Restart Again

by

Adam Ladner

Volume 3, Chapter 9: Curriculum

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“Lux, where did you get that?” Lia asked groggily, nibbling on a piece of hardtack with jam. She sat down at the bottom of the stairs and watched me as I worked on my new project in the center of the empty living room.

 

“I made it this morning,” I answered, not looking away from my work, “after you decided to sleep in. An hour ago.” I spun to shoot an amused glance in her direction. “That gave me plenty of time to build this.”

 

“I was tired!” she whined, waving me off. “I need to be in top form for my first lesson with Marin this afternoon.” After another bite of breakfast, she hopped up and walked to my side. “So...what is all this?”

 

“This,” I said, stepping back to admire my work, “will be our curriculum for the foreseeable future.” Before us stood two newly constructed pieces of furniture: a large wooden signboard with blank sheets of paper nailed to its face in five organized columns, and a long table that held a small assortment of my personal effects.

 

“Our...what?” she asked, running her hand across the various items on the table.

 

“This is what we’ll be studying every morning,” I explained. “I’ve learned more about magic in the few months I’ve been in this world than all of my previous lives combined, but somehow I still have more questions than I started with. I always told myself they were questions for a later time, when we weren't in mortal danger." I paused and looked around the room for effect. "It seems as though now is finally that time."

 

A smile spread across her face as her hand stopped on the final item on the table: the giant onyx blade that once belonged to the King’s Sword. She pulled the blade off of the table and laughed as she felt its full weight for the first time, then gave it a quick two-handed flourish before returning it to its resting place. “I understand why some of these are here, but why are your socks on the table?”

 

“There’s a lot of different types of magic out there, Lia,” I chuckled, picking up the quill and ink from the small shelf on the signboard. Reaching up to the single sheet of paper at the top of the board, I wrote the word “magic” in large letters. “We typically interact with three different types on a daily basis: enhancement magic, elemental magic, and mana manipulation.” As I continued to explain my thoughts, I wrote each of the categories along the top of each column of paper. “There is also enchantment magic, like the latent abilities of that sword to shift form, or the self-cleaning properties of my underclothes.”

 

I couldn’t see her face behind me, but I could hear the eyeroll in her inflection. “You made all of this up, didn’t you?”

 

“Of course I did. Somebody has to!” I laughed. “Apart from those, I have one more category that I’m calling ‘miscellaneous’ for now. It's all the random quirks of magic that I don’t understand and can’t fit into the other categories yet.” I stepped back from the board to stand beside Lia. “Every secret of magic is hiding somewhere within these five categories, and we’re going to find them and figure them out.”

 

“Alright, I’m in,” Lia said confidently. “Where do we start?”

 

“Our first step is to list every idea we can think of to investigate, no matter how crazy or impractical they sound.” I stepped up to the board and began to write underneath the elemental column. “Let’s start with something easy. There are eight Elemental Primevals in the Unity religion, right?”

 

“Right. Fire, Ice, Earth, Water, Wind, Light, Dark, and Life,” she listed.

 

“If I remember what you told me about the church’s teachings correctly, people pray to one of the eight major Primevals, and if they’re lucky enough to be ‘blessed’, they would be granted the ability to use the magic that Primeval governs. That means, at some point, people have used things like air magic and ice magic.” I stifled a laugh as a memory played out in my head. “Just like the wizard in that story you told me back in the dungeons. How did it go again?”

 

She crossed her arms in front of her chest as she blushed. “I told you that you’re never hearing that story again!”

 

“Oh, I remember it now! It was something like, ‘PRIMEVAL OF ICE, I BESEECH THEE’—”

 

“Alright, that’s enough of that!” she yelled, shoving me to the side and stealing the quill and ink out of my hands. “What else did you have in mind?”

 

I took a few seconds to regain my composure, then sat back against the table and looked over the mostly bare signboard. “Well, Val always prayed to the Light Primeval when she invoked her magic, and it let her disguise her armor and turn invisible. That would definitely be useful.” Turning to the objects behind me, I picked up the diamond orb that I had taken from Solette during our mission in Attetsia. “Solette prayed to the Primeval of Darkness when she took away our voices. I don’t see how those things connect at all, but it’s worth investigating.”

 

Lia nodded as she scratched down the notes. “The rest of these are pretty straightforward, I think. I’m a lot more interested in this one,” she said, tapping the first empty sheet in the “mana manipulation” column. “What else do we have to learn about this?”

“Oh, there’s so many possibilities!” I said excitedly. “What sort of objects can you store mana in? Can it be any object? If so, does the material you’re storing the mana in affect how much it can hold, or how fast the mana can flow through it? Is there even a limit to how much energy can be stored in a single object? What about—”

 

“Hey, slow down! I can’t write that fast,” she yelled, laughing at my enthusiasm. “You were the one telling me we don’t need to rush anymore, right?”

 

“Sorry, you’re right,” I said, looking away embarrassed. “Some of this stuff has been bouncing around in my head since our time in the dungeon. I never really thought I’d have a chance to study all of it.”

 

The room fell silent apart from the scratching of her quill as she caught up with my excited ramblings. “Okay. What next?” she asked.

 

“I think our Detection could use some work,” I said, keeping my enthusiasm in check. “For starters, we can only see things that are touching the ground, and only when we’re touching the ground as well. The ability to hear what we’re seeing through Detection would also be a huge boon as well.” She nodded as our list of notes grew longer. “Communication in general is something we should look into. You could also add...no, actually, just add telepathy to the miscellaneous column.”

 

She wrote the word, then turned to me with a confused look. “What’s telepathy?”

 

“It’s the ability to communicate with just your mind.”

 

A smirk curled her lips as she raised one eyebrow. You mean like this? I heard her voice clearly in my head, in spite of the fact that her mouth never moved.

 

I, uhm...yes. Exactly like this. We both laughed as I gave my answer in turn. Although we had never discussed it or purposely practiced the ability, the connection we shared through our constant meditations had clearly developed into a much more powerful tool than I had realized. “However,” I continued out loud, “I don’t know if this would work for anybody apart from the two of us. I guess that’s something we’ll want to test with Marin once you start your magic training.”

 

Lia’s eyebrows shot up. “Oh, about that. I was hoping that when the time comes, you could, erm, ‘turn on’ Marin’s mana,” she said quietly. “I don’t really know how that works, and I don’t want to...mess anything up. Or hurt her.”

 

Her concern was clear in her wavering voice, and I stepped forward to give her a reassuring pat on the shoulder. “Of course I’ll help. When were you planning on introducing her to magic?”

 

“Tonight,” she answered, more confidently. “I thought it would be a good idea to get her training started in every field as soon as possible. We’ll do stances and sword drills in the early afternoon, then set up a workout regimen before dinner, and finish the night with meditation practice. Seeing as she’ll probably fall asleep as soon as her mana is activated, I figure it should be the last thing we do,” she laughed.

 

“You’ll probably have to carry her back to your parents’ house,” I commented.

 

“That’s a risk I’m willing to take,” she said with a grin. “You know, I’m actually feeling excited about training Marin now. I think it’ll be fun.” Her eyes unfocused as she clearly began to run through her plans for the afternoon, but she shook her head after a few moments of daydreaming. “Sorry, we were doing something. What’s next?” she asked, turning back to the noteboard.

 

“I’d say we have a pretty solid plan already,” I said, nodding towards our newly written lists. “When it comes to enhancements, I think it’d be best to always keep the thought in the back of our minds, and add any new ideas to the list whenever they come up. As for enchanting...I don’t really know where to start,” I admitted. “It’ll probably take a combination of copious meditation and a stroke of luck to get a foothold there.”

 

“Okay,” she agreed, crossing to lean against the table next to me and read over our notes. “Where do we start?”

 

“I think today would be an excellent day to spend the morning in calm, guided meditation. We’ve been out of our routine for so long, it’ll be nice to ease back into things. Maybe we could fit in a quick sparring session before you go to pick up Marin, to get the blood pumping a bit.”

 

“That sounds nice,” she nodded. “To be honest, I thought you’d want to dive right into our research.”

 

“I envision this as being an ongoing project. We can pick and choose the things we want to work on, and we’ll keep adding things as we think of them. Besides, we already made progress today!” I picked up the quill and added a small checkmark next to the “telepathy” entry. Returning the quill to the shelf at the bottom of the noteboard, I wrapped Lia tightly in my arms. “We have the rest of our lives to work through this board, but today...I just want to enjoy life a bit.” I closed my eyes and kissed the top of her head as the faint scent of mint from her hair entranced me. “With you.”

 

“Well, you have me until noon,” she giggled, hugging me back. “After that, I’m ‘Lia the Teacher’, and she doesn’t have time for cuddling.”

 

“I guess I can make do with that,” I said, giving her one final squeeze around the waist. “Okay. Let’s go find out if we remember how this works.” We walked out onto the deck and sat down on the dew coated wood. Once my legs were comfortably folded beneath me, I took a deep breath and pulled on the mana in my core, beginning the well practiced routine. The response I felt within my body took me by surprise; while I could tell it was proportionally the same amount of energy as I always channeled, the rush of mana down my arm felt as if a sluice gate had burst within me. Have my reserves really grown this much?

 

A soft gasp from my right told me Lia was experiencing the same sensation. I drew the mana up and down my limbs in time with my breath, marveling at the feeling of power it gave me. I suppose it has been a few weeks since we last took stock of ourselves. After keeping watching day and night, our fight at the Mountain Gate, and all of the work on the house, it shouldn’t be surprising. Even so...I grinned as the mana swirled more powerfully with every breath, tingling over the surface of my skin.

 

After what felt like an eternity of inward focus and channeling, Lia’s aura flashed and engulfed me as she reached out with Detection. I eagerly followed suit, bringing the house and surrounding landscape to life in neon detail within my mind. Lia and I sat perfectly still at the center of our world as shining brilliant beacons of gold and blue light, watching over our ever-expanding dominion. Even though our scan reached out in all directions, we were able to cover the distance to the Corell’s house before Lia’s reach began to slow. My mind continued to soar as miles of forest continued to light up on my mental map, reaching all the way to the Mayaan edge of the forest before the strain set in.

 

As my Detection range increased, the energy required to power my Combat Acceleration increased as well. Despite the cool air around us, I had beads of sweat lining my brow by the time Marten’s wagon appeared at the edge of my vision. I continued my meditation until the wagon entered Lia’s reach as well, then pulled the energy back in an exhilarating rush. “Wow,” I managed to say, wiping my forehead with the back of my gloved hand. “We really were rusty.”

 

Lia leaned back on her hands and sighed. “That was awesome,” she said with a giddy laugh. “I can’t believe how different I feel now compared to the last time we did this.” She looked over to me with an amused grin. “Do you think we’ll just keep growing like this forever?”

 

“As long as we keep exerting ourselves and pushing our boundaries...yeah, I think so. I don’t have any reason to think otherwise,” I answered. “It’s all uncharted ground from here on out.”

 

“I like that,” she said as she hopped to her feet. After planting a kiss on my forehead, she turned towards the forest. “I guess I should go retrieve my pupil now. It would be a shame to set a poor example by being late to our first meeting,” she said in an affectatious voice.

 

“Ah, Lia the Teacher has arrived,” I chuckled. “I’ll be here when you get back with Marin.”

She froze in place and turned her head back towards me. “You aren’t going to just slack off all afternoon while we train, are you?”

 

“I would never!” I exclaimed with faux indignation. “I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but our house is lacking in the furniture department. I’ve got a thousand projects in mind to occupy my time, thank you very much.”

 

“Just checking!” she called out over her shoulder before she jumped down from the deck and jogged off into the woods.

 

I stood up and stretched when she was gone, taking a moment to think over the tasks ahead of me. While furnishing our home was the most obvious and immediate goal to pursue, I had a series of larger projects that more strongly held my interest. Without knowing the extremes of the weather in our area of Lybesa, I planned to make a greenhouse that could protect any delicate plants from particularly strong shifts in climate. My end goal was to create a system that would make our homestead entirely self-sustaining, which would require growing vegetables and grains, as well as potentially raising livestock.

 

Despite the importance of those plans, my focus landed on a passion project: building a forge. While it would certainly be beneficial to have metalworking capabilities, it was clearly less important than a sustainable food source, but I couldn’t help but grin as I began to envision where the forge would be built. A grouping of three trees near the back of the clearing caught my eye; with the trio removed, the vacant spot would leave enough space to build a workshop while leaving plenty of room between the burning forge and the surrounding forest. I knew the building process would take days, and would require stone in excess of what we had on hand, but just the thought of clearing a space where it could someday be built excited me.

 

Approaching the nearest tree, I placed my hand flat against its wide trunk and suffused mana into a large wedge shape at the bottom of the opposite side. When I invoked the Shatter rune, an explosion of wood chips sprayed out from the trunk, and the tree let out an echoing groan as it began to sway side to side. A single, firm push was all it took to send it crashing to the ground. I repeated the process twice more and, after a minute of precise cuts, was rewarded with three massive logs perfectly suited to feed our future crafting needs. I took a few minutes to remove the stumps and level the dirt where they had lived, then hauled the logs back to bolster our dwindling supply.

 

With a satisfied sigh, I ran my fingers across the deep brown bark as I considered what it would become. I was momentarily overwhelmed with options, ranging from side tables and bureaus to decorative window boxes, but I caught myself before the train of thought drove on too long. Start from zero. We don’t even have a place to sit down yet. My thoughts immediately turned to the furniture Marten had purchased for their new home. His bar stools were certainly comfortable, and the chairs in the living room were beautifully crafted.

 

I reached out down our winding woodland path with a narrow beam of mana to find the templates I would use for our new seating. The energy revealed Marin and Lia making their way towards me at a casual jog, and I felt a warm, golden glow of acknowledgement from Lia as she noticed my presence. My mana found its mark a few seconds later, and I suffused a vacant bar stool to make a mental copy of its exact shape. I was surprised at how little of an impact the distance made; compared to my first attempt with the hammer, it only took an extra few seconds of focus to overlay the blueprint into the emberwood log, despite the template physically existing miles away.

 

The top half of the log shuddered after three loud cracks, and my fingers pulled up on a lengthwise seam to reveal the stool sitting in a perfectly fitted indentation. I pulled the seat out and admired the beautiful pattern that the natural wood created on the surface, brushing fresh sawdust out of the various wooden joints. Satisfied, I brought the finished product up to the deck, then moved to the next log sections and repeated the process twice over. As I removed the final stool from its wooden shell, I paused and looked over the hollowed out log. If Rastor and I had known this technique for making molds, we could have done so much more than simple swords and armor.

 

Heartened by my successes, I made a set of the larger chairs from the model in Marten’s living room, complete with the intricate scrollwork along the legs and back. I lined them up along the edge of the deck alongside my stools as a display of my newfound crafting abilities, then took a few minutes to break down the hollow logs into as many usable planks for future projects as I could. When the boards were stacked and the scrap was cleaned up, I sat down in one of my new chairs and kicked my feet up on the railing, where I rested comfortably until Marin and Lia arrived.

 

“Is that all you’ve finished?” Lia called out as they broke through the treeline. “It’s been almost an hour!”

 

I waved her off with a laugh. “I’ve got all afternoon to work,” I answered, “unless you’d like me to stay here and critique your lessons.”

 

She pursed her lips tightly. “Criticism withdrawn.”

 

I stood up from my lazy perch and looked down over Marin. “Are you excited to start training?”

 

“Yeah!” she answered, pulling the old training sword I had purchased in Tolamar from her hip. “I even brought my own sword and everything!” To her credit, she already had the look of an adventurer from her outfit: shiny leather boots, comfortable pants with a sword belt around her waist, and a tight fitting white tank top underneath a drab yellow jacket lined with puffy grey fur. It was clear that she had replenished her wardrobe since arriving in Mayaan, and she had spared no expense in doing so.

“You certainly look ready!” I laughed. “I’ve got one piece of advice for you: do your best. What you get out of training is directly proportional to what you put in, so give it all you’ve got.” She nodded vigorously before turning on her heel and skipping back towards Lia. I picked up both of the high backed chairs and carried them inside, placing them in front of our noteboard. While I was tempted to sneak glances at their training through the window, I knew that Lia would notice before long, so I reached out to her with a tendril of mana. I’d like to watch your process, if you don’t mind. I promise I won’t bother you.

 

No, please do, her voice echoed back to me. I want your feedback at the end of the day. Just, no staring, please.

 

Deal, I promised. I retrieved the stools from the deck and set them in the dining room, then took my notebook from the table along with the quill and ink and made my way to the backyard. My goal for the afternoon was to build a bed frame; it would have to be built the old fashioned way, as it was far too large to be crafted out of a single log, but I had plans to take advantage of my new skills. With my notebook balanced on my knee, I began to sketch the various pieces required as my Detection mana crept around the house to watch Marin’s training.

 

It started the same as Lia’s training had back behind her father’s barn in Tolamar; Marin drew her sword and took what she thought was a battle pose, and Lia corrected the grip and adjusted her stance. When Marin’s form was correct they walked through the proper way to swing a sword, followed by a detailed breakdown on how to move during combat, and how to respond correctly to an opponent’s movement. After a brief lesson about the best ways to dodge and parry attacks, Lia invited Marin to attack her with the promise that, until Marin landed a hit, she wouldn’t strike back.

 

What followed was an amusing afternoon of frustrated yells from Marin and hidden amusement from Lia. Every time she ducked an attack and sent Marin teetering off to one side, I could feel a small twinge of satisfaction through our shared connection as she gave another piece of advice. Marin, on the other hand, was a much more vocal student than Lia had been, clearly and loudly announcing her displeasure whenever she was turned roughly into the dirt. Despite her constant protests her spirit never faltered, and she always retook her stance and attacked again with increased determination.

 

I had just finished putting together our new bed frame when Lia called a stop to their practice, and Marin immediately collapsed onto the grass with a whimper. There was a gentle tug at the edge of my consciousness as Lia sat down cross legged and instructed Marin to do the same. You can come outside now, if you want. Please.

 

I found both girls side by side when I stepped down onto the ground, each with their eyes closed. “...and just focus on your breathing. Nothing else for now.” Without opening her eyes, Lia pointed to the spot on the opposite side of Marin, and I took my appointed seat quietly and joined in the meditation circle.

“After all of that work, this is—”

 

“No, Marin, no talking,” Lia chided. “Just breathing.”

 

Marin harrumphed loudly, but I heard her breathing level out into an equal, measured rhythm. After a few minutes passed in silence, Lia nodded. “Good. Now we can talk about magic.”

 

“Oh, magic!” Marin exclaimed, clamping her own hand over her mouth a moment later. She scrunched her mouth shut and retook her meditative position, then nodded.

 

“I know that you’ve learned that magic is done by channeling the power of the Major Primevals, but that isn’t exactly true. The energy you need to cast magic, called mana, is already inside of you,” Lia explained. “It’s deep in your core, and right now, it’s all blocked off. Unless it’s activated unconsciously in a life or death situation, it is perfectly content to sit undisturbed for your entire life. What we want to do is open up those channels and let the energy out so it can be used.”

 

“Does that mean Unity is a lie?” she asked quietly.

 

“No,” I answered quickly, “it just means that Unity’s specific ideas about how magic works are wrong. The Major Primevals very well could have created the world, just like you’ve been taught, but they aren’t granting you their power when you do magic. That power comes from you. Saying a prayer to a Prime is just a good way of specifying what you want that power to do.”

 

She mulled over the information for a moment, then looked down at her hands. “I don’t feel any energy in me like that.” She prodded a finger into her stomach. “Are you sure I have it?”

 

Lia laughed. “You do, I promise. I can see it right now.”

 

Marin’s eyes widened. “You can? You’re sure?” She tapped her hands excitedly against her legs in anticipation. “How do I use it?”

 

“You’ll start by meditating again,” Lia instructed as she stood up and circled around behind Marin. Kneeling down at her back, Lia placed a hand gently on the small of Marin’s back; she let out a surprised squeak at the unexpected contact, then did her best to regain her composure and return to her meditation. “Picture your mana like a deep pool of water, right here. When you let it out, it flows like a river up and out to all of your extremities,” Lia explained, tracing a line up Marin’s spine and down the outside of her shoulder.

 

Marin’s eyelids fluttered as her body shuddered involuntarily. “Okay, what do I, uhm...what do I do next?”

“Normally, you would meditate and practice until you found the mana and released it yourself, but there’s an easier way,” Lia explained, nodding to me.

 

Taking my cue, I spun to face Marin and took her hand tightly between mine. Her eyes snapped open and stared into mine, and she gave me an awkward smile as her eyebrows danced back and forth between emotions. “Close your eyes and clear your mind,” I said in a calming voice. “Focus on the rhythm of your breath: deep, slow, and even.” Mana ran down into my fingertips and hovered at the shared boundary of our skin. “I’m going to break the barriers holding your mana. When I do, you’re going to feel an intense rush of energy throughout your body, as well as some very strange sensations that are...sort of hard to explain. No matter what happens, I promise that you’ll be okay.”

 

Her eyes bounced back and forth as she processed the information, and she eventually gave me a timid nod. “I’m ready,” she said before taking a deep breath and closing her eyes.

 

I broached the surface of her skin cautiously, and found the reactive barrier of energy as expected. As opposed to the constant golden glow of Lia’s mana that surrounded us with an intense focus, Marin’s seemed to flicker like a small pink flame, rippling in a razor thin sheet along her hand where my energy attempted to pass through. I punctured the defensive line with a single, sharp spike of mana and felt the satisfying pop as the energy raced away to her core. Her hand began to tremble between mine, and I gave it a reassuring squeeze.

 

My mana chased after hers, rushing up her arm and into her spine before making the final plunge down to her core. The blue lightning struck against her final barriers and shattered through without resistance, and a bright pink light burned outwards in all directions. I gasped as her physical sensations melded with mine, and I became intimately attuned to the rapid beating of her heart and the tingling new sensations of channeled mana through her arms and legs. Our eyes opened in sync and, for a brief moment, I forgot which of our faces belonged to me as I observed them both through different eyes.

 

She let out an ecstatic moan as another shiver rattled down her spine, and she looked around the clearing with wide, frantic eyes. “This is incredible!” she yelled between her heavy panting breaths. “I feel amazing. Amazing!” As I withdrew my mana from her body, I was satisfied to see that the subdued pink embers in her core had changed to a crackling fire that radiated brightly throughout her body. When our connection severed I felt a fleeting sensation of emptiness, which I saw echoed in her face. “Ooh, now I feel...less, uhm, good, I think,” she mumbled as she began to sway back and forth.

 

I tugged gently on her hands, and with Lia’s help, guided her down into my lap. She stared up at me and blinked slowly. “Are you...me?”

 

“No, you’re you, Marin,” I laughed.

 

A wide, carefree smile spread across her face. “Good,” she answered, a moment before falling unconscious. Her head lolled to the side as her body went limp, and I gathered her up delicately into my arms.

 

“I believe this is yours,” I chuckled, holding the sleeping girl out to Lia.

 

“Right,” she grinned as she took Marin into a bridal carry against her chest. “I’ll take her home.”

 

“Tell your parents that they’ll probably have a hard time waking her up tomorrow, and to make sure she eats a big breakfast.”

 

“I know, I know,” she said, rolling her eyes. “Anything else?”

 

“Oh, grab us something to eat while you’re there,” I added. “I’m sure your mother cooked up something lovely for dinner.”

 

It looked as though she wanted to complain, but she paused mid-turn and considered the prospect of freshly cooked food. “That’s a good idea, actually. I’ll make sure to find something.” She turned and dashed to the edge of the clearing. “Maybe I’ll even bring something back for you!”

 

I shook my head and laughed as she disappeared into the trees. Without the need to wait for someone moving at normal speeds, her sprint through the dark forest only took a few minutes in each direction, and she soon returned with a large pot of stew. We ate it together directly out of the pot with a pair of freshly crafted wooden spoons, fighting each other for the largest chunks of meat and vegetables as they appeared from the dark broth. When the pot was emptied we retired to the bedroom and climbed into our newly supported bed, which sat on a large, simply ornamented wooden frame.

 

“So,” Lia started as she slid under the covers beside me, “how did I do today?”

 

“Honestly? I think you were amazing,” I answered. “You were patient and helpful, but firm when you needed to be. Even though she complains a lot, Marin clearly respects you and wants to learn everything you have to teach her.”

 

She blushed and pulled the blankets up to cover her face, peeking out at me through a small crack by her eye. “Thanks, Lux. It really means a lot to hear you say that.”

 

I slipped my head under the blanket, invading her hiding spot. “You deserve it,” I said, smiling. I reached out a finger and tapped her lightly on the nose. “But don’t think that means you get to slack off now! You’ve got to keep up the effort every day, no matter how tired you get, and no matter how loud Marin whines.”

She giggled. “I can do that.” We stayed beneath the covers, hiding from the rest of the world in our private sanctuary of blankets and pillows. She wiggled her way closer to me and spun around, dragging my arm tightly across her chest as she snuggled further into the pillows. “Goodnight, Lux. I love you.”

 

“I love you too, Lia,” I answered. Sleep came quickly, but I awoke a few minutes later when Lia tapped her finger insistently on my hand.

 

“Lux?”

 

“Hmm?”

 

“Do you think everyday is going to be like this?”

 

“Like what?”

 

“Like this one. Amazing.”

 

“I don’t think so. I’m sure we’ll have some hard days too, but that doesn’t matter.”

 

“Why not?”

 

“Because we’ll be together.”

 

“Together, forever.”

 

“Forever.”

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About the author

Adam Ladner

Bio: Hi there. I'm Adam, the author of the "Restart Again" series. I started this writing project in the spring of 2019 as a fun creative outlet, and much to my surprise, I actually stuck with it! Fast forward to a year later, and here I am with the first book completely finished, and the second well under way. It's been a great experience, and I'm glad I have a chance to share it now!

I'd never heard of this site until recently, when one of the Amazon reviews for this book suggested I share it here as well. I'm not entirely familiar with how the site works, and whether or not it's frowned upon to just come here to share fully finished products that exist on other sites. With that in mind, I plan to drop a chapter on here every Sunday and Wednesday until the entire book is posted. If you enjoy it, hop over to my website to find the latest news on the project, and a link to the Amazon page where you can buy the eBook/paperback. I hope you enjoy it!

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