When Leo opened his eyes again, he found himself in the corner of the room with a blanket draped over him. He immediately got up to look for Daphne. He knew that she was going to be worried and he would have to make sure that she knew nothing was wrong.
He saw her sitting at the side, looking after him. She noticed that he had woken up.
He didn’t respond for a second. He thought about what to say. Was he going to keep lying? Probably. He couldn’t implicate her in his problems. But at the same time, he couldn’t lie to Daphne.
He had met Daphne 6 years ago. He had been an orphan all his life and had roamed the streets of Solhaven with no guardian. He scavenged any food he could find and lived off it. He had found the shack in the slums and saw that it was empty so he started living in it at that time. The shacks were part of a city project to divert homeless people away from the nobles and wealthy commoners.
He had found Daphne when he had gone out to scavenge at the trash of richer commoners. She was cuddled up to the side of a garbage bag and was using some rags to keep herself warm. When he found her, she was so afraid of everything around her. He had offered her a temporary place to stay at his shack and she reluctantly accepted.
As time passed they slowly formed a close bond. Eventually, they decided to stick together and survive. Ever since then, they have been through everything in life together. She was his best friend, and it killed him inside every time he lied to her.
“I will be very honest with you. There are some things about my current circumstance that I cannot tell you. But at the same time, I cannot lie to you. What should I do?” He was so distraught that he no longer wanted to make Daphne’s decisions for her. He just asked her what to do, because she normally had a better idea than he did.
“You don’t have to tell me. Just tell me if you are okay now, or not. I trust that you know what you are doing,” she said.
He smiled. “I am fine. And I will make sure that we will have the money. Just give me another day. You can go to work without worrying.” He went forward and patted Daphne on her head. “Thanks for trusting me.”
It was the dawn of the previous day, and he had been sleeping for the entire day. He only had four more days left to make enough money. Daphne nodded and left to work. He stayed back to practice his magic. The only reason Daphne wouldn’t see him draw circles in the air like a madman was that she was leaving for work. Otherwise, the only time he would be able to practice would be in the white room during the night.
He sat down and took a deep breath. He was so exhausted previously, so his hand was shaking constantly the other days. But he had taken such a deep rest that he felt completely refreshed. He was feeling like he could do it properly if he tried this time.
He gathered his energy and started focusing properly. He slowly spread the magic through his body. The magic nested itself in his muscles and every muscle it touched glowed lightly. The magic eventually reached every part of his body. When he finished, he felt the change. The minute he finished spreading the magic throughout his body, he felt his body become different. He felt a surge of power throughout his body. He got up to see how strong his body was.
He punched the air a few times lightly. He felt his body was a lot stronger than before. He jumped up and his head almost touched the ceiling of the shack. The shack didn’t have that high of a ceiling, but it was hard for him to touch the top with his head because he was pretty short – only 5′ 1”.
Leo smiled. He knew he was ready. The reason he wanted this much preparation was that his ideas were grander than finding just one herb and paying the Blacktooth gang their protection fees. He wanted to find enough herbs and make enough money to move out of the shack completely.
The Blacktooth Gang demanded 800 Star coins, but he knew that no one in the entire community had any money at all. It was just a way for the gang to rob the place of their money, and even try to sell off the people as slaves. Even though slavery was illegal, if they were sold to nobles, then no one could do anything.
He knew that a small house outside the slums would cost 2000 Star coins to rent for a month. He would just have to pay one month of rent first, and then he would have a month to figure out how to make the money for the rest of the year. He and Daphne would be able to move out of the shit hole they were in and finally have a decent life. He would be able to have proper meals and a wardrobe that wasn’t full of rags.
All of this was dependent on him finding the herbs, as well as Trevor giving him work. So Leo wanted to make sure that his relationship with Trevor stayed strong, and that the spell he learned would be enough.
A/N: I would greatly appreciate comments about the story at any point. I would also appreciate reviews.
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