The Mage and The Magic Pendant

The light posts along the cobblestone roads near the dorm buildings are the first to flicker on in a darkening sky, and most students and staff are wrapping up their business and making themselves scarce.

As the antisocial boy looks out the train window at the houses below, someone else sits across from him.

He shifts awkwardly, not used to anyone daring to come within three feet of him, but the girl in long dark hair doesn appear to recognize him.

That can be true because all new students will board the ship tomorrow morning for the welcoming ceremony.

He doesn push eye contact, assuming she could be just as socially inept as he is, though it is odd that she won uncover her face.

She proves his theory of her lousy social skills by putting together a forgettable remark about the weather. He reacts, not used to small talk, and glances to catch sight of a face underneath as her hair parts.

His mouth hangs loose, dazed by its healthy sheen. The light bouncing off each strand casts a dark forest green hue to its darkness; it cascades over her head and shoulders like liquid earth, with only the girls tiny ears sticking out.

She raises her head, and the mane slides out of the way enough to glimpse sharp and bushy eyebrows and curled lashes. He studies those features, mulling over how pointless it is to hide a dolled-up face.

Why does this girl hide her face? Manuel listens for anything that might slip from her mind, but nothing comes out.

Coming back to his senses, he veers around in his seat to fix his eyes on a distant object, apologizing for staring so long.

His mind races, unable to read this girl.

The uncertainty ruffles his feathers a little, but none of this shows on his outward appearance.

She giggles and reassures him that he has nothing to be sorry for, but things quickly fall silent as the train slows down.

The girl stands up, and Manuel casually questions if shell be able to find her way to the dorms since its dark out, and her hair refuses to budge from her face.

The girl contemplates his question and strides outside the train car to hold up her hair, revealing a strong jawline and full, sensual lips to say, ”The light never seems to leave me be; Id be more concerned about myself if I were you. ”

The doors close between them, and Manuels eyes stick to her wraith-like dress for as long as they can until shes no more than a glob of color in the background.

At his stop, he treks through the lit-up streets to the building Runa takes off to every month for mandatory duties as a town resident.

He ascends the steps and ponders why the girls mind was closed off to him, which is unusual for a Rhamee since the mind can never be blank, and his ears can never stop being busybodies to every passerby. With no physical contact, only surface thoughts shouldve popped up in his brain. It remains a mystery if the girl silently judged his appearance or voice, perhaps even his demeanor, while talking to him.

As he approaches the only lit-up floor in the building, he pushes that strange encounter to the back of his mind as something else would take its place.


He lingers on a stair to take notice of the alias for Runa, his robot companion. For reasons unknown to others, Manuel keeps info about his parents and true identity close to the chest while attending school this past year.

Douchebag! Glasses! Nerd.

Manuel sighs at the insult associated with him, assuming hes become the subject of tonights gossip in one of these rooms. He shrugs it off and keeps moving.

Luna! Total cutie! Mine.

He halts again to listen, praying he misheard.

Sexy pigtails! Licking! Knee socks! Luna!

Lunas cleavage! Boobs!

Underskirt! Panties.

His hands close into fists, glaring down the hall of doors ahead of him. The name Luna, meaning Runa, is followed by obscene words and sounds broadcasting in his mind. Its enough to make him tremble with anger.

Whoever these faceless degenerates are, theyve lost their chance at making a good impression on him.

He stomps past many doors, keeping his ears perked to find these perverts and decide what to do with them once he gets there.

The obscenities at their loudest now, Manuel stops in front of the door and leans against the wall to listen to the group of miscreants conversing amongst each other.

”Its douchebags turn for patrol duty. ”

”Lunas gonna be here in his place, again. ”

”Dude, you
e always posted in the area next to hers, when am I gonna get my shot? ”

”Yeah, trade with me. ”

”No, if anyone deserves a turn, its me. ”

Manuel restrains an audible scoff from escaping his lips from how hung up they are on Runa, and her physical traits.

They continue talking about his adoptive sister as if she is a prize to be won.

”What? You think a total babe like Luna deserves to breathe the same air as an otaku? ”

”So a sweaty jock with mommy issues is better for her? ”

”Both of you are pandering to stereotypes, which makes both of you inferior. Luna is a woman of taste and prefers a man of unique charm and grace such as I. ”

Manuel peeks through the window and finally sees what those fools look like and assign nicknames to all of them: A girl with dyed hair not in ordinance with the academy dress code; rainbow brain.

Across from her, a boy with greasy hair and a passion for the color black manspreads so wide that Manuel marvels how his leather pants can withstand the stretch; greaseball.

Beside him sits a reserved boy with thick prescription glasses, fidgeting with the picture of an anime girl on his shirt; otaku.

Next to the girl is the most likely candidate to be a thespian and say the corny sentence that almost made Manuel laugh; Shakespeare.

And finally, a boy with massive biceps and abs bursting through his skin-tight shirt busies himself with some dumbbells in the back; gym rat.

Manuel turns his attention to the rainbow brain as she positions herself at the center of the room.

The visions coming from her mind are as graphic and distracting as her loud wardrobe, making his mental nickname for her more than fitting.

”You men are so presumptuous. What makes you think shed like any of you? ”

Greaseball grins playfully, ”Oh here we go, captain lesbo takes the stage- ”

”Im bisexual, you bigot! ” Rainbow brain gives greaseball a challenging stare.

Greasball looks her up and down with ravenous eyes as more indecent thoughts assault Manuels eardrums.

”What makes any of you think Luna crushes on men or women? ” She continues.

Gym rat sets his workout on pause, ”What
e you talking about, rainbow brain? ”

Manuel allows himself a moment to respire. A smirk breaks through on his face, amused someone else thought of the same nickname for her, only to hide it behind a frown as he remembers hes supposed to hate these people.

”Im saying, she could be aromantic, guys. ”

”Take that back! ” Greaseball grabs Rainbows collar, ”Lunas not the kind of girl to get freaky with an arrow. ”

The girl slaps his hand away and wipes at her shirt like his touch is the filthiest thing in the world.

”No, it means she prefers platonic relationships… ” Otaku explains.

As Manuel surveils in curiosity, hes relieved that at least one of them considers Runas feelings, even if it doesn change his opinion of them.

”So my darling prefers to stay single and alone? ” Shakespeare says breathlessly, ”Oh my gods, how tragic! ”

Manuels shoulders ease, hoping theyll give up on pursuing Runa.

”…Well it doesn mean she wouldn be down for some casual sex, ” Otaku adds, ”its just without the promise of romance or marriage. ”

Manuels frown deepens into a scowl against the glass window, his eyes threatening to shoot lasers through it and kill them all.

”Fine with me, ” Greaseball puffs his chest, ”Im a man of the streets, and the hotties are callin for the duke. ”

”You call yourself, the duke? ” Rainbow laughs mockingly.

”Yeah, got a problem, carpet muncher? ”

The other boys get quiet and scoot away, expecting things to get ugly.

Rainbow stands her ground, getting up in Greaseballs personal space, ”Ok, let this sink into your last brain cell, dumbass. The only thing you could ever be the duke of is HPV. ”

”Oh dip, bro! ” Gym rat instigates, ”You got burnt! ”

”Yeah, well, at least Im not confused about who I like, ” Greaseballs bruised ego leaks out of his mouth, ”If you hate men so much, why do you dress like one? Like, am I right, guys? ”

By the time greaseball turns to the guys for support, theyve fled his side of the room and taken their seats by the girl. She smiles in triumph.

”Guys, come on…you all agree, right? ”

”Don talk to us, man… ” Gym rat says.

”Think Im confused? ” Rainbow brains long acrylic nails click together in sassy hand gestures, ”Explain to your mother how her little church boy is having premarital sex, leaving dozens of children without fathers, instead of attending bible study. ”

”So? The girls I shag take morning after pills and abort; they know they can be anybodys mom. ”

”I have her on speed dial, ” She pulls out her phone, ”Im sure shell love to hear it straight from the horses mouth. ”

”Youd blackmail me for speaking the truth? ”

”No, but Im sure karma will catch up with you soon, manslut. ” Rainbow turns on her heel and takes a seat, flipping her hair.

”Okay guys, we can keep getting off track. ” Otaku steps in when Greaseball gets up, ”Shell be here any minute. ”

”Yeah, let Luna decide which one she likes, ” Rainbow says.

”We still haven figured out whos got dibs on her. ”

”Rock paper scissors for it? ”

”No, way too easy to cheat. ”

”Guys, don worry about it. ” Otaku says, ”Whoevers assigned to patrol next to Luna will make their move. ”

Make their move? Manuel repeats in his mind, then gets bombarded with illustrations hed rather not talk about concerning Luna. He turns away from the door, gagging.

”Indeed, whoever woos our fair lady lays claim on her. ” Shakespeare speaks, ”But, shell choose me indefinitely, Im sure. ”

”Fat chance. No one knows a womans body like I do. ”

”Wow, such experience! ” Greaseball slow claps, ”All this from a girl who says shes not a lesbian. ”

”Im a master of both, dingus, thats what being bi means, ” Rainbow says with more aggression in her voice. ”Luna deserves someone who knows how to make her happy! ”

Greaseball scoffs, ”You think I can ? ”

”You don got the tongue for it. ”

”Since you like to flex, whats your body count? ”

Manuel rolls his eyes, fed up with standing here and letting this go on any longer.

”Pah-lease, Im sure youve given chlamydia to an entire village of people. Well see what Luna says when the time comes. ”

”I can give you her answer right now and its a hard pass, ” Manuel says from the door frame.

Everyone whips their heads around in shock, expecting an adult to intrude upon their debauchery, but they ease up as they discover its only another student. Surprise shifts quickly to disappointment seeing no sign of Luna by his side.

”Oh dip, douchebag showed up… ” Gym rat says.

Letting the door close behind him, Manuel enters without bothering to take a seat. As if hed willingly sit beside the ones shamelessly sexualizing his oldest friend and adoptive sister; they
e lucky to be protected by the rules that no violence is to occur outside the battle arena.

Though furious, Manuel composes himself as his reputation is as crucial as defending Runas honor.

”Luna isn interested, so you can put your tongues back in your mouths. ”

”Uh…listen man, ” Gym rat lays a hand over his heart, ”I have the utmost respect for your sister- ”

”The utmost respect? ” Manuels voice cracks with rage, ”You guys were literally discussing a way to trick my sister into having sex with you for the last ten minutes. ”

Everyone feigns confusion, wondering how long hes been listening. Instead of confessing their disgusting sins and begging for forgiveness, they deny everything and try desperately to change the subject.

Otaku adjusts his glasses, ”You
e not her father. ”

”Excellent observation; would you like a cookie? ”

”Maybe let Luna speak for herself, yeah? ” Greaseball laughs.

”I know whats best for my sister; Id rather die than let you degenerates take advantage of her. ”

”Ugh, that comment reeks of toxic masculinity. ” Rainbow brain says.

Manuel considers ignoring her when the last of his patience withers and dies at the cacophony of laughter around him, so he turns to her with a fisted hand up to his chin so as to not strangle her to death and says, ”Let me educate you on something, social justice whiner; toxicity knows no gender. Plenty of guys would get locked up for less than half the things you said youd do to my sister. ”

Flabbergasted from being exposed, the girl tenses up in her chair. ”Chill! We were messing around; Its not like we were gonna corner her in a back alley. ”

”I don need to chill, because that hypothetical would never happen. ” He says, more of a reminder to himself not to get too worked up than a threat. ”Luna would break all your spines the second a threat would arise. ”

Shakespeare scoffs, ”Only way to know is if you let us talk to her. ”

”No. Never. End of discussion. ”

Greaseball springs from his seat, toppling the chair to confront Manuel in his face. ”You don own Luna, pal! ”

Manuel shields his face from the incoming whiff of stank and takes a few steps back to communicate his displeasure of being accosted with such a smell.

Greaseball falters and checks to see if his breath is okay.

Manuel parts his lips in disgust, ”Im not your pal, guy… ”

”Im not your guy, friend. ”

”And Im not your friend, pal. ”

”Well Im not your pal, guy! ”

”And Im not your guy, friend. ”

”Hey! ” Greaseball crosses the distance to confront Manuel again, only for his pride to be hurt when Manuel covers his face again. ”I said Im not your friend, pal… ”

”And I said Im not your pal, guy! ”

”Seriously, Im not your guy, friend! ”

”Never said I was your friend, Pal- ”

”Will both of you shut up!? ” Rainbow girl shrieks.

The door opens, and everyone freezes at the sight of the head patrol guy, too busy looking at his clipboard to notice things aren ok. In haste, everyone but Manuel rushes to find their seats and act natural before the man can stop.

The head patrol duty guy plants his feet on the ground and spins to face the others, gasping at the sight of Manuel when he looks up.

”Oh! Hey, Samuel, I didn expect you to be with us for patrol duty tonight. ” The man chuckles nervously, ”Usually Luna takes your place- ”

”Yeah, cool, just tell me where Im posted, ” Manuel responds coldly.

After everyone is assigned an area on the east side of town, Manuel patrols briskly through his designated spot to return to Runa sooner, eager to search her memory banks on his computer; hed be crazy to let her come back here again, but this is a tedious task to commit to. If subhuman trash like those degenerates weren hanging around her, this wouldn bother him.

”For a rotating system, it sure looks like those buttholes are always here. To think this went on for a whole year without my knowledge, ” the boy grumbles, ”Why didn Runa ever tell me about those deviants? ”

He points his flashlight ahead, skimming for any students lurking after dark.

For a while, he doesn find anyone until he passes a small shadow in an alley. Upon closer inspection, he notices its that weird girl from the train.

He dampens his anger to politely inform her of the rules about being outside after curfew when a colossal shadow joins her to stand at her side.

Manuel stops dead in his tracks and backs away.

He turns off his flashlight and hides behind a nearby trash can before the beast can spot him or his flashlight. The beast sniffs the air, growling.

Manuel is frozen, wondering what a being like that is doing on sacred ground. A shield is supposed to protect the students and staff of any Aari of Vitia or followers of their dark lord.

The girl speaks in a harsh demonic tongue, the primary vitian language, and it stops the Aari from investigating further towards his hiding space.

Manuel concludes the girl is a spy of some kind, trained to keep her thoughts hidden from people like him. Its the only theory that makes sense to him; as the one on duty to patrol, he shouldve asked more questions or maybe followed her to wherever she was headed. Now, everyone in Starlight is in danger so long as this beast roams inside with them.

Manuel grits his teeth, willing his body to stop shivering in fear.

What a lousy time to have told Runa to stay at home.

点击屏幕以使用高级工具 提示:您可以使用左右键盘键在章节之间浏览。

You'll Also Like