Twice Upon A Sword

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Chapter 4- The End of Normality

***

“Who are you?”

“Eleanora,”

“Eleanora? Are you a genie?”

“No. I’m a mage... with the power to give you one wish, any wish you so desire... but before you make that wish you have full control of me and all my capabilities,”

“Am I dreaming?”

“No. This is real,”

“H-How? Magic isn’t real,”

“My existence says otherwise,”

The innocent boy looked into the eyes of the mage and he had no choice but to believe it to be true for her eyes held the sun in them and despite that, this woman reminded him more of a moon... or possibly a falling star.

“T-Then... can you take me home? I’m lost and I want to go home before I’m late for supper,” Eleanora stared at the little, confused boy whose eyes were sparkling with unshed tears.

She was the one that felt she wanted to cry more than him but she had no tears left to shed.

She thought her father hated her and so, he killed her but it turned out that she was wrong. He sacrificed himself so that she could live.

But he shouldn’t have done that. Eleanora didn’t want to live.

In that moment she died, all was black for a moment before she heard the distant echo of a clap and then the darkness was gone. Arturo stood there smiling... and then he faded.

And when she next woke up, she had discovered that she was a prisoner to the sword and became a puppet whose only job was to grant the wishes of the wielder that found her. But no wielder would want to set her free if it meant not having their wish granted.

It’s been 50 years since Andreas fell and in that time, Eleanora’s done nothing but repeat the same words to different people who found her.

She didn’t age, she didn’t die. She looked the same as the night that her father stabbed a sword through her stomach.

She was lonely.

She was sad.

She wanted to go home. But there was no home to go to, not anymore.

“Is that your wish?” She asked the boy and he quickly nodded his head and Eleanora raised her arm, pointing at the boy as they both began to glow.

“Then with this wish I grant, I declare this contract to be completed,” She clicked her fingers and the boy vanished, returning to his home.

And once more, Eleanora closed her eyes as she faded into dust and fell into the sword for another uncertain amount of time. The smile which used to stick to her face, gone. As if it never even existed.

***---***---***

Atticus St Andres Octavius looked to be a normal person who simply loved to explore... but this normal person had an abnormal dream.

He grew up in a farm with his parents and five siblings, him being the youngest of them all but while the rest of his siblings got normal jobs, fell in love and married before settling down, Atticus didn’t want any of that for he loved to explore.

The world had many secrets, many mysteries waiting to be unfolded and he had taken it upon himself to be the one to unfold all these secrets.

Now the question remains. Does the world truly want all it’s mysteries to be unfolded?

Atticus believed it did.

He stumbled around the hot desert, dressed in nothing but breaches and a simple linen shirt which blew with the breeze of the hot air. Using the back of his hand, he wiped the sweat glistening on his forehead away and panted, chugging down the water in his thermos.

An old camel lagged behind him, carrying his luggage and he pulled the animal by the ropes along with him.

“Ugh,” With a tired heave he released the rope and fell forward, his cheek resting against the sand before he turned his body to face the sky, placing his hand above his face and towards the sun to block the rays of heat.

With a tired pant, his hand collapsed beside him in a long wave but instead of being met with the soft grains of sand he was expecting, he hit a hard stone.

“Ouch!” He jumped up into a sitting position, rubbing the sore spot on the back of his hand as he glared down at the are he had hit but the glare turned into a confused frown.

Reaching out, he pulled a sword out and almost fell blind at the brightness of its blade and threw it away but cut his finger in the process.

“What’s a sword doing in the middle of the desert?” He cussed, putting his cut finger in his mouth while inspecting the sword.

“It is quite the beauty though, isn’t it?” He spoke to himself, whistling as his hand trailed down to the hilt in which he hesitated. Looking around the area to see if anyone was here as if there would be someone spying on him in the middle of the desert, he laughed at himself.

Humming to himself, he ran his hand along the hilt before grabbing it and pulling it out in front of him. With a smile gracing his handsome face, he pretended to fight with the sword but once it began to glow, he panicked.

“Goodness!” He shouted, throwing the blade away from him once more and watched in utter fear as out of the sword emerged a beautiful lady.

His jaw fell slack and he blinked multiple times, stuttering out indecipherable words.

An ethereal beauty stood in front of him as if she hadn’t just come out of the blade of a sword. Her hands politely crossed in front of her, resting on the white material of her simple gown which fell down to her ankles, her golden hair glittered under the sun as it tumbled down to drag behind her in waves and her eyes sparkled like the sun, bright orange in the most beautiful shade he’s ever seen.

Despite her beauty though, her face had no expression. Her pink lips placed in a simple line, her eyes not releasing any secrets of the soul and Atticus wondered for a moment if this lady even had a soul.

“Who-Who are you?” He eventually stuttered out when she said nothing.

“Eleanora,” She replied as if she’s been expecting the question.

“That’s not what I meant. You just popped out of a sword. That’s not normal,” He frowned at her. “Are you a witch?” He guessed and she shook her head.

“I’m a mage. A mage that can grant you one wish, any wish you so desire... but before you make that wish you have full control of me and all my capabilities,”

“So you’re a genie?”

“No. I’m a mage,” She finally showed an expression as she frowned at him.

Another 20 years has passed at this point and Eleanora was 89 years old even though she looked to be 19 or possibly younger.

“Then, this wish you speak of... Can it be any wish?” She nodded her head.

“How do I know this isn’t a lame prank?” Atticus frowned, no longer scared as he slouched back on his hands and watched as Eleanora’s frown deepened.

“This isn’t a prank,” She said and he chuckled.

“Then prove it,”

“As you’ve already said. I came out of a sword,”

“That could have been the sunlight playing a trick on me,” He waved her off.

“Can you make it rain?” He joked.

“Is that your wish?” She asked.

“No. You said that I have full control of you and all your capabilities and you said that you’re a mage... so then- Shouldn’t it be possible for a mage to make it rain? At least that’s what I’ve read in the books... but I’m just joking, I’m not expecting-”

Atticus was cut off as Eleanora raised her hands to the sky for a single second before slamming it back to the ground and as her hands sat by her sides, the clouds emerged and not a second later, the rain fell in heavy droplets.

Atticus sat with his mouth agape, staring wide-eyed at the mage in front of him as he got drenched with the water of the rain. After seeing this, how could he not believe her?

One moment he was dying under the rays of the sun and in the next, he was drenched to the bone. It was raining in a desert, she made it rain in a desert.

“Okay. Okay, I believe you! You can get rid of the rain now,” He almost begged and Eleanora obeyed. Waving one of her hands up to the sky and the clouds dispersed immediately as if they were never even there but the wet sand Atticus sat on said otherwise.

He whistled, smiling at Eleanora with a large grin on his face.

“Let’s make a deal,” He grinned and she blinked, confused.

“A deal?” She echoed and he nodded.

“Help me, Miss Eleanora. Help me make my dream a reality and if you succeed in doing that then I promise to set you free,”

And for once, after 70 years of being trapped in a sword, Eleanora’s once dead eyes finally sparked with the light of life.

“Set me free... How did you?-” She cut herself off and simply stared at him with wide eyes and mouth agape. She didn’t remember ever telling him that she wished to be set free.

“The eyes are a window to the soul. Who would want to be trapped in a sword and live as a puppet for all of eternity?” He chuckled.

“So... You’ll use your wish to set me free? You’ll choose to set me free over a wish that can grant you anything?”

“Can it grant me anything?” He asked.

“Not particularly. There are a few things that I’m not capable of,” Eleanora said.

“And those things are...” He pushed.

“Immortality, time travel, reviving the dead, changing someone’s feeling towards you,” She explained and he hummed in response.

“Well, I don’t want any of that. My dream is to unite all humans. Humans of different races and colour with different talents and create a free country where there’s no hate,”

“I can help you create the country physically, I can help you create treaties with other countries, I can help with bringing humans into the country but I’ll be unable to change anyone’s perspective of something,” Eleanora warned him and Atticus smiled.

He stood up and brushed the sand off his clothes before stepping towards her and outstretching his hand for her to take.

“Then... Let’s make a contract,” He grinned.

For a moment, Eleanora stared down at his hand before she took it in hers and nodded. “The contract had already been made when you held the sword,” She told him and he laughed.

“Yes... but I added a promise. I’ll set you free one day, Eleanora. I promise,” He grinned at her and Eleanora stared at the grinning man and slowly, her own lips tilted up into a smile.

“Thank you,” She breathed out through her smile.

Atticus froze when he saw her smiling face, she was truly beautiful beyond which words could explain. “You-” He cut himself off and simply stared at her with his jaw slacked.

Slowly, he raised his hand to rest on her cheek and the smile fell from her lips, replaced with confusion. “So... Where should we start with the contract?” She asked and his hand quickly fell back down to his side.

“Right... Well, about that, I have the perfect place,” He grinned, already going back to his camel and holding his hand out to help assist her onto the animal.

“What place would that be?” She asked curiously as he grabbed her by the waist and pulled her up onto the saddle before climbing up after her and pointing in the south-west direction.

“A place where lands connect. The abandoned city of Andreas which is said to have been the city of mages,” And Eleanora froze.

Andreas. Her home.

“Do you know it?” Atticus asked.

“Yes,” She replied dimly.

“I’ve never been there myself but the fallen city of mages is said to be beautiful, as if history has paused despite the fact that it’s all broken and rusting,” He explained, unaware of the shocked mage who sat in front of him.

“I remember. That place used to be my home, after all, but I guess its changed,” She mumbled.

“Changed?”

“Something you call the fallen city of mages used to be known as Andreas, the floating city of mages. It was a truly beautiful haven, one where everyone knew each other and every day was filled with smiles of joy... It’s all gone now though. They’re all dead,”

Despite how sad she was, tears still didn’t emerge in Eleanora’s eyes.

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