A note from kosnik4

Please read!

If your reading Ch: 20 for the first time, you can skip this message. For those of you who read my previous chapter 20 I’m sorry I didn’t answer your earlier comments. It became clear rather quickly I messed up the chapter with some of my plot points. I decided to try and clear up the issues by reworking parts of the chapter. I know it’s annoying to reread a chapter, that you already finished, but I changed around quite a few things. Subsequently the chapter went from 6237 words to 8013, almost double my longest chapter to date. I’m deleting the previous chapter. Thank you guys, so much, for being understanding.

The eyes are everywhere!

I can’t find the trail I was on!

All around me I see the forest closing in. The deeper I run into the woods, the larger everything becomes. Every shrub I pass I can see more eyes staring at me, following my every movement.

How did I get separated from dad?

I can see too many shifting shapes around me to count, I’m being hunted!

I continue to weave in and out of the trees, trying to shake my pursuers. I’ve trained for this! After the karhu attack, I made sure to practice running through the forest around our village every morning.

My footing remains stable as I run through a patch of mud. I can feel the sludge splash across my pants, and up my legs. My clothes are ripped everywhere, but that doesn’t stop me.

As I advance deeper into the forest the trees cover the sky and an ominous darkness is cast over me. All the shadows elongate around me.

Grinding to a stop, hundreds of eyes dot my surroundings. There’s nowhere left to run.

Searching my surroundings, I can’t even find a stick to protect myself. I can’t remember where I dropped my dagger. Doesn’t matter, I refuse to give up without a fight. I’ll take as many as I can with me.

Sensing my resolve, the shadows condense into dozens of goblins. Each one has an expressionless face, and is thankfully unarmed.

Steadying myself, I wait for the inevitable attack. Slowly turning in place, I try to guess which one will charge first.

Their empty expressions and silence, give nothing away.

With no signal between them given, they all rush at me as a silent horde.

As the first one reaches me, I grab its face, and inject 100 mana directly into its brain. With my increased mana control, the mana is injected quickly and the creature's face starts to melt. It looks like I poured acid on its face.

The melting goblin distracts me. One goblin grabs my left hand and another the right. Remembering my first forest expedition, I twirl my arms and grab the two new goblins and inject another 100 mana each. The two goblins start rolling on the ground, cradling their arms, but there are no screams.

Turning around, I shove my hand into the face of one of the bigger goblins. He stops rushing me, as I pour the last of my mana that I can spare, directly into his eyeballs. The eyes pop and the juices run down my arm.

I feel amazing! I was able to use all my skills single-handedly, just like the first time I used Inject Mana!

My joy is short lived. With my mana almost completely exhausted, everything becomes fuzzy. In my moment of weakness, the horde tackles me and brings me down.

Countless hands are holding me down, as a fat goblin sits on top of my chest. Before I can scream at him to get his naked ass off of me, his hands close around my throat.

Every breath hurts, as I stare up into the goblin's emotionless face.

How dare these filthy creatures do this to me!

Mentally pulling up my status page, I dump all my stats into Strength, almost quadrupling it to 200.

The rage builds inside me, as my body radiates a new heat. The puny hands can’t hold me anymore. Shaking the goblins off my arms, I reach up and squeeze the throat of the goblin sitting on top of me with all my might.

The fat goblin’s neck shatters in my hands. That felt amazing!

Before the goblins recover, I roll over with my new strength and grab the necks of two more goblins, one in each hand.

They’re so flimsy now!

I continue to grab the goblins around me, ripping off limbs and flesh with every movement of my arms. The horde of goblins never seems to end though.

While using two dead goblins as clubs, I mental pull my status up again. Two more levels gained! I distribute the points giving me more Strength!

The fire in my body burns brighter, as my murder spree becomes even easier.

The forest floor is soaked in blood, and covered with the dead and dying goblins that I don’t care about finishing off.

“Why aren’t you screaming Goblins!” The empty faces around me continue to stare. No matter how many I slaughter, they refuse to make a sound.

Time feels meaningless here, as they continue to charge me.

It’s great for me, more experience!

Distributing my status points as I level, I smile as my slaughter continues.

Ripping a goblin’s head off, I twirl around looking for my next prey. The sea of bodies around me is unmoving, there are no more goblins left to kill. Thousands litter the ground, that was fun!

With the sound of a stick cracking behind me, I turn looking for my next challenger.

Instead of more goblins, mother and father walk out of the forest, stepping on the field of corpses.

“I’m so happy to see you guys! I survived dad, just like I said I would! No more goblins to worry about!” my pride is overflowing, maybe I’ll be called a hero in the village! Isn’t this what reincarnated people are supposed to do, become heroes?

But mother and father don’t respond. They stand there expressionless like the goblins.

Walking in front of mother, father draws his beautiful axe.

“What are you doing dad!?”

Without stopping or changing his expression at all, his words freeze me solid. “I’m killing a monster.”

“I’m not a monster! I’m your daughter!” Waving my hands in front of me, trying to proclaim my innocence, I notice my arms and stop.

Looking down, every part of me is covered in blood.

Now that I see it, I become aware of the liquid dripping from every inch of my body. Staring from my bloodied hands to the bodies surrounding me, I can’t help but think of myself as a monster.

When father's shadow covers me, I look back up.

His straight face, is completely devoid of any love for me.

I can’t even think of a reason to try and defend myself.

The screams of the goblins fill my head, only for me to realize that it’s me who is screaming instead.

As the axe closes in, everything turns black as I sink into nothingness, with the void screaming at me.

Suddenly I’m being embraced. “It’s ok sweety! You’re back home!”

Mother is rocking me like she did when I was little. Looking across the room, I see the bright lights of a sunrise. “I’m back home?”

“Yes, you’re home. It was a bad dream. You’ve been asleep since the goblin attack yesterday.”

Before I can relax in mothers’ embrace, I see the field of bodies around me, and the empty look of father before he killed me flashes before my mind. Trembling, I cry in mother’s arms.



Mother sat with me for over an hour before I started to calm down. After asking several times if I’m ok, she left me to rest a while longer. The goblins scraped me up pretty good and I’m sore all over from overexerting myself. I was lucky dad saved me before the goblin with the spear could run me through.

I can’t close my eyes, not only do I vividly remember my nightmare, but the attack from yesterday constantly plays through my head alongside it.

Before mother left, I asked where father was. She said he’s helping remove the goblin corpses from around the village. Apparently, this was the biggest attack the village has seen in over twenty years.

I want dad to come back and give me one of his encompassing hugs, but he will likely be helping the rest of the day. I know I won’t be able to get over my dream till I see his smiling face again.

Rolling over in my bed, I see my new dagger placed on top of my clothes chest. Sweeping my legs out of bed, I don’t bother putting my slippers on. The floor is slightly chilly despite the spring air.

My legs feel stiff as I make my way towards my dagger. Grabbing the weapon carefully, I shuffle back to bed in a lifeless daze.

Back in the security of my blanket, I stare at the blade in my hands.

There’s no blood on it, someone must have washed it off. The blade doesn’t have the same shine to it as it did yesterday. I can spot four small nicks in the edge, three up near the tip of the curved blade and one more towards the middle. Did my knife hold up like it should have?

I used it a lot yesterday.

There it is again, the memories of the goblin attack. With my right hand holding the handle the same as I did yesterday, the sensations return to haunt me. I remember the feeling of plunging my knife into the flesh of those goblins. Feeling something drip down my arm, I panic. Is there still blood on me?

Sitting up too rapidly, I feel dizzy. Ignoring the sudden vertigo, I check my arm for blood.

It’s only sweat. My arm is clean, mother must have wiped me down while I was passed out.

The relief of knowing the blood is no longer on my hands doesn't help. Falling backwards, I lay flat on my bed once again. Looking over to my right hand, I’m still holding my dagger. The feeling of disgust overwhelms me, so I drop it on the floor. The clanging noise as it drops is the last reminder that it’s still there, even though it’s out of my sight.

What did I do yesterday?

I threw myself at those goblins. Why would I do that? I’ve never attacked an animal let alone something humanoid before. With the first two goblins I ever encountered; I was simply trying to get away.

But this time! This time, I charged at them looking for blood. With how quickly dad killed all the other goblins, he probably didn’t want my help in the first place. I think I knew that on some level. So why did I fight, knowing it was pointless?

I didn’t want to join the kingdoms army because I told myself I didn’t want to hurt people. Was that a lie?

Do I want to fight?

Staring at my hands, I imagine them covered in blood again, with me surrounded by the thousands of goblin corpses from my dream.

“Maybe I am a monster?” I quietly mumble to myself. Staring up at my crudely drawn clouds, I remember drawing when I was little.

Was everything meant to be like this?


The sounds from my door keep me from falling into another abyss.

Why would mother knock on my door?

“I’m coming in! Are you decent?” Master Del gives me no time to answer as he pushes my door open.

“Why are you here?” Can he not read the mood of the room!

“You shouldn’t leave your work laying on the ground. Didn’t you complain about that the first time you saw my house?” Bending over, Master Del picks up my dagger and starts examining it.

Can’t he leave me alone! I twist my body around, so I’m no longer facing him. Grabbing my covers, I try to compress myself into a ball, and ignore the annoying Stone Kin in the room.

“It’s rare for a tool to see such use, straight from the forge. Only a few nicks, I’ll show you how to take care of your nicked blades later.”

“What do… Aaaagggg!” Before I can ask what Del means, he rips my blanket off and hoists me one handed over his shoulder. As he makes his way through our house, it takes me a minute to realize what’s happening before I start struggling.

“Put me down you stupid dwarf!”

Ignoring my racial slur, Del makes his way to our front door. Stopping in the doorway, he turns to my sitting mother. Noticing her myself, she doesn’t look surprised about the situation in front of her in the least.

“I’m taking her to work. Tell Darrius, he can pick her up as usual.”

That’s all you’re going to say, while kidnapping me! What’s going on?

“Ok, I’ll let him know when he gets back. Study hard sweety!”

“Mom!” How is she letting this happen?!

Without giving me a chance to demand an explanation from mother, we’re outside, walking towards Del’s house.

“Put me down Del, I mean it! I’m too tired for this!”

“Can’t do that lass. You’ll run, and I don’t feel like chasing you right now. Relax and enjoy the ride. Your Stamina is incredibly high for someone your age, you’ll bounce back quickly. You got plenty of rest, and your mother said you didn’t suffer any real injuries.”

If he thinks I’m going to let him carry me like a sack of pommels again, he’s sorely mistaken.

As we move through the village, I try to increase my struggling, but nothing works. His arm that’s pinning me to his shoulder never moves a centimeter. After a few minutes of my last ditched struggling, I give up. Del was right though, after struggling so much, the soreness I felt vanished the more I moved. I only hope no one saw me like this.

Looking around, no one is paying attention to us, they’re…

They’re moving bodies!

Paying attention to my surroundings more, I notice the blood all over the ground. Villagers are dragging corpses to the bonfires scattered around the village. Some of the younger villagers are helping by collecting severed goblin limbs that are scattered about.

No one is talking.

“Del, did anybody get hurt during the attack?” I try to whisper my question, I wonder if he can even hear me while I’m in this position.

“Prome yous wnt run?” (You promise you won’t run?) Del asks me over his shoulder. Being so close to other villagers, he reverted back to his jumbled speech.

“I promise.” I can’t start running about, with the village like this.

Pulling me off of his shoulder, Del gently places me on the ground. He doesn’t answer my question till we start entering the path to his house.

Whispering in case a villager is close by, Del answers my earlier question. “Two died yesterday, and seven others received major injuries. They carted the injured to the city of Drey. Before you ask, that’s the closest city to our village, and Anastasia went with them to keep them stable till they reach a proper healer.”

“That bad, huh. So why aren’t we helping the rest of the village?”

“Because we have our own mess to clean up.”

I freeze in the middle of the trail. I’m back at the attack site from yesterday. This is where I…

“Keep going, we have to grab the cart first.” With a gentle push on my back, Del keeps me from breaking down, and continues on towards his house.

Entering Del’s clearing, I’m treated to another war zone. I can’t tell how many dead goblins there are because most are smashed into paste.

Seemingly unaware of the carnage around him, Del walks over and starts dragging his cart back towards the way we came. I can only silently follow him, till we reach the bodies again.

“Let’s go, we need to clear this up.” Unaware of the images floating in my head, Del prompts me to help him throw the bodies inside his cart.

Watching Del grab chunks of goblins in each of his hands, I turn and face the pile of goblins I killed. Their bodies are still laying exactly like I remember. The blood looks dried except for the puddle that formed underneath their corpses. I can smell the rot that’s already started to eat away at the decomposing flesh.

Unlike the bodies inside the village, we’re surrounded by forest here, and the bugs have already started to gorge themselves on the feast I created. Large bugs, some that look aggressive, are tearing small chunks of flesh away with every bite.

“These the one’s you killed? Good job.”

Turning around, Del is right behind me. “GOOD JOB! How is this a good job?! I mutilated these poor creatures, I savagely tried to tear them apart. I’m worse than any of them!”

Hanging my head after my outburst, I try to not cry in front of Del.

“What did I say about looking a Stone Kin in the eyes, stop hanging your head.”

Looking up again, the normally strong features of Del’s face are replaced with a softer look of concern.

“I could tell this was your problem the moment I talked to your mother. This isn’t your fault. You were only defending yourself and your father.”

“But dad could have handled it all on his own. I wanted to make the goblins suffer, so I charged them without thinking. I attacked them like an animal, like a monster! I almost died a monster!”

“And I’m sure a monster would be standing here crying over some goblins that tried to kill her.”

What is he talking about?

“Goblins are one of the most common monsters in the world. They breed like rats, and have been known to attack and eat one another. The fact that you are crying over creatures like these, shows how kind you are. You can feel sad for the lives you have to end, but never feel sorry for defending yourself and those you love. Whenever we see our loved ones threatened, it brings out parts of ourselves we never think about. Are you feeling an overwhelming need to go into the woods and kill everything you see?”

“No…” I can barely respond.

“Then you’re not a monster. Our world is filled with danger, and though you don’t have to go looking for it, you need to face it when it comes for you. Living in a village like this, we have to deal with the dangers of the forest, but even if you moved to a city like Drey, you would still have to face the human monsters of this world. Continue to respect life, but respect your own life the most.”

Finishing his speech, Del grabs two of the goblins in front of me and throws them in the cart.

Thinking over Del’s words, I help him load the rest of the remains in the cart.

We walk back to Del’s house. As we enter the clearing, Del takes his cart over to the large ash pile he keeps towards the edge of the clearing.

“Start a fire, I’ll scoop up the ones left around the forge.”

Building a small fire is easy, building a bonfire is work. Del finishes collecting the bodies before I have the fire big enough to burn a single goblin.

Working together, we build a pyre that is 10 foot squared. We even topped it with “blacksmith” logs to burn extra hot. Before we start tossing the bodies in, Master Del says a quick prayer.

“We give these bodies back to you, great Tarrow. May they become one with the earth again.”

Bending over, Master Del grabs a handful of dirt and throws it over the fire.

“Alright, let’s get this over with.” With master giving the go-ahead, we start tossing the bodies on top of the fire.

“Master, who’s Tarrow? I’ve heard you say his name a few times before but I can’t remember who that is?”

Scoffing at my remark, Del educates me. “You humans, always praying to the gods, but never taking the time to memorize them. Tarrow is the god of earth and nature. Tarrow is the god all Stone Kin worship.”

“What about the others? My parents never talked about the specific gods, they said we could bring danger upon us if we show favoritism to any one god.”

“That’s only because no god has ever blessed humans with their boon before. That’s why humans are a low magical race. We Stone Kin are taught that in the beginning of life, the God Tarrow blessed the Stone Kin with unparalleled earthen magic. That’s why we’re the best at crafting. But just because we worship Tarrow the most doesn’t mean we don’t respect the other gods. You have Goddess Sepia, master of water and the cold. God Aptis, who rules over fire and heat. God Vitis controls the air and seasons. Goddess Ebeon is the harbinger of death and space. And finally, Goddess Ilia, the goddess of all life and time. It’s said the six gods and Goddesses came together to create the world as we see it.”

“Have the gods blessed other races?”

“I’m not sure. I didn’t spend much time being social after I left Truset. I know I said I’d answer any question but let’s finish this so we can get on to some forging.”

As we dump the last of the bodies, the smell has become almost unbearable. The air smells of rotten smoked meat. Staring at the pyre, I feel so dirty right now. At least Del’s pep talk did the trick. I’m pretty sure I’ll still have nightmares, but I don’t hate myself anymore.

“See you tomorrow Del.”

“What are you saying! You’re learning to forge nails today.”

“Yeah, that sounds interesting and all, but I feel really dirty right now. I’m going home to wash all the goblin blood off. We can forge nails tomorrow, promise.”

Del looks at me with a complicated expression.

“How about I teach you a celestial spell, as long as you promise to work extra hard afterwards?”

Turning around, I don’t care about the blood covering my clothes and skin anymore.

“Wait! How are you going to teach me? You can’t even use magic yourself.”

“I’ll teach you the words and the proper way to recite the spell, controlling and expelling your mana correctly will depend on your skills. It’s a simple spell that all Stone Kin learn as children, it’s a personal cleaning spell. Every Stone Kin learns it so water isn’t wasted on personal hygiene. Pay attention, I’ll say it slowly the first time, then again with the proper enunciation.”

“A-H-Y-T L-S W-E-E-M A-P-P-I-S-S!”

“Got that? Here it is a few more times.”

“Ahyt ls weem appiss!”
“Ahyt ls weem appiss!”

“Knowing the words is only the first step. You need to have at least a picture in your head about what the spell does. This spell creates a mana fog around you that removes dirt and grime from your body and clothes if they’re close to you. If you wear thicker clothing it might not clean it all the way. Once you know the chant, and have an image in your head, that leaves the final and hardest part. You need to expel your mana in a way that resonates with the words you're chanting.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s hard for me to explain. I’ve never been able to use magic, so all I can tell you is what I remember from the people who tried to teach me as a child. The celestial language resonates with mana itself, so you need to expel your mana in different intervals with each part of the chant. You need to match each tone to the next to properly cast the spell.”

“Want me to say it again?”

“No, I think I have the chant itself memorized. Give me a second.”

Centering myself, I activate my usual skills. Meditation, Sense Mana, Mana Manipulation, Expel Mana, and Chanting all come together as I recite these weird magical words.

“Ahyt ls weem appiss!”

I manage to recite the spell exactly as Del did, but as I say each consecutive word in the chant, the mana fractures and ultimately breaks as I continue the chant. Del said the mana needs to change with each word so it connects into a proper spell.

Sitting on one of Del’s benches, I run through chanting the spell multiple times. My first breakthrough happens when I decrease the mana, that I am expelling between the third and fourth word. I thought the larger the word the more mana I would have to expend, but I was wrong.

“I’ll give you 30 more minutes to try and cast the spell, then we move on to blacksmithing.”

Del must think I can’t cast the spell that easily. Though, I think I can do it!

The letters ending a word decide the change that the mana needs to take before it can link with the next word. Using my hypothesis, I test the chant a few more times.”

“Ahyt… ls… weem. appiss!”
“Ahyt. ls. Weem…. appiss!”

If a word ends in consonant and a consonant is used at the beginning of the next word, I need to increase the mana in the next word. And when a word ends in a consonant and the next word starts with a vowel, I need to reduce the mana in the next word. With this discovery I try one more time.

“Ahyt ls weem appiss!”

Other than expelling the mana through my words in the order I discovered, I can’t sense anything different. It’s hard adjusting the mana I’m expelling, but at least I can feel the words no longer clashing with each other. Unfortunately, when I finish my casting nothing happens immediately. Maybe I said it wr…


Before I can properly track my mana, it evaporates inside my body! The mist of mana seeps out of every pore and combines with all the blood and dirt on my clothes and body.

The mist fuses with the grime and falls of like a dirty snow from the sky. As the last of the mist fades, I feel naked. I feel like everything covering my skin is gone. Even my rough clothes look cleaner than the day mom sewed them for me. Checking my mana levels, I’m astounded that the spell only cost me 97 mana, and that’s including the mana I expelled during the chant!

No wonder mages fight for these spells. Four short words and I’m cleaner than the day I was born!

“Ya-ya, stop staring at yourself. I’m happy you managed to figure it out so quick. It’s only a common spell, any proper mage should know it. Now you have to work extra hard like you promised me.” Master Del looks a little jealous, probably because I figured it out in less than an hour.

“Of course, Master Del, I’ll do anything you say! It’s thanks to you I could learn my first spell ever!” I have to keep the big guy happy.

“I’ll hold you to that.”

“But before we start, I’m curious master Del. I thought you said you wouldn’t teach me Stone Kin secrets?”

“That spell can’t be called a secret. Mages pride themselves on their cleanliness, and that’s because that spell has been spread across the continent for hundreds of years. Remember I said every Stone Kin child learns that spell. You picked it up quick, but how much mana did you use?”

“I used 97 points of mana.”

“That’s ok for your first time, I guess. Normally it should only cost around 60 mana, and people who master the spell have been know to drop the cost down to only 40 mana. When I said it was a basic spell, I meant it.”

“Then how are celestial spells considered a secret? After you hear four or five spells you could just mix and match the words to create new ones, right?”

“Never mess with celestial spells! The consequences are even worse than casting magic in the common language. Misspronouncing the words of a celestial spell will only waste your mana, but if you combine words in different patterns, you have no idea what could happen. Adding a word to the beginning of the cleaning spell could make it stronger, or it could clean all the blood from your body!”


“Yes, that’s the problem with celestial magic, and the reason why mages keep their successful spells hidden. Most mages cast their magic with no more than a whisper, and many buy artifacts that either create or destroy sound to drown out their voices. And every mage is careful about spells they hear on the battlefield.”

“What do you mean Master Del?”

“During the great wars hundreds of years ago magic played a big part in every battle. Strong spells became pivotal to each nation, so thieves were dispatched to try and steal research from enemy mages. Most strong mages realized this quickly and swapped out their spells with more sinister spells. Many mages thought they were learning grand magic, but after wasting months just learning to cast the spell, it would turn out to be a self-detonation spell.”

“Oh Gods!”

“Yeah, and because of the war, the losses were considered justifiable. Some countries that knew they were going to be defeated, sent their mages to the battlefield just to detonate and take as many lives as they could with them. After the continent settled down most of the faulty spells were sold to unsuspecting merchants, even to this day, they say some of those dangerous spells are found and used accidentally. That’s why people seek a master to teach them magic, instead of written records. With a master they can show you the spell first so you know exactly what it does. Only Stone Kin weren’t affected by the false celestial spells, because we focus on runic magic which is safer but much more complicated. That being said Stone Kin are taught three basic celestial spells as children. If you listen to what I say I might even teach you the other two.”

“So, that’s why mages hoard their knowledge! Master, is it ok for me to talk about this with Sandra?”

“Who’s Sandra?”

“She’s the headman’s daughter, who I consider a friend. She’s leaving to study magic some time in the future, and I’m not sure Anastasia covered this in her lessons.”

“As I said, the spell is common knowledge. I have no problem with you teaching her if you want to. But I thought you were keeping your talents a secret?”

“I am, but I can still discuss magic theory with Sandra. She thinks I’m trying to unlock my mana right now. I might even tell her I succeeded with feeling my magic, but I’ll downplay my abilities to the level of someone like Anastasia.”

“You would make a great mage, you know, that right? With all your secrets, you would fit right in.”

“Stop making fun of me Del, I thought you wanted to teach me how to make nails.”

“Alright then, no more magic! Let’s get smithing!”



Walking on the path back home with dad, I’m covered in sweat and soot again.

Master Del taught me how to properly make nails. It was interesting to work with metal for the first time.

After I started the fire in the forge and got it hot enough, Del had me grab the small rods of metal he made yesterday. When they were hot enough, Master Del showed me how to draw the metal down into a point while twisting the metal on its sides to make each side flat.

After the nail was ready, a quick chop from the axe and a nail was formed.

I wish I could brag that I aced it on my first try, or second, or tenth. Luckily, I made my first real nail before I ran out of metal on the first rod.

I spent the rest of my time making dozens of nails, but I would be happier if Master Del didn’t tell me why he wanted to teach me so badly.

“Now I don’t have to make nails for the village anymore. I have more time to relax, I mean, teach my new apprentice.”

Kicking a rock on the path, I grumble a little.

“You ok, sweety? I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you when you woke up. I was told you asked for me first, right after you woke up.”

“Everything is fine dad, Del helped me think about what I did right and what I did wrong yesterday. I’m sorry for not listening to you. I didn’t want to feel helpless as I watched you fight again. But I realized, I don’t like fighting. Next time I promise I won’t be in your way and I promise I won’t act crazy again.”

“You weren’t that bad.”

I make sure to give dad the look, so he knows that I can tell when he’s lying.

“You weren’t great, but you did better than most kids would’ve done in your situation. On your days off I can teach you a few things if you want?”

“I would like that a lot, dad”

Noticing the village ahead I stop for a moment.

“Something wrong?”

“No, I just want to clean up before we walk through the village. I want to see mom’s face when I come home clean for once.”

“Ahyt ls weem appiss!”

This time I can watch my mana a little better.

The mana inside my body actually resonates with the spell as I chant it. This must be why celestial spells work so much cheaper, they command the mana extremely precisely before it’s even expelled. Master Del told me in two days he would teach me the only other spell he memorized as a child. It’s only a ball of light that follows above you, but it will make our mining trips a lot easier.

As the mist fades off of me, I see that dad leapt back nearly 10 feet from me.

“Cool huh!” Dad does not look happy at the surprise.

“Yeah, that’s an interesting spell. I thought Del warned you about casting your own magic?”

“This isn’t one of my spells. This is an official spell that Del had to memorize as a kid. Now mom can’t get mad at me for coming home dirty anymore. The only sad thing is I can’t cast it on other people, it’s meant to only work in a single way.”

“I’m sure your mother will be thrilled.”

I spent the rest of the walk home talking to dad about the village clean up. The bodies were removed quick enough but the village is on the lookout for more goblins and other creatures attracted by all the blood that was spilt.

Eventually the smell will fade, but for the next couple of days the watch will be doubled.

Opening the door to our house the smell of stew, hits my nose, and I’m reminded how hungry I am. Brother is finishing up dinner with mom and it looks like he brought Sandra with him today.

“Go wash before dinner is ready.” Mother doesn’t even turn around to greet us. Let’s see how she reacts.

“I’m good, I already cleaned up.”

Mother and the other two finally turn and notice me. Mother and Richard look stunned, but Sandra looks curious.

“How did you get so clean Aaliyah?”

“Master Del taught me some magic knowledge to cheer me up. He even cast some magic on me when I asked if he could try and teach me a spell, so he showed me a basic cleaning spell.”

Sandra’s face lights up brighter than Del’s forge. Even if it’s a basic spell, it should give her a better chance at gaining a good teacher in the city.

“Was it, Ah yt ls wee m ap piss?” Sandra awkwardly says the spell.

“Yeah, that’s the one he told me about, but his sounded different. It sounded more like this:”

“Ahyt ls weem appiss!” I make sure to say the spell correctly, but I don’t use any mana. Maybe I can nudge her towards the proper form. Once she has that down she can probably figure out the rest by herself.

“That’s how Master Del casted the spell. If you want, I can say it again slower after dinner?”

“Of course, if it’s not too much to ask. Thanks, Aaliyah.” Her smile looks like she just figured something out, she’s probably happy we can have another magic discussion.

“Just remember this when you come back from your super-mage training in a few years.”

“I will!” With a light hearted smile our promise is struck.

With plans made, we all take our seats and have dinner together as a family. However, our conversation tonight feels a little rocky for some reason.

Though everyone shares stories about their help in the cleanup and attack, Richard and Sandra appear to have something else on their minds. No matter how hard mother or I try to pry, they refuse to talk about what they’re hiding from us.

Once dinner is finished, we put the awkward conversation behind us, as I try to help Sandra finish her cleaning spell.

“A-H-Y-T L-S W-E-E-M A-P-P-I-S-S!”

“You have to say it like this though”

“Ahyt ls weem appiss!”
“Ahyt ls weem appiss!”

I can tell how concentrated Sandra is as she tries repeating the chant perfectly. It only takes her four tries before she chants the proper spell.

“Ahyt ls weem appiss!”

We spend the next 30 minutes talking about the history I learned from Del. Sandra knew a little about why spells were kept secret, but Anastasia never mentioned anything about the war hundreds of years ago. Anastasia only received a little bit of training with the cleaning spell, before the army deemed her not talented enough to receive further training. We went back and forth talking about the complex celestial language, till Sandra had a sudden strike of inspiration.

As Sandra sinks into her own closed eyed meditation, I notice everyone in the family is looking at me with a smile. When they notice my cheeks turning red, they all start chuckling.

I’m about to yell at them for laughing at me, when Sandra chants the spell perfectly.

“Ahyt ls weem appiss!”

Sandra opens her eyes as she is wrapped in her own fog of mana, I notice everyone is watching her. A surprising amount of dirt falls from her, and her clothes look even more incredible.

“I did it! Did you see that Richard! I did it!”

Sandra gets up and immediately tackles Richard.

“No hug for the person who helped you finish your spell?”

I wish I didn’t say that. Sandra lets go of Richard and moves to me, smothering me for five minutes. The joyful mood is cut short by Richards coughing, he’s trying to get everyone’s attention. Sandra seems to know what’s happening because she lets go of me and moves to Richards side, taking one of his hands into hers.

“Mother, father, Aaliyah; we have something to say!”

“We’re moving to the city tomorrow.”

The three of us scream “what” at the same time. Where is this coming from?

“I’m moving with Sandra to Drey. She’s going to be looking for a teacher and Salus gave me a recommendation for someone I can work under in the city. We plan to move back eventually but it could be years before we return.”

The three of us are silent. It might not seem that far away, in the scheme of things, but travel in this world is long and dangerous. Drey is four days away from us if you’re walking the whole way, and carts move even slower and could take you six days or even longer if something happens.

While mother and I are stunned, father stands up from his chair.

“Is this what you really want?” His look could probably scare another horde of goblins away.

Brother doesn’t flinch; “Yes, I want to go with Sandra and support her. Her family is escorting us tomorrow morning.” His resolve leaves no room for negotiation.

The atmosphere turns awkward, and they leave to finish their packing. They promised to wait for us to see them off tomorrow at least.

Because of the big revelation, we decide to go to bed early.

For the second time today I’m staring up at the ceiling, there’s something I have to do before I go to bed. Status Page:

LV: 41 Experience: 29,419/ 69,380
Health: 1100/1100 Stamina: 154/700 Mana: 317/530
Vitality: 110
Endurance: 50
Strength: 50
Dexterity: 50
Senses: 50
Mind: 50
Magic: 53
Clarity: 51
Status Points: 126
Skills: Sense Mana (LV52), Acting (LV27), Meditation (LV52), Expel mana (LV32), Charm (LV35), Running (LV38), Cleaning (LV25), Mathematics (LV26), Writing (LV15), Mana Manipulation (LV17), Wood Carving (LV10), Drawing (LV13), Axe Skills (LV15), Inject mana (LV11), Mining (LV4), Cooking (LV14), Sewing (LV6), Chanting (LV9), Blacksmithing (LV7), Hammer Skills (LV3), Intimidating Shout (LV1), Spear Skills (LV2), Dagger Skills (LV4)

I gained over 30 thousand experience points in the last week, crafting is an experience gold mine. I gained four new tier 1 skills and Intimidating Shout which is another tier2 skill. It’s scary how I gained so many weapon skill levels during that attack. Master said the more you challenge yourself the easier it is to level, but I don’t think I could do that again.

I should practice my Dagger Skills though. I have tomorrow off, and Sandra and brother are leaving in the morning. I should have plenty of time to practice my skills after they leave.

“I can’t believe brother is leaving.”

I don’t receive a response from the night as I fall asleep.



Waking up to the first rays of morning light, signals the start of a new day, the sunrise might even fill a certain kind of person with joy.

I curse mother who won’t let me hang curtains in my room. It’s a waste of materials she says, you won’t get up she says. She’s probably right about that second one.

Rolling out of bed, I change my clothes.

“Ahyt ls weem appiss!”

The mana fog clears away the oils my body produced while I was sleeping. With my hair completely clean, it becomes much easier to brush and tie up. Why couldn’t Del teach me this spell a week ago!

Refreshed and ready to go, I see mother and father waiting by the door.

“Morning mom, morning dad.”

Father responds, with his trademarked smile. While mom looks a little jealous.

“Sweety, are you able to cast that spell on me too? You shouldn’t be the only one who shines.”

“Sorry mom, I can’t change this spell. It’s designed to only work on the caster.”

“Oh well, had to try. Let’s go meet your brother. He stopped by while you were getting ready and told us to meet at the road leading out of the village.”

We walk in silence towards the village entrance. There is a cart loaded with supplies waiting to leave. Instead of a bivol pulling the cart as usual, the largest jelen from the coral is being used to draw the cart. They probably want to use the deer-horse instead of the mini-buffalo so they can reach the city faster.

As we approach, the headman’s family looks like they already said their goodbyes. Sandra and three armed guards are waiting next to the cart while Sandra’s father is whispering something in brothers’ ear.

Once we get closer, brother separates from Sandra’s father and greets us with a smile.

“Took you long enough to wake up little rabbit.”

“I didn’t think there was a reason for me to get up so early. A horrible carpenter is just leaving the village, and taking my friend with him. I came to say goodbye to Sandra.”

Trying to play it cool, I walk past brother trying not to let him see my tears. I can already hear some sobbing coming from behind me. I should leave my parents alone so they can send off their first child.

Noticing me walking to her, Sandra meets me half way, leaving the guards by the cart.

“You came to see me off? What about Richard?”

“He’s being smothered by our parents. If he’s still alive I’ll say goodbye after that. I hope you watch out for him when you reach Drey.”

“Of course, I will!” Sandra leans in to give me a big hug.

“I don’t know, you might not have the time, learning to throw spells everywhere.”

“You don’t have to worry, if he gets out of hand, he could help me with my aim.” Still hugging, we share a laugh.

“Looks like Richard is finished with your parents.” After Sandra warns me about Richard, she tightens her hug and whispers in my ear.

“Thank you for helping me finish that spell. Thanks to you and Del I’ll have a much easier time finding a good teacher.”

“You would have convinced a two-starred mage to take you as an apprentice without Master Del’s help.” I mumble, as she continues to whisper in my ear.

“Yes, Del did help me a lot. It’s funny, he told my father he left his home because he couldn’t use any magic. He seemed pretty mad he had to tell my father that so I would stop bothering him.”

She knew, about Del! And I said  all of those pointers came from Del!

“I hope you continue to practice your mana skills. If you continue to practice, I’ll teach you one of the spells I learn from my new master when I get back. We can have a proper magic discussion when I return.”

Letting go of me, Sandra turns and walks back to cart and her guards. Turning quickly, I make eye contact with Richard and hiss silently at him.

“Did she tell you she knew about my magic abilities?

“What? No! Don’t look at me I didn’t tell her; she must have figured it out on her own, she’s really smart you know. You don’t have to worry I don’t think she’ll tell anyone.”

“She is smart, and I hope you're right. She’s trustworthy, so it’s a good thing I asked her to look out for you in the city.”

“I bet she will. Are you going to miss me?”

Taking a step forward I embrace my brother.

“I’ll miss you every day. You better come back when you’re ready to marry the villages first mage.”

“I already promised her father I would do just that. I’ll level my skills and build her a mage's tower that we can get married on top of. We should be back in four or five years; you’ll have grown up by then. I can’t wait to see how ridiculously strong you are by the time I return.”

“Safe travels brother.”

“See you soon little rabbit.”

Watching him walk to the cart, I can’t help but smile and cry at the same time.

Mother and father appear beside me as Sandra and Richard board the cart. We wave at the cart as it continues to disappear into the distance. I’m saddened that I won’t be able to talk to Sandra for a while, but she and Richard will be back in no time.

As they disappear, the image of Richard and the perfectly clean Sandra glowing in the sunrise is etched into my mind.

Wait, perfectly clean!

I look down at myself, and realize I’m perfectly clean too. I couldn’t still be in perfect condition after sleeping all night and changing my clothes. I would have had to have Del recast the magic or do it myself.

Have Del recast it. That’s another flaw. If she learned the basics from Anastasia then she already knew the spell only works on the caster! The way she smiled after I confirmed the spell! If that didn’t confirm her suspicions, my cleanliness this morning sealed my fate.

Sandra must have noticed my appearance immediately. I blew my secret the day after I learned my first spell. Who knows maybe she’s known even longer than that?

Oh well.

All that matters is we’re going to have fun together when she comes back.

A note from kosnik4

One more thing, I changed the spell because my anagram was flawed so no one could figure it out even if they tried. If someone can figure this new one out my offer stands. You get bragging rights and the rite to name a major character I’m planning on introducing in a few chapters.

I still plan on using my final time skip next chapter, but I want to make it good, so I’m probably not going to release a chapter till late Sunday or early Monday. If your wondering about time zones, I live in California.

As always, stay safe.

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Bio: Just love a good story.

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