My Fingers That Yearn For The Rest
Master looked at Violet after I had answered. He kept quiet, the question was already asked and he felt no need to repeat himself. I could feel her hesitation from how she clung to my arm before slowly letting go and standing up straight as well. It almost felt like declaring our love in front of her disapproving father. No! I’m not going to use those analogies again dammit!
“I will allow it as well.” She answered simply and quietly.
Master nodded and then gestures for both of us to follow them upstairs. The mood was a bit unreadable as we followed behind. Violet giving the two of them questioning looks behind their backs, then to me. She didn’t completely trust them, though for what reasons I wasn’t entirely sure.
Stepping inside one of the rented rooms, Allouise was standing in the middle putting the finishing touches on a magic circle in the middle of the floor. The beds on either side of her against opposite walls. With barely enough space to draw out the circle, the room was getting a bit crowded with four people standing inside what was probably only supposed to fit two or three.
After some rearranging of bodies, with Red and Allouise sitting on beds while Violet and I stood inside the circle, our backs to each other to ensure we could both stand inside for the spell to work. Allouise had taken many opportunities to brush against me during the shuffle, Violet giving off jealous looks when her back was turned. Master gave a shake of his head and feathers, trying to ignore the high school drama trying to unfold under his watch.
“Petit aequora extrahere potestatem spirituum formantur da nobis ut videant oculis deos
animabus revelet Deus absconsa tua!”
My body shivered as the spell was cast, feeling the power in the air surrounding us and taking form. A light was emitting from my chest as something was slowly drawn outward, I turned my head as the light began to grow brighter, too bright for me to see what was going on anymore. I caught sight of similar things happening to Violet, though hers was much more subdued in brightness to my own. She had her head turned away laying back against my shoulders as if she couldn’t handle the sight of her own soul as much as I couldn’t mine.
Perhaps there was something about seeing your own that caused problems for the initial casting of the spell. Something to look into I suppose. I kept my focus on her soul, taking a deep breath as I saw it taking shape.
The word escaped my lips and yet it held as much truth as saying a beautiful woman was only cute. I couldn’t find words to describe the rapture I was feeling inside my heart looking at her. Nothing could ever possibly encompass, no amount of words to describe what I could see, though I pitifully am trying to come up with something to tell you to even explain a hundredth of what it seemed to me.
Her soul-vessel was constantly changing shapes and colors. Seeming to reflect her thoughts and emotions, and yet the scope was more than I could comprehend. I felt like looking at this would tell me everything about her and yet I could barely see enough to gain any lasting knowledge. There appeared to be a small number of cracks appearing along the shimmering borders of the soul, for as much as it changed and warped the cracks remain the only constant in all its forms and colors.
I heard a gasp from her. I could tell that she was looking at my soul, her body unmoving as it stiffened, her hand grasping onto my leg. She gave a near sob of shock and the room fell into a deathly silence. I was starting to worry, wondering what thoughts were coming out from me that was keeping everyone quiet. Were they that bad?
I swallowed trying to think of being more pure thoughts though I wasn’t going to defend anything. I was a guy I could think about what I wanted. Reading that kind of stuff was perfectly fine for a healthy Japanese male with no girlfriend. And maybe I was having some fantasies about one or more girls, at the same time. That wasn’t bad, was it?
I turned around to look at my own soul and froze. There was some sort of chill as my blood ran cold looking over the state of things. My soul was shifting through shapes and colors just like Violet’s the vessel was in a constant state of fluctuating with light growing bright and dim with slow steady pulses. With one exception, it wouldn’t be that much different at all.
“How? How many times did ye…?”
Master started to ask and then trailed off. He had moved from his perch on Red’s shoulder to the bedside table Looking at me, his voice filled with worry that seemed to be an understatement. Violet spoke in my place, her voice trembling.
“H-h-he d-doesn’t remember. And I lost count…”
“How many do ye remember, girl?”
“M-m-maybe thousands… Or hu- hundreds of thousands.”
“By the power of The Word! How are ye both still intact?”
My soul was covered in cracks, to the point where it looked like it was on the verge of shattering apart any second. The lines pulsing slowly as it seemed like it was barely able to hold myself inside.
“This vessel, boy. It’s the container of your soul, the culmination of your entire being. All your thoughts, emotions, memories, everything is inside this. Sometimes a traumatic event can cause a crack or two to appear, though it can heal with time. Some spells or powers can also cause cracks to appear, sometimes they stay permanently.
“There is a power that certain Pagemasters gain, Authorial Pagemasters, ones who have written stories. This power lets them retry when things go wrong. Rewrite. Its usage can allow one to redo a moment of failure just before the act is completely committed, a wrong choice, a mistake, a deadly blow that should have been avoided.”
I nodded slowly, it was similar to what Violet did that time the minister guy walked in on our conversation, so she also has the Rewrite power.
“There there is a higher form of this power. Only those able to use it can know of its name or speak of it. It can essentially send a Pagemaster back to the first days of their adventure. To start over again even if their adventure ended in death.
“The use of such power causes cracks in the soul as one breaks the universe’s rules and forces everything to go back. To reset if ye will. Often the user will remember what went wrong and hopefully stop it before the point reaches that level of disaster again. It should be used sparingly because of how much damage to a soul it can do.”
Master looked at me with sad eyes. Standing up as straight as his bird body allowed him.
“If ye still have access to this greater power. Or if ye don’t right now, but ye regain it later. Please, for all that is sacred in this world. Never use it again. We will find other ways. Who knows how much more yer soul could even take. If yer soul vessel breaks ye will be destroyed completely. There won’t be any redos or second chances of any kind.”
I nodded my head slightly, feeling some sort of sinking feeling in my chest. “What about the normal rewrite power?”
“That one is fine to use, but extremely sparingly. It merely puts a slight strain ye soul, unless you intend to spam the ability over and over. In your case, save it for emergencies where you don’t think ye can talk or fight it out.”
I continued to look at the cracked vessel that housed my soul. It looked so fragile that if I touched it everything would shatter in an instant. Allouise finally recovered enough of herself to clear away the spell. Letting the images vanish, though the low mood was still quite prevalent. Master turned to Violet, he hadn’t said much about her at all.
“Do ye have access to this power?”
She gave a slight shake of her head. “Only the lessor version, I can’t access the other while Blue-san is the Primary. You aren’t going to make me…?”
Master shook his head. “Dear girl, that kind of power is best left alone. The circumstances are dire, but risking someone’s soul for a redo? Not unless there is literally no other way to save the universe. I won’t say we’ll never use it. But I will say that I will not until every other option is expended.”
Allouise had retreated up on the bed and gazing outside the small circular window, trying to keep her profile in my view, leaning slightly to accentuate her breasts with brief glances to see if I was paying attention to her. She seemed a bit bored and pouty, but I guess she knew that what we were talking about was beyond her scope of understanding. Especially since I knew we were talking in Japanese right at this moment.
Red raised up a hand.
“Out of curiosity. If you two have been doing this, thousands of times why don’t I remember any of this? Or Clarion-sama? How much have we forgotten?”
Violet and I exchanged looks for a second. She seemed calmer and gave a quick nod to me before I answered him.
“You don’t remember anything because you weren’t there, Red-san. It was just the two of us until the beginning of this timeframe. Not that I really remember all that much right now, it’s just in bits and pieces, like looking at some story that’s being rewritten over the original and now completely different.”
Master rustled his feathers and flew up to perch onto my shoulder, pressing his head to mine and looking at me.
“So then. Why after thousands of tries and retires, have you brought the rest of us here?”