Authors: Julius St. Clair
Seven Sorcerers Saga # 2
Julius St. Clair
Copyright © 2015 by Julius St. Clair
All rights reserved. This story or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, objects and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales are coincidental and should not be taken seriously.
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THE PREQUEL TO THE SEVEN SORCERERS SAGA
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Her name is Remi Fonteyn.
Battling a life threatening sickness and a boring life, she now seeks purpose.
And so, she ventures out into a beautiful yet dangerous world.
Accompanying her is Kace, a Quietus that has taken a liking to the fragile warrior.
Her best friend, Olivia, who has shown herself untrustworthy.
And Eckard, a Sage that has fallen under Olivia’s oppressive spell.
During her journey,
She fought mercenaries, traitorous Sages, giants and mystical creatures.
She acquired new friends, respect and found internal strength.
But nothing was more shocking than learning the truth.
She is not just a person.
She is a weapon,
Crafted by one of the Seven Sorcerers of Legend.
And there are six others out there, just like her.
Each weapon is powerful enough to have an effect on the upcoming war.
A war between the three worlds: Paragon, Oblivion, and Terra.
She is unsure if she can make a difference.
But she won’t know until she tries.
The story continues on the edge of Paragon
In a bedroom deep within the new Sage Academy.
She didn’t mean to look into the mirror.
As a matter of fact, one of her life’s missions was to avoid them. What did they have to say that she didn’t already know? They never reflected her properly. Growing up, whenever her mind wouldn’t shut up and she just had to know what she looked like, she would promise herself that she was overacting. There was no cause for alarm. She didn’t look
But she was usually disappointed.
Her hair would have lost another clump. Her body would have lost some weight even though she had stuffed herself silly less than an hour before. She would look tired and sad. When she smiled she feared that a tooth would fall right out. Even though she was a teenager, she had felt old and weary and occasionally she envied the vitality of her elders.
Eventually, mirrors were avoided completely. And over time, it was as if they didn’t even exist. Why would she let this reflective surface define her and make her feel bad when it didn’t even tell her who she was on the inside? Yeah, it was best to just ignore them.
WHO WAS THAT?
“What is happening?” Remi gasped as she stopped in mid-stride past the bedroom mirror. She took a step back and her eyes widened with shock as a trembling hand came up to her lips.
Her strawberry hair was so large and full of volume that it nearly bounced when she walked. There was so much hair that she didn’t know what to do. Instinctively she punched it and her hand was nearly swallowed whole. She patted it and a few strands fell down and hung loosely into her eyes and mouth. She groaned and spat at them furiously. When that didn’t work, she tried batting it away, but it only made things worse as her fingers became quickly entangled.
“Help me!” she shouted as she backed away from the mirror.
It had always been her enemy.
She heard someone burst into the room, take a few steps toward her and then burst out laughing. She wasn’t amused.
“What are you doing?” Kace giggled as he held his sides tight. Remi turned around and could only see parts of him through the hairy veil.
“I’m combing my hair,” she muttered. “What does it look like? Um…can you help me please?”
“You don’t like to be helped. You can do it.”
Remi groaned and pulled at the strands until the roots were ripped from her head. A tear fell from her eye as she grit her teeth from the sharp sudden pain.
“I’m sure there’s better ways to go about this,” Kace chuckled as he walked over to her bed and sat down. He started looking around the room and soon he broke out into another laughing fit.
“What’s so funny?” she growled as she turned back to the mirror. The strands were gone but there was still too much hair—it was so heavy and hot on her head. She could probably ignore the sensation and hope it all went away, but how long would that take? It was so annoying.
“Your room is a mess,” Kace laughed. “It’s like you took all the furniture and smashed it into little pieces.”
Remi glanced around the room for a second. The sofa, chairs, armoires and even the closet door has been broken at least in half. Cushions were found in all four corners. The stuffing inside was so plenteous it created a new carpet, and her bedsheets were in a ball on the left side of the bed. If it wasn’t for the radiant sunlight coming in through the bay window, and the baby blue wallpaper lightening the mood, she would think she was back at home.
“I did take everything and smash it into little pieces,” Remi admitted as she reached out to her left shoulder and put a hand around the hilt sticking out of it. She yanked the eidolon from her shoulder—a purple Falchion—and immediately started hacking away at her hair.
“Stop it!” Kace tried to control his laughter as he clutched his sides. “You’re chopping away at it like a bush.”
“It is a bush,” she said matter-of-factly as she nearly cut off a quarter of it. “Why is it clumped like this?”
“No idea,” he said, bouncing from the bed onto his feet and unsheathing the small dagger hanging from his belt. “Hey, let me do this.”
“I want it thin and straight again,” she said, sheathing her eidolon.
“Well, I have no clue how to do that. You might have to get your hair done.”
“My hair done?” she asked. “What does that mean?”
“You know. Get it styled.”
“You can do that? I thought you had two options: cut it or let it grow.”
“That’s what your people did,” he said. “Not the rest of the worlds.”
“Mm-hmm,” she said, sniffing him. “And I suppose the rest of the world doesn’t wash their clothes either.”
“Nope,” he said. She chuckled at his quick reaction.
“Yeah,” he said after making a few incisions. “I can cut this down but you’re going to have to go to a stylist if you don’t want it getting in the way. There should be a few in Paragon. I would check out Virga since Altostratus is still under repairs after the Cimmerians attacked.”
“Virga’s the second major city, right? Isn’t that getting closer to the King’s palace?”
“Not really. It’s not as far as you think. Besides, if you get someone to go with you, it will make the trip even shorter.”
“You wouldn’t come with me?” she asked, trying to see his eyes in the mirror. But he was still behind her, trying to cut her hair down.
“I’m hanging out with the guys later.”
“Oh I see,” she said. She didn’t want to push the matter further because she already knew what would happen. Kace would start getting defensive and explain that he actually doesn’t get as much time with them as she thinks. That most of their time together was spent training, and of course, she was free to join them at any time. She didn’t have to hole herself up in the room or go out wandering by herself.
“We’re training again,” he said. “I have to get stronger.”
“Definitely,” she said, clearing her throat afterwards. “Well, I might join you today.”
“For real?” he asked excitedly. “You sure?”
“Why not?” she asked, though she died a little inside. The training was fine. It was trying to wade through the inside jokes and banter that made her groan on the inside. It wasn’t Kace’s fault. While she had been recovering for two months after the ordeal in Allay, he had naturally met other people at the Sage Academy and made a few friends. He had a head start on forging relationships that she wasn’t even sure if she wanted in the first place. Not to mention that she still felt a little self-conscious.
It wasn’t the sickness this time though. As a matter of fact, the Paragon air was so rich in nutrients that it had actually squashed her illness. She rarely felt nauseous. Her health had improved greatly—evidenced by her hair’s out of control growth, and she was starting to forget what it felt like to be faint and tired all the time.
No, the reason she was self-conscious was because now she had to deal with her artificial limbs.
In the battle against Dominic and his men, she had lost both of her arms and her left leg. In Paragon, they had invented prosthetics that were impressive in function and design. Forged from an array of the finest metals and polished wood, it looked for the most part like real limbs. Few would know something was wrong unless they were looking for it.
The problem, however, was that they weren’t her real limbs.
Which meant she couldn’t pour her energy into them like her old ones.
It was so ironic. She had cursed her body for so many years because it wouldn’t do what she wanted. It would usually just sputter along until she was so exhausted that she had to sleep for several hours longer than the other townspeople. But now her original arms were missed.
Because how was she going to carry out her mission now? She was less sick, but now she was even weaker than before. She couldn’t believe she was thinking about it…but she
her old limbs.
“How’s the arms?” Kace asked, noticing her staring a little too long at them.
She lifted her arms and tried to rub her left with her right, but she found herself chuckling at the asinine gesture. Of course she couldn’t feel them that way. Her best bet at this point was to forego ridicule and rub her face across them. At least then her actual skin would know what they felt like. But since Kace was standing right behind her, she decided to forego the motion for now.
“They do the job,” she said, wiggling her fingers one by one. “Pretty much like the old ones. Actually, no. When it comes to daily tasks, these arms are better because they won’t ever tire. They won’t get sick or frail. But the bad thing is that I can’t make them stronger. Any Sage transformations won’t alter them because they simply aren’t a part of me.”
“That’s why I’m getting stronger,” Kace said. She winced after hearing that. She hoped he didn’t see her disappointment reflected in the mirror, but who knows? She had been betrayed by the object many times before.
“Why is that?” she found herself asking.
“Because I can protect you,” he said. “No more getting my butt kicked.”
“Maybe I don’t want that.”
“You can’t have it all,” he replied, pointing at the mirror. She stared at herself again, and now that the hair had been tamed, she could see just how much she had changed. Her lips were fuller. Her eyes were vibrant and actually twinkling in the sunlight. Her skin was smooth and clean. She had gained a little weight in the cheeks and the bags under her eyes had disappeared. The crazy thing was that there was no make-up applied. This was her natural skin.
“I look so different,” she whispered, staring back at herself. She was so beautiful now, but it still didn’t reflect her. She was still looking back at a stranger.
“You look gorgeous,” he said, kissing the back of her neck.
She barely registered the motion. “What do you mean I can’t have it all?”
“You don’t have to fight anymore,” he said, wrapping his arms around her shoulders and staring into the mirror with her. “I can do that for you. You didn’t really want to fight this whole time, did you? It was just a means to an end, right?”
“I don’t know,” she admitted. She sneered at her reflection.
“It’s a good a time as any,” he said, parting from her and starting to pace around the room. “You could even live in Paragon if you wanted. Get a little house. Enjoy life in a way that you couldn’t before.”
“Get a…little house?” she said, blinking rapidly. “Uh…but what about me?”
“What do you mean?” he asked, halting his pacing.
“Me,” she said, breaking from the spell of the mirror and turning to face him. “What about me? I’m the badass remember?”
“What?” he chuckled. “Who said that?”
“Everyone,” she said, realizing how ridiculous that sounded now that she realized that she was still wearing the gigantic frilly dress from last night’s party. Still, she persisted. “I’m…okay, listen. I was able to take out those guys in Allay with a sword between my teeth. No one’s talking about that anymore?”
“Not really,” he said slowly. “War is closer than ever so there’s a lot to worry about. There’s not as much time to tell stories and talk about what feats we all accomplished. Not to take away from what you did. That was pretty awesome. It’s just that it was nearly three months ago.”
“Gotcha,” she said, walking over to the door and opening it wide. Kace looked at the doorknob in concern.
“Is it something I said?”
“No,” she said. “I have to get dressed. There’s no way I’m going to be training in this.”
“I don’t know. You might be able to make it work,” he laughed. Remi shook her head and pointed outside. Kace said nothing more. He left the room and Remi closed the door behind him as gently as she could.
She closed her eyes and clutched her forehead with one of her hands. She was taken aback by the sudden cold that spread across her skin from touching the steel of the artificial arm.
“Oh, so that’s what that feels like,” she said aloud.
As she got undressed and changed into her workout clothes—a regular cotton t-shirt and a pair of blue slacks—she decided to go barefoot again, as it was nice to have the strength to do so. When she was sick, going barefoot felt like she was walking on glass with every step. Now she could do it freely without worry.
A strange shuffling noise outside her bedroom caught her attention and she stopped in her tracks to listen. When the noise didn’t repeat itself, she continued searching the room to see if there was anything else she could use as a weapon. She had to admit that it was more difficult to find one with the mess she had made. It wasn’t her fault. How else was she going to test the strength of her new limbs in private?
“Alright, I’m ready,” she said, opening the door wide. Her next sentence was cut down as she stared into the face of the last person she expected to see.
“Hello, Olivia,” she said with a blank expression. She noticed that Kace was right behind her.
“Hey,” Olivia replied warmly, like they were still best friends. Like she hadn’t given her up to mercenaries. Like she hadn’t betrayed her so deeply after the bond they had shared—a bond that had been equivalent to sisterhood.
“Where are you headed?” Remi asked flatly.