Pifrewn

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“Silence is needed for focus, but sound is too. So I shut my ears, to all noise that comes from you.” Ashley all but collapsed into laughter when her teacher started yelling at her. He did order her to perform a spontaneous spell after he caught her napping, it wasn’t her fault that shutting him up was the first idea that came to her mind.

However, her mother would punish her severely for “harassing her tutors.” Ashley snorted at the thought. To her they were all the same pompous old men who all thought they were better than her because she was a girl and Ashley wouldn’t put up with their attitudes. Still, she couldn’t but help but smile at her handiwork; it was a shame that she would have to remove it before her mother came to check up on her.

“Opinions are valid, no matter who they come from. I am willing to listen, but I promise not.” Upon finishing the incantation, Ashley instantly regretted it. Her mother’s voice never got as shrill as her old fart of a tutor’s could.

“I should go to her Majesty immediately! The nerve of you! I am the eldest of the Elders on the High Magus council! I have not been subject to such impudence since I was an apprentice! For a mere chit of a girl to do so is inconceivable! Who dared to teach you to do such disrespectful actions towards your elders? Spit it out now, if you know what’s good for you!” The tutor had only a moment for breath before Ashley had him pinned to a wall.

“You ordered me to perform a spontaneous spell so, as your respectful student,” If someone had offered the suspended tutor an ultimatum of escape that instant by fighting on the frontier or remaining where he was, he would have gone straight to frontier. The humid slaughter house would have been preferable to the frigid anger that froze his protests and electrifying tension that threw him on edge.
“I did. You demanded to be heard, so I reversed the spell. You threatened me with my mother, Queen of Pifrewn, and I remained quiet. However, I did all this on my own.” Ashley didn’t even bother to hide her murderous thoughts. She didn’t have the patience to waste coddling the tutor who couldn’t see far enough past his achievements to realize what anyone else was doing.
“I have more power than all of your precious council combined, and a much shorter temper. You would do best to remember that the only reason you still stand is because I do not wish to expand the effort to hire another worthless tutor.”
As Ashley backed away from the man, she was satisfied to find that she managed to beat some humility into him. No one would ever think to say that a woman was less than a man, or even insinuate it, by the time Ashley finished her apprenticeship if she had anything to say about it.
Luckily, Ashley was taken away from her obsessive thoughts away from how she would change her world by approaching footsteps. She wouldn’t have been surprised to see her self-righteous mother or manipulative father glide into the room, but was pleasantly surprised to have her older brother leaning in the door way.
“Dear sister, I believe that father would be quite willing to replace your tutor if he displeases you so much.” The mischievous grin that lit up Arawyn’s roughened features filled Ashley with infinite joy, which became laughter and she did not hesitate to hurl herself into her brother’s embrace. After spending years on the western frontier, taking control over the troops that were left behind after Commander Zing deserted, her dear brother was finally home again.
“Dear brother! Must we talk of dreadful tutors now? You are safely home at last, surely you have so much news to share?”Ashley paused, removing herself from her brother’s arms to stand across from him, giving her brother a chance to respond to her hint before launching her questions in rapid succession.
“What was the frontier like? Are there truly monsters out there that eat their own? Are the people really savage from being isolated from the rest of the kingdom for so long? Did you crush the enemy’s forces? Do they honestly perform blood rights before each battle? Please tell me all about it.” Ashley couldn’t suppress her glow of happiness as she bounced with her excitement. She could barely wait for her brother to tell her what his past ten years had been like, she had missed him so much.
“I fear that not only does the frontier have the Vircapetos, but the Zaneka have joined forces with them.” Arawyn’s entire body slumped to the floor as he remembered the monsters that decimated his entire legion.
“I would rather not discuss the horrors of war today, dear sister.” Arawyn gave Ashley such a sad smile that she felt her guilt rise as she realized that she put it there by asking about the frontier. She never meant to hurt her brother.
“Instead, I would be delighted if you told me about what has happened here while I was gone.” Ashley, determined not to disappoint her brother, gave him her best smile as she prepared to tell him of how her life went while he was on the frontier.





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