Jack

fallsilently


Fall Silently

A fantasy story by Itsasu Deauxnim


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Chapter 7
Jack
fallsilently

Andrej dragged a sack stolen from a nearby farm. It used to contain animal feed, several nibbling rats, and a dead rat. Now it contained his armor and his runic sword. After flipping through the book, he wrote the rune ‘relief’ on the heavy sack, tapped energy from the Gods, and channeled it.

That seems to be the fundamental difference of Sigil magic and Rune magic, Andrej thought. He felt exhaustion after casting sigil magic since the energy came from him. Rune magic, however, was used by tapping energy from the Gods. He does not know why each energy type is not interchangeable, but nevertheless, he doesn’t ask questions. Not now, at least.

That’s just how it works.

Now he was only dressed in the itchy, uncomfortable peasant clothing he acquired in Camellia’s house. The clothes he wore as he lay on the ground for months as he studied magic and Camellia studied the runes.

He’s never changed. Not even once. He smelled the clothing, and now does he realize its offense to the noses.

He eyed around the area and reluctantly set his eyes upon a clothesline, all with hung shirts and pants and undergarments, drying under the sky, fluttering with the fresh scent of eastern winds. He eyed the ragged clothing, looked at his dirty cloth, and exchanged them.

It feels better, he thought. A little looser, yet the same itchiness and now slightly wet. But it’ll do.

He began to drag the runed sack of armor towards the near village. It was still kind of heavy, but much lighter than a normal sack full of heavy plate.

*****

Andrej dragged the sack into an inn (first floor, he requested). When the innkeeper asked if the payment was up-front, Andrej realized he had no gold in him.

“No,” Andrej said.

“Hm,” the innkeeper, a rather intimidating and muscular woman, said. “And how long are you staying?”

“I uh…” Andrej thought. “I’m not sure.”

“That’s fine,” the innkeeper said. “However, I’ll be asking for payment every two days.”

“F… fine with me.”

“Good.” The innkeeper took a piece of paper and wrote strange symbols.

“Excuse me,” Andrej said. “What are you writing?” He pointed at the paper.

“Oh, this? This is just that new way of writing.”

“New writing?”

“You haven’t heard?”

Andrej shook his head.

“It’s a whole new system of writing that’s not based off words, but of sounds.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s… it’s uh… Look. Put your luggage in your room and go to that tinkershop across the street.”

“Why? What’s over there?”

“The tinker over there was the one who taught this writing to the village. Go, go, go!” As Andrej caught the key the innkeeper tossed, he dragged his sack toward the number, looking at people standing patiently in line behind him.

“Oh,” he said.

 *****

Andrej walked over to the tinkershop. It is like most tinkershops he has seen before the king banned their presence in the capital. Odd steam machines, furnaces, small metallic things he never learned the name of.

He loved it. He was curious of it all. He wanted to learn more about it.

Among the strange contraptions and tools, he saw a short, bearded man, smashing a piece of metal on anvil. “Excuse me,” Andrej said.”

The bearded man raised his goggles and set his eyes on the young man by the door. “What do you want?”

“I’m here to ask you about the new writing?”

The bearded man looked at Andrej, set his work into a pool of water, and placed his goggles on a table. “Since I brought this language to the village, I have never been able to work on my craft.”

“Well, um,” Andrej inched away, “If this is a bad time…”

“No, no, no.” The tinker said. “You’ve bothered me already, might as well go do it now. What’s your name?”

“Andrej,” he answered. “Andrej… Milovich.” Suddenly he remembered the royal ancestry in his last name.

“All right, Andrej Milovich. My name’s William Masterey. Tinker. Well let’s get this started.”

William opened a shelf and handed Andrej a parchment. “Straight from the printing press,” he said.

“From what?”

“New invention here. Got it from the lower world. Apparently they’ve had those things for centuries.”

“Huh.” Andrej took a look at the parchment and can only see the strange symbols. “What do these all mean then?”

“Those also come from the lower world. A writing system based not on words, but on sound!”

“The innkeeper told me that,” Andrej said. “But I don’t really understand what she’s talking about.”

“Ah, okay, let’s give an example here.” William took a piece of carbon and etched out the rune ‘clever’ on paper. “You know what this reads? Can you read?”

“I can read, yes. That says clever.”

“Now, in the new system, I write this.” William then drew those strange new symbols in succession. “That also reads clever.”

“How?”

“Well, this part in the beginning symbolizes the loud ‘k’ sound, the next symbolizes the ‘lah’ sound… are you understanding this? Andrej?”

Andrej stared at the strange writing of ‘clever’ on the piece of paper. Then he turned his eyes on the parchment on his hand. Then back to ‘clever.’

“By the Gods…” Andrej understood instantly what this new writing system was. “By… God Wisdom.”

“Are you getting it, Andrej?”

Andrej did not have to answer. William understood by the boy’s amazed look that he has just understood the power of the new language.

In Andrej’s mind, the possibilities of this new language are endless.


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