This is the first chapter of my entry for the Balthy 100. I can't entirely guarantee that this story will be updated often, but I will try to update whenever I can. Let's see how far this gets… Read, Review, and Enjoy!
Balthazar sensed something different as soon as the door chime sounded. There was something in the air, something new and hopeful and maybe a little dangerous. Some people could feel the weather, deep in their bones, but after more than a thousand years, it was not the change in weather that he felt, but instead, the change in levels of magic. And the level in the Arcana Cabana had just spiked.
Silently as a shadow, Balthazar closed the Incantus he had been reading aimlessly, having long since memorized the words to the text, laying it down quietly as he maneuvered his way through the mess of artifacts and trinkets that brought him a living. Some of the most powerful magical items were in this store, items that Balthazar would much prefer to keep in his eye sight. There were too many Morganians, and far too few Merlinians to let such dangerous items be at risk for misuse. So Balthazar kept them nearby, in the circle of his protection, and safe.
As he crept out from the shadows, he saw an intelligent looking child come walking through. He was innocent, unsuspecting of anything. Truth be told, the kid was looking around in awe at the store around him. Admittedly, the collection of random odds and ends was astonishing to those who had never had reason to frequent the store. But that was not what concerned Balthazar. What he failed to understand was the spike in magic levels. After all, this kid was nothing extraordinary, except maybe exceedingly innocent. He was not particularly tall or skinny or anything but awkward. The boy was about as in the middle, mediocre generic as you could get. Why then, did the magic levels change so dramatically?
The boy was enticed by a genie lamp. He probably thought it was some kind of omen, where if you rubbed hard enough, you could get three wishes and ultimate happiness. Balthazar knew from experience that rubbing that lamp certainly brought results, but they were far from pleasant. What is it with kids and genie lamps? He wondered as he went out to stop the kid from releasing something he didn't want let out.
It would turn out that he need not worry about it. The boy was grinning, lifting the lamp up, causing the rest of the plate it was so carefully balanced on to tumble to the ground. In a panic, the boy started scrambling backwards as the antiques fell down, stumbling into the urn from the Ming Dynasty.
Of all the artifacts to fall into, do you have to pick the one that could cause the most damage, you idiot? Balthazar thought, rushing forward and stopping the urn from falling. The boy jumped and looked at the man who it would seem had appeared from nowhere. Balthazar glared down at the child.
" The second emperor of the Han Dynasty locked his least favorite wife in this urn, for ten years, to the day. They say you open it up, the same thing will happen to you," he said in a dark voice to the boy. The child looked afraid, more than a little bit. He stared up at the stranger, and Balthazar could only imagine what the boy was thinking, about strangers, black coats and this world nowadays. With the kind of events that were common occurrence in this area, it was not hard to picture his thoughts, of stranger danger and all such nonsense.
"I'm sorry," the boy stuttered. "I'm looking for this note. It blew into your store," he said. Balthazar was only half listening as he straightened the urn.
"A note?" he asked, uninterested. What were the chances of a note blowing in here?
"It blew into your store. It was just a…" the boy hesitated, trying to think of the word he was looking for. Balthazar stopped.
"A coincidence," he breathed.
"Yeah, a coincidence," the boy agreed.
Coincidences… They did not exist in Balthatzar's world. They hadn't been realistic to Merlin 1,300 years ago, and they were far from realistic now. Coincidences just didn't happen. Somebody was hanging upstairs and rolling the dice. Balthazar had been searching for centuries, all over the place until he gave up, choosing to pick a place to wait for this Prime Merlinian to show up. With every passing decade, the idea of the figure had become a concept similar to chasing the Easter Bunny, that ridiculous tradition that had come up some years ago.
So why was this boy standing in his shop? If not a coincidence, what had brought him here? He didn't look like much, certainly not the sort of boy Balthazar would have tested had he still been searching for the Prime Merlinian. But it was possible. The boy could be the one. Balthazar allowed a small flicker of hope to well up in his mind, and paused, turning to look at the child.
And so he showed the boy named Dave the ring, enjoying a little humor at his expense. Personalized items… They were so fun to taunt unsuspecting people with. But it wasn't until the dragon shivered into life and wrapped around Dave's finger that Balthazar finally allowed himself to feel a flicker of relief. He smiled a little at the boy.
It would seem that the dice had finally rolled in his favor…
So there's the first entry! I hope you like it, and please, review!