Magic Unleashed – Chapter X – Blunt Magic and Crooked Spells #FreeFictionFriday


Genre: gay romance, gay fiction, fantasy, magic, light BDSM
Main characters: Eikki (spell caster) and Charis (familiar)
Blurb: coming soon! It entails magic, two stubborn men, and lots of steamy stuff (at least somewhere down the line)
Length: Anywhere between novella and novel? Read and see!

Chapter I – Absent Choice
Chapter II – What Makes a Home
Chapter III – Rules of the Game
Chapter IV – Not all the Way Through
Chapter V – Cold, Hard Light of Day
Chapter VI – Herald of Doom
Chapter VII – Of Claims and Bonds
Chapter VIII – Enemies and Truths
Chapter X – You Can Never Go Back Home

Blunt Magic and Crooked Spells

“Dark Magic bonds allow the spell caster and their familiar to establish a psychic bond. They can communicate across vast distances and even when either (or both) is (are) asleep. Dream imagery forces them to communicate through symbolic suggestions rather than straightforward exchanges, thus being open to interpretation.”

I growled at the book the library had allowed me to take out and dropped it on the small side table I’d pulled next to my armchair. If Eikki hadn’t insisted on giving me time, if I’d been more convincing, I’d share this magical bond with him. I’d know where he was. I wouldn’t worry about why he was so late.

A few days, a week at most, that was what his note had promised. Three weeks had passed since his departure and I was no closer to locating him now than I’d been when I’d thrown myself into this foolish research.

There was an entire book on location spells in the library, but it wouldn’t allow me to pull it out. I’d tried to force it out and the magical forces protecting it had zapped me and sent me flying across the room. I begrudgingly admired the grace and subtlety of this protective spell. Not only did it know how high up my magical understanding I was, when it repelled my attacks and turned me into a human projectile, it never damaged any of the books or the shelves storing them. Now that I thought about it, it even spared Eikki’s old and battered furniture.

I closed my eyes and focus. There was this faint tingle I could feel and I knew it was Eikki’s presence in this world. Not enough to reach out in any meaningful way, but I at least knew he was out there, somewhere. Alive.

“Damn you for leaving me here and never sending word.” I’d muttered like that a lot, my way of dealing with the fear that had taken hold of me and kept growing, reaching depths I never knew I was capable of.

“Right. What now?”

I pushed myself up and grabbed the still sharp charcoal stick and a sheet of rough paper. I’d planned to take a lot of notes on potential spells, but I’d found nothing useful so far. I dragged the large mobile staircase to one end of the library and went up to the very top. There had to be more books in here that might reference a locating spell I was low level enough to try.
It all depended on the library’s interpretation of my abilities. My magic was strong, few matched my gifts in Zalmos. I still was no more than a familiar. My training had always revolved around mine being a supporting role. I needed a caster to put my magical energy to good use. It wasn’t unheard of, a familiar casting spells. Our connection with our animal spirit and the way we shifted back and forth was, at its core, an instinctual type of spell casting. A novice, definitely, but I hoped the protective spell could sense the potential within.

I’d learned a lot over the past three weeks. At first, I’d wanted to impress Eikki with my progress when he returned. Then, it had become a way to keep myself from worrying incessantly. Now… now I feared no one would be looking for Eikki unless I did it. I knew he wouldn’t have stayed away this long if it were up to him. Or he’d at least sent word. I needed help, I knew as much. Who could I call? The Council and my parents would be useless. I had no one else to turn to. I’d never felt this powerless in my entire life.

The list of books kept growing and I moved up and down the shelves, left to right, until I’d written down all the titles in the library that could help me. I decided not to try and force my way through again. Certainly not from atop the moving staircase. If I managed to break my neck, I couldn’t help Eikki.

I ended up with ten battered tomes. When I inspected them again, I realized they’d been the stuff I added to my list just in case, a last resort of sorts. I’d guessed they were the lowest level of magic and the library had agreed with me. I grumbled my discontent and started reading.

Books had always fascinated me. Magic books more than any others. Today I found them dry and boring. These introductions to magic were so basic, kids who’d barely started training as spell casters or familiars knew all about their content. Other than a few final chapters, nothing seemed useful.

By the fifth book, I’d started to lose hope. I needed to stop, otherwise I risked missing something because I’d already decided it wouldn’t be there. I couldn’t eat or sleep or go for a walk, I’d feel guilty about slacking off. I instead decided to take care of the practical aspects of my journey. I’d need food, maps, coins. Eikki had spelled his kitchen so nothing would spoil. I couldn’t recreate that spell so I’d need to pay for my future meals while traveling.

Familiars never had to worry about their finances. Spell casters, even the lower level ones, were treasured throughout the realms. And they were rewarded for their efforts. It helped that most races feared angering a magic user. Eikki and I had had other issues to bicker over. I’d never bothered to ask about these things. So here I was, unsure of his wealth or lack thereof, where to find everything, or who to borrow from if needed.

Eikki had a small desk in the library. I’d watched him sit there and write letters or bend over ledgers many times. I approached it carefully, wondering what spells he’d used to protect it. When I reached it, I felt the familiar buzz of a spell. Definitely something I’d experienced before and often. I closed my eyes and reached out, touching its essence with my own magical energy. I recognized the spell immediately, it was the same spell he’d used on the house. If he hadn’t modified it to grant me access, I couldn’t take anything from his desk.

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. I reached out to the top drawer on the right, grabbed and pulled. It opened with ease and I lifted random objects to test my permissions. I almost crumbled under the wave of relief that hit me. Eikki had granted me access to every corner of his house and life. Stacks of papers, ledgers, deeds, coins from many different places, and everything else I could ever need. All I had to do was find him.

Reinvigorated by my success in funding my expedition, I returned to the books the library had granted me access to. I read until the clock in the library rang midnight, but came up empty-handed. I stood, fat tears staining the cover of the book I’d been holding. I wiped them angrily and glared at the shelves stacked with books I couldn’t touch.

Something niggled, a barely formed thought in the back of my mind. I’d gone through ten books on magic, I’d learned nothing useful. But maybe now the library would acknowledge I was ready for higher level spells.

I feverishly ran my outstretched arm along the shelves I could reach without climbing up the stairs. A couple more titles allowed me to pick them up. Then a few more. I ran between the shelves and the small table I worked at, stacking it up with fresh tomes to search through. Seven this time. Strong magical number. I wiped the drying tears from my lashes and got to work.

Despite their deeper explanation of magical things, these weren’t the most advanced spell books ever written. I read on the principles of locating objects and people through spells, but it wasn’t enough. The most advanced book was, to my dismay, written in Naru. When it came to elvish languages, I could decipher a few words of Karran. But dark elves, the Naruus in their own tongue, wrote and spoke Naru, not Karran. Eikki was a Narim, it made sense he’d have spell books in his own language. More so since the dark elves seemed to be one of the only races to bother with dark magic.

The alphabet was close enough to Karran, so I stubbornly turned the pages of the old tome, hoping something would jump at me. I used my eyes as much as my magic. Finally, I stopped at a page depicting a spell with some runes that looked a lot like old locating spells I’d seen during my training. The sequence of runes was different, there were more than I remembered as well. I couldn’t understand the instructions, but, as this was for beginner spell casters, there were pictograms as well. I recognized the herbs needed, a map, and a bowl. I could scrap all that together and pour all my magic into it.

I searched through Eikki’s herbs, knowing I’d have to run into the forest if I couldn’t find that particular blue-green one in here. I could have gone to a herb shop in the morning, but I didn’t know the name of this one. And I feared that the shops here wouldn’t have it. It was a dark magic herb in the end. I found it and grabbed it, then picked a bowl from the kitchen.
What map should I use, I wondered? I rummaged through Eikki’s desk and found the largest one I could find. It was in Naru again, but I recognized the different lands and cities dotted throughout it. It would suffice.

I stretched the map on the floor, placing a books over each corner to keep it in place. I filled the bowl with hot water, dunked the herbs in, not knowing if the quantity was important, and sat cross legged at the southern edge of the map. I held the bowl over Zalmos, then dipped a finger in the concoction I’d made. As I drew the runes I’d seen in the book on the bottom of the bowl, I infused each with my magic.

High level locating spells would find the person on the map and show me exactly where they were and in what state. I waited for that flash of images, but nothing came. The bowl shivered and spilled, the dark-green liquid flowing neatly from Zalmos, across forests and hills and rivers. It stopped at the edge of the nearest city, Tallos.

I drew the runes again, poured more of my magical essence into the spell, but nothing else happened. That awareness that Eikki was somewhere, alive, expanded. The more I thought of Tallos, the brighter it burned.

Tired, but happier than I’d been since finding Eikki’s note, I cleaned after my clumsy spell casting and headed for the kitchen. I intended to eat well, stuff my pockets with coins, then leave. It would be dawn soon. I could get horses and ride out to Tallos. That would still take a week. Maybe more.

No, my panther would be faster. If I had enough nourishment, I could run and run, unencumbered by nightfall. My magic would make me swift and strong. No horse could match my speed.
I didn’t shift right away. I doubted anyone in Zalmos loved Eikki. If they’d seen me run off, they might realize something was wrong and try to stop me, return me to my parents. I couldn’t risk it. I wrapped myself into a long, heavy cloak and made my way out of the city and the comfort of familiar streets I’d grown up on.

At the edge of Zalmos, I gazed upon the unknown stretched before me. I’d never been anywhere, not allowed to leave until I’d bonded. Familiars were easily captured and forced into bondings they didn’t want, so travel wasn’t a luxury I’d enjoyed. Had that rule made me weak and worthless? For Eikki’s sake, I hoped not.

Chapter XI – Coming Soon!

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A pleasure to meet you! I’m Alina Popescu, an author, traveler, and hopeless coffee addict. I write urban fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, and sometimes even contemporary stories. A significant number of my books are LGBTQ fiction and romance.

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