. . . This is a snippet that I’ve been meaning to get around to writing on for nearly two years now. Wow, time flies, hm? Galvin and Cadun’s story is a small spinoff of a much larger story, which may actually eventually be published under …some name. It is set in a world with multiple stories that vary widely. I asked people to suggest characters and then wrote their individual stories in an effort to widen my knowledge of the world and give it depth. From my point of view, it worked remarkably well, and challenged my writing skills as well. Galvin and Cadun are both fill-in characters that I came up with, but they turned out to be cute enough together that I wanted to write a bit more about them.
Here’s a little background, if you care. If you don’t, just go ahead and skip to the snippet.
Galvin and Cadun attend the Imperial Academy, which starts at grade 11 and goes through collage in top level government and business courses. Galvin and Cadun are in a specialized program that is entirely paid for by the Emperor, and in return, the graduates work for the Emperor the rest of their lives. The graduates, called ‘Vexcrips’ or ‘Emperor’s Wolves’ are one or two person units who act as troubleshooters and disaster relief, often sent in to situations that otherwise would require a platoon or more of soldiers to fix the problem.
Even low rank students like Cadun are people that the average badass would do well to think twice about annoying. Cadun’s worries center around the fact that he’s somewhat of a spaz compared to the average vexcrip student, personality-wise, and he deals particularly badly with watching Galvin fight alone. He knows that he could be asked to leave on the basis of slightly sub-par fighting skills (for the program) and an apparently unstable temperament.
Cadun went white as a sheet and crumpled the note in his hand a bit savagely.
“What’s the matter?” Galvin asked lazily. Cadun got upset easily, but he got over things easily most of the time, too, so it usually wasn’t worth getting worked up over.
Cadun shook his head, indicating he couldn’t bring himself to talk about it.
Concerned now, Galvin rose and pried the note out of his hand. He smoothed it out and read it. It was a summons to the administrator’s office. No wonder Cadun had gone pale. He was at the bottom of his class, as well as more openly emotional than the average Vexcrip was wont to be. Cadun was facing the possibility that he was being expelled.
“I’ll go with you.” He wasn’t going to let his lover face that alone.
Cadun swallowed hard, biting his lip for a moment, then said shakily, “Th-Thank you.”
The administrator’s office was chilly, large, and starkly impersonal. A picture of the Emperor’s Chief of Staff in uniform was the only slightly personal touch in the whole room. The administrator himself was a slender man with purple and black hair who reminded Galvin strongly of Taka in his year. He was pretty sure they were related, but found he didn’t quite have the guts to ask in the face of the administrator’s cold stare.
“If you had come alone, I was going to expel you.”
Galvin shifted his weight uneasily. That sounded as if Cadun wasn’t being expelled.
“I didn’t come alone.” Cadun pointed out, tone puzzled.
“Yes, I see that. Very good.”
Silence fell, and the administrator turned his attention to some paperwork. Finally Cadun spoke. “Sir?”
The administrator lifted his head, his expression clearly saying ‘You’re still here?’ “What? Oh, yes. Galvin Rhygher will be your permanent vexcrip partner. That is all. You may go.”
Cadun blinked, then gave a slight bow. “Thank you, sir.”
They took that as their cue to haul ass out of there. Outside, Galvin paused and took a deep breath, then pulled Cadun close and hugged him tightly, burying his face in the blue hair. If Cadun had gone home, his family would have arranged a marriage for him. Not that Galvin would have lost him, but keeping him would have been a lot harder. A couple minutes later, he lifted his head and relaxed his grip. “Don’t think you get to slack off just because you’re my partner.”
Cadun stiffened in affront. “As if I would! You just wait, I’ll get better than you.”
“I will. Come on. I’m hungry.” Cadun headed towards the dorm.
Galvin reached out and steered him towards Harusuilu’s Redoubt. “Let’s celebrate with good food. My treat.”
Cadun shivered. “I don’t like her.”
He grinned. “She likes you. Besides, her food is the best.” Haru had a tendency to tease Cadun until he flew into a rage or dissolved into tears. He’d tell her to lay off for today. Cadun wasn’t as fragile as he seemed, but there was no point in spoiling the good news for him.
Note: Harusuilu is also the name of the goddess of dark evil, and her redoubt, where she is confined, is said to be where the darkest of woes and suffering originate to seep out into the world.Let’s just say Haru’s parents have a nasty sense of humor.
Haru finds it funny to see people’s reaction to the name of her on-campus eatery. She doesn’t really like superstitious people, though, and finds ways to get rid of them in a hurry. This doesn’t actually hurt her business, since people line up for approximately two blocks to get food around lunch time. She is a very good cook.