Radiant Prism - The Goddess of Chaos and a World With You [Short]
Radiant Age, December 21, 1115
"When there are strong shadows nearby, you can move within them. It takes concentration and focus if you wish to move where you want to be."
He held out his large hatchet as we faced one another in the snow. It piled up over the week, but he still moved about it without any struggles.
“This is called Shadow Walking, Feodora.”
Suddenly, he rushed at me.
“If you don’t want to die, you’ll do just that.”
He had no intentions to coddle me. So, I concentrated on the darkest spots of the world. My mind wanted it, to be a part of that shadow. The blood in my body boiled, and the feeling of me being one with the shadow came into my heart. I felt a cold but equally warm feeling rise in my body as I began to melt away.
I cried as I appeared from the shadow to the east of us. His hatchet struck in my place, and the world around him became a terrible purple. He was using his spectrum magic at the highest level. Maxwell… was terribly powerful.
“Good. Now let’s keep practicing until the sun comes up.”
Radiant Age, September 14, 1117
“Spectrum magic is this world’s weapon. Our spectrum magic is the dark element.”
Maxwell slashed his hatchet at me. I held a wooden sword in my hand. Only two years older, at the age of 10, I faced off with him in the same arena. Autumn leaves blanketed our battlefield.
“Channel your spectrum into your weapon, or else I’ll break it in half and slice your head off, Feodora!”
I tried my best to draw my emotions into my blade, but the weapon broke and before it finished me off, he stopped.
“Your enemies won’t stop. Next time is the last time I show pity.”
He held his head high in the twilight.
“Your spectrum is your power. When you learn to control it, it will protect you. Grab another sword and try again.”
I rushed over to the collection of at least 100 or so wooden swords. He made me craft them throughout the year before I was able to wield one. Before we started these practices around 6 months ago, we had roughly 500 or so of them. Meaning… I’ve messed up nearly 400 times.
“A-Are we going to use all of these?”
The beast known as Maxwell didn’t respond. When he did that… he was angry. I took the hint, grabbed the next sword, and rushed back over to him.
“Channel that spectrum magic in your sword and defend yourself!”
He raised it high and swung it down on me. My wooden blade cracked as I felt his power race through my body. I fell to my knees as the shock knocked me over. I was tired from the training, and my confidence was waning.
“Are you even trying to live?! Do you want to die?!”
I started trembling. He already warned me that he wouldn’t hesitate any longer. I thought about the orphanage…when those girls beat me up and treated me like a monster… like the Banshee name they ridiculed me with. How they threw me away like trash… tried to kill me. It made me angry… that I couldn’t fight back.
“I… just want to live. I… I do want to live, Maxwell.”
I hated those people… all of them. They made me feel like my life was meaningless. But that wasn’t true… Maxwell was showing me that even I should have a chance to live. He… was giving me a chance to realize that I have a reason to live.
“I… I want to keep living.”
I took to my feet. I could feel the blood in my body pulse as the spectrum magic resonated in my wooden blade. It darkened… almost pitch black. Maxwell brought down his weapon again and I felt the shockwave ripple through my body. I fell to the ground and hit my butt on a nearby rock.
He towered over me, and I was afraid he was going for another strike. But instead, he placed his hatchet to the side.
“Feodora… look at your weapon.”
On the ground, the wooden blade was cracked from the first blow…but it wasn't destroyed by the second. I marveled at it as he bent down and looked me in the eye. His cheek was a tad wet…as if he was crying. On my legs, his tears finally hit me.
“You… showed me how you are willing to live. That weapon didn’t break because your determination wasn’t wavering.”
He touched my head with his cold hands. They were a tad scaly but…always nice to me. Gently, he rubbed my head from side to side. My slightly longer hair was matted from the dirt and grime.
“Are you ready… to truly learn how to live, Feodora?”
The people in the orphanage were horrible to me. The mother and kids and everyone else who came to visit. Everyone in this world that I knew was cold and heartless.
But this man, the scariest one of them all, was nurturing me…
“I want to live. Please, teach me how to be stronger so I can live!”
At the age of 10… I cried out, not out of fear… but out of determination.
“I want to learn how to live, Maxwell!”
He rigorously taught me all that he knew. How to fish, how to hunt, what foods to eat, and what not to. I had to make my own clothing from the material I gathered. If I got hurt, I would bandage myself up. If I was sick, I'd treat myself with the symptoms I discovered. He wasn’t easy on me either. But out of everything, I learned how to love the night and move in the shadows. How being alone was the right path for people like us. Every morning I woke up, I would pick up that black box and try to open it. But no matter how hard I tried… it remained closed.
Radiant Age, May 17, 1120
“In the world of Prism, there are 6 spectrum vessel types. Fire, water, wind, earth, holy and dark.”
“I understand, Maxwell!”
“However, there is a 7th element created by the Radiant race. It is unnatural, and its properties are mysterious. We call this the chaos element.”
He taught me rigorously how the world of battle worked.
At the age of 13, I faced off with him once more. He gave me a silver katana as I learned how to properly use a blade today. In the twilight of the day, we looked at one another in anticipation.
“You will always address what kind of powers they have before fighting back. Everyone will usually only possess one of the 6 elements.”
He pulled his foot back.
“Us being the vessel of dark, we cannot use other magic elements at their fullest. We are creatures of the dark spectrum. Our power lies there.”
He vanished, and I felt his presence roll around the shadows cast in our arena.
“No, you don’t!”
I cried as I dodged to the side. He appeared out of the shadow that I cast from my own self. It was clever, but I swung at him. With his hatchet, he caught my blow. That's when he put out his hand and… gathered what seemed to be a fire spectrum. His hand went bright red, and fire shot my way.
I escaped to the side as he seared my jacket.
“You used…another spectrum other than dark magic?”
I was confused… Maxwell and I were both born with dark magic flowing through our blood. I couldn’t understand how he was able to use… a fire spectrum. Now he towered over me, more ominous than ever.
“Every creature who has the power to use spectrum can tap into the abilities of another element.”
He pointed his hatchet at me.
“Even you can use the other 5 elements. Fire, Water, Wind, Earth and even Holy.”
“I can use them too?”
He heated up his blade, likely using the fire spectrum to do it.
“I can use all manners of spectrum… but they are weak in comparison to my chosen bloodline. At birth, I was a creature of the dark. At death, I will remain the same. Same as you, Feodora.”
He rushed at me; as he swung, fire radiated from his blade. It was clear to me… as I dodged. I understood his lesson all the more. This wouldn’t have been a surprise… if I knew what I was up against before.
“Always… know what I’m up against.”
I put it in my heart as he cut me and blasted me away to the ground. I always needed to know what I was up against… before attacking.
“If you know their main spectrum magic, you can better prepare yourself. But always assume that they can use every element. When you understand what their main element is, you will be at an advantage.”
He was cold as he approached. He towered over me, casting a large shadow on the ground.
“That is the law of battle, Feodora!”
He raised his hatchet above me, I countered by darkening my blade, connecting it, and saving my life in the process.
“No, you don’t!”
I flipped up and repaired my battle stance. I couldn’t tell behind his skull mask… but I believe that made him smile….
Radiant Age, December 10, 1124
The day after my 18th birthday, I was running in the night. Shadows followed behind me as they relentlessly tried to catch me.
“There are 13 forms of shadow crafts I want you to master, Feodora. I will push them into your mind and make your body do them even as you struggle to sleep.”
In the night, I ran with the sound of wolves chasing behind me. From above, Maxwell tracked.
“There are creatures called “Beasts” in this world. They appeared roughly one thousand years ago. They feed on two manners of a man. Strong emotions and spectrum magic.”
Maxwell’s cold voice echoed through the night.
Out of the trees, silver wolves howled at me as they attempted to strike me down. There were four of them, stronger than the first one I ever faced. But I wasn’t the same 8-year-old girl from back then. It attacked me from behind, as I melted away into the shadow of the night to dodge its strike.
“You must learn to defend yourself; kill them before they strike you down!”
I cried as I appeared from the shadows cast from the trees above. I took my silver blade that darkened over time and held it with both hands. The first form was complete. Now I was ready to release my strike.
I yelled with determination feeding through my body. Blood pulsed as I sliced down, cutting the first wolf in half. Its body disappeared into a white powder.
I reminded myself as I focused. I watched them move about the darkness trying to corner me. But over time…something in me changed. I could see them as clear as day. Slowly, the night was becoming my ally just as Maxwell told me.
“Beasts come in all manner of sizes, Feodora. Some are small like these; some are huge, and their only manner of need is to feed on us. Most people are born with spectrum vessels. But there are a few that are not born with them. We attract them.”
I held out my hand…and gathered the spectrum magic around me, effectively enticing the beast to strike me down. They all came at once, drawn to the magic around me.
"In order for these beasts to survive, they must feed on us. So, for you to survive, Feodora…"
I held my blade next to me and spun it in a horizontal arc. The dark magic expanded from my blade as it cut them down, casting their white dust to fly across the battlefield.
“In order for me to survive…I must strike them down first.”
I cried, victoriously.
I smirked as I turned around and…tripped on a rock. My body fumbled on the ground.
“Feodora…are you alright?”
He stood over me, with his hand reached out...
Radiant Age, December 15, 1126
At the age of 20, just after my birthday, we faced each other on a cold night. Maxwell held his hatchet in his hand.
“Would you be willing to give me a challenge?”
He suddenly asked. Without prompt, he got into his battle stance.
“If this is what you want, Maxwell. Sure.”
For the first time… this didn’t feel like practice. His blade heated up like that time in the past. However, I was ready for it.
“Come at me with everything you have, Feodora! If someone wants to kill you, you can’t allow them to!”
We both melted into the shadows; under the moonlight we appeared, striking our weapons together. His fire spectrum cooled down thanks to me enchanting my blade with water.
“Ah, very good.”
We battled in a storm of strikes; he was heavy-handed but slow. However, the Katana he trained me with allowed me to be more agile in my approaches.
I collided my weapon with his hatchet, pushed forwards, and cut directly at him.
However, he vanished, melting into the darkness.
“No, you don’t!”
I cried as I got into formation.
Darkness roared around my body; I could feel him moving about as he danced in the shadows. Once he appeared above me, he cried out in his cold voice.
His hatchet darkened the color black. He was using his spectrum magic to the fullest in this attack. He struck down, guiding his weapon right to me.
My feet kicked back, the third form was ready as I sliced upwards, colliding with his weapon. The dark spectrum caused the forest to go black… but we could still see one another.
I cried quickly, spinning horizontally in the air. I could see the shine of blue in his eyes as he whispered.
My blade connected with his hatchet and the aura of a dark spectrum radiated from my blade.
Midair, he speared to the ground. I fell down next to him. With his hatchet beside him… he watched the stars.
“It was a quick match… but that’s all I needed.”
For the first time, Maxwell lied before me. I wasn’t the one on the ground. So, I reached out to him as he did to me all those years before.
“Come on… I’ll make dinner tonight, Maxwell.”
All he did was chuckle as I walked him over to the cabin and sat next to the fire. We've lived together for over 10 years now. In the middle of the forest, alone from the world. I was making fried green tomatoes on the stove…
“Anything with cinnamon?”
He coldly asked.
“I hate cinnamon. It burns my nose.”
We chuckled. This man has taught me everything. Maxwell… was my father in every sense of the word. How to cook, hunt, build… nothing I knew came from anyone besides him.
His ice-cold voice caught my attention.
“There are tricksters in this world.”
As I pulled the oil off the fire, I looked back at him.
“People who will make you believe things…that aren’t true. Always be wary of them…”
He leaned on the tree next to him. His skull mask looked up into the bright moonlit sky. I bit at my fried green tomato. It was… delicious.
“Feodora, there is a land ruled by the Radiant Kingdom roughly north of here. I would say… around 70 miles away.”
Gently, he spoke as if talking to a baby. I set my food down to the side… feeling a tad uneasy.
“The kingdom ruled by Radiants? Aren’t Radiants a race of people who are powerful, strong, and rule with an iron fist?”
“Yes. They live for thousands of years… but they watch over the people who live there as their own. The city is massive, there’s a lot of people who live there.”
I curled my legs and held them.
“Then why would you speak of this place… it sounds a little scary.”
“When I go… I want you to go there.”
“When you go?”
Confused, I turned back to Maxwell who was gazing into the sky.
“Feodora, we are creatures of the night. We… are destined to be alone in a world where there are so few of us.”
“…That’s right. What’s all this about?”
He took a deep breath.
“On the outskirts of the Radiant City… is a land full of beauty. You can fish, pick fruits, enjoy reading your books… and live a peaceful life in solitude.”
I looked at the man now… and for some reason, he looked far older than I remembered.
“I like it here though.”
“Feodora… this place can’t sustain you for much longer.”
He cut me down with his wisdom.
“There are more beasts than usual, animals are herding elsewhere, and the streams are turning dry.”
“…T-Then we’ll set off tomorrow, alright? Don’t you want to come with me? We can live together.”
He stood up, walked over to me, and towered over me. He was always scary… despite how warm it made me feel now. His shadow cast over the moon as he took off his mask, showing me that horrible face.
“I wish I could, Feodora. But that day… I saved you when you were that pitiable child that couldn’t fight back….”
His skull mask fell to the ground, right next to me. I watched it roll on the grass, next to the fire.
“Was the day I died.”
He touched my head…but I didn’t feel it. It wasn’t cold, warm… or anything.
“Your wound was too grave for you to live… so I used my curse and gave you the chance to live… and in return...”
My mind clicked… as I thought about the days, I’ve spent…out here….
The fire was roaring… and I was alone… eating fried green tomatoes in the cold.
I stood up and looked around. The second plate I put out was still warm but nothing on it was disturbed. When I turned to see the cabin, it looked older than I remembered. Everything about this place… told me that one person lived here.
“Maxwell? Where are you?!”
My voice trembled as I ran about the cabin. I was hoping to see his tall body around the corners, but nobody was around. I went inside, everything was there… everything including Maxwell's things but they were dusty. Then I recalled the box that was at my bedside. That black box he gave me that I could never open. I raced into my room in a panic and looked at my dresser. There it was…sitting there stubbornly.
The box still exuded a dark spectrum…but it wasn’t as strong as I remembered it. Suddenly, a burst of a silver light sparked from it.
It wasn’t just sealed with a dark spectrum… but the chaos element he warned me about during my training…
Now I was able to feed my dark spectrum magic power into it. To my surprise, it opened. What lay there was a note and a bag of money. When I opened the bag, there had to be around 100 gold stashed away.
Confused… I turned to the note.
“What is this?”
If you are reading this Feodora, you have gained the ability to live.
When I was just a boy… there was a village I lived in. It was peaceful and the locals were kind… but I was an outsider because of how I looked. The marks on my skin horrified the kids and people avoided me. One day the village was over-ran by beasts, and many were injured, but thankfully they all lived… that’s what I thought. There was a man who was about to die. He was beloved by everyone… one of the kindest individuals one could meet. He… even helped me when nobody would look at me.
I had the power to bring him back… at the cost of my own life. That was the curse I was born with.
But I was too scared…
And I regretted that choice my entire life…
…That was until I saw you in the forest that day. Weak, not even at the start of your life, you were alone and about to die…
You were like me.
You were gravely wounded, there was no way you were going to survive no matter how I would have treated you. So, I used my curse to bring you back. My only lingering wish was that you’d have the will and power to survive.
And if you are reading this letter then you have shown me that you are willing to live even if I was gone.
So, stay in the shadows. We are not creatures who are a part of this world, we only live beneath it.
You are like a daughter to me…
and I will never forget the time we cherished alone in this world…
My hands were shaking as the note got darker… and vanished like smoke. As I looked about the room, it was silent. It was like he was never there, to begin with. But that wasn’t true…
I thought about the times we spent together. Maxwell was here… but like a shadow that vanished when the sun moved, he wasn’t there anymore.
He was physically here with me… He was here long enough for me to learn how to live without him and then…
Because I understood how to live alone… how to fight… how to survive…
“…I don’t want to be alone.”
I stood up and looked around. All the memories we’ve created together… was only my own construction from the beginning… along with him. The countless wooden swords that I made to train with him… he was there with me as a spirit. But now... it felt like his presence would never return.
“That’s not true!”
I ran outside, to the battlefield I spent over 12 years together with him.
I ran to the middle of the clearing and saw my black katana lying on the grass. It was the only memory that wouldn’t fade. This… signified that Maxwell was real. Out of everything… This would be my keepsake from him. If this ever went missing... my mind might slowly forget about... Maxwell.
"I don't want to be alone. P-Please don't make me… be alone!"
I looked up at the moonlight.
“I’m sorry I was weak back then…”
That sacrifice was too great… and I didn't want to bear it on my shoulders. To give up one’s life so someone like me could live was…
“Maxwell! Maxwell! M-Maxwell!”
Was nothing more than his last will to make sure I was okay. That night…I cried myself to sleep in my cold bed. The night terrors assaulted me as always, and when I woke up…that’s when I realized…
“He never… complained about my screaming at night.”
It was simple…
It was because he was already gone…
And his spirit lingered long enough to ensure that I will live on without him. That was his curse, to haunt the person for who he gives his life…
And when his lingering attachment wish was fulfilled…he would pass on.
“… I’ll always be alone just like you taught me.”
I shut the cabin doors. In my hand were small tools and things I'll need to survive. I declared my training.
“Stay in the night. Fight to live and survive. Avoid people, live in the shadows…”
As I marched as an adult now, I recalled all the meanings to life. The creed to stand by as I journeyed to Radiant City.
“We use illusions of the night to live. We… adore the darkness. Our curses hurt people… so don’t deal with them because in the end…”
With tears rolling down my face, I left the forest I’d known for over 10 years. It was scary, to see the world without trees surrounding me. The place I lived, away from people…alone for all that time. My home… couldn’t be my home anymore.
I scorned his name… with the utmost sincerity in my heart.
“Now I see why you say… Being alone is best for us. Only socialize when we need to, and… stay in the darkness if at all possible… It’s because…”
I watched the twilight become night as I met the open field. In the distance, I could see the open world. It was large… and scary. The world was ahead of me… the world I had never been a part of since the day I was born.
“People are… stressful to deal with.”
And it hurts… getting involved with them.
Thank you, Maxwell, for saving my life… and equally showing me how painful friendships are.
With my bags in hand and the dark silver katana that was given to me by my mentor… I made my way to the city of the Radiants.
The place that my mentor told me about. I had every intention to live my life on the outskirts…
away from the world…