Chapter 7: Mana (Chronicles of Time)
Akira had just recently enrolled into the same high school as the others under the pretext of “a genius young and mature student” just so he isn’t stuck at home alone, and it went well. He played the role perfectly, and there were no flaws - besides his constant and relentless fights with Yuu’s rude comments daily. All the students admired him just as much as they did with the others, and because he looked so young - they were regularly impressed by his formal and precise answers during class. His image of a “good student'' was forever implanted in their minds. Within a few weeks of attending school, he was now one of the most entrenched people of popularity.
Natsumi broached the subject of this “unexpected” reaction to the others. “Don’t you think it's weird that we’re getting more attention than before?”
“Not really,” Himari answered. “I mean, have you seen how much attention and affection Yuu has been gaining lately? I heard that the girls are planning on starting a whole fan club for him!”
Yuu scoffed. “As if you can talk. I heard the boys were also planning on creating a whole little fan club for you two as well.”
“I-I didn’t know we were so popular.” Natsumi blinked in astonishment.
“You never realized?” Sora eyed her with an expression that said ‘are-you-serious?’.
Natsumi turned a blind eye to his comment. “Anyways, so I heard there’s a new dessert shop that opened near the train station lately. You wanna go try it out?”
“Are you alright?” She stretched out her hand kindly to the little girl who fell in front of her. “Are you hurt anywhere?”
The younger girl stared at her with wonder then broke out of her daze. “Ah! I-I’m sorry. Y-you’re just really beautiful, onee-san!”
She blushed as she helped the staggering girl up. “Th-thank you.”
Her amber eyes twinkled. “Onee-san, do you live nearby?”
“Yup, I frequently come to this park, do you?”
“Nope! I only came because Hikaru took me here! But I drifted apart from him somehow so…”
The sudden realization hit her and she turned pale. Trembling, she suddenly burst into tears.
“W-what’s wrong?” The older girl asked. Her purple hair shifted around while she panicked about how to console the child. Even though they looked to be about the same age, she didn’t have any experience in comforting a crying child.
“What do I do? I-I’m lost!” She wailed. Her shoulders shook uncontrollably, and she sniffled between each sentence. “What will I do? H-Hikaru…he will get so mad! I-I bet he’s going to - sniff - get so - ngh - scary! H-He won’t get a-any icecream for me anymore!”
She blinked, visibly confused.
‘She was worried about that?’ She screamed inside her mind. Well it wasn’t like she couldn’t comprehend how the girl felt. Ice cream is really delicious after all! And besides, it is Summer and the heat waves were pretty bad. Only ice cream is the cure for the scorching hot temperature.
She held onto the girl’s hand firmly and seated her on the swings. Taking out a napkin, she wiped away her tears delicately.
“There, there,” she said softly, “I’ll help you. Do you remember the place where you and that other boy were before?”
“A- a little,” she sniffled, “I-I think I can remember if we walk around a bit. M-maybe it’ll come to me somehow!”
“T-that’s a great idea!” She smiled brightly, relieved to see the girl no longer crying so pitifully.
They intertwined their hands again, and began walking out of the park. After asking for a description of the places she’s been to, they did their best to narrow down the possible locations. After a while, they took a break - exhausted from all the walking, they took a seat near the side of the cement path. The blazing sun beamed down at them, making them sweat.
The little girl decided to break the silence after a while. “...hey, onee-san, do you have anyone you like?”
“Anyone I like?” She repeated the question, confused as to why such an unrelated question popped up. “I…don’t have anyone I really like yet.”
“Oh, is that so?” A hint of disappointment could be heard in her tiny voice. “Well, I do think we’re too young to be in love.”
“But…isn’t it fun to imagine it? The future, I mean.” She stood up and spread her arms open. “Wouldn’t that be fun? Being with someone whom you share feelings with, having children, then coming home everyday to see people waiting for you- isn’t that great?”
She never really thought about it before, but what the girl said did sound reasonable. It also sounded familiar, and reawakened her past emotions.
“Like…having a family?”
She smiled to herself. She almost forgot what it felt like when her parents were still alive. She could recall some hazy memories of warm smiles, and -
“Akari!” a boy’s voice called out from a distance. The little girl stood up, and waved energetically.
“I’m here! Hikaru, over here!”
“Hold on, I’m coming!” The boy’s figure approached slowly as he ran towards them.
“Then I’ll take my leave now! Thank you onee-san!” She turned to leave but then stopped. “Um…will we meet again?”
She hesitated to reply. “...Let’s see.”
“Then can you tell me your name, onee-san?”
“My name is…”
She waved goodbye to the girl. After a few minutes, she could no longer see the girl’s figure and turned to leave.
Her ears ringed, and her head felt just awful! Her vision spun, and the whole room looked distorted as she groaned. She put a hand to her forehead to confirm if she was ill only to find herself completely free from a fever. The bed felt warm but was empty when she looked around expecting to find Akira and Himari asleep next to her.
“Ugh!” She groaned as a shockwave of pain ran through her body. Just what was happening? She was perfectly fine yesterday!
She struggled to get out of bed and when she managed to place one feet on the floor, she fell. A strong force momentarily seized her, and she erupted into a fit of coughs.
“What…the heck!” She panted, overwhelmed by the sudden drastic progression. Her legs trembled so much that when she tried to stand, her strength would give away as if she was made of jelly. She used her arms to hold onto the bed, and pulled herself up onto the sheets once again and sat straight. She felt so drained after accomplishing so little, only to end up back where she started.
“Natsumi, Akira and Sora left first since they have - are you okay?” Himari exclaimed with worry at the sight of her friend’s pale figure when she entered the room in her school uniform. She rushed immediately towards her and held her hand. “Y-you’re not having a fever, that’s for sure.”
“I-I’m…alright,” cold sweat broke out, and she winced when another wave of pain washed over her.
“Y-Yuu!” Himari called out urgently. Her mind was tossed into a chaos. Not sure what to do, she called for the first person that came to mind.
‘S-surely he knows how to fix this!’
In a flash, he appeared out of nowhere. “What happened?” After a glance at Natsumi’s face, he quickly caught up with the situation. He hurried towards her, and pressed his forehead against hers. Her face immediately turned red at the physical contact. “You’re burning up.”
“What?” Himari said, doubting his words. “But she felt so cold! How could she be burning up?”
“That’s not what I meant,” Yuu said briefly. “Your mana is rising for some reason, and it’s overflowing. At this rate, your whole body would be consumed.”
“What..will…happen…then?” Natsumi looked up with hazy eyes that had a hint of fear. She felt suffocated, and every cell of her body screamed and howled in pain. It felt as if a large sharp object penetrated her, and acted insidiously. She was happy that she found out she even had magic, but it was the complete opposite from what she expected.
He hesitated to answer.
“Hey…what will happen?” Himari looked at him, apprehensive of what he was about to say.
#fiction #fantasy #novel
Polly & Her Pet Python
Polly has a pet snake. His name is Monty.
Monty is a large snake called a python.
Monty loves to be held.
Polly adores Monty so much.
Polly and Monty do everything together.
They play hide and seek.
They watch movies.
They have tea parties.
They even take naps together.
Her daddy lets her be around Monty all the time.
However, there are important rules Polly had to learn about caring for Monty.
Rule 1: Polly is not allowed to feed Monty. Not until she's much older.
Rule 2: Polly is not allowed to be alone with Monty without her Daddy watching.
Rule 3: Polly must always wash her hands after playtime with Monty
Lots of people and children are afraid of Monty because he is strange.
But not Polly. Polly loves Monty with all her heart.
And she hopes they can be best friends forever.
#fiction #childrensbook #pets #snakes