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A note from dotturndot

I'll give ya a hint-- it's in the title.

Curtis proceeded until he landed on the last page, empty—not. There was a flash of nostalgia he had not felt in a long time when he looked to that page. It wasn't empty, there was actually something written in there, something that didn't relate to magic in the slightest. How long had it been since Curtis had seen those words—

"I love you," burnt diagonally at the bottom right corner. The beautiful calligraphy and perfect taper of each word, as if it was written with pure passion. The fiery lacerations of the words, etched into the page had already turned rusty red at the edges.

'Who wrote this?'

A wave of emotions surged over Curtis, pain, sorrow, despair, hope, motivation, purpose. It all appeared in an instant, and just like a receding tide, it was gone—replaced by a monotonous, flat feeling of nothingness.

Curtis' face went blank.

Actually, his face went blank because that's just how he was when he was thinking deeply.

And those feelings, the bitterness and sorrow—they were all made up. Rather... it was created together with Ruth. A redolent phrase that brought him back to some funny conversations they had when they were younger.

Perhaps, Ruth was a fan of romance back then.

This was a spellbook from his dad wasn't it?

Ruth told him all sorts of crazy stories about the legend of his spellbook. Remembering once that she said it could disappear and reappear, or glow in a beautiful gold light.

Curtis was thinking too hard.

Why?

Because he didn't know—

How did he learn magic?

Where did his dad get this spellbook form?

Why was there a confession hidden at the last page of the book?

Why were there indecipherable repertoires in the last few pages and not in the front?

Why did he only question about it now?

Curtis brushes those three words with the tip of his index finger.

Ellis?

Curtis naturally looked up at the usual spot Ellis would sit. She wasn't there. These word naturally didn't belong to her.

There appeared a fuzziness that clouded his mind.

What kind of spell would do her good?

What spell would fit well with her purple sword?

His mind deviated away to other things as if an emergency fuse a inside his brain had been blown. Though, he himself didn't notice this point. His consciousness flowed away from those words—towards something else.

He placed his spellbook aside, saturated in thought and started ravaging through repertoires, specifically, wind magic ones.

Transcription. This was a method of carving 'notes' directly into a gryostone, not necessarily fusion crystals. Depending on what was being transcribed, the products would differ. Ellis' {Wind Blades}, {Sharpness} and {Wind compression burst} enchantments were from the effects of the transcriptions hidden inside the fusion crystal. Too bad there were only a few spells at her disposal. With the fusion crystal prototype that was being created, Curtis was hoping that maybe Ellis could become a sword magician. Giving her unparalleled flexibility in casting wind elemental spells.

Ellis was good when it came to fighting creatures, but against other human beings, her spells were too destructive; difficult to properly utilized in a fight against wits. So he took the {Sharpness} enchant and inverted the spell.

Curtis would still have to consult Ellis on this. To properly utilize an externally assisted spell using a transcribed fusion crystal wasn't a simple task. Most people with physically enhanced talents had not the slightest clue when it came to evocation of magic. They too posses mana similar to individuals with magic talents, though it was minuscule, to the point where not even the most basic of spells could be casted. Nevertheless, this minuscule amount of mana was the trigger and key to the activation of the fusion crystal. Even then, they would then have to learn the spell, being no different than starting from scratch. With rare instances of actually putting into practice casting spells, it was no different than telling a beginner to play Beethoven pieces without proper fundamentals in place.

Basically speaking, Ellis had put a in lot of effort to master just those few spells. And currently, she still had her hands tied with the prototype spells Curtis was creating. Comparing it to her previous efforts, it would be an absolute pain to learn.

What was he thinking about again?

Right. He'll have to ask Ruth about his spellbook. Maybe she could remember who wrote those words.

From the corner of a shelf, three people were peeping at Curtis, who was dazed in his thoughts.

"Curtis is here."

"Should we ask him?"

"I wonder what he's doing, I thought he would be practicing by now."

"Who will go?"

"I'll go."

Cordelia trotted towards Curtis, standing right in front of him. He was still entranced with the book, totally unaware of the person presently in front. Cordelia shot a hopeless look to Kelp and Merlin.

Curtis was too absorbed with the book. He had simply paid no attention to her beautiful existence.

Kelp and Merlin took two steps.

Curtis raised his head and looked at the two. Kelp who had short kemp black hair, slightly green from the polarized reflection. His hair was natural, not combed, but had a neat and tidy feel to it.

Merlin, had blonde hair, combed to a sharp right. His face exuded an air of nobility, coupled together with the few freckles on his face. His hair was slightly longer than Kelp's.

Cordelia's brows twitched.

Only then did Curtis' follow up to look at Cordelia.

"Yes? Anything?"

Kelp and Merlin turned to each other and broke into a laugh, a quiet one of course. They were in the library after all.

Cordelia looked at them with deadpan eyes.

"I did notice that you stood there. I was just trying to finish a sentence," Curtis confessed.

"Did you really.." Cordelia still held a hopeless expression.

"Ellis would be the one to normally not notice right?"

"..."

"Speaking of which. Where's Ellis?" Kelp asked.

"She's out with the princess," Curtis didn't think it would be convincing, either way, a wryly smile appeared on his face.

"Princess? You mean the princess who arrived yesterday?" Merlin seemed to know something.

"How come? How did Ellis even.."

"Princess? Was that why the bell rang four times?"

"Basically, it was the princess who found us, not the other way around. Her name is prin... Louise. Her name is Louise," Curtis remembered how Louise told him and Ellis to address her in that way. Curtis honestly didn't want to be called a 'sir' again, ever.

"You even know her name?!" Merlin was from a noble family, somewhat close to the people within the inner cliques of the community. This sort of information was something he could easily attain just from listening to mindless gossips from other nobles. In short, he was a eves-dropping pro.

"Just ignore that, what are you three here for?"

"What do you mean. Did you actually meet the princess? But how?"Cordelia exclaimed in disbelief. Drumming her fingers on the table.

"I thought they don't mix with normal commoners?" Kelp was in doubt.

"Have you forgot about me?" Merlin rolled his eyes.

""Right—""

Curtis sat there as the three had a moment of silence.

"Oh, I almost forgot. Curtis, could you help us with a little something?" Cordelia broke the silence.

"A spell," Kelp added. "Even I couldn't properly grasp it."

"A spell? Sure, I was just about to go down for practice. I guess I'll wrap up here," Curtis was referring to the books stacked on top on the table. The notes he made on his scrap paper and— his open spellbook.

"What's that?" Cordelia's sharp nose sniffed something suspicious as her eyes stared at the last page of Curtis' spellbook.

Curtis quickly leaned over and close it shut. "Nothing."

"I saw that too, a glimpse of it. I think there was the word 'love' written."

"'I love you?', was that what it was?"

Curtis returned the books to their respective shelves using wind magic; one of them was placed inside his sling bag. The three were still gossiping.

"So where's the spell?" Curtis followed them down the stairs, made of beautiful gloss marble steps with varnished wooden beams, handles laced with golden foil.

"We left it on the table in the hall."

"Curtis, are you hiding something?"

"That thing you saw in my spellbook?"

"Obviously,"

"Must be Ellis' doing," Merlin jumped to that conclusion.

"Ellis doesn't write in calligraphy," Curtis intercepted.

The trios stopped and glanced at Curtis. Their eyes glowing in wide astonishment.

"I have no idea how it ended up there, honestly," Curtis had a sincerely look on his face. Whether or not it was effectively, he would let the trio decide.

"Someone snuck it in there, must be someone.." Merlin shuddered, "That can't be..."

"What? What?"

"The Princess?", added on top of that was: Curtis addressing the princess directly by name.

"I don't think so. She hadn't even touched my spellbook," Curtis retorted.

"Then?"

"I'm sure of it! Most of the people that I know are forced to learn cursive writing!"

"Curtis, are you having an affair?" Cordelia joked.

"That's harsh."

"Merlin, I don't think you can write in cursive form."

"I wonder that myself," Curtis murmured.

"Really?"

"I can!"

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A note from dotturndot

I wonder if this 'mystery' is going well for you readers? In my opinion, I think I've  made it super-duper confusing. Curtis's backstory is like--complicated with an: Opps.


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dotturndot

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