It was a curse, I remember.
Like, an actual legit curse. It's not our fault we get lazer'd by Draen's left and right (at least mostly not our fault), I mean, someone actually pronounced in a witchy voice that "you gon' die."
I learned the story shortly after Milan's dad told me about my dad's death. I have to say, Milan's dad is a pretty good storyteller. He told me about Fanias and their relation to my father's death.
Fanias are female mages that exist to teach the people lessons in goodness. They still exist today, but they're pretty rare and love to exist in hidden places. They're supposedly quite pretty, but I can't confirm that since I haven't actually, you know, seen one yet. They dabble in prophecy, wind magic, and heal the surrounding land with earth magic, and also concealing magic to hide themselves. Uh, and they also have golden eyes. I think.
Their power stems from the symbiotic relationship between them and this golden bird. The golden feathers are naturally infused with magic, which the Fania will use to do her magic. In return, the Fania feeds the bird, and keeps it concealed from hunters who happen to find golden birds to be very appealing. It doesn't hurt that the bird also grows stronger when the Fania grows, either.
Of course, I have the luck of having my family- the Sachin family- be cursed by some Fania mage because my ancestor idiot was stupid and tried to steal the golden feathers from her bird. I have no idea how he managed to try that.
According to Milan's dad, the Fania caught him in the process, and knowing that he would never change his evil ways (he was actually really messed up in the head, probably the work of a Greater Demon or something), she pronounced a curse on him that would last until a descendant finally was free of that evil. Who was good enough, righteous enough, to break the spell.
I was taught what it said when I was informed of this infamous legacy, as a warning- never thought it’d actually be true, like totally completely true. It went like this:
Satchels carry but Sachins steal,
The lives of innocents and their meals,
And as you live then you shall die,
By the mighty Draen time and time,
Of the few friends you shall make,
One will lead you to your fate.
And abandon you there he shall,
Giving kindness but getting betrayal.
And so the curse shall be,
Until they learn to remember the sea,
Then verse is permitted to be finally rhymed,
But reverse comes at a very great price,
Because the place the caster goes to, well...
To say they like it would be a lie.
In other words, we're cursed, we're gonna be killed by that Draen, one of our friends is going to lead us to that Draen, and that guy would try to be nice to you and get nothing in return and just leave after he sees that our family is a family or jerks.
But I wasn’t sure what the last part meant. Like, the sea? Verse? The wha? Why sea? But either way, I was cursed, my father was cursed, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I knew I wasn't righteous or anything. I had no friends, except for Milan, and that was a very... interesting... friendship. If it could even be called one.
Being the cursed child of the village, nobody really liked me. Understandably. I mean, curses can rub off sometimes, no kidding. After my dad died, there was practically nobody who liked me, because of my father's reputation.
I had no chance to prove myself righteous, or even normal. Instead of working in the fields or helping the village in general, I had taken a liking to battle, which is something that the girls shouldn't be able to do. But then again, I was the cursed child, the hopeless one, and I might as well do whatever I could while I was still alive as long as the sheep were herded in by the end of the day.
The only one who shared my troubles was Milan, the oddly girly person. Not to the point of actually pretending to be female or anything, but enough to take up dancing and cooking, and actually trying to look good. And magic- healing magic. He rarely used offensive spells, and usually stuck to the more feminine arts.
Of course, that may have come from his mother, who did have quite the influence on many, including me, so it wasn't a surprise. I mean, spend a week with that woman and you'd be doing what Milan did, let alone all your life.
Me and Milan were friends, I suppose. Actually, not really.
Our friendship was weak- we were only friends through our shortcomings, our daily battle with society. They hated us, and we were usually together in activities, only because we were always in the outskirts.
But I think we understood each other in a way that none of out past ancestors did.
We became some sort of friends, and he pretended to loathe me while I him. It was a subtle friendship, really. I don't know if he was actually trying to hide it or not, but the fact that he did, indeed, need a friend was pretty clear to me. And vice versa probably.
Even though his giggle was unbearably annoying, I still found it nicer than the flutes the others would play. Even though Milan hated getting soil on his clothes, he still tried to mimic the various defense techniques I did daily.
He could somehow tell when I wanted an orange instead of an apple just by glancing at me, I learned over the years to know when there was something on his mind, with the slightest raise of his eyebrows or the tiniest lilt of his voice.
He knew exactly what I was thinking, I knew exactly how he felt.
During the day we'd try and up the other, get into arguments, the like. We'd quarrel and try and guess which one of the neighbors was going to get the fifth apple from the top in the market stall. I'd splash Milan with water and he'd encase me in magical jelly that tasted of blueberries, my least favorite food.
But sometimes, when the sun had just set and darkness plunged the village, we'd find ourselves sitting on the top of the hill and overlooking the shore, simply enjoying the other's company and sometimes chat idly about things, from the fragility of grass to the beauty of the shells that littered the sand. Sometimes we'd show each other the shape of the shells we had found, the crescents and starts shining in the moonlight. Sometimes Milan would surprise me by figuring out a way to make my low kick more lethal, sometimes I'd point out that he should chop a vegetable diagonally instead of straight to get more of the inside showing.
I don't know why he was kind to me. I don't know why I was kind to him. I don't know why I didn't distance myself from him because any friends I had would get me cursed, and why I chose him, of all people.
I don't know why I didn't leave him on that hill that day when he slapped me on the face. I don't know why I hugged him back. Was it because his palm was slightly raised, and that meant that he had been hurt there earlier that day?
I didn't know the why we were friends, and in the end, I guess it didn't matter.
We were the odd ones out, and bounded by the curse of my ancestors'- in fact, his family was always the one to somehow lead us all into the Draen's lair, intentionally or not.
So we had a sort of friendship, a sort of understanding, not realizing that he was to cause my demise, that the curse was very, very real.