Chapter 20

Chapter 20

A Chapter by Iron K. Tager
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The twentieth chapter.

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She opened one of the huge metal doors and walked into a highly furnished room were a young man was asleep, slouched down in his large chair with his hands together on his stomach.  Walking over to him, she noticed that the plate of dinner she placed there not long ago was now cold, and nothing had been taken from it except a small piece of the bread that was ripped off.

She sighed to herself.  ‘He won’t get any less tired if he doesn’t eat more,’ she thought to herself.  After looking at the young man for another minute, she walked to the other side of the room and pulled out a blanket from the bottom of a small nightstand next to one of the many bookshelves that walled the room.  She unfolded it and walked back over to the young man sleeping in the chair.

She placed it over his body and then smiled.  “Good night, master.”  She picked up the tray with the food on it and took it out of the room, closing the large metal door behind her.

 

Jeremy and Ruoiu ran as fast as they could manage without running into anything.  They were coming close to the edge of the woods, towards a clearing, where they both spotted Mia over to their left.  Jeremy ran straight to Mia’s side, while Ruoiu jumped up and swung off a branch to land near Jeremy. 

They both looked up to the sky in front of them, where a large, red magic circle the size of a house was extending out from a center point in the air a ways in front of them.  The entire thing was made of two circles, one slightly smaller and inside of the other.  The star inside the smaller circle had 5 points to it and symbols were scattered all around the space between the inner and outer circles.

“Guys,” Mia began, not taking her eyes off of it, “What took you?”

“Well if you don’t want us here, we can leave,” Ruoiu joked.

Jeremy was too awe-struck by the large red circle in front of him to notice anything else.  “What... what is that?”

“A magic circle,” Mia said, looking up at it.  She waited a moment before continuing.  “I barely got a glimpse of the person who made it, but whoever made it used something special for it.”

Ruoiu took a few steps towards it and looked up.  “And they just left it here,” she stared at the center.  “Is it me, or is this thing moving?”

Each circle was slowly rotating around its center, with the inner one going opposite the outer one.  It began to glow a lighter shade of red and grow smaller and smaller, but at an almost unnoticeably slow rate as the light in the center became more focused.

They continued to stare at the circle as it slowly beginning to spin and pulsate faster and faster. 

“It’s gonna blow!” Ruoiu called back to them as she quickly ran for a tree and slid behind it. 

Jeremy attempted to follow suit, but before he could even get halfway there, the circle collapsed into itself, sending out a loud bang and a forceful shockwave that smacked into his body.  He was able to crouch to the ground in an attempt to take it, but ended up getting rolled head over heels once or twice. 

Ruoiu gave a sharp whistle at how far Jeremy had gone just as the winds from the circle’s collapse died down.  Mia, who had taken refuge just below her, quickly ran out to check on him.

“Jeremy!  Are you alright?” she asked.

Jeremy had landed on his side.  He took one of his hands and propped it up to roll himself and get up, but let that arm slide over the ground.  “I think I might need a minute.”

“Man, took it like a champ,” Ruoiu joked as she jumped down and slowly walked over to them.  “Anyone else see that shot?”

By the lack of response, and questioning look from Mia, Ruoiu assumed not.

“When the circle was burst?  A shot came out the middle?  Flew off?”

 Mia thought for a moment.  “No, no, I didn’t see anything.”

Jeremy sighed and pulled himself up to a sitting position, knowing that, no matter how tired he was, staying there was unacceptable.

“You said you saw them?” he asked.

“Not really,” Mia stated, distracted by her recollection.  “They might have seen me and ran off.”

“Oh-ho, big and scary aren’t ya?” Ruoiu took up a large grin.

Mia shot a look at Ruoiu, and she put up her hands as if trying to act innocent.  “I might have to look into it later,” she said.  “If someone like that is out here, we should at least know who they are.”

“Does it matter?  We just gotta lay low a little,” Ruoiu reasoned.

“No, I would feel better if we knew.”  She paused for a second.  “I might know who it is, but I want to make sure.”

“Ooo, so mysterious,” Ruoiu went on skeptically.  Jeremy stood up fully and took a few steps towards where the circle used to be.

‘It looks like nothing was ever there,’ he thought to himself, but then noticed the amber tint of the sky behind it.  “We should start heading back.  The sun’s going to set soon,” Jeremy suggested.

“Sounds like a plan,” Ruoiu agreed. 

 

The sun shone sparingly on the shrine as sparse, blotchy clouds moved in front of it.  The temperature was cooler than many of the other days they have had, and a slight breeze seemed to compliment it.  Even the summer’s cicadas seemed to quiet down in respect to the nice weather.

Soro had a wooden broom in his hands and was sweeping the stone path between the stairs to the village and the shrine’s wooden steps, humming short notes from time to time to make little melodies that did not get far.  He glanced over to the bushes that the path to the shack was behind, as if expecting something to happen.  Once he was sure nothing was wrong, he would continue sweeping.

Soro stopped for a moment and stretched his back, looking over to the left side of the shrine’s veranda, where he had set some tea earlier.  He silently walked over to it as he tried to clear his mind of what he was thinking, and calm himself.  As he sat down and took up the cup he had set out, he suddenly began to speak.

“You got somethin’ you wanna talk about?” he asked.

“You are as observant as ever,” Rederick stated as he stepped out from behind Soro and sat down on the opposite side of the tea, holding his own cup.  He took up the tea pot and poured some tea for himself.

“So, what’s it you want, Rederick?” Soro asked plainly.

“You remember me?”  Rederick asked, giving somewhat of ironic surprise in his voice.  “I’m flattered.”

“You aren’t easily forgotten,” Soro remarked in an exhausted fashion.  “I’ll ask again: you want somethin’?”

“Nothing; I was merely curious as to what you thought of all this.”  Rederick took a sip from his cup, and then held it back down in his lap.

“I was just thinkin’ how suspicious you’ve been,” Soro stated.  “I was thinkin’ how you might be behind some of this.”  He glanced towards Rederick, and then forwards again.

“Behind what, may I ask?”  Rederick moved his right hand into his pocket and removed a raindrop-shaped stone on the end of a necklace.  “The only think I am guilty of is curiosity.  No one truly knows how a transfer will behave when they first arrive, or what makes them so similar as to be picked out.”  He placed the necklace on the tray next to the teapot.  “You should know why I do this now.”

Soro turned from the stone stairs and looked at the necklace that Rederick had set down.

“He no longer needs to wear it,” Rederick said, “though I believe he has forgotten about it entirely regardless.”

“You know I don’t believe you for one second,” Soro looked up at Rederick suspiciously.

“I am under the scrutiny of the shrine priest; may the gods save me.”  Rederick seemed to enjoy his sarcasm more than Soro.  “I believe you have been acting quite odd yourself.”

“Everyone has,” Soro defended.  “Jeremy’s got it hard, and we all have to help him take it in; it effects everyone.”

“And with Gyan still at large, you must have your hands full with him as well,” Rederick commented. 

Soro seemed slightly surprised as he raised his head when Gyan was mentioned. 

“If you do nothing but dance around him, you will trip eventually.”

He looked off for a second, and then turned towards Rederick.  “And you-” 

Rederick was no longer there, neither was his cup, nor the necklace.  Soro sat still for a moment, staring at the pillar behind where Rederick had been sitting.  He then sighed, and turned forwards once more.

‘I wish he’d stop playing these games,’ Soro thought as he drank the rest of his tea. 

 

A tapping noise suddenly echoed through the shop; three taps in slow succession.  Lance looked up over the counter.

“Come in!” he called out.

No one entered and no one answered.

“Must be my imagination,” Lance commented to himself as he looked back down under the counter.  “I swear I put it down here.”

He pulled out a basket and looked into it.  Nothing but an old set of paint brushes practically buried in dust and webs looked back up at him.  Considering his lack of things to do in his spare time, he set the paint brushes up onto the counter and continued looking.

“Where is it?”  Lance was starting to get nervous.  He pulled out and then put back more baskets, but to no avail.

Lance stopped and sighed.  “I guess I lost it.”

The three taps occurred again and, not wanting to leave out the possibility, Lance called out.  Again there was no response of any kind.

He got up and looked down at the counter, and then out to the rest of the shop.  “I guess I need to tell Jeremy that I lost his necklace.” 

Lance scratched behind his ear and leaned his head back.  As he brought his head down, he saw a folded piece of paper on the floor to the left of the center display.  Curious about it, he slowly stepped out from the other side of the counter.  The piece of paper was pure white, and had straight-cut edges.

He was especially careful in picking it up, as such fine paper was rarely used in the human village, and it may have a contact spell inscribed on it as such perfect paper often does.  Slowly, he turned the folded side up and opened it.

“Nothing,” Lance said blankly as he blew out the breath he had kept.

‘Strange; I don’t remember having paper like this.’  He looked up at the book case to the left of him and against the wall; there were two other pieces of the same paper there.

‘Maybe Soro gave me some,’ Lance thought as he turned to the bookcase and placed the folded piece of paper on top of the normal ones.

He turned around and, out of the corner of his eye, saw something move.  He looked to where it was, but nothing was there.

The same three knocks came again, but slightly louder this time.

“Come in!” Lance called over his shoulder, trying his best to sound neither confused nor exhausted.

This time, the door opened, and a friendly villager stepped into the shop.

“Hello, how may I help you?” Lance asked kindly as he turned from the bookshelf. 



© 2014 Iron K. Tager


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Added on October 16, 2014
Last Updated on October 16, 2014
Tags: Break Down the Unknown, Chaper 20, 20, Jeremy, Ruoiu, Mia, Ruu, Jay, Soro, Rederick Gyan, Lance, paper, magic circle, friendly villager


Author

Iron K. Tager
Iron K. Tager

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Hello! I'm not really that good of a writer at all, but I do enjoy writing. I tend to only write things when I feel like it, so sometimes I go long stretches without putting anything down. I wrote .. more..

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