The La-Iin Series
“The Warlock’s Decision”
Since coming to his decision to move far away from his Warlock society, Sale-Dessu had been doing as much research as he could manage. He tried to figure out the average price of houses in Vaelyn, and brushed up on his Vaelis so he could communicate with anyone he might need to in order to get his house–though the idea of doing such a thing made him incredibly nervous.
Along with those things, Sale-Dessu realized how necessary it would be for him to have enough vuyong to buy both a house and enough necessities to tide him over. He made a checklist of the things he thought he might need.
‘But how would I get vuyong?’ He wondered. ‘I’m still in Warlock society. We don’t use vuyong here. Maybe closer by to Vaelyn they use vuyong. I wonder. I guess I could convert it once I get there.’
There were many things to think about, and Sale-Dessu was sure he would still need Warlock society currency for the time being, and he also was sure he would need to fill out many forms in the process of heading over to Vaelyn.
So he prepared. Along with creating his own necessities, Sale-Dessu took time out of his day to make products he was sure would help Witches, Warlocks, and those of other species. He made helpful potions, testing out the ones he was uncertain about on himself–sometimes with negative results–and made various trinkets. He was incredibly tempted to simply make himself both Warlock society currency and vuyong, but he knew he would never be able to pull it off.
Whenever he would go out and sell his potions and trinkets, he would cover himself with a large black robe. People had been suspicious of him at first, but soon enough he found himself earning quite a devoted customer base. He tried not to communicate with his customers aside from what was necessary. No matter how good he had gotten at spells over the years, he still hadn’t perfected voice modification.
And through this time, as Sale-Dessu planned and saved up, seasons passed and so did his birthdays. On his eighteenth he refrained from selling his products, too sad that Maie-Jussa and his Apeta were not there to celebrate with him.
‘My life from here on out is all on my own,’ he reminded myself. ‘I will never forget my Mamun and my Apeta, but they are gone now and there is nothing I can do about it. Eventually this pain will subside.’
The next day he had resumed his work. Once he felt he had enough in Warlock society currency, he did one last sale the next day, then packed up and left the society, trudging across the lands and checking a map for Vaelyn.
“Vaelyn is the closest place to here…things will be easier for me there, right?”
Glancing over his shoulder, he spotted his old neighborhood and turned away. “This place has too many memories…”
“Mr. Astineth, you are quite lucky. When it comes to people from Wicaria, you guys are so close to Vaelyn the process is a lot easier than if you’re coming from, say, Manemica or something.”
“I–I don’t understand,” he mumbled. “Why?”
“Wicaria is our neighbor of sorts. So while there’s still a ton of paperwork for you to sign–” She gestured to a pile of paper, though Sale-Dessu doubted it was all the paperwork he had to sign. “–because you’re our neighbor, the process is just a smidge easier.”
‘It doesn’t seem any easier,’ he thought. But nevertheless, he prepared himself for a long slog through paperwork and waiting.
“Hey, don’t give me that face, Mr. Astineth. At least it’s a bit easier to get in here than it is in Manemica. They have these giant wait lines for getting in!”
Sale-Dessu blinked at her.
“No, that isn’t why you’re making that face. You know why I said it was easier to go from Wicaria to Vaelyn? Because we can get some background on you all that easier. So–”
“Yeah, we kinda need it?”
Sale-Dessu took a deep breath. ‘Calm down. I never got arrested, and they wouldn’t ban me just because I’m my Apeta’s grandson. I have nothing to worry about.’
Despite those thoughts, he still felt as though the future was going to be uncertain for a while longer.
As soon as Sale-Dessu was officially a Vaelyn citizen, he went right back to selling the potions and trinkets he had sold before, though he modified some of them for more common usage. ‘Vaelyn and Wicaria are two different places. What they like in Wicaria might not be what they like in Vaelyn.’
Sales were not nearly as good in Vaelyn as in Wicaria, but they still weren’t bad–and Sale-Dessu had realized there were areas the sales were better. When he had reached Bledger, downtown Bledger proved to be a hot-spot for many kinds of sales, and Sale-Dessu managed to make himself quite a bit of vuyong.
Nights during this time were difficult due to Sale-Dessu having left behind the temporary place he was staying at back in Eirjyun, but whenever he felt down about sleeping out in the open, he always reminded himself it was a necessity if he was ever going to find the house he would stay in for the rest of his life.
“In this neighborhood there are plenty of empty residences, but it’s filling up quick. We call it the family district because many people who live here live with one or another member of their family. People sure like to build family here, and we love that! They’ve said it’s affordable for a family to live here, so unless your budget is really tight, you should be able to find a good place to live as well, Mr. Astineth. Would you like to look inside any of the houses?”
“Yes,” he said quietly. To him, the worst part of this whole ordeal was having to talk to people. Even now Sale-Dessu didn’t feel used to it, and memories of the Witches and Warlocks who pursued him made it harder. Still, when he stared closely at the saleslady’s Birdmix wings, he felt a little bit better.
“What are you looking at?” The saleslady asked.
“Um, just your…wings,” he said, hoping she believed him. Her huff made it hard for him to tell if she did.
The saleslady showed him the many vacant houses in the neighborhood. Sale-Dessu liked the general set-up of each one, and kept in mind which ones might be more conducive to keeping spellbooks and trinkets. Now he and the saleslady had reached a house that was painted various shades of green, and when he walked inside and checked the house he couldn’t help but think it looked perfect.
“Does…does the furniture come with the house?” He asked.
“Some of it does. Why?”
“I like this one,” he said.
“So you’ll take it? The base price on this is–”
Sale-Dessu reached for his vuyong pouch. “Will this be enough?”
“Whoa-ho! Just how loaded are you? This isn’t enough to pay off the house, but it’s a lot closer than most other people here! Yeah, that’ll be enough. We just have to go through a little bit of boring stuff and congratulations! This house will be yours.”
‘That was easier than I thought it would be. But that’s a good thing. Soon enough, I can settle down and practice my powers. They’re probably rusty after all the things I’ve had to do to get my foot in here.’
The day he became the official owner of the house was a day that changed his life.
He had begun setting it up for himself almost immediately, filling the bookshelves–which had come with the house–with spellbooks, putting all his various trinkets in the house and filling it with furniture he had bought. He still had to keep up his sales downtown in order to afford payments on the house and buying furniture, but he was starting to feel good about the future, and he spent his free time making new things for his little shop and practicing spells just as he had wanted to.
He felt happier now than he had in a long time, and being in Vaelyn seemed to have helped. Here, nobody seemed to care if he was an Astineth–they only cared that he was selling things that interested them. So he kept up the work.
In those first few years spent in the neighborhood, he left his house frequently. But luck was on his side throughout the years. He had filled his house with all the furniture he would need, had bought all the various items he felt he would need–as long as he had the books he needed, he could make almost anything else. And after a successful day downtown, he realized he had enough vuyong to pay off the house.
From that point on, Sale-Dessu’s life had changed. He spent almost all his time inside now except with a few projects that were too big to be inside or which needed to be outside, and even then he kept them in the backyard. He spent all his time practicing the things he had wanted to know and felt he needed to know before he died. And he felt elated.
This was exactly what he wanted. To leave behind his past, to be able to study his powers at all times, and to be isolated from other people. And after nine years, he had finally achieved that.
Sale-Dessu found his memories of that time coming back one day as he cleaned up a mess Eul-Bok had caused.
‘Back then was such a nice and relaxed time. I thought I didn’t need people. Who would have known that meeting La-Iin would make me so lonely that Eul-Bok would come into my life…now I don’t think I could do what I did back then.”
“What’s on your mind, Father? You look distracted.”
“Something pleasant, for once,” he said. Eul-Bok looked confused.
He could remember that peace he had felt back then, but things were different now. Now he had to focus on protecting him and Eul-Bok from anything else the assailants might be planning.