When I came to, I was shocked I wasn’t dead… I mean that’s what happens when you’re under almost three feet of ice, right? I took a breath and found that aside from some intense pain in my ribs, my abdomen, my shoulders, and really my everywhere, I was no worse for the wear. Having been trained in how to kill by the best of the best, I knew I should be feeling at least some frostbite and numbness. But there I was, alive and in one piece.
I managed to get to my feet, no small task I assure you, but it was definitely forward progress. Now if I could get my head to stop spinning, I thought as I rubbed my temples. Then another thought struck me, who am I? Why do I know I was taught to kill? How did I even get here?
I heard a small cracking from above me, and in through a fair sized hole streamed sunlight. The harsh light reflected off several points of ice in my spherical prison, causing both an amazing spectacle and a splitting increase in the pain in my head. This pain was accompanied by a brief flash of memory, a voice whispered “Bex…” Was that my name? Well, better than nothing I guess.
The pain in my head subsided quite a bit, and I started to formulate a plan to get out of here. Doing a once over of the walls around me, and then looking at my less than developed hands, I wasn’t certain a climb would be in order. There was that crack in the ceiling, so this shell could be broken, and…
A block of ice dropped from the ceiling not a foot away from me. It was about two thirds of my height, so I guess three feet was accurate, and it meant I knew how far through a wall I needed to go to get out. I turned to the wall again, my resolve hardening, and I felt a tickle in the back of my mind. I extended my hand forward and focused, an impressive swirling of air at insane speed popped up before me in a conic shape, essentially acting as a drill. I know magic? How do I know magic?
I spent a few minutes working the wind and eventually punched a hole in the side of my prison… which began to flood. Of course it’s starting to flood, why not make things as hard as they can get? So I started working the hole wider above where the water was pouring in, eventually getting it big enough I could fit my lithe body through. A moment or two later and I was standing atop a large lake that had frosted over. I stretched my body in the crisp air, did what I could to dry off my boots, and took inventory of what I had on my person that would tell me where I needed to go.
Two broken short swords, a pair of daggers, a few packs of dried meat, and a full canteen of water made up a majority of what I had on me. Wait, what’s that? I thought as I fished out a bracer that had been hidden under everything else. Inside read ‘Bex Lucifer Chaotix’ in stylized letters, that certainly affirms who I am… but who gave me this? The focal point of the bracer was a golden stripe down the center of the silver metal that made up the body. I touched it, and it seemed to give a little; I moved the gold stripe forward and found a multifaceted amethyst gem. The gem had a sigil encased within it, it looked so familiar… No time to worry about that now I guess.
I looked about and saw the faintest outline of footprints and what might have been blood. That gave me a trail to follow, so why not take fate up on its offer.
I spent the better part of a day tracking the footprints, and eventually hit a small cave with the remnants of a fire inside. Gazing at the setting sun, I thought it might be a good place to call shelter for the night. It took a while to get the fire up and going, luckily there was a bunch of extra kindling in the back of the cave, and I pulled out some meat to heat it. Not the best dinner I’ve had… I think… but it was better than nothing.
Gazing into the heart of the fire, my mind began to wander to a warm autumn day below a tree whose leaves had just turned color. I felt someone trip over my legs and this woke me from an otherwise decent nap. I was groggy, so my temper was a little heightened, and I shoved the body off of my legs before I snapped at them about bothering me.
“Watch where you’re going!” I shouted angrily, my voice coming at a fairly high pitch.
The person turned at looked at me, she was a young girl whose face was trembling with fear. She looked petrified, but I don’t think it was me she was actually afraid of.
“Who… who are you?” she squeaked.
I sighed, “I’m a nobody. You don’t need to worry about who I am right now.”
She pushed herself up with her arms, her movements slow and deliberate. She looked around and began to crawl her way toward my napping spot in the hollow of the tree. As she moved, I could see a little bit down the front of her shirt, and from that angle I could tell she’d just started to hit puberty. It was a distracting sight for a young man, so I looked away as I felt my face get a little red.
“Can I hang around here and be a nobody too?” the girl asked so softly.
“Whatever.” I said, trying to get more comfortable.
Moments later she had snuggled herself against me, and it didn’t feel too bad. She breathed out softly, “My name is Lin. Lin Vulcanus.”
“Just call me Bex.” I muttered as we both drifted off.
I came back to the present, the fire had dwindled to embers, so I threw a few more pieces of tinder on the fire and curled myself up in the back of the cave. It was going to be a few more hours until the sun came up and I could continue following the trail… assuming it didn’t vanish in the middle of the night. So I drifted off into a bleak and dreamless slumber.
When I came to hours later, the pain was mostly gone, and I knew I’d get further today than I had yesterday. I was really lucky it seemed, the tracks were still very easy to follow, so I started once more after the group of people I hoped were my allies. Every once in a while I would drift off into my memory as it came back, which made the long haul easier than I had imagined. As I managed to piece my past together, I started to figure out… my life is all kinds of screwy.
I was the current heir apparent to the most prestigious clan of assassins in the world, clan Ymir. Originally founded by Retzer Miza just after the Abyssal War, clan Ymir was constantly moving around due to the number of important contracts issued by the major ruling powers, the Five Great Houses. That seems to be why we’re here in this cold, icy wasteland.
As the sun hit its highest point, I reached the remnants of a camp. There were some extra bits and bobs hanging about so I gathered what I could before continuing onward. There were fewer tracks and it looked like the group was moving a lot slower. I picked up my pace, if there were wounded they would need people who were trained to administer medical treatment. It dawned on me that I also had magic that could heal, a skill that only about five percent of the populace could use, and that might be more important than being able to apply bandages.
It took another few hours to cross the snowy wastes, but eventually I saw the tent city that made up the clan’s current residence. As I crested the snow dune, I put an extra burst of speed behind me with wind magic. I rushed forward and briefly caught a glimpse of the out-riding guards as they came around the camp. It was a tense moment until they recognized me, at which point I was crossing the furthest line of tents. I slowly reached a stop as I tried to gather my bearings and figure out where the medical tent was located.
I heard the sound of women arguing a little ways off, so I made my way in that direction. Eventually I rounded a corner and saw four girls standing about yelling at one another. I recognized Lin, who looked to be in a horrible mood, but I had no idea what about. So I slowly crept around the group as I listened to them argue.
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