, knights and thieves have no use for reading.”

“Hm.” Andrej replied with the only thing he can think of. “Is that so?”

“Aye.”

“I’ll have to disagree.”

Camellia scoffed. “Then tell me, knight, what use do I have for reading?”

“For one, you can be anything but a thief.”

“I am not of noble birth. I will not be able to enter any academy for any education.”

“You can be a merchant.”

“Nay. Why question me so? Can you read?”

“Aye.” Andrej said. “I can read.”

“Is that why your frame is small?”

“What?”

“Did you spend your time reading books rather than training?”

“I… well…”

“Aye?”

“Aye.”

Camellia smiled. She shook her head while eyeing the small frame of her captive/patient. “So then,” she said. “You’re the fool. Your hobby has cost you proficiency of your actual job. If you like to read so much, why not become a scholar?”

 “It’s a long story I’d rather not repeat.”

“Hm.”

Again, the trailing silence followed.

“Hey,” Camellia said.

“What?”

“Can you teach me to read?”

“Huh?”


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