The jestivan (erafeen 1), p.1
The Jestivan (Erafeen, #1), p.1David F. Farris
David F. Farris
Copyright © 2016 by David F. Canfield-Farris
All rights reserved.
Written by: David F. Farris
Cover illustrated by: Alessandro Brunelli
This book is a work of fiction.
All material was derived from the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to persons, alive or deceased, are simply coincidental.
It is illegal to scan, upload, and distribute any part of this book, digital or printed, without written permission from the author. Please refrain from participating in or encouraging acts of piracy out of respect for the people who create such works.
Sphaira Publishing, 2015
Mom, Dad, and AJ
for believing in me.
CJ and Pops
for all your help—motivational and financial.
for editing my early drafts into a blood-bathed slasher film.
for being the first to lay eyes on this story, and for all your support and advice.
for introducing me to a world that became the catalyst to this idea. Without you, this would not exist.
*This is a 3D module of Kuki Sphaira. There are no landscapes or structures because its purpose is to better position the reader in the world in respect to other kingdoms and realms. Arrows represent flow of gravity. “???” means it’s unknown to the commoners. Dev, Cyn, Power, Still, and Prim Kingdoms (Dark Realm) hang on the underbellies of floating islands. Intel, Archaic, Spirit, Adren, and Passion Kingdoms (Light Realm) sit atop.
Intel Kingdom (mind, electricity):
Bryson, Simon, Lilu, Director Debo, Princess Shelly, King Vitio
Passion Kingdom (heart, fire):
Olivia, Himitsu, Director Venustas, King Damian
Archaic Kingdom (mind, ancients):
Agnos, Rhyparia, Director Senex, King Itta, Toono
Spirit Kingdom (soul, wind):
Jilly, Tashami, Director Neaneuma, Queen Apsa
Adren Kingdom (body, speed):
Toshik, Yama, Director Buredo, King Supido
Dev Kingdom (mind, psychic):
The brothers, Prince Storshae, General Ossen
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1 – A Vacant Tree
Chapter 2 – A Cracked Mask
Chapter 3 – The Directors
Chapter 4 – The Jestivan
Chapter 5 – A Predecessor’s Grave
Chapter 6 – A Scorching Light
Chapter 7 – The Captains
Chapter 8 – Lilac Suites
Chapter 9 – Theft
Chapter 10 – Speed Percentage
Chapter 11 – Lilu’s Offer
Chapter 12 – A Meeting of Meaning
Chapter 13 – Shallow Judgment, Shallow Breaths
Chapter 14 – Hardship
Chapter 15 – The Generals’ Battle
Chapter 16 – First Blood
Chapter 17 – Missing
Chapter 18 – The Decision
Chapter 19 – Branian
Chapter 20 – Behind the Light
Chapter 21 – Exposed
Chapter 22 – A Familiar Face
Chapter 23 – An Unsanctioned Mission
Chapter 24 – Pursuit
Chapter 25 – Debonicus
Chapter 26 – Bryson vs. Ossen
Chapter 27 – Discovery
Chapter 28 – Pogu
Chapter 29 – The Void
Chapter 30 – Memory Transfer
Chapter 31 – Her Darkest Secret
A Vacant Tree
After a night of hiding beyond the horizon, the early morning sun climbed above the trees only to be greeted by a familiar, stubborn wall of dreary clouds. Another typical day in the Intel Kingdom.
Inside a quaint suburban home, a blond-haired sixteen-year-old boy sat in silence on the floorboards of the hallway that was dimly lit—for the most part. There was a small area that bathed in a radiant light, and he was sitting directly across from it.
It wasn’t an ordinary light. There was no source. No candles. It simply existed on its own. The light didn’t wane the farther out it stretched either. It stopped abruptly, as if there was an invisible wall holding it in.
Still, no matter how fiercely he stared down the oddity, the boy wouldn’t dare to enter it. He studied it, but that was all. What was there to learn? He had already learned enough once before. A painful lesson he never wanted to experience again.
He took his eyes away from the light and gazed down at the vicious scars wrapping around the index finger on his right hand. Even with the passing of five years, it was a wound that had never fully healed …
A young boy stood next to the light he was told to never touch. Unfortunately, his curiosities were getting the best of him, leading him to a decision he would soon regret. He reached toward the light and when he was within millimeters of touching it, he yanked his hand back in fear.
Slapping himself several times to muster up some courage—something only an eleven-year-old boy would think of doing—he readied himself again. He decided that he would go straight in without hesitation, so after taking a deep breath, he thrust his finger into the unknown.
His skin popped and hissed. He let out a spine-chilling scream as he crumpled to the floor and desperately clutched his hand. Tears spilled down his cheeks and saliva stretched thin between the lips of his blubbering mouth.
Even after pulling his finger out, the burning sensation wouldn’t cease. He felt it in his bones. It was pain that made him think of dying—a pain no eleven-year-old should ever experience.
A thunderous knock on the front door pulled him from his memories. As he stood up, he took one final glance at the shield of light. He knew who was at the door. Although that knock sounded frightening and loud, it came from a very small person.
He unlocked and opened the door. A young girl stood on the front step. Her eyes were blue and her hair was violet. It flowed down in waves from underneath one of her unique possessions—her kitten hat.
“Good morning, Olivia,” he said.
She wasn’t the one to respond. “What’s up, idiot?” a deep voice asked.
He altered his gaze from Olivia’s eyes upward to the sandy-brown kitten. “You know, Meow Meow? Considering the kingdom I live in, calling me an idiot seems kind of ironic.”
Meow Meow was quick to retort. “I’m aware, Bryson. But the fact that you live in this kingdom is what’s ironic.”
Bryson chuckled. “Witty as usual.”
The kitten’s face became perplexed as he asked, “Why do you always greet her, but not me?”
“Why do you always insult me, but not her?” Bryson fired back.
Meow Meow’s eyes narrowed. “Touché.”
After Bryson winked at the hat, he looked back at Olivia. She still had yet to say a word, and her facial expression was as blank as always. Perhaps even calling it an “expression” wasn’t fitting at all. She had never expressed any sort of emotion in her life, yet she resided in the Passion Kingdom. The people of this kingdom were known for their abnormally strong hearts and the ample amount of Passion Energy flowing through them.
So Olivia’s placement in the Passion Kingdom was odd. She wasn’t like any of her fellow Passion residents. Her face
Bryson snapped out of his trance. He smiled at her and said, “Let’s get going or we’ll miss the biggest day the school has seen in the past three decades.”
On the entirety of their lengthy walk to the Teleplatform, Olivia was fixated on the ground.
“What’s wrong?” Bryson asked.
A long pause followed. As he realized that she wasn’t going to avert her attention from the freshly cut grass, he sighed and said, “You’re not one to show anything of what you’re feeling, but since we left my house, you haven’t said one word—or even made a noise for that matter.”
“I am fine,” she replied.
Bryson threw up his arms in shock and bellowed, “She’s alive! Thank the Goddess, she’s alive!”
“She’s not fine,” Meow Meow said. “She’s upset because it’s both of your birthdays today, and once again, you’re ignoring it like every year prior to this—”
FWAP! The kitten hat’s sentence was cut short by Olivia’s soft fist. She looked away from the ground and stared blankly at Bryson. “Nothing is wrong,” she repeated.
From the frown on Meow Meow’s face, this was an obvious lie. Meow Meow knew everything that went on inside of Olivia’s head. Essentially, his mind lived inside of her mind. No one knew how he came into her possession. When Bryson met her, she had the hat on. And while her possession of it was a mystery in itself, the strangest part was its existence at all. It went against all logic.
Ignoring the birthday comment, Bryson stared up at the sky as they continued walking. A game of peek-a-boo was being played by the sun, using the clouds as its hands, while the land of the Intel Kingdom glowed in childlike joy each time its mother’s life-giving rays reached ground.
He suddenly became queasy. “A mother …” he muttered to himself as he switched his gaze toward the grass, sticking out his bottom lip.
They reached the teleplatform that would take them to the Light Realm’s school, Phesaw. Based on the acronym FESAW, it represented the five powers of the five light kingdoms—Fire (Passion), Electricity (Intel), Speed (Adren), Ancients (Archaic), and Wind (Spirit).
Bryson and Olivia were starting a new journey at Phesaw this year. The two of them had coasted through years of typical courses that every student takes, but now it was time for them to meet the special eight other people who were chosen to be a part of a very prestigious group—a group that hadn’t existed for thirty years.
Bryson climbed onto the elevated, golden platform enclosed by lightning-filled diamond rods. The cage began to gleam as Bryson reached down to assist Olivia up. He stumbled backward as he hoisted her.
“Are you getting weaker or is Olivia becoming a fat ass?” heckled a voice from the back of the cage. “She looks like she could pass for fourteen, so I’m guessing it’s you.”
A normal sixteen-year-old girl would have been offended by the accusations, but not Olivia. Unfazed, she looked at the boy and said, “Hello, Geno.”
Bryson, on the other hand, straightened up, strutted toward Geno, and shoved him in the chest.
“Hey, jerk. I have been wiping the floor clean with you for the past five years. She would do the same if she wasn’t so kind-hearted.”
“Dude, I’m almost seven feet tall,” Geno replied, which was scarcely an exaggeration. “You really think you could take me?”
“You’re all attitude, no action. I hope you have fun drifting through another boring school year,” Bryson smugly retorted as he reached up and jabbed Geno with his finger. “Olivia and I have new wonders to explore at Phesaw this year.”
Geno just smirked at Bryson, who started to feel more and more ridiculous as he stood there with his scarred finger pressed against Geno’s chest. Someone behind him snickered.
“You look like an idiot,” Meow Meow said.
“Shut up, furball!”
For a brief second, Geno looked confused. Then he smirked again. Looking down at Bryson, he asked, “What do you mean by new ‘wonders’?”
“I mean I’m in a different league this year, boy,” Bryson said, his bravado a bit muffled by Geno’s chest. “You’ll find out what I mean in about an hour.”
Geno rolled his eyes. “Tch, now look who’s all attitude.” He turned around and gave Olivia a look of disgust as he walked away from the confrontation.
Bryson, not ready to end the confrontation, darted after Geno. But he was quickly stopped short by the firm yet soft grip of Olivia’s hand on his wrist. He looked back at her with angry eyes, but once they caught hers, they immediately softened. Nobody could look into the calm sea of Olivia’s blue eyes and not feel tranquility.
“I’m going to make him pay, Olivia. He made us look like fools.”
“Why must you care?” Olivia asked while staring at Bryson as if she was looking at nothing more than a brick wall. “You are stronger. You know this. Must you prove it? No.”
She glanced at Geno, who was now standing with a group of friends. “You would look like a fool if you were to chase after him after the confrontation obviously concluded,” she continued, still holding his wrist. “You will not move from this spot. Is that clear?”
Although her word-choice resembled a mother’s, her delivery wasn’t motherly at all. It was without affect as always.
“Okay,” he said. It was as simple as that. He knew Olivia was right. That was her thing—being correct. She always had an amazing knack for common sense.
The Teleplatform, which resembled a massive bird cage, began spinning. Everyone grabbed hold of one of the many support poles scattered throughout. Most people took their positions casually, ready for what was about to happen. But it was obvious who were the weak ones or the newcomers. They were holding on for dear life with fear in their eyes.
Now brimming with excitement for what was to come, Bryson decided to let go of his pole and trust his balance. He couldn’t help but think that this would thoroughly impress the first years and the pretty girls. Olivia shot a glance at him. When the platform hit maximum rotational speed, and the open field of grass engulfing them began to blur, regret flashed upon Bryson’s face immediately. For a brief moment, sight became nonexistent, signifying the moment of teleportation.
As the platform began to slow, Olivia peered around the cage in effort to find Bryson, but her mistake was looking at eye level. A low murmur of giggles crept throughout the cage. Crumpled at the edge of the platform with his face pressed into the gleaming golden bars, butt in the air, and arms sprawled backward toward his toes, rested Bryson.
“His lack of sense is bewildering,” Meow Meow said with a look of disbelief on his face.
“He tries too hard,” responded Olivia coolly. She strode toward Bryson as he slowly pulled himself up to an attempted prideful stand. As she pushed through the crowd of onlookers, certain comments could be heard:
“That’s Bryson, right?” asked a very young blond girl who looked to be around the age of eight. “The LeAnce kid? His dad created these Teleplatforms and he doesn’t know how to ride in one?”
“Doesn’t look like he’s capable of being anything like his old man,” an older man—probably the girl’s father—responded. “His dad would be ashamed if he saw something like this.”
Ignoring the jibes, Olivia grabbed Bryson’s upper arm and pulled him toward the door. His yellow bangs had fallen in front of his eyes and he was holding his forehead. His eyes were unseen, but the thrum of his anger was palpable. From an onlooker’s perspective, the reason for his rage would seem to be obvious—he had just made a complete fool of himself in front of a large crowd. But this was not the problem at all.
Gingerly, Olivia guided her friend down the steps, which stretched nearly five stories into the sky. They had arrived at Telejunction, a major landmark in the Light Realm that sat atop a hill and loomed over the school of Phesaw. The entirety of its vast campus could be see
On the way down, Olivia spotted a few of her friends leaving their respective Teleplatforms, but there was no time for distraction. Bryson was not fit for any social encounter at the moment. While he was a dreary person at heart, when he was around other people, normally he knew how to put on a mask. And without his jubilance, nobody would want to be forced into the awkwardness of holding a conversation with Olivia alone.
Meow Meow squinted toward the direction of the vast granite landing. Scanning the area, his eyes finally rested on an empty spot where the floor met dirt, and patches of grass struggled to peek through the shade underneath a lone dead tree.
He didn’t have to point it out to Olivia. The moment Meow Meow spotted the empty location, she saw it too. Not directly through her eyes, but indirectly through his.
Olivia nodded and sped up her pace down the steps. Weaving through the traffic of people and dragging Bryson behind her, her purple hair bounced with each step. Once at the bottom, she pivoted to the right and walked briskly toward her destination. A sudden blurt came from the crowd she had now distanced herself from.
“Olivia! Bryson! Come on, we’ll head to Phesaw together!” shouted a tall, tan boy with black hair.
She ignored him and continued walking. The boy frowned and turned away. With their destination reached, Olivia sat Bryson against the tree. She took a seat on the lip of the granite floor and stared at her friend. Bryson’s body was limp, and sniffling could be heard. As brittle and forlorn as he looked, it was like he was leaning against his own mirror image.
The Jestivan (Erafeen, #1) by David F. Farris / Fantasy have rating 4.5 out of 5 / Based on18 votes