Yucarti frowned at the sudden loud, repetitive noise that he could hear just outside his bedroom window. He instantly recognized the sound as the palace soldiers patrolling the city streets, looking for those who worked dark magic, the dark ones. Yucarti wrapped the cheap blanket tighter around himself, hoping no one had recognized his dark magic attributes, and reported him to the royal guards. Based on the noise of the steps, how faint they slowly got, that wasn’t the case. You could never be too careful, Yucarti thought.
Yucarti only relaxed the moment he heard the guards pass his residence entirely, and when the room went absolutely quiet, unable to hear any more foot and horse steps. Yucarti lived above a bakery. The people who owned the bakery had offered him the room if he paid them ever full moon cycle. It was cheaper than any other residency that he would have found elsewhere. Yucarti knew that the people in this city weren’t usually this caring.
Yucarti knew that was the only reason that royal guards ever patrolled the city any more was to find his kind. His kind, known for the magic that wasn’t from this world, was known to be the magic from the world of the dead. Yucarti knew this was the truth. He knew where his powers came from. It wasn’t from the world they were currently living in. It came from the world after. A world that mortals, those without dark magic, were fearful of. They ran from the thoughts of death. He knew of some, that wielded the power of light, instead of dark. Those were treasured and kept as magic wielders in the palace, where the royal family resided — the kingdom’s final defense. The king sent them out to kill Yucarti’s kind. If the king knew of Yucarti’s existence, they’d be sent to end his life. To send him where they all eventually end up.
Yucarti sat up, ignoring the creak his bed let out. It was an old bed, one the bakers had given to him. He came with nothing, aside from the clothes he wore. He was thankful for all they had given him. They had given him almost everything he possessed in his one-roomed house. Other’s weren’t going to be as kind as the bakers were. He could hear them downstairs, working. Occasionally, a bell rang, alerting the bakers a new customer had entered the building. It also warned Yucarti that it was way beyond time for him to leave the house for the day. It was dangerous, but it was necessary. Yucarti was a social person, loving to be helpful and compassionate. He couldn’t be himself trapped in a single room. As dangerous as the outside world was, it was a beautiful place regardless of those who lived in it, ruining it. It wasn’t everyone, but those who killed people like him were evil to the core.
Yucarti’s kind was thought to be the evil, the darkness that roamed the world. Darkness wasn’t just a mortal trait. Other animals could pick up on the characteristics, having a darker fur that showed colors unnatural to the animals. Mortals displayed signs of it, sometimes even physical manifestations as well. Yucarti once saw one of his kind get burned to death. A boy younger then he currently is, who had diamond looking eyes and beautiful blue and black designed marks covering his arms and shoulders. It seemed impossible for the boy to be able to hide his physical attributes from the world. Yucarti could do nothing but stare as the boy died, a peaceful smile on his face. Yucarti wondered what caused the boy to die with such a serene look on his face.
Maybe it was knowing that wherever he ended up, he’d be safe. Even Yucarti knew that the world after death wasn’t one to fear. As fearing death did nothing but make it come sooner. Death lived on fear of itself. Life is temporary; it was something mortals should be able to realize but don’t. They don’t acknowledge it and cry out when someone dies how it is unfair, ignorant mortals. Everything in the world comes into it with a stopwatch counting down every second they have left from the moment they are born.
Yucarti got off of his squeaky bed and walked over to where his reflective glass, mirror, stood. Yucarti glimpsed into the mirror, looking at himself.
Yucarti ran a hand through his hair as he glanced into the reflective glass, the mirror. It had been something he had found in the streets. People had thought this particular mirror to be cursed, as it didn’t show current reflections, it showed the future appearance. How someone would look in many years to come, or it did to mortals. If the royal guards or light wielders knew of this mirror, it would reveal dark ones. Yucarti looked at himself. He wasn’t ugly by any means. He has been told many times that he was attractive, kind to the eyes. He looked . ..
Normal, like any other mortal, would. It worked in his favor. He was lucky that he hadn’t been born with an appearance that showed his difference to the world. The difference were never ugly, just misinterpreted as evil. He had black hair, something that many people frowned upon thinking it was a sign of dark magic, and in Yucarti’s case it kind of was. His eyes were a beautiful dark green reminding Yucarti of the forest just outside his city. He wasn’t tall as some of the town boys, being under the height of his doorway. Yucarti knew that one of the only ways someone would realize his true heritage would be him displaying magic or his bloodshed. His kind was known to bleed silver, instead of red. The light ones were known to bleed white. Fitting, Yucarti thought.
Yucarti had never met a light one, having a constant fear of them. They were known for being able to look into a crowd of people and almost instantaneously being able to find a dark one, should they be in the crowd. Such a thing scared Yucarti. Who would want to be caught by the hands of the enemy, if meeting the enemy meant certain death? Yucarti wasn’t scared of death; he was scared of the power the light ones wielded. He had heard from another dark one who had encountered a light one that their abilities burned, stung. That it was unnatural. Yucarti wasn’t sure if his fellow dark one, the one who told him of his, was alive or not. The light ones weren’t created with a purpose like the dark ones. The dark ones came into the world to create peace, to even the balance of life and death. The light ones disrupted that balance. It was a dangerous game that the light ones played, killing off the balancers. Yucarti wasn’t sure if they knew that that was what they were doing. Yucarti wondered what they were being told.
Yucarti straightened his hair into a more orderly fashion. Regardless his hair would look like a mess. He didn’t have the fancy expensive products that the royals and wealthy did. He seemed fine without them.
Yucarti’s clothes were in desperate need of a wash, something he mentally knew he needed to do that afternoon by the river outside the city. It was much more peaceful in the afternoon, and if Yucarti were lucky, he’d see some small dark creatures. They were beautiful creatures, although they were going into hiding and disappearing forever, going extinct. The mortals and lights ones were to blame. Mortals weren’t as scared of small dark creatures, killing them and crying out to others with pride that they had killed something evil.
Yucarti grabbed his satchel, which sat on the only chair at his table, flinging it over his shoulder. It held a pocket knife, one he found and grown attached too. A small little piece of night stone, a rare and powerful gem that carried the light of the moon. Spirits were attracted to its light and power. Yucarti used that to help them move on what the light ones would do to get their hands on the gem. The light ones were known to be afraid of the spirits, something that was ignorant to Yucarti. Yucarti knew that if light ones could attract the spirits attention, and if a spirit got to close, the light ones would destroy them. Yucarti glanced over at his little glass jar where he kept his money, before deciding against bringing any.
Yucarti didn’t carry money; he usually didn’t have enough to carry. All the money he had usually gone towards paying off the bakers he lived above. He didn’t ever have the need to buy from the stalls that filled the streets and main square. Yucarti also didn’t want to risk someone stealing his money; thieves were rare, but not as rare as dark ones. Yucarti lived in the city that was overshadowed by Starmere, the royal city where the palace of the royal family stood tall. You could see Starmere from Dustvault, where Yucarti called lived and called home.
It wasn’t pleasant knowing that the people who put a death order on his kind were living in a life being treated like gods. The only true gods that once existed were now gone. The royal family aren’t gods. Praised for the royal blood the royals carried gave them their power. Not magic, but their word was almost as powerful. They got cheers for the death of one of my kind. It is disgusting that mortals could cheer at the end of another, especially since the other had done nothing wrong.
Yucarti finally reached the nerve to leave his single-roomed home and ventured out into the city. The moment, he managed to walk down the stairs, he rushed towards the streets, walking down them, heading towards the main square, hearing people as he got closer and closer. A smile spread across Yucarti’s cheeks. The square was packed full of mortals, walking left and right, scattered about spending their money. People young and old alike. Most of the vendors were the local ones, but in two days, the vendors from Starmere would travel to Dustvault for the celebration of Prince Saga’s birthday. Even the Prince would venture to Dustvault. Prince Saga was the first in line for the throne and also the first royal to be born as a light wielder. It was a ‘blessing’ to the world. Yucarti rolled his eyes. Prince Saga was just another enemy that left Yucarti up at night in fear.
Yucarti easily blended into the crowd of mortals, not standing out whatsoever. Some recognized him; others did not. Some people traveled into Dustvault from Starmere for certain items as the walk was less than two hours. By horse, it much faster. Horses were expensive, though, a privilege only the rich could have. I very clearly wasn’t someone who was by any means luxurious. I am only seventeen years old. Relatively young for someone who has to continually watch out for their life.
Yucarti walked through the stalls, talking to some of the sellers about their products. He liked to look at the vegetables and fruits. Occasionally you’d see some exotic foods from places like Avilles or Narsir. Yucarti remembers tasting a rare fruit from Narsir as a filling in one of the baker’s rolls. It had been very sweet but left a very bitter aftertaste. The rolls sold like wildfire though. Yucarti was the bakery’s taste-tester. Yucarti was sure it was because they pitied him and knew that it wasn’t likely that Yucarti had been able to afford food for that day. He was very thankful for the care the bakers have given him. Yucarti wasn’t sure if without the baker’s help that he would be alive to this day.
Yucarti continued to roam the streets, smiling at everyone regardless of if they smiled back or not. People seemed to like Yucarti, but in today’s world, nobody really trusted anybody else. No one knew if their neighbors were a dark one or not, even though dark ones were rarer then ever. The likeliness of meeting one now was so small. Yucarti wished he tell people that, be able to say to people, so that they’d be kinder to each other. It would only make people suspicious of him. Yucarti knew not to open his mouth about the dark ones. It was something the town’s people didn’t mention out of their homes, in fear of someone might overhear and having people suspect them to be dark ones.
Yucarti continued to roam the stalls until late afternoon kicked in, and the clock tower rang overhead. All the stalls began to close down, and Yucarti hurried out of the square. It was about this time of night when the people of Dustvault became scared and locked their doors tight. It was at night when the colorful, memorizing spirits flew overhead. They would dance across the sky, some lightly colored, others dark purple or black. Some blue, some green. All of them glowed, lighting up the night sky. The royal family made the spirits out to be evil, something to fear when they were anything but. They were peaceful and couldn’t harm those alive in this world. Mortals didn’t know that, though.
Yucarti returned to his home quickly, grabbing the other pieces if clothes that he had before leaving just as fast. Yucarti sometimes wondered if the bakers thought he was a dark one with how weird he could be. Yucarti knew it was only natural for humans to question a person, especially when the person is like Yucarti.
Yucarti didn’t have much of a past. His parents? Yucarti had no idea who they were. He couldn’t remember. They most definitely weren’t in his childhood. Yucarti thought they abandoned him or left him for dead. It made him wonder if they knew he was a dark one and left him over it. Mortals were like that.
Yucarti walked peacefully out of the city, no one out and about. No one that Yucarti could see anyway. He was sure that guards were out, somewhere in the city, looking for his kind. Without knowing it, looking for him. It was quiet and nice, the path he walked. The sun was still visible, lighting the world yet. It made Yucarti wonder if there wasn’t a thing such as magic in the world if people would allow their children to roam the fields playing innocent games, hanging out with each other. Instead, mortals pumped their children full of fear of something that isn’t scary, that isn’t evil. Yucarti knew his kind was the horror tales that got spread around the city. The nightmares that children woke up during the night with were because the parents were telling their children false tales about dark ones. Yucarti found walks like this one peaceful and relaxing. A single moment away from the reality that the world was entirely against him being alive. Against the magic, he stood for. It was like some stories where the villain was able to switch side. Yucarti couldn’t change what type of magic he had; he wouldn’t want to either.
The wind gently ruffed the wheat that grew slowly in the fields that were on both sides of the path that Yucarti walked to get to the small stream. It looked like this year was going to have an abundant supply of flour. Yucarti was sure that the bakers would be quite happy to know that they wouldn’t struggle to get their hands on some flour. Yucarti was pretty sure they had a deal with the farmers to get first hand on the milled wheat, and at a discount.
The walk took a little longer before he made it to the abandoned streamside. People from the city came here to do laundry, but most got bathing water from the local well. Yucarti preferred the stream water to bathe in. He gently got onto his knees, moving the clothes from his arms into the water. He rolled up his sleeves. Yucarti needed to clean this shirt as well, but it would wait until the next time. Yucarti didn’t want to walk back in a wet shirt. Who would? Yucarti knew it was only going to get colder as it transitioned into the night hours. It was summer, but it still got chilly during the night. The breeze was gentle right now, though. It made Yucarti wish that his city wasn’t too scared to come out and enjoy the night like Yucarti was. They think Yucarti was crazy for being out, but Yucarti just wasn’t afraid, not of the same thing the mortals were anyway.
Yucarti began to scrub the clothes that were now thoroughly drenched. He couldn’t afford an expensive thing like soap so water by itself would have to do. Maybe he’d be able to purchase some mint from the stalls tomorrow, or he’d find some in the forest. Mint always made his clothes smell better, a little fresher if nothing else.
He scrubbed his clothes for a couple of minutes before he was pretty sure he got all the mud and sweat out of his shirts and pants. Yucarti knew that this wasn’t how most people in the city cleaned their clothes, but he wasn’t able to afford the disinfection products like the mortals. Yucarti knew that they worked hard to afford expensive hygiene products. It seemed like a waste of money to Yucarti. He barely cleaned his clothes, and no one ever commented about it. It must not be noticeable. Just proved how worthless soaps were. They smelled nice though. Well, most of them did anyway.
Yucarti grabbed his dripping wet clothes and started flinging it around in the air, scattering small drops of water that slowly fell to the ground. Yucarti knew it was stupid, but it worked in a way. It made him feel like a child again, carefree. Yucarti wasn’t able to be that carefree as a child either. It wasn’t an option for a dark gifted child. Children like Yucarti was forced to grow up; they had to grow up, much quicker. They aren’t able to be ignorant, naive. If they were, they’d die. Yucarti was always disgusted when he heard that a dark child was killed. They are the most innocent of dark ones you could find. To hear one had been murdered, it sent anger through Yucarti.
Once he had flung his clothes around, he began to fold his clothes neatly. That is when he noticed something blue across the stream. A small rabbit was sitting on the opposite side of the little stream looking at Yucarti. It wasn’t an ordinary rabbit, though; instead, it was a dark rabbit. It had a tuff of blue between his dark fur on its forehead above its eyes. Its eyes were purple, a beautiful majestic color. It looked at Yucarti curiously. Yucarti wondered if it had ever seen another dark creature. With how rare they were becoming, with how the light ones killed them off, it wasn’t likely that the innocent rabbit had ever seen another dark creature. It made Yucarti sad.
Yucarti waved at the rabbit, smiling at it. It sniffed as if it could smell Yucarti from his position on the other side of the stream before becoming startled at nothing and darted back into the bushes. Yucarti let out a gentle laugh, looking at where the rabbit once sat. Yucarti grinned, pulling the last shirt into his arms, making sure not to unfold his recently folded clothes, turning away from the stream, heading back over to the trail and heading back into the city.
Yucarti glanced up at the sky, watching the sun finally set and disappear. The moon slowly made its appearance, brightening the sky with its beautiful white light. Yucarti grinned up at the sky, at the twinkling stars, at the patches of complete darkness, but most importantly, he grinned at the spirits that dance their nightly dance, filling the sky with colors that aren’t typically seen in the bland world Yucarti had grown in.
Inside Yucarti’s pouch, which he had forgotten he had brought with him, a small glow was starting. It was a light blue, even though the stone itself was a dark purple, almost completely black. His night stone. It was warm; he could feel the warmth from the pouch.
It made him feel warm inside. This stone had been with him his entire life, it felt like apart of his being. Apart of him. It made him feel happy. In a world where Yucarti felt alone, at that moment, surrounded by spirits, with his night stone, he felt like he wasn’t alone anymore. He felt full. It didn’t last long though because he soon returned to the city. He always felt the urge to sneak back in, most likely because guards roamed the city throughout the night, looking for dark ones in the night hours, where they are said to be traveling. They aren’t entirely wrong Yucarti thought, as he snuck past a couple of guards as he got closer to the bakery. The guards seemed more active. Yucarti knew it was because of the celebration that would be taking place in two days. The Prince would be coming to Dustvault. Yucarti was sure that the guards were afraid of an attack from dark ones, even though Prince Saga was a light one, very able to defend himself from a dark one should he come into contact with one.
Yucarti hoped he wouldn’t run into the Prince during said celebration. Yucarti wasn’t even sure he was going to celebrate with the rest of the city. He knew it would make him look suspicious, but Yucarti was sure no one would really notice him not present. Yucarti closed his door behind him, sighing against it. He walked over to the small table, grabbing the barely visible candle and held it up before a flame started out of nowhere, starting purple before turning into a normal red glow. Yucarti sat the candle back down on the table, the small candle lighting up his home without using to much light, light that would attract guards attention.
Yucarti sat down at his table and glanced out the window, at the beautiful sky before resting his head on the table, just watching the sky, his only real entertainment. He sat there for a while, doing nothing but watching the spirits before he slowly got more and more exhausted. Yucarti made himself get up, walk over to his window, glance out, and slowly shut the thin sheets over them. It didn’t do much during the day, but at night, it stopped anyone from seeing through. Yucarti only closed them, to keep the spying eyes of guards out of his home.
Yucarti walked back over to his table, blowing the candle out, a small stream of smoke being admitted before the candle began to slowly cool off. It was a scentless candle, one that Yucarti had bought himself. Yucarti sat the candle back down, and walked back over to his bed, sitting on the old mattress, wincing when it squeaked and groaned underneath him. It was better than sleeping on the floor, though. Yucarti had slept on much worse. Like on a roof, he had done that before. He laid down on the bed, tucking the pillow underneath his head, slowly feeling more and more comfortable. He pulled the scratchy but warm blanket over himself and filled his head with good thoughts instead of thoughts of the light ones and the guards. Yucarti was lucky; he was still alive; most of his kind couldn’t say the same anymore. He felt guilty since he never helped another of his kind. It wouldn’t change anything; it would only get him killed in the mix. At every execution, light ones were present. Waiting to catch another.
Yucarti slowly drifted off to sleep, thinking about nothing at all. A clear empty mind.