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A Painter & Writer's Magic [Chapter 10]

by Liberty


A/N: This one... is also... slightly longer... =)

Last Line(s): And we can only get Half-Wizard help.

With that, everything went black.

***

Back in the room, Audrey and Will were still sleeping. Dreamlessly.

Chapter 10

A few rooms and flights of stairs away, Akol was pacing in his room, panicked. His older brother, Askel, was sitting on the leather couch, head in his hands. He was still dressed in his royal clothes. Fiery red tailcoat and black pants. Simple, comfortable and fancy. Just the way he liked it.

He had just heard everything Akol had to say and he almost slapped him. But as his older brother, he needed to pull himself together, put himself in his shoes and try to understand that these sort of things happen.

King Akolxohez had strong feelings for Audrey Emmerson.

“I… I always have this weird feeling in my chest when I see her,” he explained, waving his hands around vaguely.

“I told you to get married as soon as possible.” Askel sighed.

"Askel, you know it’s hard for me to marry a Devil. I’m not… I’m not attracted to them. I’m only attracted to half-Humans for some reason.” Akol sat down on his four-poster-bed, eyes wide in fear.

“If you fall in love, Audrey’s soulmate will die. And the Ditch won’t be able to be saved. This was a dangerous task.” Askel looked up. “I told you.”

Akol looked up at her with watery eyes. “I’m confused about everything.”

“I know you are.” Askel got up and sat beside him on the bed. “I know it’s hard being the King. Father made a good choice though. You’re a great king.”

Akol laid down on his side and put his head on his lap. “I miss him. And Mother.”

Askel patted Akol's head and laid his back on the bed. “I do too. But stay strong. I know you can.”

“I can’t.” Akol blinked away his tears furiously. “I can’t do anything. Audrey… she… I like her. She’s so kind, funny -”

Enough. Her soulmate will die if you admit it. Okay? And no one will be able to save Pluto. Stop. Forget her.” Askel had probably said this about fifty times already. Akol jumped up and stumbled onto his feet.

“I can’t!” he yelled. He clenched his hair in his balled up fists and squeezed his eyes shut. “I just can’t!”

Askel frowned. “There’s thousands of other women out there on Earth who I know you’ll admire.”

“Never.” Akol turned away and stared out the window. He stared at his reflection. His eyes were getting watery again.

“The Ditch will perish if you go by your words.”

“I can’t let that happen.” And the tears fell. All of them. He started shaking, sobbing. Askel embraced him, and he cried into his shoulder. “I’m tired.” Akol sniffled. “It’s hard. Love is hard. I hate it.”

“Let it all out.” Askel patted his back.

“How did you get married to a Devil? How was it so easy?” he asked, backing away from his brother and pinching the bridge of his nose.

“Let’s not talk about that,” Askel said, pinching the inside of his cheek and controlling his loving smile he was about to give to the memory of meeting his wife for the first time. “I should go now. You take some rest, okay?” He hugged him one more time, gave him a smile which Akol returned, and left to his own room.

Akol turned once again, to look out the window. A raindrop fell from the sky and onto the window. He ground his teeth and glared out at the moons shining down at the clearing. There were only a few of those tall, looming trees. He remembered when the trees used to be full of lush flowers and leaves.

“I won’t let you perish,” he said, looking at the trees. Then he looked up at the skies and growled. “I’ll make sure you never harm us.”

***

“Are they awake yet?” Akol called out to the group of children gossiping in the far corner of the dining table. He was having lunch alone with the kids, as he requested. Zoya, who was nearest to him, turned her head to look right at him.

“We told you, dear King Akolxohez, they have not woken up yet,” Zoya spelled out.

“It’s been three days!” Akol scowled.

“Pluto is most likely preparing them for the task that is to come,” she said, crossing her arms and mimicking the scowl that was on his face.

Akol flushed. “Just because you’re my personal advisor doesn’t mean you can be so frank.”

“You don’t even come to me for advice.” Zoya threw her hands in the air. “It’s always, ‘oh brother, please, what should I do? Oh, Askel, tell me! Oh -’”

“Shut up.”

“Rude.”

“Get out.”

“You’re horrible with kids.”

Akol rolled his eyes.

Ujalaa, from behind Zoya, let out a silent snicker. Zoya huffed, got off the cushioned chair and stormed out of the dining hall, slamming the huge doors behind her. The other kids continued gossiping while Akol continued eating.

The doors flew open a few minutes later, showing Zoya. “Never mind!” she screamed at the top of her lungs making Akol cringe at the sudden noise. “They’re awake!” Zoya whirled around. "Here they are!" She shuffled to the side, standing right beside the doors while Audrey and Will walked in.

The couple looked from Zoya to Akol, confused.

"I feel like royalty?" Audrey said. It sounded more like a question.

"Um." Will cleared his throat. "What's the time?"

"Two fifty one," Akol said. He got up and walked right in front of Will. He patted his collar down and smiled calmly at him. "You've been asleep for three days."

Will blinked. "Oh. Wow."

"Kids, all of you, outta here, I need to talk to these two." Akol announced, folding his arms behind himself.

All the kids, quietly, rushed out of the dining hall, swarming the three adults. One specific boy even tipped his hat at Will, making Will tip his own imaginary hat at him. The boy grinned and ran up to a couple of other kids and whispered excitedly.

Akol shut the doors and gestured for the couple to take a seat anywhere. They sat down on the chairs closest to them. Akol took the seat where he was sitting before. He propped up his elbow on the table and held his chin in his hand. "So. What did you see?"

"We saw a lot. We saw the Angels coming to attack the Ditch. And we saw the whole galaxy. It was very dark, but Sweztyn had a lot of light," Audrey said, then took a piece of bread that was in front of her. "I'm hungry."

Akol snapped his fingers and an empty bowl appeared in front of the couple.

Audrey grinned. "Thanks!"

"Hm. I know I asked you this before, but are you ready to help with saving the Ditch?" Akol asked, his brows furrowed.

"I mean, if it helps with keeping Earth safe and sound, then yes. For sure," Will said.

Akol smiled, pleased. "Let me explain what you'll have to do." He snapped his fingers again and a huge whiteboard appeared, floating above them. Will gazed up at it. Audrey continued eating. She nudged her husband, telling him to eat, and he did so, because his stomach had started growling.

"To stop the Angels from entering the Wizards' land, you have to go down…" Out of thin air, a red marker appeared in his hand and Akol drew a perfect picture of the planet, cutting it down from the middle, to show it's sections. He circled the Underground and tapped the board. "Here. You'll have to somehow stop the Angels, negotiate, use your magic, do something to stop the Angels from entering. Alright, next -"

"Hold on," Will interrupted. "You don't have an actual plan for us? We're literally supposed to waltz into the jaws of death? Aren’t these Angels deadly?"

"Pretty much."

"What?" Audrey shrieked.

"Relax. Just do what they tell you to do."

"Who's they?" Will asked.

"Your instincts." Akol jabbed a finger in Will's chest, making him scowl.

"Hey!" Audrey moved Akol's hand away.

"Anyways," Akol turned back around and faced the board. He pointed a finger at the skies. "Once you're done securing the area, you go up to the skies, and do something with the Angels. Figure out how they're killing the Wizards, and take away that skill."

"What do you mean?" Audrey asked.

"You have to go up to the skies, where the Angels live, and figure out how they kill the Wizards. If they use swords or whatever, then get rid of the swords," Akol explained, sitting back down on his chair.

"Now that I come to think of it, The Voice didn't tell us how they kill," Will said, suddenly sitting up right.

"She didn't?" Will had Akol's undivided attention now.

"No. The Voice... She just said it takes twenty five hours to kill a Wizard. But the wiser the Wizard, the longer it takes to kill." Will took some more food.

Akol looked dumbfounded. "But she knows everything!"

"I dunno... I guess she just..." Will trailed off, then shrugged. "I don't know."

There was silence as Akol stared off into space and squinted through the windows. The couple continued eating. Moments later, Akol clapped his hands. "Alright, questions?" he asked.

"Are you coming with us?" Audrey asked.

Akol flushed. "No."

"Is anyone coming with us?" Will asked desperately. Neither of them knew this planet much - that was obvious. They couldn't exactly go from one place to the other without getting lost in a second. Neither of them had the best sense of direction.

"You can take one or two of the slaves."

"Kids," Audrey said sternly.

"Kids, whatever." Akol shrugged, and leaned back into his chair and propped up his feet.

Will looked at Audrey. "Zoya and Ujalaa?" he asked. Audrey suddenly brightened, and nodded eagerly. The girls were absolutely adorable and Zoya was a genius. Surely she knew exactly where to go.

The couple got up in unison. Akol was taking a sip from his drink - it looked like wine. "We'll ask Ujalaa and Zoya if they want to come with us."

Akol nodded. "Okay. Go, now, ask. But Ujalaa is only ten years old. Do you think she'll be okay travelling so much?"

"Now that I come to think of it, probably not. She's way too young." Audrey tapped her chin. "How old is Zoya?"

"Sixteen."

"Oh! She should be okay then," Audrey mused.

"Why are you saying this to me? Go ask her."

"Why are you being so rude?" Audrey folded her arms, annoyed. Akol and Will shared a look. Audrey noticed and sighed. She raised her hands in mock surrender. “I don’t even wanna know now.”

“Anymore questions?” Akol asked.

“No.” Audrey said flatly. “We should go ask Zoya now, if she wants to help.”

Audrey pulled Will out of the room. She was a hundred percent sure that he and Akol had talked about something - something about her. And she didn’t like that her husband was keeping secrets from her. She would make him talk about it sooner or later.


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Tue May 19, 2020 1:28 pm
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Magebird says...



I love this chapter so much! I've been a shameless fan of Akol from the very start of the story, but seeing him interact with Zoya and Askel was everything I could have asked for. I love how he's getting sassed by a sixteen year old that he apparently trusts to be his advisor, and I love how Askel is trying to give him important life advice/common sense while he's a total dork about his love for Audrey.

If it wasn't for the fact that Will would die if Akol admitted his love, I'd say that Audrey has two hands - one for Will and one for Akol. :P

Also, Akol's really reminding me of a character in a Webtoon I've been reading - the story is called Nothing Special, and there's a trio where there's a clear couple and a third wheel pining after the girl - who happens to be demon royalty. It's an incredibly cute dynamic, so I'm definitely a sucker for Akol's feelings right now.




Liberty says...


I am definitely reading that Webtoon.



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Fri May 01, 2020 5:26 am
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LadyVendetta wrote a review...



Hey, it's your friendly neighborhood Jade here with another review. I took a break 'cause I was getting burnt out, but I'm back now! So, let's get started :)



A few rooms and flights of stairs away, Akol was pacing in his room, panicked. His older brother, Askel, was sitting on the leather couch, head in his hands. He was still dressed in his royal clothes. Fiery red tailcoat and black pants. Simple, comfortable and fancy. Just the way he liked it.

Ooh, I like this intro, it varies the usual pattern!

King Akolxohez had strong feelings for Audrey Emmerson.I ship it

No, but, seriously, I think this was a pretty impactful way to start this chapter off. I kinda feels like this has gone from a fantasy to a soap opera, and I’m here for it. And, of course, all good books have some drama!

“I… I always have this weird feeling in my chest when I see her,” he explained, waving his hands around vaguely.

They’re all adults. This feels more like a way a little kid would describe someone. THat’s not really… how adults talk… Even if it’s their first time crushing. Maybe saying something more along the lines of,

“The way her eyes crinkle when she smiles.”

“How when she blushes her ears go pink.”

“Her laugh reminds me of a dying orangutan and that’s my thing.”

Normally, when someone is smitten by someone else, they tend to notice these little things. Not that I speak from much experience, but I’ve seen it happen.

Akol laid down on his side and put his head on his lap. “I miss him. And Mother.”

Um, normally people don’t just come out with statements like these. They may, if that’s their persona, but it’s more hinted at for most. Maybe Akol wears his father’s watch, a gift from his mother. Maybe he spins it around his wrist and looks at it wistfully.

Maybe he says something like, “I wish he could help me. Everything is so hard without our parents.”

Not so much telling the reader, as it is showing them.

“I can’t.” Akol blinked away his tears furiously. “I can’t do anything. Audrey… she… I like her. She’s so kind, funny -”

Wow, ain’t he romantic. Those descriptions are making Shakespeare tremble with fear that he’s gonna be overthrown as the world’s best sonnet writer.

Askel frowned. “There’s thousands of other women out there on Earth who I know you’ll admire.”

This is a great way to add tenseness within the characters, a fun side plot that I’m guilty of admitting I love.

“Let’s not talk about that,” Askel said, pinching the inside of his cheek and controlling his loving smile he was about to give to the memory of meeting his wife for the first time. “I should go now. You take some rest, okay?” He hugged him one more time, gave him a smile which Akol returned, and left to his own room.

Libby, I’m not really a romantic person but this is so cute, I swear. You portray it so well, it’s adorable to watch unfold and get some more depth to Akol’s character. I first saw him as a crazy hobo, then a put-together business man, now he’s an awkward king and I love how we get these different views of him!

“We told you, dear King Akolxohez, they have not woken up yet,” Zoya spelled out.

Welp, I thought she was prone to speaking in Old English. I know you’re doing it for the sake of the readers, but stay true to text and keep her consistent!

Akol flushed. “Just because you’re my personal advisor doesn’t mean you can be so frank.”

“You’re horrible with kids.”

How old is she? Maybe, when she’s first introduced, instead of later this chapter, Will can guess her age, or something, so we have a clearer view of her. She talks like a mature teenager, but acts like a pre-teen. Something more solid would be good, because I’m flickering between a young girl and a teen, even though she’s 16.


All the kids, quietly, rushed out of the dining hall, swarming the three adults. One specific boy even tipped his hat at Will, making Will tip his own imaginary hat at him. The boy grinned and ran up to a couple of other kids and whispered excitedly.

WILLIAM SOMETHING WINCHESTER THE probably not first, that sounds like a family name PLEASE STOP MAKING A FOOL OF YOURSELF AND FIGHT FOR YOUR MAIDEN BRIDE! CHALLENGE HIM TO A DUEL!

Akol snapped his fingers and an empty bowl appeared in front of the couple.

Yes, food will win her over! Your move, Will, just don't get all “Will”y-Nilly about it. Oh god I’m sorry

"To stop the Angels from entering the Wizards' land, you have to go down…" Out of thin air, a red marker appeared in his hand and Akol drew a perfect picture of the planet, cutting it down from the middle, to show it's sections. He circled the Underground and tapped the board. "Here. You'll have to somehow stop the Angels, negotiate, use your magic, do something to stop the Angels from entering. Alright, next -"

I know it’s hard, but maybe show these problems instead of them explaining.

Akol flushed. "No."

Well, he’s brave for his fair maiden whom’s affection he is desperately, silently sparring to win. I bet he has a pet name for her!

Will looked at Audrey. "Zoya and Ujalaa?" he asked. Audrey suddenly brightened, and nodded eagerly. The girls were absolutely adorable and Zoya was a genius. Surely she knew exactly where to go.

Yay! This is a pretty fun way to introduce the whole team but it could be executed a tad bit better. Maybe Zoya bursts in and demands to do her part finally and begs them to take her!
Also, slaves is such an off putting name.

Audrey pulled Will out of the room. She was a hundred percent sure that he and Akol had talked about something - something about her. And she didn’t like that her husband was keeping secrets from her. She would make him talk about it sooner or later.

I really like the notes you end these chapters on.

OVERALL:
The flow is so much better, so are the descriptions, characters. But, one thing you may want to start worrying about, is character development. Maybe they’re more lenient after everything so far, maybe more panicked, more nervous, anxious, doubtful?

That’s all, good work!
Jade




Liberty says...


Hah about Soya talking to Akol in the first bit, d'ya mind helping me out with the Old English thing? And thanks for the review! I love reading your reactions! :3



Liberty says...


Zoya*

THAT WAS AUTOCORRECT I'm sorry lol.



LadyVendetta says...


Sure ^^



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Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:44 am
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EternalRain wrote a review...



HII


King Akolxohez had strong feelings for Audrey Emmerson.


OMG

“If you fall in love, Audrey’s soulmate will die. And the Ditch won’t be able to be saved. This was a dangerous task.” Askel looked up. “I told you.”


OMG

OKAY, WOAH, that's crazy. This definitely adds another layer to the story (and hah- I predicted it last chapter - he wasn't over Audrey). One thing I do want to say is that this all seems SUPER sudden. I mean, Akol has barely known Audrey? Right? Yet he seems completely in love with her. It seems more plausible if his flirts were slightly playful at first and later down the road he realized he actually has feelings for her - but it seems kind of insta-lovey right now.

Overall, though, I absolutely adored Akol this chapter. I mean, his "Kids, whatever" comment cracked me up, and his "Just because you're my advisor doesn't mean you have to be so frank" comment to Zoya was just too good. He's clearly annoyed and preoccupied not only with Audrey but also with his planet. But I love his jabs at Will and whatnot.

I also find it funny how Akol has practically no plan and is just sending the two of them away xD That's too good! I think it actually is a really good set-up though because it will force Will and Audrey to really work hard. Though I am wondering - will they be provided any way for them to learn more about their magic? Or any weapons of any sort? I mean, they're kinda going in blind so I am a LITTLE worried about them !! (BUT they do have Zoya who I'm 100% sure will be kicking a lot of butt soooo). I'm curious about a few things though - what's the transportation like? How do they get to separate worlds? This will probably all be addressed soon, but yeah.

Okay, I had lots of all over the place thoughts this chapter haha but yeah! I'm loving this. And I'm so ready for more Zoya! YAY

Peace,
~ EternalRain




Liberty says...


I guess the Akol-falling-in-love-with-only-Humans didn't explain itself very properly. Basically, every other Devil but Akol (for some reason) falls in love with Devils, and not Humans. Akol falls in love with Humans. And it's SUDDEN, like you said. It's meant to be sudden. It's weird, but idk, the creator of this weird planet decided it to be that way. ;)

Thanks for the review!



EternalRain says...


Ohhh, I see! Yeah, I understood him only falling in love with humans (interesting, btw), I guess I just didn't catch it being super sudden. Thanks for explaining hehe :)



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Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:15 pm
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Hkumar wrote a review...



Hey Liberty!

OMG! I never thought you will actually bring a love triangle. All that flirting in the previous chapters, I assumed that was just for fun. But this is something really very exciting. (You really know how to keep your readers amused :p)

I like that you introduced a new character Askel, Akol's brother. The conversation between the two that involved so much emotional conflict was very exciting I must say. I don't know whether it's just infatuation or true love but it seems that it is bothering Akol's mind a lot. He is a true king as well and he knows about his duties and won't forget about the love he has for his home place.

“You don’t even come to me for advice.” Zoya threw her hands in the air. “It’s always, ‘oh brother, please, what should I do? Oh, Askel, tell me! Oh -’”

Zoya is good in giving audacious remarks. I thought it was just the case with Will but she even talks with Akol in the same manner. This particular reply made me grin. :P
Well just like Gnomish pointed out I also felt calling Zoya genius based on their small interaction they had earlier does not fit right. I mean Will did praise her sense of humour but nothing else happened that points her being genius. Anyways, I think there's a chance we are going to see more of Zoya if she is ready to accompany them in their journey. That will be quite interesting.

After reading the ending I was thinking how will Audrey react when she will get to know the truth. I think she must have realised that Akol does try flirt her and that makes Will quite jealous. Woman are smart enough to realise these things quickly. But to know that there are actual feelings behind those actions, that's something I will be looking forward to read.

Yet again I will say you did good work with the chapter. Will be waiting for the new one to come soon. <3

Keep writing :)




Liberty says...


Thanks for the review!! <3 <3



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Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:50 pm
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Gnomish wrote a review...



What excitement!

Is Askel Askel's real name or is it a nickname too? And if it is a nickname, what's his long name? Akol and Askel are so human-like. I imagined that there would be some tension or stony-coldness between them, and I definitely thought Akol was more human-like than his brothers. It's nice to see this other side of him, though!

Akol looked up at her with watery eyes
I think you mean "him" instead of "her" because he's talking about Askel.

She nudged her husband, telling him to eat, and he did so, because his stomach had started growling.

I feel like this would run better if you said something like "she nudged her husband, telling him to eat. His stomach growled loudly, and he dug into the bowl." Just a suggestion.

The girls were absolutely adorable and Zoya was a genius.
Maybe I'm forgetting something that happened but I thought Audrey had only met Zoya once, so I'm not sure how she knew she was genius.

I loved this chapter, especially the part between Akol and Askel, and I'm looking forward to the next!




Liberty says...


Thanks for the review! I get your point about the last bit. xP




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— Maurice Sendak