Home | Characters | About | Gallery | HWTF | Extras | Donate

~Chapter II~

The International Job Fair


Part II

Meanwhile, a man, pale skinned and snowy haired sits at a large, wooden booth. He watches the fair in longing, his deep green eyes focusing on the food and drinks around him. His chin is buried into his arms as he pouts and scans the fair going folk. He wore a roomy, billowing white shirt, tucked into black, form fitting pants. On the sleeves, blue ribbons are tied near the shoulders, and green, blue, red, and gray embroidered patterns line the sleeve horizontally.

The man sat at a smaller booth on top of a larger one, his own smaller booth having no title. The booth his own sat on top of is so grand that it looks more like a grand stage than a mere stand. Velvet curtains of four colors-green, blue, red, and white, were pulled back so that passersby could see what was beyond it.

Around him, various people in capes, large brimmed and coned hats, and leather boots ran to and fro. They carry stacks of flyers, and guide people around the stage's various mini attractions, some floating off the ground a bit as they do so. The people following the guides look at their guides in a child-like awe, some people even going as far as to try and touch the guide’s capes and hats.

The stage-booth boasted an assortment of boards that showcased colored pictures of life in the country, stands stocked with articles of clothing and textiles people could buy, booths of food from the country, and a booth that had a few odd, glowing tools sprawled out on the surface-an all in one experience that brought so many over, that the booth was eclipsed by the volume of interested fair goers.

"By the Founder...if this fair goes on any longer, I fear I may die of boredom...I wish our booth weren't so popular every year..."

"Is that something someone in your position should be saying, my liege?"

"...! Ah, V-Vivianus!"

The man sits up in his chair, which is wooden and cushioned with off white cushions.

A man clad in red suddenly appears by Floris' side. His face was obscured by his giant collar and hat, and his cape covered the rest of his body.

"There we are. Sit up, and greet the potential workers and tourists. After all, these people are the future of Tovera-and seeing you be friendly entices them to come much more than if you sat around moping. Your job is to greet them and be a paragon of Toverian class and elegance."

"A-Ahem-you're right. I just...well, it's been hours now, and I'm feeling a tad homesick. Even if I have been in Keona for a while in my youth, nothing replaces Abulosa in my heart. I felt fine until just thirty minutes ago-I suppose the fair reminds me of our bustling streets at home. The street food, the colorful drinks, the colorful plaza..."

A white gloved hand exits from the cape, and plants itself on the man's shoulder. The arm the hand was attached to was red sleeved, tight around his arm.

"I understand, but be strong. When it's 9pm, you can go to your hotel and sleep until the coronation. Remember, you are-"

"The face of the Founder and his Virtues, the Light that...hm...oh?"

The man stops talking, and immediately jolts up from his seat. He looks over the fair crowd, alert. After scanning the crowd with his deep green eyes for a minute or two, he turns to the man in red at his side.

"Vivianus. Do you...?"


"I think...oh, finally. I can feel it in the air! A mage candidate, in Keona! What a miracle! The last time I detected mage potential was...years ago! Quickly, Vivianus! Keona is no place for this potential to rot!"

"Well, that got you into a good mood...as you wish, Floris. Where do you detect it?"

"It is...oh, the mage is coming our way-he or she is currently at the section of the fair that is left to ours! To the west!"

"Then I'll go find him or her. I have my magic scopes ready."

"Lead them to our booth, so that I can greet them. Finally, an interesting change of pace-a future Arcane Order worker!"

"If you're this excited, this person must be quite talented...I shall scout them…however, before I go, my liege..."

"Ah, yes, Vivianus?"

"Take that glamour off of your booth's title, and get back to work. Your self-appointed break time is over."

"A-ah...I thought you wouldn't...ahem. Yes, I'll do just that," the prince says, smiling ear to ear.

Underneath his cape and hat, the mage smiles back, though Floris couldn't see it. With that, Vivianus jumps off of the stage and flies into the air, using his cape as a glider as he scours the ground.

"Oh, a mage candidate! How exciting it is to save mages from the oppression of Keona! However...this magic I'm feeling...no, it's nothing. I'm just weary, is all...besides, why would a village girl be here of all places?"


Luana finishes both donuts, and once she is done, she could only audibly express her delight and twirl around.

"Well, that was filling! I feel like I can do anything now! Now, to the-"

She immediately ends her short lived celebration when she realizes where she is and what was happening. Her heart began to beat fast, just as it did this morning when facing Lono, and her breathing became heavy.

"Oh god, no! Anything but a transformation right now!"

Luana's hair is floating in the air as if she were in water. Each strand begins to turn a pale blue color from the tips, giving off a pale blue light. Her large ears stuck straight out from her head, and her fingers are turning a light blue like her hair, the color traveling from her hands to her arm. Finally, her eyes became beast-like in the pupils, which caused her to now see a whole manner of oddities, though they were still brown in color.

Panicked, she looks at her surroundings. Strange men, women and creatures walked among the normal people of the fair.

The strange men and women had a whole manner of odd traits and features. A few of them look similar to Luana in her current state-sharp eared, human looking folk, though the clothes they wear are made of various plants instead of cloth, and their skin colors are have much more range in color than the surrounding human beings. Some beings look like anthropomorphic bugs in clothing, their mandibles chewing at fair food. Their black beady eyes stare at the food in awe after each bite, just as mesmerised by the taste as anyone would be. Strange animals flew in the skies and walked among the feet of the people of the fair-dogs with wings for ears, birds with four feet and long feathered tails, and cats that walked on two legs and wore high class clothing to name a few. A few of the normal folk even straight up transformed into a new being when her eyes pierced their disguses. Food stall owners give the beings food and drink, unaware of what the person before them truly is. The chatter of the fair became even louder, the voices of the strange beings now added into the fairgoer’s cacophony.

"A glamour breach? Then my eyes must look off too! I have to get out of this form, or I'm toast! The police will see me and it's back to Riona with me!"

Luana quickly scans the scene. No one, not even the strange beings around her are looking her way, as they were too busy enjoying the fair. While she has the chance, she breathes in and out slowly, her eyes closed.

"Okay...think about...I know...think about just going on with the day...think about helping the kid...think about...ah, my old friend, Wolfy! ...Think about...if things go badly, there's a backup plan...it's okay...it'll all be okay...this transformation is temporary...there are no cops coming...just deactivate it..."

The blue coloring of her hair and hands goes away with each breath in and out. Her hair lowered itself onto her back. Feeling this, she opens her eyes, and the strange beings are now out of sight, and their chatter no longer being heard. The skin on her hand is its usual dark shade, her palms the usual slightly lighter color, and her hair had turned back into its usual pitch black color, resting on her back. She tucks her ears under her hair, brushes her clothing, and steadies her breathing, which is still somewhat panicked.

She scans the area once more. No one was looking at her. With a sigh of relief, she carries onward, looking for job stalls. Not too long after she had come to, however, she felt a pair of eyes on her from above.

"God, I wish only sadness would trigger this kind of crap...let's just get on with the day-the kid needs fliers, and I need to get to the goddamn Tovera booth."

Though she is annoyed with herself and still feels someone watching her, her belly is full and her body is now at ease. Wanting to find the source of he gaze, she looks around to find the pair of eyes, just to find no one looking at her in particular. After her quick scan, she sighs, rolls her eyes, and turns her attention to the stalls of the northwest part of the plaza. Each stall is decorated to the brim with big brands' iconography, though there are also stalls made for smaller businesses and companies nearby.

"Okay, so...Tentafizz? Ew...factory work...oh, carpentry...that sounds nice...but overseas? That sounds...sketchy...oh, the market has some people advertising...fish cutting...clothing making? ...A bakery...oh, the Shelby's Bakery no less! Maybe he can bake? Ugh, who would take him in and train him? Kalani Construction and Cleaning Services will throw him to the wolves...not that all wolves are bad, but...agh, I'm off topic! You know what? Let me just send one of each stall's offerings."

Luana closes her eyes and places her hand on her heart. She then whispers to herself a prayer.

Sons and daughters of the air and sky, I ask of you the blessings of the four winds. Blow away one of each flier to the southern skies, and in turn, I shall give you what you will. A lock of hair, an offering of food, a share of my power, so long as the four breezes carry these papers to the south, where the boy in tan and his black cat reside, I shall submit whatever you might ask of me.

As soon as Luana uttered the last word, a warm, light blue wave of light starting from her feet and quickly rising to her head let loose from her body, which made her feel uneasy for a spell. When it hit the air, the pale blue light became a small, pale blue gust of wind above Luana's head. The gust flew around her head like an excited dog, and then took to the skies, becoming a breeze that smelled of flowers and honey that swept through the fair. A myriad of fliers from many stalls fold themselves into paper birds of many colors and fly into the air, heading south of the fair.

The fairgoers look to the skies as they hear stall owners scream in awe, and begin to murmur amongst themselves over the paper birds. The children laugh with pure glee as they climb the fountains and their parent’s backs to see them clearer, pointing into the sky and clapping.

"Thank you. I hope he and his cat finds something he can do."

"Oh, those mages above the Toverian booth must've done that! They're as powerful as the tourists say!," Luana hears amongst the crowd.

"Yeah! This is amazing! Gosh, I wish I were a mage!"

The crowd of people in the northmost part of the fair clap for the mages, throwing flowers, food, and confetti their way. Bit by bit, the whole fair joined in the cheering, collectively impressed by the feat they believe the mages to have done.

One of the mages, clad in green, blonde haired, and struggling on her broom thanks to the wind stops her performance to stare at the fairgoing crowd. She lands on top of a building nearby and tips her large green hat upwards to see the crowd better. Seeing the birds and feeling the wind, she raises an eyebrow as fliers go into the air, folding themselves into paper birds.

"...Huh? Um, did any of you guys do this? I know none of us went around drawing sigils on the other booth's fair fliers. What the hell is going on!? I mean, it's gorgeous, but..."

The other mages float to her side, land, and nod no.

"...Whatever, maybe the prince did something. Let's just smile and bow."

The quartet of mages do just that, and in response the crowd goes wild.

Luana looks at the mages and smiles a little, but her expression quickly changed to fear when she again felt gaze from before intensified somehow, as if the eyes of the beholder had dug a hole into her back by now.

"...Maybe not smart to have done that while being watched, but it doesn't matter...let me just get to the booth under mages in the air. That big stage over there has got to be it...god, it's so full of people that it's impossible to see from the arches."

Luana walks towards it at a fast pace while the fairgoers continued to cheer. Though she still felt the eyes bearing into her back, her eyes are glued on the stage. Of all of the guides on stage, she couldn't help but notice the pale man with unnatural white hair. He seems to be shaking the hands of people who come onstage and chatting with them for a little bit before moving on to the next person or family.

"Who is...?"

Behind her, she felt something-or someone-land on the ground. A fair amount of dust is kicked up by this landing, and the shadow of what looked like wings is cast over her. When she turns around, she is met with the face of a pale skinned, black haired man, his face unreadable. He held his cape in his hands tightly, which made the cape look almost like wings. When he let go of it, the various circle shaped patterns embroidered into the cape no longer glowed, and the shadow over her went away as it lay back down on his shoulders and back. He immediately began to speak, leaving Luana in a state of shock and fear.

"Excuse me."

"H-huh!? Go away! I'm just trying to-I-I mean, who...are you!?"

Luana could feel her ears sticking straight up in fear under her hair. She knew her eyes had once again become beast-like, as she could see the smiling faces of invisible figures in the air around the man. Her face twisted in annoyance and anger, but once she realizes that a man in regal clothing stood before her, and that she risks yet another transformation, she immediately straightens up and gives him a quick bow.

"Oh shit. Am I done for? He doesn't look like a Kapua Association cop, but..."

"I...ahem, I-I'm sorry. I...I didn't mean to be so rude. Did...you need something, sir?"

She flashes him the sweetest smile she could muster. The man shakes his head and plants a white gloved hand on his forehead.

"There is no need to overcorrect. My apologies. I noticed I was scaring you, but I didn't know how to approach without scaring you further. I've been sent by someone very important-someone that has detected your magical ability, and wishes to direct you our way-though it seems you've found the way already."


"No way! I've been recognized!? In a good way!? Who is this man? Is he...I mean, if this booth is what I think it is..."

The man wears a bright red uniform of some sort, the most notable thing being his comically large bright red brimmed hat. The bright red hat is white inside. A circle with odd symbols around it can be seen embroidered in grey around the brim's inside. His uniform's shirt is a bright red with golden buttons and golden pauldron like shoulderpads. The shoulderpads have golden rope dangling from them, which shake every time he moves. As for his cape, it is the same saturated red with a white inside, which is clasped with a multicolored, diamond-shaped brooch on the corner of his left chest. Inside of the cape are many embroidered circular markings with symbols lining the insides and outside of the markings, the same as his hat. The diamond brooch that clasp it around his neck is split into four smaller diamonds, an golden "x" in the middle splitting them. Each is a different color; the top diamond white, the left one green, the right one blue, and the bottom one red-orange. His eyes are a deep purple color, and his hair is as black as night, though the tips have a hint of purple on them. Under his nose and on his chin is a light mustache and goatee respectively. His pants are also red, made of leather, and cling to his hips and legs, which Luana took note of especially. His boots are a rusty red color, with gold accents on the heels. Upon closer inspection, she could see more markings on the boots as well, this time etched in gold.

After a few minutes of observing him, Luana gasped, realizing what she was looking at.

"A mage! He's a mage! Of course, look at that hat! He looks just like the ones on that building, but super fancy...and that diamond brooch-I'd recognize that anywhere. He's from Tovera! I remember that diamond pattern from back home..."

The man looks at her and shakes his head.

"I assume this is your first time seeing a mage. Not surprising, as Keona's seem very elusive until it is time for a witch hunt. A shame...however, I must stay on topic, and move on to business. Ahem. Now...as I was saying...the prince himself has sent me to scout magical talent. He has detected you amongst the crowd. Please excuse the scare earlier-we are very excited to find mage talent. He felt magic radiating off of you, and I personally saw the little parlor trick you did. Quite the move, considering how the Kapua Association acts towards those who awaken outside of nobility."

"...So Tovera knows about the policies here."

"Quite so," the man says while rolling his eyes. "A primitive way to see magic, if you ask me...it is for this reason that Tovera allied with Keona in recent history-we are here to save our fellow mages from this place...if not that, then maybe we can at least help with changing the policies here. Come. We can walk to the booth as we speak."

"Ah, alright."

"So that's why. For negotiation? I wish they'd found a better way to do things...ever since they made that damn villa back home...ugh, nevermind. Let me just focus on what he's saying."

"As I said, the prince has sent me himself-he sits at his own greeting booth atop our big exhibit."

The man points to the pale, snowy haired man, who is currently shaking hands and speaking to people who came onstage.


"Oh my god. So that's the prince...he's cute...very cute, but..."

"That is Prince Floris Flaithri Tovera. The latest descendant of the Founder, and the beacon of hope for the country. He and I are on a mission to stop Keona's backwards views of magic from destroying future talent for the kingdoms around the world. A commoner knowing magic should be given the tools to become a mage, not sent to prisons and and the wilds. And I'm sure that as a mage yourself, you agree? No doubt you've been slandered and betrayed by your kingdom for being born with this talent."

"...Yes...things have been...hard here. I...I've been looking into Tovera because of that. I've been accused of all kinds of things, and I just want to control my magic and live in peace. Do you know...how I can find a magic teacher? Part time, preferably. I want to work full time to afford rent, you see. Actually...how are you running this booth without being slammed by the Kapua Association?"

The man places his right pointer finger over his mouth. Luana bites her lip and nods.

Now whispering, he replies, "The prince and I...we seek out mages under their noses as a team. While the other mages manage the booth, I stay by the prince's side, and he tells me if someone with potential appears. That is my true purpose for being here-to find and rescue people like you. The good news is that everyone is too distracted to hear us chatter, but please-keep your voice down."

"I see...thank you," she whispers back.

Going back to an inside voice, he continues on with his lecture.

"But of course. Now, as for your question-coming overseas to study under a mentor is what student visas are for-though student visa applicants can't work full time. That aside, we have the most prestigious mage academies in all of the world, and they do offer part time instruction...though I am curious as to why full time is not an option for you. Please, madam-you must understand that Tovera is a place for people like you-it was crafted by mage hands, alongside the Founder. Though there is a monarchy, we have long since given up the notion that blood is more important than talent in regards to building wealth and gaining education, and those who awaken to magehood are not immediately denounced as demons or spirits...unlike your...turtle-bound kingdom you call home. You may indulge in as much magic education as you'd like-we have many scholarships for dorms, rent reductions for mage students, we sell cheap starter kits for mages just beginning their journeys...there is no need to be so humble about your abilities. I highly suggest discussing future magic schools with me at the booth, instead of continuing to live as a sublunary."

"Ah...it's...complicated. Magic is...well, for me it...hm?"

Luana looks away from the man and towards the booth, feeling a gaze on her once more. To her surprise, the prince is staring straight at her, dumbfounded.

"Why is he staring at me like that? He detected me, right? What's he so shocked about?"

Luana waves at him nervously. He waves back, his face hard to read. The man by her side gives the prince a stern look, and in response, the prince goes back to greeting the fairgoers, but not before he glances at Luana again and gives her a warm smile.

"Oh my god. I mean-gods. What in the world? Is...is he like this with everyone? That must be it. What was he cheesing at me for? I...oh, my cheeks feel all hot!"

"Forgive him...he's...why is he...? Oh, nevermind it-that boy has some growing up to do. Ahem. Anyways, I forgot to introduce myself. I am Vivianus Merlino, Minister of Arcane Affairs in Tovera, the Arcane Kingdom. That also makes me a court mage. I am honored to have met a fledgeling mage on my visit here-now, if you'd like, we can apply for your visa on stage-and you may meet the prince while you’re here. This is no place to discuss anything in too much detail, or your sorry excuse of a royal guard will come swarming our way."

"O-oh! Right here, right now!?"

"But of course. Why wait?"

"...Well, I didn't anticipate applying for a visa on site...I thought I had to do that myself. And, I have no passport because moving overseas...only came to mind this month. I do have my ID on me though, for on-site job applications. Is that enough information?"

"But of course. Don't you worry about a thing, miss fledgling. We will sort it all out on stage. Come this way."

"Ah, really!? Thank you!"

Vivianus guides Luana on stage, helping her up the steps like a noblewoman. Luana's heart couldn't help but flutter a little as she admires the man's elegance.

"...Tovera might be a loaded place...but I'll just have to deal with it. This...the future looks bright. There's no doubt about it. I can't let this chance to live in this world like everyone else slip away!"


Floris sees Vivianus and the woman he'd detected coming his way, and his heart begins to beat at seeing her, a woman clad in blue, her hair thick and long, and her skin much darker than the people around her. Though it's his job to greet the people coming onstage, the woman Vivianus had found made him want to hide.

"Oh, the closer she comes, the more...scared? Worried? Anxious, yes, anxious, I get. ...Vivianus, forgive me. I have to leave. I...I can't face her. Not like this!"

Floris darts behind a curtain, now watching the pair from behind them. Though the curtains were drawn back, they still provided ample cover from Vivianus and the woman at his side. Seeing that he is gone, Vivianus calls for him, tapping his foot impatiently.

"Floris! You will come and greet the fledgeling magus at once!"

"Oh, but I can't, Vivianus! What if she-"

As if he could hear his thoughts, Vivianus shouts for him once once more.

"Floris, come out and do your job. Why act so childish? Do you wish to disrespect the madame's time?"


Floris sighs and shakes his head in dissapointment at himself. "I wish I knew, Vivianus. But that woman...just looking at her makes me afraid. Or is it excited? Oh, I'll have to explain myself to him at the hotel tonight!"

"Floris Flaithri Tovera! You-"

Wincing at what Vivianus might say, he closes his eyes and bites his lip. Instead of a scathing demand, however, he hears a woman's voice chimes in shortly thereafter, her voice mature yet still having a twinge of youth.

"Mr.Merlino, it's okay. The prince...if he doesn't want to greet me, or if he's just busy, whatever the case may be...as long as I get my passport and visa applications started, I'm fine. Plus...I heard royalty roams the streets, right? I'll...meet him later, maybe."

"Ohhhh...that's not it. What a fool I am," Floris thinks, his heart sinking and causing a small illness arise in his stomach. "I don't know why I'm acting this way. Forgive me, madam fledgeling!"

"...So be it, madam. You truly are a patient soul. I'll have to give that boy a scolding or two tonight-I hope that in your studies, he appears to you. I'll tell him to apologize in the event you two do meet."

"Oh, there's no need for that, Mr.Merlino..."

The two walk towards a long table on the stage's middle. On one side, many people in office wear sat, and on the other, fairgoers. Vivianus sits on the side lined with office workers on the furthest end away fr and the woman in blue sits across from him. They begin to talk, though Floris could hear nothing.

Like a curious animal, he walks out from behind the stage's left side curtains ever so slightly, just enough to get a better look at the woman in blue.

"...My body feels overcome with...I don't know-even now, my heart feels tight with every glance at her. But what I do know is that I must be brave...but not today. If she is on her way to my kingdom, then...there, in Tovera, I can make up for my rudeness...and my weakness...to her. Come to Tovera, woman in blue, and I shall make this day up to you. May the Founder align our futures, and bless you when you land on Toverian shores."


~Chapter II End~

Previous Chapter | Main | Next Chapter

~Author's Notes~

What's the prince's deal? Is he looking respectfully? Disrespectcfully? Is it yearning? Or curiosity? All? None? Who knows! What I do know though is that Vivianus is going to give him an earful about his behavior today.

Next chapter, we're putting the main story on pause for a moment or two as we dive into Luana's dreams on her way home.

Widget is loading comments...