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Chapter 25.1: Felaris

by Lightsong


Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language.

\The Ring of Concealment was an artifact that could completely render its wearer and the people she chose around her invisible. Once you wore it, people couldn’t hear, see, and smell you. It was the perfect stealth tool – Seya loved it. Now it had been broken into two, and half of it was sewn into a necklace while another into another necklace. The effect was still the same. You only needed to dip it into your blood and chanted the ancient Esteese spell.

Felaris gave the other necklace to Veris. ‘Take care of it with your life,’ she said sharply. This was her father’s artifact she stole, after all.

Veris smiled and cloaked himself and Gael. Felaris did the same for Seya, Ilami, and her. It was the weekend’s night. Most of the students had went to their house to spend time with their family. Understandable, given the academy, without interesting classes like combat class, was dull. Silently, they moved toward the Natron’s office, carefully not to touch with other objects – they might be cloaked, but people could still hear when something fell.

They had checked the Natron’s office beforehand, making sure that the priest already left the academy. Kestari usually used the office only when the academy’s events had something to do with his church. He hadn’t been seen entering it since a couple of days ago. Felaris gave her thanks to Wermin, her long-lost goddess, as they arrived in front of the office. Nothing had stopped them so far. Now it was time to break into the room.

The girls and she entered it while Veris and Gael guarded outside. She glanced at Ilami and frowned when she saw Ilami checking her surrounding and biting her lip. Whatever.

She turned to the surrounding in front of her. ‘There should be a door somewhere,’ she said. The place was minimal in decoration. Apart from the obligatory desk, chairs, and a cupboard, there was nothing much in the spacious room. It was for professional use, after all, and one that wasn’t used often. Maybe the Natron preferred his office at the church. There was no way you could guess this was there the experimentation happened.

Seya went to the cupboard situated near the desk. Strangely, its height reached the wall. She tried to move it but without success. ‘Um, hello? Can you guys help me over here?’

Ilami and Felaris went to her. Ilami tried to push the cupboard aside by her own. ‘This thing is too heavy! I’m not trained to do this kind of thing.’ Noticing them looking at her, she smiled. ‘Mother usually trained me with weapons, not with lifting heavy objects.’

Felaris shook her head. ‘We’ll do it together.’

The cupboard revealed a door behind it. Silver-crusted door, with magical patterns adorned all over it. Felaris couldn’t be sure if they were based from Natural letters or ancient Esteese, but she couldn’t care less. She did wonder how Veris could find this door if it took the three of them, all Fighter students, to remove the cupboard. Maybe he used a Lio spell. Dangerous, since earth-based spells generally left a mark.

‘No, you’re wrong,’ Ilami whispered.

What is she talking about?

Seya twisted the doorknob and shook her head. ‘It’s locked.’

Felaris rolled her eyes. ‘As if that’s a problem to you.’

Seya grinned and moved her other hand to the knob. She whispered a spell unrecognizable to Felaris – this was one of her secrets she didn’t want to share with her, perhaps from her family’s instruction so that the recipe to being an excellent spy stayed exclusive for them – and suddenly, they heard a click. As she opened the door, Felaris prepared to attack whatever came out of it.

The door revealed a walkway, wide enough for the three of them. Silver-studded walls led the way to another door. From their angle, it seemed like a five-minutes walk. Other than that, it was nothing. Everything had happened so peacefully. It was too good to be true, but Felaris couldn’t pinpoint out what exactly was off about all of this.

‘Wow,’ Ilami murmured. ‘This – I don’t think this is Natural magic. Or blood magic, even.’

‘It doesn’t matter,’ Felaris said, entering the walkway. Seya followed her while Ilami entered last.

‘Are you sure this is safe?’ Seya whispered. ‘We’ve never done anything like this.’

‘I can’t promise safety,’ Felaris said. ‘But I’m very sure we can find answers beyond the other door.’

‘This is such a risky plan,’ Ilami murmured.

Felaris shoot her a glance. ‘Shut up.’ She was getting annoyed with Ilami’s nonsense.

Once they opened the door at the other end, Felaris had to laugh. Of course everything had to go wrong. It had nothing to do with the empty, spacious room in front of them. It didn’t scream, ‘We experiment people here!’, which was a disappointment, but she preferred that than having to face the people waiting for them there. Two people she hated the most and would love to kill.

Venaria and Kestari stood in front of them. A couple of Kestari’s priests were behind them, readying themselves for a fight. Combat priests. Surely from the best. They didn’t have a chance if they were to fight them. They’d been cloaked though, so surely from these people’s eyes they were invisible. And that was her eyes caught the ring Kestari wore. Black and white, a contrast to her transparent one. An artifact that could counter hers. The Ring of Enlightment.

Fuck.

Venaria looked at Ilami. ‘I told you to stay out of this,’ she said lowly, devoid of emotions. She turned to Felaris. ‘And you. I thought you are smarter than this. You worry about your brother so much you are willing to jeopardize your own life.’

‘Why does this room exist?’ Felaris said through gritted teeth. She didn’t give a damn about her own life. She couldn’t live in peace knowing she couldn’t solve the mystery behind Arafel’s death. ‘What is it that you’re trying to hide?’

‘Ms. Venaria, I –’ Ilami stopped.

Felaris turned to her, eyes sharp. ‘Did you tell your mum about this? Is that why she’s here, waiting for us?’ She walked toward Ilami, steps slow but surely, fist ready to punch her stomach.

Her movement was stopped by a water sphere forming around her, trapping her. It lifted her to the air. The same went to Ilami and Seya. Each of them was trapped with a water sphere. She looked at the priests. One of them was holding his hands out, uttering something. A Serra-blessed spell. Of course.

Kestari clapped and smiled his fake smile. ‘Now, now. There’s no need to be violent here, is there?’

Felaris stared at the thin fluid barrier trapping her. She could chant a spell that created an air blast and pierced it. Serra-blessed people weren’t known as the fighter type. The three of them could fight them – fire and water could make a lethal combination. She wouldn’t let them get her without a fight. She –

‘Stop it, Felaris,’ Seya said, sighing. She shook her head. ‘Let’s do what they said for now. I’m sure if we do something they don’t like, they’d kill us right here, right now.’

Kestari glanced at her, still smiling, yet saying nothing to disagree with her. ‘We’ll take you to a place where we can discuss about this in a civil manner. I’m sure there’s a lot of questions in your mind. I’ll be happy to answer them. All of you are so young. There’s so much potential in you. You shouldn’t focus on this kind of thing.’

Felaris couldn’t focus on his words. They were so close. She knew for certain they’d arrived to the place Arafel had went. Something must’ve happened in this spacious room. Kestari’s priests must’ve emptied it in anticipation for their arrival. But how? If it wasn’t Ilami who told them, who did? Did someone else outside of their group knew about their plan? How about Veris and Gael? They’d told the boys to alert them if someone was in the vicinity.

The water spheres suddenly shrunk, taking the shape of their hostages until they barely enveloped them. She tried to move her hand, pressing it against the water layer, but to no avail. It stopped her movement.

‘By now, you can only move your legs,’ the Serra-blessed priest whispered.

‘Stop struggling. Do what he said,’ Venaria said, not looking at them.


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Wed Dec 01, 2021 7:28 am
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Okay, a promising start to chapter twenty five What happened to twenty four...I can't find it anywhere? although towards the end of this particular part, things got a little bit iffy there, and I feel like the story is continuing in the same circle over and over again now.

Anyway let's get right to it,

The Ring of Concealment was an artifact that could completely render its wearer and the people she chose around her invisible. Once you wore it, people couldn’t hear, see, and smell you. It was the perfect stealth tool – Seya loved it. Now it had been broken into two, and half of it was sewn into a necklace while another into another necklace. The effect was still the same. You only needed to dip it into your blood and chanted the ancient Esteese spell.

Felaris gave the other necklace to Veris. ‘Take care of it with your life,’ she said sharply. This was her father’s artifact she stole, after all.

Veris smiled and cloaked himself and Gael. Felaris did the same for Seya, Ilami, and her. It was the weekend’s night. Most of the students had went to their house to spend time with their family. Understandable, given the academy, without interesting classes like combat class, was dull. Silently, they moved toward the Natron’s office, carefully not to touch with other objects – they might be cloaked, but people could still hear when something fell.


OKayy...so it seems they are about to go through with some sort of plan here...not seeing Chapter 24 makes me wonder if we skipped through some important decision, but well, this is a nice little setup to get things off the ground and so far I'm liking this, so let's see where this plan takes us.

They had checked the Natron’s office beforehand, making sure that the priest already left the academy. Kestari usually used the office only when the academy’s events had something to do with his church. He hadn’t been seen entering it since a couple of days ago. Felaris gave her thanks to Wermin, her long-lost goddess, as they arrived in front of the office. Nothing had stopped them so far. Now it was time to break into the room.

The girls and she entered it while Veris and Gael guarded outside. She glanced at Ilami and frowned when she saw Ilami checking her surrounding and biting her lip. Whatever.

She turned to the surrounding in front of her. ‘There should be a door somewhere,’ she said. The place was minimal in decoration. Apart from the obligatory desk, chairs, and a cupboard, there was nothing much in the spacious room. It was for professional use, after all, and one that wasn’t used often. Maybe the Natron preferred his office at the church. There was no way you could guess this was there the experimentation happened.


OKayy, so this a solid little introduction to the environment that they are currently in here...I think you're doing a pretty solid job of introducing that here...and things are going along pretty smoothly for our gang here. I wonder what they will manage to locate this time.

The cupboard revealed a door behind it. Silver-crusted door, with magical patterns adorned all over it. Felaris couldn’t be sure if they were based from Natural letters or ancient Esteese, but she couldn’t care less. She did wonder how Veris could find this door if it took the three of them, all Fighter students, to remove the cupboard. Maybe he used a Lio spell. Dangerous, since earth-based spells generally left a mark.

‘No, you’re wrong,’ Ilami whispered.

What is she talking about?

Seya twisted the doorknob and shook her head. ‘It’s locked.’

Felaris rolled her eyes. ‘As if that’s a problem to you.’


Okayy...so that's a nice little moment there with the two of them. I always love seeing proper moments of friendship between our characters and those have just been in surprisingly short supply as of late.

The door revealed a walkway, wide enough for the three of them. Silver-studded walls led the way to another door. From their angle, it seemed like a five-minutes walk. Other than that, it was nothing. Everything had happened so peacefully. It was too good to be true, but Felaris couldn’t pinpoint out what exactly was off about all of this.

‘Wow,’ Ilami murmured. ‘This – I don’t think this is Natural magic. Or blood magic, even.’

‘It doesn’t matter,’ Felaris said, entering the walkway. Seya followed her while Ilami entered last.


OKayy...well, it seems they're as is very easy to guess, setting foot into what seems to be a very dangerou place that's protected with magic they don't even fully recognize. I can only hope this time no one is going to end up being as gravely injured as they were last time.

Once they opened the door at the other end, Felaris had to laugh. Of course everything had to go wrong. It had nothing to do with the empty, spacious room in front of them. It didn’t scream, ‘We experiment people here!’, which was a disappointment, but she preferred that than having to face the people waiting for them there. Two people she hated the most and would love to kill.

Venaria and Kestari stood in front of them. A couple of Kestari’s priests were behind them, readying themselves for a fight. Combat priests. Surely from the best. They didn’t have a chance if they were to fight them. They’d been cloaked though, so surely from these people’s eyes they were invisible. And that was her eyes caught the ring Kestari wore. Black and white, a contrast to her transparent one. An artifact that could counter hers. The Ring of Enlightment.


Okayy...well this is escalating a little...now it seems we're just going to go up against possibly the worst combination of people you could possibly have to....and it seems they are just going to end up hitting just another low here. This is getting a tiny bit repetitive almost now, it seems like we're stuck in a slight spiral of everything just going wrong...everytime I expect things to have hit rock bottom, it falls a little deeper and I almost wonder if this is going a little too deep now. It just seems like there's no hope given to a reader that anything good could happen now.

Felaris turned to her, eyes sharp. ‘Did you tell your mum about this? Is that why she’s here, waiting for us?’ She walked toward Ilami, steps slow but surely, fist ready to punch her stomach.

Her movement was stopped by a water sphere forming around her, trapping her. It lifted her to the air. The same went to Ilami and Seya. Each of them was trapped with a water sphere. She looked at the priests. One of them was holding his hands out, uttering something. A Serra-blessed spell. Of course.

Kestari clapped and smiled his fake smile. ‘Now, now. There’s no need to be violent here, is there?’

Felaris stared at the thin fluid barrier trapping her. She could chant a spell that created an air blast and pierced it. Serra-blessed people weren’t known as the fighter type. The three of them could fight them – fire and water could make a lethal combination. She wouldn’t let them get her without a fight. She –


Well, Felaris's attitude has gone through some odd changes here and there, but here it seems to match up to what she usually is like...I do like that...although once again, with the level of power on display by the ones these kids are fighting against, I honestly don't quite know how they ever expect to win anything and things are just getting a bit hopeless and a little repetitive with their failures here.

Felaris couldn’t focus on his words. They were so close. She knew for certain they’d arrived to the place Arafel had went. Something must’ve happened in this spacious room. Kestari’s priests must’ve emptied it in anticipation for their arrival. But how? If it wasn’t Ilami who told them, who did? Did someone else outside of their group knew about their plan? How about Veris and Gael? They’d told the boys to alert them if someone was in the vicinity.

The water spheres suddenly shrunk, taking the shape of their hostages until they barely enveloped them. She tried to move her hand, pressing it against the water layer, but to no avail. It stopped her movement.

‘By now, you can only move your legs,’ the Serra-blessed priest whispered.

‘Stop struggling. Do what he said,’ Venaria said, not looking at them.


Oh well....that's a predictable end. I have to say though, by this point, the things going on are a little too repetitive to leave us on a cliffhanger. Its kind of just resigned acceptance at this point, because we know simply expect things to go wrong, there's no hope or any sense that things could potentially improve. They're also obviously not going to be killed or the story wouldn't really be a story anymore, so the stakes kind of just go away by this point, which is not great.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, this story is stuck in a sligh spiral at the moment and some parts just feel a little off here and there. Hopefully this next bit can throw something a little more interesting at us. These characters are also getting a lot more angsty and confrontational, and that's a bit of a problem I think. That needs a bit of a check.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




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Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:38 am
Toboldlygo wrote a review...



Hey there! Very interesting read! Unfortunately, by the time you get to Chapter 25, it can be a little difficult to understand everything that's going on in the story, even for those who have been following since the beginning. I would suggest having a couple sentences to recap the last couple of chapters and briefly introduce/remind us of the characters. It isn't something you see in chapter books, but it something that authors writing series do in the first couple pages or paragraphs of the book (or in a prologue), just to introduce any new readers and familiarize returning fans. I personally think that on platforms like Young Writers' Society, it makes more sense to do that than to start cold, especially after several chapters. It's certainly impressive, though, to see how far this piece has come and where you're going with it!

A couple of nitpicky things that I noticed while reading it.

You mention "The Ring of Englightment." I assume you mean the "Ring of Enlightenment," but maybe I'm wrong about that? I wanted to bring it to your attention because if you meant the latter, it's a rather ironic (but totally understandable) typo.

Also, this piece is not rated strongly enough for the language used. It needs to be an 18+ rating because you used the F-word. In addition, the word was entirely unnecessary and did not convey anything useful or relevant about the piece or the characters or the plot. It was absolutely pointless to include and makes the entire piece inappropriate and undesirable to read, which is unfortunate, because it was otherwise very enjoyable. Please change either the word or the rating. It is not acceptable to have, let alone in anything less than 18+.

toboldlygo




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Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:40 pm
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Panikos wrote a review...



Hi, Lightsong! It's been too long. Sorry it's taken a while for me to get to this - I'm so ridiculously busy at the minute. I also apologise for any hiccups in this review, because it's been ages since I read this story and can't quite remember where we left off.

Minor changes are in blue, as always.

Small Comments

The Ring of Concealment was an artifact that could completely render its wearer and the people she chose around her invisible. Once you wore it, people couldn’t hear, see, and smell you. It was the perfect stealth tool – Seya loved it. Now it had been broken into two, and half of it was sewn into a necklace while another into another necklace. The effect was still the same. You only needed to dip it into your blood and chanted the ancient Esteese spell.


Has this ring been mentioned before? I might have just forgotten about it, but this chapter feels like it's throwing us into a completely different place.

Felaris gave the other necklace to Veris. ‘Take care of it with your life,’ she said sharply. This was her father’s artifact she stole, after all.

Veris smiled and cloaked himself and Gael. Felaris did the same for Seya, Ilami, and her.


Ah, so have you skipped ahead to them actually carrying out their plans? Okay. That's good, but the preceding chapter doesn't really lead into this scene very well, so that's something to fix in the next draft. Last time we saw the characters, they were talking about boy drama, so it's quite a jarring shift.

She glanced at Ilami and frowned when she saw Ilami her checking her surroundings and biting her lip. Whatever.


I don't get what you're trying to convey here. Why does Felaris frown when she sees Ilami checking her surroundings? Why does she think 'whatever'?

‘No, you’re wrong,’ Ilami whispered.

What is she talking about?


Hmm, what's going on here? I'd expect Gael to talk to himself, given that Serra is hanging out in his head, but I've never known Ilami to do it.

‘This is such a risky plan,’ Ilami murmured.

Felaris shoot her a glance. ‘Shut up.’ She was getting annoyed with Ilami’s nonsense.


This is a bit extreme. Ilami hasn't done anything that offensive.

Once they opened the door at the other end, Felaris had to laugh. Of course everything had to go wrong. It had nothing to do with the empty, spacious room in front of them. It didn’t scream, ‘We experiment people here!’, which was a disappointment, but she preferred that than having to face the people waiting for them there. Two people she hated the most and would love to kill.


I don't really like this paragraph. It gives the game away too soon and feels too removed from the moment. I think you'd maintain the suspense much better if you cut this part and went straight to them opening the door and seeing Kestari and Venaria there.

Fuck.


Remember that f-bombs automatically call for a 18+ rating. I could change it for you if you like, but it might be simpler for you to just alter the settings.

She could chant a spell that created an air blast and pierced it. Serra-blessed people weren’t known as the fighter type. The three of them could fight them – fire and water could make a lethal combination. She wouldn’t let them get her without a fight. She –

‘Stop it, Felaris,’ Seya said, sighing.


Stop what? Felaris isn't doing anything, just thinking about fighting them. The dialogue makes it seem like Seya is able to read her mind or something. It would make more sense if Felaris had actually assumed a combative stance or started reciting a spell - something Seya could witness.

Overall Thoughts

This chapter took a little while to settle into, but I enjoyed it once it got going. I'm happy to see the characters taking action, because I know I complained about the last few chapters being too talk-y. I confess I can't quite remember what place they're actually investigating, but I know it has to do with the experiments. It did seem a little too obviously a trap at times; I felt like I was just waiting for something to go wrong, so it wasn't much of a surprise when it did.

It is interesting that Venaria and co. knew that Felaris and the others were going to be there. I'm guessing that Haifei told them about the plan, because I don't think he's trustworthy, plus Ilami recently confided in him. Or maybe Haka? But I'm not sure they ever told him about the plan, so my money's still on Haifei.

I can't really remember who Kestari is. I think that's what robs some of the impact from the reveal, because I can't recall the significance of a lot of the characters - plus they're also only confirming what we already know. I don't really get why Ilami and the others are breaking into this place when they already broke into the restricted part of the library not that long ago. What was the point of that, really? I wonder if you could collapse those two scenes into one in the next draft, just to save words and time. I am guessing that there must be more to the experimentation than we currently know about, but we might as well discover both the existence and the nature of the experimentation at the same time. Drawing it out takes the impact from the initial discovery.

One last question - why did Venaria wait for Felaris and the others to come to them? If they knew they were going to investigate, why didn't they just capture them and drag them off earlier?

That's all my thoughts for this one. I feel like the story is getting back on track now, even if I'm still a bit perplexed by some people's motivations and I think this whole experimentation plot is lasting longer than it needs to. One thing I am really keen to discover - and I feel like we're getting closer to it - is how Venaria actually fits in to all of this. Is she the mastermind behind all of this, or is she just going along with what the church demands? Some of her dialogue in this chapter makes me wonder if she's just been doing damage control this whole time. Maybe she dissuaded Ilami from investigating because she genuinely doesn't want her to get hurt...

We shall see. Until next time!

Keep writing! :D
~Pan





Wicked people never have time for reading. It's one of the reasons for their wickedness.
— Lemony Snicket