Dark Skies REWRITE
Outside the house, Firion and Clarisse stumbled upon Cantirena staring one of the bullies from the local school right in the face at the edge of their yard. Her fists were clenched, ready to throw a punch at any moment.
“You’re so stupid. You were kicked out of school,” the boy said, smirking at her. “No man will ever marry someone as ugly and stupid as you.”
“Who says I want to marry?” Cantirena asked, speaking more loudly than the boy. “Now go away. I have to go to the castle.”
“What? Are you going to be the King’s new jester?” he asked. “Here’s something that will add a little character to you!” The boy pushed her down, making her land in a puddle of mud that had been left over from the last time there was rain. He laughed at the expression displayed on the young girl’s face.
Cantirena cried loudly.
Lord Minwu... Make him stop before I do! She thought, feeling the same energies around her as when she would go and sing in the back yard. Normally, she would focus it based on her voice and the relief she would get from the song, but now... It was violent. It felt like sharp blades against her skin.
“You did not just push my sister!” Clarisse yelled at the top of her voice. She ran over there and grabbed the boy by his collar. “I have had it up to here with you, William! Go back to the hole that you came out of!”
The boy wrestled free of her grip. “Always coming to your sister’s aid. You’re just letting her bring you down,” he grunted. “It just makes the rest of us come after you, too.”
“Shut up,” Firion said. “You want to pick on my little sisters, you’re going to have to go through me first.” He stepped in front of Clarisse. “Do as Clarisse said. Shove off.”
“New kid thinks he’s all that?”
“I know I’m a better man and a better person than you,” Firion said without losing his cool. “You think picking on the weak makes you more of a man? Let me see you come near either of my sisters again. You'll see what a real man can do.”
Soon, more kids were coming around the area to see exactly what was going on. Firion had stayed at the sanctuary for his first few days in Fynn, so many of the people around the village had no clue as to who he was or why he was there. When the first bully started to throw a punch at Firion’s face, Cantirena stood up and brought the sharp wind sensation to her hands.
“Release it!” a much older voice said from the back of the crowd.
“Lord Minwu?” Cantirena and Clarisse both asked at the same time.
The Royal Mage filed through the children that had gathered around the scene, stopping between both the original bully and Firion. “Cantirena, I am telling you to release that power without focusing it on anyone,” he commanded. “As for the rest of you children, you had better go before I tell your parents of the kind of behavior you have been involved in.”
The children backed away except for the bully that started this whole mess. “Why do you come to the aid of such a useless girl?” William asked.
Minwu looked down at him. “Honestly, I am not coming to her aid. I am coming to yours.” He kneeled down to see Cantirena with a frustrated expression on her face. “Do not take that offensively. The boy is obviously weaker than you are, my student.”
“Hey!” the boy said.
“...I’ve a change of heart,” Minwu said. “Come, Cantirena. We will find this boy’s parents and have him dealt with.”
“Oh, no!” the boy shouted, running away.
“You’re really a hero,” Clarisse said to Minwu. “How did you know to come here?”
“The wind,” Minwu answered, helping Cantirena out of the puddle. “It was similar to the wind I felt yesterday morning while Cantirena was singing.”
“You knew about that?!” Cantirena asked. “I’ve been trying so hard to hide it.” She looked down at the ground, noticing that her only clean outfit was now as brown as the mud she was forced into. “I guess now everyone here knows about it, too.”
“The only time I’ve noticed the wind having that particular feeling is when it comes from you. I didn’t want anything to happen,” Minwu whispered. He kissed her forehead gently. “Come on, then. Let’s take you to the castle.”
“But teacher, I’m all dirty.”
”Because of this fact, you need to change clothes. I have something to give you, as it so happens,” he said, taking her hand. “Come along, then.”
“Wait!” Firion said. “Clair, give Canti those coins.”
“That’s right,” Clarisse said, pulling the coins out of her pocket. “Papa said to give these to you, Canti. Since we’re going to market to get breakfast, he didn’t want you to be left out.” She placed them in Cantirena’s open hand.
“Two gold coins,” she said quietly. “Thanks. I’ll keep them on hand in case I need them.” She put them in her pocket. “Firion... Thank you.”
“It’s the least I can do. You two are sharing your family with me, after all,” Firion said, smiling carefully. “I had to do what was right. I can’t tolerate it when people go and do things like that, especially when they target my family.” He looked over to Clarisse. “All right, then. If we’re going, we should go.”
“See you after school, Cantirena,” Clarisse said, walking off with Firion in the direction of the marketplace. “If you need anything, you let us know.”
Minwu noticed that Cantirena didn’t want to look at him. “You need to learn to control your temper, my student,” he said quietly. “Come on then. As we’re headed to the castle, you can tell me what happened.”
“Lord Minwu,” Cantirena started. “I was all ready upset before I came outside.”
“Oh? Why is that?”
“Mama told us that there is going to be a big wall put around the entire village,” she continued with a frown.
Minwu nodded. “For the safety of everyone.”
“Well, it’s not going to be safe for everyone if I can’t go sit on my stump and sing like I have for as long as I can remember,” Cantirena said.
“The stump behind your house?”
“That’s right. It’s my stump, and because they’re going to build that wall, they’re going to uproot it! I won’t have a place to go and let out these... This...” she shook her head angrily. “Because I didn’t let it out before I saw anyone else, my anger overwhelmed me. I couldn’t help myself. All I wanted to do was let it out somehow, any way I could.”
“Cantirena,” Minwu said. “You can decompress the overwhelming feelings inside without your stump. You’ve just become accustomed to doing it there, so you feel like your outlet is being taken from you. But... There is another way.”
“Of course there is. This is something I have to do every day. I get frustrated just as much as anyone else in this world. But with some meditation, I believe we will be able to get to the root of your problem. Being mindful of your situation, as well as how you feel, you can then channel your feelings into something else, and eventually be able to control yourself from having outbursts.” Minwu ruffled her curly hair and then picked her up into his arms.
“Teacher, I... I’m all muddy.”
“And now I am, too,” Minwu smiled. “Let’s take you to the castle. I don’t think we’ll open the books today. There are more important lessons to learn.”
“But I thought I was supposed to read all of the books like you do.”
“My student, there are some things more important than book learning. Learning yourself, the signs your body gives you according to your situation, is the most important lesson anyone, high born or low, can ever learn. Truthfully, I used to have outbursts all the time when I was your age. When my teacher first adopted me as his student, he found me barely able to control anything about myself.” Minwu frowned for a moment. “Before I could open the book, I... Had to learn to manage myself. Because, as my teacher said to me ‘how can you expect to learn magic if you cannot control yourself? You must understand your body before you can understand how to control magic’. And after I learned how to manage that part of myself, magic came that much more easily.”
Cantirena nodded. “All right,” she said. “I wish to learn how to control myself. I don’t want to accidentally burn down another building, or hurt any of the villagers without knowing what I’m doing. Even if I can’t understand all of the powers yet.” She reached up and hugged him the best she could, forgetting how much of a mess she was. “...thank you.”
“Oh, you are most welcome, my little student.”