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The vessel had been fleeing for a long time, they forgot how long, or how far they'd gone. They weren't sure how far would be far enough, they just wanted to get as far as possible from that place.

It wasn't all ashen waste as the vessel discovered, it was a long, long, long, long ways away from the ash, but the wastes started to be speckled with tufts of brownish grass, until it covered the whole ground. The vessel slowed to look around, though they didn't stop moving. They didn't notice the pit before they fell.

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Gidel was busy, the herbs Narah needed wouldn't pick themselves, and she was busy preparing the focus, so it was up to him to find the remaining components for the spell. Ordinarily, it would have been a simple enough task, but this spell needed something special, Ichor Stars, a rare component that they normally would need to order, but that would take up to a week to arrive, and they'd both forgotten to make an order last week.

So now it was Gidel's job to look for some, looking in each patch of clover for a small black one, taking any four leaves he found, not just for luck, as they could be useful for difficult infusion brewing. He would need all the luck he got to find those Ichor Stars, a golden toad would have been helpful, but they didn't live anywhere near where Gidel and Narah lived.

A loud thump distracted Gidel while he was examining a patch, he looked up and towards the source of the sound, abandoning the patch in curiosity, he hadn't seen anything black in it anyways. Telekinetically pulling the brush away to take a look brought an odd sight into view, a creature with a bone white head and an obsidian black body lying on the ground. It didn't look like anything Gidel had ever seen before, in either the Beyond or Vastia.

A fidget hop, a recently discovered creature that often congregated around spacial warps, was floating around midair gracefully, it's leathery wings catching subtle breezes. Gidel watched it curiously, there hadn't been one around recently as far as he knew, after a few seconds the creature disappeared in a shimmering aurora that also vanished quickly, leaving Gidel with the unknown creature.

He approached quietly, stilling his gathering bag by holding it away from himself. He was less than a tail length away when whatever it was moved and he jumped back, the other creature tried to as well, but didn't get very far on account of them being somewhat tangled in some greenery.

Gidel didn't know what to do, they didn't know what the other creature was even, should he try to talk to them? Would they even understand him? He didn't know but he should probably tell Narah. "Uh, you just, stay there. Ok?", and with a flick of his tail, the cat was off.

They didn't live too far away, and when he got there Narah was outside with the focus, she smiled when she saw him, "Gidel, did you find any?".

"No, but I found something else, I don't know what it is, can you take a look?", Narah looked intrigued and nodded, allowing her familiar to lead her to the mystery.

By the time they arrived, whatever it was had gotten themselves even more tangled, and didn't look to be capable of much movement. Narah squinted a bit, and got closer to have a better look, not minding how the creature tried to lift an arm in defence, not that the arm got raised very far.

She observed for a while before reaching into her component bag to perform a withering spell so the little creature would be free, Gidel watched the small creature stumble up from the ground to flee once freed, but saw that they didn’t go far, just far enough to be mostly concealed by shadows.

He followed his loyal back to their home, occasionally hearing the sounds of the one Narah freed following them, such as an unnatural moving of a low hanging branch, but they never vocalised, perhaps they couldn’t. Narah had found exactly one Ichor Star on their way back, and Gidel felt rather foolish for not noticing it, but he was caught up in the excitement his Loyal was as well, now they could perform the spell they had been so curious about.

The sun was still high when they returned, it was a cloudless day, necessary for the spell as specified by the tome. They would have preferred to cultivate the Ichor Star so they could get more, but sunny days like today weren’t as common as in Vastia, and they didn’t know when it would be this clear again.

Assembling the components, they began, it was a complicated spell, one of the few in the known world to require a sunstone focus, thy began the chant after igniting the night bloom thistle, “Noctis leifus moren tiel, Luxin yinid harim.”. The focus began to glimmer faintly and the magic users split the Ichor Star into it’s 3 leaves and merging them with an orange rose’s petals before continuing, “Voiden clover, sun stone, Night’s bloom, day’s rose.” Out of the corner of his eye, Gidel saw the creature watching, but he had to concentrate, next was the part where he took over for the chant.

Gidel watched the smoke from the thistle shape into a crescent moon before starting, “Under the pale moon the sun fades away, leaving all dark. The sun returns, though blinding all who look upon it.”. The smoke coiled midair and turned to the sun, Narah spoke in turn, “While the sun blinded, the night came once more. Swallowing up light for to calm.”.

The focus dimmed dramatically, nearly blackening completely, next was to wait for the thistle to burn out. While waiting in silence, Gidel saw the unknown creature drawing closer, watching the incantation.

They both spoke after the thistle finished, “Floral Insun, Noctal Bloom. Delne Artritch, Gerana Shawn.” it was repeated twice before the dim stone seemingly cracked, though it was just the coloring of the stone underneath the dimming.

In one more cycle, the incantation would be complete, and they would find out what it did, for now, they must wait for the stone to be mostly clean of the dimming, then Narah would say the final verse. Gidel just had to remain in the range of the incantation.

He glanced at where he had last glimpsed the unknown creature, and saw that they had drawn closer. He watched them, and they didn’t seem to notice, as they were watching Narah watch the stone. It took a while but Gidel heard Narah start the last verse, “In darkness eternal, comes the grace, either to slay the mad sun, or seal it once more.”.

Gidel heard the faint hiss before the focus exploded, it came quick and loudly. He barely saw the shadow before his vision fell blank and he hit the ground. It looked slightly like the creature.

He woke up to them standing over him, he lunged back, or rather he would have if he wasn’t backed up against something. After waiting in silence on both sides, Gidel took a look around, it looked… fine, nothing bad had really happened it seemed, aside from the focus being shattered everything looked normal.

Gidel stood up after observing for a bit, he trotted over to Narah, who looked to be fine, as she was picking up the shards of the focus, as well as murmuring to herself, “Ok that was a failure, it seemed like it was working, though the tome didn’t say what the spell would do, so maybe it worked? Is it a spell that makes things explode? Maybe? Oh who knows.”.

“Hey Narah?” Gidel mewed, catching his Loyal’s attention. She looked at him and he continued, “Whatever you freed from those vines followed us back here.” She looked around before spotting the small creature, they seemed a bit… Nervous? That was how Gidel would describe their body language, though it was hard to tell.

Narah either didn’t notice or care as she approached the small one and crouched down to be closer on their level, there was a quiet moment of looking between the two before the smaller tentatively held out one of their hands.

Perhaps this was the beginning of something, Gidel thought so, something new in their lives was something welcome, it would be nice. Maybe it wouldn’t be nice all the time but that was life, life wasn’t always nice, sometimes it kicked you in the teeth and laughed, sometimes it helped pick up the pieces. Whatever life was doing right now, Gidel knew that it would be interesting to him.