~Chapter II: Rise and Shine~
Maevren sits up, shaking his head and smacking as he does so. A yawn escapes him, and on instict, he stretches his arms into the air, hitting the ceiling of his tent.
After coming to, he is shocked by the crumb-like sensation under his legs. To his surprise, underneath him was not the stone tiles of the ruin, but dirt.
"What in the...no, it can't be! Argh!"
Annoyed, he peers out of his tent to the outside world from inside of his tent. It took a few glances to see where he was, as the fog, though disappated a litte, was still around the ruin. Oddly enough, the street itself seemed clear of moss and plant life now, and is now reserved for the sides of the street-and he found himself amongst this plant life.
"But how...? Don't tell me that prankster from last night took me out of the town square! ...Oh god, where is my wand and tome!?"
Now a little worried, Maeveren's heart began to race just a little. He peers back into his tent to see his tome and wand neatly placed next to his sleeping bag. He peeks back out and looks around frantically for how motorbroom, which, to his relief, is parked next to his tent, which he didn't see in his first survey of his surroundings.
"...Don't tell me that prankster from last night took me out of the town square! What if they misplaced my things!? Grrr...when I find them, I'll...hold on...is that...do I hear voices?"
Following this sound, he walks a tad closer to the street, using the greenery to hide still. Looking straight ahead, crouching in the plant life, he sees a crowd of people, all in front of large, red, gold trimmed double doors, which filled in the south entrance arc he had found yesterday. All were dressed in robes of some sort. The walls of the city now looked brand new, decorated with red paper laterns and red ribbons.
"Other mages? The city now has a door and wall intact...is this...the work of ancients!? Am I seeing ancient magic at work!? Oh, I need to get closer!"
Filled with glee, Maeveren goes into his tent and switches his pajamas to his usual: underneath his dark blue cape, he wore slightly baggy blue-black pants, a blue leather belt, his baggy, plain black shirt, and a blue tome case with a strap, which also included a small slot in the case's spine for his wand. Lastly, he slapped on his brown leather boots, which had various sigils etched onto the bottoms and some of the sides. Lastly, he runs his hands through his curly, cow-licked, black hair, which shines in the sun despite the fog blocking some of it's light.
"I'm excited, but I can't get too reckless. Let's see if I can get even closer and listen in on what they're saying..."
Smiling to himself, the boy starts crawling in the plant life, slowly making his way towards the crowd of caped people.
"I should cast a spell. Er...I believe I drew silencing sigils on this pair...let's try it."
The boy takes out his blue-gemmed wand, sits on his bum, lays out his legs, and clasps his feet together to read the sigils on his boots.
"Aha! The sigil of silence, right on the toe caps!" he whispers.
The sigil looked like a large "x" across three curved lines, one small, one medium, one large, the smaller ones cusped by the large one. All are drawn within a circle. It is etched very lightly into the boots, enough to make a mark but not enough to make a hole. When he taps it with his wand, the sigils glow a blue color and then go back to the usual brown of the boots.
"Now, let's continue!"
He inches closer and closer, going north, where the double doors lie in front of the hooded mages. Their voices become clear as day. Before listening in, he takes a peek at their clothing now that he is closer. Their features are hard to make out, but their capes range from ornamental to plain. Some of them had hair that reached the ground, the colors more spectacular than any dye he's seen. Others had feathers and furs line their capes or peep from under them.
Now unbearably excited, he listens to the loudest voices in the crowd. Nearby, three mages, each with a feminine voice of varyed ranges stand in a triangle. One is turned away from him, their cape lined with orange, red, and yellow feathers. The other two, despite facing his direction, had features that were hard to make out, but he could see one wore a grey cape with a clam necklace, and had a very wide smile, as it seemed to take up the whole width of the cape's hood. The other was much taller than the other two, but their pitch black hair blocked out any facial features. They were the loudest, so he tuned in to them first.
"I saved up tons of money to come to Santenica! I can't WAIT for tonight's festival," a young, spunky, feminine voice says. This voice came out of the feather-caped figure. "I heard the food in the Wu district is the goddamn bomb. That's the first thing I'm doing when night falls."
"Yeah, my cousins wanted to come, but don't have the dough," a more mature feminine voice replies, coming from the clam-necklaced magus. "So I hope I can smuggle 'em in. They're shaking with excitement-I can feel it. I think I'll take a bath first-the tourist guide says the salt water baths give you a nonstalgic and refreshed feeling, and I could use one after all that traveling..."
"I just can't wait to rest my neck, ugh. All this travel and carrying stuff on it has made it tired. I kinda wanna lay down before I do anything..." a feminine voice between young and mature replies last.
"Oh, you two are no fun. You sound like grannies-are you two even a century yet? Where's your spark?"
"We have lots of time before the festival actually starts-we should use that time to rest up, or look at a tourist guide," the clam-necklaced magus replies. "We're going to a world-renowned inn, we might as well use it's facilities during the day, and at night, go out."
"This is...what are they on about? Have I gone back in time?" Maeveren whispers.
A bell rings out three times. The large double doors open. The three figures squeal in excitement, and begin to chatter back and forth, talking over one another as they, along with the crowd they were in, walked into the city in droves.
"Is this...my chance to see this ruin through ancient eyes? Just what is going on? Oh, I'm so excited!"
"So, you are going in?"
Maeveren rolls his eyes and whispers back to the voice.
"...That voice...YOU. Yes, I am. The future of education and my graduation project is at stake here. I chose to take it on because no one in my class would-and my mentor believes I can do it. I don't appreciate you moving my camp and my tools, by the way. What if I were attacked by a wild animal because you moved me away from my wards? What if I lost my things!?"
"Your mentor is a fool that has sent you into danger. And you are fine. The runes of the city are still intact, and are much more advanced than your simply runes."
"...Who even are you?"
"It does not matter. What does is-"
"Actually, it doesn't matter. I'm going. That's final."
With that, Maeveren puts on his hood and clasps his cape as tightly as he can.
"You-no, mage child! Your magic is not strong enough for what is ahead. The magic of today cannot rival the magic of the beings inside of that city. I cannot warn you enough of how bad of an idea this is. This is for your own protection-from one Ichor to another-your lineage is admirable, but I doubt one so young can survive on their own in Santenica as it is now."
"...From one Ichor to another, huh..."
"Please. I cannot bear to see one of my own suffer. If I can save even one of you...I can finally be at peace."
Puzzled, Maeveren's face scrunches up. After a few minutes of thought, he sighs and shakes his head.
In a quiet voice, he replies, "...Thanks for...looking out for me. But my people...I think...the last person I'd take advice from is someone in my clan. The Ichor...my clan...has done to evil acts against the kingdom of Tovera, and against the people in it. I'll never forgive you or the rest of us for that."
"...I...see. That...I suppose that's fair."
With that, Maeveren jumps out of the bushes and into the crowd, making sure his cape and hood hid his features as best as they could.
"...As I am, I cannot do much to stop you. I used too much of my power to move you from out of the town square. Your decision is made. I can only hope and pray for your safety, Ichor child."
Maevren stops walking for a minute, and opens his mouth to reply, but nothing comes out. Embarrassed at himself, he walks onward, grasping his cape tightly.
"Maybe I was...no, I was right. I am right. I have to know what's inside of this city while it's alive. Whatever danger is ahead-though I doubt it's any different from any other city-I'll face head on. Maybe I can finally see this world through ancient eyes, and see when my people went astray. This is for Tovera and the generations to come!"
As he and the crowd got closer and closer to the doors, his heart raced faster and faster. Nothing could have prepared him for what lay before him as he breaches the city gate.