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The Last Spell 13.2

by SilverNight


Shane followed Leilan wordlessly, paying close attention to the mages, who were still observing their surroundings. He saw Cyrin steal a glance at the hall with the seven bedrooms, even though they wouldn’t be able to see much of it from here. Mireya had an eye on the fridge— maybe she really was hungry. It would make sense with the fistful of blackberries she’d taken.

The Heirs largely sat in the same places of their sitting room each time. Shane and Kaja usually split up between two couches, while Dawn and Leilan opted for their own armchairs. Kasumi, meanwhile, preferred to sit on the floor with a cushion. Shane predicted that Cyrin and Mireya would sit together, though, so he slid next to Kaja’s place on her couch. She narrowed her eyes at him, but seemed to know why he was changing things up.

Sure enough, Cyrin and Mireya settled onto his usual couch, and everyone else took their regular places. Shane wondered how long it had been since the suite had welcomed non-Heir guests, if ever.

“Cyrin, Mireya, these are Kasumi and Kaja,” Leilan said, gesturing with each name. Nods of greeting were exchanged. “Kaja met Sparrow, along with Shane.”

“My condolences to them both,” Cyrin said quietly, and Shane couldn’t help but smile.

“So, are the two of you mages?” Kasumi asked.

Mireya laughed. “Yes, but we’re rather different kinds.”

“You… did something last night at the meeting,” Leilan commented. “With the lights, I think. What was it?”

With a smirk, Mireya raised a hand and closed it. The lights in the room suddenly all went out, as if smothered. It wasn’t nearly as dramatic as it had been in the Arcade, with natural light streaming through the windows, but it was much darker. Shane felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise, and he smelled ozone, like there was a lightning strike on the way.

“I control electricity,” Mireya explained. “There are a few things I can do with it. I can drain a power supply, reroute current assuming there’s another possible circuit path, disable electronics, and so on. If I drain power like I’m doing right now, I can release it for myself as electrical discharge, like that attack you and Shane saw.” She reopened her hand, and the lights turned on again. “Or I can just return the power to what I took it from.”

“Also, she gives off a lot of static shocks,” Cyrin added. “That’s the most fearsome part.”

Mireya huffed. “I can’t sound cool for two minutes, can I?”

“That’s…” Dawn’s eyes were wide. “Are you seriously a Major Mage?”

Mireya nodded. “Yep.”

When he looked around at the faces of the other Heirs, Shane saw awed respect along with shock. He was pretty sure that she was already cool to them. Even Kaja reluctantly muttered, “That’s pretty neat.”

Shane broke the amazed silence by clearing his throat. “So, where are we travelling to for… acquiring the First Spell?” He knew stealing was the right verb, and the other Heirs would know as well, but he could imagine the grimaces he would see if he said that.

Cyrin’s eyes sparked. “It’s in the Permafrost’s Fall. Not the fortress, the underground portion. The artifact vault.”

“Storm City,” Leilan mused. “That’s pretty good, I was worried it’d be somewhere remote—” He paused suddenly. “The vault?”

Cyrin nodded. “The location explains why no one’s found it sooner, doesn’t it?”

“Oh,” Shane murmured, swallowing and running a hand through his hair to hide that it was shaking.

“You can’t be serious,” Kasumi exclaimed. “That place is deadly. It was literally designed so that no one would leave alive, there are those Banes—”

“We made it out, didn’t we?” Mireya said, matter-of-factly. “We even got what we were there for. We’re here, telling you where we came across it.”

The room went very silent, and it was then that Shane truly realized how powerful the two mages sitting relaxedly on their couch had to be. He’d been able to tell they were at least a force to be reckoned with when he’d first seen them, and it had intimidated him a bit, but… Mireya and Cyrin were even dangerous. If they could go into that chasm of danger and certain death and come out again not only alive, but victorious… What else were they capable of?

Shane didn’t want to know that. What he did know was that he really didn’t want to stand in their way.

“We won’t need that much from you,” Mireya promised. “You won’t have to go into the Fall, but we’d like you at the museum. For now, we’d like to go over transportation, supplies, and lodging.”

Shane couldn’t help but let out a quiet sigh of relief, and he heard a few more from the other Heirs.

“I’ll get us plane tickets,” Dawn said, standing up. “When do we want to leave?”

Cyrin tilted their head to the side thoughtfully. “Let’s try for tonight,” they suggested, and Dawn left to grab her laptop.

“What kind of supplies do you need?” Leilan asked.

“I’d like to take a few of you to the Arcade to go hunting,” Mireya said. “Not for anything specific, just whatever looks useful for this heist. And Cyrin wants more magic to use in a trap for the Bane this time.”

“There’s another mage I know who might have some magic to spare,” Cyrin said. “If that doesn’t work— well, I could use some help getting some in the Arcade. Would two of you be willing to go with me, in case we need a Plan B?”

“I’ll go,” Kaja grumbled.

“I’ll go, too, in case it’s not brute force you need,” Kasumi added.

“Then Shane, Dawn and I will go with Mireya,” Leilan said, and even though that was the obvious solution, Shane wished he could have stayed out of the Arcade entirely and away from people who tried to throw fire at him. Kaja could call him paranoid if she wanted, but he felt like that was a very reasonable preference.

“Great!” Mireya said brightly. “I’m also asking for blackberries.”

“You’ll have to talk to Shane on that one,” Kaja said with a snort.

Now under Mireya’s hopeful gaze, Shane cleared his throat. “Um, the blackberries are—”

“Is a short layover in Amber City alright?” Dawn hollered from a few rooms over. “There aren’t any direct flights from here to Storm City with seven seats in first class left tonight.”

“That’s good,” Leilan shouted back, then said more quietly, “I’m really not sure why it’s got to be first class.”

“Awesome. I’d like some more of those duty-free marshmallows.”

Shane saw Kaja rolling her eyes, but she kept from complaining about having to go back to the Amber City airport in front of Cyrin and Mireya, mercifully.

“Are we going to the Arcade now?” Kasumi asked.

Cyrin frowned. “Don’t we need to make a hotel reservation first?”

Shane nearly answered him before he realized that explaining that the Heirs had a suite in Storm City too was sharing confidential information, and he snapped his mouth shut. The others hesitated in the same way.

“…No,” Dawn said finally from the other room. “It’s a hotel property in Storm City that Kaja’s family owns, much like this suite. She always has access to it.”

The lie impressed Shane a little. It hadn’t come soon enough to not be suspicious, but it was technically true. It just omitted the fact that all of their families had exclusive ownership of the suite.

Shane knew the mages hadn’t completely bought into Dawn’s words, by the way Cyrin’s eyes narrowed slightly and Mireya blinked slowly, but they seemed to trust that they would have a place to stay, even if they didn’t believe in the explanation. Mireya finally nodded. “I’m sure it’s a nice spot.”

“It seems like we can split up for the Arcade, then,” Leilan said, getting to his feet. “Do you mind if we take a few minutes to get ready?”

“Take your time,” Cyrin assured him.

Shane didn’t think about standing until everyone else was already up and starting to disperse out of the room. Cyrin and Mireya were lingering more, moving to the door without anywhere to really go to. A thought occurred to him, and he quickly staggered to his feet.

“Cyrin, got a moment?” Shane called.

Cyrin turned around, nodding before looking back at Mireya. “Go ahead without me, I’ll catch up.” As Mireya slipped out of the room, leaving the two of them alone, he walked back to Shane. His expression was measured, but not closed-off. “What is it?”

Shane hesitated. “I need to ask you something. Who is Sparrow?”

Cyrin’s brow furrowed. “What do you mean?”

“I’ve gathered that he’s a crime boss, and also the suspicious type, but…” Shane trailed off. “There’s more than that, isn’t there? Everyone in the Arcade seems to worship him.”

“Mireya and I don’t.” Cyrin’s face had twisted into a grimace.

“I figured,” Shane said quickly. “I’m guessing you know something more about him because of that. So, who would you say he is?”

Cyrin was silent for long enough that Shane wondered if they didn’t feel like answering, but then he saw the out-of-focus look in their eyes, like they were weighing their words so carefully that they were forgetting to say them out loud.

“Sparrow is… a sly person,” they said finally, pressing their lips together in a pause like they were restraining themself from calling him worse. “He wants to look like the future of Arcade crime, and he’s figured out how to do it. He knows how to lure people under his power, with either a promise or a threat, and he knows how to keep them there. He’s like a cult leader. Everyone in the Arcade wants to be in his favor, and fears losing it, no matter how hardened of an anarchist or criminal they are. They think they aren’t being controlled, but they’ll do anything he wants.” Cyrin shook their head. “The truth is, they’re all trapped.”

Shane frowned. “I assume you and Mireya were trapped once too?”

Cyrin’s smile was bitter and flat, without a trace of humor. “Let’s just say he had us do some of his worst business. I wouldn’t say I was ever under his spell, because that’s an easy pattern to notice, but if it had been just as simple to escape, I would have left from the start.”

“Okay,” Shane said slowly. “It’s just that— he thought he might know me.”

Cyrin went very still. “What?”

“He asked me if we’d met before, but I know I haven’t,” Shane explained. “Something about me having a familiar face. He didn’t figure it out, but it worried me, because he shouldn’t recognize me.”

It was only in the silence after Shane stopped talking that he saw Cyrin looked… a little shaken. Their eyes were wide, wide enough that he could spot flecks of soft gray in the dark of their irises when they were standing this close. Cyrin’s gaze directly met Shane’s, and he thought he saw concern. Concern for Shane? Or was he just misreading them?

“I sincerely hope he doesn’t know you,” Cyrin said, his voice grave. “That’s a lot of trouble you don’t need. It’s best if he doesn’t notice you and think about you again.” After looking over Shane one more time with what he was now sure was concern, he turned around and left the room.

Shane was about to call after him in confusion, but Leilan poked his head in the doorway the moment Cyrin was gone. “Are you ready to leave with Mireya?” Leilan asked, and Shane knew he’d missed his chance.

“Yeah, I’m ready to go,” Shane said. Leilan left again, and with the faintest of sighs, he followed after him.


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Thu Jun 22, 2023 2:59 am
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Spearmint wrote a review...



Hello Silv! ^-^ I think I read,,, the first chapter of this? A while ago? But I'm here to get this chapter part out of the Green Room, and hopefully it inspires me to read the rest of The Last Spell as well! I keep seeing your wall posts about it and it seems very chaotic interesting. =PP
So, first thought: that cover is super cool. 0.0 I'm loving the glitchiness of the text, and it gives me magic + tech vibes, which is neat!

Alright, I think I'll leave more specific thoughts as I read, and then have a recap at the end. ^^

The Heirs largely sat in the same places of their sitting room each time. Shane and Kaja usually split up between two couches, while Dawn and Leilan opted for their own armchairs. Kasumi, meanwhile, preferred to sit on the floor with a cushion.

This was probably not the best chapter part for me to jump into, haha. You've got quite a cast of characters here! I do remember Cyrin and Mireya from that first chapter, though.
My impressions of the setting just based on these paragraphs so far: it seems like they're in the dwelling of one of the Heirs? Or a safe space that they come to often, at least. Maybe you've described it earlier, but I feel like it'd be cool to get a little more description of the sitting room. Are there patterns on the furniture? Are there curtains over the windows, or a fireplace? (Please ignore this if you've already covered it. I'll probably go back and read the other chapters later. xD)

“I control electricity,” Mireya explained. “There are a few things I can do with it. I can drain a power supply, reroute current assuming there’s another possible circuit path, disable electronics, and so on. If I drain power like I’m doing right now, I can release it for myself as electrical discharge, like that attack you and Shane saw.”

Oooh, that's a neat power! 0.0 I wonder what else she can do with it. :D
(She could definitely cause a lot of havoc in our world, if she wanted to... And here, as it seems they do have modern technology in this world as well.)

“Also, she gives off a lot of static shocks,” Cyrin added. “That’s the most fearsome part.”

Mireya huffed. “I can’t sound cool for two minutes, can I?”

XD I feel like you write banter very well. These two have such a fun dynamic, lol.

“Are you seriously a Major Mage?”

I have no idea what a Major Mage is, but I am loving the alliteration. =P

When he looked around at the faces of the other Heirs, Shane saw awed respect along with shock.

I'm not sure why, but this sentence sounded a little awkward to me. Maybe describing the other Heirs' expressions more specifically would help? Like, [x person]'s mouth was slightly open, and their eyes were wide. Or it could just be me! :]

Shane broke the amazed silence by clearing his throat. “So, where are we travelling to for… acquiring the First Spell?” He knew stealing was the right verb, and the other Heirs would know as well, but he could imagine the grimaces he would see if he said that.

:eyes: Heist! Heist! Heist!

If they could go into that chasm of danger and certain death and come out again not only alive, but victorious… What else were they capable of?

Dang, they're cool. XD

Shane wished he could have stayed out of the Arcade entirely and away from people who tried to throw fire at him.

UM. What happened at the Arcade. >_> Okay, I need to read this now, lol.

“You’ll have to talk to Shane on that one,” Kaja said with a snort.

Oh, does Shane own this place? From what I've read so far, he seems responsible, and maybe like the one with the most common sense in this group.

“…No,” Dawn said finally from the other room. “It’s a hotel property in Storm City that Kaja’s family owns, much like this suite. She always has access to it.”

Wait, so all the Heirs own this place. 0.0 Wow, that's nice.

“Sparrow is… a sly person,” they said finally, pressing their lips together in a pause like they were restraining themself from calling him worse.

Interesting~ So we have an antagonist here. I'm intrigued that he calls himself Sparrow instead of a more intimidating name!

“He asked me if we’d met before, but I know I haven’t,” Shane explained. “Something about me having a familiar face. He didn’t figure it out, but it worried me, because he shouldn’t recognize me.”

It was only in the silence after Shane stopped talking that he saw Cyrin looked… a little shaken. Their eyes were wide, wide enough that he could spot flecks of soft gray in the dark of their irises when they were standing this close.

Things just got more interesting. Even though I'm not caught up, I can tell that Sparrow finding Shane familiar is not a good thing, and I'm very curious as to why Sparrow said that. I think you've got the mood of this scene just right!

“Yeah, I’m ready to go,” Shane said. Leilan left again, and with the faintest of sighs, he followed after him.

Good luck, Shane. I hope no one throws fire at you this time.

Okay, so overall thoughts! You have a lot of characters, but you managed to balance them well. I didn't feel confused because the main focus was on Shane, as the POV, and Cyrin and Mireya, as the heist leaders (or so it seems). I wasn't totally lost in terms of plot either, which is a good sign. And I was able to stay invested in the story despite not being completely aware of the stakes! So yeah, great job with this! ^-^
The only thing I wanted to see a little more of was description. I loved the detail about the flecks in Cyrin's eyes, and I think it'd be neat to be able to visualize the room a little better as well! But of course, it's entirely possible that you've already described this room, haha.
Thanks for the story, and I hope you have a wonderful day/night! =D




SilverNight says...


ahhhhhh thank you Spearmint! I love and appreciate this detailed feedback and reaction ^^ <3



Spearmint says...


yeah, I enjoyed reading this!! c: <3



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Fri Jun 09, 2023 12:36 pm
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IcyFlame wrote a review...



Ok I've spent the past couple of days actually reading the previous chapters of this from the start so I'm all caught up and ready to actually be a bit more helpful with my reviewing! I also did the character quiz you posted a while ago and it turns out I'm Cyrin, so they're currently my favourite character xD

I am a little confused about the role of the bodyguards for the heirs. They seem to have some kind of authority over them because Leilan is often worried about getting into trouble with them although that hasn't actually manifested as a problem yet? How involved are the bodyguards in their everyday comings and goings - do they report back to the heads of houses? I think the dynamic is a bit unclear for me.

Also, are we no longer concerned about Favia? Before they met Cyrin and Mireya they were all looking for her but now nobody seems to care? Or did I completely miss a part where they found her (definitely possible)?

“I’ll go,” Kaja grumbled.

“I’ll go, too, in case it’s not brute force you need,” Kasumi added.

This seems like a terrible combination of people xD I expect absolute chaos to ensue!

Shane nearly answered him before he realized that explaining that the Heirs had a suite in Storm City too was sharing confidential information, and he snapped his mouth shut.

Something I've been wondering about - does nobody recognise the heirs? They're clearly relatively important so I keep being surprised nobody seems to know who they are.

I was also surprised at how open Mireya and Cyrin seemed to be to the others given that they've just met them. In the opening chapters Mireya's magic seemed to be kind of hinted at rather than explicitly stated and that kind of gave me the feeling it was a more secret kind of magic, so I was surprised when she told the heirs all about it.

Another question (because I've now read it all and apparently can't stop asking things) but how is it that the heirs are allowed to go off and do their own thing now? Weren't they in the city for important meetings? How is it they can just blow them off?

I'm hoping to read another section today, but I hope this review is helpful - although I'm sorry for all the questions xD

Happy Friday!

Icy

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