**Hey! This is an idea I came up with originally, and had a huge helping hand lent by my best sister, Cheryll. She helped describe all 4 of the main characters, and even gave me plot ideas! This story WILL change POV's at points, which you should be no stranger to if you read my other stuff. This will start off as Lydia's POV! Happy reading! ~Author-chan**
I awoke to the sun peeking through my curtains, just enough to land on my face. Forcing my eyelids apart, it took me a full minute to notice there was music in the distance. Throwing my legs out from the covers, I rubbed my eyes and trudged over to the window. Throwing the curtains open, I focused my hazel eyes on the people walking through the streets, all going towards the town square. Energy instantly began flowing through my veins and excitement took over. Today was the start of the Summer Solstice, and the festival was my chance to prove myself worthy of attending the Order of Magi.
Throwing on my performers outfit I'd made with my mom, I practically slid down the stairs and into the kitchen. No one was home, since my dad was an Archmage in the Order of Magi, and my mother was a seamstress for the Royal Family. I used my magic to pour some milk, then chugging it, and running out the door. The Summer Solstice festival was one of the biggest of the year, and the first of 2 opportunities to once more attempt to prove myself to the Order. It was the highest select group of mages in all of Faliene, only those chosen by the Grand Master himself were allowed in, and getting noticed was rigorous.
"Welcome to all! Garigill's largest celebration festival of the season is upon us!" A nearby crier announced as I rounded a corner into the square.
"Wow, these crowds are insane already." Someone by me complained, which sparked an idea.
I put my palms out, arms at my side. Channeling the spell, I whispered a command, and poof! I had my own personal cloud to ride around on. Once I'd hopped on, people below me stared in awe. I rose just high enough above everyone to be met with other races who had their own means of flying. Shades with their shapeshifting, Liyn with their wings, and so on. The festivals were my favorite time. Seeing all the races together with minimal struggles was a sight for sore eyes. I smiled at the Elves serving Shades, and Liyn laughing with Humans.
Once I'd arrived at one of the Main Stages, I jumped off my cloud and sent it to the sky with a rush of wind. As I turned around, several other aspiring mages bustled around behind the stages curtains. As expected, I've never been the only one trying to get the attention of the Grand Master. Shuffling amongst the handful of people, I made it to the main director, a High Mage from the Order of Magi. She turned and smiled at me, as we bowed to each other.
"Lydia, it's good to see you. As you know, this stage will be showing its main event earlier than expected. Our opener girl cancelled, so I had a proposition for you." My director, Gaelin, smiled at me.
"Yes, High Mage. What do you need me to do?" I asked, pinning some hair behind my ear. Truth is, I didn't know we were starting early, so I'm glad I got here.
"I would like for you to do the intro announcement and performance this year. Keep in mind though, you'll have to do a closer for each day as well." My body wanted to burst with happiness, but I kept myself under control.
"On my honour. I'd love to." I bowed, going to stand behind the curtain so I'd be prepared when they opened.
Over and over in my head, I told myself not to worry. But my palms were sweaty and shaking from anticipation of the opening show, and I could barely contain it. I waved my hand slightly to part the curtains, taking a quick peek at the people who had gathered in the standing and minimal sitting space in the front of the stage. I waved the curtains closed, taking in a deep breath and momentarily closing my eyes. This is your chance, Lydia. I reassured myself. This will be the year you're noticed by the Order.
And with that, a couple claps were made from the other side of the curtains, and the immediate crowd quieted down. Gaelin began speaking about this years show, and all the basic rules and safety concerns. I mean, what can you expect while attending a fire festival?
"And now, it is my pleasure to bestow upon you this years opening performer... Please welcome, Lydia Rowanarke!" Gaelin came through the curtains, rushing off to the side as they parted, revealing me to the crowd.
I've been attending the festivals for as long as I can remember. Scanning the crowd, I took one last deep breath and assumed my starting pose. Lutes, harps, and bells with a tad bit of drum began playing, and I started my routine. My body started off with graceful dancing, occasionally reaching out, pulling my hand back in with fluid motion. To the rhythm of the simple music, my body wove around the stage. One large drum hit played, and I launched myself into the air.
After keeping suspended 20 feet for a few seconds, I brought my hands to a point above my head. A flute soloist began playing exquisite, rapid music, as I crossed my arms and threw my body in a spin, surrounding myself in fire. Landing back on the stage, I sent sparks in all directions, but careful of the attending patrons. I smiled broadly at the roar of cheering and accompanying clapping, as I channeled 2 medium sized fireballs in my palms, twirling, juggling, and catching them finally while I toyed with the orbs.
My finishing move was up next. I stood still, my feet together and my arms against my chest in a sort of praying gesture. The music stopped, ending with a flute trill. My ears picked up on the curious whispers of the people, and my darting eyes noticed festival goers momentarily stopping to see what was going on. I forced a half-smile, snappily throwing my arms out at an angle, my finger tips to the sky and palms to the ground. Fire erupted from my palms, giving the illusion I had massive wings of flame, even levitating me in the air a few inches.
"Lydia! Lydia! Lydia!" Multiple voices merged together in the standing ovation I was granted with. The crowd cheered louder, some even whistling.
"Give it up for Lydia Rowanarke!" Gaelin came up beside me once I'd lowered my arms and ceased the fire.
"Thank you, High Mage, for this amazing opportunity." I smiled, as she brought an arm around my shoulder.
"You're welcome my dear. Take a rest, we'll need you for the ending show today." I bowed at her gesture, walking behind the curtains to take advantage of the provided benefits.
After I'd cooled myself off, I snapped my fingers to change into a more breathable outfit. A flowy skirt that was to my knees in the front flowed out longer in the back, and a plaid pattern button down was my top. I rolled up the sleeves and undid the first button. Twirling my fingers around my hair, I threw it up in a sloppy bun and exited backstage. Making my way to mingle with the people, I was stopped by a slight tug at my skirt. Turning around, I noticed 2 little girls both holding tiny festival flags.
"Are you Miss Lydia?" One asked, shyness occupying her icy blue eyes.
"We really enjoyed your show." The other added on, offering a warm smile.
"Yes, I am. What is it you girls need?" I smiled at them, causing their faces to be coloured with blush.
"C-Could you sh-show us a spell, please?" The girl who'd smiled at me earlier flashed hope in her green eyes.
"But of course. Here, step back a little bit." I knelt down, looking up at what must've been the girls' parents, who gave me a slight nod.
I wove my hands around each other, creating a swirl of fire magic. I brought my palms together, taking them apart so it looked like I was reading a book. A small rabbit made of flames sat in my hand, its head darting around like it was a living, conscious animal. The girls began giggling and smiling profoundly, which caused my own heart to warm with happiness.
"One more thing." I spoke, dismissing the magic. I took each of the girls flags, and with my index finger acting as a pen, signed both their flags with glittery blue magic.
"Thank you, Miss Lydia!" They said in unison, bouncing back to their parents.
Standing up, I turned around to walk towards the main square with all the vendors when I was met with another person. I raised my hands to lessen the impact, but ended up singing their shoulder.
"Oh no! I'm so sorry!" I began apologizing abundantly, summoning frost essence in my palms to cool them down.
"There must've been leftover energy. Again, I can't say how sorry I am." I bowed, looking up at the person whose arm I'd burnt.
"D-Don't worry about it, r-really." They turned around, revealing themselves as an Elf. Great, I'd harmed a member of another race.
"I could be overlooked by the Order for this... Please, let me make it up to you." I pleaded with the Elven boy, as he shrugged.
"If you insist..." He whispered, barely audible over the bustling crowds. I grabbed his wrist, leading him towards the square.
I rushed myself and the Elf to a popular tavern that just so happened to sit in the square with all the festivals booths, booths that contained vendors of all races and professions from every corner of Faliene. Once we entered, a Human woman lead us to our table. I sat across from the Elf male, and used a simple spell to float my menu in front of my face. Lowering it, I seemed to get lost in his eyes. After all, they were a vibrant glowing green.
"So, got a name?" I asked, floating my menu flat on the table.
"Marik. Marik Piotre. I'm an Elven Alchemist from here in Garigill, nothing magical about me." He shrugged, casting a solemn glance at the table.
"My name is Lydia Rowanarke. I'm an aspiring Human Mage shooting for the Order of the Magi." I smiled, as the waitress returned to take our orders. Once placed, we turned in our menus and I once more stared into Marik's eyes.
"Yeah, I've seen your shows before. You're really great." Marik flashed a thin smile.
"You'll have to show me your Alchemy techniques sometime. Maybe I could teach you a spell or two." I smiled, taking a swig of my drink as it was placed on the table. Marik looked surprised, only taking a tiny sip.
"I-I don't know... My family is really weird around other people..." For being an Elf, Marik seemed strangely timid. I admired his shyness, though.
We sat in silence for a little while, each of us taking bites of our food. Looking outside, I noticed the sun was high in the sky, clouds dotting the scene. Trying to find a clock, I noticed one that read 1:23 p.m. . Wiping off my mouth with a napkin, I reached into my pocket and threw the coin down on the table and stood waiting for Marik. He slowly followed suit, and soon we were back on the busy stone streets of Garigill's square.
Marik and I visited all of the booths and vendors the festival had to offer today. Tomorrow, all of these would be different. As my laughter filled the immediate air around us, I could've sworn I heard Marik at least chuckle. For having just met him, I already felt attached. As I held onto his wrist, my eyes noticed the burn mark I'd left. As we sat down on a stone bench, I flicked my hands open with frost energy.
"Marik, allow me to apo-" I started, but was cut off again.
"Lydia, it's alright. You've already repaid me in ways I'm insanely grateful for." Marik smirked at me, wincing slightly as I placed my cold palms on his burn.
I shed an apologetic smile, but returned to what I was doing. The magic seemed to be easing the redness and swollen areas of his arm, but I couldn't help the light scar it was making. My hand print, permanently seared into his skin. The good news is, it wasn't a monstrous scar, just there enough for you to tell if you were close. As we stood back up, masses of people filed past us. Looking to where they were going, I noticed it was the main stage.
"Oh no, the closing event! I'll be late!" I gasped, running off into the crowd, forgetting about Marik.
"Lydia, you almost missed dress time." Gaelin placed a hand on my shoulder as I showed up backstage, panting.
"My apologies, Gaelin. I'm here now." She nodded at me, while I wove my arms around me, snapping my fingers so that I was back in my performing outfit.
Standing in the same spot behind the curtains, I waited as the other side performers joined behind me. Yes, I was the feature, but at the end of each day everyone who'd performed that day would join for the close. As we all listened to Gaelin's speech, we straightened up as she came through the curtains, light applause coming from the crowd. I closed my eyes, ready to get this done.
As the music played, spells flew, bodies danced, I got ready for my final move when I turned my head to the crowd. Marik stood in the back, smiling towards me. Seeing this made me lose focus, and while I was launched in the air, I almost fell on other performers. I made a swift recovery, however, turning on my back and landing on my quickly summoned cloud. Hopping off, my hands were used to aid in an illusion to make it appear I was spitting fire. Using that, I lit fireworks stationed on the stage. As they shot off, the crowd gave another standing ovation.
"Shades, Humans, Liyn, and Elvens alike, we all hope you enjoyed today's festivities! Join us tomorrow for a new show theme!" Gaelin stood next to me, her arms open at the cheering crowd.
"Good job, mages. Report tomorrow at the same time." Gaelin ushered us all behind the curtain.
"Yes, High Mage." We all responded in unison.
"Dismissed. Get plenty of rest and bring the outfit you've designed for tomorrow's theme." I summoned my cloud as I was waved off, beginning to fly away from the stage when I heard my name called.
"Lydia! Wait, Lydia!" Floating back down to the ground, I still sat on my cloud, facing the cause of my name being called.
"Heya there, Marik. What do you need?" I asked, waving my hands over my head to let my hair down.
"Listen, I know we just met today, and uh, you're a Human and all... But I w-was wondering if we c-could maybe... Hang out tomorrow, too?" His light blue skin was accented with a blush on his face.
"I'd love to, Marik! Here, have my mirror code." I flicked out a piece of paper, using my finger as the pen again.
"Th-Thank you, L-Lydia." Marik bowed, running off in the opposite direction I was heading.
The ride home on my fluffy cloud was relaxed. Thoughts of the new person in my life flooding my mind. I'd never made friends or even really interacted with anyone outside my race, so I hoped I didn't screw this one up. Arriving at my cobblestone walkway that lead to my front door, I dismissed my cloud to the sky, walking into my cottage. My mother was finishing a cross stitch project, and my father was making himself coffee in the kitchen.
"I'm hooooome!" I called, causing both my parents to look up.
"How was the festival, Lydia?" My mother ran over, giving me a monster hug.
"It was great, mom. I made a new-" My dad interrupted by giving me a hug as well.
"How were your performances? Did you see anyone from the Order?" He broke the hug, looking down at me with his hands on my arms.
"No, dad. But I get to be the starting performer now, and the feature end event." I shrugged, sighing a little as they both walked away.
"Honey, it's your turn to do the chores tonight." My dad reminded, raising an eyebrow as he looked over his shoulder at me.
"Yeah, yeah..." I muttered, looking over to the broom and mop. I smirked at them, as magic swirled around both their handles, animating them.
Walking up the stairs to my room, I heard a pinging sound. Opening my door, ripples were being sent through my mirror. I smiled, knowing it was most likely Marik on the other side. Tapping the center of the glass, the ripples stopped and I was granted with the sight of the Elven boy. Marik smiled, seeing that I'd picked up.
"Lydia! Oh, it's great to hear from you. Just wanted to make sure you didn't give me a fluke code..." His tone seemed embarrassed, yet relieved.
"Yeah, I just got home. What time are we meeting tomorrow?" I asked, running a hand through my sweaty hair.
"Was thinking shortly after dawn, just in time for breakfast?" Marik shrugged, as I heard breaking on his end.
"That's fine with me. Everything alright over there?" I chuckled, sitting down in my chair at the dresser.
"This is a normalcy. Especially when you're the oldest of 8 kids." Marik flashed another half-smile, turning around to yell at one of his siblings.
"Guess I'm lucky being an only! I'll talk to you later, Marik." I stood up, waiting for his response.
"Goodnight, Lydia." He smiled, and I waved my hand over my mirror to end the call.
Just after dawn? That's insanely early! I thought to myself, groaning as I snapped my fingers to change into my pajamas. Sure, I couldn't become too dependent on magic, but I was insanely tired. Throwing myself on my bed, I wiggled my body under the covers and peacefully fell asleep.