31 March 2012


Title: Arrival at Vesper
Author: Minerva Wu
Writing: scene snippets
Word Count: 750

“I’m so proud of you two,” his mother was saying as she stopped in front of the Vesper University front gate. Incoming students like Aldis and Fiana were unloading their belongings, hugging, and generally engaging in tearful good byes.

Aldis emerged from the semi-limo after his sister, lifted his camera and snapped a picture of the crystalline silver gate and the crowd gathered in front before anyone noticed him. From the front seat his step-father stepped out and gasps sounded from the crowd. In a moment, when his mother appeared into view these gasps would turn into squeals and screams.

Ducking behind the car, Aldis grabbed his backpack, toolbox and a jacket from the trunk before his mother enveloped him in a hug. He smelled alcohol and perfume and pursed his lips.

“Bye Mom,” he murmured. Take care of yourself.

“Take care of Fiana,” she fussed. “Be nice to your roommate and your classmates and professors.”


“Watch your grades but don’t forget to have fun every so often. And write me—I’ll except an update every so often”


She held him at arms length. “I do love you, you know. I do care.”

How many times had he heard her say that while she was drunk?

She planted a kiss on his head and let him leave for the registration desks beyond the gate. “Your father would be so proud of you.”

“Ye—“ he was about to scoff when he realized who she was talking about. No way would his famous film-critic stepdad be proud of him. Ivian Tallwater never quite liked him, and after the last couple of years, Aldis thought he could safely say he hated him. No. His mom had meant his dad—his real father.

He didn’t have time to mull over it too much though, as the crowd was already pushing its way towards the limo for a chance to speak to the famous film critic or his equally famous movie-star wife. As he passed the other side of the car, he caught Fiana’s eye and a silent exchange passed between them in an instant. Pulling his hood over his green hair and slipped away.


When Aldis opened the door to his new dorm room, Vesper Jinan Wisteria was already unpacking. Green sheets and golden blankets covered one bed, and half of the room’s walls were covered in awards, plaques, and pictured with famous scientists and magicians.

As soon as the door closed, the person named in half the hanged items strode forward and offered his hand. “You must be Aldis Maur,” he greeted, his voice clear and loud. The brown-haired boy threw his cropped brown-black hair back, his olive eyes catching the light. At barely 5’6”, Vesper knew he was a good four inches shorter than his new roommate, but was assured that his superior intellect would dominate this tall, green-haired, yellow-eyed, pale-skinned, and obviously less intelligent being that he had to live with. “I’m a fan of your stepfather’s.”

Aldis almost smirked. He shifted his jackets to the other arm to shake his new roommate’s hand. “And you must be…Vesper Jinan Wisteria.” He peered at a nearby trophy to read the name before dumping his bag on the other bed. Unlike Vesper’s his voice quality was soft, but firm and strong.

“Oh.” Vesper might have sobered from his arrogant demeanor, but if so, then just a little, and only for an instant. “You don’t mind, do you?”

“Not at all.” Aldis replied. He unzipped the bag, hung the few shirts and pants stashed inside in the closet, along with the bundles of jackets. A few cases of gears from his packpack and the toolbox went into the dresser drawers. He swung the lightened backpack over his shoulder, checked his camera batteries and turned to leave the room. He paused.

“Actually, d’you have any more…awards?”

Vesper pointed at one of the crates littering the floor.

Aldis really did smirk this time. “By all means then, please put them all up.”

“Really?” Vesper’s delight was evident. “Don’t you have anything to hang up?”

“N’really. I’m not the type…to get a bunch of awards,” He chuckled and clicked the camera, capturing the room as it was. “And I’m sure all those awards deserve a spot on the wall,” he said. With Vesper still standing there, plaque in hand and brows furrowed at what exactly just happened, Aldis left with a little wave.

Artist's Note: Random scene that came to mind, but it'll do as this week's post. I hope to be able to get back to posting on this blog under the original rules. Both boys will be showing up soon in Project ECA and Vesper has already been mentioned! See the TRW entry for more info. :)
Hopefully there'll be something next week, but more importantly, I hope you enjoyed this!
~Minerva Wu

13 March 2012

Prologue (Anuna's familiar)

Title: Prologue/ Anuna's familiar
Author: Minerva Wu
Writing: short story
Word Count: 2576

“Little girl, it is useless to run.”

The merrow in front of me snarled, her features distorting as she leapt out of the water and at the feathered ribbon bracelet I held in my hand. I staggered back, clutching it against my heart and distancing myself from the shapeshifting creature, still stunned from what had happened.

Her tail shrunk and her arms sprouted into wings and she flew overhead before landing, legs forming just before she landed. “I won’t hurt you, Princess” she cooed, the voice that came from her lips too beautiful for the sharp teeth and wicked growl frozen on her face. “But you must give me that.” She pointed to the bracelet with a smooth crooked finger.

“But—they’re mine.”

She stalked forward, hand still outstretched. Her milky hair cascaded around her face and dripped to her feet and I wondered how anyone could walk or swim with it. I stumbled back again, clutching the bracelet. It wouldn’t serve me to stall. We both knew her companions were coming and I needed to be back at the castle. But my wand, summoning staff, and dagger had all been sucked into the flash of light that had created this bracelet.

“You can have your belongings,” she sang as if reading my mind. “You can go help your friend. I require only the egg.”

The egg. It was large dragon egg, pitch black except for a few jagged rings the same crimson color as my hair and pink circles the color of my eyes. When I’d first seen it, I wondered if it too existed only because of a blood sacrifice. We already shared in common being the only living creatures on a planet inhabited by recalled dead and bloodthirsty merrows.

“I-It was absorbed into the flash.”

“And you can call it back.”

I was at the edge; behind me the Visola Formidine waterfall plummeted downwards into the lake the merrows lived in. I could hear the fleshy sound of their wings as a dozen of them flew up, surrounding me.

“I can summon it?” I feigned cooperation as I stepped closer to the edge, kicking a pebble down. It disintegrated from the energy radiating off the waterfall before it even hit the foam at the bottom.

“We should just destroy the entire thing,” one hissed. “She cannot summon it yet.” I turned. The new merrow had spears in their clawed feet and all wore the same devilish scowl the first did. There was no way I could defeat them all and have energy to help Loise in the Calling.

We waited like that, them unwilling to harm me should I make it alive to inform my parents, and I desperately calculating an escape that didn’t involve killing anyone; there was already enough death in my existence. Then one of the merrow broke that kind train of though:

“The egg, Princess Luna.”

“Anuna,” I snapped, anger boiling within me. “I am Anuna Erkygon, ancilla of the Lady Auiya Le’Enor. And you have no right to call me otherwise!”

I took my opening, sweeping my free hand around me, aiming vaguely for the offending merrow. Magic energy exploded around me and a jagged black stream of electricity went wild, sending off red sparks. Without looking to see if my distraction-attack was enough, I took the final step and plummeted off the edge.

Here’s a tip: don’t jump off waterfalls in a dress. Even if you have leggings and shorts underneath.

The wind whiplashed across my face, and I could feel the energy from the waterfall reaching for me, drawing off my fears and clawing at me as if I were a piece of prey. Fifteen years of life lived in the shadow of my parents and tore at my mind as pain licked my skin. The bracelet clutched tightly in my hands, I concentrated on pulling the air around me to slow my descent.

Suddenly I felt a shudder from the bracelet and a moment later it glowed and wound around my wrist, leaving in my hands the ebony and cherry egg that the merrow, now shooting down the waterfall in their aquatic forms, sought to eat. It shuddered again and as I pulled the currents of the air, unable to get a firm grasp without my wand to channel my magic. A merrow’s spear whirled out of the cascade and I dodged, plummeting faster. A crack and tiny burst from my hands alerted me to the egg again, and I realized that it was hatching, in the middle of our plunge into the Lake of Fear. A droplet of water from the Visola Formidine touched the shell and before I could wipe it away the droplet was steaming and the shell exploded away, leaving a small, slimy, black figure in my hands.

I couldn’t tend to him immediately as we were quite obviously falling, but I took delicate care not to fold or damage his wings and held him close. With my other hand I reached out at the pool of water and ignoring the screams of death echoing in my ears and the claws raking my skin I uttered a portal spell directly into the encroaching lake.

A few fast merrow were catching up and aiming to attack us. Fortunately, it seemed none had noticed the whirlpool coagulating beneath us. At the last moment I thrust my hand around to create as best a protective cushion of air against the impact as I could and curled up with the pitch-black dragon safely against me as we plunged into the waters of the Lake of Fear itself.


Colors swam before my eyes and air swept out of my lungs as I and my new dragon hurtled through space. I gasped for breath and finally the whirling stopped. The world still spun with dizziness around me but I could feel solid ground below me again and the thumping of another little heart by my side.

"Princess Anuna!" I looked up and saw Dr. Markyus and my father rush into the courtyard I had appeared in. “The Calling has started,” the good doctor said, waving his hand over me. My breathing eased immediately. “It’s not going well though.”

Not going well was an understatement: Cristae’s movements were sunk in weariness and Loise choked the words of the ritual out between gasps of air. The rune that surrounded the area were the standard symbols to call people to the Land of Dreams, the pool that the Calling had to be done with was laced with the proper ingredients, and plump packets of herbs surrounding the circle radiated the needed auras . What was going wrong?

“What is—?” Father asked suddenly, a mix between horror and confusion in his voice. I followed his gaze to the little dragon that was floundering about, drying himself, and touched his black little snout. He looked up at me, making a gurgling sound.

“A dragon…” Dr. Markyus said, the awe apparent in his voice. The expression I saw though, was more than awe: it was greed, power-thirsty desire. I shuddered and took a small vial out of my pocket and poured it into a rock for the newborn.

“Doctor, the Calling,” Father reminded him urgently. The High King glanced over his two old friends and gritted his teeth in determination. “Dr. Markyus has a spell, but we have no power to use it,” Father said, turning to me. “It requires the power of an ancilla,”

I snapped my fingers and he handed it to me; I skimmed the words and procedure. It was remarkably simple for a Calling-spell that demanded the power of one of Auiya’s own. “It is harder than it seems, milady,” the doctor and my mentor said, and pointed to certain marks on the scroll where he had jotted notes. “Your mother was unavailable due to a conflict with the merrow-folk, but I trust you can preform it well.”

“Go. I will watch this…organism,” Father encourage with obvious distaste.

I nodded in thanks at their confidence. Raw determination flooded through me; this was my friend and lifelong servant who was at stake. Abruptly I realized I had no wand to amplify my power and grasped the feather and ribbon bracelet my wand had been absorbed into, hoping it had gained the powers of a wand. My finger grazed the pearl in the feather-and-ribbon bracelet and I envisioned my wand--more for security and reassurance; nonetheless, the ribbon and feathers suddenly shrunk and twisted until they reformed into my wand, exactly as it was before the absorption. I was surprised, but Loise and Cristae were in danger and without pausing, I flourished the wand and held it high as I read the Ellhnikan script.

“Pneyma toy Auiya oti proedros mesa olos Kawl , katharos eht empdisa energeia apo aytoi psyxh. katharisths aytoys temper aytoys , kai anagennwmai eht swma , psyxh kai pneyma. metaferw aytoi poiothta sto Kalesa. sa diko toys psyxh oxyrwnw eht Kalesa. aporrofw diko toys pneyma otni eht Kalesa. Aether.”

At first it seemed to be working. A wave of light emitted from my friends as used energy instantly renewed itself in a river of magic. I relaxed and collapsed next to my dragon. Father wrapped an arm around me and I let his soothing light magic purify my own energy and rejuvenate me. Dr. Markyus smiled at it and sat next to me with a quiet, "Congratulations. You managed that spell very well.”

I only nodded, accepting the compliment and returned to watching the scene: the pink healing light was still there, dancing over their skin as they finished the ritual's task. The storm of energy around them swept upwards, spinning around the courtyard once before streaming downwards. The herbs danced inwards before everything synthesized and solidified into two shapes over the pool. Light from the pool shone over the two figures, bathing one in orange light and the other in golden. The pink glow around Loise and Cristae faded, signaling the apparent end of the Calling of new souls to the planet.

"Two children," Dr. Markyus seemed mildly surprised as we rose to welcome the newcomers to our planet. "How sweet."

Apparently though, the ritual decided it wasn’t over. A dark scarlet glow suddenly enveloped the crystals of the children, and the adults abruptly dissolved into fine particles that streamed into the orange and yellow crystals. I screamed in horror, rushing forward too late to grasp Loise's disintegrating hand. Her soul and body already turning to powder, she turned towards me, a last word I couldn’t catch on her lips.

I watched through blurry eyes as the particles that remained of Loise faded into the crystals of her son and daughter. The carmine glow dissipated and the crystals melted around them and two bodies fell to the ground.

Out of nowhere a knife was hurtled at us, and I reacted just in time to block the boy from receiving a splendid welcoming present. Blood laced around my fingers as I touched the wound. "Who dares--" my voice spoke for me as rage poured into the hollowed soul. Loise and Cristae's death had been enough and this new injury sent pain skewering through my body, but a murder attempt on a newly called soul was an affront to Auiya Herself!

I reached for the bracelet but a dark energy wrapped itself around me, constraining me. I tensed, focusing my energy to break the spell, but relaxed, recognizing my mother’s aura in the magic. Instead, I turned my head as Father and Dr. Markyus did and bowed my head as the Anicilla Suprema materialized in the room. “Are two deaths not enough?” her voice cut through the air, sending cold through my veins. She walked past Father and me and the energy constraining us vanished, setting us lightly on the ground. Father tended to me immediately, tugging the criminal knife out as gently as he could. He didn’t even bother with a healing spell; the moment blood touched the injury, the gash sealed. I didn’t even look; I was born of blood sacrifice and this phenomenon had followed it.

"Good doctor...why did you do it?"

The old man stared at Mother for a long moment before bursting into laugher, "You know very well why I tricked our little princess into it." He laughed again, and wheezed halfway through, scaring me. Only then did I notice indeed how old the family’s servant was. "Cristae's had his run on this world; it's his time to go and I needed an ancilla's power for the casting." Another wheeze-laugh. "Cheer up people! The children survived and have the strength of two souls each!"

"What do you say about the knife?"

Markyus squinted at the offending object that had a moment ago been lodged in my side. "An unfortunate accident. If one had died…”—he managed an unconvincing shrug— “who knows. Maybe we would have had four souls worth of power within a single body."

"They are not weapons," my voice hissed.

The High Queen ignored me, but seemed to agree: “You will pay dearly for murder, attempted murder and… treason,” she spat and he dissolved away, presumedly to some dungeon. “Lyciar. Take the children to Loise and Cristae's rooms and wait for them to wake. We must see the effects of the rite."

Father nodded but first turned to me, pity written in his expression. “You couldn't have known his schemes. You are not at fault.”

But it was. “I-I cast it. I said the words. If I had known better…”


“Anuna.” I could feel both of them tense. I sobbed. “But Luna’s just as good, isn’t it? It doesn’t change anything.” Another sob escaped me and I searched the stone for a trace of dust that might have remained of my friend. “I’m just an agglomeration of destruction. I’m no more alive than any of you.”

“No.” Mother’s voice was stern. “You are different.”

“I’m a murderer.”

Father patted my back again. “You couldn’t have known. You are fallible. That is part of life and living. Of being alive. You don’t have to be perfect just because you are actually alive on a planet of people that have died. We aren’t even perfect and we’ve had an entire life’s worth of experience.”

“And I’ve had nine!”

“You have the blood of nine, not nine lives.” Mother took the black blob from Father’s hands and held him in front of me. “You saved him from eternal sleep, didn’t you?”

“He might have been better off asleep than with me,” I said, but looked up. The black dragon stared at me with unblinking innocence, turning his head in curiosity.

“He needs a name,” Mother said, setting him in my arms as she thought of a name for him. “Azimuthal,” she decided, staring at the odd wings.

I stared at angled head, and the small jagged red marks that ran down his back and wings and devised a name for more common use. “Akai.”

My parents nodded in agreement and smiled sadly, before vanishing away to their respective tasks. I was left alone in the courtyard surrounded by crumpled gray brick with only a ray of fading light gleaming off a translucent pool. I stared down at Azimuthal, to be known as Akai, and watched my hopes and dreams flicker through his pink-ringed irises.

Artist's Note: HIIIIIIII No post in FOREVER, I know >< Terribly sorry about it.

This was actually written quite a while back, around late October 2011 to early November 2011. I edited it sometime in November or December but never got around to posting it online until now. It was actually originally written so I could submit it to the Creative Writing Club (SORRY!!) but obviously I neglected to submit it then. I don't quite like it as much as I did a few months ago, but I figure I might as well post it and get it over with since I'm not going to be writing the accompanying story (my failed NaNoWriMo 2011 attempt). This part of Anuna's story should remain the same though.

In other news, Anuna may come up as a minor character in other, future stories. She isn't part of my "main cast" of characters dubbed The Sixteen, but she'd probably be considered the Seventeenth. Haha. More on the Sixteen sometime later on my own bloggie: The River Windrose. (I'll update the links sidebar soon, promise!)

Until the next post, whenever that happens to be! Lewis, I miss your writing too! D: ! :D I miss posting every week and will make a better effort to post stuff next quarter.....maybe. Let's both!

~Minerva Wu

18 December 2011


Title: Mistreatment

Author: Minerva Wu
Writing: random scene
Word Count: 1164

“What are you doing?”

Elias Gilfax turned, guilt washing over him anew.

“You’re going to kill her if you keep doing this.” Elias cringed. He didn’t want to think of it that way. He wanted to believe that Aura would forget about him and move onto someone that could actually give her the life she deserved.

Elisa obviously didn’t think that way. She was Aura’s best friend since forever; obviously she wouldn’t want her friend to be hurt. Standing in the theater aisle with the light of a lone floating candle on her, Elisa was partly masked in shadows, but where the light stuck her, golden hair shone like gold. Her skin was smooth and almost soft, belying the power of the fighter within. Every curve was a well-toned muscle. With a hemmed shawl thrown over her back and trailing along the length of her arms, she looked more like an eagle than a person. An eagle with eyes the green of the smallest summer leaf and strength and stubbornness of the thickest root. Elias mentally hit himself in self-disgust. He was probably the only boy who found his sister hot.

“I—It’s just tonight. “

“Excuses,” Elisa snapped. “I’ve been down here for almost a week and every night you’re heading off to Rebecca’s room or some other dark corner of the Chateau to make love or something perverse like that.”

“I’m not meeting with Rebecca,” he said.

“Who’s then? Have you found some other sex toy?”

“You could think better of me, Elisa,” he said, but even as he said it, he felt repulsion. He did sleep with too many women. He wasn’t always, and he wasn’t heading off to now, but that didn’t change anything.

“You broke my respect for you a year ago,” his sister replied coldly.

He flinched. He didn’t need that reminder, no matter how much his body protested that that night had been the best of his miserable years. He couldn’t defend himself and crumpled on the stage of the theater and stared at his hands.

Finally, Elisa sighed, probably out of pity more than forgiveness. She sat next to him, staring down at the instrumental pit. “Aura said she let you willingly. She isn’t that kind of person though, so I doubt that was all there is to the story.” Another pause and another sigh. “I’m not going to make you explain. It was rape any way you put it. And it’s in the past either way. There’s nothing more to say about it.” She turned to look at him for a moment before looking back at the dark pit.

“Elias, it doesn’t matter. None of it does. You’re supposed to make use of your life on Ashrieka. Not spend it murbling around in your memories and self-pity.”

“I don’t want to break her heart again,” he whispered, but it came out more as a hoarse croak.

“Whose? Aura’s? Grandmother’s? Mine?” Elisa scoffed. “Rebecca’s?”

“Aura,” he whimpered. He hated himself for everything he had done to her. Since they were young he and his group of noble friends bullied Aurasine Windrose for being of lower rank. When he was only 11 and she 10 he had nearly drowned her in the lake outside of Gilfax mansion. At 13 he’d locked her in the bathroom for a week and not let her for food out until she did all his homework, including the essay, in perfect handwriting. Later at 15 repeated the act, only this time it was in his closet; when a peer came over, he’d helped bind her to a pole so the peer could whip her for amusement. He’d forced her do most of his chores for the better part of 16 years—she was the daughter of one of their household servants, after all, and only Grandmother would think that giving noble-people chores would help develop their character and work ethic. He’d been kinder during his 17th year of life, even buying her the dress of her dreams—except at that party she was nearly killed by a group of assassins working that he’d been cajoled into working with. During the Rift Wars his bad decision had led to her being tortured for nearly three weeks. Then her captor spelled her into hunting him down for the Rift Heart he was holding, and instead of trying to break her bonds he had taken his knife and nearly sliced her apart. His insanity later led to her sacrifice. She’d woken up only a year and a half ago, on a different planet, her memories stolen from her. After that he had vowed to keep Aura safe. But since that promise he had nearly let her die at the hands of chaos-beasts, drained her energy to nil to keep himself alive, and pushed her off a skyscraper. Every time he was in need, Aura would always be there to fight at his side, to support him, to heal him, to comfort him. And he repaid her by cornering her in her room after a party one night and convincing her to sleep with him whilst he was drunk on another planet’s wine.

Elisa was waving her hand in front of his face now. “Snap out of it. You’re doing it again. No more self-pity,” she reminded.

“But what do I do?” He buried his head in his arms. “I can’t do anything for her here. I don’t have rank, money, power, nothing she doesn’t already have herself now. Why-Elisa—Why does she still love me? Does she? Why would she?”

“Elias, you sound like a whining idiot.” Elisa huffed. “Scratch that. You are a whining idiot. I haven’t the faintest idea why anyone would love you, much less a sensible person like Aura, much less after all you did to her, but whatever the reason is, she never cared about your phooey rank or power. She had me for that. As for money, if she loved for money she would have loved Japhedel Alder.

“I don’t know why she likes you so much. I doubt even she does. But the point isn’t why. It’s the fact that she does.”

“She doesn’t deserve me--”

“More like you don’t deserve her.”

“—Someone as twisted—“

“Elijiah, are those tears I see? There will be no wasting water on this ship!” Elisa’s voice suddenly swelled with command. She was standing over over him, and her voice radiated a powerful energy around her.

The imitation worked. Elias snapped to attention and out of his slump. “Sorry—“

He stopped, frozen for a moment. “That’s what Grandmo—oh right. No reminiscing.” Elisa continued staring down at him pointedly. Slowly, he stood up.

“Treat her well,” Elisa said finally, breaking the silence. “I don’t know why she doesn’t wish you dead, but if she loves you, and you care for her, then the last you could do would be to watch her back and treat her well.”

Artist's Note: Hello there! Been a long time, and I am technically on winter break, so I figured I'd post something! This is.....very random, unedited, and probably nonexistent in their storyline...and from about a fortnight ago. Don't ask me why Aura likes Elias; _I_ don't even know that answer.

Looking ahead though, I have something that would be related to White Scarlet that's going to be posted soon! White Scarlet was a 25K "mini-novel" I was writing a few years back (I think 3-4?) but it came up again and I wrote a little 3K snippet that relates to it this past week. :)

Until next time!

30 November 2011

Collab Fanfiction

Title: Collab Fanfiction
Author: Minerva Wu
Writing: fanfiction
Word Count: 2411
Note: Romantic fanfiction aka smut. This is fanfiction for a collaboration story on gaia that I am working on. Hopefully everything needed to understand the story has been mentioned though.

The Mountains of Shahaile…above that, the North Shrine River empties into the Strait of Alouhaile, which separates the Northern Isles of Shalanhaile from the main continent of Louzinarga. This... Ivarine traced her fingernail on the parchment, figuring a path that they could take. She knew the shortest way to the Isles was the path she had taken so many years ago to leave Shr'eink, a river path which would lead her directly back to her hometown.

Her now- razed hometown. Fury and grief swirled back through Ivarine's mind as she remembered the way the upstart lord had smirked when he said Shr'eink was no more. She had best not take that path. Firstly because only the natives of the small village of Shr'eink knew of that path; it was the light- side peoples' last route of escape when their town was being attacked. But already the village was no more; the real reason was more personal: that path was too close to her memories. As much as she wanted to strangle the dumb dark-side lord that had demolished her hometown, half of her knew she had to wait until after the Staff had been recovered--the half that lived and breathed the shadows, the half that had devoted her life to the forces of the Dark King and his ambition to rule the world under his black hand.

She stared at the dress Iyza had laid out for her evening wear. It was made of green silk, with silver trim and lacy white skirts. Within these folds she had tucked the small stone, which had gone silent after those two phrases. Thinking of Cadence's voice whispering through her mind gave Ivarine chills. What was she supposed to say? Aside from the news on Shr'eink, and that dumb Sha'lan boy, her few days in the dark palace had been almost pleasant. Iyza was kind and although the courtiers were cold, most of the other servants seemed to have adjusted well to having a queen sweeping their halls now. Even Lieutenant Zaire, whom she'd just met, was good company; after spending the morning with her new guard, she had dismissed the eni'ein to take the rest of the day to herself. And the king-- why, even he seemed to care for her well- being. No! I mustn't think these traitorous thoughts! But even as she thought it, Ivarine felt unease-- she didn't feel like a traitor. She felt comfortable. And for the first time since she'd left the Isles to accompany Farle and Cadence, she felt at--

The Queen of Shadows never finished the thought--outside her bathroom and in her bedroom quarters people were arguing. She heard Iyza's voice grow shrill as she commanded someone to leave. "I demand that you wait outside! The Queen is not seeing people currently!"

Footsteps approached regardless and Ivarine scrambled away from the map, grabbing the green dress and fumbling for the stone. The doorknob to the bathroom turned and the door opened the slightest. Ivarine thrust the communication stone into a pocket of her thin undergown before the voice that answered Iyza froze her to the spot. "Oh, I don't care what your Lady Callias is doing and certainly don't take orders from you."

Lord Sha'lan. His beautiful voice carried through the ajar door, his words a song and his tone a melody that persuaded her limbs to simply rest and melt into peace. Ivarine felt her muscles soften and her eyelids droop the slightest. The dress slackened in her hands.

What is this... she thought. The sounds of Iyza's indignant protest faded away and she heard a thump on the ground. "Yes, take a nap. Preferably until evening," he sang, but this time the overwhelming power from his voice was not there. It was still rich and smooth, but it didn't hold the commanding force that it had a moment ago. A spell. Ivarine eyes shot open with shock and horror and reached for the crown sitting just out of her arm's reach. She had seen what Cadence could do to silence people that interfered with them. If Lord Sha'lan was another manipulator of sound, Ivarine was in serious trouble.

"As for you--" He cut short suddenly and Ivarine glanced at the door to see the young man, his eyes roaming her thinly-clad body. She would have blasted with a shard of ice or shadow then and there, but she hadn't thought of it earlier and now she couldn’t think: this was not the same person that had been at the noble conference only that morning. While he had been decked in lavish silks and robes designed specifically to display one's wealth at court , the boy before her was now dressed plainly for a lord, in an gold-trimmed black shirt and black pants. His straight black hair was slightly tousled from its original slicked-back style and his blue-gray eyes glowed with lust as he stared at her subtle curves.

"You-" his voice almost choked and he stepped forwards, the hand curled around his sword relaxing. He closed the gap between them with a single stride and pushed her against the wall, his lips instantly closing around hers.

Ivarine heard the sound of his sword clanging and her evening dress crumpling to the floor and held her hand out to push him away, but he intercepted it without breaking his mouth from hers. He held both her hands with one soft but firm hand, his mouth working furiously against her lips the entire time. She could feel the raw desire in his movements as his free hand cupped her face and grasped a strand of her golden hair. They broke apart for breath, but his mouth was on her skin the next moment, trailing down and around her neck as his hand tugged on her undergown. She opened her mouth to scream, but the sound was muffled when his head shot up and smothered it with another kiss.

He moved again, crushing her body between his and the wall and tugged at the collar of her gown until it tore. Ivarine shut her eyes, begging focus and let loose a black wave of energy around her, blasting the nobleman to the other side of the bathing room that suddenly swam with the energy of the shadows. Glass shattered around them and when the black energy finally settled, Lord Sha’lan collapsed, momentarily unconscious a corner. She stood there, gasping for breath and bunching the torn corner of her gown, stunned and horrified.

At first Ivarine moved to kill him before he moved again, but stayed her hand, remembering that he was the only one who knew where the prized Aubergine Staff was. She shuddered, and knelt to pick up her dress; it was the only thing she could do now. She slipped into the green dress and laced the white ribbons together with increasing speed, anxious to get away. Kicking his sword away, she was about to leave when a groaning sound from his dark corner startled her and she turned. The young lord was crawling to his feet, and a shaft of light hit him; only then did Ivarine noticed the blue marks on his head where she’d struck him. She didn’t know how she knew it, but she reacted instinctively and rushed to his side, snatching a vial of healing potion out of a drawer.

“Don’t move, you’re bleeding,” she ordered, kneeling next to him. Half of her was worried by the sight of what she’d somehow interpreted as blood, while the other half was frantic to preserve the location of the Staff. She spread the thick liquid over the injury, and watched as the gap sealed itself. She repeated this, and only until she was done and the vial was empty did she realize that she had rescued the creep that had destroyed her childhood home. Ivarine drew back, shuddering.

The haughty lord didn’t even bother thanking her. He muttered something about nearly killing him but even murmured his voice was a harmony of irritation and pride that rolled off his tongue like notes off a musical staff. The staff—that was the purpose of her saving him, she reminded herself. The King will have the staff returned. I can deal with this upstart until then. The small protesting voice from earlier that said the black king did not own the Aubergine Staff was silent.

They sat in silence, him nursing a headache, and her the tumulus thoughts, until finally he said, “I knew you fancied me. You didn’t have to blast me apart to show me though.”

“Fancy you?” Her confused features twisted with outrage. “I loathe you!”

Lord Sha’lan raised an eyebrow. “What did I do to deserve such hatred?” he asked, his words tenor notes hanging in the air. They didn’t save him from the tirade that burst forth though.

“Aside from sexually assaulting me, barging into my rooms, knocking my servant out, openly disrespecting me in court and obliterating my hometown and family? Well, your arrogance didn’t help, for starters.”

“I didn’t think you’d feel…assaulted…” he muttered, his eyes trailing down the cut of the dress. He snapped his eyes back to meet hers, smoky blue versus crystalline violet. “And when did I destroy your hometown?”

“Shr—“ she stopped, catching herself before she revealed too much. She looked away. “Nothing. I spoke wrong.”

It didn’t fool him. “You came from Shr’eink.” He was quiet, until Ivarine finally looked and was surprised to find something besides egotism in his unwavering gaze.

Pity, for certain, but something stronger burned there as well, a gentle fire that touched her. Empathy. Loss. “You’ve lost your home before,” she whispered.

The boy nodded, and that simple motion was as beautiful as any of the words he’d ever spoken.


“Milady?” Iyza’s call roused Ivarine from sleep, and she lifted her head up, rubbing an eye.

“Iyza?” She called, but when she moved she felt an arm tighten around her and jerked, a light spark of energy flying off her. She glanced down and saw the still-drowsed expression of a teenage boy, one arm slung around her shoulders. She blinked in confusion and repulsion at the young lord and their curled position in the corner of the tub platform before remembering bits and pieces of the conversation that had followed. Bits and pieces of a conversation that sounded like her entire life story.

“Don’t let her in,” he whispered, pressing her closer to him so that his mouth almost touched her ear.

“Your highness? Do you require any assistance?”

Ivarine imagined how it would look to her servant if she walked in to see her Queen of Shadows locked in an embrace with the lord of the Northern Isles. Yes, I require you to explain how exactly this dolt has come to be here, she wanted to reply, but shook her head for a moment before remembering that Iyza wouldn’t see it. “I’m fine!” she called. “Give me a few minutes; I fell asleep!” With a narcissist that has a soft side; who knew?

“As you wish, milady” Iyza’s voice just outside the door said. “His majesty the king has called on your grace to meet him and Lord Sha’lan for dinner when you are quite ready. I shall inform him you were resting.” Her light footsteps pattered away as she conveyed the message to the messenger boy that had come.

“Lord Sha’lan—“

“Jarlsing,” he interrupted, helping her move to a sitting position. She was still curled with her head against his chest, but their legs untangled for the most part. She didn’t know why she didn’t push him away altogether.

“Jarlsing,” she repeated, stunned for a moment. “Yes, you.” Jarlsing Sha’lan rolled his eyes, the same way he had in court when she first noticed him, but didn’t interrupt. Ivarine paused. “I have to go,” she finally said.

“As do I. Your servant mentioned I was joining you for dinner, did she not?” he asked, his voice quiet and teasing.

“Get off me.”

His arms only curled tighter around her. “You don’t want me to.”

“Get off. Or I’ll blast you again.”

“Only to heal me with tender care and concern. Just admit it, you’re crazy about me Ivarine.”

The way her name seemed to chime when he said it made her hesitate the slightest, but Ivarine shook her head frustratedly and pushed against him. With a sigh he loosened his grip and settled for just her hand, capturing it in his soft, warm touch.

“If the King finds out…about any of this, he’ll have your head, Staff or no,” she warned, stretching out her legs.

The young man shook his head, the mischievous gleam in his eyes again. “I’m too valuable. I could probably persuade him to give you to me and he’d do so willingly.”

“You think too much of yourself,” she shot back, pulling away and slipping off the platform. She smoothed her dress in the mirror and searched for a brush, finally finding an unbroken one in the drawer next to the healing ointments. Jarlsing came up behind her, resting his hand on her shoulder.

“So feminine, fretting over appearances. Do you think he’ll be very upset at you for sleeping with me?”

“I did no such—“ she said, color rising into her cheeks, but his amused expression stopped her and she resumed to running the brush through her hair. She found a green ribbon to tie it up with, but the young lord placed his hand over hers and closed the drawer quietly.

“Don’t tie it tonight.” he murmured, turning her around. He held her hands and leaned in. She thought he was going to kiss her again and almost flinched before she heard his gentle, entrancing voice murmur by her ear, “For me.”

Ivarine stared at a thread on his shirt and sighed, rewinding the ribbon around her wrist. She stepped back and away, her expression annoyed as she glared at him. “Now will you let me go?”

“Beautiful,” he replied, not answering her question and swiftly kissing her cheek before letting go. She marched past him for the door and just as she was about to open it all the way, she heard him call her name softly. “Ivarine— just to set the record straight: I said Shr’eink was razed to the ground…I never said I did it.”

Artist's Note: Well....a lot to address, so:

On the story: Like I said, it's for an open collaboration. There are only 3 active writers, myself included now....so join? :D

Anyways...I did warn about smut >.< On the other hand, it's my first complete fanfiction! Well, I don't know if it's really considered fanfiction if it's a story I'm writing but.....well now, I don't feel lame at all. But I thought it was pretty in places, and ridiculous in others.

Also, not supposed to sound like shallow lust in the second half. (Does anyone see it as that? I feel like it is...even though I did imply that they did get to know each other better by the end of the conversation......gah.)

On NaNoWriMo: I started, and got up to around 30K, but unfortunately couldn't/ can't finish in time. I do have the start of a story that doesn't sound terribly horrible though (fair enough to continue and revise sometime later anyways). For now though, I'm going to be getting on to other projects that I had in mind/ put off/ put on hiatus. I'll post some excerpts from the NaNo thing though, if only so I can train myself to posting every week again.

On life: hehehe. unexpected (or maybe to be expected) hiatus resulted from NaNoWriMo and from college stresses :( No other excuse. I do have an xbox again though, so I can get back to playing Final Fantasy XIII (which I had to restart because it's a new console that doesn't read the previous memory disk XP No matter. More hours of gameplaying then! XD). I have other stuff, like being a good student and art and writing to get to as well though! We'll see how it goes. Finals for my first quarter next week. Should probably be writing the essay that's due tomorrow. Meh. I'll post those! xD

On The River Windrose: It's going to be starting! After finals. I have a story (ECA) that I'm 67.22% finished with (you'll see how I'm so precise with that number) but I'm willing to start posting the first few entries. So...depending on a bunch of circumstances, the first official post on TRW will be either 100 or 500 words.

I'm also going to undertake a 30-day drawing challenge for the month of Delin Al Era--that is, December. These snippets will be probably uploaded to deviantART or TRW :)

As always, thanks for reading and commenting! <3


30 September 2011


Title: WenInterview
Author: Minerva Wu
Writing: Interview
Word Count: 2156

Notice: This interview does not actually exist because Wen is never interviewed at any point and even if he did he would probably make up a bunch of fluff and that would be the most cooperative he would be. Unless it was Maple-Ann. But assuming that he would cooperate with a random interviewer and be very honest, then this would be somewhat it would sound like.

For this I have chosen Peony Landernorm as the interviewer because she made it to the character list but I feel she's not been developed quite enough. So...she's now a journalism major, interviewing Wen for whatever reason. At the time of this nonexistent but envisioned interview, Wen would be 19 years old, some time after his third visit to the Heart of All Realms and his reunion with his family.

(Don't get it? It'll be explained hopefully)

Peony Landernorm (INTERVIEWER): Hello! First, could I have you spell your name?

Wisconsin (Wen) Tynan (INTERVIEWEE): That would be Wisconsin, W-E-X-K-W-A-N-X-Y-M, Tynan, D-I-N-A-M.

Peony: ...Haha, really funny.

Wen: mhm. [laughs] It's W-I-S-C-O-N-S-I-N and T-Y-N-A-N. But really, just call me Wen.

Peony: Thank you. And you are a pilot by trade?

Wen: Sure.

Peony: ...I suppose it can be a bit complicated. Why don't you tell us about your experience with the assassins on Earth?

Wen: Why don't you tell me about what you know about me first?

Peony: Well...I obtained a file on you from the agency in question and updated it later by various sources.

Wen: Well, obviously that file didn't tell you that mind-reading abilities aren't my forte. What's in that file?

Peony: Hrm. Let's just start general then. I understand most of your life was pretty solitary. Could you describe your acquaintances?

Wen: [pause]. You're right on that part; most of my life I spent on my own. [pause]. I don't remember anyone from before I was abducted, except this vague lady that I was getting milk for or something. Mrs. Samson I think. There was the short german girl I helped with her revolution, but I didn't really consider her a friend.

I flew the assassin Liam Osborne Wreke the most in my missions, but I didn't really like him. How do I describe him...stupid, arrogant...low tolerance for spinning...that's about it.

And that covers about the first 14 years of my life.

Peony: What about Violet?

Wen: Violet--oh. I met her later.

Peony: Oh! I was under the impression you met her briefly during one of your missions near Aldenzeve.

Wen: [thinks] no, no, damn, you're right! Yea, I met her and her brother Wyoming or something.

Peony: Utah.

Wen: I said Wyoming or something. Key word something. Anyways. The Kysons. And his girlfriend. Gillian Summers. I remember her. Every time I felt like someone was being a bitch or life was shitty I'd think of her and say, "Hey, at least you're not like her." She puts up with all this shit every day and doesn't have a clue what to do about it and ends up deluding herself. Sad really.

Peony: So, you feel pity for her?

Wen: Meh. Something between pity and scorn.

Peony: Ok then. What about after you found the first portal?

Wen: Well, I met Erin and Dennis of course. Erin Jenevive. Dennis Runth. They were my mentors. It wasn't too hard getting used to life with them either. They were assassins too and Erin's life is pretty similar to mine. We were both kidnapped as kids and trained to be deadly. And we're both Leth's. 'Course I didn't know until she recognized it and started training me. I still think it's destiny that we all met.

Peony: You have plans to meet up with them again now that you have directions to find them?

Wen: Yea. I also have a few things Erin wanted. From the Heart of All Realms. Yea.

Peony: Speaking of the Heart of All Realms, you found it quite a few times, didn't you?

Wen: More like accidentally stumbled upon, but yeah

Peony: When exactly were these times and what did you request from the Master each time?

Wen: The first time from earth, when I was about 14 and a half. I didn't exactly have anything I really wanted, so I just told her to close the damn portal and get me out of there. I ended up in Idyllen and ran into it again at 16, after I was separated from Erin and Dennis in a battle. I thought I would be able to find them again so I asked for Erin's name before she was kidnapped and mine as well. When I got back though, I couldn't find them and I ended up with that crazy group of cursed, asinine dolts. We finally succeeded last year. That was the only time I really "found" it. And I asked for my directions of course.

Peony: If they were "crazy, cursed and asinine dolts", why did you join their quest?

Wen: To be honest I didn't want to at first. But as we talked about it I figured I didn't have anywhere else to go and I was actually pretty curious where all those fools would end up. Something like that. And it promised me a chance to do what I knew best: flying and fighting.

Peony: So do you think these "dolts" count as your friends now?

Wen: Unfortunately, yes.

Peony: Unfortunately?

Wen: Five is five too many.

Peony:... Well, you admitted they were your friends already. Could you give me your impressions of them, then and now?

Wen: Yea. How do I start? Well, my first impression of Jing Long was a crazed Shadow chasing him. He seemed a bit clueless, but kinda "cute," as Dennis would say. He's really not that bad. He's really compassionate, and though I think that's more of a weakness, he kind of held the group together. Which I don't exactly approve of, but I guess it was good anyways.

Kenneth Rizea was the reason we started the damn quest in the first place. His mom had gone missing or something. Um...I didn't really think too much about him at first. He's a great artist, and no good with aircrafts and he sucks at dodging enemy fire. Really sucks. That's all I'm going to say.

Violet next. I didn't remember her at first, but it didn't matter because she didn't either. She was going through a bit of a memory crisis so I thought--rightfully too--that she was insane. But she was pretty helpful at the end. Pretty nice.


Peony: Maple-Ann Lewis?

Wen: Ah. Well. My first impression of her was amused irritation because she seemed so nice and gentle and stuff. But she's cool. Really.

Lastly, Archangel--I believe she's called Aeria now or something? Anyways, she introduced herself as The Lady Archangel. Again, amused irritation. She had all these airs about who everyone was and who she was and what not, but she was pretty easily outwitted. It's kinda funny too. She's not too bad. Too damn proud for her own good though.

Peony: And who among them would you think is your closest friend, if you had one?

Wen: Um..[pause, thinks, then laughs.] I'd say Kenneth. He's great to talk to or not talk to.

Peony: And how would you describe your relationship with Maple-Ann?

Wen: Friends. Good friends. I still visit her at Cieonna Halls every so often and she calls me up some evenings.

Peony: Nothing...more serious?

Wen: Your subtlety is worse than my healing ability, Miss Landernorm. No, there's nothing "more serious" going on between us.

Peony: I see... I am correct that you admire her though?

Wen: Yea. What's wrong with that? She can spit fire and heal someone at the same time, raze an army in 16 seconds flat and take care of herself. That’s almost better than me.


Wen: If you're trying to illicit a confession from me, you're not going to get it. Next question.

Peony: Very well. On the subject of your birth family, what do you think of them?

Wen: [laughs] My twin nothing like me. Really.

Peony:...in what regard?

Wen: She's fat.

Peony: [flinches]

Wen: But I know what you mean. She's a bit cowardly, but she's got some traits I think makes sense for her. Not for me, of course, but I can sympathize. [shrug] Somewhat.

Peony: What kind of traits?

Wen: Loyalty, I guess.

Peony: What about your parents and cousin?

Wen: My mom's so fucking cool! [laughs] But really. Evenette's misunderstood, but she's awesome. Really chill. Nem's a bit weird, but I like him enough. He's a bit of a treehugger though I think. Something along those lines. I'm glad they don't live together.

Peony: Your cousin Veraline Suis takes after your father though; what do you think of her?

Wen: I seriously think Vera was born in the wrong family or something. She's not a witch I guess, but her soul-sending abilities are pretty sweet. Scary too. And her mean streak takes after Evenette's.

Peony: You call your parents my name?

Wen: Well, Nem insists on it. Evvy and Vera call him Nem too. And Evenette just sounds better than "mom" or something. She doesn't seem the mom type.

Peony: Have you ever considered it might just be because you're unaccustomed to it?

Wen: ...Do you know what would happen to me if I called Evenette "mom"?

Peony: Do I want to?

Wen: Her dualcasting's stronger than Evvy's... and that's saying something.

Peony:...I think I'll pass.

Wem: Thought so.

Peony: [chuckles] Now, to pull away from the people in your life--

Wen: Finally.

Peony: --[laughs]. What do you think your favorite ship model would be?

Wen: Uh...I've been with my current one so long I think I'd have to say that one. A J16. With major upgrades. Back in the assassin days though, I liked the J24 as well. Sexy and fast. Not too shabby either; it's machines guns are decent but it needs more rockets. Something like the K60. But that's a bit fat for my style. The best part about the K60 is the swivel seat though. That thing's so fun to play with.

Peony:...A swivel seat?

Wen: [nods, grins]

Peony: I'll take your word for it, I suppose. And your favorite weapon?

Wen: Besides anything on my ship?

Peony: Yes.

Wen: My leth blade. It's this short knife thing that doesn't look too impressive, but I can shoot the blade out of the hilt as well. Really useful. I'm pretty proud of it. Of course, cleaning it out’s a fucking pain, but usually I can take care of my opponent within five blades.

Peony: What weapon did you use for melee combat before you built it?

Wen: Mostly handguns, any kind I can get my hands on. I’m a pretty accurate shot, if I do say so myself, so I had a few knives on me too.

Peony: Did you learn any other weapons during training?

Wen: Oh sure. I had a bit of a height advantage over most of the other kids my age, but I usually preferred longer-ranger weapons like staff, chain, mace. Didn’t like it too much out of training though. Too bulky to carry around and the chains were too clunky. I made a fair sniper as well, but again, too big.

Peony: Small and effective, I see.

Wen: Something like that.

Peony: I think that sums up what I wanted to ask. Do you have any sources I could go to for additional information?

Wen: Wait, what was your job again?

Peony:..I’m a journalist.

Wen: Professional lawful stalker, right, thought so. I’ll leave you to your own devices then. Hopefully your snooping tricks are up to the task.

Peony: [laughs] I understand. Anything else you’d like to add then?

Wen: Yea. This interview took so damned long I was able to think of about 98 variations of ways to kill you, even with all my talking.

Peony: [raises an eyebrow] Only 98?

Wen: That’s not including the 40-some ways involving my ship outside.

Peony: Well, you don’t exactly have access to your ship so they don’t count. 98 is pretty sad.

Wen: Actually, [pulls out a gadget from his pocket]

Peony: Never mind. Even so though. 138 isn’t too many ways. I was expecting at least 200.

Wen: [shrug] Sorry to disappoint.

Peony: You should be.

Wen: Any one of them would be more than sufficient though. And if I combined a few of them that’d be easily over 200.

Peony: On second thought, good job.

Wen: But yea, 138 is pretty lame for me.

Artist's Note: Hello there and welcome to the third and final edition of the little WenArch. Hope you enjoyed it!

Well..there goes my buffer of stories. That's quite ok though because the rules of this site only say 500+ words per week of whatever and I have a few other 500 word things that I could post that aren't exactly stories.

On life: College sucks. It's week one and I'm already neck-high in work. I have so much to do and even more that I want to do.

Comments? Questions? Please Read and Review! Thank you very much! :)

~Minerva Wu

23 September 2011


Title: Trading Places
Author: SilverInk
Writing: excerpt/ short?
Word count: 1303

To say Wen was pissed off was an understatement. Yet to say that he was extremely infuriated was hyperbole. It simply wasn't the boy pilot's nature to get worked up about anything.


“Mr. Tynan, didn’t you ever have to submit reports for missions in your old job? Reports that include essays and diagrams? Now get to work.”

The black-haired boy rolled his eyes. “No, sir,” he said, leaning back and sticking his hands in his pockets. “I’m a pilot. I take the assassin to the damn place and then I take the bitches back when they’re done. No paperwork involved.”

“Watch your language, young man. What would your mother think?”

“She’d be very damn proud of me, sir. Actually, I think I’m disappointing her a bit—”

“There you go.”

“—By not blowing this shithole up.”

The teacher—not to mention most of the students, turned around to stare at him. The transfer student smirked.

“Is this the way your father taught you to behave, Wen?”

“You assume I grew up with him. You assume wrong.”

“In any case,” the substitute said stuffily, “You signed up for this program so you should do your best to do well in it. The rest of you, back to work.”


It started as a request from one of those crazy people that I went on that one crazy mission to find some girl that had wandered off in search of the Heart of All Realms. Kenneth, yea. I always knew it’d be a bad thing to have a lot of friends.

Five is five too many.

Anyways, so when the five of us got back from our search with Kenneth’s mom—that’s who we were searching for—we all split ways again, thank goodness. I had directions to find Erin and Dennis again and the others had whatever the heck they wanted. That was my third time in the Heart of All Realms—the first two times I found it was by accident—and hopefully my last. Maple-Ann Lewis gave me her contact information and Jing Long invited me to stay with him. That wacky whatever-the-heck-her-species-is went off without a word. Violet the phantom girl had stayed behind—for a while at least-- as a part of a deal with Eria Briallen, the strange Keeper of the Heart of All Realms.

And then Kenneth came up to me and asked if I would mind switching places with him for a few days.

Told you it’d be a stupid idea.


“Here’s an assignment our guest might enjoy,” the substitute said pointedly. “Depict a battlefield, if you would.”

The entire class grumbled and one student raised his hand. “Sir, we’re supposed to be working with watercolors—”

“Then draw a battlefield with watercolors.”

“—On our self-portraits.”

“Well, think of this as a break then,” the substitute insisted petulantly. “Use anything you like. Just take a break.”

A few students grumbled and others cleaned up reluctantly. The girl next to Wen cleaned the water in her glass with a spell.

Wen pulled out a palm-sized gadget and within a few clicks he’d found a famous picture of a battlefield. Two sparks jumped from his fingers and he took the picture off the hologram screen and transferred it to the canvas. When the substitute came around, he was leaning back in his chair, boots flamboyantly on the table, playing a game on his minicomputer.

“Mr. Tynan.”

“Wisconsin’s fine” He didn’t look up from blowing a digital ship into splinters.

“There will be no game-playing in class.”

“Game-playing?” he looked up innocently and set his feet down. “But sir, I’m not playing. I’m making. Are you to say that this class doesn’t embrace the digital arts and game design?”

The teacher frowned. Wen smirked. “And I’m finished with the assignment anyways.”

“A fair replica of another artist’s painting I grant.”—Wen raised an eyebrow— “But there is to be none of this nonsense. Save your fascination for video games for after class.”

To everyone’s relief, the bell chose that moment to ring and the class filed out, some tossing glares at their temporary classmate, other muttering about the poor substitute teacher. After clearing the canvas, Wen simply swung his jacket over his shoulder and followed the others.

Let’s see: If a university asks you —pays you—to paint a mural for their school when you’re freaking 10, it’s probably a good idea for you to stick to painting and drawing and all that artsy-craftsy stuff. And if you can fly any odd warship by the time you’re 18, it’s probably a good idea to stick to flying warships.


“I heard you were a cocky little brat today” a voice said behind him. “Again.”

Wen whirled, a hand reaching for his pocket when he recognized the figure. His expression faded into a pleasant smile and he approached the girl leaning against the wall. “What’re you doing here? Kenneth’s done?”

“Just say it. You’re thrilled to see me.”

He only raised an eyebrow at her. “Sure. About as thrilled as I was to take that dumb art class for Kenneth.”

“You must have been pretty excited to learn to draw then.”


“How was it?”

“Teacher didn’t like me. Took a vacation. Substitute liked me even less.” I think I boosted Kenneth’s grade though.”

It was Maple-Ann’s turn to quirk an eye.

“By a few negative points I mean,” Wen clarified with a shrug.

Maple-Ann laughed as they picked their way over to where a badly-beaten aircraft stood in the center of the field before stopping. She leaned against the ship’s flank, catching her breath. A few of the straggling art students shot her queer looks and she just laughed at them. “Scat!” she commanded, her expression still maniacal. When they didn’t heed her, her lips turned devilishly up again and she raised a hand. If they had been paying close attention, they would have seen a red spark dance over her fingers before setting the hand aglow. A half-second later, the section of the field they were on exploded, sending the offending students flying into the air.

“Careful now, Maple. If one of those bodies land on my ship you’ll be the one cleaning it up.”

She laughed and sent another spark into the air, catching her victims in little white bubbles. By the time they landed on the school roof, they were without a scratch or drop of blood and very much alive. The gruesome little mage turned to her fighter friend with an evil smirk. “Their nerves’ll be a little racked up but they’re fine, dear. I’m surprised you care though.”

He eyed her for a second. “I’m usually a little cleaner with my kills.”

“It’s not as fun, dearest. Don’t you like explosions?”

They both laughed at this one, and another voice approached them.

“Wen likes explosions all right. Really likes explosions.”

“Hiya Kenneth. Wen here was just complaining about polishing his little baby. Looks like he’ll have to be cleaning up anyways,” Maple noted with a smirk. “Where’d you go? A volcano?”

Kenneth scoffed as Wen inspected the belly of the ship. “I wish. I just ran through his “training module” on the mountains.”

“Well,” the bad artist said, sitting on the floor and letting his legs hang off the edge, “You did pretty well for a first time flyer. The hard range, one, right? The one with the giant birds and the gunners and bombs?”

“I tried out the one labeled ‘easy’ on your map.”

Wen’s expression froze and Maple backed away, giggling. “Good work little Kenneth. Don’t worry, I’ll attend your funeral.”

On second thought, just don’t let strange people fly your ship. Even if they’re supervised by a destructive little witch.

Artist's Note: :) Part two of three of the little Wen-arch.

Anyways....I think I've gotten over the whole putting my name on the internet. But SilverInk stands as my alias for now. Anwyays..I also got over the put-the-character's-surname-in-every piece thing :)

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