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The difference between Miguela’s tiny room provided while she was training to her spacious scryer’s accommodations was like night and day. Her new chambers were about three times as large, with a proper bed and a standing closet. Despite coming from a well-off family, Miguela felt a sense of accomplishment from what she had achieved so far. She looked forward to making history and building her legacy as a scryer for the Five Kingdoms.

Sitting on the edge of her bed, she brushed her hair and daydreamed about her next assignment. The shrill chime of her clock jolted her from her reverie. She’d lost track of time and needed to get to the canteen to meet her partner for breakfast. She jumped up and rushed out the door. She didn’t want to be seen running down the hall, so she walked briskly, hoping that Caecilia would not be upset that she was late.

When she arrived at the canteen, she found Caecilia, her assigned partner, sitting at a table with a pot of tea and a plate of sticky buns. Caecilia was a Ramon Lady and a skilled healer who understood the basics of scrying even though she couldn’t cast the requisite spells herself. Most importantly, though, Caecilia was someone whose company Miguela immensely enjoyed.

“I was beginning to think that I was going to have to eat all of these buns by myself,” Caecilia said as Miguela approached the table.

Miguela smiled. “I lost track of time. I am sorry,” Miguela said, sitting in a chair next to Caecilia.

The plump Ramon Lady waved her thick hands in a dismissive gesture. “Tea?” Caecilia asked, pouring a cup before Miguela could reply.

Miguela nodded as she took the cup in both hands. They sat in silence, drinking tea and picking at sticky buns. It was one of the aspects Miguela appreciated about their relationship. They could be around one another without feeling the need to produce inane chatter to fill the silence. It was refreshing.

Miguela took a closer look at Caecilia, wondering if the two of them would have been friends had they met outside of their scrying posts. Their social statuses were not far off from one another. Miguela was the daughter of a prosperous merchant, and Caecilia was the daughter of a minor Ramon noble. Miguela could imagine meeting Caecilia at some formal function conversing over drinks and hitting it off. Caecilia looked like most Ramon nobles -- heavyset and olive-skinned. Her dark-brown hair was tied into two buns above her ears, and she wore a low-cut blouse that displayed her ample bosom -- her assets as she often called them.

“So why do you think they have us doing what we are doing?” Miguela asked, breaking their comfortable silence.

Caecilia plopped another piece of bun in her mouth before answering. “Besides that, it’s a groundbreaking feat of magik?”

“It is an amazing, uncharted venture, but there seems to be a lot of resources behind this. I can’t fathom that the Five Kingdoms would create such facilities on a whim that this magik will work out as planned,” Miguela answered.

Caecilia nodded. “My father believes they want to keep an eye on the Warlord of Warlords and to make sure the Grang were not doing any funny business,” Caecilia explained.

Miguela had to admit that scrying would be a powerful tool to keep an eye on the Grang, but she would be disappointed if that was the only reason they were scrying.

“The Grang are our allies,” Miguela started.

Caecilia raised her hands, palms out, and said, “Oh, I know. It is just what daddy believes. I am sure the Warlord of Warlords is not up to anything purposely malicious.”

Caecilia’s tone was not very convincing, but considering the history between the Ramons and the Grang, Miguela supposed it was natural to feel uneasy about the Warlord of Warlords leading the combined military forces of the Five Kingdoms into the Wildlands. The two sat in silence again, sipping on tea. After a few moments went by, Miguela spoke again.

“What do you think about Archmage Belvi? He is quite young to be the head of an operation so vast and experimental.”

Caecilia gave her a sly look. “I don’t know about young, but I do know he is too pretty to be in charge of anything.”

The two shared a chuckle at Caecilia’s quip.

“Seriously, the Archmage is a brilliant magikian and is not quite as young as he looks. He is a military veteran who served a brief stint during the Grang Wars before being honorably discharged,” Caecilia added.

Suddenly, Caecilia gasped, making Miguela jump in her seat.

“You are not carrying a torch for Archmage Belvi, are you?” Caecilia asked in a near-whisper, leaning towards Miguela. It took a moment for Miguela to figure out what Caecilia was inferring.

“Oh, gods, no! I was only curious,” she said defensively. Caecilia smiled and gave her a look that told Miguela that the Ramon did not believe her. The exchange brought another fit of laughter between the two. Caecilia ordered another pot of tea, and the two continued to chat about what life as scryers meant for them and their futures. Miguela was unsure how much time went by, but she assumed it was about noon when Archmage Belvi approached their table. Today, he wore bright red robes that had yellow and orange borders.

“Good afternoon, ladies,” he greeted and waited until they returned his greetings before continuing.

“I am pleased to see that you are getting along well. Are you feeling better, Scryer Miguela?”

Miguela assumed he was referring to her first scrying.

“Yes, I feel wonderful. The first night was difficult, but after that, I did not have any problems,” she answered. Difficult was a bit of an understatement. That first night, she hadn’t been able to distinguish which memories belonged to her and which belonged to the life of infantry soldier Alec Suto. She remembered his first kiss, his first heartbreak, and how he felt betraying his father by leaving in the dead of night to join the military. She’d been sure that the events of Alec Suto’s life had happened to her even though they conflicted with her true memories. The results were her sobbing uncontrollably, thinking that she had gone mad. But she believed that she was better equipped to handle the after-memories now.

“Yes, it can be overwhelming at first, but somehow one gets used to it,” Archmage Belvi replied. “That brings me to the reason I searched you two out. It is time for your first official assignment as scryers. The assignment is a fairly straightforward one. One of the scrying project’s biggest supporters, Maximus Cato, would like to know the true fate of his bastard son. Maximus Cato was instrumental in getting the project, so I would like to do this for him. I also believe that it would be a great first solo scry for the both of you as a team.”

They nodded at the orders. Archmage Belvi appeared satisfied with their responses because he turned to leave before looking over his shoulder. “Report to scrying room seven in the morning and get a good night’s rest. Oh, and Scryer Caecilia, I am counting on you to keep Scryer Miguela out of harm’s way.”

They watched the Archmage leave. Caecilia lightly punched Miguela in the arm when he was out of sight.

“Hey! What was that for?” Miguela asked.

Caecilia did not say anything. Instead, she just looked at Miguela with a sly smile that brought another fit of laughter from them. Caecilia was correct about one thing she said earlier. The Archmage was indeed too handsome to be in charge.

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A note from CKJ5

If you like what you are reading, you can find more epic adventures in the Five Kingdoms universe on Amazon:

Book 1: Scourge of the Five Kingdoms

link: https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B09VK3JZ8V

Book 2: Dogma of the Five Kingdoms

link: https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B09VKC3TRR


About the author

CKJ5

  • Tokyo, Japan

Bio: Charles K. Jordan was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. He attended university in his home state, as well, where he studied Information Technology. After graduating, he decided to move abroad to experience more than what he had seen in the United States. He found his way to Japan in 2003, and since then, he has called Japan home.

Charles K. Jordan was always drawn to fantasy, sci-fi, and adventure. When he was a young child, the first novel he read was Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery by Deborah and James Howe, and from that point, he was hooked. Since then, he has found inspiration and heroes from various writers in all forms of media. Some of his heroes include Robert Jordan, J.K. Rowling, George R.R. Martin, Quentin Tarantino, Terence Winter, Garth Ennis, and Glen Cook, just to name a few. Ever since that fateful day that led him to pick up Bunnicula, he knew his calling in life would be to create and hopefully contribute to someone’s growth and dreams.

Charles K. Jordan vowed to himself that no matter what happened in his life. He would never stop dreaming, writing, and creating.

The Five Kingdoms of Cordizal series available on Amazon:

Book 1: Scourge of the Five Kingdoms

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09VK3JZ8V

Book 2: Dogma of the Five Kingdoms

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09VKC3TRR

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