Chapter 1: So it begins
This is more an introduction to the world chapter.
(I wanted to start a witch au...but that will have to wait...Maybe I hate working only a few projects at a time. It kills me inside.)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
This story started a long, long time ago in the kingdom of Edgewater. Long before Myungjun was even thought of but somehow he'd been dragged into it's mess regardless, and it wasn't even his kingdom, Edgewood. But as a minstrel he knew the story by heart before he even realized he would ever become involved. The story he had learned started like most stories about kingdoms, with a love story.
The story went that the kingdom of Edgewater was once a very peaceful kingdom ruled by very in love young rulers.
The very young King had been enamored with his young Queen from the first moment he had set eyes on her. Doting on her just as much as the loyal and loving subjects did. Together they did great things for their own kingdom and the surrounding kingdoms. Including the kingdom of Edgewood.
Starting trade and promoting peaceful ends to conflicts. War was unheard of with Edgewater. As everyone adored them. And their reign seemed to be destined to last forever in peace as they ruled gracefully at a young age even without the magics of the kingdom of Edgewood. Though as all good things it was never destined to last.
The young Queen became pregnant as most Queens did. However the birth of an heir cost the King, for when the baby was born the Queen was unable to be saved neither by magic nor medicine. She died after naming their son, Prince Jinwoo.
Though the birth of the Prince was celebrated and the people mourned while rejoicing only the King did not join in the festivities. Instead a darkness was born in his heart and he pushed his young son and heir into the arms of the Queen's sister.
Soon after the Queen's death war planning started as the once kind King grew bitter and filled with anger and hatred towards everyone else. Refusing to even see his son as he grew up raised under the tender care of the Queen's sister. Who raised him to be kind, as kind if not kinder than the Queen herself was. And so the years passed peacefully for Prince Jinwoo even as the kingdom fell further to anger. The planning the King had been doing taking shape in the ways of armies being created and treaties broken.
It was on the eve of Prince Jinwoo's sixteenth birthday, the birthday of his crowning as Prince that the Queen's sister passed away. The kingdom once more was thrown into celebrating while mourning as the King then took the Prince under his wing. And for awhile the King was gentle again as the Prince greatly resembled his mother.
The kingdom rejoiced at the peace that seemed to return. For a week the kingdom was peaceful as the King came to know his son again. Though just as the Queen's life the peace was short, too short. The King came to wish for a new wife to help him raise his rediscovered son.
In order to find the perfect wife and in the name of peace he called upon the witch women of Edgewood. They came relucently sending a small party of expendables in case anything were to go wrong. Though the King was pleased with their beauty and entertained them before they gave counsel. In this way the most powerful and cunning among them fell for the King. So she looked into the future to see what would become of her love.
What she saw were two paths the King could take. One path that would lead him away from her to peace and also lead to an early grave for the King where he did not remarry. The second path was a path of conquest but it was a path with her by his side. It required the use of magic and would require the Prince to be removed, both from the King's side and the people's memory.
It only took the witch woman an hour to decide and in that hour she had woven her curses. The curses she would cast upon the Prince, the people, and her own beloved. For if it meant having the King she was willing to do it.
And so on the eve of her departure she cast her curses upon the King and his people. She saved her curse for the Prince for last knowing it would take the most out of her and for that she would need the King on her side. And so it was told that on the night of the fullest moon the kingdom of Edgewater had ever seen the witch woman cast her curse upon the sleeping Prince. After which he was never seen again and was soon forgotten by not only the people but the King as well. And in his place grew rumors of a dragon.
A dragon that raided the castle and stole what would have been the treasures of the next Prince if the New Queen bore a son. The same dragon that brought Myungjun to Edgewater.
For this is where he knew he came in on the story he was using to sing his way through the streets of Edgewood and would eventually sing in Edgewater. Making enough money to buy the supplies he needed to keep traveling for the mission that had been thrust upon him. He wasn't really looking forward to completing the mission. He'd been told though that he was the only one who could accomplish it and end the many wars that Edgewater had started since the late Queen's death and the New Queen's crowning.
Looking at the long road ahead of him Myungjun couldn't help but wonder what his chances of survival were as he made his way into the first town across the tree addled border between the two kingdoms. The border that served to, for the most part, keep Edgewater magic free unless the one crossing possessed very controlled magic or very, very little magic.
The small town was known as Astro for the stones that they mined from the nearby mountain that looked like the night sky. They had many magical properties like many of the stones in Edgewater, which was why he'd even been called on this mission. Edgewood wanted the wars to end so trade could prosper again. And their kingdom could get the resources they needed for their magic once more.
Myungjun only hoped that they really had made the right decision in choosing him. A minstrel. Who was armed only with his lyre, a boot knife, and the mission they'd given him of facing a dragon. But they'd already told him unless he was successful there was no coming back.
I've been wanting to write Myungjin again before everyone forgets I exist...I keep having to remind myself that I am currently writing Myungjin...My memory is a sad place to live.
Updates...Well we'll see where this falls in my current update schedule. I'm diligently working on The X Clan and This isn't Love...but that's about it.
Chapter 2: Town hopping
Well we'll get into the meat of the story now. Last chapter was basically the introduction. The setup, if you will from here we're going on a magical journey!
I've really always wanted to write something very fantasy...Like since forever. So...I do know I'm horrid at it. And it kinda makes me really down to write it honestly but I'm going to do it anyway.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Myungjun hadn't been to Edgewater in years and he hadn't actually wanted to return. But he did have his mission to carry out and his mission required that he be in Edgewater to find the dragon, that he was pretty sure would try to eat him. But he tried not to think about it as he entered the small town. It was still relatively well off since it did a lot of illegal trading with Edgewood through the forest and he was supposed to meet someone to get legitimate papers from so he could venture further into the kingdom.
Instead what he found was a string of excuses and no documentation when he met up with the designated informant. Who proved entirely useless in both papers and information and left Myungjun wondering who had set him up with such a failure. Or if maybe the whole mission was a means to get rid of him since it was his much older step sister who was now ruling over Edgewater, not that he cared much for her either. She had after all caused a whole bunch of wars and she used to dip him in weird potions when he was too young to fight back. Once it had left him green for a weak with horrible bright orange spots that itched like no other. And now that both of his parents had passed on there was no one back home who was going to miss him too much. Save his old sooth saying Grandmother who had sent him on this mission. She'd been telling him he'd go on it practically since the day he was born and she had one foot in the door when he left.
But like he always did he pushed those bad thoughts away and pulled out his lyre to sing. If there was nothing else he could do for awhile he could at least earn enough money to buy official papers and maybe gather some Intel of his own. It wasn't like a dragon was going to come waltzing up to him of it's own accord. Nor was the top secret, only he and his Grandmother knew the details of, part of the mission going to carry itself out either.
He'd been playing for awhile when he finally heard something useful a passing rumor, likely a falsehood but also just as likely legitimate. So he played softer straining his ears to overhear what was being said in the bar under whose window he'd made himself at home. They were talking about a knight that had passed through town a day or so ago armed to the teeth with an official scroll and on a dragon hunt. Which of course brought peels of laughter from the netizens who obviously didn't think that dragons existed. Which he didn't actually blame him for because until news of this dragon had started circulating they had all been thought extinct from being hunted down hundreds of years ago.
But this information wasn't that useful since following a knight would also be just as suicidal as looking for a dragon. Or so he thought until he listened longer and the one telling the story said that the knight was like a stick and they weren't sure why they sent someone so tiny after a dragon to begin with. Myunjun pretended not hear that part though because it only reminded him that he himself was shorter than average and extremely wimpy looking. He was only a minstrel what need did he have for muscles.
Once he'd heard enough to at least attempt to follow the path the knight had taken, a trip to a place three towns over and at least a ten day journey from the border, he went about making money. It wasn't like supplies were going to buy themselves either.
In all it took him sixteen days to reach the town of Tuila the place the knight was rumored to be heading towards. It had taken him far longer to get official documents that looked real than he had expected. It had also not been fun trekking through the tough terrain of Edgewater or trying to find supplies in the towns leading this one. The further from the border he got the smaller and more measly the towns had become. Even earning enough for food in the last town had been trying. He didn't think he was going to have that problem here.
Tuila was a far bigger town than he had thought. Thriving off the ores and minerals that came from the nearby lake. But he found that the people there and the way they lived didn't suit him quite as well as the smaller towns had. There was a minstrel for every corner and the stories they sang were of war. The people of this town were big, muscly, and war hungry. Which didn't suit him at all. Instead he decided to camp in the small woods near the lake away from everyone and only go into the town to gather information.
It turned out to be the right move for on his second day in the woods he was captured by the very knight he had been looking for. Which was both good and bad. It was good because it meant he didn't have to look for him to ask him about this supposed dragon. It was bad because he was captured and this knight Rocky had very scary eyes and didn't seem like he was going to be an easy one to crack.
Eventually the rating might go up. Likely for cursing, violence, or a combination of the two. Nothing too bad but I'll cover my bases as precaution if it does go that way. Tags will be updated when needed. So just keep an eye out.
Thoughts appreciated. Though I'll be honest everyday I'm super tempted to just delete this...
Chapter 3: Knight Rocky
Well...We're chapter three now. I'm still not confident or anything about this but I'll proceed anyway.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Myungjun took one look at his foot, which was currently hanging from a tree, before looking back down at the knight whose name he knew to be Rocky from the descriptions of the Tuila townsfolk. So far the knight had poked him with a stick at least three times and was now glaring at him angrily with his arms crossed. He allowed himself to at be thankful it had been a stick not the sword that was by the younger man's side and took that thought into mind before opening his overly large mouth.
"Would you mind letting me down. I haven't done anything wrong." He did his best to sound his most convincing because it technically wasn't true at all. He was here in Edgewater illegally and while he'd gotten his hands on the 'correct' paperwork he wasn't wanting to test it so soon and not in a one on one situation. It was easier to pass a forgery at gates where the guards were only skimming them and testing for magic. This knight was more likely to notice it's obvious fakeness if he were asked to hand it over.
"Nothing wrong?" The knight's voice was almost as rigid as his face. "I don't call stealing my food nothing wrong." The glare that followed those words was heated and stony.
Myungjun could only blink at the accusation for a few seconds glancing around the camp he'd wandered into. It was in the perfect position to be close to the lake for necessities while far enough away to remain out of sight. Though when he'd walked between the two trees he hadn't expected to spring a trap and be captured. Let alone be accused of stealing, something he'd never done in his entire life even when times were hard in his line of work. "You're quite mistaken. For one," He finally spoke as he pulled himself upright getting immensely tired of the feeling of blood rushing to his head. "I've never stolen anything ever." He accented that statement by pulling the small knife from boot and cutting himself down. Landing was going to hurt but it was obvious that his captor wasn't going to let him down anytime soon. "For two," He picked himself up from his rolled landing looking at the contents of his pack that were strewn about before pulling out his instrument inspecting it for any harm. "I only just got to Tuila."
The knight was now in a defensive position and Myungjun could only sigh to himself. While taking care of one lone knight would be easy enough, if it weren't he would have zero hopes with a dragon after all, he just didn't feel like wasting the energy. "Do you have any proof that I was the thief?" He finally asked once he saw that his instrument wasn't damaged and the knight wasn't going to attack him for getting down.
"Who else could it be?" The knight countered with another glare but he made no move and Myungjun studied the camp a little closer taking note of the dried meat that was strewn about. It hadn't been touched and he could feel residual magic coming from it. Magic that did not belong in the kingdom of Edgewater, not that he actually had any room to speak on that one. "I caught a look at the thief last time and it was definitely a fairy and you're the only fairy I see around here."
Myungjun was both insulted while flattered and not sure what to do with that combination. He found himself blinking rapidly trying to make sense of why someone from Edgewater would think he was a fairy. "While flattering I'm not a fairy." Was the intelligent answer he came up with before sighing into his hand holding the other one up in a stopping gesture. The knight didn't move for which he found himself grateful but he supposed that was probably because the knight thought he possessed different magic than he actually did.
"If you're not a fairy then you're just a thief." The knight countered this time taking a firmer grip on his sword and shifting his feet. Myungjun knew that this time the knight was serious and he meant business if he didn't answer the way he wanted.
Of course he knew the truth was the best option he just wasn't sure that the knight was going to buy it. After all he had been correct in part of his accusations, it had definitely been a fairy. Instead of saying that though he looked around for the evidence that would have been left behind, a rare substance that few in the magical community could get their hands on, fairy dust. Often times fairies would leave it as a 'trade' for the items that they took. "Do you know what a fairy looks like?" Myungjun raised an eyebrow making eye contact with the knight, which wasn't hard considering he wasn't much taller than himself.
"They are short, pretty, and small." The knight answered without hesitation or breaking off their eye contact.
Myungjun resisted the use of magic again and sighed internally this kingdom was vastly under educated in magical matters. "You aren't wrong but you aren't right," He moved and he saw the knight's eyes move with him cautiously. "By short they mean ye high." He demonstrated with his hands holding them parallel at about two hands high. "And while I'm honored you think I'm pretty I'm no where near as pretty as a fairy is. They have wings too. And just as I'm not a thief or a fairy you're not a knight are you?" He hadn't meant to say that last part out loud but by this point it was obvious the younger had no experience wielding a blade against a person and it showed in the firm movements but lack of follow through. Not to mention the fact he was going after a dragon, alone and completely under equipped if he didn't even know what a fairy looked like.
The knight stiffened and Myungjun wondered if his blunder was going to cost him his life. He was ready to get down and praise every star when the knight lowered his blade just a little at that. "How did you know?" The brown eyes that were still staring into his were wavering and unsure.
"You look like someone whose never killed a man. That's required to become a knight." Myungjun shrugged there were many laws his step sister had put into place and many of them were thrown in his face back in Edgewood. "And the fairy paid you," He pointed a substantial pile of glittery looking substance to the right of the rifled through bag. "Fairies are not thieves, however they only take from humans if they are starving or have taken a liking to the human. From the amount it left you it was the latter."
Myungjun noticed when the knight's eyes widened when he looked back at this bag seeing the oak leaf full of the glittery substance. "Why would a fairy take a liking to a human? And what am I supposed to do with a pile of dust? That's not payment." The knight's voice was firm but the rigidness was dissipating and Myungjun could see that he was weighing his options. There was obviously a reason he was parading around as a knight. Instead of commenting on the accusation though the even tempered knight tightened his grip again. "And why do you know that if you're not a fairy? If you're not a fairy and you're not a thief who and what are you?"
Myungjun blinked again and looked down at his instrument he had thought it was self explanatory. Not that many minstrels in Edgewood knew much about magic on a deeper level unless they possessed some themselves, yet they still constantly sang about it. He figured it was the same in Edgewater as stories couldn't be held at bay by a mere line of trees. And apparently neither could fairies though he'd never heard anything about them in Edgewater before, their magic was weak enough it wouldn't be kept out. "I'm a minstrel of course I know about fairies. As to why one would like you? That's up the fairy you know they have free will you'd have to ask it if you catch it. They'll probably come back form the amount of dust it gave you. Before you call it just dust again you should know that even half the amount that fairy paid you would buy a house in any of the kingdoms with magic." He shook his head this fairy was either smitten or paying for all the food it had taken without notice. While they weren't thieves they didn't always pay up front either.
Myungjun could see the knight weighing his words carefully. He knew the moment a decision had been made before the knight sheathed his sword. "Fair enough." The younger looked back at the dust and shook his head. "I'm Rocky, and you're wrong I'm a knight...technically I just haven't been knighted yet." He sighed and Myungjun nodded slowly this meant they would at least be moving in the right direction from now on. "How did you know? And what are you doing out here? The woods is no place for a musician."
"As a 'musician' I'm aware of a lot of things. I'm not a musician though I'm a minstrel I go around singing stories, true stories mind you. And I know about your 'mission'." He paused watching the knight's reaction to his words. If the mission was a secret then he might just get stabbed after all and if not a secret maybe they could do this together. Going against a dragon was dumb to begin with but going against a dragon with just his boot knife and music was dumber than going in with a knight.
"And what of it?" Rocky's voice was crude as he spoke crossing his arms again this time looking him up and down and Myuungjun felt like maybe he wouldn't gain an advantage after all. This one was clearly wet behind the ears. Though he'd still be more use to him alive and working together rather than dying alone against a dragon.
"It's my mission too." Myungjun answered simply.
"Your mission is to slay a dragon?" Rocky was looking up him and down seriously now as he took in his words. "With what your music and that boot knife?" Myungjun could hear that he was a few seconds from laughing and if he were in anyone else' shoes he'd probably be laughing along with him.
"Yeah you got a problem with that?" Myungjun crossed his own arms and watched as the knight, Rocky who'd seemed so similar to his name collapsed in laughter. By the time Rocky had picked himself up off the floor they'd already managed a truce and Myungjun hoped this was the beginning of a good alliance as he offered an empty bottle for the fairy dust and they collected both his items and the knight's before trading information.
Next chapter should be Jinjin and the others? Maybe I had this plotted but like always someone *coughRockycough* wanted to drag me off course.
Edits finally done..
Chapter 4: Sanha the troublesome fairy
Seriously after every update I have to fight myself to keep this up. But I promised so I'll keep working diligently. Even though our plot has officially left the building.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The alliance Myungjun had been hoping for also turned out to be an alliance with problems he hadn't expected once he came on board. For some reason that he couldn't fathom the fairy that had been raiding Rocky's pack was following them. Which left him scratching his head about it because to his knowledge fairies did not deal with humans quite as often as they were turning up missing fruits. Nor did a fairy offer that much fairy dust for what little bit it was taking. Either this fairy was indeed smitten or very grateful.
It wasn't until they'd been traveling together for roughly ten days and three fruit raids later that he even realized that they were no longer on course. Something that they hadn't noticed in their search for food to replace what had been taken from them. It wasn't until then that he realized the fairy was not working alone. Which was not unusal of itself as most fairy disliked being alone. Myungjun could have cursed himself for his folly, if you know he weren't entirely capable of acutally casting a curse on himself on accident.
It took no less than thrity minutes, with a dirt drawing, to explain to the knight he found as his companion that they were being tricked and that they should give up on fruits. Or if they were going to eat fruit they should just eat what they could find on the way or else they would never reach the dragon. It then took another six days to get back on course and once they were undeterred by the fairy dust and missing fruits both stopped happening.
"I don't know Myungjun the caves I know about are in this direction." Rocky had been pestering him for the last hour about the course he'd been taking. Admittedly he was inclined to listen to the knight who knew the terrain better than he did. However this time there was a niggling sense of magic that was telling him not to go the way he was going. It was already affecting the knight and if his magic was any weaker he'd be determined not to go this way either. It was another of the fairy tricks though and he wasn't about to fall for another one.
"I know where we are going don't worry." Myungjun assured him with a grimace because that statement was only half true and he knew it. But better half true than entirely false. He did however know when they had finally gotten within distance of the dragon's cave when he saw the smoke, whether Rocky believed him about it was a different matter enitrely.
"I don't see any smoke Myungjun." Rocky reiterated for the fifth time as they set up camp just a little down hill and maybe a mile or so from where Myungjun was sure the cave was. He only rolled his eyes again and went about setting up camp. It wasn't until he heard a scream that he gave the knight anymore attention. And even then it was only a quick glance back as the knight screamed about a lot of things that he didn't quite find important. Such as his blade banging into trees, mud in his shoes, or the like. Things that Myungjun had long gotten accustomed to while traveling alone for so long not to mention for a living. This time though what Myungjun saw was not that the knight had found a rust spot on his sword, he hadn't inadvertently stepped in something disgusting while they walked, nor had anything minor happened. Instead what Myungjun saw was a fairy settled upon Rocky's knee looking up at him with a smile.
Myungjun only thought about it for a second and then he was casting a stun spell causing the fairy to collapse backwards into Rocky's awaiting hands. "Well that was unexpected." He looked at the tiny creature in Rocky's palms and sighed. It was a young male fairy. It had likely been the one stealing fruit and as he'd suspected it had actually been enamoured with the knight for some reason he couldn't fathom. Around it's waist was leaf made clothing and Rocky was looking at the poor thing with entirely too much interest. Particularly on the wings and face. Though Myungjun would admit that fairy had always been known to be beautiful creatures and this one was no exception with it's blonde curls and iridescent wings.
"What did you do to it?" The knight's voice held more awe in it than when he'd discovered Myungjun was gifted with fire magic. Which was quite a feat as he'd gone on about that for days. Though this time Rocky was reaching out to touch the fraigle creature in his hands, mesmerized.
"Don't poke it." Myungjun grabbed his thumb stopping the knight. "I only put him to sleep he'll wake up soon and we can get information out of him. Fairies don't normally behave like this. We need to know what's up with him and the dragon so we can figure out how to slay it." He sighed looking over in the direction of the cave, the magic there had gotten weaker when the fairy was knocked out but it hadn't disappeared. He had to wonder how many more fairy there were because anymore than three and they weren't going to fare very well.
"Do you speak fairy?" Rocky's question was sincere and his face open for once, so open that Myungjun began to wonder who might end up more smitten the fairy or the knight. He pushed the thought away instead studying the fairy a little more taking it from Rocky he knew would be pushing his luck. So instead he leaned closer and the knight sat surprisingly still.
"The magic of this fairy doesn't feel right..." He finally concluded with another sigh he was only a minstrel with a little bit of magic ability, mostly enough to make life easier. And the knowledge he had was limited as well after all it was only what his grandmother had taught him and what he'd learned from his profession. Musical magic was something he could explain and showcase for hours not creature magic. "We'll just have to wait until he wakes up. It would be best if you had some fruit to offer him. I'll go get some you stay here and make sure that if he wakes up he doesn't run away. Even if we can't understand him I'm sure he'll be able to understand us."
With that said Myungjun took off in the direction of the closest fruit tree. And in true Myungjun style got himself lost much like he had the first time he'd come to Edgewater. Only last time he'd come to Edgewater he hadn't gotten lost to end up in front of a dragon's cave where said dragon was staring out at him from the dark blowing smoke rings.
Nope last time he'd just gotten separated and ran into a cute boy who from the look of his clothing shouldn't have been out on the street anyway. Things were a whole lot different this time but he certainly hoped the outcome would be much the same. Him keeping his head and his cool.
He wasn't going to hold his breath about it though as the dragon stepped further out of the cave and night began to set around them. Recruiting Rocky was certainly a big help now as in the end he'd still ended up facing a dragon with only his boot knife, his lyre, and his wits.
Just know I did not intend for Socky but...Sanha insisted and my son gets what he wants.
Chapter 5: Dragons do exist sorta
Well... anyone surprised at this point? Anyone other than me who is still floored she got sweet talked into writing Socky...Not to mention waylaid into involving Rocky so much.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Myungjun really hoped that this wasn't going to end in the worst case scenario he'd dreamt up, only like sixty five billion times ever since he'd been told by his grandma that he'd go on this mission. Each time the scenario had a little bit like eating fried chicken only the chicken was him and his blood was the dipping sauce. He shoved those thoughts aside though to deal with the situation at hand. Which was that the dragon was emerging from it's cave and he didn't read dragon expressions well but he expected it probably wouldn't be happy. He allowed himself to look for an escape plan. He was definitely smaller and those trees might stop the dragon for a minute.
However he stayed rooted realizing something else. He'd expected bones, shields, and maybe a sword or two to be laying around. They always were in fairy tales. The defeated knights that highlighted the skills or cunning of the knight in the story. They were distinctly absent. And he couldn't quite put his finger on why that was important, or more like wasn't given the chance to as two fairies flew at him from out of nowhere chittering at him. He couldn't quite make out what they were saying but when he turned the dragon was completely out of the cave now. He felt a sharp tug of oxygen entering his lungs as he'd inhaled too hard.
He wasn't sure what he'd been expecting. But he was certain that he hadn't been expecting to find the dragon breathtakingly beautiful. Yet he did. So much so that he almost forgot why he was there. Instead standing there slack jawed staring at the silver white scales that were glittering in the setting sun, visible in the clearing the cave was situated in. This dragon didn't look anything like what he had been told excpet maybe by his grandma but that was too far back to remember in the presence of this ethereal beauty.
It was thrice his size towering over him. A gleaming silver white that he knew would shine brightly in any sort of light, there were also tufts of silver furry looking areas around the dragon's ears and at the tip of it's lashing tail. He couldn't be sure but he thought he saw some on the ridges of it's back trailing down to the large wings that took up half of it's body size as they sat folded against it. The snout that he knew housed sharp and deadly teeth was sleek and attractive just like the white eyes that shone from above it. They gleamed with an intelligence that humans weren't sure that dragons had but were suspected of. Not that many humans had encountered dragons in eons.
"They'd like to know what you've done with their companion." There was a voice that sounded, it rumbled through the clearing slow and steady in it's timbre. Myungjun found himself looking around for the source only to find the dragon staring back him, still standing on it's front haunches glaring down at him. He felt like it wasn't just the fairies that were asking. "Speak human." This time he knew for sure it was the dragon that was speaking.
Myungjun blinked once then twice and then backed up a litlte as one of the fairy started pulling his hair as he'd hadn't answered yet. He couldn't explain it but there as a compulsion growing within him to blurt out what he knew. "Look I didn't do anything to your fairy friend." He started with a grimace that didn't sound right at all. "The fairy was following us and last I saw it was trying to flirt with my companion." He found the words tumbling from his mouth in an order he wouldn't have normally used. Not quite lies but distorted truths he hadn't even meant to reveal.
The dragon nodded at this, it's scales catching more of the light. "God you're beautiful." The words had come out in a sigh. A sigh he'd been planning to hold back along with his thoughts. He found himself covering his mouth quickly as the dragon adjusted it's stance from one paw to the other, the claws digging into the earth as he placed them down a little on the heavy handed side.
"Why are you here human?" The dragon's eyes were slitted further as he looked down at him over his snout presing closer with it's long neck, wings rustling. It's voice was deep and appealing as the fairies flew back to it's side still disgruntled as if they had been called back rather than wished to return.
Myungjun swallowed at the compulsion that was pressuring him again and he wondered if he'd be able to hold anything back against it. "I was sent here," He started with the decision he'd just stick the basics. "I was sent here to find you." He swallowed drily his hands fiddling with his lyre in the way he did whenever he found himself in a sticky situation. Though in hindsight all those situations could be resolved with the little magic he possessed and weren't the size of a small hill.
"And what business do you have with me?" Myungjun blinked if he didn't know any better he would have said that the dragon's expression looked human. With a raised eyebrow like hood that protected it's eyes and a glimpse of fang like a grimace.
"I uh.." He found himself stuttering as the privated details of his mission threatened to come tumbling from his mouth. The parts he wasn't supoosed to tell anyone. He looked at the fairies resting on the dragon, clinging to it's ears even as it flicked them, but not quite in annoyance as amusement. "You're not supposed to be attractive." He covered his mouth instantly again and wondered why he couldn't stop blurting out his inner thoughts.
"Fairy magic." The dragon supplied helpfully and Myungjun found himself red to his ears as he'd hadn't meant to say that aloud either. "It compels you to speak your mind and only the truth. It's useful." The dragon's voice was filled with mirth and deeply attractive Myungjun bit his cheek to keep from saying so out loud. He'd already made enough of a fool of himself as it was and he still hadn't done anything for his mission.
"I'll keep that in mind." He finally said as he nodded there was no getting around letting out his mission now. It shouldn't matter much he knew as the dragon was the one he was meant to seek out to ask these questions. And if the dragon didn't know then slay it. "As to my business I'm looking for Prince Jinwoo I have matters to discuss with him and him alone." It was admittedly very hard not blurting all the matters out right then.
"What sort of matters would you have to discuss with a prince that hasn't been seen in years. And thought to be dead." The dragon's voice was tight and the fairies were now flying away at the agitation hiding underneath the careful tone. Myungjun wondered if the dragon was affected by their magic as well.
"You're the only one in Edgewater that would have said that." Myungjun smiled triumphantly. "Everyone else doesn't even know the prince exists. And my mission is to gain your aid in findiing him. I have order to restore and for that I'll need Prince Jinwoo." He paused hoping he hadn't said to much. There was more but that was all he was allowed to tell anyone that was not the prince.
"Is that how it is?" The dragon's voice was low, soft and full of emotions Myungjun wasn't able to put a name too. If he weren't mistaken he would have said the dragon was saddened by this information. After a moment the dragon shifted again the fairies now dancing around Myungjun as it looked down at him. "What do you want with the prince?"
Myungjun swallowed nervously the feeling of compulsion stronger than before and the words bubbling up. "I..." He shook his head forcefully as night settled in around them. He knew the moon would be raising soon and it was probably his only hope to getting back to camp. If he was going to make it back to camp. But he couldn't lie and he couldn't hold back anymore so he only hoped his answer did not anger the dragon.
"I have been given the mission to help Prince Jinwoo overthrow my half sister and relcaim the kingdom." He looked down at his lyre as he spoke not wanting to give away how impossible he felt the mission was. "I first need to find Prince Jinwoo and convince him to help me. She's my half sister and his step mother. Which according to my Grandmother makes her our problem." It felt dumb saying it out loud but it also felt more real. The responsibility that was bestowed upon him just because of a marriage he'd never really approved of to begin with. And Prince Jinwoo was in the same boat.
At his words the dragon nodded sagely and lowered itself so that it was now resting it's head on it's paws. Myungjun found it cute and cursed himself for it as now was not the time, had never been the time and not a with a dragon for sure. But there wasn't much he could do about it so instead he waited for a reply watching the moonlight as it started to cast over the land.
"The words you speak are true." The dragon let out a smoke ring looking up at the sky. "You don't need to look further for the Prince Jinwoo either." The moonlight landed on the dragon as it spoke and Myungjun felt magic stir in the air, his sister's magic. The dragon was now being wrapped in moonlight, blindingly bright.
Myungjun held his breath. If his sister had meant to killl Prince Jinwoo, which knowing her she did, she must have failed. There as a loophole in magic that would have saved him and he was looking at it. A pure soul was only able to be changed by magic it could not be destoryed or killed by it. Magic wasn't strong enough. Suddenly the fairies made sense, the appearance of a dragon that was supposed to be extinct made sense, and why Prince JInwoo was forgotten. There was one revealer of all magic, moonlight with it's pure and untainted inentions was able to reveal curses. Prince Jinwoo was under one and was now standing before him.
"You don't have to look any further." The dragon's voice was smaller now and didn't rumble but it was the same even when it came from human lips. "I am Prince Jinwoo."
Well this is finally edited.
Chapter 6: Dragon Prince Jinwoo
Wait we're on chapter six? Like how?
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Myungjun knew that it was rude to stare with your jaw open and flapping but he couldn't help it. One minute he'd been staring at a very large and very beautiful, ethereal dragon. Now he was staring at a somewhat short but equally beautiful and ethereal, and also very naked, Prince Jinwoo in it's place. But the dragon, well Prince Jinwoo didn't seem to notice as he went on as if nothing major had happened.
"So do you have proof of your mission?" The lips were moving and he knew words were coming out but it took the dragon Prince repeating them at least once for Myungjun to actually catch on to what he was saying. And even then he still found himself staring with a slack jaw because he hadn't really thought of that.
"Grandma didn't mention you'd be wanting proof." He finally said and instantly regretted opening his big mouth at the raised eyebrow and glare that got him. It had him lowering the lyre he hadn't realized he had raised. "Why are you asking now that you've already shown yourself anyway? It would be easier to kill you now you know." And Myungjun was cursing at himself again his eyes trying to stay pinned to the fairies as the dragon Prince crossed his arms obviously displeased with his answer. He knew it had been a dumb mission for a minstrel from the start.
"As you'd know being you are from Edgewood and possess magic if I were to leave the moonlight I'd turn back into a dragon soon enough." To his surprise Myungjun heard amusement in the voice instead of anger and he hazarded a look only to see bare shoulders shrugging and he found himself swallowing hard. This Prince Jinwoo was very handsome and it was obvious from the size of his shoulders that his arms were nothing to scoff at. "So what proof do you have?"
Myungjun swallowed drumming his fingers on the lyre it was certainly distracting to have Prince Jinwoo naked as he kept squeezing his arms together. And it was already hard enough to think with how other worldly handsome he was to begin with. "I didn't realize I'd need any." He admittedly finally after his eyes wandered further down than he wanted them to. He wasn't interested in men but magical beauty was enchanting to all genders. "Were you always this handsome?" He found the words slipping from his tongue just as he thought them and he glared at the fairies responsible before glancing back at the Prince who seemed unaffected save the shift of his feet. "Either way I don't have any proof."
"If you don't have proof why should I believe you aren't here to kill me?" The question was reasonable and Myungjun thought about it a moment following the movement of Prince Jinwoo's arm. It was distracting because of the magic he told himself dropping the lyre completely this time letting it rest against his neck before unclasping his cloak.
"Look before we talk business wear this. It's distracting with you standing there all naked. Don't you own any clothes?" He sighed stepping forward wrapping the cloak around the shorter male clasping it before stepping back happy to see that it covered everything. He smiled at his handiwork even though the fairies chittered at him pulling at the material of the hood in the back.
"I spend most of my time as a dragon what do you think?" The amusement was back in his voice and Myungjun grimaced at the facts. It might be a little weird for him to have clothes when he had to be literally bathed in moonlight to even appear human again. "Now as to your mission, our supposed mission of stopping my step mother, your step sister what proof do you have?"
Myungjun wanted to sigh even though he'd put the cloak on him the Prince's beauty was still distracting but he let it go. There was no proof, he'd only grown up hearing about it as his mission. That it would be their mission as her family to stop her. As they were the only ones that knew her. It was then that he remembered the details of the curse and his salvation. And why his Grandma had told him that only he should know this detail of the mission. "The fact I know of Prince Jinwoo after crossing the border should be proof enough. Everyone who steps foot in Edgewater forgets you, and everyone who already lived here has forgotten you."
The Prince was silent for a moment rubbing his chin in thought and Myungjun had to look away again. At this point he was questioning if it was the magic or if it was the fact he'd grown up hearing about the Prince. He looked oddly familiar as well. He shoved all thoughts aside though trying to focus only on the thoughts at hand as it seemed the fairies were going to start picking and choosing what would slip out without his consent now instead of just all the truths. Or he wondered if it worked like that. It was his first time hearing of or running into a fairy with this ability.
"I suppose that is proof enough." The dragon Prince finally spoke and Myungjun nodded slowly this was progress now the next step was to talk the knight out of his mission and to get them to all join forces to overthrow the Queen. However they were going to do that, because as it stood right now moonlight was fading and this meant that he was going to have to find a work around. "So do you have a plan?" The Prince finally asked after a long moment of silence in which he'd studied him closely. "From the looks of it you weren't even equipped for taking on a dragon."
"Well no not really." Myungjun admitted readily knowing he couldn't really deny it. "I am trying form a plan, I hadn't really expected you to be a dragon...have you ever been near a moonstone?" He asked aloud staring at the shorter male the pieces falling into place. He knew that if this idea paid off then he wouldn't have to tell Rocky they were traveling with the dragon he was supposed to slay for whatever reason.
"What's a moonstone?" The dragon Prince's tone was serious and Myungjun had to keep himself from sighing and breaking down at that. Edgewater was certainly a different place if they didn't even know about moonstones even though they were mined in Astro.
"A moonstone is a stone that stores the power of the moon. Theoretically if we had one big enough we might be able to keep you human and then my companion probably won't try to kill you." Myungjun was really starting to hate fairy magic as he held up his hands before the dragon Prince could be angered. "Ok, so I'm traveling with a knight who is out to slay the dragon, well you. But before you freak even if the moonstone doesn't work I'm sure he can be reasoned with."
The Prince's eyebrow was raised again but his lips were pursed. Pinched in a way that told Myungjun he didn't believe him. Not that he could blame him this whole situation was pretty unbelievable. "Surely you had a plan to dissuade him from killing me when you found me." Myungjun nodded slowly it wasn't like he couldn't see that point of view.
"I did...but I hadn't been expecting this order of events. I mean he is currently flirting with one of the fairies as we speak." That at least deflated the Prince some and he thought for a moment. Things were suddenly moving fast. He thought that finding the dragon was step one but suddenly he was on step eight with no preparation for it. And a very beautiful dragon Prince Jinwoo staring him down expecting one.
I'm in the same boat as Myungjun how did we get here? And where are we going? Also I'm not sure if I'll refer to Jinwoo as Prince, dragon Prince, Prince Jinwoo, or just Jinwoo. I'll figure out what I like better and fix it throughout later.
Chapter 7: Moonbin the moody
Okay so this was only loosely plotted to begin with but...I have no idea what I'm doing. Never have. That said sorry it's turning into a train wreck.
Myungjun wasn't sure how Prince Jinwoo had managed to convince him this was a good idea, because he knew it surely wasn't. But here he was doing it anyway. Which when he really stopped to think about it leaning against a tree almost out of breath, instead of following the fairy Moonbin who was guiding him, that was the story of the whole mission to begin with. He didn't get to think about it much more as before he could even take a third breath the fairy was flying back to him crossing it's arms exaggeratedly and giving him a glare. It was obvious that the fairy was not a big fan of his at the moment. Which was understandable as it had been forced to leave the cave and guide him back to the fairy that was flirting with the knight.
It took an exorbitant amount of time, or what at least felt like it to reach the place where Rocky had sworn up and down was the best to make camp. Where it turned out Rocky was finally busy at work setting up camp while the fairy chittered and attempted to help how it could. The look Moonbin was giving him the moment they passed the trees had Myungjun almost cackling, but only almost. Because he wasn't sure who he was more upset with the fairy for obviously being smitten with a human, or the human for obviously being smitten by the fairy. It didn't take even more than a glance to see it on either of their faces.
Myungjun stopped the fairy he was with putting up a hand blocking him. He had a mission after all and having it out with the fairy or the knight was just a waste of precious moonlight. Moonlight they needed to make this ludicrous plan Prince Jinwoo had plausible. Even if it meant letting this inter species love fest go on, it wasn't hurting anyone. Instead he stepped through the trees slowly announcing his presence in the way he'd arranged with Rocky that wouldn't get a sword to his throat.
He was greeted with a fairy to the face for his troubles and a dying of laughter knight. Which was all well and good but Moonbin needed to calm down before he no longer had the chance to explain. Which when he was finally able to took roughly forty-five minutes and then another chunk of equal time to pack up camp. Which he was already surprised happened that quickly.
Luckily for all of them the trip back to the cave didn't include finding it by the feel of magic. Or any really fast pacing because Moonbin was incessantly worried about the other fairy. Whose name he'd been informed was Sanha by Rocky who had found that fairy was really easy to pick up on. Myungjun begged to differ but kept that opinion to himself because it kept Moonbin off his back. Which was nice. Because the not so short stint over didn't endear him to the fairy. Or maybe it had something to do with calling Prince Jinwoo beautiful but not the fairy.
Either way Myungjun was saved from having to explain anything himself as they walked. The cave was just up ahead though and there was a warning he did need to give. "Before we enter the clearing you need to know the Prince is very handsome and very naked under my cloak." The knight was giving him a funny look and Myungjun wondered how much the fairy explained. Either way it was important information he was handing out.
"The important thing is that the fairy we're about to meet has an ability to make you honest. And to blurt out what you're honestly thinking. So I'm just warning you." The knight nodded but he no longer felt like it was important. It wasn't like Rocky couldn't save his own skin. "Just keep it in mind." Myungjun then allowed them to cross the tree line and found himself instantly wondering why he'd wasted his breath.
"He's not as handsome as you said he is." Those were the first words out of the knight's mouth when they stepped up to the Prince. Myungjun could only run a hand over his face. This was a great start.
Chapter 8: Eunwoo the Mom
Ok so I know where we're going...sorta? I think I know where we're going I know our final destination at least. How we're getting there? I don't know. Please tell Socky to calm down so I can think it over instead of having to write them flirting.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Much to Myungjun's relief it was not Prince Jinwoo that responded to the knight's less than polite greeting instead it was the fairy that had stayed behind. He'd been told his name was Eunwoo and it was his magic that set up the truth field as the Prince called it. He responded by flying over to the knight's face, crossing his arms, and chittering at him. Myungjun found himself watching through his fingers as it looked like the fairy was giving him a real stern talking to.
"Sorry," Was all the knight said when the fairy finally stopped and to almost everyone's present surprise the knight then bowed low to the ground, knee bent and head down. "That was disrespectful of me.” To which the fairy Eunwoo nodded his head slowly in approval and Sanha the fairy Rocky had for better or worse been flirting with chittered at him petulantly. “I am Rocky a knight of the kingdom of Edgewater.” The look said that Rocky wasn’t nearly as apologetic as his tone but that wasn’t quite surprising as no one in Edgewater had heard of Prince Jinwoo in at least a few years now.
“It’s fine.” The Prince’s eyes were calculating and Myungjun couldn’t help feeling maybe he was out of the loop with this one. If there was a loop to be in outside of the ‘I can talk to fairies like it’s the easiest thing in the world’ loop he wanted to be in it. But he didn’t ask because posing his question right now wasn’t going to do anything for the Prince’s plan. Because the moonlight was only going to last so long and he already thought it was a weak plan to begin with. “So what has you going after a dragon by yourself?”
Myungjun found himself staring open mouthed at the Prince then he glanced at Eunwoo and remembered his magic. There really wasn’t a way for Prince Jinwoo to avoid it either it seemed, or at least not while he was human. He couldn’t speak for the dragon form as while dragons didn’t exist anymore, at least not publically they did have magic. Much stronger magic than fairies which was probably what drew the fairies to him in the first place.
“I have someone to avenge. I…” Rocky paused and glanced at Myungjun and for once it felt like maybe the knight was about to open up about things he’d refused to share so far. Instead the knight scratched the back of his neck looking away from both of them as he got to his feet. “It’s going to sound a little crazy.” He admitted and Myungjun wondered which part of their adventure so far hadn’t been crazy. But they both nodded anyway when he glanced back at them. “I knew the prince before, I’m not sure which kingdom you’re from but the dragon attacked the castle, killing the Prince of this kingdom and taking all his gold. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t been close friends with the Prince and been there that night.”
Myungjun looked at the young knight again and blinked. He shouldn’t be able to remember that, he glanced at the fairy Sanha and the sympathetic look on his face. Eunwoo was also looking sorrowful while Moonbin had flown off checking the parameter. Suddenly Rocky didn’t make as much sense as he should have since it was very uncommon for fairy to find interest in a human, let alone his emotions. He shoved those thoughts aside for now. He could figure out what was up with Rocky later.
“You’re wrong.” Prince Jinwoo started trying to keep his words in check as well as his emotions as he spoke. “The dragon never attacked anyone and neither did he steal the Prince’s inheritance. That has been squandered away on wars. I am the Prince of this kingdom, I’ve been cursed to appear as a dragon except in the moonlight. My own people have forgotten me. I’m surprised you still remember me Rocky.”
“Remember you?” The knight’s face was etched with confusion and Myungjun resisted running his hand over his face. If he’d known this was part of the Prince’s plan he’d have explained that the knight was occasionally really dense. Though they hadn’t really discussed more of the plan than bring the knight over while he was still in human form.
“I’m the Prince of this kingdom. Prince Jinwoo. You were my best friend growing up from the house of Faye, one of the only magically inclined houses in all of Edgewater. You wouldn’t remember me well because of the curse. But I believe that your magical heritage allowed you to retain some of your memories.” Myungjun found himself nodding along to that logic it made perfect sense. Magic wasn’t as easily cast over those that possessed magic and his step sister’s spell probably hadn’t taken into account any magic users in the castle. Edgewater wasn’t known for having very many magic users to begin with.
“I don’t think I can believe you on that.” The knight’s voice wasn’t firm and Eunwoo chittered at him only making the frown on his face grow more. Though he couldn’t understand what the fairy was saying it was obvious from Rocky’s reaction it was backing up the Prince’s words. Myungjun tried not to blink too much when Rocky began chittering back in a way that sounded like heavily accented fairy but accurate nonetheless. The Prince however did not blink or even react.
Myungjun couldn’t take not being in the fairy speaking club anymore as the conversation continued with the Prince jumping in at some point all three of them making hand gestures he couldn’t help but think were about him. “Okay look I don’t speak fairy here.” He cut in and to his surprise all eyes turned him. He cleared his throat forcefully and continued. “But considering the fairy magic that Eunwoo possesses wouldn’t it be logical to say that Prince Jinwoo here is telling the truth and that so is Rocky?”
“The magic only works if one isn’t so convinced that their version of the truth is correct.” Myungjun took a step back at the knowledge in Rocky’s tone and wondered when the younger had learned more about fairy magic than him. “Sanha warned me before we came here.” That earned both the knight and blonde fairy a dirty look from Eunwoo. “The problem is that I can’t remember enough very well and while Eunwoo might be able to say the Prince is telling the truth I can’t say he is.”
“Well...I don’t see why not.” Myungjun shook his head the knight was finally using his head but for the wrong reasons. And on the wrong issues. “He’s telling the truth. I wasn’t supposed to share this with anyone else but since it seems we’re all in this together now there’s no reason to hold back.” He sighed at the headache he already had from thinking too hard about why this would even be an issue with truth magic. Though considering Rocky was missing memories it did make a little sense. “Prince Jinwoo here is my step-brother-in-law technically as my step-sister is the Queen. I’ve been tasked with a mission, not to kill the dragon but to join forces with Prince Jinwoo here and take down my sister. I was sent out by my grandmother who's been telling me this would be my mission in life since forever now.”
Rocky blinked at this and the Prince stood with a straight line where his mouth had been. It was probably not how he wanted to go about bringing in his old best friend but it wasn’t like Myungjun could lift the curse on him. No that would require breaking the entire curse. Something that Myungjun wasn’t capable of from here. For that there were conditions to be met that he’d have to discover while working his way through it. His grandmother hadn’t a clue and the only clues so far were Prince Jinwoo’s pure soul and the dragon bit.
“I still don’t know that I can trust this fairy magic.” Rocky was looking between him and the Prince and Myungjun sighed again. This wasn’t going any better than he thought it would. As the knight was stubborn, more stubborn about things he shouldn’t worry about than the things that mattered. A problem of youth he knew, but still a problem.
“Well it’s not like you’ll remember if he told you things you did together. You can already barely recall what happened right?” Myungjun sighed this called for his own brand of magic which was going to be draining he was sure but he could get it done and then they could figure out a plan in the morning. When Rocky nodded he pulled up his lyre. “Since that’s the case I’ll use the magic I have to show you what happened okay. For this I need both of you to think only of that night.”
“Why both of us?” Prince Jinwoo was giving him an appraising look but he ignored it and the tongue that licked lips that were entirely too distracting to the concentration level this magic required. It was normally only used on one not two.
“Look if you both think about that night I’ll play the melody of it and the events will play out before us.” He sighed this was going to be exhausting just trying to tap into the memories they both held since neither possessed enough magic for him to tap into. But it would probably help shape up the events of that night and if he were extremely lucky, like really, really lucky it might help Rocky break his curse on his own.
They both frowned at him but did as he said for which he was grateful at least when he picked up on the two tunes that came from them. When his fingers found the first chord he allowed himself to float away with the magic. This was highly illegal in Edgewater, which was why he didn’t care for the kingdom much but he paid it no mind as the images started to spring to life. The fairies danced through them as they built a castle, the Queen and King, Prince Jinwoo when he was younger by a few years. Rocky was there as well the dischord finding it’s way into the music the less their memories matched but he found the proper order as he played. He could hear the two gasping at the ethereal magic that displayed what they had seen. He didn’t need to open his eyes to know what was there.
When he finally stopped playing the scene played out he felt the sweat on his brow and saw that both of them were seated, the light of the moon was now fading. The night was wearing on and he felt weaker than he ever had before. He wasn’t sure who caught him when he nearly fell to the side when his lyre fell around his neck. The voice in his ear was soothing though and the smell of whoever it was pleasant. They felt safer than they probably should have considering he’d known neither of the two long. Still though he couldn’t resist the pull of rest that had his eyes closing and the magic taking it’s toll on his limbs. He was sure anything that wasn’t settled was now. It had to be after his performance. But he wasn’t going to be able to stay awake to find out and gentle hands laid him to rest somewhere nice as the exhaustion took him under.
On a serious note I didn't mean to stretch the days out so far. I just write until it feels like an okay stopping point. That's really how I do all my writing though.
Also I'll be going back to edit here soon... Maybe before next update? Don't count it against me if I don't. I'd rather have a beta on this one honestly.
Chapter 9: Plan
Surprise I finally know what I'm doing. Sort of.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
When Myungjun woke up he half expected to be propped up against a tree, sore, and still feeling pretty drained. A very common way to wake up after using his magic if he were honest, though he was usually the one that put himself there. There had only been one time he’d ever used his magic to the point of exhaustion in front of another person, that had been his Grandmother. It had also been before he knew his limits.
As it were whatever he was up against this morning was not a tree. It was entirely too warm, too cool, and too smooth. He would be lying to himself if he were to think it wasn’t oddly comfortable anyway. But he couldn’t stay like this, with the sun beating into face from wherever it was hanging in the sky. From the amount of warmth it was trying to shine right into his eyes he’d say it was approaching midday.
“Finally awake?” The knight’s voice was easily recognizable and Myungjun resisted the urge to groan about it. No matter what time of day it was the knight’s voice wouldn’t change, deep and mellow steadfast like the rocks he got his name from. Myungjun resisted cursing at him that he could sound a little more chipper and instead sat up a little more. He could feel the weariness in his bones as he shifted, pulling his knees up towards and removing his cloak from his lap. He wasn’t prepared for when whatever he’d been leaning against pulled away.
“OH shi…” He stopped himself just in time at the glare that Eunwoo was shooting his way. Wings beating a mile a minute in front of his face as he began chittering at him. Myungjun resisted another curse and instead got up to stretch not really surprised to see that he’d been leaned up against the Prince. Though it didn’t stop the heat from raising on his cheeks or the nervous laughter that escaped his lips when said Prince looked back at him. Long neck gleaming in the sunlight and white kind eyes inspecting him.
Eunwoo was chittering again but Myungjun looked at Rocky who shrugged back at him. Which was entirely helpful rolling his eyes he wrapped himself in his cloak moving towards Prince Jinwoo’s head, still a few feet from him. “Thank you. You could have leaned me against the cave.” His voice had cracked somewhere in the middle and he knew it was because even in the mostly dim light of the cave, save where sunlight fell on his neck, Prince Jinwoo’s dragon form was breathtaking.
“It’s not a problem. Being near me should have helped with the magical fatigue. Which is what Eunwoo is trying to ask you about.” Prince Jinwoo’s smile was no less charming in dragon form, even if it was full of teeth, than it was in human form. Myungjun had to pause for a moment to even comprehend what had been said to him he was so distracted by it. The Prince only smiled wider while Eunwoo crossed his arms waiting.
“Oh uh...Now that you mention it.” He paused thinking about how he felt, which besides wanting to sleep a little bit longer and soreness was decent. Much better than when he’d been younger and woken up with magic fatigue back then he’d wanted to be sick for hours after waking up. And spent at least a day doing nothing but sleeping. “I feel pretty good actually considering I definitely hit my limit there.” He felt like his smile might be a little too wide when Prince Jinwoo’s eyes grinned back at him and Eunwoo flew back a pace.
“That’s good. Thank you for showing us.” Rocky was stepping back inside the cave now, sword ready at his side and a look in his eyes Myungjun recognized. It was aimed at the dragon who returned it. Apparently they’d talked and made up while he was out cold and dead to the world. Which was nice because he wasn’t sure he wanted to sit through reunion stories. Which were probably just as awkward as Rocky’s thanks had been. It was understandable though considering what the knight training would have put him through under his step sister.
Somehow a stilted conversation started as Myungjun devoured the fruits and dried meat that the knight offered him. The Prince disclosing that he and that fairy alike did not particularly care for meat in general. Which then led to the discovery, for Rocky and himself at least what dragons ate. Which was a surprising let down watching the giant dragon feast on fruits and talk about magic conversion and that being the reason that dragons were extinct to begin with. If they truly were.
While enlightening as the day approached evening Myungjun knew that it was more important to come up with a plan than to become familiar. As all the soreness had drained from his body as the hours passed and the food did it’s job. “You asked me if I had a plan.” He started even though it was little awkward and out of the blue in the silence that had fallen over them. The Prince nodded at him slowly, white eyes staring at him. It felt a little bit like they were seeing into his soul from this vantage point but he ignored it. Who knew what being a dragon did for the Prince?
“I don’t have one but I have an idea for the start of one.” Which he was willing to admit to himself was more than he ever thought he’d have. This was after all a very stupid mission from the beginning. He realized two seconds later that all eyes were on him, including the three fairies who had otherwise spent all their time chatting with the knight. Sighing to himself he looked down at the bag he brought with him at his feet. The cave was easily big enough for all of them to sit with a small fire at the entryway which was where they were now. “It might be better to show you an example.”
Rummaging through his bag he pulled out a small vial of pixie dust he’d collected on his journey and held up a stone next to it without them touching. It wasn’t the type of stone he wanted to use but the example of stone magic was really all he needed. “This stone is obsidian.” He shook the stone in his hand. “This,” He shook the vial which glittered in the firelight.”Is pixie dust. Neither of which are very rare back in my hometown but when you put them together,” He and the fairies were the only ones not to gasp when the pixie dust, originally a deep black changed colors to a deep violet. “You get a reaction. This is called stone magic.”
“Stone magic?” It was Prince Jinwoo who spoke tilting his head closer for a better look. Myungjun forcefully reminded himself to breathe as he held the vial closer showcasing the change. “What does it mean?”
Rocky was beside him now staring at the vial as well and one look told him he was wondering about the fairy dust. Myungjun sighed this explanation might take some time but if they agreed to his idea it just might work out in the end. “Stone magic,” He started pulling the stone away from the pixie dust which reverted back to it’s original color. “Is a type of magic that causes changes in other items as long as the stone is touching it. Like the color of this pixie dust changed while the obsidian was touching the glass. However if you pour the pixie dust on the stone directly it would fuse to the stone creating art. Or depending on your brand of magic a better ingredient.”
One glance told Myungjun that Rocky was already gone but the fairies around him were paying more attention. He didn’t dare glance at the Prince for fear of losing his train of thought. Instead he opened the pixie dust, he didn’t need much for this example anyway. “See if I pour just a little,” He sprinkled a little on the edge of the large stone he carried and it fused instantly creating a spiral of violet that seemed to be spouting from the rock. “It ends up like this. Which can be used in many potions by witches or just looks neat. That’s the basics of stone magic.” He shrugged. There were other uses of the items separately as well but together they were a stronger magic.
Rocky was nodding now and Myungjun could make out Sanha’s chittering into his ear. Fairies didn’t often use stone magic but it would be logical for them to know of it, at least the uses of their own fairy dust and stones. Those reactions were a lot more volatile and sought after. “Okay...I think I get it.” Myungjun wasn’t sure if Rocky was talking to the fairy or him but he nodded anyway hazarding a glance at Prince Jinwoo. He was flapping a wing restlessly as he thought causing small dust eddies on the other side of the cave.
“What does this have to do with your plan?” The Prince asked after a long pause in which Myungjun put away the supplies cutting the spiral off and stowing it away in a free pouch. The spiral itself might prove useful later. Though most of whatever his grandmother insisted he bring had only so far been a bigger weight in his pack than useful.
“That’s stone magic at it’s core.” Myungjun shook his head he doubted they would have seen the importance right away. It was an easy concept to grasp until you actually started applying it to things. “From there it gets more complicated and complex depending on what stone you use and what you use it on. Do you remember me mentioning moonstone?” The knight was giving him a funny look now but he paid it no mind as the Prince nodded at him. “A moonstone is a special type of stone that when left in the moonlight stores the magic of the moon.” He smiled widely as Eunwoo began to chitter rapidly at him and not for the first time since they’d met did he wish he could understand them.
“I don’t get it.” Myungjun might have slapped the knight but he wasn’t talking to him he was talking to Eunwoo. So was the Prince when he glanced at him all of the ones able to speak fairy chittering wildly. He found himself remembering the only things he’d been warned about on his journey by his grandmother. It hadn’t been the dragon, it had been fairies. She’d warned him time and time again that there was no way to learn fairy unless you’re born with the gift. That he should under no circumstances attempt any magic that tempted him to try. He understood why now.
“ANYWAY.” He cleared his throat. “I don’t understand fairy.” All of their eyes were on him again this time in sympathy. He paid it no mind instead getting to his point. “Now that we’re on the same page this means that if we can find a moonstone big enough, or one that can hold enough moonlight, we can make you wear it. And as long as it’s touching you while charged with moonlight you should be able to go around as human.” He looked at the Prince now who was smiling widely then to the knight who was nodding his own smile forming.
“This plan just might work.” The two said together and Myungjun beamed. Of course there were a lot of variables in how they were going to acquire a moonstone that large or that powered up but those could wait until they actually got near moonstones. After all not all magic was compatible with stone magic and curses were fickle. The likelihood of it working was high though because of the curse his step sister had cast. It was a failed curse which meant it was more susceptible to loopholes.
All thoughs appreicated. Even if it's just to say it's ridiculous (of which I'm aware)
Chapter 10: Prep
Next chapter we'll finally be getting into the meat of things again. Though I don't think there are too many chapters of this left at this point.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
A plan was born within hours of talking about moonstones. It wasn't a perfect plan or maybe even a good one all things considered but it was a plan. Myungjun knew they could information about magical stones in Astro they were after all known for stones in Edgewood. They would travel by day through the forest, because having a dragon was only useful then. Prince Jinwoo wasn't better than another target. While he'd once been trained in swords that knowledge and skill was gone from lack of practice.
Myungjun sighed settling down for the night had taken longer than he thought. Prince Jinwoo insisted on staying up in the moonlight again. Which Myungjun didn't really think was an advisable course of action. It might had have something to do with knowing he'd be naked and nearby and entirely too beautiful to look away from. Rocky thought he was crazy, and he was inclined to for once agree with the knight. It was crazy to care. It was also crazy to find the Prince so insanely attractive but he wasn't about to go into that.
Instead he argued the point that they had a long way to go in the morning. Because travelling at night was not safer. Not with the route they would be taking which avoided any towns until they reached the town of Astro. Which was at least twenty days of travel at this point but it was likely to end being considerably more. Rocky also helpfully pointed out that his mission wasn't entirely unofficial just that he hadn't been assigned to the hunting party. Though the hunting party was travelling much slower as there were at least fifteen soldiers and three knights in the party.
In the end he consented to an hour of moonlight and forced the Prince to use his cloak so that he didn’t have to worry about getting flashed. Which didn’t actually prevent anything as Prince Jinwoo had apparently let go of any decency he’d had as a prince and the inhibitions that came with while living alone. And the only thing that saved Myungjun from having to answer unavoidable questions or even blurting out his thoughts and feelings in the moment was his decision to reorganize his pack.Otherwise the flashes of bare thigh and a smile too sincere and wide might have gotten him different kinds of trouble than the mission warranted.
The knight on the other hand went about collecting as much food stores as they could carry, they’d bind them to Prince Jinwoo’s back in the morning. It would make it that much easier to travel at least with the amount of supplies they would be needing. There was at least an abundance of vegetation on the route they were planning to take. Though Myungjun knew that there was also a higher risk of wild animals, knights, and his sister sensing them once they left the cave. He hadn’t noticed it earlier but the cave was in a perfect position to set up fairy traps. Traveling wouldn’t give them the luxury.
When the hour finally ended there was another problem at hand. Sleeping arrangements and setting up guards. It wasn’t something they needed to worry about yet but having it discussed and decided upon was a better idea than waiting until the moment it was needed. After a short discussion they decided upon the guard duty order with Prince Jinwoo taking first shift so they could protect his human form. And one of the first orders of business was going to be getting clothes for him Myungjun decided the more they discussed the issue. He couldn’t help thinking to himself that this meant the night before he’d been laid up against a very naked Prince Jinwoo for at least twenty minutes before he’d reverted back into a dragon.
Pushing any untoward thoughts aside he made them all settle in. The fairies with the Prince, himself and knight in their usual arrangement of backs facing each other at least three feet away. It was an alright set up as it allowed the dragon plenty of room and fairies would be able to protect the dragon at night if anything were to happen. It wouldn’t while they were at the cave but that wasn’t what they were preparing for.
Even with everything planned out Myungjun found it hard to sleep, a niggling sense of he’d forgotten something attacking him everytime he closed his eyes. He felt like it was something important that his grandmother had warned him about. Which really in the long run hadn’t been much of anything. She’d given him a lot of advice, a lot of items to take with him, and very few warnings. The only one he could remember clearly was about learning fairy, which if he were honest with himself he didn’t even really want to know. It would be nice to join into the conversations that they consistently kept having over his head but at the same time he wasn’t sure he wanted to know what Moonbin was always whispering to Eunwoo.
Eventually he did drift off into a fitful sleep that left him sore in the morning when he woke up against Prince Jinwoo with no recollection how he’d gotten there. It wasn’t until then the warning he’d forgotten drifted back to him. The image of his grandmother’s wizened face and her shaking finger in his face. The wide eyes she had and the soft smile that had him forgetting it had even been a warning. She’d told him he’d fall in love on this mission, it was a love that was going to walk through several trails but he was going to risk it all anyway. The warning only came back as he stared up at Prince Jinwoo’s white gleaming neck, turning towards him as it had the morning before. The morning greeting was returned and Myungjun found himself running out of the cave into the sunlight with the excuse he needed to use the latrine.
It hit him full force when he broke the treeline that his grandmother had been warning him about falling in love because it was going to happen quickly. As if it was love at first sight, a type of rare love that in magic circles was known to be a curse as much as a blessing. Because love at first sight between magic users was a love that usually defied all odds by being true love. Which unlike in the fairy tales of the non-magic users true love did not break curses it generally had the opposite effect of keeping them in place. Which meant his plan for the moonstone was the only one they could actually count on working unless he could get his step sister to reverse the curse on her own.
It took him a whole thirty minutes to return to the cave his mind weighed down this knowledge not to mention his feelings. Feelings he wasn’t sure he could express as he looked up at the dragon who was smiling down at him. The dragon who had the same kind of feelings for him blooming somewhere within he was sure, as that’s how true loved worked with magic users. It was nice knowing that his feelings would be returned if they weren’t yet, but it also formed a lump in his throat about how to break the news to Prince Jinwoo in the distant future.
For now he wasn’t going to do anything. They had a mission to accomplish and it was important. More important than the way his heart swelled at the sight of the Prince walking through the trees, graceful and adapt despite his size. Rocky on the other hand was surrounded by the fairies watching them carefully as they took the quickest path to the town of Tulia to acquire clothing and a few extra supplies. They’d already decided to wait until moon rise to bring Jinwoo with them into town wearing one of the few extra sets of pants that Myungjun owned. Of course when they’d made the plan and set out they hadn’t anyway of knowing that nothing was going to go to plan.
Well what did you think?