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The Last Spell 17.2

by SilverNight


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

Shane had vastly underestimated how terrifying the climb would be.

He was squeezing the rope with all his might, but he was still certain it would slip through his gloved hands. He didn’t want to think about the fall, but there it was, looming below him. But every time he would freeze on the rope, certain that he couldn’t go any further, the fear of getting found overpowered his fear of falling off the rope, and he kept going.

The rope shook all of a sudden, and Shane clung to it tighter, frightened thoughts racing through his head before he realized what was happening. There were only two ropes, but five of them, and so they had to go a few at a time if they were going to get there in time. Cautiously, Shane looked up to see who was on his rope. Kasumi had just started her climb, and only seemed a little bit more confident about it than him. Leilan was far below already, and Dawn was sharing his rope. Kaja hadn’t started climbing yet.

Forcing himself to calm down with a deep breath, Shane kept going, even though the vibrations that Kasumi was causing made it harder. The bag with the supplies that they’d bought at the Arcade, including the small explosives, was around his shoulders, weighing him down. He tried not to think about what would happen if it slipped off.

Saints, he wished he’d tried to build up at least a little muscle at some point in his life. Maybe then his arms wouldn’t be shaking so much.

Shane knew he was getting close to the ground— he refused to look straight down— when one of the Banes drew near him. He froze again, worried that it would strike even though he was making no attempt to leave, but the Bane didn’t do anything. It swirled around him, seeming to examine him before it floated off again. If he didn’t know better, Shane would have said that it was... curious about him. Unnerved, he kept going.

He wasn't sure what he was shakier from, exhaustion or relief, when he reached the bottom, gasping. Leilan put an arm around his shoulders, steadying him. "You did it," he said softly. “Good job.”

"It’s going to be so much harder on the way up," Shane wheezed.

He didn’t miss the way that Leilan pursed his lips. “We’re just going to have to see how that goes later on.”

Shane looked up to see Dawn closing the distance between them, and Kaja just starting to climb down. She seemed to be crawling the rope extremely slowly, until Shane realized that she might not be moving at all. She was frozen at the top.

“Kaja, it’s okay,” Leilan called, as loudly as he dared. “You’ve got the strength for it.”

Kaja was clearly speaking through gritted teeth. “I’m fine. I’m not scared.”

“Of course not,” Dawn assured her as she got off her rope. “Just shuffle down. You’ve got this.”

Kaja didn’t budge for a few more moments, but finally she started to place one hand after the other, moving down the rope again.

Leilan turned to Shane. “Can you go find Mireya and Cyrin and let them know these ropes need hidden? We’ll join you later, once Kaja’s down. Just don’t slip on the ice.”

Shane nodded, taking one last deep breath to regain steadiness. “Sure,” he managed, and started off in one direction.

He hoped he hadn’t taken the long way around the circle, as he couldn’t move very fast over the ice. He also couldn’t help but slow to admire the Flare lamps that lit the way, reflecting in a nearly blinding but dazzling display over the clear ice. The frozen walls carried an echo, and soon he could hear Mireya’s voice.

“Is there something wrong with the magic?”

“No, it’s not that,” Cyrin said. “I’m just having a little trouble focusing.”

“It’s okay,” Mireya said knowingly. “Did you take your meds today?”

“It’s a heist day,” Cyrin said with a laugh. “Of course I remembered to take my meds—”

There was a long pause.

“Fuck.”

“Did you forget?” Shane could hear Mireya’s amused smile.

Another pause. “Maybe.”

Mireya laughed. “They don’t have to know, and you’ll manage anyway. I won’t be telling them.”

Cyrin let out a soft sigh that was almost a chuckle. “I know you weren’t going to. The deal is final, anyway, so it won’t matter if any of them have a problem with me. It would be frustrating if any of them got judgmental, though.”

Did Cyrin have ADHD? That was perfectly fine. Shane already knew they could fly a jetpack, spot a threat directly behind them in a crowded area, and take care of a magical explosion, which was good enough for him. It would be ridiculous to worry over their ability.

“They aren’t all that bad,” Mireya commented. “At least, not all of them are.”

Shane paused, coming to a standstill. He had to be just barely out of sight around the curve, but something told him he should listen for a minute before he joined them.

“True.” A white glow lit the ice, and he guessed Cyrin had taken out some of their magic. “I’m not sure if it matters that much, though.”

“We don’t really need them here,” Mireya said in agreement. “We don’t have to get to know them as much as we said we did.”

What?

Shane didn’t hear anything for a few more moments until Cyrin said, “I could have been friends with some of them.”

“Really?”

“Leilan’s interesting. Far more self-aware and open-minded than someone I’d expect to approach us.” The light over the ice was dimming and brightening now. “If there were the chance for it, Shane’s the kind of person I think I’d get along well with. He knows history, apparently, so I could see us talking about that. I’m honestly feeling a little concerned for him.”

Thanks, I guess? Shane thought.

“Concerned?” Mireya asked. “How so?”

“I pity anyone who might have to deal with Sparrow. I truly hope he doesn’t have to.” Another pause. “I doubt we’ll get to see if that ever happens, though.”

“Are you thinking we should leave them pretty fast after we do it?”

“I mean, yeah. I wouldn’t want to be found again.”

“Ah.” Shane could picture Mireya nodding. “So, you’re thinking it’s not worth learning much more about them.”

“No, regrettably,” Cyrin said. “We’re going to have to leave soon anyway.”

“And you’re less comfortable leaving people you know behind than me.”

“I wouldn’t have said that myself, but yeah.”

Shane’s thoughts were swirling.

Kaja’s words at the top of the Permafrost’s Fall came back to him, how she’d claimed they had no interest in determining whether the Heirs were worthy or not. Had they already come to some sort of conclusion about them?

“It’s a shame,” Mireya said. “I think Dawn’s cool.”

Cyrin sighed exaggeratedly. “You can’t keep trying to get with rich people in our line of work, Mireya. We steal money, not hearts.”

You don't steal hearts. Who said I was trying to get with her, anyway?” Mireya said defensively.

“You’re right, I think she’s out of your league.”

“You take that back!”

“Oh? Are you hoping for the contrary?”

Shane heard Mireya snort. “I hate you.”

“Guess I’m down to three people that like me, then.” Cyrin snapped their fingers. “Spell’s ready.”

“Shane?”

Shane jumped when Leilan spoke behind him. He whirled around, nearly losing his balance on the ice.

“Did you tell them?” Leilan’s brow was furrowed. Kaja, Dawn and Kasumi were behind him, all looking a little confused. “The ropes need—”

“Tell us what?” Shane barely managed to avoid jumping another time when Cyrin showed up beside him, and he prayed they hadn’t guessed he’d been standing there listening. Mireya walked up behind them. “What’s wrong? Why are you down here?”

“There’s someone searching the museum,” Kasumi said hurriedly. “We didn’t want to get found up there, so we came down, but the ropes are still visible.”

“Shit.” Mireya sighed. “So much for this going better than the last time.”

Cyrin didn’t waste a moment, weaving together a spell and passing it to Kasumi. “This is Concealment. Hold it to each rope until it spreads up to the top. Don’t get spotted.”

Kasumi nodded and dashed off.

“What’s happening now?” Dawn asked, her voice slightly shaky.

Mireya and Cyrin exchanged a look.

“You know they might as well,” Mireya pointed out, and although Cyrin closed his eyes and rubbed at his forehead like he was having a migraine, he nodded and didn’t object.

“You want us to help,” Shane said. It wasn’t exactly a guess.

“Well…” Mireya shrugged. “Since you’re here, how about pulling off a heist?”


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Thu Jul 06, 2023 8:58 pm
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Spearmint wrote a review...



Hey Silv, I'm back! :D And oooh dear, this chapter had me on the edge of my chair with nervousness... I'm still trying and failing to think of ways they can all get out of there safely. xD And as the thieves get closer to stealing the First Spell, my anticipation is growing for how they'll execute their little pretend-to-hand-it-over-but-not thing, and what the Heirs will do...
In other news, I'm finally caught up! ^o^ I was very amused to find that the Heirs literally just stumbled into the Arcade, lol.

Okay, on to specifics!

Saints, he wished he’d tried to build up at least a little muscle at some point in his life. Maybe then his arms wouldn’t be shaking so much.

Why is this so relatable T-T Anyways, I'm glad Shane and the Heirs aren't just sliding confidently down the ropes... it's more realistic that they're trembling.

Shane knew he was getting close to the ground— he refused to look straight down— when one of the Banes drew near him.

I think here would be a great place to slip in some description of the Banes! To be honest, I've kind of forgotten what they look like, ahaha... The Bane swirling around Shane later on is a great detail, but I'd appreciate some colors or a reminder of its form. c:

If he didn’t know better, Shane would have said that it was... curious about him.

Hmm... These Banes are very interesting indeed. I wonder if their escape will involve befriending or bribing the Banes in some way? Maybe that's a stretch, haha, but if they're anything like guard dogs...?? Or maybe it'll involve a distraction (which sounds fun), or our long-lost bodyguard? >.>

She seemed to be crawling* the rope extremely slowly, until Shane realized that she might not be moving at all. She was frozen at the top.

*crawling down?
Neat to see a contradiction of her strong, fearless character! I wonder if any of them will address it later.

“Of course not,” Dawn assured her as she got off her rope. “Just shuffle down. You’ve got this.”

I'm very curious about that person they heard above the pit. Like, don't their voices carry, if Kaja can hear them? So why isn't that person doing anything obvious...
Wait! Could that person be Dante? Will he swoop in to save the day??? (Is this wishful thinking? Maybe. xD)

“Can you go find Mireya and Cyrin and let them know these ropes need hidden?*

*hiding
or *to be hidden?

“If there were the chance for it, Shane’s the kind of person I think I’d get along well with. He knows history, apparently, so I could see us talking about that. I’m honestly feeling a little concerned for him.”

Thanks, I guess? Shane thought.

Aw, I'm here for this Cyrin-Shane friendship. :3
I think this chapter is one of the most interesting yet, because there's kind of a sense of impending disaster. Like, I'm pretty sure Shane has developed some suspicions about Mireya and Cyrin, with all their talk of leaving quickly. xD

Cyrin sighed exaggeratedly. “You can’t keep trying to get with rich people in our line of work, Mireya. We steal money, not hearts.”

“You don't steal hearts. Who said I was trying to get with her, anyway?” Mireya said defensively.

“You’re right, I think she’s out of your league.”

“You take that back!”

XDD This duo always cracks me up. <3

“Tell us what?” Shane barely managed to avoid jumping another time when Cyrin showed up beside him, and he prayed they hadn’t guessed he’d been standing there listening. Mireya walked up behind them. “What’s wrong? Why are you down here?”

Hmm I wonder if Cyrin and Mireya would exchange some kind of worried glance here or something. On the one hand, they don't seem like the type to worry too much, but also, they might have the (entirely correct) suspicion that one of the Heirs might have overheard them...

“Well…” Mireya shrugged. “Since you’re here, how about pulling off a heist?”

I do not see this ending in any way except disaster. @-@

Super excited to see how you pull this off! =P Also, congrats on finishing LMS!! Have a wonderful day/night! =D




SilverNight says...


Spearmint!! Welcome back and thank you :]

Neat to see a contradiction of her strong, fearless character! I wonder if any of them will address it later.


oh I'm sure everyone would be too scared to XD

Wait! Could that person be Dante? Will he swoop in to save the day??? (Is this wishful thinking? Maybe. xD)


[spoiler]I love how I just said "Dante is long dead" and you went "NO" maybe I gotta be more subtle XD[/quote]



SilverNight says...


Me trying to spoiler things and not only failing but also making myself look silly? Never :')



Spearmint says...


hahaha i've definitely done that before XDD (and indeed... mysteriously dead or disappeared characters frequently come up again, so... i've got my eyes peeled hehe)



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Sun Jun 25, 2023 10:25 pm
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IcyFlame wrote a review...



Hello hello! I’m back for another round of reviewing and hoping this time I can make it a bit more in depth - I’ve graduated from phone to iPad so at least I can see what I’m doing which always helps.

Shane had vastly underestimated how terrifying the climb would be.

I had wondered about this. The first time Cyrin and Mireya were climbing down the rope it wasn’t hugely difficult for them but it certainly didn’t sound super easy and they’re both actually used to doing things like this.

There were only two ropes, but five of them, and so they had to go a few at a time if they were going to get there in time.


I have the distinct feeling that it’s going to be very difficult for them all to escape once they encounter the banes… would Cyrin and Mireya not have told them to stay put for safety? And why do they all need to go, I know someone is sniffing around the museum but I kind of understood they were wanting to warn the two of them so some could hide and some could go down?

Leilan put an arm around his shoulders, steadying him. "You did it," he said softly. “Good job”

Awh this is such a cute wholesome interaction.

Shane didn’t hear anything for a few more moments until Cyrin said, “I could have been friends with some of them”

Oh no I don’t like where this is going already I want them to all be happy friends!

So this has definitely set up for a lot of chaos which I’m both excited for and apprehensive about. Cyrin and Mireya weren’t perhaps as surprised and worried to see the others there as I’d expect, perhaps because they were caught up in what they’re doing?

Also, have we seen before this their plan for getting out seeing as it was pretty hairy last time. And the security might have got worse if someone knows they’ve been down there?

Eek! I’m nervous!! Looking forward to more heisting though!!

Icy




SilverNight says...


Thanks for all the reviewing again!! You're a champ ;)

And why do they all need to go, I know someone is sniffing around the museum but I kind of understood they were wanting to warn the two of them so some could hide and some could go down?


Yeah, this is mostly what I was going for, all of them heading down to stay hidden because no one would think that anyone's seriously going to climb into the Ice Pit of Doom and Gloom-- it's good to know it's not fully convincing though so that I can work on it!

Oh no I don%u2019t like where this is going already I want them to all be happy friends!


So do I! I'm trying so hard behind the scenes to make it work XD




One is not born, but rather becomes a woman.
— Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex