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The Elemental

By @ThatOneAnimeGirl

Chapter 1

Long ago, our world was a thriving society, with many different countries.

North America. South America. Europe.

But after the Great Desertion, everyone gathered in one place.

As the world crashed down them, people cried out in fear for their savior.

And the Elemental was born.

They purified the water.

They cleansed the air.

They stopped the fire.

And with their last breath of life, they used the earth to build a large rock wall around the newly-formed society, so everyone would be safe, and history would never repeat itself.

But hate and lies can’t be stopped with a wall.

They swim through the water.

They fly through the air.

They burn through the fire.

They dig through the earth.

Now, the society is ruled by a corrupt leader.

The whispers of rebellion move through the people.

Some call for the Elemental.

Some sit and wait to die.

But the strongest try to fight back.


I get out of bed right at the bell’s last toll. Sleeping in is only a First-Level Offence, nothing major, but I’d rather not have my name on the List. For as long as I can remember, it’s been this way. Everything is punishable. First-Level Offence gets your name on the List. Second-Level Offences get your name checked on the List, and a reprimand in front of the whole society. Third-Level Offences gets your name circled on the List, and one final warning. If you dare commit a Fourth-Level Offence, your name gets erased from the List, because you are dead. I’ve never seen a Fourth-Level, but there’s a legend swirling around about a girl who commited a Fourth-Level and then escaped punishment. They say that she escaped beyond the Wall, but how could she possibly have done so? The Wall is so tall, I used to believe it reached the clouds. A group of Air-Studiers told me that it was impossible, but it was nice to believe. But of course, all imagination is forbidden in the society. Almost everything is forbidden in the society. Before her death, my mother used to spin me wonderful tales of before Emperor Rowan, when there was no Offences, no List, and everyone was free to practice their magic however they liked. Ridiculous, of course. An Earth-Studier wouldn’t be caught dead with an Air-Studier, and just the thought of Fire-Studiers and Water-Studiers working together is laughable. The only reason the Workers interact with people outside of their element is because it’s necessary to their job. But other than that, all magic is kept to people like you. People exactly the same as you.

A beep from my wristband warns me that I have spent too much time daydreaming. As always. My mother always laughed at me for telling the stories I came up with, but now just the thought (no thinking. no thinking.) of sharing what I find in my head is insane. My stories could be counted as treasonous, and that’s at least a Third-Level offence. Before today, I would be exempt from having my name on the list, but after the Test, you’re just as open to punishment as everyone else. I put on the blue clothes of a Water-Kin, and put my wristband under the sensor so my breakfast can arrive. Everybody’s food is perfectly catered to their dietary needs, just enough to keep you from starving, but never enough to make you full. It’s always the same old cereal, and one piece of fruit. Today’s my lucky day, since the assigned fruit is a pear. Those tend to be my favorite, when they’re not bruised or spoiled. “Enjoy your meal, Liana.” As if there wasn’t evidence enough that I was different, the machine just has to throw my name in there too. My mother named me herself, rather than taking my assigned name of Bryn. Liana isn’t a Water name. It’s an old Earth name. Stelliana, the girl who escaped. Named after the stars themselves. After she disappeared, the Earth banned the name from being used. But they never banned Liana, or Stella. That’s my whole name. Liana Stella Mason, of the Water people. Even though she’s never shown a droplet of water magic in her life. Even though she’s never shown any magic at all.

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