chapter one: hearts // kardia // (kat)

hello, it’s kat here! this is a combined story with loris, probably going to be pretty long depending on everything, but enjoy! this is really short, but i was kind of rushed in 10 minutes. unbeta’d.

one. the word is etched into her skin, a small heart floating above it. she’s hot. it’s winter in the north, the capital heart city is covered in snow, piled over the dome of red. she feels like there’s a fire kindling within her, warmth and heat radiating in her figure. it’s strange. she watches several kings wander in the capital, their faces stern and devoid of emotion. one king girl turns around and glares at her. it must be a telephathic, what with the words you don’t belong here, go back to your village, you one echoing in kardia’s head. she traces the letters on her left hand, ΚαρδΙá, a reminder of her heritage – greek, meaning heart. a one, she thinks, her death sentence. nothing good comes out of a one, she’s heard, no magic – reserved for kings, queens and jacks only – nor strengths or skills. she has nothing, her family dead, no one to train her, not an apprentice. she has nothing, and she’ll be sent to the war. she’s almost 16, almost time for her career evaluation. she’s going to be evaluated, every skill observed by a nine or ten who ended up a doctor. they’ll ask her questions, tell her to perform about things she’s never learned about. she can’t help thinking it’d be better off to just be dead.

her evaluator is tall and willowy, the ten etched into her skin, her hair light chestnut, eyes glowing purple. “nice to meet you, kardia. sit down. i’m deka. i see you are of greek heritage.” she says with a glint in her eye. kardia sits, reluctant. “i’m going to ask you to say some basic spells, and then answer some questions about your skills.” kardia nods. deka  grins at her, smile full of deceit and hidden answers.

the test begins with a water spell. deka asks kardia to say “nero”. nothing happens. neither are surprised. deka asks more and more until she tells her to say “pyro” kardia’s eyes light up. “that’s fire, isn’t it?” kardia asks. “no talking.” deka replies, tone acerbic. kardia whispers pyro.

nothing happens. at first. then kardia feels her body warm, filled with heat. the small spark flies out of her fingers and suddenly she’s controlling a small being of fire, and deka stares at her, confusion and disgust laced in her gaze.

kardia is not a king – not even close. yet the fire feels normal to her, a magic entity in her soul. she’s never been so confused, but never felt so much like herself.

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