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A Boy and his 3-Tailed Fox

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Keegan's dreams of wielding magic are shattered. But a chance encounter may allow him to gain the class he desperately desires. And maybe make a few friends along the way!

Fantasy / Adventure
Gerald Anders
5.0 1 review
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

Keegan Lance eagerly awaited along with the other children in the town square. His eleventh birthday was yesterday, and the Autumn Festival was the only time when Seekers would come from Talindir, the provincial capital, to test children for any latent magical ability. Parents stood in the back, silently praying to the Divines. No parent wanted to send their child to a Tower. Not after so many young men and women were lost in the Portal Wars. Many older townsfolk still remember the funeral pyres, weeping for those who weren’t allowed to grow old.

Keegan listened to those stories that his father told him at bedtime. He dreamed of hurling fire, frost, lighting, or other elements at the enemies of the Dravadian Empire. Healing those who were injured in battle. Exploring the mysteries of the universe. And above all, getting out of Riverbridge. He loved the town he grew up in, but adventure called to him.

Keegan didn’t care what class he received, as long as it was a magic class. He would prefer [Wizard], but [Druid], [Priest], or [Sorcerer] were acceptable. He brushed his raven black hair out of his eyes as he fidgeted in the back of the line. His dark brown eyes watched the Seekers as they commanded each child to touch the testing sphere. Most children had no mana, and no runes appeared on its surface. Only two children secured a class - One [Priest] and one [Witch].

“We don’t have all day, youngling. Step forward.” The Seeker lightly adjusted her pristine white robes.

Keegan mumbled an apology as he stepped forward. He poured all his hopes in dreams into his hands as he reverently cupped the sphere that was handed to him. But no rules lit upon its surface. Shock turned to anger as he shook the device. He tried to throw it to the floor but was stopped by the Seeker. She fixed him with an icy glare.


He remembered little of the events that transpired after his failure. Tears rained down his cheeks as he felt his dream disintegrate. Hands grasped his shoulder, and he looked up to see his older sister Krystin guiding him toward the market stands.

“Maybe eating something will help you feel better.” She looked worried.

Keegan’s desire for food had disappeared, along with his dreams. She kept pestering him until he ate a freshly grilled beef kabob.

He put on a brave face for Krystin. So he joined in sack cloth races. Watched as jesters juggled knives. Listened as farmers pulled out various musical instruments and played a beautiful symphony to celebrate the end of the harvest. She even gave him enough bronze coins to get a few sweet pastries, which he shared with the rest of his family.

His heart ached as the hours went by.

Keegan gave his sister the slip when their father spilled his beer on another patron. There were no hard feelings, but he couldn’t help but feel embarrassed. He loved his father dearly, but the man cared little for social decorum. Yet another reason he desired to leave town.

He breathed easier once the houses faded into the forest. Birds chirped happily in the trees, and the smell of pine wafted past his nostrils. A nip was in the air as his boots crunched over freshly fallen leaves. He pulled his coat tighter around him as he walked. Fading sunlight cast enormous shadows as the sun drifted down toward the horizon.

A slight break in the trees revealed his destination: A small stone shrine dedicated to creatures that no longer existed on the Mortal Plane. Keegan had discovered it two years ago by accident and had worked hard in his spare time to refurbish it. He had hoped his efforts would sway the Divines to bless him with a class.

What a waste of effort.

“I spent every single weekend here removing moss, rust, and grime. Using spare mortar from the blacksmith. I cleared the overgrown ivy that threatened to hide this shrine from the world in the vain hope that some Deity would heed my unspoken prayers. But I received no reward for my service. I am left to rot just like all the other children in Riverbridge. I have no money for an apprenticeship. No money for any kind of schooling. No prospects at all! I poured my heart and soul into this place and gifted with nothing! I don’t even know why I bothered!”

Keegan’s voice rose with each word. All of his feelings bubbled to the surface as he vented at the shrine.

“I might as well give up. The Divines are as dead as my dreams. No one will answer me. No one cares.” He sat down at the shrine’s base, his anger spent.

A bluish green glow caught the boy’s eye. Keegan walked closer, the hairs on his arm rising in alarm. A soft but steady hum emanated from the shrine as well.

He fell to his knees, fear overwhelming him. “I didn’t mean it! I-”

Words froze in his mouth when the shrine gave off a massive burst of light, enveloping Keegan. When it faded, the boy vanished from the forest. Only a few rose petals rested on the ground where he once stood.

Keegan found himself lying in a grassy field. He sat up with a groan and took in his surroundings. Long blue grass tickled his nose as he stood up.

Are you all right, little one?

A voice reached his years, yet he didn’t see who spoke. He was fixated on the trees, which were glowing with a silvery sheen. The pine needles were a deep red, much like one would find in autumn. Yet no leaves decorated the ground. The sun was as a large blue star up in the center of the bright greenish yellow sky.

Maybe he’s disoriented from the trip here? You know the Mitsu shrine hasn’t been used in decades.

Keegan’s jaw dropped when he realized he was hearing the voices in his mind rather than with his ears.

“Am I dead?” He murmured softly.

Nope. You’re in the Spirit Plane.

Two kitsune appeared out of the grass. Each had two large fluffy tails, and their fur was a smattering of orange, white, and brown. Keegan was sniffed, and their snouts were cold to the touch.

He remembered his father’s stories about how humanity created Gates to travel to other Planes. The Spirit Plane was the first one they visited. Humanity was surprised to encounter kitsune, pixies, merfolk, dryads and other faerie creatures. Trade flourished, diplomatic relations were established. Their partnerships allowed humans to gain classes, which improved their society by leaps and bounds. Both races thrived.

Over the years, greed and jealousy manifested and over the years eroded the friendship between them. Arguments arose and soon grew into outright conflict. The Portal Wars lasted twelve years, and ended with the destruction of the Planar Gates. Humanity was cut off from all other Planes. No human had laid eyes upon another faerie creature in almost 40 years.

Until now.

“Why was I brought here?”

Our elders have summoned you. Our elders have summoned you. Come, our village is over the rolling hills behind us.

Keegan thought for a moment and shrugged. “Lead on.”

As they walked, he couldn’t help but admire the beautiful landscape. Daisies, asters, gardenias, and lilies of all colors decorated the grasslands. Several pink fluffy clouds hovered at the horizon’s edge. Keegan thought he saw a wisp hovering around the silver barked trees. He was so awestruck that he stopped walking.

We should keep moving. Akari does not like to be kept waiting.

“I never caught your names.”

I’m Riko. The one behind you is Haru.

“Nice to meet you.” Keegan quickened his pace.

He remembered to use his best manners, as Krystin constantly reminded him. Feelings of worry threatened to overtake him, but he forcefully shoved them aside.

“Answers will come to those who are patient.” He said to himself.

The three of them walked over a small ridge and slowly descended into a lush green valley. A village was nestled in the center, a few dozen homes and shops surrounded by fields of wheat and oats. Orchards and vineyards dotted the outskirts. Keegan noticed kobolds, pixies and leprechauns working hard in the fields as the three of them drew closer.

A crowd gathered when he and the two kitsune walked down the main street. Faerie children, many of them also kitsune, played in between the houses. Their parents gathered them up as he walked past, and he could feel their stares. Keegan took a deep breath as being the center of attention made him uncomfortable.

Several older faerie creatures sat on a raised dais that overlooked the crowd. Foremost was a silver kitsune, whose ten tails fluttered in the breeze. Her golden eyes seemed to stare into Keegan’s soul.

We have bought the boy as requested, Elder Akari. Haru formally announced his presence.

Akari nodded, and both Riko and Haru joined the other kitsune. She stepped forward and then addressed Keegan and the assembled faeries.

Keegan Lance, we owe you our deepest thanks. The shine you have spent two years maintaining is a key anchor point that keeps the Spirit Plane safely anchored in the universe.

Akari coughed, her body shook. A six-tailed orange kitsune Elder attempted to aid her, but she froze him with a look.

I have observed your work, and I have been impressed by your kindness, dedication and service. I offer you the greatest gift from our people - a class - so that you will continue to grow in wisdom and strength. So tell us, little one: What class do you desire?

Hope stirred from within Keegan. Here was his chance to wield the elements. To become the hero that his father always spoke about in his bedtime stories. But he also knew that any child who was not born with mana could never attain a class. So he chose his response carefully.

“Thank you so much for this offer. Ever since I could remember, I have always wanted to wield magic. To bend the elements to my will. It didn’t matter to me if I was a [Priest], because I could heal those who were injured or sick. It didn’t matter to me if I was a [Wizard], because I could use spells that others have created before me. Hell, I wouldn’t mind being a [Shaman] and using the powers of those who walked the Earth before my time. But I have no mana, so I have no way of using any class that would be gifted to me. I am glad that I could be of help, and I would be happy to keep maintaining the shrine once I return to my plane.”

Silence fell over the assembled crowd. Several of the elders convened or a moment, whispering among one another. Akari dismissed the other Elders with a flick of her tails. Keegan fidgeted while they talked, trying and failing to hide his anxiety.

Don’t give up on your dream yet, Keegan. There is still a class that you can attain despite your condition.


The [Familiar Mage] class was the first class that was gifted to humanity, as it is the only class that doesn’t require mana. Humanity gained access to the other class types over generations, as our gift spread throughout your Plane. However, the other requirement is for one of us to form a soul bond. We could be your companion here in this Plane, but we wouldn’t be able to take physical form outside of it. Further, both you and the faerie that you bond with need to make this decision of their own free will.

Keegan was elated and crushed at the same time. All he had to do was convince one villager to join him. But who would give up their freedom to help a poor child like him?

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