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Excerpt for Legacy of Dolyn: Volume 2 by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Legacy of Dolyn

Volume 2

Amelia Guillem

Copyright 2019

Smashwords Edition

Book cover credit



Table of Contents

Prelude - The Lost

March - Month One

April - Month Two

May - Month Three

June - Month Four

July - Month Five

August - Month Six

September - Month Seven

October - Month Eight

November - Month Nine

December - Final Month

January - Special Month

February - Epilogue

Afterword

About the author



Prelude - The Lost

Setting: on a highway during a rainstorm

20 years ago. Nighttime.

A sedan rushed at a furious pace.

They're catching up to us!!” a woman cried.

She was holding an infant in her arms.

A shot from a bullet shattered the back window.

Mom, dad! I'm scared!!” a boy cried.

He was sitting in the back seat of the car.

— BOOM! —

The explosion of a bomb shattered a tire.

The man steered off the highway.

Unfortunately, the sedan rolled down the hill.

And it crashed straight into a tree.

Sparks of fire started to ignite.

— WOOSH! —

No! My baby!!”

The woman realized the infant wasn't in her arms.

She nudged him to wake, but he was already dead.

Noticing the fire, she mustered to save the boy.

But the boy's arm was stuck. She had to cut it off.

They fled by a sheer miracle as the car exploded.

Lucia! Lucia!! Where are you?!”

The woman tried to look but fell soon after.

Her face and body charred beyond recognition.

The fate of the newborn remains unknown.


March - Month One

Date: March 1; Time: Afternoon, Full Moon

Tell me. What I did wrong? That is the question I’ve been asking since Gwen died. I still can’t remember what happened, no matter how hard I try. When I try to, my mind shuts down. A total blur, as if the events from two months ago never occurred in the first place.

But they did happen! I was kidnapped by those cultists. They imprisoned me, held me hostage for a whole month. My friends risked their lives facing them head-on. Those crooks then forever vanished, all of them killed in a massive explosion.

Now I’m back again, all alone, lying on the bed of my bedroom since this morning. Sure, I ate my breakfast and did some house chores. But I didn’t have a desire for anything else.

The silence is too painful to bear.

I remember lying on my bed a year ago. I cried my eyes out, and I’m still crying today. But this time, I can’t close my eyes and forget.

The void in my heart is real.

I'm holding my custom Gwen doll. See, Gwen was a talking stuffed cat. We met a year ago, and things were tough between us. But we shared a tight bond, always cared for me. She was a human sorceress long ago and ended up with psychic powers after death.

The keyword “sorceress” should resonate because that’s what I am. Glendolyn Villem at your service. But people call me Glen, and I’m a girl. Glen is a guy’s name.

Well, I do have a tomboyish figure with a bobby gold haircut, so it can’t be helped for some people to think I’m a guy.

It’s been forever since I cast a spell of any kind. I better get back to training. I don’t want to be caught unprepared when something big happens.

But how? All my friends are busy. Agnes, a college professor, is teaching. Aster, a humanoid chimera, is writing. And Maury, my roommate mechanic, is out in Izberia attending his grandfather’s funeral.

Oh well, I’ll find a way.

I grab my smartphone to look at some news. Since the incident in Strasmore, news articles keep talking about it nonstop. They go into details of the destruction, the cults, but fail to pinpoint the cause. Is anyone going to believe that I was the cause? That Nyx took over me and caused the whole mess?

Because of Gwen’s actions in the Middle Ages, I ended up becoming a reincarnate of the goddess Nyx. Talk about a stretch! Nyx is the Goddess of the Night. Her twin brother, Erebus, is chained in the Underworld. Because of her awakening, the god revived, and he may strike at any time. Should he do, the world would end.

Shit! If I weren’t such a noob, I would be prepared. Still, I’m gonna be ready. With Gwen’s Book of Spells, I’ll learn powerful spells to take down enemies in one shot. Yeah!

As I scroll down the news, I click on a headline. The article mentions the incident in October and makes comparisons with Strasmore. My hands are shaking, and my heart is pounding. While both events differ, they make one common connection: me.

No way! There’s even an old picture of me.

But how...?

Are those sirens I hear? They’re quite loud.

.......................

I don’t like the sound of this.

Something is about to break in. I have to leave now.

The first thing I did is to leap out of bed. I’m still dressed wearing a long-sleeved striped shirt with black jeans. I rush to the closet to search for my black sneakers. And as soon as I put them on, I snatch the tote with the essentials I need in case a fire breaks out.

Inside I have money, ID cards, a passport, a notebook, keys, some pens, and charging cables for my smartphone. Also, I have unopened, brand new underwear. And finally, there is a small box of mementos grandma left for me. Inside is an album, grandma’s ballerina photo, and a silky purple cape that grandma used during her career.

I ended up using the cape during my figure skating days. Grandma said the mantle was passed down for generations. She said it carries mystical powers. I wonder how it will help. It might be handy either way, so I wear it. Wow! I feel like a heroine in an RPG.

I rush to place my smartphone, the plushie, and Gwen’s Book of Spells inside the tote. After I double checked everything, I dash to the door. But I stop because of the possibility of the break down from the front door.

I don’t know who’s pursuing me. It doesn’t matter anyway because I still need to leave.

I hurry to my room and slam the door. The only other way to escape is through the already opened window. But I live high up and jumping out would be a suicide. Then I remember landing from a tree thanks to my powers of levitation. But that was during my training. I’m not sure if I’ll have the same luck again.

BOOM! BOOM!

Oh no! I hear the front door bursting.

After uttering a silent prayer, I shut my eyes and leap the moment the door to my room was broken in. Whoever tried to find me would only see an empty room with an open window.

I swear if I don’t succeed this fall...

.......................

Huh?

I open my eyes.

I’m floating midair.

Whoa there! Is this for real?

I can fly?

Did I gain psychic powers too?

Or is this part of me being a goddess?

Either way, I take advantage and fly upward. I hope no one sees me and takes pics for social media. That would be so embarrassing!

But the view is fantastic from up here! I can see houses and small people walking. It’s hard to believe this, but I’m flying for reals. If I recall correctly, characters in RPG games tend to levitate and fly around. Oh my gosh! This is a dream come true!!

“ACHOO!” I sneezed. I forget it’s not yet spring.

I begin flying in a random direction. Thankfully, the tote is light enough for me to hold in my arms. I hope I don’t crash into a bird or worse.

Meanwhile, the people who pursue me take note. I can tell because I see trucks going in my direction. Shoot! I must think of something fast.

I have an idea. I’ll fly to the railroad. That’s right! The same railroad I rode to Simona City the first time, and when I went to the forest for training.

Of course, I will not fly directly there but rather hide among the trees that lead to the railroad. It’s the only way I can lose the people who pursue me.

With bold resolve, I increase the speed of my flight.

Once I make it to the woods, I begin to descend and decrease my speed. I must take special care not to crash into a tree. The trees in these parts are dense.

Still, the people who pursue me continue their chase. I hear a gunshot in my direction. I manage to evade but barely. The bullet grazed through my right cheek.

I have no choice but to put up a fight while I’m still flying. Since there are no people around, I don’t have to hold back anything.

The gunshots continue, and I evade all of them. If only I can get a clear shot of the attackers, I can cast a spell to knock them off.

When the chasers fire another shot, I evade their bullets once again. But this time, I make eye contact with one of the pursuers. Time seemingly stopped. The chaser is wearing a unique military uniform of some kind. I doubt it’s the Semona military. This means... *gasp* It’s the Regal Armada, and they’re after me! Why?!

Despite this, I pick up the speed and continue my flight. The Armada keeps shooting over and over. Now I’ll attack them with my spells.

I’m a bit hesitant, to be honest. I’ll be using my powers to purposely attack a human being. The times I’ve used my skills against someone was accidental.

But I’m a sorceress, and I must defend myself against human or monster. With the shout of a word and a stretched-out palm, I yelled a spell.

“Breeze Arrow!!”

An icicle spear knocks one of the chasers down. Choosing Breeze Arrow is the wisest choice. A fireball or a lighting spell could set the woods on fire. I continue chanting the spell while flying forward. One by one, the chasers tumble like falling dominoes.

I see a running wall ahead of me. A wall? It must be a passing train! Despite knocking the chasers with my spell, they continue shooting. There’s too much of them for me to take down. If I were to get tired now, I wouldn’t be able to escape. I take note of the train going north and fly towards the back end.

But the train runs faster than I thought. Still, I manage to hold on the pole with only one hand while carrying the tote in another. I try my hardest not to let go. I forgot I need both hands to climb over the pole, but luckily, the tote is strapped to my back. I hold the pole with my other hand and use both arms to draw me in. I end up climbing over the pole with my remaining strength and land on the back end of the train.

Talk about an intense workout, but I made it!

The Armada ceases their shooting as soon as the train enters the tunnel. They withdraw at this point. I cast a light spell since the tunnel is dark so I can open the door.

Alright! I step inside.

Date: March 1

Time: Dusk, Full Moon

I’m finally inside the train. There are lots of boxes here. I figure this is the storage area because I don’t see anyone here.

I’m tired, and I need a place to sit. Except there are no seats. I guess I could sit on the floor. I scout around trying to find the perfect spot to relax.

After a brief search, I pick the back corner. It’s the perfect spot since it’s by the door. The angle is surrounded by boxes. I could have some privacy here.

I considered contacting my friends to let them know I’m okay. I bet they’re worried, but I’m too tired to text anything. I’ll contact them tomorrow.

I close my eyes as soon as I settle on the floor.

Date: March 1

Time: Evening, Full Moon

“Miss?”

I hear someone calling out to me.

I open my eyes and notice a uniformed man kneeling before me. He’s quite good looking.

“Are you alright, miss? This is the storage area. Besides, this is the last stop. Do you have your ticket?”

Ticket?!

I grab my tote and bolt out of the open door. I flee away from the train using my levitation skill. No one took notice, apparently. I bet the uniformed man is shocked at my sudden departure. But I rush so fast that I fail to notice it’s nighttime in the woods. Heck! I don’t know where I am. I’m completely lost.

I check my smartphone in hopes of texting.

No reception.

Wandering through the woods at night is risky. There’s nothing to see except the full moon in the sky.

I begin to sob, like a lost kid at the mall. Can’t you tell? I’m scared. Yet, I cast a light spell to guide me. I walk through the woods holding the ball of light in my palm.

After some walking, I see a body of water. It must be a lake. The moon shines through its reflection. Further head lies some mountains. The combination of those makes beautiful scenery.

The air is cold but not freezing. At least I can settle here next to this tree. I mumble a prayer as I sit on the ground with my back leaned to it. I brace my tote tight and close my cape to keep me warm as I sleep.

Date: March 2

Time: Morning

I wake up in a strange cabin. No, really! A cabin.

But how did I end up here? I don’t remember sleepwalking. I wake up in a run-down bed. Apparently, this bed is so old its springs stand out, so I wake up with back pains.

I doubt this is a cabin. It’s more like a poorly-built shack. There’s no electricity, only one window, and there are holes in the roof. This shack could collapse at any time.

Who the heck lives here?! I can’t sit around like this. What if a guy brought me here? *gasp* I double check my pants to see if it happened. Nope, they’re still zipped.

I search for my tote, and there it is next to me. I check to see if anything is stolen. Nope, everything is still there. The cape from yesterday remains strapped to my shoulders.

Shit! I’m such a mess.

“Oh, miss! You’re awake!” squealed a voice.

“Yeah, I’m awake...huh?” I shift to see a young girl.

Wait, a girl? Is it me or my mind playing games?

But I do see a girl. She stands in front of the bed, wearing a yellow-dirt T-shirt with poked holes. Her skin is pale and her hair blonde. Her height seems to be petite. I can’t tell if she’s a woman or a child.

“I’m glad you’re awake, miss. Are you hungry?” she asked.

Sure, I’m hungry, but I’m also cautious. Who is this girl? She brings a basket filled with fruits and places it on the bed next to me. The girl sits on the stool she brought over.

“Please eat. I live here so I can tell which ones good and which ones are poisoned.”

POISON?!? Now I’m worried, but the girl knows what she’s doing so I trust her word. I take an apple and begin nibbling on it. However, fruit isn’t enough. I need meat. But since I’m still tired from yesterday’s event, I’ll settle with fruit for now. The girl eats some fruit too.

We spend a good while eating fruit. These fruits are fresh. She managed to harvest them well. I wonder why she lives here by herself. Shouldn’t there be someone else? Like someone taller and stronger? She is too small and meek to handle this shack.

“I’m done eating fruit. Would you like a bath, miss?” the girl asked. Her question throws me off. It’s not I don’t want to bathe. I just don’t know her intentions.

“You’re not planning something, are you?”

Her expression darkens right away. “I’ll ask you this: are you a bad person? Because if you are a bad person, then I will defend myself by doing bad things.”

Whoops! I must think of a comeback fast. “No, I am not a bad person because I have nothing to kill with. Therefore, I will not do bad things.”

A lengthy pause ensues. The girl smiles after the break. “Okay, I trust you. I’ll get the bath ready.” I nod in agreement as the girl rushes outside. I follow her, and I see she already has the bath prepared.

Wait, we’re taking a bath outside?

“But is it safe? Won’t anyone stumble here?”

“No one comes here. They never did. And if they do, I have my arrow ready.” The girl is referring to her bow and arrow on a block next to the tub. I see she’s the type to take precautions. I feel sorry for letting her defend us, so I’ll back up with my magic if needed.

I start taking my clothes off. I’m embarrassed. I have never been naked outdoors before. Yet, I feel safe thanks to the young girl’s wisdom. I dip my body inside the tub. The water feels warm. A flush of relief overwhelms my body, removing yesterday’s fatigue.

The girl enters the bath too. I lean my back towards her and... huh? I feel two squishy things on my back. Don’t tell me? This girl has breasts as large as Agnes. But she has a small height. How is that possible? Okay, wondering if she’s a child is out of the question now.

“You’re tense,” she said, giving me a back massage.

Did she sense it? Oh well, I need a good relief anyway.

“If you don’t mind, can you tell me your name?”

“My name is Claris,” she replied. “What about yours?”

“Glendolyn, but you can call me Glen if you wish.”

“Such a unique person. Can I call you Big Sis?”

I like her. She’s so sweet.

“Sure, you can. Um, Claris, are you not afraid? Is it only you by yourself?” What about family and friends?” I want to ask more, but I should refrain for now.

“No, I am not afraid. The only person who lived with me died six months ago. Baba...”

Her story hits like a sting. “Sorry to hear that...”

“Oh, no worries. Dying is a part of life.”

I sigh. “So, how did I end up in your bed?”

“Easy! I was preparing when I’ve heard footsteps. I assumed it was a wolf, so I grabbed my bow and arrow. But I got closer and saw you sleeping by a tree. I knew it was dangerous, so I carried you here. You should be grateful because wolves wander the area at night.”

Oh my gosh! That’s scary shit! If Claris hadn’t saved me, I’d be dead by now.

“Thank you, Claris.”

“You’re welcome. I’m happy I saved your life.”

“You know, I want to stay here for a bit. I feel you need someone to keep you company.” I know Claris has been living here, but I can’t stand to see someone alone like this.

“But I’ve been living alone. I’m not afraid. Although, I do need someone to talk to. Baba’s death made me very sad. Please, stay a little.”

I turn to hug Claris. I can hear her light sob on my chest. I know how hard it is to be alone, especially after the death of someone close to you.

Date: March 3

Time: Morning

The weather is perfect and sunny, so Claris decides to swim in the lake. I’ll stay behind to watch in case bums try to invade.

Claris discards her shirt with ease. She dives into the water with a spear in hand. Spear? Yep, she’s going to catch some fish for us.

I admire her bravery. She skinny dips into the water to hunt for fish. Man, I’m blushing! To say Claris is underweight is an understatement. She has kept herself in top shape. Right before dawn, I saw her practicing her bow and arrow to a tree. Later, she did some lifts and sit-ups. She’s so disciplined.

Claris shot a bird with a direct hit. The girl has unique instincts, possibly honed from years of living in the forest. I wonder if she’s a sorceress too. But I doubt it would be necessary. Her navigation skills may come in handy sometime.

As for the fallen bird, we ended up eating it for breakfast. Yes, I cooked it. What? It’s no different than eating chicken or turkey!

Anyway, I toy around with the pendant Claris left behind. I notice she was wearing it yesterday, but I didn’t ask because of fatigue. The pendant has a golden round shape attached to a red ribbon, kind of like the one worn by Olympic victors.

There’s a crest on the pendant. It looks familiar for some reason, but I can’t recall what it is. I think this is a royal coat of arms. Shoot! If only I know what it is...

Oh, Claris returns with a spear full of stabbed fish. Leaving her naked and soaking wet is not a good idea, so I test out a low-key fire spell on her. And it worked! Her whole body completely dries as the droplets vaporized.

Gwen’s Book of Spells is sure handy!

After putting a casual shirt on Claris, we spend the rest of the day cooking and eating fish. I boiled water with my magic skills for safe drinking. Claris hasn’t noticed my magic yet, which is fine. I’m trying to keep myself a low profile here.

Date: March 5

Time: Morning

If we stay any longer in this shack, the roof will collapse on us. A large piece of it fell while we were sleeping. Yesterday’s rain was a massive downpour, and the winds were intense.

Claris was shaking, and she sobbed in my arms. I was freaked out too, but I remained calm for her sake. I hold her tight, whispering reassuring messages in her ear. Claris felt better, and we slept in each other’s clasp.

.......................

“Claris, do you know a town or a village nearby?”

“Yes, I do,” she replied after a long pause.

“If you knew, then why you didn’t move?”

“Because only Baba went to the village.”

“I see, but you do know where it is right?”

“Yes, I know where it is.”

“I’m sorry, Claris, I have to take you there. You cannot stay here! I’m going to pack some of your things, okay?” As it were because she doesn’t have any clean clothes, let alone underwear. Her shoes are equally messed up. All she has for shoes are her flip-flops that’s also messed up. There’s her bow and arrow but going into the village with them isn’t wise.

I have an idea. I’ll take my cape and turn it into a dress for her. I know I shouldn’t give a piece of my family heirloom to her. But Claris needs it more than me. I’m sure my grandma in heaven would understand.

I warp the mantel around her body and use the remaining cloths to fasten with a safety pin from my tote. The result is a beautiful shoulder dress. I place her pendant as the finishing touch. If only I had another pair of shoes, I’d give her, but her feet are smaller than mine.

Not only I’m concerned about the shack falling but also for the wolves. As skilled Claris is with the bow, there is no she way she’d take those wolves down by herself. So with her guidance, we set out to the village before it gets dark. Claris said it takes half a day’s walk to get there. Since it’s still morning, we’ll arrive early before nighttime.

I strap my tote and hold Claris’ hand as we glance at the collapsing shack for one last time. I’m surprised Claris didn’t put up a fuss. She already knew of the situation. I bet deep down she was waiting for someone to save her. When she hugged me, I could tell she was grateful.

She deserves better, and I’m going to see she gets it.

***

We arrive at the village Claris described. It’s not too populated, but there are some stores open and people walking around. The first step is to take Claris to the local authorities.

Shoot! I’m still on the run. I can’t enter the building.

I explain to Claris what she needs to do, but Claris ends up hugging me like a kid refusing to go.

“I don’t want you to go,” she wailed.

“Listen to me. You need to start living. With people.” I hold her shoulders for emphasis. “Have faith. They’ll take care of you.”

“But we will meet again, right?”

“I’m positive we will,” I murmured.

Once we ended our hug, Claris enters the building. Since the task of bringing her is done, I must find a place to call Maury so he can pick me up.

But I’m still being pursued. It’s not like the Armada will leave things as is upon my escape. I bet they’re waiting for my return so they can capture me.

Perfect! I snap my fingers. I’ll go to an inn. Villages in fantasy RPGs always have one. And sure enough, there’s one right in front of me.

“Hi! I would like a room, please? Here’s a gold coin.” I whip a gold coin from my grandma’s box. It’s a gold coin from a kingdom that no longer exists. Grandma said her family gathered gold coins for generations. They came in handy when money was short.

According to the book, Gwen paid a gold coin whenever she stayed at an inn. Of course, that was fantasy land, and this is the real world. They’re going to ask for money and credit cards I don’t have.

“Are you lost, miss?” asked the attendant.

“You can tell?!”

“Yes, you can stay as long as you want. We don’t get enough visitors here anyway.”

“Thank you very much!” I smile. After giving the gold coin, the attendant fork over the keys to my room.

My room is the most basics of basics: only a single bed with a drawer, a desk, and a bathroom. At least there’s electricity, so I connect the charger to my smartphone. Its batteries were low for days. I ring Maury’s phone number. I hope he responds soon.

RING, RING!

“This is Maury.”

“Maury, it’s me, Glen!

“Glen, I’ve been trying to call you. What happened?”

“I had to turn it off. The batteries were low.”

“I see. How are you coping?”

“I’m okay. Still sad though...”

“Where are you now?”

“At my uncle’s place. I’m heading back tomorrow.”

“Maury, listen. I’m not at home. I’m here in some random village.”

“Random village? Why? What happened?”

“There’s a lot to explain. You have to come.”

“Can you give me a hint?”

“It’s called Rodrigo’s Inn.” I found the name thanks to some business cards on the drawer.

“Rodrigo? Glen, are you in Izberia?”

“Don’t be ridiculous?! There’s no way I’d be in Izberia!”

“The name you mentioned makes it obvious. Either way, I’ll come. But I can’t come today because of family matters. You can stay there for the night, yes?”

I nod. “I’ll be waiting then.” The two of us hang up.

I get up to go eat, but the attendant is kind to bring food here. Though not a five-star meal, I manage to eat some. Being here definitely beats the crappy shack.

Date: March 6

Time: Morning

I wake up to the ring of my smartphone. “Hello?”

“Hey, Glen, are you awake?”

“Maury?”

“I’m here at the inn you mentioned. I’m in the lobby right now.”

Immediately, I rush downstairs to greet him. Maury and I hug as soon as we see each other. My eyes tear up. With the attendant’s permission, I take Maury upstairs to my room. There’s no sofa to sit, so we sit on the bed.

“I’m glad you came.”

“I don’t understand why you’re in Izberia of all places. I was about to return home when you suddenly called.”

“I’m sorry to tell you this, but I can’t return home. The Armada is after me.”

Maury’s eyes widen. “You mean the Regal Armada?”

“Yes, a news article proved the connection between Strasmore and back in October. The article thinks I’m the cause. The article also posted an old picture of me from a certain day.”

“But I thought the problem was solved...”

On a specific day, now four years ago, I was involved in a major scandal involving magic. Because of the event, I was captured by the military. The base has been destroyed due to Nyx awakening in me. Seriously, I never wanted those memories to surface again.

“It’s dangerous to stay here, Glen.”

“I know, but I don’t know where else to go.”

Maury snaps his fingers indicating an idea. “We’ll go to the woods. Grandpa and I stayed at the cabin during summers. But first, we need to stock up on food.”

I nod, indicating my approval. We leave the inn to buy food at the local supermarket before our departure. Maury has always been resourceful. I like that.

His full name is Mauricio Davila. We met a year ago at his grandfather’s mechanic shop. But the shop closed, and he moved to Semona to live with me. Maury knows I’m a sorceress, and because of this, he is now my bodyguard. Maury doesn’t use magic, but I was told he is a skilled fighter. Anyway, we make it to the cabin but...

Date: March 6

Time: Afternoon

The entire cabin is filled with dirt and dust.

“Maury, are you sure this is the right place?”

“Yes, it is. After grandma died, grandpa and I never returned.”

“How long was it?”

“Grandma died a year before we met.”

“This cabin has been abandoned for a while, huh?”

“Hold on, I’m going to check the place to see if there’s anything suspicious. Wait here, okay?” I nod. Maury goes around the house and checks corner after corner. He even goes upstairs to check each room. After a long check, he comes down the stairs.

“Perfect! Nothing suspicious,” he said.

“We need to clean the place.”

“Yes, I need to check the plumbing and make sure the generator still works.” Maury goes to the kitchen and turns on the sink. Water flows just fine. Then he checks the generator. But the thing fails to turn on. “Grandpa added gas the last time we were here. It’s probably because this generator hasn’t been used for a long time.”

“Can I help? I’ll give it a heating boost with my magic.”

“Really? You can use your magic for everyday things?”

“Yeah! You can rely on me!”

With my magic and Maury’s expert repair, the generator turns on at full power. The whole house shines with vast electricity.

“You learned it from Gwen’s book, did you?”

“Yes, I did!”

“Awesome!” The two of us hug.

We end up cleaning the whole place.

Date: March 12

Time: Morning

Today marks the first anniversary of my meeting with Gwen. I told Maury the story, and he smiled. I show him the plushie I made of her image. He loves it!

He asked how I made it. Back when I did figure skating, grandma taught me sewing skills to stitch on the spot in case my costumes ripped. When I wasn’t practicing, I sewed on my own. It was fun, but I stopped after grandma died.

When Gwen came into my life, I took up sewing again. I asked her once to model for me, and she agreed. Gwen had two forms: a stuffed cat version, and a housecat version. The plushie I made is based on her stuffed cat version.

I miss her, and I know she’s watching. I’m going to succeed in the mission she left for me.

Date: March 15

Time: Morning

This has been a rough week. Sure, there’s electricity, but there’s no TV. (We do have a radio though.) We’ve been living under the same roof wearing the same clothes as before. In Maury’s case, he went all black. Not because of fashion, but because of a family member’s death.

He’s wearing black jeans, a black T-shirt, black sneakers, and a black hoodie. I haven’t told him this, but I think the T-shirt and pants are a little tight.

.......................

Sorry, I wasn’t thinking straight.

Anyway, Maury has been teaching me basic survival skills. I took notes as he explained. The guy can be so detailed when he’s passionate about something. I asked him if he has seen wolves in the area. He gave me a confused look stating he never saw any animal. I guess the part we’re at now is safer than the area Claris lived.

Today also marks the day I met Aster and Agnes a year ago. I wonder how they’re doing. I bet they’re worried after seeing the news. I want to call them, but there’s no reception, and I also need to save my smartphone’s batteries.

Date: March 17

Time: Afternoon, New Moon

The weather outside is perfect! Given that spring is near, the bright sun makes it obvious. Maury and I ate our breakfast this morning, so we figure what to do next.

“I love this warm weather! Let’s do yoga!”

“We did yoga yesterday, Glen.”

“Let’s do leg stretches!”

“We did it the day before yesterday.”

“Okay, what about meditation?”

“We already did two days before yesterday.”

I sigh. “So what else we can do?”

“Say, Glen, have you ever swum before?”

I notice he’s staring at the lake.

“Well, yes I have,” I replied.

“What about without your clothes?”

“You mean like skinny dipping?” I blush. “No!”

“This is the lake where I learned to swim. Grandpa insisted. He said it was part of my physical training.”

“Physical training?”

“I lived in the city for a long time. Since my uncle made a lot of money, I attended school for rich kids. PE was non-existent which was okay since I studied all day. When I moved here, grandpa insisted I train. He claimed I was underweight. I never wanted to at first.”

Maury raises his sleeve to show his muscled arm.

“But I’m glad I did.”

I cover my mouth. Shit! My face is all red.

“Grandpa told me I should learn to swim nude. I thought he was crazy. But I learned anyway, and I ended up having fun. It’s like I experience the ultimate freedom. You should try it sometime.”

“Now?” My eyes widen.

Maury folds his arms. “Someone has to stay behind.”

“I’ll stay behind and look after the cabin!” I eagerly raised my hand. The thought of Maury going nude makes me shiver. Since he’s thinking about swimming, I dash to bring him a basket with dry towels.

By the time I got him the basket, the guy had removed everything but his boxers. I give him the basket, but my hands still shake.

“Glen, are you okay?”

“I’m okay! Everything okay! Go have fun!”

“Yeah!” he shouted, running off. Maury arrives at the wooden platform and tests the water before removing his boxers. Oh my gosh! His ass! I think I got a nosebleed.

This is my second time seeing him nude. The first time I did was accidental. I haven’t seen him shirtless since then, but it was more like avoidance. I can’t help it. Maury is so damn handsome. The way he poses is a work of art itself. Cheeky yet innocent.

He takes a few steps back...and he dives!

I wish I can join him if I wasn’t stuck on this veranda. I lean back on the lounge chair as I close my eyes, trying to visualize his swim.

My hands somehow begin to move on their own. They’re touching parts of my body where they don’t belong, especially down there. The image of his swim becomes vivid in my mind.

.......................

Are you gliding underwater, Maury?

I think you are.

How does the water feel on your skin?

Certainly different than taking a shower.

Does it feel good?

I bet it does.

You said it makes you ultimately free.

I totally agree.

Can you reach the bottom?

I know you can make it.

— I let out a moan. My heart beats twice as fast.

Your privates are exposed.

Is it up or down?

Doesn’t matter either way.

Are you being poked by the fish?

Tickled?

I can tell you’re enjoying this.

Such a beautiful specimen.

But you need to come out now.

You can’t live without air.

And you do so, emerging with beauty.

My hands cease their moving. I take deep breaths while staring at the blue sky. Sunlight bathes me in its radiant warmth, prompting my eyes to close for a nap.

Date: March 17

Time: Late Night, New Moon

I can’t stand this anymore. I’m attracted to him. Maury and I are sleeping in the same bed. Get your mind out of the gutter! We’re not doing it... yet.

No, we can never do it. Maury is my cousin.

We’re first cousins. His mother was my mother’s sister. His parents perished when he was a child.

When I met him, he was the perfect choice for dating. But things turned sour when the truth about us being cousins was revealed.

Still, I want him.

I’ve always wanted him.

This cabin has two floors, but there’s one bedroom with two beds. Maury and I have been sleeping in our beds before. Today, we decided to sleep in the same bed.

No worries, we’re still dressed.

Such an angel when he sleeps. I desire all of him: his blond hair, his statuesque body... Sometimes when I look at him, I feel like shit. None of the guys I slept with came close to having Maury’s physical beauty. His appearance alone puts the entire police force of my old job to shame.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he dated a girl or two. Yet, I doubt Maury is the type to chase after girls.

Maybe he’s into guys, who knows?

Or maybe he hasn’t been with anyone yet! If so, then I want to be his first. But I wonder how Maury would feel before taking the next step. I shouldn’t rush things.

A kiss on his delicate lips would be enough.

And we were so close too!

But I have a feeling it will happen one day.

Until then, I’ll let things continue their course.

Date: March 18

Time: Morning

“Good morning, Maury.”

“Morning, Glen.”

I notice Maury is sitting outside. He’s looking at something held in his hands.

“What are you doing?” I asked while sipping tea.

“I’m looking at this,” he replied. Maury takes out a long sword from a sheath. My eyes widen in surprise upon seeing a sword that is long as a baseball bat.

“Where did you get that?!”

“When grandpa died, the owner of the room was going through his things and found this. The owner was going to hand over to the police but gave it to me instead.”

“Amazing!” The sword Maury holds is the type seen in fantasy games. But there are many types, of course. How in the world it got there? Unless...

“Maury! Remember what Gwen told us about her husband, Laurice?”

“He was a swordsman, yes?”

“Yes! He carried a sword. The name of the sword was...” I whip my smartphone to open the e-book version of Gwen’s Book of Spells to search for a keyword. I type the word “sword,” but there are so many results that it would take a while to find its name.

Maury is doing the same thing too.

“I see a pattern. The name Claire shows up.” Maury types the name “Claire Sword,” but there are too many results. However, one definition stands out. Maury reads the passage out loud.

“‘The Claire Sword is a sword of legend. The sword of unknown origin was bestowed by the gods to Laury’s ancestry line. Though mysterious, it is powerful enough to split the heavens in two.’”

“That’s hard stuff,” I commented.

“Yeah but look at this.” Maury flips to the last pages of the e-book to point a specific paragraph. “Laurice lost his sword after he returned from the Underworld. If he no longer had his sword, then why do I have it?”

Maury’s right. Gwen mentioned that the sword was used as a beacon and must remain in the Underworld. If the sword was removed, there must be a reason.

“Do you think he did it? He’s the only one with access there. He probably removed the sword and hid it somewhere, so I can have it.”

Maury is referring to Moros, a god who’s also the son of Nyx. Moros helped me out a couple of times, but I haven’t seen him lately. I wonder where he is.

“I wouldn’t worry too much. It’s not like you’re going to use it right away. Just hold on to it for the time being.”

“You’re right, Glen, I will.”

With the topic settled, I jump into another topic by asking Maury a question. “Have you ever dated anyone? I know this is sudden, but please answer me.”

Maury sighed and paused for a long time but replied soon after. “I never bothered. I was too busy helping my grandpa. Even when I lived in the city, I kept to myself.”

“So you never slept with anyone?”

“No...”

Shoot! I’m red all over! Yet, I hold his hand and stare at him gently. “That’s okay. I won’t judge.” I smile. So cute to find a guy who’s still a virgin. I thought he would’ve slept with some girls given his physique. Sometimes we can’t judge until we know.

“What about you?” he whispered.

It’s time I come clean. I have his trust, and things will be alright, come what may.

“Maury, the guy I dated wasn’t the only one. I slept with too many guys! When grandma died, I didn’t know what to do. I clung to anyone who wanted me, and I...”

“Glen, stop.” Maury draws me into a hug. “It’s over.”

“But I...”

“The issue isn’t your sex life. You misjudge yourself, and you try to drive away those who help you. Gwen gave her life. We almost perished. You’re given a second chance, and this is where you start dancing your tune. You’re a sorceress, gifted with magic. We should train. I want us to fight side by side when the god appears.”

*gasp* How can I forget?!

Maury’s words brought me to reality. The past is over, forever over. The things I experienced were painful. But I also remind myself that I’m still alive.

I want to live.

Next to my friends.

Next to Maury.

Every day lived by their side is a new experience.

Date: March 21

Time: Morning

“I know we should stay here longer, Glen, but we’re running low on food.” Maury looks at the kitchen boxes and notices little food. “Not only we’re short on food, but the gas in the generator is running out. We should leave.”

“But I’m still on the run, Maury!”

“I understand but going back and forth isn’t ideal. I know! Let’s go to the monastery. Grandpa knew the priest there. He will help us.”

“Isn’t dangerous?!”

“We don’t have to provide complete details. As long as we explain the basics, the priest will help.”

“Do you have the address?”

“Yeah, I have the business card.”

And so, we grab our things and hop on the van to Asturia Village, where the monastery lies. We glance one last time at what was our home for two weeks. I’m sad we’re going to abandon the cabin for good, but it’s better this way. We must risk heading out.

Date: March 21

Time: Dusk

Wow, that was a long ride! Asturia is in northern Izberia, close to Semona borders. Both countries are separated by a chain of mountains from one to another.

We finally arrive at the monastery. The building outside looks primitive as if it was built long ago. But I still hope we can get the support we need.

After knocking the front door, a nun appears to greet us. Maury requests to speak to the head priest, and the nun escorts us to his office. Once there, the nun gestured for us to sit at the chairs.

“Greetings, Father Maxie.”

“Mauricio?”

The priest, a beardless middle-aged man, looks up from his desk.

“Yes, it’s me...”

“I haven’t seen you in ages since you were a baby!” The priest stands to hug Maury. “How are you doing? The death of your grandfather must be hard on you.”

“Yes, it’s difficult, but I’m doing fine.”

“That’s good to hear. Who is this young lady?”

“She is my cousin, Glendolyn. We’re here because we need your help.” Maury explains to the priest our situation. I remain seated as I listen.

“Such a misfortune. You can stay here as much as you like. However, you must engage in volunteer work by helping out at the orphanage.”

Well, we need a place to stay so we can’t say no.

Date: March 31

Time: Morning, Full Moon

A week has passed since we’ve been here. Holy Week was brutal on us. Still, helping the kids makes us happy. Now we finally get to have our break. I’m here at the church while Maury is napping in his dorm room.

Maury and I had a change of clothes. In my case, the nuns gave me a peasant navy dress. I look like the typical village girl from fantasy games. So cute!

The reason I’m here at the church is to pray. You think it’s strange for me, a reincarnate of a goddess, to pray. But beyond that, I’m a human, and I have earthly desires. Thus, it shouldn’t be odd for me to pray.

I kneel on the bench stool and clasp my hands to pray. I pray for me, my grandma, Gwen, Maury, Aster, Agnes, and even the young Claris. I hope she’s okay.

I must resume my training at all costs. I haven’t forgotten. But I need to know how I’ll be able to do it.

There has to be a way.

No, there is a way!

Gwen, you never gave up on me. I must live up to the sacrifice you did. Please watch over me...

After finishing my prayer, I rise to exit the church.

.......................

Huh?

I turn around. Someone is watching me.

Whatever! Finding the person is pointless, and fighting inside the church would be disrespectful. Still, I can’t let my guard down. Someone from the Armada could be here in disguise. I must be suspicious of everyone, including the priest. Yet the priest is a nice man. I doubt he might be one of them.

But if I ever get captured, there will be hell to pay.

I clench my fist and teeth to prove I’m dead serious.

And with those thoughts in mind, I exit the church.


April - Month Two

Date: April 1; Time: Morning

Here I am napping. It’s not like being at a monastery is the most exciting place to be. It’s just there’s nothing to do. Well in Maury’s case, he’s doing manual labor.

I’m barely awake anyway. I wake up in my nunnery-provided loungewear: a white nightgown that makes me look older. But the robe has a cute design, and it’s like the type grandma used to wear.

Very simple, indeed.

Today is Sunday, so I have the day off. It sucks I’m doing work for free. But when I see the kids working hard, I feel at ease. It’s a much better feeling than a paycheck could provide.

Maybe I should become a teacher.

Maury and I have been staying in Asturia for a week. It’s a quaint little village on the border. Though we’ve stayed mostly here, there have been times where we went to the village to buy things. When we get to the main market, we were surprised at how low-tech everything is. Credit cards are not accepted, cash is king, and no one has an idea what a smartphone is.

Seriously! They don’t.

One time, I showed a picture of a needed item to a vendor, and the lady asked for the thing in my hand. I thought she asked regarding the item, but the vendor pointed out my phone. This led to an awkward lesson on telling her what a smartphone is.

The entire village screams Middle Ages all over. And what little technology exists is outdated: horse carts, antique phones, and typewriters. The only modern thing is electricity, but the village shuts it after midnight. So if someone wants to get up in the middle of the night, they must light a candle.

Maury and I pinch ourselves to make sure we didn’t time travel or something.

This is strange because other people have told me stories of high-tech cities in Izberia. Though the village I stayed at (as well the village where Maury lived) is old school. I’m not sure who’s telling the truth.

After getting up to use the bathroom, I sit on the bed wondering what to do. Should I meet with Maury or try something else? Like what? Going to the church?

Oh well...

I’m hungry, so I get up to change my clothes. Suddenly, I hear the door knock. I wonder who it is. Is it Maury? It hasn’t been long since Maury left. Maybe he got dismissed? I ignored the knock and picked up my clothes.

But I hear the knock again.

Okay, so it’s probably a nun asking for a favor. I sigh as I walk to the door. I turn the knob and jerk my head out. Sure enough, it’s a nun. Her whole body is covered (except her face, of course.) She stands with a stoic expression on her face. This looks serious.

“Can I help you?” I asked.

“I wish to meet you,” she said.

“Just me?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“I need to come in.”

“If there is no specific reason, I cannot let you in.”

“I am a nun. I live here.”

“Did the priest sent you?”

“No, I came on my own.”

She came on her own? Interesting. I can’t let my guard down since members of the Armada could sneak to capture me. She could be one of them.

“Are you hiding something?”

“You’re suspicious, I see.”

“I don’t know you.”

“Understandable. I assure you I mean no harm or confusion. I’m here on my own will to simply greet and chat.”

Huh? I detect a hint of a smile on her. The nun seems to be genuinely interested in me. I should let her in. I don’t see any reason not to. I’m bored so having someone to chat is nice. The nun steps inside after I opened the door.

“Sorry for my gross treatment.” I apologized with a blush. Man, I feel so embarrassed right now!

“Oh please, don’t. I should be the one apologizing.”

“No, you shouldn’t. You didn’t do wrong. I overreacted. Stuff has happened to me recently, and I end up suspecting anybody.”

“What happened?”

The two of us sit on the bed to chat. I told the nun of how I am being pursued by the Armada and how Maury and I are hiding here. The nun pays close attention.

“Such a shame... Let me help you then.”

“Huh? For reals? How?”

“You’re a sorceress. I can tell. I’ve been watching you for a while.”

So the one who watched me at the church was her?

“What are you talking about? There’s no such thing as magic in this world?” I nervously laughed. There’s no way a nun like her could find that out. I mean, we never met. She must’ve figured it out from somewhere. Okay, now I’m getting suspicious.

“I beg your pardon? Magic is actually real. You’re not the only spell caster out there. I summon magic too.”

“No, I’m the only sorceress! Sure, there were casters, but those existed long ago. So now, I’m the only caster. There’s no way people like you can summon magic.”

“They exist.”

“Okay, prove it!”

“I can’t summon here. It’s against the rules.”

“How did you find out I’m a sorceress?”

“Your aura tells me... I understand your skepticism, but you must trust my word. I will prove it to you.”

“Okay, I trust you. Provided you’ll help me, right?”

“Yes!” She smiled again. This time, she extends her hand. I guess she wants a handshake. I give mine, and we both shake our hands. She’s so nice.

“Okay, let’s introduce ourselves! I’m Glendolyn. Call me Glen.” I get the giddies, waiting for her response.

“My name is Susana Garcia.”

“Such a beautiful name! Can I call you Susan?” The nun gives out a blush as she reacts to the nickname I propose. “Um, yes.” Yay, she responded!

Date: April 2

Time: Afternoon

Sue and I are talking in my room. I decided to use Sue as my personal preference here, but I will address Susana as Susan directly to her. She’ll never know my secret.

Sue had looked for me after work, and we walked to my dorm. We’re not planning anything kinky. We just want to continue where we left off yesterday.

So far, I learned she’s 21, and she’s been in this nunnery for three years. Her father is a pastor, and her mother is a school teacher. She spent her childhood serving the church, so it isn’t surprising she ended up here. Like me, she has no siblings.

Upon closer look, I notice she has a familiar face. It looks like Agnes’. Considering the once-royal family of Simone has many descendants, she could be one of them.

“Have you heard of the name Simone?” I asked.

“You mean the royal family? Yes, I have,” she replied.

“Then do you know someone called Agnes?”

“I never met her in person, but I received a letter once. She claimed that I’m a descendant because of testing and asked for my information. I’m not sure to believe this, but I submitted what she asked for.”

“Do you keep in touch with her?”

Sue shakes her head affirming she hasn’t.

“Why do you ask? Do you know this Agnes?”

“Actually, I do! She’s my best friend.”

“Wow, tell me more.” Sue anticipates the story, so I give it to her.

“She’s a professor who teaches history. Her father was the university president. Her uncle is a cop, and she has two older sisters.”

“That’s interesting! How old is she?”

“I believe she’s 26. Her birthday was past December.”

“Thank you for telling me about her. I wish to meet Agnes in person someday.”

From what I can tell, Sue is Agnes’ distant cousin from the branch side. See, one of the offspring of the royal family had too many kids. As a result, those kids spread out to have more kids, and the royal family lost track. Those become members of the branch family. They sue the main family all the time, and the scandal continues.

Of course, there is more to tell Sue about Agnes... and myself. But I must hold back. I can’t tell Sue that Agnes is possessed by Queen Lizabeth, their ancestor. And I can't say about Aster, Gwen, or me being a reincarnate of Nyx. She must prove to me her sorcery first.

KNOCK, KNOCK!

I hear the door knock. I rush to the door.

“Who is this?” I asked with my hand on the knob.

“It’s me, Maury.”

I open the door and jump to hug him.

“Thank goodness you’re back!!”

I take his hand and rush inside. I slam afterward.

“How you’re doing, Glen? The priest needed my help moving some boxes... Oh wait, there’s a nun here.” Maury looks at Sue as she stands by the window.

“Maury, this is Susan. Susan, this is Maury.”

“My real name is Susana,” Sue interjected.

“My real name is Mauricio. It’s nice to meet you.” Maury offers his hand for a handshake, but Sue remains stiff. Her gaze locked on his looks.

Hmm? Her face is red. Oh, my!

“I see you are allured. Isn’t my cousin handsome?”

“Cousin?!” Whoops! Sue flinched. “You don’t seem so.”

“Hard to believe, but it’s true. We’re first cousins.”

“Yeah, exactly what Glen said.”

“But how is that possible?” Sue asked.

“His mother was my mother’s sister,” I replied.

“But you look more like a couple...”

If Maury and I weren’t cousins, we would be a couple already. I’ve noticed Sue isn’t the only one. The other nuns stare at him too. It’s not like a cute guy whisks into a monastery every day. Such a scene is rare for them.

Maury changed his clothes too. He’s wearing suspenders, a white-collared shirt, and black slacks. All of them provided by the site, except for his black t-shirt. His shirt is seen with a half-open top.

“Well, I should go now,” Sue said.

“No, no! Come on! Let’s stay and chat.” I egged.

“Um, dinner is about to be served. I need to go. And there is a meeting. Maybe tomorrow? See you!”

And with those words, Sue marches out of the room.

“I should return. My back hurts,” Maury uttered.

“Can I give you a back massage?”

“I don’t see why not. I’ll take a bath then.”

I walk up to massage Maury. I could use a recovery spell, but I don’t think it works for muscle strains. Whatever! A massage is perfect if you get what I mean.

“Are you feeling better?”

“Yeah, I do. Thanks, Glen.”

After rubbing him a few strokes, Maury returns to his room. I remain behind so I can prepare for dinner.

Date: April 3

Time: Afternoon

It’s been a month since I left home, and I’m getting homesick. But with the Armada chasing me, I can’t return.

Aster and Agnes must’ve been texting nonstop. But my smartphone is off, and there’s no cell phone reception. How am I going to text them back?

Sue and I are sitting on a courtyard bench. She notices my worried look. “What is the matter, Miss Glen?”

“My friend Agnes is worried, and I can’t text back.”

“Text? What is that?”

“You don’t know what a smartphone is?”

“I’m sorry. I don’t know much about modern devices.”


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