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James Hiwatari

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About James Hiwatari

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  • Age in Years
    24
  • Gender
    Male
  • Sexuality
    Bisexual, leaning male
  • Favorite Genres
    Fantasy
  • Location
    Glasgow, UK
  • Interests
    I write stories, draw my characters, and compose/perform music for them. I like languages. And messing with people's expectations makes my day, particularly when it comes to gender-related stuff.

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  1. So the work that has started Tuesday is not over yet. It has taken most of my waking hours since Tuesday, so even though it'll be over by tomorrow morning (I'll likely be awake for most of tonight to get there), I'm completely dead in all possible ways. 

     

    I'm going to postpone FOHT until next Tuesday (basically skip a week of posting) because I'll need a lot of time to rest after this thing. It's easier to keep to a schedule that's already there than try to post a chapter on Saturday and another soon after.

     

    The Orchestra's chapter will also be delayed for a week, so you'll have it on 1st December.  

     

  2. I spent my day working on some urgent work for an asylum seeker, and tomorrow I'll have to do the same. This means this week's FOHT chapter will have to be postponed until Thursday.

    (At least this time I'm warning people... I guess I'm getting the hang of it?) :D

     

  3. ‘Who is Alana?’ I asked Kris at some point when we were both bored in the dark waiting for the diary to shine on Lydia’s answer. ‘Friend. Dead.’ He passed his finger through his neck to make the point. ‘Sorry.’ ‘No. I.’ He did the same gesture again. ‘You’re dead?’ ‘No. I.’ He repeated the gesture again, this time with urgency and anger. ‘You will die?’ ‘No! I!’ He pointed to his own chest, then made a fist with his hand and pretended to hit me. What a great time for my telepathic powers to abandon me. ‘You… you killed Alana?’ Kris looked at me like he didn’t understand the word I had just used (which made sense, because if he knew how to say “kill” he would’ve done so from the start and saved us a lot of wild gesturing), so I pointed to him, repeated the “kill” gesture with the punch, and said Alana’s name. He nodded. I never expected to feel reassured when someone confessed to murder to me, particularly when I was alone with that someone in an enclosed space. But I didn’t need more exasperated gestures to know that Kris and I were in the same branch of the dying tree, that he was as much guilty of Alana’s death as I was of Morumpi’s. It was my turn to hug him and comfort him and tell him it was all right. For the first time, I thought I understood Kris. I got why he was there, why he had risked everything in his attempt to rescue me from Zhofie even though we barely knew each other. (And that was before I knew who Alana actually was. Once I did… well, you can imagine how I felt.) Our rescue party cut our bonding moment short with an update on their plans. Lydia was digging a tunnel to take her, Unn and Lóránt directly to our underground cell and get us out before Zhofie realised we were gone. I was so happy to know that freedom was just a few hours away that it pushed Kris’s confession right out of my mind. The happiness didn’t last, though: Zhofie appeared in the basement and took Kris and I back to the surface as soon as Unn had finished writing to us. (By “take us back to the surface” I mean “summoned ropes out of nowhere to bind our hands behind our backs and tie our feet together” and “made us walk forward with the force of her mind”.) We emerged from the dark basement to a bright kitchen that blinded me with its artificial lights. I hadn’t seen any light other than the diary for so long that my eyes couldn’t interpret it anymore. By the time I got used to brightness again, Zhofie’s binding spell had moved us to the living room. ‘Now you stay quiet while I summon the Nekovar Tesarik.’ Zhofie had us sit on the hideous black couch (so hard on the bum the cushions could’ve been made of stone) and I felt my lips glue together. I looked at Kris trying to ask what was going on and who those Nekovar Tesarik were without opening my mouth, but he was too busy glaring daggers at Zhofie to notice me. When I looked at Zhofie again, I realised she had my diary in her hands. She threw it on the ground in front of us (I feared for the diary’s physical integrity. It was already falling apart even without suffering such violence). It opened at Unn’s latest writing, but the page turned over into a blank one. ‘I call forth the true owner of this diary! Hereweald, I have the prisoners you asked of me! Come fulfill your side of the deal before I lose patience and take care of them myself!’ The floor around the diary glowed in the same ominous purple that had surrounded Unn at the spell-casting session. Next to me, Kris tried desperately to move away, but he was glued to the chair too. A mass of shiny blond hair in an elaborate hairdo and a pair of curled golden horns emerged from the yellowed pages of the diary, followed by a pale-skinned head of a woman with deadly eyes and blood-red lips. The rest of the body followed in a slow and agonising “birth” scene (though with none of the mess or bodily fluids). The woman wore a festive red dress that matched her lips. Her hands and arms were covered to the elbow in silky black gloves. She looked at Zhofie and smiled with her pointy teeth in proud display. Zhofie, however, did not return the greeting. ‘You’re not Hereweald!’ ‘Daddy is too busy for such an insignificant errand. He has a war to win, you know?’ The woman roller her eyes, like she didn’t want to be there either. Kris’s face became even paler. I feared he would faint and leave me alone with the demons. ‘Hi, little brother! It’s been such a long time! I hope Daddy will let me torture you before your execution!’ Kris’s lips were still glued shut, so all he could do was turn the consonant-heavy demon language into a stream of panicked vowels. (I understood all the conversation because the demons wanted me to. Their magic made me interpret their words as Fadalesh, but, like before, I could still hear the consonantal hiss of their true language in the background, like those poorly dubbed documentaries on TV.) ‘We had a deal!’ Zhofie stomped her foot so strongly on the floorboards that I felt the aftershock. ‘The runaway son, the sacrificial fairy, and their other bratty friends in exchange for my freedom! How dare he not show up and do his part of the deal?’ ‘You’re too angry for someone who also failed on her part. I can only see two brats here. Where are the others?’ ‘They’ll be here any minute now! I need those damn bracelets off before that, or the angel might get a chance in a fight!’ ‘It’s not our business if you’re not strong enough to fulfil your promise.’ The woman ran her tongue over her pointy front teeth. ‘That said, I really miss my dear baby brother. We could spend some bonding time together while we wait for the others. When everyone is here, I’ll call Daddy and he’ll do what you want once we’ve taken all the captives.’ ‘You better follow through with your word!’ ‘Or what? You’re the one with power-limiters. You should be glad we’re even considering helping you out instead of just taking what we want.’ The woman flashed her teeth at Zhofie again, then turned her attention to us. ‘So, my dear brother, let’s see how Daisen has been treating you. I have to say I’m also curious about that fairy… how much does she resemble her father, do you think?’ The mouth-gluing spell was removed from Kris just as he was in the middle of a vowel-only tirade, but he didn’t seem to care that he was suddenly able to speak normal words again. Thanks to the language spell put in the room, this was the first time I understood him in his full eloquence. ‘You leave Nessa out of this! Come fight me if that’s what you want! I have nothing to lose anymore!’ ‘No, you don’t. Which is why it’ll be fun to see how long you can stand my little torture before you’re begging to die. It’ll be just like when we were kids!’ ‘I’ll end my own life before I beg you to!’ ‘Aww, listen to him!’ The woman looked at me and Zhofie as if she really expected us join their conversation. Zhofie scowled, but I was too scared to do anything other than stare and hope Lóránt and the others would arrive sooner than the demons expected. ‘Little Kris is putting on a brave face! You don’t even have your horns anymore, how do you expect to resist me?’ ‘He broke my mind control on the fairy. I’m sure he’ll find a way.’ The woman turned to Zhofie. ‘I didn’t ask your opinion. Of course he broke your mind control, you’re so weak now you’re a disgrace to real demons! This is not the first fairy my dear brother frees either. He’s getting too good at it.’ ‘I’ll free everyone as soon as I get the chance! They’ll rise against Father and destroy all of you!’ The woman rolled her eyes. ‘Of course you will.’ She raised her hand, and half a dozen metal spikes shot out from it and sank on Kris’s face. I screamed through my closed mouth. Kris fell back on the couch with the force of the impact, but he didn’t make a sound or lose consciousness even with the spikes half-buried onto his skin. He shook them out of his face like they were particles of dust. Blood poured out of his wounds, over his right eye, dripping down his chin into his trousers, but he didn’t seem to care. He sat back up as if nothing had happened. ‘Is that all you got? You’ve gone soft since last time.’ ‘Who said I’m done? You’ll be here for a while, better get comfortable.’ The woman rose her hand with the palm facing up. Vines emerged from the floor and twisted themselves around Kris’s legs. or at least I thought they were vines. They were actually barbed wire, which I realised once they started creeping up my legs too. I didn’t have your mother’s impossible self-control, so I screamed and cried and begged the woman to stop through my sealed lips. The barbed wired attached itself to my skin like it was made of thousands of leeches, if leeches had razor-sharp teeth capable of cutting through skin, fat, muscle and bone. Surely it would be a matter of seconds before those wires mangled my legs beyond recognition. ‘Don’t fall for it, Nessa! The pain is in your head! Look at your legs!’ Kris’s blood-covered face made him look even scarier than his sister or Zhofie. I couldn’t pay attention to his words when I all I could focus on were the blood drops flying out of his mouth as he spoke. But then the magically-intelligible Fadalesh became ugly consonant clashes again, and I realised one of the demons must have stopped the translation spell. They didn’t want Kris communicating with me. Which meant whatever he said must have been true and important. I looked at my legs. The barbed wire was too close to my waist. The pain was unbearable. But where I expected to see huge thorns embedding themselves deep in my skin, I saw only tiny prickles smaller than a rose thorn. The pain was in my head. Those demons were messing with my mind. The tiny prickles couldn’t hurt me, much less mangle my legs. In a way, your mother’s first words to me saved my sanity. It also made me wonder whether the blood and wounds on Kris’s face were some type of illusion too. I hoped this was what made him able to ignore them so easily. Unfortunately, it was all real. Kris’s childhood with his siblings gave him a ridiculously high pain tolerance. You can see how. The demon’s next trick was no illusion, either. Kris’s body levitated from the couch, now completely immobilised by the barbed wire, and crashed against the ceiling. Chunks of plaster fell all over us, but I didn’t hear him scream. His body swung in the air again, this time hitting the wall behind us. The wall in front of us. Back and forth until every bit of Kris’s skin was covered in the red of his blood. The two demons laughed. Cheered every time Kris’s body made contact with the wall and dislodged chunks of plaster. I couldn’t see how he would still be alive after all this, and the demons cheered when I started to cry. The door to the living room burst open. Lóránt marched in, their body emitting a warm light that made all the dust, earth chunks and earthworms that now covered them all the more obvious. Lóránt pointed to Kris, and his body floated gracefully down to the floor next to me. The angel and the demons didn’t waste time with words. They charged forward, flashy powers already on hand.
  4. Thanks! Alana is Kris's friend, and... something more... But you'll have to wait and see what that something more is (or try to guess!) We'll find out Lóránt's fate eventually. Nessa wouldn't let us wondering forever... but after this fight it might take a while. It all depends on how and if Nessa escapes kidnapping. Nessa will keep writing to her son until she covers 23 years of her life in this book, or her son's 20th birthday comes around - whichever comes first. So you'll still have plenty of story to enjoy.
  5. Kris has been giving some hints that he's not all "ant-social lone wolf", though the communication barriers with Nessa usually get on the way of showing it. Also being in this kind of situation either brings out your best or your worst, and fortunately for Nessa, Kris is showing off his best.
  6. Mind control is an art of subtlety, so I’m glad neither you nor your siblings have an affinity to it. All the time that Zhofie was technically in control of my mind… it didn’t feel like it. I didn’t hear voices telling me to do this or that, urging me to make bad choices. I genuinely believed whatever I was about to do had been my own decision. I don’t remember much of it now, though, and not only because it’s been 23 years since. It’s part of the spell’s nature to forget whatever the caster doesn’t want you to remember. That said, I’m actually glad I don’t have those memories. I don’t want to know how I got inside Zhofie’s house, past the guard dogs from hell and the pool of red boiling water. I don’t want to remember what it was like to be alone in a dark basement, cold and hungry and thirsty and desperate for any form of company. All I remember is that suddenly someone was calling my name, urging me to answer. It was like being pulled from a dream. The world came back to focus and I was staring at Kris’s face. His frown of intense concentration gave way to a wide smile when he realised I was back, and he hugged me so tightly my ribs screamed in pain. ‘Nessa! You here!’ I knew even then he wanted to say so much more, but he didn’t have the words. He kept touching every part of me he could reach, pinching my arms to make sure I was real. Having just woken up from a trance, I was more confused than anything else, but Kris was smiling and he was cute and that was reassuring enough on its own. ‘Where is here?’ I asked after he calmed down. Kris sat in front of me. The room around us was completely dark, save for a faint glow that only just let me make out his face. We hadn’t realised the faint glow was actually the cursed diary, using its magic to make its way back to me now that my mind was my own again. Kris was too happy to care that he suddenly could see me, and I didn’t know we were supposed to be in the dark in the first place. ‘From Zhofie. House. Down.’ Thanks to a series of hand gestures I eventually understood that Kris meant “here” was the basement of Zhofie’s house. He smiled even more then (I didn’t think it was possible, but your mother keeps proving there’s no such thing as “impossible” even to this day) and almost hugged me before he realised I wasn’t really the person he wanted to hug and kiss and celebrate with. His body shrunk and his smile disappeared. ‘What’s wrong? Are you ok?’ I reached out to him, but he moved away. ‘No. Wrong. Bad people.’ He shook his head. I tried my best, but back then I didn’t know enough about Kris to understand what he was talking about. And no amount of gesturing would’ve been able to explain to me that the reason he had been so happy was because getting me out of mind control reminded him of the other time he managed to break that spell. ‘What will happen to us?’ My second question was as successful as the first. Kris didn’t understand, and he was no longer willing to try. I eventually got tired of being ignored, and that was when I noticed the diary. Lydia had been writing on it since my disappearance. Thanks to her, I learned that I had been gone for five days, and that in another three Lóránt would be put on trial for child endangerment and lose their job. Lydia was already making plans to rescue me, but nobody had any idea where we were. Kris noticed the diary when I opened it and the faint light emanating from it doubled in scope (meaning I could see down to his chest when he was in front of me instead of just his face). He pointed at it and said ‘demon. Bad.’ No need for gestures with this one. ‘No, it’s my diary. My friend.’ ‘Bad.’ ‘No, friend.’ That dialogue continued this way for longer than I cared to admit. It reminded me of how you Uncle Oraci would try my patience with exactly this kind of disagreement (though noways I think more of your siblings trying to claim the first slice of cake), and how good I was at frustrating him instead. Kris didn’t last as long as my brother did, probably because he wasn’t an eight-year-old child with nothing better to do with his life. He turned his back to me with a scowl, making his message clear even without exaggerated gestures: “don’t talk to me until you believe me”. But even that resolve didn’t last long. Kris noticed I was writing in the diary (answering Lydia’s messages with renewed energy and excitement) and loomed over my shoulder. I tried not to mind him reading my conversation with my girlfriend. He couldn’t understand any of it. I wasn’t writing any secrets. But it was still unnerving. ‘Do you want anything?’ I guess the meaning of my question was obvious enough, because he pointed at the pen I was using and made a writing gesture with his left hand. ‘Yes, I am writing to my girlfriend. What about it?’ He pointed to himself and made the writing gesture again. ‘Do you want to write to Lydia too?’ I couldn’t think what he would have to say to my girlfriend. Kris wasn’t in particular good terms with any of our housemates. He was the cool, aloof lone wolf of the group (as opposed to Unn, who didn’t have many friends because of her general unpleasantness), so I didn’t see why he would have socialising needs. ‘House.’ If I was a demon, I would have mind-reading powers. Kris’s one-word answer was enough for me to understand he wanted to tell my girlfriend where we were and how to find us. How had I not thought of it? I let Kris take over my diary. He made a strange face when his pen touched the diary, like it gave him an electric shock, but he continued to write as if nothing was wrong. We didn’t know that the diary belonged to his father and was likely sending some kind of signal to its true owner once it recognised Kris’s presence. We thought we were crafting the perfect escape plan right under Zhofie’s nose, but all we were doing was making it easier for Hereweald to find us. I tried to be hopeful, to think that our friends were on their way to us and we would soon be free. I tried to think positive, to remember the sunshine and what it was like to have its rays gracing my skin. But the long wait for Lydia’s answer was too long. I came close to losing my mind in that dark cell in the evil basement. Your mother held my hand every time he felt me shake with fear and cold. He hugged me, rubbed my shoulders, even though I wasn’t the friend he missed. He told me everything would be ok, that Lóránt was coming (his exact words were “all good. Lóránt is won”. It only made sense once I realised he was mispronouncing words and destroying verb tenses), that he would keep me safe (that one didn’t need words, just one firm hug and a tender kiss to my forehead). I cried and babbled on for ours about Lydia’s lack of answer. I couldn’t take the wait. I feared Lydia would never reply. Kris heard it all, held me through it all, and reassured me it would be all right in the end. It was such a nice, comforting thing coming from someone so scary (and a demon, no less) that I didn’ t even care that it must have been easy for him to remain calm and collected through my sobbing spectacle because he didn’t understand what I was saying. At some point I fell asleep in his arms, tired from all the crying and the helplessness. I dreamed I was with my mother again, safe and loved at home. When I opened my eyes, I realised the feelings weren’t coming from the dream, but from Kris. I didn’t have time to wonder whether Kris was somehow in love with me, though. ‘Alana…’ He said her name in his own dreams, and I realised those feelings were meant for someone else.
  7. James Hiwatari

    Scene 28

    You're free to comment on them if you want! I'll probably find it amusing or learn something new. Looking up references to understand things has always been a part of living in another culture and another language, so welcome to the club, I guess?
  8. Thanks! According to Lóránt's trial at the end of the previous story, they don't quite escape this time, do they? I mean, they eventually escape from somewhere, or Nessa wouldn't be writing this thing, but that's not where this little bit is heading, unfortunately... On the plus side, you'll get to see what a demon-controlled island is like! It's the ideal holiday place, if you like having your mind controlled and your idea of entertainment is random cruel executions of rebels at lunch time!
  9. James Hiwatari

    Genius Plan

    Hope you like it. There are *just* another 50 chapters available for your entertainment...
  10. James Hiwatari

    Scene 28

    Thanks, but I'm going to stick to the British way of doing English. Which is already a bit of a compromise on the Glaswegian way of where I live... I don't have anything against individual US people, but growing up in Brazil as a sort of "unofficial cultural colony" of the US, I usually make a point of distancing myself from that country as much as I can. It's quite tiring to be expected to get references and know useless information/trivia about a country that is not mine and not somewhere I'm particularly interested in. It's overwhelming, actually. To the point that British/Scottish/European things have a much more "refreshing" or even "comforting" appeal to me, even though technically Europeans have played their part in cultural imperialism too (and other forms of imperialism). Not to mention that learning English as a second language in Brazil you will learn US English, not British. So I actually had to put some effort to get to the level of Britishness I am in now. So don't take this personally. My anti-US feelings don't extend to individual people unless they're proven arseholes, which you don't seem to be.
  11. James Hiwatari

    Genius Plan

    Don't worry, Gunni is almost 17! (Joking aside, I do acknowledge now that Dmitri & Co. might have come out slightly creepier than I intended. Hopefully the new book version will make it clearer they aren't that bad. Though even as this version of the story goes on, it won't take much longer for readers to get a more "balanced" peek at Dmitri other than Siggi's point of view.)
  12. My hands are shaking as I type now. I don’t like to remember what came next. One moment, Unn is sick, and the next thing I know I’m being mind-controlled and made to walk straight into a trap. If it wasn’t for your mother I would’ve lost my mind long before Hereweald got to me. The actual event that led to our kidnapping was caused by Unn, but it’s wrong to blame her for it. Nobody realised what the demons were planning, so there is no point in blaming anyone but Zhofie and Hereweald for being selfish people with violent ambitions. It all started when Unn ate a whole tub of ice cream. She got so sick from it that her endless vomiting also flushed out the spell that kept her from being sea-sick. Lóránt tried everything they could to put back the spell, but angelic power is not meant to work on demonic magic. Unn kept getting worse, and Lóránt ran out of options. Out of desperation, they called on the help of Zhofie, a demon who had been given power-limiters for breaking Daisenian law. I’m sure you can guess why this went wrong. Lóránt didn’t trust Zhofie. We didn’t trust Zhofie. But I didn’t know what to expect beyond dealing with a demon who cannot be trusted. I hadn’t been told to expect a mind-controlling spell, or warned about what it felt like to fall under one. Unn asked for me to be in the room when Zhofie cast that spell. She was scared things would go wrong or that the demon would do something bad, and she wanted a friendly presence next to her for reassurance. Of course, me being there didn’t prevent any of those things from happening, but the fact that Unn asked for me to be there, that she let me in on her fears and vulnerability, showed that she did consider me a friend. It was the first time I got this feeling from her, and I think that was what convinced me to face my own fears and watch the spell-casting session. Lóránt and Unn were already in the living room when I arrived. The fluffy rug between the TV and the couch was rolled up in the corner, and the exposed floorboards were covered in unfamiliar glowing purple letters. ‘Nessa, this is Zhofie. She will bee helping Unn today.’ I was so drawn to the strange markings on the floor that I didn’t notice Zhofie was there too. She came forward when Lóránt introduced her and took my hands. Her wrists had matching bronze-coloured bracelets with the Daisenian letter for “control” in it. I couldn’t read Daisenian at the time, so I didn’t realise those bracelets were the power-limiters she had been forced to wear. ‘It is a pleasure to meet you, Nessa.’ She smiled at me, showing all her pointy teeth. I understood her words as if they were Fadalesh, but her voice sounded like she was just saying a bunch of consonants mashed together. She looked at me straight in the eyes, her pupils dilated, and her bracelets glowed. It was that easy to fall under her spell. So easy and so quick not even Lóránt noticed. ‘We are ready to start.’ Lóránt’s voice made me look away from Zhofie. I’m not sure how long I would’ve kept staring otherwise. (And she wasn’t even pretty to look at. You mother is gorgeous and I would stare at him for hours on end if it didn’t make him self-conscious. But Zhofie was just ugly. Her horns were huge, golden with a red tinge. Her skin was completely white, like all colour had deserted her, and her eyes had the same red glow as her horns. Her nose was pointy, her lips were marked by tiny scars, like they had been sown shut at some point. And her breath smelled like a compost pile.) ‘Of course. Please get in position.’ Under Zhofie’s orders, Unn moved her tank to the middle of the strange markings on the floor. Zhofie lifted her arms up and recited another long stream of consonants that in Fadalesh translated as “I call forth the powers of the universe and bind them to my command. Do as I wish, and you will be free again”. Now I know this is just the generic introduction to any demonic spell of that kind, but back then I thought Zhofie was about to bring the end of the world. She hadn’t willed me to understand her words, so all I saw was her pleading in a foreign tongue, her bracelets glowing even more, and the strange letters detaching themselves from the floor and fixating on Unn’s skin instead. Unn’s body glowed the same purple as the letters. I couldn’t see her face, but she didn’t scream, so it hopefully wasn’t as horrible a feeling as it looked. Zhofie shouted at her magic again, this time something along the lines of “restore the balance that has been lost in this being” and Unn’s body (still glowing) floated out of her tank, upwards until she was about to bang her head on the ceiling. The whole room turned purple. All the light concentrated around Unn’s body, then exploded in millions of pretty particles. Lóránt caught Unn before her fall could damage her tank or cause her injury. I knew Unn was ok when she protested at Lóránt’s attempt to put her back on the tank. ‘I’m fine! I’m fine! I can do that on my own!’ I thought it was the end. I was relieved, relaxed, ready to ran towards Unn and celebrate the success of this scary ordeal when Kris opened the door. He wasn’t meant to be there. Kris’s eyes went immediately to Zhofie, and she smiled with all her pointy teeth and sounded like the New Year’s festivities had come early. ‘Hello, Kris, long time no seen. I’m sure your parents would’ve sent their greetings if they knew where you are.‘ Your mother froze on the spot. Fear took over his entire body. He looked at Lóránt with Unn still in their arms (Unn’s voice died when Kris came in), at me in my mid-celebration dance, and somehow that made him able to move again. Kris ran out of the room as quickly as he came in. And I made the mistake of asking the obvious. Not to Lóránt, the adult I trusted, but to Zhofie, the stranger with the glowing powers. ‘Do you know Kris?' ‘Since he was a little adorable horned baby. He looks awful now without his horns.' That was when I found out your mother was a demon. I had until then been under the (self-imposed) illusion that Kris was a shape-shifter because of his lack of horns. This revelations planted all sorts of question in my mind: how was this possible? Why didn’t Kris have horns? What was he doing being protected by an angel? Was he evil like most other demons in the world? ‘Go to your room, Nessa. Stay there until I let you out.’ Lóránt tried to protect me, but it was too late. My curiosity had already been picked, and because I was under Zhofie’s spell I became convinced she was the only one able to answer all my questions and tell me the truth about Kris. So I did as Lóránt told me, but only because I was planning something else. I wrote about it in my diary. I had to see Zhofie again no matter what. My last memory is that of sneaking out of Lóránt’s safe house and being glad I wasn’t caught. Zhofie awaited me at the next corner. I rushed to meet her. To see that pointy smile again. To get the answers I knew she had. ‘Are you really going to tell me everything?’ I asked her. ‘I’ll do much more than that.’ She smiled, running her tongue over her pointy teeth, and my mind went blank.
  13. Thanks! I'm glad you liked the chapter! We're getting close to some properly new information being revealed, so hold your horses!
  14. Running away from Floresfada wasn’t easy. I had obviously committed the most heinous of crimes, so any fairy who saw me had the right to punish me the way they saw fit. And I too despaired because I thought I was a murderer and deserved all that punishment. By the time I crossed into the desert, I wasn’t so sure I should keep going. I arrived in Macchikai by a miracle (or rather, by a stranger on a car who refused to believe I didn’t deserve help and took me to the nearest hospital). I don’t remember much of my early days in Daisen, only that I wrote everything in the diary withouth suspecting anything of its true nature. I also remember nurses giving me meat to eat (as punishment? Because they didn’t care? I still don’t know), and the police showing up. I wanted them to make me pay for my crime, but as they coerced my story out of me (I wasn’t ready. I cried my eyes out. It was just as painful as if it was all happening again), they decided I was innocent and earned the right to settle in Daisen as a refugee. I disagreed, but they wouldn’t let me disagree with them. And so I was formally welcomed in Daisen, a strange country of shape-shifters who spoke an even stranger language. And I had to make it my home. Somehow. As if it wasn’t hard enough as it was, I was attacked by demons (not Hereweald in person, but he was certainly behind it) while in hospital. I was given body-guards. We travelled from Macchikai to Enkyo, where I would be put in the care of a guardian angel, but we were attacked again on our way there and one of my bodyguards died to protect me. He was the second person I saw dying in front of me in a week. The only reason I didn’t end up with Hereweald then was because Lóránt saved the day. My guardian angel appeared in front of me with their majestic wings, the first time I had seen an angel in the flesh. It was the closest I had been to a miracle since I was cast off by our Mother Deity. Lóránt stopped the attack like a superhero, arriving too late to avoid loss of life, but just in time to mess up the villain’s plan. The next thing I know, I’m in a new house that is supposed to become my home. I had a bedroom of my own, but the rest of the house was shared between me, Lóránt, and three other teenagers who needed similar protection from demons (actually, just the one and only demon we know so well). Those teenagers were your mother, Lydia, and your aunt Unn. We’re all family now, but back then… Before anything else, there was the issue that I didn’t speak a single word of Daisenian. All I knew was Fadalesh. Nobody in Floresfada ever cared about learning other languages, getting to know other cultures. We thought fairies were wiser than anybody else, so why bother? This is why we made sure you and your siblings can speak your mother’s language as well as Daisenian and Fadalesh. You don’t have any contact with whatever is left of Kris’s family, and as far as I know you have no wish to foray into demon lands. But you should still learn about the culture Kris came from, the language he learned his first words in, and understand how this shaped the person he is today. I was so happy when you asked Aunt Unn to teach you her language out of your own initiative, and I was secretly delighted when your siblings went to Lydia and to my step-mother to learn the language of dwarves and giants as part of their teenage rebellion (as if Lydia hadn’t already taught me all those insults ages ago…)! My point is: being isolated because of my inability to communicate wasn’t nice. I never want you to go through that. I was lucky that Lydia, Lóránt and Unn knew Fadalesh, so they could help me adapt to my new world, but it wasn’t enough to shake off the feeling I didn’t belong. Enkyo was a desert with ugly buildings where nobody stayed outdoors because of air pollution. Could you imagine a place further from Pindaiba? I starved for nature of any kind. I harboured thoughts that I deserved this suffering because of my crime. I thought I had to accept my new situation and make the best of it, but at the same time I wanted a punishment worthy of the horrible person I had become. I wrote all of this into the diary. It got to know the first impressions of my housemates too: Unn was annoying and unfriendly, Kris was intimidating (not being able to speak to him didn’t help), and Lydia was a sexy goddess. Lydia and I started dating in a matter of days, though a cultural misunderstanding involving digestive bodily functions almost put a premature end to our relationship. We got back together thanks to Unn, and finally befriended her because of that. I want to take some time to talk about your mother, though. My first impression of him was the wrongest of all, and I’m sure that’s the story you’re most interested in hearing. It’s embarrassing to say it now, but I didn’t think Kris could be a demon at first. He didn’t have horns, and my own bias against demons prevented me from considering the possibility that demons would be allowed to live under the same roof as their victims. It didn’t occur to me that demons could be victims too! Kris didn’t talk much. He knew some basic Fadalesh, but even before I discovered his true origin I was too intimidated by his rebel, dark, violent vibe to get too close. He didn’t seem to want to be my friend. I didn’t think I wanted to be his friend. But then he offered me a dress to go in a date with Lydia, and the image I had of him started to change. How could someone like black jackets covered in piercings and metal spikes, but also have a wardrobe full of pretty, delicate dresses? Kris was nice to me for the first time then, using a computer to translate a whole text into Fadalesh to reassure me I could take any dress I wanted for my date, and inviting me to go clothes shopping with him. He seemed to want to reach out and make friends, though he had trouble figuring out how to do it. It was pretty adorable, to be honest. And his dresses were gorgeous! (They still are...) After that, my interest in Kris peaked. Who was he, really? How could he be such a contradiction? I wrote all of this into the diary. You know, the diary owned by his father, the man who wanted to kill him for treason. I brought Kris to Hereweald.
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