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“Open it!” I said to my little brother as I turned my body away from him. I looked back at the stairs we ran up from before coming into this disgrace of a hall. Why was the hall that led to the treasure vault of the most prominent family in Itanasea so damn narrow? Not as narrow as your wife's...mouth, though. Furthermore, the pillars were all cracked up, and the walls were flaking. Were the goblins the one taking care of this place?

Both of my eyes darted up and down to see any signs of those four cult fanatics who were left to catch Ryan and me. I didn’t think any of them were capable of executing a perfect caeci spell to catch me by surprise, but precaution was better than being stabbed in the back, right?

“Why are you helping me? Who are you?” said Ryan, breaking my focus.

I’m the one who killed our father…as if I could say that. “It’s a long story,” I turned my head to my brother, “and it’s not that… Perisie!” as two fireballs, one force missile, and probably some kind of curse hex shot towards me.

Fudge, they found us already? But the shock on their face was priceless as my transparent force shield only glimmered when their spells stopped half a meter from my outstretched left hand. I really needed to lose this annoying tick.

“How…a simple perisian spell cannot stop a curse? And why is it transparent? And why…” my brother kept eyeing the incoming wave of spells as he tried to focus on his own magic on the handle of the gate.

“Oh shut up, open that damn door, will ya? I can’t keep this shield forever!” True, though I believed they would have run out of magos before my shield ran out.

“What do you think I’m doing?! I am trying to open this damn door!” His brilliant sparks of lightning buzzed into life across the whole door of our family vault without any chant or gesture. When the spark touched the lightning insignia in the center, fractal symbols glowed, snaking out through the gigantic ten meters door. The screeching sound of a door slowly opening intermingled with the buzz of the lightning.

“Stop resisting Arma!” the smartest masked man idiotically said to us. He waved his eerie snakelike rod into a pentagram while chanting what seemed to be one of the tier 3 forsan spells. “...mitt mo mush...Hazta Forsa!” A two-meter long force-lance appeared in front of his rod and slammed into my shield with a blinding light.

“Okay, if I stop resisting, will you let me go?” I cheerily said. Huh, did anyone really stop resisting when someone asked them to?

“Of course not, you are a traitor! And the Snake God will never forgive you!” said another one of the masked men who probably was a woman considering their curve through that skintight magical cloth armor. She and the two others made the gesture and chant to what I was pretty sure to be the tier 2 aphien spell, fire bolt. “…Fulm Aph!” The three bolts struck my shield at the same exact spot, creating a tiny crack in my otherwise spotless shield. Oops. It seemed that I had spread my magos too thin. I quickly put a bit of magos into the spot and my shield repaired itself.

BOOM! The vault door suddenly swung wide open, and a wave of thick ambient magos swept through. The magos was so thick it seemed to shine bright enough to blind the masked men through their enchanted masks. I quickly ran, picked my little brother up, and went inside the vault. I felt that we crossed some kind of magical barrier and the vault door started closing up.

“Come back here you...what the?!” The four masked men tried to catch up to us, but they got blocked by my invisible perisian spell. “Why is this simple spell still standing?! Get back here! I will eat you, kill you, and then sacrifice you to the Snake...” BOOM! And the vault door shut the hell out of those motherfudgers. No spell was simple, dimwit. Perisian spells could be very powerful if you had trained it for as many hours as I did. People didn’t call me Arma, The Shield, for nothing.

“Well, what do we have here?” I said as I looked into the Perfuro family vault. It was humongous. I didn’t think vault was the right word to use. More like ‘hall’ or a really enormously…big vault, damn, I was never good with words.

“Wha… Why is it empty..?” my brother said while struggling to catch his breath. Was opening the door use that much magos?

“That is the question huh, why is it empty? I’m not a language expert but isn’t ‘vault’ supposed to indicate that the room is used to store something? And why is it so white, like sparkly white, I can’t even discern where the floor ends and the wall starts. Or where the wall ends and the ceiling...”

THAT’S NOT IMPORTANT! All those deaths to get here… All those who believed I could save the world... If this vault is really empty...”

“Oh, pish posh kiddo! Of course, this ‘vault’ is not empty. It’s the legendary Perfuro family vault for God’s sake - not the snake God’s sake, though – and we just need to find it.”

“We? It? What do you mean ‘we’? And how do you even know what ‘it’ is?

“Well, ‘we’ means you and me in my previous context and ‘it’ is something that we need to find to save the world from the reign of The Snake God.”

“Gaaaaah!!! You are not helping!!” Sparks of lightning started to fly from my brother’s body, and it seemed to amplify as it touched the ambient magos in this room… Fudge! “Perisie!

Ryan’s lightning lashed out to every direction and even behind my dome of force shield - the sheer intensity was palpable through my skin. Thank the Gods (again, the Snake God was not included) the spell was not focused on me.

“Woah, soothe your mammary glands dude! Do you wanna kill us both here?” But Ryan didn’t seem to listen anymore; his skin looked pale - well paler - he’d always been the white one. And his face was all scrunched up. Like someone holding their poop or trying to push the poop out.

“I…can’t…control it…my magos…is being sucked...out...” Wait, what? “Aaaaaaaarrghhhhhh!!!!!!!”

The lightning became blinding; sparks filled the ‘hall’way...and stopped right in the middle. Huh. There was some kind of barrier that divided the vault into two. The lightning was unable to pierce through, creating a film that coated the barrier… It was like...looking through a looking glass... And the flow of magos went to the floor, feeding into some kind of half circle that glowed brighter and brighter under the glimmering barrier…until the flow of magos abruptly stopped.

“What…the hell…is that…?” Ryan said while harshly panting. Wow, I had never seen my prodigal brother this tired after using any magic, let alone our perfurio spell.

“Cheer up kiddo, do you still have enough magos? I believe I know how to solve this problem. To find our missing vault.”

“What…are you…talking about…?”

“Do you still have enough magos or not? You can rest first if you want to. No rush.”

“I…do… What are you…thinking?”

“That it takes two to tango.” I dispersed my perisian spell and started walking to the other side of the vault.

“What do you mean?” my brother said without gasping anymore. That was fast. Unsurprising for my little brother.

“Why do you think the symbol of the Perfuro family is two lightning bolts striking a circle?”

“Huh? It is not... It is two lightning bolts striking out of a magic hexagram,” my brother said confidently.

“So you say, but I don’t see any six-pointed stars inside the circle.”

”It is…probably just a missing detail.” Really? Really now Ryan? If Father were still alive, he certainly would chew you alive for saying that our ancestors ‘missed a detail’, even if you were ‘the strongest Perfuro in 500 years’...

“It’s probable, yes, but I’d like to believe that ou...the symbol is a reminder.” You know, for when we needed to save the world and stuff.

“How so?” my brother looked unconvinced and started following me into the center of the room.

“When your perfurio spell goes wild, it stops right here.” I waved my hand around the center of the vault. “Your magos then feeds the ground right...about...here...” I said as I kneeled and pointed to where the half circle glowed.

“So?” My brother stopped a few steps in front of me and started kneeling too. Impatient. As always...

So use your perfurio spell again there, and I will use it too here, you ready? On three!”

“What?”

On three!!! One! Two! Three!”

I reached my left hand out, imagining lightning came forth, and I felt my magos pumped out from my corcil in the center of my chest to the tip of my finger. A spark of lightning came out from my index finger and touched the ambient magos in the room.

Suddenly I felt the air started sucking my index finger, if you know what I mean, and my magos was forcefully pulled out. “No...you...motherfudging won’t!!!” I tried to hold onto my magos, but my control over it was slipping. “You biatch! Don’t suck too hard!” The feeling was weird, to say the least. I felt…betrayed...by my own magos. I was always in control of my magos, with it being so little... Control over magos was my forte, something that I was proud of.

BZZZZZ!!!! The perfurio spell came into full bloom, and white lightning sparks shot everywhere from the tip...of my finger, unable to resist the powerful sucking force.

“Graaaaaahh!!” My brother screamed, having the same problem as me. Well, with much bigger and brighter lightning obviously.

Unlike before, now there were two films of magos spreading onto the barrier in the middle of the vault, one on my side and one on my brother’s. Without touching each other both our magos flowed down to the floor and started lighting up two half circles in the center of the vault, creating a full circle.

My wristband beeped once, reminding me that my magos was less than 30%.

The circle kept going brighter as I felt my magos being drained and the numbness started encroaching my whole body... I felt my vision blurred and the world started spinning. It seemed like hours or even days. Like moving in slow motion inside a thick mucus...my wristband beeped twice...20%...

The barrier shattered. I felt the distance between the two of us contracted, our hands almost touching, and suddenly expanded into at least fifty meters. The film on the barrier started to fade revealing the real ‘vault’. My breath was taken.

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Arcdime

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Bio: A medical doctor who loves to read and write novels.

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anrmnrg @anrmnrg ago

Hey, it's good. Can't wait for your next chapter!

Vhii1217 @Vhii1217 ago

An intriguing and entertaining start! Action scene is always the best way to start a high fantasy journey. Loving the humour already. The world needs more witty heroes having done disastrous slip-ups and being somewhat apprehensive about their chance to fix the world (and still going for it, however grumpily).

SamChapman @SamChapman ago

Fantastic start with a lot of intriguing unanswered questions! I'm curious, is the fact that Ryan doesn't know who his brother is going to be addressed? Is there magic involved there?

Arcdime
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Arcdime @Arcdime ago

@SamChapman It is always magic! Magic is always to blame!

Jeeyzzz @Jeeyzzz ago

Okay....wtf is exactly going on??\

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