The Parasite Timekeeper Chapter 1

The Beginning

By Bounty Hunter Lani

582 A.D.

Dark clouds again, thought Janus as he sat beside the huge window and stared towards the heavens. His eleven year old body was leaned back in a stiff wooden chair. What year was this again? Oh, yes, the year 582. Not too long ago did he arrive here and he could never determine the day, but they were all the same anyway. These strange beings, Mystics, he believed they were known as, had taken him in as soon as he had arrived. It was as if they had been waiting for his coming; Janus had never thought he could feel so out of place. He never fathomed he could miss his real home, back in Zeal, back in the year 12,000 since now he was in this wretched place.

Janus looked down at the long wooden table that spread in front of him. He hadn’t touched his food. He hadn’t been that hungry lately. He raised his hand over the table and made his fork levitate a few inches through the air. Boredom, he was afraid, had taken him over quickly.

Sounds from the hall snapped him out of his weary pondering and he turned his cold eyes to the door.

“Enjoying your meal, young Janus?” asked the tall thin Mystic.

“Quite,” was his simple, drab reply.

Janus proceeded to turn his face back to the window as a perfect rhythm of footsteps reached his ears. Slash stepped aside as the tall slender woman entered. Her hair was red silk and her perfect figure was framed by a long colorful cloak.

“Are you ready for today’s lesson?” She asked, but her eyes were drawn to his plate. “You haven’t eaten!” she exclaimed, taking long strides to the table. “ This is not a choice you know. You will eat!”

“I’m not hungry,” Janus replied.

“Not hungry?! You should eat so you will grow strong! Do you want to have this tiny itty-bitty body forever?!” she shouted. “Or do you want to advance so you can lead an army? No one will follow someone as puny as you!”

Flea grabbed hold of Janus’s shoulder where his muscle should be and gave it a bruising pinch. He jerked it away without flinching, but the pain was there.

“Just as I thought, no muscle. I don’t think you’ve been doing your job, Slash.”

“I do the best I can with this runt!” Slash jumped in, only for his defense. “He won’t cooperate. Not only is he weak but he isn’t too bright!”

Janus just sat in his chair, taking all the insults. They’ll be sorry one day, he vowed. At the moment all he would do was clutch the arms of his chair until his skin broke open.

“You little spoiled ingrate!” Flea scolded. “After all that’s been done for you, you can’t give us any respect. We could have just left you out in the world to die. You would have never made it as weak as you are. All alone in the world.....but we took you in. We treat you like a bloody king here! Yet no thanks ever befalls us.”

Grabbing a handful of food from the plate, she slapped it back down onto the table. Bits of it shot into Janus’s soft blue hair. His lips tightened with anger.

“Flea has a point, boy. We give you everything....try to nurture you.....and you’re still--”

“Yes,” Flea interrupted. “A brat.”

Janus just sat sullenly and angrily. Finally, his nerve to speak rose and he opened his mouth to utter quietly.

“I’ll cast on you both,” he threatened.

“What’d you say?” Slash asked menacingly.

“You know you’d only be hurting yourself in the long run.” Flea reminded him.

“I’ll call Ozzie then. He’ll give me peace from you two!”

Flea’s lips curled laughingly.

“Good,” she spoke calmly. “I hope you scream bloody murder! Do I look like I care? Besides, Ozzie doesn’t know what’s best for you and to advance your learning. That’s our job.”

Janus angrily turned away. He didn’t know how much more he could take of this. Flea took a deep breath and straightened her cloak along with her manner.

“If you aren’t going to eat, at least let us get on with your lesson.”

“Not today,” Janus muttered quietly.

“What did you say?” she asked, turning abruptly.

“I said I don’t feel like it today.”

“Why you little—!”

Slash stepped into her path, blocking her way to the young boy.

“What are you doing?! Get out of my way you fool!” she spat.

“Ozzie would like to keep the boy in one piece, Flea.” Slash said quietly. “He may be our only chance.

She took a few deep breaths to calm herself, them she looked toward Janus.

“Tomorrow then, early.”

With all said, they left Janus alone in the large meal room to ponder what he was to become.

He had suffered from insomnia, several weeks and counting. Every time he closed his eyes he saw her face: the calm, sweet face of his sister, Schala. She had been the only one that ever tried to show him love, but he had usually refused it. He had never turned to her for comfort, only sit, stroking Alfador’s soft fur and crying gently. Only now that he was in this place did he truly miss her kind and selfless acts towards him.

He knew he would never attain affection here. Ozzie’s meddlesome toying in Janus’s life always left his curiosity and annoyance on high. Slash taught Janus the way of the sword and weaponry, but he always remained stern and there were endless insults. Janus learned quickly, but praise was hard to come by. Flea taught Janus to advance his magic skills. Style and presentation were always important to her and she seemed only to praise herself when he did well. Her lessons were filled with endless repeats, accompanied by massive teasing about Janus’s eleven year old immaturities.

Janus sighed and listened as the air echoed off the stone walls. Pulling himself out of his chair, he headed off to bed. Perhaps he would sleep tonight.


Janus found Flea waiting in the main hall the next morning. Her hair was pulled back in a tight braid and she wore a long flowing skirt, topped off with a corset that showed just the right amount of her firm tummy and a gracious amount of shoulder skin. She was then covered by a long white cloak. Janus wanted to laugh. He had always thought she looked so plain. Even when she dressed elaborately it was always the same. She prided herself in being the most beautiful woman alive, but Janus had only been there a few short weeks and he had already become accustomed to her looks. How Slash, Ozzie and many others had not yet reached that plateau was baffling to him. He would tell her himself, but he was saving that one for a special occasion.

“Ready to begin?” she asked.

“I suppose. Try not to bore me today, Flea.” he mused with a yawn.

“So, you’re becoming tired of what we’ve been doing?” she accused.

“Elementals and status altering magic are nothing now. I knew how to do that when I was four. I think I need something more challenging.... Perhaps then I can stay awake.”

“So, you think you’re ready for your peak, hmmmm? At your mere age of eleven?”

“I think I’m ready to try.”

Flea examined him for a moment, not quite sure what she should say. She turned to Ozzie and Slash, who were standing in the corner. Ozzie gave her the go ahead and she nodded. A try couldn’t hurt.

“.........Alright. We’ll give it a go,” Flea said after a moment. As you know, people have their own speciality of magic. I’ve been looking into yours and I propose that you could definitely be a shadow caster. Any magic as rare to come by in this age, so use it properly, and you can become exceedingly powerful.”

They stepped out of the fort and into the light. The suns rays shown through the cloudy sky and fell on the land in conservative portions. Slash and Ozzie followed them out. Perhaps the day had finally come.

“I have designed a spell for you and...”

“Shadow?” asked Janus hurredly.

“Yes. But...”

“Tell he how to use it!” he insisted.

“I will, but first....”

“I don’t want to here you talk anymore! Just tell me how to use it!” Janus shouted.

Flea fell silent. What could she say? She just stood, looking down with a menacing stare. Ozzie waited patiently for the turnout while Slash, standing with a smirk, hoped Flea would strike the boy. She simply took a breath.

“Walk over there and look to the sky. Close your eyes and raise your hands to the heavens. You must have deep concentration. Slowly, you will feel the power fill you. It will start at your feet and replenish your entire body. When the power reaches your wrists, tighten the bones in your hands and the spell with come, “ she explained.

Janus turned without a word and headed for the designated spot, when he reached it, he reviewed what Flea had told him in his mind and performed the task to every detain as she said. When he was sure the spell should be casting, he opened his eyes to see, just in time to see the clouds part and the sun shine on his pale face. The birds twittered and the breeze blew gently through his hair.

“What was that supposed to be?” Ozzie asked, as if prepared to see the world bend but missed it. Slash let out a chuckle.

“Maybe you should tell him the magic words, Flea,” he sneered.

She turned her charming face toward him coldly. “Don’t make me tell you a few.”

Janus looked toward the three and shrugged. His expression was twisted between profound bewilderment and anger.

“What was supposed to happen?” he demanded, he voice raised to stretch the distance. “Because I don’t think THAT was it!”

“Flea, I thought you said he could deliver us with his magic. Looks to me like we have the wrong boy,” Ozzie said.

“Perhaps he’s not the odyssey we thought,” said Slash.

“That’s not it at all,” Flea corrected. “I’d like to be alone with him please.”

“Bu...,” Slash began.

“Now! It’s very important we be alone!”

“Fine,” Slash said, very abashed. “But if he loses his temper and fries you with his ‘all powerful magic’ don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

With that, he and Ozzie reentered the fort, speaking of what their possibilities were now.

“It didn’t work. You must have told me something wrong,” Janus accused Flea as she approached him.

“No. I tried to tell you but you wouldn’t listen.”

“Tell me what?” Janus demanded.

“I was going to tell you that you can’t cast new unfamiliar magic unless your soul and conscience are clear. You must be able to feel the power. Only then can you release didn’t feel the power.....did you?” she asked.

“How do I know!? I don’t know what power feels like!”

“Exactly. You’ve been casting too much ‘no brain’ magic. When you finally feel the power you’ll know.....besides, it still doesn’t matter if your mind isn’t stressed,” she turned away and smiled slyly. “But I know your conscience is clean. Nothing troubles you. You must have just done something wrong.”

“I don’t make mistakes like that!” Janus snapped.

“Then there is something bothering you. You know, you can always tell me anything. I might be able to help you.”

Janus lowered his head. There was no way he could tell her what was bothering him. Besides, she wouldn’t understand. He stared at the ground.

“Well, if you won’t tell me, I suppose I could guess......are we pushing you too hard? Is what we’re teaching too difficult for you to grasp?”

“No,” he replied quietly.

“Hmmmmm........does it bother you that you’re so small and weak?”

Janus simply shook his head to this.

“Well.........let’s see.......,” Flea said as she pretended to think of something else. She paused for several moments before stating what she knew was true. “Do you miss someone?”

Janus looked at her through the corner of his eye but said nothing.

“That’s natural. Missing people is part of life.”

Only silence from Janus, who was behind her.

“It must be your sister that you miss. I saw you looking at a picture one day. I supposed it was her. She looks........caring. She was very beautiful.”

Janus still sat in silence. The conversation was strictly one-sided. Still, perhaps she could still help him.

“You know, There is a way to put an end to your suffering, if a way out is what you’re searching for.”

“What’s that?” he asked, not really sounding too interested.

“Put ‘Janus’ behind you.” she told him, turning.

“What do you mean?” he asked, not impressed.

“Assume a new identity. We can rid you of your old troubles and you can start again, with a new life and new strengths.....and new powers. You’re power will consume you, and you’ll be able to forget much easier and move straight into the future! Turn your sorrow into motivation!”

“I don’t know........,” Janus said.

“Don’t answer yet. Think about it. You have plenty of time. I don’t believe your body will be able to transform quite yet.”

“How long?” he asked.

“Five years,” she said.

Janus didn’t like the sound of that. He hadn’t planned on staying that long. He wanted to get out of there as soon as he became strong enough. But he would consider. It would be much easier to move on with his life if he had new motivation, he agreed.

“Don’t say it now,” Flea insisted. “You’ll know the only answer soon enough.”

Janus stood staring at the ground as Flea brushed by him. She knelt on the ground in front of him and looked into his eyes.

“I want to be friends, Janus. I don’t feel as thought we can let this feud go on. I only want to teach you.”

She raised herself up and offered her hand to him. He stared at it, confused. Was this supposed to be a gesture of kindness? He looked up at her face and decided that perhaps he could humor her....for now. He grasped her hand and they walked inside together.


Janus stayed awake all night, pondering his options.

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