Colors swirled in the air, bright with lots of tiny lights twinkling and dancing, following the swaying of the baby girl’s hand. People around her sighed in admiration, causing the baby smile even wider, even though she probably didn’t understand what anyone was saying.
“How could she do that? She was just born a few months ago and isn’t even standing on her own yet!” One of the older kids shouted, annoyed by what he was seeing. He whined as he grabbed his mother’s sleeve.
“I’m as surprised as you are, honey. I don’t know what happened, but I think she’s the chosen one.”
“No way! It must be just a coincidence! See? The color spike lasts only a moment!”
The baby who had just performed magic with her own hands now blinked slowly. Eyelids were heavy with the need to sleep. So just like any other baby, she fell asleep right away. Unaware of the commotion she just made.
A man stood tall and towered over the baby girl. The beard that spreaded over his chin made him look different from other men. He used a stick made of old oak in his hand for support as he crouched down to touch the baby's hand.
The baby's mother reflexively picked her daughter up, moving a little away from the man.
"Is my baby okay? What just happened? Has her magic awakened? Will her body be okay? Tell me, Warren!" she asked frantically. Her pretty face was contorted in discomfort and worry. However, her expression softened as her husband rubbed her shoulder affectionately, providing support without saying a word. They stared at each other for a moment before looking back at Warren.
Warren sighed. He desperately wanted to congratulate the family in front of him, because the emergence of magical abilities at an early age was an extremely rare thing in the world. But, on the other hand, he also felt a little worried because great ability comes with greater responsibility. He could already imagine how many obstacles the baby might face.
“Say something, Chief!” One of the Deterville residents who were still gathered in the front yard of Ben and Brenna's house asked loudly. "Will she live a normal life?"
Whispers were heard from the other residents. Some of them started trying to find answers on their own by reciting whatever spells came to their mind, determined to see a magical spirit in the baby they were talking about.
Warren raised his hand to silence them. He knew that he would only make others uncomfortable with his silence, so with a heavy heart, he forced a smile. "What we think of as normal has changed since half a hundred years ago," he said calmly. "Don’t worry, she must be a blessing to our village, we should be proud of this. I am sure that in a few years, she’ll be a great mage, and her name will be known by so many people in this world."
Whispers were replaced by cheers in an instant. Ben and Brenna breathed a sigh of relief and hugged each other tightly, Ben's strong hands repeatedly stroking Brenna's long, braided hair. The little baby that was sandwiched between them opened her eyes, yawned in satisfaction after seeing her parents smiling happily.
"Meyara, my dear. I promise to raise you very well,” she whispered. The giggles that came out of Meyara's tiny mouth made everyone in the yard cheer again, this time louder, complemented by Deterville's signature dance and songs passed down from generation to generation.
The years passed quickly. As everyone expected, Meyara showed a lot of difference during her growth. Not only mastering many spells, she also managed to practice science and experiments to produce magical things that not many people have achieved, including mages in Deterville.
While crawling in the yard, she would randomly pick flowers and crush them with her little hands. Mixing it with other plants and water she found in puddles. She left after spitting out a few incoherent words, leaving behind a glistening liquid on the ground. Mature mage would discover the results of her experiments and inspect them, dumbfounded after realizing that Meyara had made a great potion without anyone teaching her.
Unfortunately, her prodigious abilities are tainted by her unpleasant trait. All the compliments and admiring looks she had received since birth had made Meyara a little arrogant. So many kids started to avoid her, they were hesitating to make a conversation with her, let alone make friends.
“Don't touch my stuff! I made it in hours, I can't let you spoil it!” Glory, a girl the same age as Meyara, shouted angrily. Red flashed in her eyes as she pointed at Meyara with an accusing finger. “Show off your skills elsewhere! No one will compliment you here! I’m sick of seeing your face!”
"What cruel words coming from a 9 year old girl." Meyara casually looked at Glory from head to toe. A devilish grin tugged at her lips. "I came to help you! Let me see how strong your artificial tower is this time."
With a flick of her finger, the stone tower that Glory had put together collapsed just like that. Stones of all shapes and sizes fell to the ground. Glory screamed as she stretched out her hand, trying to reassemble the stones without touching them.
Meyara chuckled before clapping her hands. The stones were assembled to perfection once again. There was not a single sign indicating that the tower had collapsed before.
“Too bad I didn't really tear it down, when this was your chance to show off the telekinesis ability that you’ve always been proud of. Maybe next time I'll ask you to teach me how to break things without touching them.” Meyara wiggled her fingers in front of her face, easily playing with the reflection of sunlight and refracting it into various colors. An ability that she had mastered since childhood. “I don’t mind teaching you either. Let me know if you want to try to manipulate other people’s views, magically.”
"Shut up! Never once did I want to master your useless little magic! I can't believe people call you the Chosen One when you are nothing more than a freak who wants to master every magical ability in this world. Don't you think you’re being too greedy?"
Before Meyara could reply to Glory's words, an old woman trudged towards them. Panic was evident in her eyes. She gripped Meyara's hand tightly. “Beautiful and smart little girl, Meyara. Please help this poor old lady. I don't know who else to turn to for help. Every mage in this village is off to meet King Enrique, but my grandson can't wait any longer.”
"What happened?" Glory asked as Meyara looked at the old lady expressionlessly.
“Bo-boris … he's trying to make a potion that increases his own physical abilities. I had warned him not to drink it before he made sure he didn't mess up the composition and the spell. But he doesn't listen to me, he never did! Now, he fainted and his skin turned blue! I was scared so I ran to find someone who could help but I ran out of options!”
Glory bit her lower lip, anxiety overcame her as she knew there was no way she could help. He was only nine years old and didn't even attend a proper class for healing potions. But she couldn't just say it, Meyara was here. Her pride is at stake.
On the other hand, to everyone's surprise, Meyara only stared at the old lady before she forcibly removed her hand. "That was his own fault. He knew that he couldn't create anything related to magic because he wasn't born a mage! Why bother trying to make potions?” She clicked her tongue as the other two looked at her in shock. "And don't try to make me feel guilty for refusing to help. I've heard enough about your grandson and his bad attitude. I won’t do anything for him. Find someone else, maybe the Chief?
"But Chief is also out of town."
"Then you can count on Boris' luck. I'm sure he will live. No one in the underworld wants him. He can live as a jerk in this world forever."
“Meyara! Can you not be so ruthless for once?” Glory shouted. She could no longer see the sadness on the old woman's face.
"And what can I get with that?" Meyara rolled her eyes. “Listen, you all admire me for my great magic spirit and my learning abilities, not my attitude. So let me be myself! My goal is to become the most historic mage in Deterville even in the Midehelm Kingdom, and earn King Enrique's acknowledgment, so I will do whatever it takes to achieve that. Helping people is not on the list.”
Just like that, Meyara left. Leaving Glory and the old lady without looking back. Glory shouted at the top of her lungs, dispelling the frustration that had built up in her chest. She had always known that Meyara only had her own good in mind, but she had never once thought that the girl could ignore others who needed help with all her might.
Realizing that she was not alone, Glory slowly turned towards the old lady. Hesitantly she said, "Okay, maybe I can try something. Show me the way."
With tears in her eyes, the old woman took her hand. "Oh my God! Thank you, little girl. Come on! It's not far.”
Without them noticing, Meyara stopped her steps just as she was about to step into the field that she had to pass every time she came home. From a distance, she could still see Glory walking with the old woman towards the river. She narrowed her eyes before shaking her head.