28 Chapter 28 Stella meets Sylva
Joseph's tears had dried, and he was happily humming to himself as he prepared to work on his next bit of magic training. She had really changed the way she thought of him, since the incident, and had even gotten to the point where she felt overly protective of this strange boy. No one in her whole life had gone to such extremes to make sure she felt safe and cherished. It was very odd. And now, he had given her something else. The system.
The yes and no were blinking in her line of sight, as she stared at them in wonder. No wonder Joseph seemed to be absent minded so often.
"What do I do?" she asked. "It wants to know if I accept…the system?"
"Accept it of course," he said with a small smile.
If this was how he had become so powerful at magic, then he must really value her. The thought caused a lump to form in her throat, so she couldn't tell it yes. However, as soon as she thought it, the words in her vision changed.
NAME: Stella ???
HIT POINTS: 10
PERCEPTION: 12 (+1)
PATRON – Joseph, constantly around, provides all equipment
ATTRACTIVE - +1 reaction due to natural good looks
STATUS - -1 reaction due to being a servant
COMBAT REFLEXES - +1 to all active defenses, +1 to fast draw a weapon, +2 against fear, +6 to awaken, you will never 'freeze' in a surprise situation, +1 against surprise attacks or +2 if you are the leader of a group
DANGER SENSE - +1 to PERCEPTION in order to sense impending doom, an ambush, or hazard.
DESTINY - ???
HONEST FACE – you look honest, reliable, and harmless
DEAD BROKE – No money owned personally
SOCIAL STIGMA – Minor
PHOBIA – sex terrifies you
"Wow," she whispered.
"Just remember, that you can't tell anyone about it, okay? No one can see what you see, when it concerns the system. Also, it can talk to you, and answer questions," he said very seriously.
(MISSION – CHOOSE A LIFE GOAL)
(REWARD –10 LIFE POINTS)
"It wants me to choose a life goal," she said, looking at him.
"Then choose one," he said, smiling wider.
"Oh, umm, what should I choose?"
"I don't care, but you should really get photographic memory with your first ten points. It will help you learn everything way faster."
She nodded, uncertainly. She didn't even know what that was.
"You can spend an hour with me at breakfast, lunch, and supper, nine hours sleeping, and two hours for etiquette. Everything else you can spend training whatever you want. I'll tell dad in the morning so he can arrange batter tutors for you."
"Okay," she said, absentmindedly.
Joseph loved to organize things, and was always very mindful of how he spent his time. She wasn't as dedicated in that fashion. She did try to stay on a schedule, so that she could make sure he was fed on time, but he was almost obsessed with his time spent.
"System? What do you think I should do, since Joseph won't tell me?" she hoped that it had a good idea, because she was clueless.
(I MUST REFRAIN FROM CHOOSING FOR YOU, SO THAT YOU DO NOT BLAME ME LATER IF IT TURNS OUT TO BE WHAT YOU DID NOT WANT. YOU MUST CHOOSE ON YOUR OWN.)
Pursing her lips, she turned and sat down on the edge of her bed. Why did she had to be given all of the hard choices? All she ever wanted was to have a safe place to live, away from the grabby hands of men. She really hoped she could have that by staying with Joseph, and since she had promised to stay with him, she guessed, she might make her life goal to remain by his side forever.
(LIFE GOAL – REMAIN BY JOSEPH'S SIDE FOREVER?)
"Wait! What does that mean?" she cried out in her head, almost giving a squeak that Joseph might hear. Glancing at him, she saw that he was already immersed into his study.
(EVERYTHING YOU CHOOSE TO DO FROM THIS MOMENT FORWARD, WILL BE DIRECTLY INFLUENCED BY YOUR LIFE GOAL. ALL MISSIONS GIVEN TO YOU, AND ALL OPTIONS OFFERED WILL BE GEARED TOWARDS HELPING YOU OBTAIN YOUR GOAL.)
(CAUTION: THIS LIFE GOAL IS NEVER ENDING, UNLESS JOSEPH DIES…)
Her breath caught in her throat. If Joseph ever died, she would be left defenseless. His father had already made it clear she was of no use to him. She could never allow that to happen!
"I will accept this life goal! I want to make sure nothing ever happens to Joseph!"
The concept that in order for her to be able to keep Joseph safe, for her own safety, she would have to grow strong enough that she would not really need Joseph, never occurred to her.
(LIFE GOAL – REMAIN BY JOSEPH'S SIDE FOREVER)
(MISSION – CHOOSE A LIFE GOAL)
(REWARD – 10 LIFE POINTS)
(SEE LIST OF AVAILABLE ADVANTAGES?)
"No, Joseph said to use my first 10 points for photo memory. So, I want that."
There was a pause, almost like the system was stunned by her comment.
(PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY – COST 10 LIFE POINTS)
(PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY – REMEMBER EVERYTHING IN YOUR PAST, YES EVERYTHING)
"Yes, please," she said, glad that it didn't try to convince her to take something else.
(PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY ACQUIRED)
"What?" she was stunned. How could she have gotten so many skills? And she understood each one!
"Hello, little one. It seems we need to talk," spoke a soft women's voice in her head.
"Who?" she looked around, terrified to see someone else in the carriage with them, but Joseph seemed oblivious.
"My name's Silva. It used to be your name. We lived for a very long time, and I would love for you to remember it all, but it seems you would have trouble with it all. The system has allowed me to dwell inside your head, and to let you remember bits and pieces so you don't get overwhelmed. Apparently, it wasn't too thrilled with trying to do it all itself."
Stella swallowed. She knew this name. She knew the voice. It echoed within her, comforting her, and telling her of a different time.
If she hadn't just been talking to a system, she would have thought she had just gone crazy, but as it was, she was having a very tough time swallowing the situation. Maybe it would be a good idea to remember only a little at a time.
"You weren't human…" she whispered in her head.
"No, we were not."
"We were a fey. Not a fairy! I could see you going there! We were not tiny and imbecilic. We were a type of fey, that this world does not have any longer. I think… yes, this world was our home world so long ago. How strange that after so long, we would return here."
"What do you mean?"
"I was…we were banished for being too good at what our race was known for."
"And what was that?"
"Killing and eating humans."
Stella stiffened. The only way she knew to eat someone did not involve killing them first, which meant, she used to be a killer. The thought terrified her.
"Our people would hunt humans for sport, and to keep them out of our lands. We were very good at it, and kept our home very clean of them. The leaders wanted to try and deal with the humans, though. They thought they were too numerous to be able to continue killing them. They were hoping to strike a deal, that would keep them out of our lands."
The memory swept over her, and Stella remembered the arguments that filled the great halls that day. The whole race had been divided over this decision. Sylva decided to take it upon herself to rid the lands of all humans, including any who dared to try and speak to the foolish leaders. Couldn't they see that the only way to keep the humans out was to instill fear into them?
When the riders on horses entered the forest, she had fallen upon them, slaughtering them like the animals they were. Not a one survived. Unfortunately, she was seen by one of the leader's lackeys, who had been sent to watch for them. She was called before the leaders to explain herself.
And she did. There were many who believed what she had done was right. Humans had been banned from their lands for too long, for them to suddenly be allowed back in again. It didn't even matter that their flesh tasted good. There was other game.
The leaders were not pleased, though, and decided to make an example of her. She was banished to another world. And bound onto a floating island. Her hunger for human flesh would never again be satisfied, because the island removed all hunger from its occupants. And should she ever try to kill another while on the island, she would be struck with such agonizing pain, she would plead for death.
A curse was also placed on her, so that whenever the island decided to jump to a new world, it would use her life force as the power source. Without the ability to feed in order to restore her life force, she would be doomed to death.
Then, as if that weren't a good enough example, they wrote a destiny upon her soul. She would fall in love with a human, and be bound to him for all time.
"That human is Joseph. This is the third lifetime I have found him."
"Wait, what?" Stella took a breath.
"Dear, you know it takes nine months for a baby to grow inside it's mother, right?"
Scrunching her face, she finally nodded.
"Joseph was born exactly nine months after you were. He's been trying to find us every since that first time we encountered him."
"Oh," she said in a very small voice, looking over at him again. He saw her glance and smiled, oblivious to her internal conversation.