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Undome Tinwe

Quand elle me prend dans ses bras, elle me parle tout bas, je vois la vie en rose.

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Illusions · 6:47pm May 26th, 2020

Yesterday, someone linked me to a r/WritingPrompts thread on reddit with an interesting prompt that inspired me. The prompt was "It has long been believed that the Illusion school of magic is by far the weakest of the schools. You, an acolyte, begin to suspect that it is in fact the strongest school, and the elder illusionists have been going to great lengths to hide this."

Without further ado, I present my first ever piece of "original" work. Pay no attention to any similarities between the main characters and certain existing fictional entities.

(Warning: dark. Probably should have said that earlier. Oops.)

Osto Vinya nauva ustaina!

"More tomes on Illusion Magic, really?"

Elizabeth's dismissive comment did nothing to wipe away the smile on Satine's expression as she walked into their shared bedroom. "Hello to you too, my dear," Satine said, setting down her books on the table. "Did your experiments on transmutation go well?"

"It was incredible!" The way Elizabeth's eyes lit up when she was excited would never fail to entrance Satine. "Elder Victoria's formulation of the Phase Rune is showing at least a twenty percent decrease in the amount of reagent needed, and I modified the central symbol to make it twenty-five percent. I think if we tweak it a little more we might finally achieve parity and be able to produce gold from lead without expending an equivalent amount of gold!"

"That's wonderful." Satine walked up to the budding alchemist and wrapped her arms around her in a warm hug. "I'm so proud of you, and I'm sure Elder Victoria is as well."

"Thanks, Satine," Elizabeth replied, leaning into the hug and resting her head on Satine's shoulder. "I worked really hard on this, and it really means a lot to me how much you've supported me these past few months."

"Of course," Satine released her and pressed a quick kiss against her lips. Even now, a couple weeks after their first kiss, the experience still sent a thrill through coursing through her body. "I love you, Elizabeth."

"I love you too, Satine." They sat comfortably on the couch in the dormitory they'd been assigned to, simply enjoying each other's presence as they held hands. "So," Elizabeth said after a few moments, "Elder Christine really has you hitting the books hard, huh? You know we don't have to pick someone to apprentice under until next year, right?"

Satine shrugged. "Plenty of acolytes make their decision well ahead of time. And I do believe that the School of Illusion shall be where I devote my talents."

Elizabeth frowned, but said nothing. That was unacceptable to Satine.

"Darling, dearest, sweetheart," she said, reaching out to gently stroke her lover's cheek. "We talked about this already, haven't we? You can tell me anything."

"It's just—" Elizabeth paused. "I know you love Illusion Magic, but isn't it a bit... you know..." Her voice dropped low. "You're so talented, Satine, and you could excel in any school of magic, or even multiple schools, like me. We all know Illusion isn't exactly..." She trailed off again, and Satine accepted that she wouldn't get a full admission out of her today.

Oh well, they could work on that later. "You mean to say that it's beneath me, don't you?" she asked dryly. "You don't need to mince words, my love. We all know that Illusion Magic has a certain... reputation. As do I."

"They're wrong, though," Elizabeth quickly said. "About you, that is. You're not vain at all!"

"Oh, darling," Satine said with a laugh. "I am most definitely vain. Inner beauty begins on the outside, as I like to say. I do appreciate your faith in my virtue, though, even if you've thoroughly defiled it."

Elizabeth blushed the loveliest shade of red at that, which only served to delight Satine more. "I said I was sorry about that!" she protested.

"Well, I'm not," Satine replied, pressing another kiss against her lips. "You don't know how long I waited for you to do it. I'm so glad you finally came to your senses after you rejected me the first time I confessed my love for you."

"I just, I needed some time to think about it, I guess" Elizabeth said, turning away and looking ashamed. "I'm sorry I hurt you, but I just couldn't see us together until a few weeks ago. And then, that feeling wouldn't let me go. I actually cast a diagnostic spell on myself to make sure I hadn't been hit by some stray Enchantment, but it turns out I really did love you." She smiled up awkwardly at Satine. "Forgive me for being a little slow?"

"You are more than worth the wait," Satine replied. "And as for Elder Christine, after that first confession, she found me and helped me recover from the rejection. Then, she showed me how wonderful Illusion Magic can really be, especially in the hands of an artist such as myself."

"I know you like making dresses, but I'm not sure how Illusion Magic helps with that?" Elizabeth asked. "I know you can use it to enhance the look of clothing, but that only works if you're managing to maintain the spell all the time while you're wearing it."

"Au contraire, my dear Elizabeth," Satine said with a smug smirk. "Elder Christine taught me one of the secrets of Illusion Magic. A skilled Illusionist can make an illusion persist even after they've parted from it." She gestured at her own dress. "I would show you, but I think it's a little too early for me to be slipping into something more comfortable for you." Her voice smouldered as she spoke her next words. "Tonight, though, I'll be sure to dazzle you."

"I, uhh, look forward to it," Elizabeth stammered back adorably, and Satine giggled.

"Oh, you are just too easy to tease," Satine replied. "But yes, as one would expect from the School of Illusion, not all is as it seems. The highest levels are really quite breathtaking to behold. Remember, Illusions are all in the mind, and the ability to manipulate perception is a powerful thing."

"I suppose." Elizabeth smiled. "I guess I look forward to seeing what you learn."

"Oh, my darling, it will be my absolute pleasure to show you everything I know." Satine smiled her own secret smile as she spoke the lie. After all, there was already one secret technique Elder Christine had shown her that Satine would never share.

When the Elder had found her crying with heartbreak at her failed confession to Elizabeth, she had shared with her the greatest secret of the School of Illusion: the ability to create illusions extended beyond tricking the five senses.

Elizabeth sighed. "Sometimes I think about how peaceful my life would be without you," she said wryly.

"Oh?" Satine replied, tilting her head in mock curiosity. "And how do you feel about that life, dear?"

"Lucky," Elizabeth replied. "Lucky that I'm living this life and not that one."

"Aww, so you do have a heart for romance!" Satine teased.

"It's probably your fault," Elizabeth grumbled good-naturedly.

"Probably," Satine agreed with a knowing smile.

After all, illusions could trick more than the five senses. With enough skill, one could create the illusion of love itself, and make it feel so real that one could not tell spell from reality. Not even with a pesky diagnostic spell, designed to suss out Enchantments and forgetting that there was more than one way to alter a soul.

That was the true power of Illusion, to rewrite reality within the mind— and heart— of a spell's target.

"I love you," Elizabeth said again, and Satine knew that she believed it with all her heart.

"I tend to have that effect on people," Satine replied, before letting her tone grow serious again. "I love you too, my dearest, darling sweetheart. And I won't let anything tear us apart."

Not even Elizabeth's true feelings for her.

Comments ( 4 )

"I think if we tweak it a little more we might finally achieve parity and be able to produce gold from lead without expending an equivalent amount of gold!"

"And then you can destroy the economy!"
"I kid, I kid."

Darling, dearest, sweetheart,


Oh. Oh. That's quite the twist. Nicely done.

If reality is but an illusion, what is the fantasy? Here, the lines are blurred and the truth carefully altered to what the illusionists wish it to be.

Nicely done!

Similarities? What similarities? I'm sure I don't know what you could mean. :D

...Well, that got rather dark around the end, didn't it? :D

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