ADIM: Lost Things - Chapter V: New Scar

Virgil’s clothes were good enough to practice charms with, and Virgil wouldn’t want to bother with Carson’s things too—if he were to fail again.

“You can keep it.” Virgil returned the necklace to Carson, and picked up some old clothes he had. Now that he had the material, it was time to practice.

As he went through the pages in the Art of Charms book, he recalled each sigil arranged in the book. From the basic ones—such as Power, Agility, Defense, and a few other attributes—Virgil did recall how did they look, but it took him a few minutes to remember the pronunciations for each sigil. It was as familiar as a language he used to study, but as unfamiliar as a language he hadn’t spoken for literal years.

While Virgil was practicing the chants under his breath, Carson looked at the book and Virgil with a completely clueless look.

“What’s wrong?” Virgil asked, switching back to their native language.

Carson glanced at the book for a moment. "Just trying to figure out what were you saying.”

“Oh, I was rehearsing these ones.” Virgil pointed at the sigils for Power, Agility, and Defense—along with each sigils’ arrangements, that would be needed for each step in charming. And now that he’d gotten a grasp on the words, he added, “I’ll start practicing this on the clothes. It’s like casting a magic spell, but you’ll have to focus on the magic energy surrounding the cloth, instead of the ones inside your body.”

Virgil laid an old shirt down in front of him, as he sat down. Carson followed, though he didn’t look like he understood what Virgil just said.

“So, like, you focus on the cloth, and say the words?”

Virgil nodded. “Quite. And it doesn’t end there. You’ll notice how the magic energy moves around—what comes next is trying to control the energy with your words, so they could properly infuse into this cloth. Just pretend you’re trying to calm an angry or a sad person, and get them to sleep in their bed. Then you make sure they fall asleep.”

“I see… Say, are you like a big brother or something? You sounded like you had some experiences of getting people to sleep.”

“Oh, no. I’m the middle kid. My big brother just liked using that wording.”


Now that Carson brought that up… During the week after he went to an abandoned town with Carson, Virgil was the one who got Carson to sleep almost every night. Carson probably got the impression that Virgil had always been the caring brother figure, but if he’s being honest, it was more of the fact Virgil had always been the one on the receiving end, and Carson was one of the very first people he took care of.

Virgil had always thought he didn’t do a good job of taking care of people. But if Carson’s happy, Virgil would be welcome to lend his hand for him again.

Now that he finally stopped thinking, he realized he was just sitting in silence for a while. He then noticed how Carson was so close to the cloth, so he nudged him away for a little.

And at last, he could finally start.

Power,” Virgil spoke, as his eyes remained locked on the cloth rather than Carson. Carson wouldn’t understand anything Virgil would chant next, so Virgil might as well clear his mind and not get distracted.

As Virgil repeated the word, his surroundings changed. In front of him, he only saw a cloth lying on him, and the orange magic energy he could finally perceive—swirling around the fabric.

For power.”

The orange energy formed an aura surrounding the cloth. As all the sigils appeared in front of him, he repeated each letter, slowly, so it could rearrange itself into the Power magic essence, that may seep into the fabric.

And now, it was time to imbue this essence into the cloth. As Virgil repeated the words over and over, he adjusted the speed for each syllable so it may enter the clothes as smoothly as possible.

Noticing his own anxiety about the outcome, he realized he had just said the last few words too fast, and now that he looked at the cloth again, it appeared as if it was about to tear.

Old clothes rarely reacted this way towards charms, but he better slow down.

But even then, the magic essence threatened to tear this cloth apart. And no matter how much Virgil tried to slow down, he—

Reality ripped his magic-induced trance apart—just like the cloth itself, as Virgil noticed Carson clutching his face.


Virgil’s heart dropped, just like the time he realized he had lost an eye.

Carson would’ve felt disappointed in him, considering how much Virgil’s hand shook as he applied the bandage on Carson’s face.

Virgil had already convinced himself that Carson would be shocked by the accident, until Carson seemed to shrug the pain off.

“Huh? You sure you’re not hurt?” Virgil asked, as panic remained in his voice.

“Come on, it’s just a cut. I’ve gotten way worse.”

“I know, but…”

As Virgil continued to tell Carson it could’ve been worse, Carson reached one point where he just stopped talking back—his expression looked as if Virgil was spouting pure nonsense.

But knowing how Carson could’ve ended up like him—and knowing how harsh everything seemed after that event—he couldn’t let Carson face that, too.

Assume you’re inside Virgil’s mind. Which direction would you take his thoughts to?
  • “I mean, Carson could’ve lived a very different life from me back then. So I shouldn’t worry about Carson going through the same thing. He’s with me and John, after all.”
  • “It’s just a fucking cut. Not to mention, I didn’t fuck up as hard as the time I lost my eye. Just be more careful next time.”
  • “Okay, Carson’s probably thinking I’m acting real weird right now. I better calm down, somehow.”

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Writer's Notes

does virgil look real anxious here
if he does, then whew, im glad i did attempt expressing anxiety in writing. it’s like one of the things i wanted to give a try with, considering how anxious i could get sometimes. might not do a perfect job with it, but im glad i did it.

as for the scenes involving charms in action
(insert a gif of “my source is I made it the fuck up”)
but honestly though, considering how ADIM is just “arcane universe setting but bnt adjusts/adds/subtracts shit for their own story”, i might as well use my creative liberty on this one too