Fandom: The Legend of Sun Knight
Summary: Grisia wasn't chosen as the Sun Knight. This is the legend of the strongest Pope in all history. AU.
Notes: I have a feeling few people thought Charlotte would have a POV. XD
Part 10: Charlotte
When I was younger, I met a boy my age with a smile as warm as the sun. Although warm, his wasn't a gentle smile. Rather, it was a cheeky one, but I didn't really care what kind of smile it was. All that mattered was that he'd smiled at me.
It was an encounter that changed my life. I had been nameless and friendless; I came out of that encounter with a name and the knowledge that I could have friends.
I wasn't a cursed girl. I wasn't!
Back then, I had terrible control over the dark element. It would gather around me even when I didn't call on it, always enveloping me and dyeing me in murky darkness. I drowned in it all the time, and I didn't even know what it was. I only knew that it was scary. I thought it to be unnatural. I thought myself to be dirty. I thought I deserved to be called names.
I didn't know what to do. I couldn't see a way out. I didn't know if I was worth it.
He saved me that day, lightning dancing on his fingertips as he warned the bullies away. At first, the other boys didn't think anything of him, but then he grinned and electrified them all. They beat a hasty retreat after that, stumbling over each other in their attempts to run away.
I watched through tear-filled eyes with my breath caught in my throat. His back was so small; he probably wasn't any older or taller than me, but he had been so amazing. He turned and spoke to me, but all I could focus on was that bright smile of his. I didn't hear a word he said.
He held his hand out. I tore my gaze away from his smile to stare at his hand. He thought I was afraid of the lightning. He hastily held both hands up to show that he wasn't going to harm me. No sparks danced along his hands.
But that wasn't why I was hesitating.
"I'll get you dirty," I whispered and hid my hands behind my back. I had dirt beneath my fingernails. My sleeves were rags. My hair was in my face. Dark murkiness swirled around my body. "You'll fall into misfortune."
He, on the other hand, was dressed in pristine white, his hair a brilliant gold.
He was so bright.
So, so bright.
He wrinkled his face at my words. "Misfortune? That's silly. Those bullies know nothing. I'd like to see them try in front of Lesus. I'll make sure he drags them off to the Judge's Complex to make them repent!" He suddenly paused. "When he's older, I mean. If we went behind the Judgment Knight right now, we'd probably be the ones dragged there instead..."
I stared at him, not quite sure what he was rambling about. The only thing that actually registered was "Judgment Knight."
I squeaked out, "Judgment Knight?"
"You know, from the Church of the God of Light?" he said, as if I didn't know who the Judgment Knight was. I knew, of course. Everyone knew. He was the one who punished criminals. He was the one who dragged sinners off to repent. I shrank into myself.
"Are you going to have him drag me off?" I asked in a small voice.
He frowned. I immediately missed his smile. "Why would I do that?"
"Because I bring misfortune."
He waved his hand, dismissing my words. "As I've said before, that's silly. More importantly, let me see those injuries of yours. I can make the pain go away."
I didn't believe him, but a soft warm light emitted from his hands and covered my bruises. When the light dispersed, all the pain was gone.
I held a hand up and stared at it in wonder. I curled my fingers. It really didn't hurt at all, and it was like the bruises were never there. All the darkness was gone. How had he done it?
"Hehe, amazing, right?" he boasted and held his arms out. Soft, beautiful light danced on his palms, entirely unlike the prickly lightning that he had been playing with earlier. This was a healing light, soothing to the touch.
I could never do something like that, could I?
I scrunched up my face, willing light like his to come to my palms. But instead of a gentle healing light, black tendrils wove around my fingers.
"No..." I gasped. No, this wasn't it at all. I really was an unlucky girl, wasn't I? He'd only just chased off the darkness, and I just had to call it back. I could only call on unhappiness...
I don't want to be dragged off to prison!
I clasped my hands together, trying to make the black tendrils go away, to hide them.
Suddenly, a hand touched mine. I squeaked and glanced up in alarm. I blurted, "W-what if it dyes you black?"
"Don't worry, that's not going to happen," he said. Then, he looked at my hands, eyes wide in... fascination? Why would he be fascinated?
"Is there anything else you could do with that?" he asked, poking at the black tendrils. They curled around his fingers.
No! I snatched my hand away, clutching it to my chest. I couldn't let the darkness spread to him.
He paused but didn't make a comment about it. Instead, it was like the dark tendrils hadn't touched him and interrupted his train of thought. He gathered an orb of light much like what he had done earlier and asked, "Like, can you do this with it?"
I breathed in and out. Calm down, I told myself. Stop panicking. Take control. Maybe I could actually control it?
Not at all sure what I was doing, I scrunched my face up, willing the dark tendrils to leave my hands and curl together into a compressed ball. The tendrils did exactly as I imagined, the last strand curving around the sphere and melting into it seamlessly.
I gasped and held my hand up to show him. "I did it!"
He grinned. "That's so cool! You must be a mage."
"A mage? I'm not a mage... I can't be a mage..."
How could I be a mage?
"Eh, why not?"
"Because I'm nobody," I replied and lowered my eyes, letting my hand drop. The dark tendrils fell apart, dripping off my hand like black ink.
He frowned. "Well, I'm Grisia, and I'm the pope-in-training. What's your name then?"
Pope-in-training? Doesn't that mean he's part of the Church? It sounds like a place that would never welcome me...
I squeaked out, "They call me Unlucky..."
I would always remember what happened next. It was how I came by my name.
"Unlucky isn't a proper name! You need a real name." He paused and then said, "What about Charlotte? It means a healthy girl." Before I could respond, he went on to say, "I'm calling you Charlotte. You're Charlotte now."
I didn't even care that he hadn't given me any room for negotiation. I had a name now.
Charlotte Charlotte Charlotte.
He didn't hesitate at all to grab my dirty hand that had just been covered in darkness. There was a popular dessert shop he wanted to visit, even though they didn't have a particular type of blueberry pastry he liked. What they did have was blueberry lollipops, and he wanted one.
As he pulled me along, I stared at his back in wonder and then at our connected hands. I could not help the smile that came over my face.
The lollipop was really delicious, even though it was much smaller than the one Grisia had bought for himself. He didn't have enough ducats for two of the gigantic lollipops, but I loved the one I got just the same. It was a gift from him, as I had no money of my own. He was really nice, I decided, especially since he only wanted a small favor in return. I kicked my legs against the side of the fountain we sat at, the taste of sweet blueberry on my tongue. It was a taste I would never forget.
Was this what having a friend felt like?
"Can you do it again?" Grisia asked.
I blinked. He waved his free hand. Oh, did he want me to gather those dark tendrils again? Would I be able to do it? Or would they end up taking over...
I bit my lips, with the lingering taste of blueberry on my tongue, and reached out my left hand. Then, I focused. Black wisps gathered and immediately formed a ball this time.
I-I did it!
I turned to him. He had a grin on his face. Then, he turned serious and stared at his hand. I glanced down too. Dark wisps trailed around it.
"Cool," he said as if it were nothing. "Looks like I can do it, too."
Blue eyes darting up, he once more grinned at me. "See? You're not an unlucky girl. This is magic."
Magic, I whispered. Magic.
The day grew late even though I wished it wouldn't. He surveyed the sky and abruptly leaped to his feet. "I have to go meet my teacher now. We're going to try finding my big sister again. But just wait until he sees this!" Black tendrils danced around his fingers. "Bet I'll be able to shock him even more this time."
"Even more? Do you like shocking your teacher...?" I asked hesitantly. Shocking an adult did not seem like something we should be doing. I had been chased away for less.
Grisia shrugged, and as he spoke, the dark tendrils began weaving together with sparks of lightning. When Grisia started gesturing to emphasize his point, the orb stayed floating right where it was. "He's this amazing mage. He knows so much. But he's so stingy about teaching me. So I figure I should shock it all out of him."
"Even more amazing than you?" I asked, watching the floating orb.
"But not for long," he said cheekily.
I hurriedly nodded, not doubting that at all.
"Bye, Charlotte. Huh, naming a friend is such a nice feeling." He paused, mouth turning downwards. "But too bad all of my other friends already have names. Oh! I know! I can give them nicknames."
I smiled shyly. "I think they'd like that."
Grisia beamed. "See you later, Charlotte. Wait for me here tomorrow, okay? We can experiment with more magic. If I'm late or I don't come, it might be because my teacher shut me in the library to make me learn magic theory again." He made a face at that. "But at least Demos is there."
He fixed some sort of veil over his face, and I was immediately disappointed to see his smile hidden away. But when he turned toward me, I thought I could see a trace of who he would grow up to be. His lightheartedness was still there, but he spoke as the future Pope. "Charlotte, if my teacher does shut me in the library, you could always come and visit instead. In fact, the Church of the God of Light welcomes you. We could always use another pair of hands, and there are many girls among the clerics, so you won't be alone there."
I won't be alone? Maybe, I would have... friends? I...
"But what about..." I stared down at my hands.
"I bet Demos can look up what the deal is with that for us," he said, gesturing at my hands. "He can find anything among those books. Besides, like I said, it's magic!"
I gulped. Magic or not, could someone like me be accepted there? A cleric heals, right? I can't... I can't do something like that. Yet...
I promised him, "I'll wait, and if you don't show up, I'll go find you."
I'll go find you.
I stared forlornly down at the ground. His teacher must have shut him in the library. It was... it was time to find him. They might not accept me like he did, but I had to try, even if I couldn't be a cleric. Maybe I could do something else and still be useful. I could be Charlotte and not some unlucky girl.
Just as I hardened my resolve, a pair of feet stopped before me. My heart thumped. Was Grisia back? I started to raise my head, but before I could finish doing so, the owner of the pair of feet knelt down on one knee, head lowered. His clothes were black.
He was not Grisia.
The stranger lifted his head. His smile wasn't warm like the sun, nor was it cheeky, but it was a smile all the same, one that was aimed at me. With reverent eyes, he said in a soft voice, "I have finally found you, my child."
to be continued
So, this chapter has actually been mostly written for a long time (a year), but I kept pushing it back, wanting to introduce more of the Twelve Holy Knights first, and the ending gave me so much trouble. I'm finally pleased with it now though, after deleting a lot of it. XD