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The Last Spell 3.1

by SilverNight


“If it’s Rationale magic, would that be unusual enough for you to feel out?” Mireya asked Cyrin as they wandered the displays, giving each object a careful look.

Cyrin gestured at the vast collection of artifacts. “I don’t think I’ll be able to track down a specific type of magic in here. There’s too many trails, too many distractions. I can feel what everything right around us has, but it feels like— it all blends together further out. I’ve never been surrounded by this much magic before.” Their voice was filled with awe.

Mireya nodded thoughtfully, slowly walking around a display of a full suit of armor so she could see it from all sides. She had to wonder what it was like to be Cyrin right now, submerged in all the magic around the two of them. He’d once told her it was like separating and sorting all the colors from a rainbow that most others couldn’t even see, and here in the midst of Aphirah’s greatest artifacts, she couldn’t help but feel like she was missing out on a flood of beauty.

She had a connection to magic that no Minor Mage could ever dream of having, but this she was jealous of.

“Can you tell me what they are?” she asked, lifting up the gauntlet of the armor like she was shaking a hand.

Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw Cyrin grinning and spinning in a circle with an arm outstretched, their dark chin-length hair flying around with the movement. They had to have been waiting for her to say that, and Mireya felt their same eagerness to be here. Standing at the bottom of the Permafrost’s Fall was the dream of any Ren mage from the North.

“That one has Salve,” he declared as he paused his spinning to point at the armor she’d been examining, then went back to it until he indicated a quiver of arrows on the display directly across it. “And those have Force.”

“Those would deal quite a blow, but they hardly manufacture bows for those anymore,” Mireya sighed. “And that armor’s going to be way too big for me, isn’t it.”

“Probably,” Cyrin agreed. “Which is a shame, because I can tell the armor has perfectly pure healing magic. You’d have no chance of magic poisoning with it.”

Mireya moved away from the healing armor as her heist partner turned around a few more times, landing on various items and announcing what they were while they walked through the gallery. There was a tall mirror with Projection magic that reflected the impossible image of this same room without the two of them in it. The shield that Cyrin warned her would erupt with hot Flare magic if she came into contact with the surface got her attention, but not a touch. Sometimes, he pointed to what looked like empty stands only to hold up an item hidden with Concealment. If possible, she was having even more fun with it than him, urging him to tell her faster what the next thing was.

A silver hunting horn caused Cyrin to pause, their finger held frozen as they pointed at it. “That one has Chant. That’s a pretty unusual choice, especially in the creation of artifacts.”

Mireya picked it up and raised it to her lips.

“No, stop,” Cyrin said hurriedly. “It’s also got Tremor, I just got wrapped up in the rarity of Chant and forgot to mention that part. Do not blow that.”

Mireya immediately set the horn back down on its stand and examined it suspiciously. “What could that combination even be could for? Playing a note that could simultaneously be heard by all for miles and shake a building apart?”

“No idea, but it would be a great thing to try underground.”

She rolled her eyes playfully and pointed at a random artifact, which was a rolled-up parchment scroll with a white ribbon tying it shut. “What does that one have?”

While Cyrin moved over to it, Mireya quickly checked her communicator. She hadn’t had a signal since going underground, so she could only look at what she had saved to it, like the painting of the Glory Ring. The lack of service distressed her somewhat. It wasn’t often that she was out on a heist where they were off the grid. Even if she’d never called for backup before, because there never was any, staying connected was a reassurance.

Mireya loved thrills, but she felt unsettled here. Her full abilities didn’t work in ancient settings, and she wasn’t much good underground either. This setting made her oddly vulnerable, and even though it wasn’t remotely the purpose of this place, the Permafrost’s Fall was strangely good at working against her.

She scrolled through a message chat with Clarity anyway, before realizing that the silence had gone on too long for what should have been a quick response. She quickly glanced up again. Cyrin had their back turned to her, and she couldn’t see their face while they leaned over the scroll. Moving to stand beside them let her read the confusion in the crease of their brow and the shock in how their lips moved without sound.

“Cyrin?” Mireya asked, tapping them on the shoulder. “What is it?”

He visibly struggled with his words for a moment longer, mouthing things without managing to make a sentence. Finally, he heaved a sigh and gestured at the scroll with a frustration that she didn’t see in him very often. “I can’t feel it.”

Mireya frowned. “You can’t feel the magic?”

Cyrin shook his head. “I can sense it there, for sure, but I can’t even make a guess at what type or types it has. It’s… unfamiliar. Whatever they spun into this spell, it’s impossible to distinguish.”

“You’ve never been unable to tell before,” Mireya said slowly. “Right?”

“I don’t think that’s ever happened,” Cyrin said. He pinched one end of the ribbon around the scroll, rubbing it between his fingers. “Magic’s like a spool of yarn, you know? What you weave creates your spell. Feeling for the type it has is like running a comb through a braid to see all the individual strands, but this one won’t come undone.”

Mireya slid the ribbon off the scroll, letting it fall in his hand before moving the artifact and unrolling it onto the display stand.

“Hold on, that parchment is hundreds of years old,” Cyrin protested, but she knew they had to be as curious as her.

With a hammering heart, she finished laying out the scroll, smoothing out the edges. The moment it was flattened, the surface started shifting and glittering. Mireya and Cyrin watched as the scroll became covered with a thin layer of water, bubbling and rippling, without spilling over or seeming to come from anywhere.

“Is that a world map underneath?” Cyrin asked incredulously.

Mireya nodded once she saw the shape of Aphirah under the water, slightly blurred by the movement above. Some of the world’s regions seemed to be glowing. The South and Central each had a slight sparkle in the bubbles rising from them, while the North shone like there was treasure hidden in the shallow depths of the water. With the same thought as her, Cyrin dipped a finger in the surface over the Renvara mountains where they were currently.

“It definitely feels like real water,” they said, flicking a droplet to the ground. “If it’s a Projection, it’s even more physical than those Banes.”

“And you still can’t tell whether it has that or not?” Mireya asked.

“Just as confusing as before.”

She slowly began to roll the scroll up again, hesitating before taking the ribbon from them. “We could take this back with us,” she suggested. “There’s a lot of things here that could change the artifact world, but this feels like a discovery. Just imagine what Clarity could do with this.”

Cyrin shook his head regretfully. “I would love to, but we planned to bring back a ring with us. I didn’t bring a bag to carry something that delicate.”

Mireya sighed as she tied the fragile scroll up. “That was terrible planning on your part.”

“Hey, at least I make plans,” Cyrin retorted, leading her away with one last forlorn glance at the scroll. “You can’t even say that much.”

“And whether you actually follow them or not is up to your whims, right?”

She heard him grumbling a reply, but she was distracted by the purple glint that she spotted a few rows of displays over. She quickly reached for his wrist and pulled him back, feeling her fingertips spark at the contact. “Over there.”

Cyrin winced slightly. “Static shock,” they complained, but they had noticed what she’d seen.

The two made their way over to the stand she had indicated, where the Glory Ring was resting on a velvet cushion. Mireya had to admit it looked much prettier in real life. The artist painting it had done their best, but they hadn’t quite managed to capture the mesmerizing glimmer the ring shone with, how the very shape of its golden curve compelled attention. She rarely saw Rationale used anymore, but there was no doubt that this ring held it.

Cyrin carefully picked it up, sliding it onto a slender finger. “Well?” they asked, striking an elegant pose in the aisle. “Does it work? Do I look charming?”

Mireya blinked, surprised at the sudden change. Nothing was different about Cyrin’s appearance, but there seemed to be a slight shift in how she noticed them. The stone-gray flecks in their dark eyes stood out more, and their olive-brown cheeks were luminous with a soft glow. Their pose was meant to be exaggerated, like a rich person modeling for a picture, but it looked as if they were ready to command with power. The very tilt of their chin suggested majesty. Their black clothes of a thief looked even more made for them, like their own kind of shining armor.

Magic was weird.

“I’m afraid it’s going to take more than a ring to make you look dazzling,” she said, trusting that they’d get the sarcasm. “I guess it doesn’t work on everyone.”

Cyrin huffed with laughter as he took off the ring, and then he was himself again. “All you had to say was no.”

“Sorry,” Mireya said, holding out a hand for him to drop the Glory Ring in, and she tucked it in a pocket of her blue coat. “But this is worth one million to split between the both of us, and your vanity would be too expensive.”

“Oh, having style is vain now?” Cyrin asked, pretending to be stung. “You better be careful saying that. I know a lot of people in high places.”

“And how many of them hate you, again?”

She heard him mumbling something under his breath that sounded like a Ren prayer as he shook his head with concealed amusement and turned away to walk back towards the shield. It wasn’t the religious type of prayer, just a non-addressed somebody give me the strength to deal with her. She was fairly sure he had gotten it already by now.

Following Cyrin back to the exit, Mireya smiled slightly as she passed all the artifacts again, but gave the mysterious scroll one last longing look.


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Thu Sep 07, 2023 8:16 pm
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Ventomology says...



Love the description of Cyrin with the ring on <3




SilverNight says...


Thank you so much! :) <3



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Sun Dec 18, 2022 4:12 am
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Snoink wrote a review...



...okay. Back to the heist. YESSSSSS.

She had a connection to magic that no Minor Mage could ever dream of having, but this she was jealous of.


OH. DO TELL.

Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw Cyrin grinning and spinning in a circle with an arm outstretched, their dark chin-length hair flying around with the movement. They had to have been waiting for her to say that, and Mireya felt their same eagerness to be here. Standing at the bottom of the Permafrost’s Fall was the dream of any Ren mage from the North.


Again, I am sick, so maybe I am just confused, but sometimes you refer to Cyrin as he/his and sometimes you refer to Cyrin as they/their and sometimes you interchange them, and the switch is so random that I am starting to wonder if there are like... times where Cyrin kind of switches in and out of identities and, if so, like... how does that even work?

Mireya loved thrills, but she felt unsettled here.


I... am not getting this impression? Like, she seems pretty happy to ask Cyrin all these questions eagerly. This is the first time where she seems uncomfortable, and it's only because you told us that she was unsettled. Everything that you've shown us makes it seem otherwise. Maybe make her feel more impatient as she's going through this treasure chamber of sorts?

“I don’t think that’s ever happened,” Cyrin said. He pinched one end of the ribbon around the scroll, rubbing it between his fingers. “Magic’s like a spool of yarn, you know? What you weave creates your spell. Feeling for the type it has is like running a comb through a braid to see all the individual strands, but this one won’t come undone.”


WHY ARE YOU TOUCHING MAGICAL ITEMS THAT YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY WILL DO, CYRIN AND MIREYA? BAD IDEA.

Mireya nodded once she saw the shape of Aphirah under the water, slightly blurred by the movement above. Some of the world’s regions seemed to be glowing. The South and Central each had a slight sparkle in the bubbles rising from them, while the North shone like there was treasure hidden in the shallow depths of the water. With the same thought as her, Cyrin dipped a finger in the surface over the Renvara mountains where they were currently.


TREASURE MAP??

Cyrin shook his head regretfully. “I would love to, but we planned to bring back a ring with us. I didn’t bring a bag to carry something that delicate.”


Then... why did we just spend all that time on it? *eyes skeptically*

Following Cyrin back to the exit, Mireya smiled slightly as she passed all the artifacts again, but gave the mysterious scroll one last longing look.


Yeah, this is going to be important, isn't it? XD




SilverNight says...


Again, I am sick, so maybe I am just confused, but sometimes you refer to Cyrin as he/his and sometimes you refer to Cyrin as they/their and sometimes you interchange them, and the switch is so random that I am starting to wonder if there are like... times where Cyrin kind of switches in and out of identities and, if so, like... how does that even work?


No switching of identities, Cyrin just uses both he/him and they/them interchangeably! That's the reason for the alternation ^^



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Fri Dec 16, 2022 9:18 pm
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Shady wrote a review...



Heya Silv! Better late than never, amirite? ;) I am here in honor of the Heisting Chicken, so it only felt natural to pick back up on this novel! So without further ado, it's officially time to play a riveting round of 'will Shady's ADHD turn into hyperfocus and binge review the rest of this novel or will they get distracted and take 3-6 business weeks to finish typing one review?' Stay tuned...

He’d once told her it was like separating and sorting all the colors from a rainbow that most others couldn’t even see, and here in the midst of Aphirah’s greatest artifacts, she couldn’t help but feel like she was missing out on a flood of beauty.


Aw, what a beautiful way to put this. I really like the imagery of 'rainbow'/'flood of beauty' -- never really thought of beauty in a liquid phase before xD but I really like it! It invokes a very striking mental image.

Mireya picked it up and raised it to her lips.

“No, stop,” Cyrin said hurriedly. “It’s also got Tremor, I just got wrapped up in the rarity of Chant and forgot to mention that part. Do not blow that.”

Mireya immediately set the horn back down on its stand and examined it suspiciously. “What could that combination even be could for? Playing a note that could simultaneously be heard by all for miles and shake a building apart?”


Okay so... I get these are a couple of goofballs, but honestly? Their behavior seems inappropriate for a heist, even considering their chaotic personalities. Like. They're being really loud and not trying to sneak even a little, while they're broken into a vault they're not supposed to be in. Are they not concerned about being discovered? And if not, why? It just seems really odd to me. Like... if I were committing a crime, I would not be considering blowing a horn you could hear for miles, you know?

Mireya slid the ribbon off the scroll, letting it fall in his hand before moving the artifact and unrolling it onto the display stand.


And are they not worried about booby traps? Like... idk, the tone of this interaction just feels really... I don't know what word I want here. Unprofessional? Impulsive? They're touching all kinds of stuff, potentially leaving behind DNA and fingerprints if this society is advanced enough to do anything with that. Being super noisy and talking out loud instead of whispering or using hand motions or something. Plus they *know* they're dealing with magical items and it doesn't seem like they're concerned at all about any of them being hexed or booby-trapped or whatever. Isn't there the risk of whoever owns/charmed the item knowing that someone is messing with it? Isn't there a risk of discovery?

This very much feels like two teenagers wandering around a Hot Topic, not professionals pulling off a risky heist.

The stone-gray flecks in their dark eyes stood out more, and their olive-brown cheeks were luminous with a soft glow.


Ayy yes FINALLY getting a description of Cyrin <3 I still maintain that this should come earlier than chapter three, but this was a really beautiful, natural way to work it in. Nicely done!

“And how many of them hate you, again?”


Hah!

~

This is a great chapter! I still really love the character interactions between Cyrin and Mireya -- they're really charming characters independent from one another, and also have great chemistry together, which makes it endearing to read. I really like their roasts of one another while it's still clear they're great friends and admire each other greatly. It feels like an authentic friendship and I'm here for it.

You also did a great job of intriguing me about the scroll. Why can't they just carry it out? Why does it have to go in a bag? I'm fascinated to know more about it -- so I guess that means it's time for me to read on to see if we get answers in part two!

Hope this helped! As usual, lemme know if you had any questions or want further clarification!

~Shady 8)




SilverNight says...


ayyyy Shadyyyyyy! Thank you for the awesome review <3

Also I do need to do a better job of explaining the lack of precaution you pointed out, because while there is a solid reason for it, I have not done a good job of making it clear in the chapters XD It might be more clear in the next part of the chapter that there's no human enforcement down in the vault, because it'd be too dangerous to guard (those Banes don't discriminate between guards and intruders when someone tries to leave) so therefore no one's going to notice any signs (DNA, tampering) in the Fall or want to check it out if they get suspicious. However, that confusion over it is very valid so thank you for bringing it to my attention! ^^



Shady says...


ahh that makes sense ^^ and sure thing! c:



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Wed Dec 07, 2022 2:34 pm
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AceassinOfTheMoon wrote a review...



good fricking time of day my friend, I'm distracting myself from real life by blessing you with a review today

“If it’s Rationale magic, would that be unusual enough for you to feel out?” Mireya asked Cyrin as they wandered the displays, giving each object a careful look.


fairly ordinary opening line, but it made me laugh because in my mind, this implies that either there is a severe lack of rationality in this world or Cyrin just doesn't deal with it very often, which is also funny. idk. I woke up at four in the morning okay don't judge my tired brain

Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw Cyrin grinning and spinning in a circle with an arm outstretched, their dark chin-length hair flying around with the movement.


This line feels off to me? Like, I think I understand what you were going for, but it reads like Cyrin just randomly started pirouetting aggressively and that he started before Mireya actually asked the question. Also, you've got an extra s in there. it's "corner of her eye." you can't see out of the corners of both eyes at the same time.

“Probably,” Cyrin agreed. “Which is a shame, because I can tell the armor has perfectly pure healing magic. You’d have no chance of magic poisoning with it.”


magic poisoning, you say? I'm sure that's nothing I need to remember because it might come up in future chapters

Mireya picked it up and raised it to her lips.


Mireya. Sweetheart. While it's clear that you are a chaotic dumbass, you are also a professional magic-thing-stealer. why on earth would you just blow a random horn you find in a room full of potentially dangerous objects.

The lack of service distressed her somewhat.


me.

Her full abilities didn’t work in ancient settings, and she wasn’t much good underground either.


It has been a while since I've read the first couple parts of this so have Mireya's abilities been explained yet or are you still just cryptically hinting at it?

Cyrin shook his head. “I can sense it there, for sure, but I can’t even make a guess at what type or types it has. It’s… unfamiliar. Whatever they spun into this spell, it’s impossible to distinguish.”


Ooh, spooky

“Magic’s like a spool of yarn, you know? What you weave creates your spell. Feeling for the type it has is like running a comb through a braid to see all the individual strands, but this one won’t come undone.”


Who on god's green earth is running a comb through a braid. Have you ever tried to run a comb through a braid? It doesn't work. It ends up a tangled disaster. To undo a braid, you have to pick it apart strand by strand. silver I love you but I will also relentlessly bully you about this metaphor because it does not work XD

She quickly reached for his wrist and pulled him back, feeling her fingertips spark at the contact.


am I reading too much into this or is this very subtle foreshadowing for something
because I feel like this is a super small detail that wouldn't be added unless it was foreshadowing for something

Mireya blinked, surprised at the sudden change. Nothing was different about Cyrin’s appearance, but there seemed to be a slight shift in how she noticed them. The stone-gray flecks in their dark eyes stood out more, and their olive-brown cheeks were luminous with a soft glow. Their pose was meant to be exaggerated, like a rich person modeling for a picture, but it looked as if they were ready to command with power. The very tilt of their chin suggested majesty. Their black clothes of a thief looked even more made for them, like their own kind of shining armor.


love it when a plot device allows you to describe a character because reviewers have been complaining that you aren't describing your characters enough

She heard him mumbling something under his breath that sounded like a Ren prayer


... a what? What's a Ren? Is that a religion or a race or what? and better question, have you explained this already and I'm just dumb?

She was fairly sure he had gotten it already by now.


"already by now" is redundant.

this feels shorter than other reviews I've done but y'know? I don't have a whole lot to say. good job. love you <3




SilverNight says...


AHHHHHHH ACE I'M SO SORRY I MISSED THIS
THANK YOU FOR THIS AMAZING REVIEW <3




There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.
— Bram Stoker