Summary: A young woman named Fairsky searches for a magical land, following the rumours in the hope that it will fulfil her wish.
Contains light Fairsky/Sunshine.
Fairy tale narrative AU. Also took a liberty with how Fairsky looks, haha.
Fulfilling a Wish
By Dark Ice Dragon
There was once a young woman called Fairsky born in a land far, far away. She was named so because of her blue eyes, for it was said it was like looking at a cloudless sky if you gazed at them. Borne from wealthy parents, Fairsky was spoiled, able to have whatever her heart desired. But, even with their numerous wealth, there were things that her parents' money could not buy, and one of them was quench her thirst for adventure. She had heard tales from travelling bards, of individuals creating legends for themselves, of finding long hidden secret treasures (not that she was interested in finding her own treasure, but the journey to find it-!), of seeing beasts that had never been seen before. There were stacks of well-worn books in her room that documented other people's discoveries, what they had gone through to reach the final room, their battles.
One day, she heard rumours of a place where wishes could come true, overhead from huddles of people as they shared stories in the street. But when she had asked them for more detail, they could not tell her more, their tales heard from other people who had heard other tales. They were titbits of information that had been passed around for entertainment, to pass the time, nothing more, they said.
She could not pass that possibility off as easily though, the knowledge that such a place could exist filling her head as she walked home. It was before she arrived at her door that she made her decision; once she was inside her door, she packed up her things, taking as much money as she could carry also, and left for the mystical land. But rumours are hard to follow, and Fairsky had many false leads before hearing that the land did not exist – not in the plane that she lived on. So then how was she supposed to reach it? It was later that Fairsky discovered that it was possible to reach the land, but to do so involved wandering around the country and she would eventually stumble across it, if her wish was strong enough. Which she thought was another false trail, but nevertheless, she continued searching. (Though she was relieved that she did not have to do something like a blood ritual to get there.)
Trying to find the land was more gruelling than Fairsky expected, and over time she lost the trinkets and baubles she always wore. It saddened her when she realised they were gone, but she did not mourn their loss too much. She learned that her best asset was her speed in a fight, daggers best complimenting her style. She began to use her money for armour, instead of dresses or jewellery. She got used to sleeping under a canopy of leaves, or in caves. Fairsky sought out more rumours of the land, but while she had heard similar versions of ones that she had already heard, there was one that told of the only way to leave the land after arriving was to have the person's wish fulfilled completely. It was an interesting branch from everything that Fairsky had heard before, but after she thought about it, she realised there had to be some truth to it – how else would the stories have come about if there were no-one to tell them?
One day, the terrain changed from what it looked like when she had gone to sleep the night before. The trees were larger, the leaves a different shape, the sounds of the wildlife different. Fairsky scrambled atop a tall hill that had not been there when she had gone to sleep and stared out across the horizon, an elated smile across her face. She could not recognise any of the landmarks and she could not help but laugh, cheering. Here, she would find adventure!
The new land was far different from what Fairsky expected, a dizzying variety of races she had not known even existed all mostly co-existing together. She never seen elves or demons before and she spent the first town she arrived at just staring at everyone in wonder. Had they been brought into existence because someone had wished to meet them? Or maybe they were what some people had wished to be? The people's wares were nothing Fairsky had ever seen either – and she found that what was left of her parents' money was of no use here.
It took a bit of searching and some more questions, but she found that she could pick up jobs for payment if she asked around. The first job available was clearing out a small infestation of blue blobs that hit harder than Fairsky had expected when they jumped at her, but with the help of her trusty dagger, she was successful and travelled back to the person who had requested her services. The pouch of coppers she received was small, which she grumbled at as it was only enough to last her one day, but she felt proud nevertheless. This was money she had earned herself, that had not been given to her by her parents.
And so, Fairsky's adventuring life began. Every day there were new tasks to do, simple jobs and hard jobs, every one different from the one before.
However, one day, Fairsky looked towards the rising sun and decided to travel to the next town. The village folk warned her against it, saying there were bigger beasts the dwelled deep in the forest, but she smiled, feeling her gleaming daggers safely at her side. She had wanted adventure and she would seek it out.
A few hours later, she had packed up her belongings and had a supply of food, a map (that did not show her any of the towns and villages she knew from her own land) and other items she would need for her journey.
With a light heart, she set off again. What the villagers said was true: the monsters were larger and fiercer than what she had faced before, but that did not deter her, and merely made her more stubborn about seeing what lay past them.
There was one beast however that Fairsky found her first real challenge with. It towered over her and had three heads that were all different from each other -a goat, a lion and a lizard- while the rest of its body was a mishmash of different animals as well, including a pair of bat wings sitting on its broad back. If that was not problem enough (along with the snake-tail that meant it was difficult to attack at any angle) it had magic of its own, spewing fire, ice, or lightening from its mouth depending on what head it came out of. She could not get close to it to land an attack.
While Fairsky was fast, she knew that she could not run from it because it was too large and would be able to catch up with her quickly. It was just as Fairsky was wishing that she had wished for magic instead of adventure, there was a sharp whistling sound that made the monster look up. Something impacted upon its side, throwing it off its feet and blood flew from its suddenly gaping slash in its chest.
Fairsky looked around wildly and her gaze was caught by a flash of silver. She could not help but gape at the stranger standing there, his arm out and palm facing towards the beast, a book in his other hand. His hair was the lightest Fairsky had ever seen on someone so young, a thick cascade of hair that fell all the way down his back, his clothes usual to her as well.
All the three heads of the beast howled, spinning around to face the stranger. He did not seemed fazed by its attention, merely glancing down at his book for a brief second before shouting something that Fairsky did not understand. Fairsky could see a shimmer of something as it span towards the beast, severing the lizard head from its shoulders.
The bellowing roar snapped Fairsky out of her daze and she shook her head, adjusting her grip on her daggers. Being distracted at this time could kill her if she was not careful!
The man (mage? He was using magic.) continued to distract the beast, but now that it was aware of him, it was dodging more of his attacks. Her brow furrowed, Fairsky dashed in on the monster's blind side, ducking its broken wing after one of the man's attacks; she leaped up, using one dagger to stab the beast in its side, using that to lever herself up onto its back. The beast roared and Fairsky flattened to duck from the snake-tail's strike. It took one swing and the snake-tail's throat was slashed. When the beast reared up onto its hind legs, shrieking, Fairsky grabbed its other wing before she fell off its back. She then plunged her dagger into the monster's chest, and there was an answering wet slurp as the monster shuddered a second later.
Fairsky yelped as the monster tumbled forward, and it was only because her hand was locked in place that she was able to not slip off its back.
Fairsky could not help but laugh from sheer relief, her heartbeat hammering in her chest. She pulled her daggers out of the beast's body and when she leapt down, the mage was there, looking at her curiously. "Afternoon," he said, bowing.
A giggle escaped Fairsky's lips - they had just defeated a monster together, and the first thing the mage said to her was a normal greeting! How strange. "Afternoon," she replied, bowing in kind.
There was a puzzled expression on the mage's face, but he shook his head, a small smile replacing it. "My name is Sunshine; can I ask what your name is?"
And how very strange that was too! Fairsky's eyebrows rose and she gasped. "My name is Fairsky!"
"Oh!" And Sunshine's smile grew. "Our names match."
They did. Fairsky hummed as she thought. "Where are you going? I don't think I saw you in the village I just came from, so are you heading there?"
Sunshine shook his head, placing his book inside his satchel and Fairsky was able to see that it was filled to the brim with books. Was each one filled with different kinds of spells? "I'm just travelling - I don't have a specific destination in mind. If I find a village, then I go there, but I don't stay long."
Such a free life! A wandering traveller; it was different from the life of an adventurer, but it was similar in other ways.
"Then, do you want to be companions?" Fairsky asked the mage. The villagers had been right; it was dangerous to traverse the forest by herself, but with Sunshine at her side, they could protect each other.
Sunshine blinked at her. "Eh?" he said, pointing at himself. "You want me as a partner?"
She nodded, smiling. "There's no-one else here is there?"
And Fairsky laughed when Sunshine checked behind himself.
"If you're sure...?"
"I am!" Fairsky said as she turned to look at the beast critically for parts that could be sold in town.
"Then I will stay with you until you no longer want me," Sunshine said solemnly, and while Fairsky thought that strange, she supposed it was because Sunshine seemed to be the quiet, unassuming sort.
When they were done, Fairsky's bag heavier than it had been when she had set off from the village, they started moving again, in the direction of the village Fairsky had been heading for. Sunshine had not visited it, so could not lead the way, but Fairsky did not mind - with a companion, travelling was more fun and less dangerous with each other to support.
The longer Fairsky got to know Sunshine, however, the more curious she became about him. He tended to eat very little, only nibbling on what they had gathered or cooked when Fairsky reminded him. Most times, it was because he had a book in his other hand, studying its contents intently, but the times Fairsky had disallowed him from doing that, he still ate as if he were distracted by something. There was a childlike aura to him sometimes, Sunshine lighting up at the sight of something he had read in his books, or when he learned something new. And while Fairsky had been the same when she first arrived in the land, it was not because of seeing flowers or a squirrel. But in contrast to what Sunshine did not know, the things that he did know were vast in detail. The first night, Sunshine had told her about the beast they had fought, calling it a 'chimera', as well as its history and the accounts that surrounded the beast. Another thing of interest to Fairsky was that Sunshine did not appear to sleep to her - she was the first to retire to bed, and Sunshine was in the same place by the fire when she woke up again. They were niggling things, of course, but she was curious nevertheless.
And then there was Sunshine's magic. Fairsky had not seen any mages before, only hearing tales of them, but she had seen a number of individuals who could cast basic spells. And when she compared what she had seen to Sunshine's magic, the difference was obvious.
Sunshine was a master of his craft, more powerful than Fairsky had ever thought possible. The amount of study and practice needed to reach the level he was at, Fairsky had to worry if Sunshine's told the truth of his age, or if he had poured all his energies into learning magic, so much so that he had not learned about anything else, explaining why he was learning about the world now. It also made Fairsky wonder how long he had been in this land for.
And Fairsky also knew that Sunshine was holding himself back, only using the quicker cast spells known to him; there had been times when they had been surrounded by monsters, and the situation had looked dire for them, but that had been Sunshine had revealed just how much power he had contained within him, destroying all the monsters in one fell swoop that had lit up the night sky like the sun had risen again.
He also had the damnedest luck Fairsky had ever seen – no matter what had happened in a fight, if a beast slipped past her and managed to barrel into Sunshine, he was never wounded. His clothes would be dirtied by mud, slashed, but there was never any injury there, the claws missing his skin by scant inches every time.
She wondered if the magic had been his wish, but she had never asked him - he had never asked her about hers, and neither of them had talked much about their past either, more focused in adventuring their way through the land.
It was some time later, about five towns since Fairsky and Sunshine first met, that Fairsky picked up a job about vanquishing a rogue golem. It had terrorised the town many years past, but the townsfolk were still worried that it still lurked around, snatching unwary travellers.
Fairsky had a map of where the golem was last said to be seen, but she picked up a few other jobs at the same time, just in case the golem was truly gone.
She met up with Sunshine at the town's main gate (he had a pile of new books in his arms; she had asked him why he read so much once before, and he had replied that he wanted to learn about everything he could of the world) and they set off again.
It did not take them very long to reach their destination and Fairsky stared up at the imposing cave entrance, her eyes completely unable to pierce the darkness within.
She blinked, her eyes smarting at a sudden brightness and she blinked again when she saw a ball of light zoom ahead of her and then hover at the entrance. "Oh, that will make trying to find this golem a lot easier!" she said.
"Golem?" Sunshine repeated, peering at her with curiosity. "Is that what we're looking for this time?"
Fairsky laughed with embarrassment, rubbing the back of her head. She had gotten into the habit of picking up odd jobs here and there and not telling Sunshine the specifics until they were about to do it, but that was usually because Sunshine had asked about them before that - he had been distracted by his new books however, and Fairsky had been the one keeping the lookout as they travelled towards their destination.
She nodded. "Yeah - there wasn't a description given with it, so we'll have to look through here to find out." She paused from entering the cave. "Do you know about golems?"
Sunshine paused, his eyes going distant before he shook his head.
"Oh well," Fairsky said with a shrug. "Let's go!"
Inside the cave was as dark and as dark as Fairsky had expected it to be, but Sunshine's magelight was very useful then, lighting up all the shadows. It drew beasts to them as well, but Fairsky and Sunshine were able to see and hear them coming, able to fight them off with not too much trouble.
After some time, Fairsky realised that she was following Sunshine rather than the other way around, which was how things usually went. And since Sunshine had begun leading, they had been discovered by fewer monsters and had not had to back-track from dead ends either.
"Sunshine," Fairsky said as they cautiously walked over a bridge made out of what appeared to be roots, "have you been here before?"
The question made Sunshine stop walking, and he did not speak for several seconds. "No," he said softly, "I don't remember ever being here. Why?" he asked, his head tilted.
Fairsky frowned, looking around them. "You know where we're going," she said simply. "We haven't gotten lost ever since you started leading."
Sunshine blinked, and his expression turned troubled. "I don't..." he said quietly. "But I have...gaps in my memory?" There was an uncertain lilt to his words, and Fairsky stared at him.
"You..." She turned her attention back to where they were heading.
But, it was normal to forget things, so while it intrigued her, Fairsky put that to the back of her mind, shaking her head and smiling. Now was not the time to think of such things, when they could be attacked at any time.
They continued on after that, leaving the topic behind.
It was not long until they stood in front of a massive door, a gleaming jewel the size of Fairsky set right in the centre of it. Fairsky had tried to push the door open, but to no avail; Sunshine had not moved to help her. When one minute passed, and then a second, Fairsky began to worry about Sunshine as he continued to gaze up upon the door, his face blank.
"I remember this," he said faintly, lifting his hand to gently touch the door. It glowed gold under his palm, lines streaking out and wrapping around the door like vines.
The door swung open, not making a sound, and Fairsky peered in doubtfully. If the door had been locked, then the golem could not there... Unless it had been locked inside?
Fairsky hastily drew her daggers, just in case they were about to be ambushed.
But the room was empty of life. Fairsky was the one to step into the room first and the first thing she saw was books. There were books strewn across the floor, piled up on the strange looking chair on the other side of the room, crammed into a bookcase to her left. Inches of dust coated everything and Fairsky huffed, crossing her arms after sheathing her daggers. If the golem had lived here, it had left a long time ago. They had wasted their time.
"We should..." Fairsky said, turning around to leave, but she trailed off at the sight of Sunshine, who was picking up a book with the utmost reverent care.
"Are you still able to read those?" she asked curiously, and Sunshine nodded absentmindedly as he thumbed through the pages.
And that was when Fairsky frowned, looking around the room with fresh eyes. The townsfolk had said that the golem was a beast, a monster that killed a person as soon as they gazed upon it - such a being did not have a need for books, did it?
Slowly, Fairsky picked up on book by her feet and blew off the dust. She coughed and nearly sneezed as the dust went everywhere, but she frowned when she saw the title of the book: 'Animating the Inatimate.'
She started to look at the covers of the other books ('Soul-bonding', 'Prolonging Life') until she could not any more.
"You created the golem?" she burst out and Sunshine dropped his book, staring at her with wide eyes.
"No! I-" He looked away, taking a step back.
"But how did you know how to get here?" she demanded, her hands clenching into fists. "How did you know how to open the door? It responded to you."
"This room is filled with books! If you aren't the person who created the golem, then...!" Fairsky trailed off, the air caught in her lungs as she stared at Sunshine. That - no. It couldn't be, one part of Fairsky screamed, but there had been enough clues for her to find.
"You're..." she breathed, her knees feeling weak.
"The golem," Sunshine finished for her, nodding as he picked up the book he had dropped. "I...I think so." He did not say anything as he looked through the book, the sound of the pages turning the only sound in the room. "What this book says about golems... It fits," he said, his voice almost a whisper.
"What does the book say," Fairsky said hoarsely, sinking to the ground in a daze.
"...Golems don't eat, they don't sleep, their bodies are created from the land so they bleed mud..."
Fairsky snapped her head to stare at Sunshine. She had never seen him injured fully, only...being covered in mud.
"Thank you," Sunshine said quietly, closing the book. "I had been looking for information about what I was, why I was so different from other people, and you've helped me to discover what I am." Fairsky gaped as Sunshine turned to leave the room.
"Wait!" Fairsky yelled, jumping to her feet. "Where are you going?"
Sunshine blinked at her in confusion. "You know what I am," he said. "You don't want to travel with me anymore."
"And when did I say that?" She glared at him, her lips a thin line.
Sunshine stared at her. "Everyone else left when they realised I was a constructed being."
"You're the same as you were yesterday," Fairsky retorted. "Why should I leave because you're a golem?" She paused, remembering why they had gone to the cave in the first place. "Did you really terrorise the town?"
"I don't think so," Sunshine said, shaking his head. "If I had, they would have recognised me?"
Fairsky nodded firmly. "Then there's no reason to kill you," she said, her voice light, smiling at Sunshine, "and we can continue on to the next town."
"But...what about the other jobs?" Sunshine asked, watching her carefully.
Fairsky shrugged. "They aren't urgent and the man was asking any person who passed -I heard him asking someone else just as I was leaving- so if we don't do it, someone else will."
"Oh. If you're sure?"
"I am!" Fairsky smiled again. "Do you want to go?" Sunshine gazed around the room, glancing at the book in his hand. He then set the book on top of the table.
"You aren't going to keep it?" Fairsky said in surprise.
"No," Sunshine said as he shook his head. "I just wanted to know what I was. Now that I do... Um." He looked sheepish. "I don't know what to do anymore."
Fairsky returned his grin, going to his side. "Well, I still want to go on adventures - do you want to join me?"
Sunshine smile was bright as an answer and together, they left the cave and continued adventuring around the land.
Written for the No True Pair prompt, 'Only Fairsky can break the curse afflicting Sunshine'.
*wonders how long this would have been if I'd done this in my usual style* … *sweat*