Arcane Academy: Chapter 1

Who here is in the mood for a little music?

 

Chapter 1

The Sacred Flame and her Shadow

 

Scarlet Blaze sat in the carriage listening to whispers from her shadow. “The queen wishes you to make friends other than that thing.” The guard reminded her for the ninth time.  “Listen I’ve just had a bit of an ordeal, whole family killed, had to kill the king, a little traumatized really.  I’ll come out of my shell when I please.” Scarlet replied sternly. “I’m just saying, she asked me to remind you, I’m sorry.”  The guard said feeling awkward. “Oh, also he’s being enrolled too so he can’t just stay in your shadow the whole time.” The guard remembered causing both the thing in the shadow and the new princess to groan.  “My little darkness keeps me safe, if they expect me to sleep restfully without him near, well I just hope they aren’t so foolish.” Scarlet said angrily. “Be nice.” The voice from the shadow spoke softly. “I’m trying Echo, but these people are testing my patience, I’ve been receiving personal instruction for my whole life but of course my instructor uncle Grey Blaze died with the rest of them.” Scarlet said trying not to sound sad.  “Our adventure was glorious, but they want you to rule. You must become even more amazing than you already are.” Project Echoshadow the secret experiment concluded. “There is no reasoning with you…” Scarlet said dismissively though she made no further attempt to fight against going to the strange school she only heard of in passing.

The academy sat on a lake almost entirely crafted of magic. The stove structure floated over it due to magic leaking a little into the waters over time as this point the lake glowed dimly almost constantly it was often mistaken for a giant moonwell, but it wasn’t it had no effect on moon elves.  “Do all schools glow?” Echoshadow asked. “Neither of us have been to school and I’m done listening to that annoying guard, let’s just go back to our previous conversation, you can ask someone when we get there.” Scarlet said before the guard had a chance to speak. The guard merely growled in annoyance feeling more and more impatient for ridding himself of his future ruler.  Like the queen he was hoping being around children her age would help her mature and be ready to rule.

The Princess glowed dimly as she entered the building a monster in her shadow, the perfect yang to her yin.  “Do you think they will notice you, I’m so glad I’ve gotten used to keeping you so close. It’s become rather comforting at this point.”  Scarlet whispered. She smiled politely as she marched up to the party expected to meet her. “Hello good sirs, my name is Scarlet, I believe I’m enrolled for a single year at this establishment?” the princess said hoping to sneak her guardian in.  “So you have a familiar?” One of the wizards questioned. “Familiar? Like a kitty? Mother was allergic but I’ve always wanted one.” Scarlet said missing what the man meant. “Sneaking in an unregistered familiar is strictly forbidden.” A second man spoke up his voice raspy and his dark green eyes seemed to sparkle with a bit of magic.  “Reveal your familiar or we banish it.” The first man said sternly. “Yeah, you’re going to banish it then since I don’t have any cats.” Scarlet complained. The wizards both closed their eyes and chanted. The world became brighter and the ground shook. “This familiar is unaffected?” The first wizard complained. “True, shall we try again?” The second asked.  “But really what are you guys doing?” Scarlet asked. “First she doesn’t bring her associate then she brings a familiar that can’t just be banished…” A third wizard complained while appearing in a bursts of light. “More of this… I knew this place was a mistake.” The princess complained. “Where is this miracle of science they sent us? As head alchemist I am curious.” The third wizard  said simply. “Miracle of science?” Scarlet questioned. “First name Echoshadow, no last name given. Species listed as ‘miracle of science’ age listed as and I redacted.”. The man said as a black scroll appeared in his hand with information on both students. “Yes well as you can see I’m quite alone so if one of you will kindly escort me to my new living quarters I shall be most appreciative.”. Scarlet replied dryly. “Bring out your familiar you do well to keep it as unbanishible by such illustrious wizards.” The head alchemists stated sounding proud.  “Why are you people so annoying. I’m tired, show me to my new bed.” Scarlet said sternly the dim glow she had becoming brighter causing the wizards to all stop their attempts to control her and back away in fear. “Explain yourselves clearly or be ignored, you’re meant to be educators. Educate me.” Scarlet said her sacred light ability now being so natural she barely noticed it activate instead of the regular light she often used to simply show off since becoming a princess. “Your aura reads of having a second life attached like is seen with familiars, which are animal companions many wizards can summon at will.”  The head alchemists explained. “I think this is due to my presence.” Project Echoshadow spoke up at last before rising from the shadow of his princess. “So you’re Echoshadow, done kind of living shadow. Despite betting listed as male you’re rooming with the princess due to your position as her personal guardian.” The first wizard said as if remembering his job.

The pair was last to their new room it featured a small box on a nightstand next to a single small bed.  “So you expect me to share this with him?” Scarlet questioned. “Is that my box from the lab? How did you even get that?”  Echoshadow said excitedly while sliding inside gleefully. “Your anatomy could be an entire major at this academy.” Scarlet said shaking her head in disbelief.  “It’s been so long since I’ve gotten such a nice snug box to sleep in, this is the optimal sleep unit for my physiology as I have a tendency to liquify in my sleep.” Echoshadow explained without exiting the box.   “So you’re a bed wetter?” Scarlet teased. “You know, you’ll need to work on being more personable in order to ascend to the throne without constant assassination attempts. I do get tired eventually.” Echoshadow stated coldly.    “Just hush my little shadow, I’m going to be the most personable, I’m actually making it a goal to make a friend by the end of week one.” Scarlet protested, remembering the queen ordering her to do so anyway. “Unlike you to take initiative with regards to sociability.  What prompts this I wonder?” Echoshadow questioned. “How do you talk when you compress yourself like that? You don’t have lungs right now.” Scarlet asked. “I just vibrate to form sounds, that’s what gives it the metallic quality.” Echoshadow explained his voice filled with the reverb Scarlet had come to expect from him. “The more you explain, the less I understand… You’re like a  plant mixed with royal blood and some of the rejected designs for your brother?” Scarlet questioned. “I’m tired and do not have access to all the files on my creation, I know my design literally failed to be viable so they tossed in half a unit of black blood allegedly collected from the royal family according to the queen. I do not know how that happened or why it was black. THey added it out of desperation to create something, they didn’t know what it would do as they did not know how magic works, nor do I.  There’s much to learn.” Echoshadow explained for what was likely the third time, which as usual served only to cause the confused look the princess wore so well. “Fine, I’ll tell you what I really am.” Echoshadow said, despite the metallic quality to his tone Scarlet sense a joke coming and sighed preemptively. “Fine Echo what are you?” She questioned dryly, having long since accepted this part of her only friend. “I am tired, and analysis of your breathing indicates you’ll stay up approximately thirty four and a half more minutes, though you’ll deny being tired for the next fifteen.”  Echoshadow replied simply. “I still say it’s creepy when you say things that accurately, I’ll just read or something if you want to sleep now.” Scarlet offered.

Scarlet looked over her syllabus with great disdain. “How exactly would over a month of aquamancy counter tactics prepare anyone to lead anything other than mere fish?”  She complained while entering her private dorm. She was only there for a day and her classes had yet to begin but she was already growing weary of the academy. “That’s why they call it school.” Her Guardian replied robotically.  “I’m rather glad you’re not intended as a jester, you’ve never been intentionally comedic even in the slightest.” The princess protested with a smile. “Boring school life is preferable to an extra month in the wilderness.” The guardian offered as an argument with the hope of convincing his princess not top abandon the campus so early.  “You really want me to give this place a chance doing you?” Scarlet questioned sympathetically. “You’re future is the nation’s future.” The guardian explained while rising from the future queen’s shadow to inspect their new room more closely. “Must you inspect for traps every single time?” Scarlet complained. “Can’t have you assassinated by a Shadowdagger or anything.” Echoshadow replied dismissively.  “That’s exceptionally unlikely you know. Even for a princess.” Scarlet replied sounding increasingly annoyed by how cautious her only friend was. “Keeping you safe is my life’s purpose.” The guardian replied simply causing Scarlet to blush before growing more annoyed. “Why don’t you see if we’ve received communication from the rainbow palace.” The princess suggested promoting her guardian to leave for a moment.  “Privacy is something I’ll miss about my old life.” She whispered to herself before stretch out over the bed and staring up at the plane ceiling. “I miss a lot actually. I don’t think I let myself have a moment to myself to just think about what happened.” SHe said as the tears began to fall. “If I had just been patient, if I just went over to the king and tried again he wouldn’t have snapped. If I could just stop blaming myself.  But that won’t bring them back.” Scarlet complained her speech going at mach speeds as if she intended for the past several months worth of grief to be accomplished in the short time it took for her Guardian to return, but her hastened pity party was interrupted by a melancholy melody, it matched her grief it was a tune of loss and regret as if her very heart had been laid bare upon sheet music for some flute player to seize and reveal to the world as if it were his creation, this fascinated Scarlet, made her feel validated and infuriated her all at the same time.  “Who dares disturb my lament?” The princess questioned while leaping from her window landing in the courtyard where a crowd was gathered around a young man around her age, with a darker complexion playing her song on a bright green flute. Scarlet wanted to shout and yell and make it stop the song was soothing, but it also hurt her heart like watching them die all over again, so she merely stood there with the crowd weeping silently.

 

Think of all the things you could learn at a school built by Gnosis? 

ECHO ECHO

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2 thoughts on “Arcane Academy: Chapter 1

  1. Pingback: Arcane Academy: Chapter 2 | Echoshadow

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