His magic had never failed him before, and now a boy was dead. It had to happen at some point.
Kira looked down and covered her ears. Her palms drowned out the lap of the waves against the hull, and the subtle splash of the charms hitting the water as the mourners dropped them over the side. It did not stop their muted thoughts as the rolled about inside her skull.
And what did they expect, trusting an outsider to teach one of their own? Poor kid, it wasn’t his fault. Maybe his mother’s, possibly the mage’s, certainly whoever had let the whole thing go on so long…
She left the mourners to their rituals. It’d been foolish to think she’d find any solace in them, or in the ugly thoughts of the others. Outside the small gathering honoring the victims of the storm, life continued. The wind died to a breeze and the sun emerged, drying the decks. The rumble of talk filled the spaces between the creak and snap of mast and sail.
…and now a boy was dead
Kira’s thin fingers clenched the fabric of her skirt as she hurried past the easy labor and idle chatter. She desperately wished to reach out and wreck something. Share with them the horrific potential each moment possessed to undo everything. Kira wanted to punish them for waking in the morning to go to their work. For daring to grumble, and chuckle, and gripe about the frayed ropes and waterlogged sails when she was living in an unmade reality.
Except the universe was a greedy thing. It wasn’t enough that it had taken her brother in its flurry of wind and water. Now stirring deep in the petty minds around Kira, it conspired to deprive her of a teacher, this outsider and mage. Working in people’s sideways eyes and whispered words, it would steal the only person who shared a piece of her broken world. Who’d cared for her brother the way people ought to have.
She would not help the greedy thing along. Kira knew what thoughts would fester in minds, she’d seen their roots.
The man can’t control his own student, and he’s just got the one now. Making bad situations worse. You heard what she did, someone should be held responsible…
They’d drive him out.
So Kira twisted her skirt in her fingers until the course fabric nearly tore. She fled from the others, keeping her head down and her mind lashed tightly to herself until she could find a place her brother would have liked. Someplace secluded and quiet, away from the loudness of people and their vapid ignorant thoughts.