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Aether's Heart 7

by Vincian, AlyTheBookworm, Chaser, ScarlettFire, soundofmind


Warning: This work has been rated 16+.

Written by ScarlettFire

80 Days B.N.D.

Elidyr woke to the feeling of someone gently slapping his face and a certain cat yelling loudly in his head. He groaned and slit his eyes against the light. The young girl--the one he'd healed in the alley--was leaning over him, looking worried. The images of purple fire and living scrolls, of a little old man, of something shaking....bells ringing--they all lingered. He frowned and pushed up onto his elbows.

"What happened?" he managed hoarsely, letting the girl help him sit up. Lady danced into view, meowing worriedly. He offered the little winged cat a small smile. "Hush, Lady. I'm okay."

"You, uh....you healed me and passed out?"

Elidyr winced. "That...occasionally...happens... My apologies."

Father! Father is okay! Lady launched herself into his arms, causing the girl to squeak and back off. You were asleep for a long time!

He glanced sharply to the girl. "How long was I out?"

She winced and glanced away, her body language worried. It was only then that he noticed they were no longer in the alley, but in the healer's ward. He froze, glancing about, but no one had noticed he was awake yet, let alone the girl sitting on the edge of his bed.

"Most of the day," said a voice from behind him. Elidyr twisted to see a healer--a handsome, older man--on the other side of the bed, one he hadn't noticed before. "So nice of you to tend to the girl for us. She assured us you could, ahem...pay..."

Elidyr watched the older man warily for a moment, squinting at him in suspicion. After a long moment, he relaxed back into the bed and threw an arm over his eyes, jostling Lady--who complained by meowed and darting off. "How much?"

"A donation, please."

He sighed and lifted his arm just enough to see Lady sitting on his chest. "Lady, would you?" he asked and the cat hopped off his chest and into the girl's lap. "Thank you." He sat up--slowly--and fished around in his pockets for some money or maybe herbs... He frowned, finding at least one of his pockets empty. In the other, he found a scrap of scroll and a couple of coins. He tossed one of the gold ones at the healer, who caught it quickly, snatching it out of midair. "That work?"

The man offered him a wide smile. "Perfectly," he said and pocketed the coin. "And if you wish to offer your services while you're here, we won't stop you. We do have a bit of a... problem at the moment."

"The bluecough?" Elidyr snorted and shifted so he was sitting on the edge of the bed with his back to the girl. "Speaking of that, you do realise if you don't quarantine the city, you'll have a plague on your hands? Across the kingdom and possibly into others?"

The healer lifted one shoulder. "We advised the one who rules this city, but they didn't seem to care."

"Right," he grunted and pushed up onto his feet. "Well then, I'll be off."

"But--"

"But nothing." Elidyr shot him a glare then turned to gesture at the girl. "We're leaving. Syna's ruler can figure out their own problems--without my help."

With that, he turned and started around the end of the bed, snagging his bag off the foot of it as he went. He didn't trust any of the healers, not if their attitude to such stupidity over a potential plague was to shrug and say they did their best. Besides, he had a lot more to think about. Like the prophecy the old man had spoken of. Just who was he supposed to find in Syna? And why was he supposed to run? Who was hunting them?

Once outside, Elidyr turned to the girl, who held Lady in her arms. "My apologies, but I can't stay and you can't come with me."

She sighed and lowered her gaze to the ground, blushing slightly. She didn't look as dirty as she'd been earlier, either. Eli frowned, but let it go. If she'd taken something of his just to get a bath, then he wasn't going to complain. She'd not get bluecough again, not so soon. It would hopefully take a few months, maybe years. It'd linger with him, though.

"That's alright," she said and raised her head. "I couldn't leave you just laying in the alley, not after what you'd done for me."

Elidyr offered her a kind smile. "Seeing you feel better was worth it."

"Even though it hurt, quite a bit."

He winced. "Sorry about that, it's a side-effect of my magic, and one that's always been there--"

"You don't have to explain!"

Lady launched herself out of the girl's arms and over to him, perhaps sensing where the conversation was going. "I... Alright, then. Goodbye....miss?"

"Sera. It's Sera."

Elidyr inclined his head. "Elidyr," he said, "Elidyr...var Ardys." He bowed. "Pleasure to heal you, Miss Sera."

Sera giggled a goodbye and darted away, back towards her alley, leaving Eli to stand there staring after her. He turned to look up at the church as the bells in its tower tolled, reminding him of the vision he had and of the prophecy the old man had mentioned. What was he supposed to do now? Just wait?

He sighed and made his way towards the church.


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56 Reviews


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Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:55 pm
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AshlynPhoenix wrote a review...



Hiya Ashlyn here for a review!! Before I dive into it though please know that this review is not intended to offend you or make your writing look bad!

The images of purple fire and living scrolls, of a little old man, of something shaking....bells ringing--they all lingered. He frowned and pushed up onto his elbows.

I feel like the word off is used to much there. It'd read better this way-
The images of purple fire, a little old man, and of something shaking....bells ringing--they all lingered.

Hmmm, it seems unusual to use .... and then -- so soon after to indicate a break. Maybe the sentence could be worded in a way that's a bit smoother?
He sighed and lifted his arm just enough to see Lady sitting on his chest. "Lady, would you?" he asked and the cat hopped off his chest and into the girl's lap. "Thank you." He sat up--slowly--and fished around in his pockets for some money or maybe herbs... He frowned, finding at least one of his pockets empty. In the other, he found a scrap of scroll and a couple of coins.

Hmmm, there's an inconsistency here. Previously you used four commas to indicate your break, and now your using three? Unrelated but I love Lady! She seems like a very personable cat.
What was he supposed to do now? Just wait?

Maybe expand on that? It'd be more engaging to me if you fleshed out those thoughts more. But that's probably just me :D
Aaand that wraps up this review! Please keep on writing <33
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Thu Jun 10, 2021 2:34 am
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mordax wrote a review...



Hey there, Mordax here with a review!! I'm so excited for these new updates, so catch me hopping over to your following chapters right after this!

Okay, let's get right into it, because as you already know, I love your story and the world building.

From the top:

Elidyr woke to the feeling of someone gently slapping his face and a certain cat yelling loudly in his head.

"the feeling" feels unnecessary here and it would flow better without it. Like "Elidyr woke to a gentle slapping against his cheek and a certain cat yelling in his head". This is just an example of how some of those redundant words could be removed to create a better flow and still set your scene without any unnecessary descriptors or verbs.

He groaned and slit his eyes against the light

I believe it should be "and opened his eyes to slits against the light"? Seeing as his eyes were closed previously, this current description implies he narrowed already opened eyes. Then again, I might be completely wrong, lol, if so, ignore me.

was leaning over him, looking worried.

I think this would be a good place to show not tell, so instead of saying "looking worried", perhaps describe the wrinkle in her brow, the tensing of her shoulders, or the gnawing on her lip. It will give the reader a better picture of what "worried" looks like on this girl, and also characterize her a bit.

Father! Father is okay! Lady launched herself into his arms, causing the girl to squeak and back off. You were asleep for a long time!

You might want to italicize Lady's words here in order to distinguish it is her "speaking".

her body language worried.

Here's another great spot for "show don't tell". What is her body language?

He froze, glancing about, but no one had noticed he was awake yet, let alone the girl sitting on the edge of his bed.

I may just be dumb but I was a bit confused by this sentence. If they are in the middle of a conversation, how is nobody noticing? Perhaps the healer's ward is noisy? Given they are in the middle of a plague, I would assume it is packed and bustling, and if that is so, then how did he not notice he was within the healer's ward? And the girl, I assume, has been with him this whole time, so how did they not notice her? (for it seems you are saying no one noticed him being awake or her presence)

one he hadn't noticed before.

This isn't really needed here, given this healer's interjection is a surprise to the reader and thus Elidyr as he has not yet described him in his narration. If you want to emphasize his surprise to having not noticed this healer, perhaps describe Elidyr's physical reactions to his voice: does he flinch or spin around, for instance?

She assured us you could, ahem...pay...

I love this because it shows how kind-hearted Elidyr is, given that he would risk his own personal health to heal this girl without asking for payment, yet the same wouldn't be returned to him by other healers. It also builds up this world, implanting this idea of corporations and greed even among who we often believe to be benevolent: healers. I hope this story will dive deeper into this idea for greed within healthcare corporations is such a grand, present day issue and I would love to see that touched on in a fantasy book.

A donation, please.

Ahh, masking your greed with this idea of charity. Another important topic given the current issue of many charity corporations feeding their donations to the top CEOs. Another issue I love to see touched on in fiction and I love your subtle hinting towards issues that are common in our real world.

Speaking of that, you do realise if you don't quarantine the city, you'll have a plague on your hands? Across the kingdom and possibly into others?

Hmmm... This feels familiar... Covid, perhaps? If this was not an intentional allusion, then you have lucky timing, lol.

who caught it quickly, snatching it out of midair

Both phrases describe the same action, so I would suggest removing one or the other. In my opinion, "who caught it quickly" could be removed and "snatching it out of midair" will describe the action of catching while still providing that description of greed and hunger that this man exhibits with wealth.

We advised the one who rules this city, but they didn't seem to care.

Hmmmmmm... *cue Olivia Rodrigo song* I'm getting some strong Deja Vu here.... :)

We're leaving. Syna's ruler can figure out their own problems--without my help.

This is very interesting. It's been a while since I last read Elidyr's chapter, but from what I remember, he was expressing a lot of emotions in regards to how poorly Syna was handling this plague. He was angry at the lack of quarantine and protocol, so him so easily giving up on creating real change after only saving one girl seems a bit of a twist. There must be much more to Elidyr's character than we know. I may be wrong, but my theory is that he truly does care what happens to Syna and its people, but he has experienced too many instances where his help is not enough and he is left to watch the destruction of many while governments and corporations stand by, the real power-wielders even amongst plagues. I can't wait to see more of his backstory.

Like the prophecy the old man had spoken of. Just who was he supposed to find in Syna? And why was he supposed to run? Who was hunting them?

This is an interesting response to the strange "hallucination"/"vision" he has just seen. While magic exists in this world, given his physical body was in the same location the entirety this meeting with the "old man" happened, I'm a bit surprised that he expresses no doubt about this supposed prophecy. Instead, he is questioning "who" and "why" rather than dismissing it as a fever dream. Is this because the "dream" felt so real that any possibility that it wasn't is cast away? Or is it because he has experienced such visions before and thus knows them to be real?

She didn't look as dirty as she'd been earlier, either.

"earlier, either" kind of disrupts the flow you had created. Perhaps remove "either"? I believe it still gets the same point across, but if you would like to keep that clarification, then I would suggest replacing "earlier" with a synonym.

perhaps sensing where the conversation was going

I'm a bit confused by this... Where was the conversation going? Lol, maybe I'm just dumb, but I don't understand why this conversation would disturb Lady.

Overall, wonderful chapter!! I had so much fun reading it, and I apologize if any of my suggestions or dumb or redundant. They are my opinions and feel free to disregard them.

I do love your world building!! The names you give your places and characters flow so naturally and each of the little corruptions and issues are ingrained into your writing flawlessly. While reading, I truly feel immersed into this world, so props to you for that!

I'm excited for the next chapter! Off I go!

Mordax





Too often we crave the extraordinary in life, without even learning how to cherish the ordinary first. Friend, I promise you this: if you can learn to take joy in the simple mundane things in life, the extraordinary will take care of itself, it'll be on its way, hurrying towards you. But if you skip the first part, it'll ever evade you.
— Arcticus