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A note from dotturndot

I changed the cover art-- no, it's the same, I merely rearranged it. What do you think>?

The sun in the sky, light poured in from the outside. A breeze brought dust to the air, scattering it like floating glitter.

Curtis raised his eyelids.

A cabin, the type that would normally be found on ships. Built mostly from wood, it had an unusually earthy feel to it.

Curtis could feel the soft sponginess of the bed. A wave of drowsiness washed over him. He wanted very much to ignore everything else and fall back to sleep.

But.

'What's that?'

There was a green creature making laps around the room. Noticing Curtis who woke up, it flew over. The creature in question, before Curtis had the chance to identify, had landed itself on his face as if a hug.

A turtle.

'Where am I? Hm? My clothes have changed too.'

Curtis lifted the small creature into the air. The baby turtle looked at him with its cute beady round reptilian eyes. Stretching its neck nonchalantly, its cute beak seemed to be aiming to chew his nose off. A sky turtle, the kind that had flippers. Curtis tried to confirm the species of the turtle whilst its flippers swung about in a flurry, trying to escape from his grip. This specific turtle somehow had coral growing on top of its shell like a mini coral reef.

Nib. It succeeded.

"Ow."

"Oh, Your awake," a gentle voice spoke. After releasing the turtle, Curtis noticed the woman sitting at the chair beside the bed. She placed the book she had been reading on the table.

"Who are you?" between 'where am I' and 'who are you,' Curtis chose the latter.

"Claudia," Her olive eyes were calm and bright. She had dusky purple hair, an odd iridescent gleam to it. Her amiable face had a slightly tanned appearance, "First, I would like to apologize for the trouble we've caused, I know you must have a lot of questions right now so— ask away."

If it weren't for her gentle voice and the fact that his body was really weak, Curtis would've chosen to blow up the whole cabin.

Having asked a few questions, Curtis came to realize that all that had happened was part of a big misunderstanding. It wasn't that Curtis had been kidnapped, rather, he was merely a potential candidate to join their party they call 'Legion'.

On a side note, the origin of the party name came from a guy named Dominic. It started as a joke until eventually, they became accustomed to it.

In short, a random name.

The Legion party had two leaders, Claudia and Hermit. It was a split party, not their main. Darwin, previously being the leader of the main group, was supposedly busy with other matters. Thus, why the party needed to be split into two.

{Darwin was Claudia's master and the master of all other members of the party.}

Regarding the misunderstanding on Ellis end....

Tia was put in charge of explaining the situation.

Also, the impetus that caused the misunderstanding? A bet had been placed among the Legion party members over whether or not Curtis was a threat. Actually, the bet only involved two people, Dominic and Seth, the dagger user that attacked Ellis last night—

"It wasn't yesterday night?"

"You slept the entire day yesterday."

"So I've been out for two days?"

"Something like that," Claudia nodded apologetically. "I think we had accidentally used sleeping powder in excess."

They had knocked Curtis out by the use of sleeping powder? Where in the world did they acquire something like that?

The baby turtle swirled above their heads throughout the conversation.

"Why me? Why am I a potential candidate?"

"Well— Tia said you're just like Darwin. An unorthodox mage."

The bet between Seth and Dominic in determining whether or not Curtis was a hostile person came to be because the Legion party had encountered talented mages like Curtis, and they weren't too friendly. Their bet was a sort of precautionary measure. Though, Claudis herself felt that this precautionary measure Dominic explained made no sense.

"Unorthodox mage?"

"Yup, just like Darwin," Claudia reminisced. "Mages that have extreme abilities, although, Seth said you didn't even use magic."

So they had yet to confirm Curtis' identity as an unorthodox mage. The sudden appearance of knights had forced Claudia and the group to take drastic measures, drugging Curtis and then snatching him up conveniently. If the knights didn't appear back then, the test would've been following their plan. Nobody would've been harmed and the misunderstanding would've been avoided, though..

"Then why didn't you take Ellis together?" wanting Ellis to be kidnapped wasn't something Curtis should wish for.

"I'm not too sure myself, she was also being tested in one way or the other, not intentionally like your's of course," Claudia saw the door half-open. Someone was peeking. "Anyways, how about breakfast?"

One could tell the ship was massive from the sheer size of the interior. Guilty to confess was the fact that this skyship felt many times better than travelling on Whaley. The biggest issue to this mode of transport was the cost. Skyships depended on the levitation (wind magic) and propulsion system that demanded the consumption of a lot of mana crystals, equals burning money. The cost of buying the ship was itself another issue. Most skyships were made of wood, with the skeletal structure being steel, but some parts of this current sky ship Curtis was seeing had structures reinforced with gryostones. Not to mention the bronze plates seen used for certain parts of the hull interior. They were components that served an almost aesthetical purpose..

The air in the corridor glimmered.

This place was seriously dusty.

At one of the support beams, Curtis looked up.

"!!!"

Zephyr sensing caught onto her. Curtis' mana was under crawling-speed recovery, but he was fine using spells in moderation.

"Seth, come down and apologize," Claudia sounded like a mom.

Seth jumped, landing without a sound. She then looked at Curtis, "Sorry," Though her facial expression remained stiff, her apology felt genuine.

This was Seth. She had short blonde hair, a slightly reserved bob-cut where her hair covered her ears. Her eyes were silver-violet. She had a small stature a little taller than Tia. Bluntly speaking, she had a lissom body but a flat chest.

"Hey, look who's here," from a doorway to the side of the corridor, a certain person called out.

"This is Dominic, the guy who cracks jokes every now and then that you need to ignore. He's the party clown."

Dominic was a guy with unkempt, curly blue-black hair having a natural flow to it. His passive blue eyes gave off a sense of likability. He had a sharp nose, and stubs were growing on his chin. Seemed like a decent person.

Raising both his hands in the air, "My fault, sorry," had a weird smile on his face, his brows curved upwards, "Had you sniffed too many drugs back then."

Curtis shook his head helplessly at Dominic's joke, "No, the reason why I slept so long was because of a different reason," — mana exertion.

When Dominic heard that, his eyebrows wiggled and he didn't question further. All Dominic knew was that this guy named Curtis definitely took too much drug to become this uninformed. Dominic didn't know that he was the true ignorant lass though.

"Breakfast is ready," this familiar voice— Hermit. "Morning." he turned to look behind and greeted Curtis with that same smile of his.

"Morning," Curtis wondered if he was seeing wrong. To be 'kidnapped' two days ago, yet here he was now, talking about breakfast?

Peeking into the galley, Curtis saw another person with dark blue hair, grey eyes and a suave face. Narrow chin, small eyes, an air of confidence. His looks could compare to Will.

He raised his hands, "Nice to meet you, I'm Mikhael."

Curtis nodded, "I'm Curtis. Nice to meet you too."

Mikhael remained in his seat, Dominic was whispering something to Claudia, Seth giving the two a silent stare. Yet, Hermit was the only one preparing breakfast.

"Let me help," Curtis walked over and saw the clean plates stacked orderly beside the sink, "I'll go arrange these."

Hermit smiled, "Thank you," the scent of stir-fried fish meat filled the kitchen. In a pan, cubes of meat were being tossed around together with strips of what seemed to be colourful bell peppers.

Other dishes he made included, mixed vegetable, a pot of clear clam soup, stir-fried mushroom and fish stuffed in gourd slices. There was this sense of connection between the party members as they chatted about— like family. Seeing the food, Curtis was reminded of the dishes his mother, Alyna would make.

"Thank you for the food." In unison, they gave thanks, except Curtis.

He felt guilty.

'This is familiar.. to give thanks before a meal but, something was off?'

"Ah, you'll get used to it," Claudia, who saw Curtis in a dumbfounded state, said. "It's our normal practice before every meal."

Curtis nodded and gave his thanks. "Thank you for the food," when Curtis finished saying that, he felt mana flowing out of him in an unexplained manner as if a natural part of how this ritual worked. The dishes on the table glittered in blue light.

"No way," Dominic opened his eyes wide at his food. Lowering his face, his eyes hovered two inches above the rice. From this distance, how was it that the steam wasn't getting to him? "You really are the one."

Everyone else blinked at Curtis.

Curtis didn't understand what had happened, a little stunned himself.

Mikhael shook his head, Hermit gave a gentle smile.

Seth acted indifferent as always, Claudia blinked again.

Curtis wasn't given any explanations as to what had happened. They continued breakfast with unanswered questions tickling their minds.

Daylight seeped into the room from the windows. Shelves with wooden antiques and glazed pottery were arranged at one corner where the shadows loomed. The air in the galley didn't glitter, which meant that the kitchen was relatively un-dusty.

"Someone forgot the olive," Seth spoke, with a pout on her face, "I'll get it," she strode over to the refrigerator and took out a container of an unknown black substance.

Curtis had to look at it a few times.

"It's olive fermented in soy sauce, sugar and salt, a kind of paste."

"It has the look of poo but tastes amazingly delicious p.." Dominic got a fist to his head by Seth.

"Rude," to Seth, this blackish-brown food item had to be respected.

"Cinnamon, say ahh," Claudia dangled a piece of seaweed in front Cinnamon, the food cutely entered its mouth. Cinnamon nommed on it as it went twirling around the place.

"Try some," Mikhael was kind enough to help Curtis to a small serving of the unusual black olive paste.

"Thanks," Curtis found the smell a little stinging, and weird. Mixing it with rice, he had a taste test. The words leaked out of his mouth almost automatically, "Delicious."

The entire group blinked at him again.

"What?"

"No, I was just thinking that most people wouldn't think it was delicious when they tried it for the first time. I thought you would need some time to get accustomed to the taste.. It's like kimchi. For those who have never eaten it, they wouldn't understand how delicious it is..." trailing away, Claudia just noticed that she had mentioned a food item Curtis had probably never heard of. Yet, he looked as if unperturbed by the word 'kimchi'?

"Is that so…" looking down at the black olive paste left on his plate.

"Hey~ Curtis, are you an elf?"

Gazes shot at Dominic from 4 directions, silence befell upon the kitchen.

"Elf?"

Mikhael folded his arm, leaving his spoon on the plate, "It's too late to hide it now."

"Since this blockhead made a verbal slip," Seth, adding to Michaels remark.

"I'm pretty sure we can just determine it by checking his ear."

'Ear??'

"Curtis," Hermit asked, "Do you mind?"

"What do you mean by that?" Curtis shifted his seat backwards in retreat.

Hermit got up, "Elves live among us humans. The reason why we determine them by the ear is that they use illusionary magic to alter its appearance. As you know, elves have pointed ears."

"So, if I have pointed ears then I'm an elf?" had Curtis never paid attention to his ears before? He didn't even know illusionary magic could be used in this way, and it wasn't like he remembered casting such a spell on himself before either. "My ears feel— normal?" there wasn't any odd, pointy shape to it?

Just a regular ear.

"Now," a sinister voice appeared behind Curtis all of a sudden, Dominic disappeared from his seat, dust blowing up from the ground. A very creepy grin stretched across his face.

His hand lurched forward.

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A note from dotturndot

...I wonder how far I can go with this novel. Honestly, I've been slacking and stuff-- I don't know how to get around my migraine issue. It sucks, and because of it, I had to miss out on a few hours of writing this week. I only got 5000 words down, and it's merely the draft... yeah, I'm sure everyone has their struggles, I'm no different.


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