The Cruise Part 1
When we show up, the airship is huge. It looks just like a normal cruise ship. But it’s floating about two feet above the water. I looks to have about eight decks to it. Its painted in white and gold. Written in huge lessters across the side is its name, Adrianna.
We get escorted on board and we just look around in awe. The first thing we do is find our rooms which are all by each other. Once in our rooms, we begin unpacking. Each of the rooms are about the size of my three bedroom dorm at the school. All of them look like they are made for royalty. I look around curiously, getting some major deja vu vibes. The room looks familiar, especially the bed.
After they get unpacked, they all come to my room to figure out what to do next. We sit on my bed and look at the brochure telling everything we can do, and what events they have. Then we hear an announcement over the intercoms. They would like all guests to please make their way to the auditorium for introductions and a show.
Even though it’s completely optional, we decide to go anyways. We want to experience everything this cruise has to offer.
We hurry down there and show our ID’s and are lead to a table that has our names reserving the spot for us. It all feels so unreal, as we sit down in this massive grand hall. We notice there are two other names marking seats at our table. Curiosity gets the better of us as we look at the names. The names are Aislin and Chiara Bhakta.
Unsure who they are we just take our seats. We feel completely out of place as everyone is finely dressed. Most are here with their families or their significant others. Then two females walk up, they are exotically beautiful with their dark olive colored skin. Their oval shaped eyes are light brown. One of the females is about six inches taller than the other. They are both wearing silver and black long ball room gowns.
We all stand looking at them. I am almost expecting them to be uptight and snobby. The shorter female bows and smiles saying with a rhotic accent, “Greetings, my name is Chiara and this Lady Aislin. May we join you?”
We all seem to be lost in their beauty and their exotic accent. Then a elbow hits me in the side as I stutter, “O-Oh yes, please sit. I am Fabien and these are my friends Jason and David.”
Jason and David both wave with a nervous smile as the females both nod to us. Chiara pulls out the chair for Aislin as she takes her seat. Then she sits beside her.. We all sit down then it gets awkwardly quiet as we have no idea what to say to them.
Then Aislin speaks saying, “Please do not be nervous. So where are you gentleman from. You seem a little out of place here.” She says with the same accent as she looks us over.
Of course we are all dressed in our nicest clothes, which is just blue jeans and a button up shirt. We have never really had to dress up for anything.
David replies with a chuckle, “Is it that obvious?”
She holds up her hand saying, “Sorry I mean no disrespect.”
“Oh no, we are totally out of place here. We are students, or Fabien here is a student at Heralds of Light Academy. We are just serfs there.” He says,
She looks to me with a smile, “These two must mean a lot to you, for you to bring them with you on this ship.”
I look at them both saying, “Well they are more than just serfs to me. They are my best friends.”
She nods in approval, “Heralds of Light Academy, that is a very prestigious school. So do you know magic?” She asks,
I nod and bring up my hand to show her. Before I can, Chiara reaches across and grabs my wrist and glares at me. “Don’t, you dare” I can tell from the strength of her grip she has to be a guardian.
Aislin chuckles and places her hand on Chiara’s and looks at her “It’s okay, Chiara. He doesn’t know.” Chiara pulls her hand away and Aislin looks at me apologetically “Sorry, using magic is forbidden on the airship.”
I look at Chiara reluctantly, “Oh, well, yeah I do know magic, I am linked to the abjuration sphere. But I am also a guardian there.”
They both look at me with confusion, “I am sorry. Do you know magic, or are you a guardian?”Aislin asks,
I smile, “Both actually, I am what they call a savant. A guardian that uses magic.”
Aislin’s face lights up with a smile, “Oh you are him, interesting. I too am Noblis Magus, but haven’t had the chance to be bonded yet.”
I look at Chiara with confusion, “So she isn’t your guardian?”
Aislin smiles at Chiara, “No, she is my closest friend. She is actually my brother’s guardian”
She begins to explain more but music begins playing starting the show. Everyone gets quiet as a woman takes the stage with platinum white hair and a dress that looks like its made of diamonds. The way the light hits her dress really makes her sparkle on the stage. She introduces herself as Lady Danica and welcomes us all aboard the Adrianna. Then she goes into a brief history of the ship. Apparently, it was named after a queen of a country called Mystil.
As she continues to talk, a food menu appears in front of us all. We begin to look it over. It reminds me of all the times I went out to eat with the people from the school. It has no prices on it, and I still can’t read anything it says.
Jason leans over to me whispering, “I have no idea what this says. Which one is hamburger?”
I just shrug to him and quietly say back, “Just pick out a word and say that.”
The two ladies look at each other and grin. Jason elbows me then motions to them with his head. I lean over to him, "What?" I whisper,
“Ask them if they can translate it.” He whispers back
I sigh and look at them with a smile. I clear my throat, “Excuse me ladies, my friends and I were-”
"CastoliNeuba" Chiara cuts me off saying as she never looks up from her menu.
“Excuse me what?” I ask unsure what she just said to me.
She looks up at me, "CastoliNeuba, the hamburger your friend wanted.”
I look at Jason, “Oh, thank you.”
We all start looking for it on the menu and eventually a waiter comes up to take our order. The ladies both order something different and the waiter looks to us as we all say,"CastoliNeuba"
Then he asks us something else in a different language as we all look at the ladies. Aislin chuckles and hands him their menus saying something to him in the language we don’t know. He nods to us and leaves.
“What did he say?” I ask,
“Oh, he asked for your sides so I told him fries and tea for your drinks. I hope you don’t mind?” She says,
I look at me friends with a smile “Oh no that’s great, thank you.”
We talk for a while and watch some shows while waiting for our food. They have a couple of short magic acts. I’m not talking about magicians and tricks of the eye. I am talking real magic acts. There was also a pretty funny comedy routine.
Then when the event is close to being over, Lady Danica invites Aislin and Chiara up to the stage. We watch them curiously as they make their way up there wondering what type of act they will be doing. Then it goes on to explain who they are.
We find out that Aislin is actually a princess of one of the floating kingdoms named Chogatha. Aislin gives a brief history about them while Chiara stands back and watches the crowd. Then they want to sing one of the songs from their homeland.
When they both begin singing, everyone becomes entranced. It gives me chills how amazing they sound together. While they are singing magic fills the room transporting us to a unknown land. Its almost like we are actually flying over it as they continue to sing. The land looks beautiful, almost untouched by civilization. Most of it is lush and green, there are some snowcapped mountains off in the distance. We fly over a herd of what looks like Zebras with a unicorn horn running together.
As the song slowly comes to an end. It seems like all your worries and troubles just seem to fade away. Kind of how it feels with Minerva. This was probably one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced.
After it ends, it left pretty much everyone in tears. We all stand up clapping together. People head up to the stage to meet them. We figure instead of waiting hours to try and talk to them again, we will explore the rest of the ship.
As we are exploring, we look at the brochure seeing this ship has everything we could ever want to do. There is a casino, a ballroom, gym, multiple swimming pools, a massive library, a movie theater, spa, and even its own museum. Of course they wanted to go to the casino, but I wanted to explore more so we separated. We said we would meet up later on for dinner or whatever.
I spend a couple hours just exploring and end up in the museum. I start looking through all the memorabilia, finding it all fascinating. Then Ariya’s voice in my head startles me causing me to jump startling me, (Hey can you hear me?)
I hold my chest in shock and look around seeing is anyone saw me jump. (Holy shit you scared me.) I say back
She laughs, (Sorry, I didn’t know if there was a range limit on this mental thing.)
(It’s not a cell phone or walkie talkie.) I say as I begin walking around again.
(Shut up, I am bored. What are you doing?)
I stop in front of a vase with some strange paintings on it. The paintings like people feeding babies to a dragon. (Looking around some museum on this ship.)
(Museum, what are you 40? Why don’t you go swimming or gamble? Do something fun.)
I chuckle and someone looks at me like I am crazy. I notice them then turn away and walk off. (I am here for a week, I am just seeing what all the ship has for me to do.)
(Whatever, I wish I was there with you.)
I walk over looking at some suit of armor and smile (Aw, do you miss me.)
(Ew, no. I just don’t want to be here. Visiting my family gets boring really quickly.)
Then I walk in front of some display on someone named Victor Fiore. Minerva told me about him. Victor was the last documented savant. There are a few other people looking at it as well.
I remember her saying we all come from the same bloodline. I lean in close to look at his picture. I notice there is actually an uncanny resemblance between us. The only difference I could see is he had longer hair and a beard.
Ariya is still going on in my head talking about whatever. I am just toning her out as I read more about this guy. As I lean over closer to look at the medallion he use to wear. Suddenly, it begins to shake then flies over and sticks to the glass in front of me.
It startles me as I jump back. I look around at everyone staring at me now. I quickly turn and walk off and the amulet falls as I get further away.
Just then Ariya yells in my head, (Damn it Fabien are you listening to me!)
I stop and rub my eyes in pain. (Yeah what?)
She sighs and I can feel the dejection coming from her. (Whatever, just go back to what you were doing.)
(Ariya what I am listening.)
(Nothing, I have to go anyways.)
She stops talking to me and I start walking around some more. I can’t stop wondering why that amulet did that. I end up finding a picture of the royal family and the queen the airship was named after. She wasn’t a very attractive woman at all.
I smirk then turn seeing a line leading up to a table where Aisin is standing, with Chiara standing guard behind her. Aislin is greeting people and signing autographs. Everyone is pretty much ignoring Chiara because she is just a body guard. Every now and then someone makes a comment to her about how well they sang together.
I decide to get in line for an autograph. As I get close I realize I have nothing for them to sign. I quickly search my pockets and pull out an old receipt from my wallet.
Chiara is scanning the crowd watching everyone closely. She then notices me and I just smile and wave. She gives a slight smile and nods before going back to guard duty. Finally I get up to Aislin as she smiles saying, “Fabien so good to see you again. Where are your friends?”
“Oh, they wanted to go see the casino. I was hoping I could get your autograph? It’s not every day I get to meet a princess.”
I hold out the receipt and people gasp saying how I am disgracing her by asking her to sign trash. She chuckles and holds up her hand to silence them. She then pulls out a crimson silk handkerchief embroidered with golden filigree.
She signs it with her marker “I would like to thank you and your friends for keeping us company today”
“Thank you Aislin... I mean Lady... Princess?” I say unsure what I should actually call her.
People grumble behind me as she chuckles again handing me the handkerchief," Aislin is fine.”
I take the handkerchief then hold it out to Chiara “May I have your autograph as well?”
People begin whispering and she looks to me with uncertainty “I am only a guard, my signature means nothing.”
“It means something to me. That song was only beautiful because of how well both of your voices sounded together. You are much more than just a guard.” I say,
Aislin smiles at her as Chiara looks away blushing a bit which is cute, because of how serious she really is. Aislin hands her the marker and she signs it.
I smile at her as she looks back at me. “Thank you ladies”
I walk away looking at the handkerchief as Chiara just watches me walk away.
I figure its about time to find Jason and David, so I head to the casino. Eventually I find them at a dice game and they both have a fairly large stack of chips.
I lean between them looking at their chips curiously .“Who did you two rob to get these chips?”
David turns to me with a wide smile. "No one, apparently each of us got ten thousand credits to spend while we are here.”
My eyes widen at the amount of money he just said."Wow, well don’t lose it all in one day. We still have a week on here.”
“Dude, I have never seen so much money in my life.” Jason says,
“Neither have I. Well I guess you guys will be staying here longer. I am going to head to the gym, you two have fun.” I say and they both wave me off.
I walk off to find the gym while looking at the map in the brochure. When I get there I see a bunch of people standing around a table signing up for a event that is supposed to be happening later. Some balding short guy walks up to me handing me a flyer.
“You look pretty athletic, would you want to enter the dodge ball tournament to win a prize?” He says,
I glance at the flyer, “What kind of prizes can you win?”
He opens another flyer so he can read it. “Well if you look inside the flyer it tells you. If you get third place you win a home entertainment system worth over thirty thousand credits. If you get second place you win a hundred thousand credits. And if you get first place you win two hundred and fifty thousand credits. Plus, you win a trip to Chogatha Castle to be a personal guest of Princess Aislin.”
All of the prizes sound amazing but I wouldn’t mind spending more time with the princess and Chiara. I grin and nod to the man. “Sure sign me up”
He leads me over to a table and they sign me up. Then they tell me I should change my clothes and just be back here in an hour. I quickly head back to my room to change into my gym clothes then head back and wait. While I am waiting I see Chiara signing up for it as well. Curiosity gets to me as I stand and walk over to her.
I walk up to her and cross my arms. “I’m confused, why are you signing up for this. Don’t you already live there?”
She turns and sees me then smiles, “Fabien, did you sign up for this competition as well?”
I nod “Yes I did. So again, why are you joining it?”
She looks over at all the other people waiting for it to start as well. “I am here to make sure the people the princess doesn’t want to win don’t.”
I chuckle “I really hope I am not one of those people am I?”
She looks back at me with a smile “You will find out soon enough.”
The tournament eventually starts. About two hundred people all get into a large circle surrounding maybe fifty balls about twenty feet away. I smirk and look around. Is this dodge ball?
Then they begin going over the rules. If you get hit with the ball and the ball hits the ground you are out. If you catch a ball thrown at you, the thrower is out. You may block the ball with another ball. The last rule is, no magic is allowed.
I chuckle to myself. Yep, it’s dodge ball.
The whistle blows to start the game. Most everyone runs in to get a ball while I am one of the few to hang back. Chiara is one of the first people up there grabbing two balls. She immediately takes out one guy. Then she flips through the air dodging three balls thrown at her. I can’t help but marvel at how agile she is, of course she is a guardian. While in the air she throws her last ball taking out a female hanging back like me.
One ball is over thrown near me and I easily catch it. Another person tries to take me out and I catch their ball with my free hand. I throw one of my balls taking out the guy to my right.
Then I notice one ball is being thrown at Chiara from behind. I use my last ball to knock it out of the air, just as she turns to block it. We both grin at each other as I catch another ball without even looking at it. She rolls her eyes thinking I am just showing off now.
I use that ball to quickly dispatch another person. Then three balls are being thrown at me at once. I quickly catch two of them. I palm them both then use them to catch the third.
Chiara spins throwing a ball at me. I turn to the side as the ball flies by and hits a guy right behind me. I grin nodding my head at her as she motions for me to keep my eyes open. The crowd watching is roaring with cheers.
I quickly notice one guy is doing about as well as we are. Thinking he is probably a guardian as well, I power throw a ball at him. He quickly rolls out of the way. While he is rolling I throw a second one at him only to be parried with one of the balls he has.
Four other people try to capitalize on what I did. He knocks all four balls straight up in the air. He leaps up after them then spiking them down taking out four more people. The crowd roars cheering for him.
The game continues on for quite a while till it gets down to just four people. There is Chiara, me, that really good guy, and a boy looking to be about fourteen years old.
We all have two balls each, just staring at each other to see who makes the first move. Suddenly, I get a flash or vision showing that they are both going to rush her. One of them attacks low while the other goes high.
I glance over at her motioning for her to come to me with my head. She charges at me as they both follow her. I leap in the air as she slides under me. She parries the first two balls, while I use mine to knock away the second set. They both Look at me in shock. Then she sends the boy tumbling backwards as she nails him in the chest with one of her balls.
We all run to get more balls. The last guy looks nervous seeing me and Chiara working together. As we turn to him he holds up his balls in the blocking position. We both rear back to throw. She throws her ball at him. The force of her throw causes a vibrating noise to ripple through the air. My ball follows shortly behind it.
He blocks the first two just to get hit by her last ball in the leg. She turns towards me just to get my last ball hitting her face. She crouches down holding her face as the crowd cheers for me.
People rush out to congratulate me, but I am more concerned about her. I run over to her to see if she is okay. She looks up to me, her face is red from getting hit by the ball. Luckily, it missed her nose not causing it to bleed.
She stands and grabs hold of my hand raising it. Everyone cheers for me and Aislin also makes her way over to congratulate me. She hands everyone their rewards and Chiara gives half her reward to the boy.
Aislin walks back over to me “Well Fabien, it seems we will be seeing a lot more of each other in the future. I wanted to invite you and your friends to a charity dinner I am hosting tomorrow night. I would really like it if you could attend.”
I nod “I would be honored and I am sure my friends would be as well. May I ask what the charity is for?”
“I am raising money to help reunite estranged serfs with their birth families. Since most of you were stripped away from your families at birth. I would like to give them a chance to be reunited again."
I smile, “Oh, I love that being a serf myself.”
She looks to me with uncertainty,“You were a serf as well? Your school allowed you to participate in the bonding ritual?”
I chuckle and rub the back of my head “Not exactly, it’s kind of a long story. I could tell you later if you wish?”
She smiles “I would love to hear it. Well Fabian, congratulations on your win. I will see you tomorrow night.”
“Thank you princess.”
She smiles and nods as they walk away discussing me.
The rest of the night goes by and the next day goes by pretty normally. That night we are looking through our clothes for something nice to wear to the banquet. We can’t just wear what we did for the banquet. Maybe we can find a shop to buy some clothes.
Suddenly, there’s a knock at my door. I head over opening it seeing a young serf boy standing there with three large boxes stacked on top of each other.
His face lights up when he sees me. “Oh my god, are you Fabien the savant?”
I Look at him with uncertainty, “Yes, may I ask who you are?”
“Oh, I am Theo, a serf working for Princess Aislin. She told me to deliver these tuxedos for you and your friends. She wasn’t sure if you had anything to wear.”
I grab the boxes from him and smile “Oh okay, tell her I said thank you.”
I turn carrying them inside as he follows me. “Um, Sir Fabien, I was wondering if I could have your autograph?” He nervously asks from behind me.
I look back at him with a confused grin. He is looking at the ground too scare to look up at me now.“You want my autograph, why?” I ask,
He look up at me again with a smile. “Well sir, you are famous among serfs. You are the serf who became greater than all the nobles and guardians. You became The Savant.”
I grin,“I don’t consider myself greater than anyone, but sure I will sign something”
His face lights up as he claps excitedly. Then hands me a marker he had hidden in his pocket. I look around for anything to sign then just go ahead and sign one of my t-shirts for him.
He looks at it in awe, “I will never wash it! Thank you Sir Fabien!”
He runs off excitedly. I call Jason and David over from their rooms to get their clothes so we can get dressed. Eventually someone shows up to escort us to the banquet. Chiara meets us at the door and asks if I could sit up on the stage by them.
All sorts of people begin showing up. They all look extremely wealthy and we see some famous people as well. Again we all feel out of place because they are talking about stuff we have no idea about.
Aislin then looks at me, “Do you mind if I announce who you are to the room. Since this fundraiser is about serfs, I would like let them meet you. The most famous serf of all."
I look at all these people nervously scratching the back of my head then “Yeah I guess I am not very good with crowds”
She chuckles touching my forearm, “Oh you won’t have to speak if you don’t want to.”
I sigh and rub a hand through my hair in relief. “Oh good, sure you can tell them about me.”
She smiles “Thank you, may I have your full name?”
“It’s just Fabien”
She looks to me curiously “You do not have a surname or last name?”
I shake my head, “Nope, it’s just Fabien”
Aislin stands and Chiara politely silences the room. Aislin then starts her speech about what this fundraiser is about. She speaks so eloquently and keeps everyone undivided attention the whole time.
She then calls upon all the serfs who are working in the room. She even asks for people’s personal serfs to come stand in front of the stage. My friends make their way up to the stage. I begin to hear the whispering wondering how serfs afforded tickets aboard the ship.
Aislin then says, “We also have a famous serf amongst us. This serf has become more than just a serf. He became noblis magus and a fortissimo all in one day.” She motions back to me with a smile “Please welcome Fabien the Savant!”
I nervously stand as people begin clapping for me. She then motions for me asking me to stand next to the other serfs. I stand next to my friends as David pats my back smiling. Then she goes back to her speech. She asks all the serfs to raise their hands if we have never met our birth parents. Every one of us raise our hands. Surprisingly the crowd seemed to feel a bit of remorse for us.
Then she asks if we would like to meet our parents. Most of us do, there are some who don’t. Knowing the savant history now, I raise my hand.
She goes on to say how this fundraiser is to help serfs to be reunited with their birth parents. She is also trying to pass a law where the children won’t be taken from the parents. The parents will just join the kids where ever they may be placed.
The speech continues on and it seems to get a lot more support than I ever expected. She ended up raising over twenty-three million credits just from this one gathering. Aislin and Chiara finish the event with another beautiful song. After its over we retire back to our rooms.
The next few days go by and we are just having a blast. We see a few more shows and they do more gambling. I end up seeing a few more competitions but none of them really peak my interest to join.
I end up getting approached by people, even famous ones wanting to hear my story. All this attention I have been receiving got pretty overwhelming at times. There are still some glares of disapproval of me, which I do my best to just ignore.
I end up spending most of my time in the gym. I find it actually more relaxing and a good stress reliever to be working out or hitting the bags.