Water I.I – Sans Immersion
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Should I start moving the improved storylines over to the main file?
  • Keep them here until the world building is finished, and the story elements are filled out. Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Restrict to final product (Only transfer stable chapters: no longer subject to changes.) Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Port them over steadily (Cue the chapters that are up to par.) Votes: 0 0.0%
Total voters: 0
I held this one back for quite awhile.  There are others like it.  The scenes didn't hit the quality that resonates with me, and I'm inclined to recast them.  That said, we're all drafts here.  If there's a place for alternative makes and dropouts, this is it.  That's what this file is here for.

Not that splicing traffic does much good, but maybe a poll?  If the chapters are up to par, should I shift them over to the main file?

I woke to the gentle whisper of the shore.  A breeze crept and whirled across the room, rustling my hair, and tickling my brow with a mess of dust bunnies.

Shielding my eyes, I sat up and composed myself.  My mind was still cloudy.  Warmth and shimmering may have tempted me to further pursue slumber, however the influence of that nightmare loomed large in my mind.

What felt like an eternity came to pass in a morning.  A faux awakening.  For once, despair was not a cause for release.  Was such a theme forgiven now?

I glanced over my arm, and scanned the room.  I fell asleep on the outskirts again.  The shed was sparsely furnished, and Ill equipped for proper habits.  Nevertheless, when times are touch, the sea never fails to calm me.  Memories of my previous life, and a reminder of what lies beyond the barrier.

It would seem that not all wish for sunshine and rainbows.  That is, if you believe in omens.

I do.  Every twist and turn in those dreams.  Every heart wrenching toll, and facet of my imagined morning.  These things have changed me.  My familiar.  My environment.  We can never know the true face of the world, but I will honor the lesson.

“How much time do I have?” I blinked awake as the habit fled my lips.  Glancing to the wall, where a marked frame met with a beam of sunlight, I stood up and chalked a mark at the center.

A touch earlier than normal.  I smiled, content with that verdict, however I wasted no time in retrieving my pack.  That much, I had the foresight to prepare.

Sand and sweat were deposited in a lowland spring.  A comb and handtower doing their best to dispel the worst in my hair.  The academy is extraordinarily forgiving about appearances and conduct.  That’s to say, reputation is on us, and I will not be mistaken as overworked.

Once I got past the mangroves, the roads erupted with activity.  Creatures of myth and folklore making their way toward town square.  Those that could be bothered.

This place is the home of the unicorns, as well as their archives.  The most developed and well protected library in the world.  Once a year, they host a convention.  The spirit academy.  Here, creatures from all over the world gather to pool their study and trade secrets with one another.

There is one condition.  Each student has a permanent familiar.  One contracted to them by a spirit lord.  They cannot depart from this familiar, nor the service of the lord for so long as they live.  This condition is a non issue for most magical creatures, who’s communities are built and raised on the guidance of spirits.

On the other end of the spectrum, humans never qualify.  We’re too dynamic.  From the moment we are reborn, alignments are formed and broken routinely.  We feed on a mixture of elements, only adopting spiritual arts through trial and error.

‘No plan ever survives the first contact.’

There is one exception though.  Its considered taboo, but the mystics have means to purge a soul’s contracts.  Basically, this creates a clean slate, and can bypass the barrier momentarily.

Absently, I tuck a lock of hair behind my ear.  Pointed, and shadowed by blue scales that race down my neck and cover my torso.  I still remember the day when I made that sacrifice.  It cost me my humanity, and reminded me of a very important aspect of this world.

Souls exist in all living things.  Animals, plants, spectres, machines.  The soul itself could be a part of anything.  The only reason that humans are normally reborn that way is- well...

I’ve already explained the human soul to you.  If you delve deeper, souls maintain a kind of moulding.  An orientation.  A presence.  It’s the same energy used to form the bond with the vessel, and why creatures aren’t inclined toward universal traits.

When they performed the ritual, I was told that I would need to redefine myself.  To use what was important to me to center myself.  Evidently, being humanoid was enough for my soul.

A water dragon-borne.  I wasn’t even changed enough to reenter the barrier.  So long as I never leave, I can study here.  By recognition of the unicorns, I was welcome to do so no how many times, or what I was reborn as.

And so I used this opportunity to study the spirit arts.  To learn more about the mystics, and the lands they inhabit.  The problem is, to what extent?  I have one chance to learn everything, yet I am only one soul.  There will always be more that I can learn.  Would I stay here forever?

I shook my head and sured my pack.  So long as being here suits me, I don’t have any reason to upset myself.  I may not have room for everything, however my soul still has room to grow.  My own skills and abilities.  Those will suit me wherever I am.  I will make the most of this opportunity, and once I peak I will know it is time to move on.

Thankfully, the crowd thinned out as people reached the town.  More than enough spots were set aside for people to socialize.  Mornings of this season are by far the busiest times.  Sessions are coordinated among students, attendance is optional, and tests are issued by performance.

The only reason this time is any busier is that the message board typically gets updated around this time.  Club activities and locations are approved or relayed from the couriers office.  Almost every group will be checking in, or even trying to catch a moment of their time.

I… really need to fix my habits.  There’s a light in the morning, where the sun catches the neighboring buildings and fills the library with a warm light.

Took me long enough, but I think I get the picture.  In this case, I made it too personal.  Her behavior.  Her habits.  I did so without tapping into environmental abstracts.  The reaction to warmth.  The mentality behind her preparations.  The people among the crowd.

...(I need to give her friends?)

Yeah, I don’t like establishing nouns.  Once you give a creature a name, you track their influence, even behind scenes where they are otherwise uninvolved.  Even when the traits allotted to them suffer complications.  I have very little experience with labels, and don’t admit shenanigans about them.  (True or die: Originality will prevail!)

That said, she's worth a few friendships. (Sigh: I'll put it on the agenda.  This is why water arc is so far behind.  Thank Tracy for resolution and pruning.)

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