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Quintessence 空

Summary: The Five Elements Challenge. Air 气, Fire 火, Earth 地, Water 水, Quintessence 空. His home was burning around him...The smoke was everywhere, but that was manageable, because Artemis didn't need to breathe at this point; he just needed the twins out.

Chapters: 1 2 3 4 5

6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 56 votes, average: 5.00 out of 56 votes, average: 5.00 out of 56 votes, average: 5.00 out of 56 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5 (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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His home was burning around him. 

The scent stuck in his nostrils, the dead, blackened smell of burnt timber and melted metal and singed hair. He hoped it would come out eventually. And then he hoped that they could come out. 

  “Quick,” he coughed. He had one hand on each of his little twin brother’s backs, steering them toward the way out of the burning manor. Beckett and Myles stumbled a bit and cried out occasionally, but Artemis was reasonably certain that they weren’t injured. Or at least not as injured as he himself was.   

  Don’t think about it. Don’t think about the gash. Just get out. Just get out. Just get the twins out… 

 He repeated the mantra, over and over.   He’d repeat it until they reached sunlight. 

  Myles collapsed when they were nearly out. Artemis could hardly walk on his own, and the deep gash in his side didn’t help, but he picked up the little boy and carried him. 

  Just get the twins out… 

  The smoke was everywhere, but that was manageable, because Artemis didn’t need to breathe at this point; he just needed the twins out. Some rafters and walls were falling at dangerous crisscross angles. And the flames would probably be permanently burned into his retinas.   

  Just get the twins out. 

  Beckett collapsed. Artemis picked him up, too. Couldn’t breathe. No air. 

  Just get the twins out. 

  His brilliant mind was dimming. The mantra continued. Didn’t need to breathe. Twins. 


  No air. Didn’t breathe. Twins. 

  When he reached the sunlight, a different kind of fire, he collapsed with his brothers, careful to fall to the side so the twins landed on top of him. He hardly felt it when they fell on top of the gash in his side and his breathing hitched spasmodically. He hardly felt it when delicate, gloved elfin hands pulled them the rest of the way out of the manor, to lay them on the ground. All that mattered was: They could breathe the clean air again. 

Breathing in…out…everything was silent except for that.

A pair of mismatched eyes hovered in front of his blurry vision, frantically trying to say something, and then against his will, his eyes slowly closed.

   Some time later, Artemis twisted his head to the side with effort, bony jaw line angled sharply, and found himself looking upward into Juliet’s face. She was covered in soot and sweat, too, but at least she could stand, so she couldn’t be badly hurt…but her face had a pained twist… 

  “…one else?” he mumbled. His tongue kept failing him mid-word, and he felt a sensation of being carried above the ground, swaying in the air—a stretcher? 

“Domov…my paren…” The rest was a breath. 

  There didn’t seem to be enough air to breathe, now. Something besides smoke and ash was constricting his chest. 

  “Oh, Artemis,” Juliet whispered, and closed her eyes. 


Chapters: 1 2 3 4 5

Comments on This Post

25 responses to “Quintessence 空.” Join in!

  1. Beckett Simpleton July 19th, 2010 at 7:39 pm 1

    Awesomeness! I’m totally engrossed! Please please please update this! When the plot develops a little more i will rate it. I’ll add it to my faves so i don’t forget about it.


  3. Very good! Now, update! What happened to everyone else?!?!

  4. Oh, Chinese!

    Very good. Rated five. Thou shall update, or be deprived from food.

    I’m disappointed with myself. That was actually the worst threat I could come up with.

  5. Update, pleeeeeese? It’s really good.

  6. Ohansahyosheli July 25th, 2010 at 10:50 pm 6

    空? o_O 風?!?! O.O
    Someone explain!
    …oh. Chinese. Thank you.

  7. It’s just what Arty would do! (Everyone’s begging you for an update, but I think it’s fine as a oneshot.)
    So sad, ohhhh~

  8. Brilliant writing. 🙂 Nice spelling, punctation, and grammar. 😀

    Sad. Very very sad. 🙁 I love thiose stories. 😀 5 Stars. 🙂


  9. I LOVE THis sToRy!!!! 🙂 update update update!!!!


  11. Okay I have finally found a computer and internet in China and I am soooooooooooo glad I did.

    This was amazing. And I can tell the story will get even better.

    One thing. I myself am Chinese and I’m wondering as to whether your characters are correct but my chinese isn’t good enough so tomorrow when my folks are up and about I shall ask them and see if I’m wrong and have gone crazy. I know fire/huo is right.

    By any chance, are you chinese?

    Anywho, I’ma give you 5 stars…and a marshmellow for your sheer awesomeness 🙂

  12. This is AMAZING. No mistakes, and the plot itself was just so beautiful. I’m loving your style; this whole story, really. 😉 Update soon! Thee hath gotten me interested.


  13. Oh, thank you so much to you all! I’d love to say thank you to you all personally (with lots of cookies 🙂 but I just don’t have enough time!
    And if my Chinese characters are off a bit, I’m sorry. I thought I had them pretty accurate…I’m not Chinese. I know more Japanese than Chinese, but I’m not either.

    And as a final topic of interest…it’s my birthday soon! And I bet you all know what I want…

    Thank you all!

  14. If you want, I’ll give you the correct characters once I remember them then your story will not only be awesome but accurate too 😉

  15. Please do, artyrox! Here’s an extra chapter for your trouble! 😉
    Can you just put the characters in a review?
    And yeah! Atlantis Complex is out! I read it, and it’s awesome (even if Arty’s completely mental)! Which is all part of the fun…torturing Artemis, I mean… 🙂

  16. 空–cong which I think means empty or blank or clear etc. I think if you put that with æ°”–qi which means air or breath or gas it becomes air I think. But your word 風–fung means wind or well it looks like the traditional version so I think you’d be better off with either æ°” or 气空. You’ve nailed fire and water. Your earth can be written like that but it means ground or you know the actual globe/world/earth, the more proper characters would be 土壤–tu rang but I think just 土–tu is fine if your going for a one character style.

    Going back to the quintessence thing-I’m not sure which definition you want so erm it’s either the fifth/five element word or the essential core of something. If you could tell me then that’d be dandy.

    Hope that’s made sense and that I’ve been helpful.

    Good day! 😀

  17. 空- kong, not ‘cong’ 😉 yes, it means blank. I personally prefer 纯 , it means purity, quintessence would be 精髓, which sorta means like… Erm… Raw, as per se?
    空气 means air, 風 means wind.
    There are no ‘proper characters’, so to say, but depending on your meaning or definition of the term in your story, there are more appropriate phrases.
    I s’pose, that’s just how I see it. x) It’s really hard to explain Chinese in English, really. 😕
    anyways, it was a pleasure to read your story. I thoroughly thoroughly enjoyed it. 😀

  18. Beckett Simpleton August 9th, 2010 at 11:44 am 18

    NOW I rate and i rate 5 stars! (Sorry I forget about it for so long but my faves list went all wonky)

  19. oh yh it is kong lol I’m always making those mistakes it seems sea is better at the language than me *sigh* probably should work harder at learning it ah well. Until I find I cannot communicate to my cousins then I shall realise I have a problem.

    I gotta point out that you really nail Artemis for me I mean I don’t think I’ve witnessed him being OOC at all-brava 😀

    The next chapter takes a complete 180 degree turn, as the events that have happened finally affect Artemis…in a form no one expects.
    The end is coming.
    (Am I evil or what? 🙂 )
    Cookies for everyone who guesses who actually shot Artemis…all the clues are there…

  21. Beckett Simpleton August 15th, 2010 at 9:55 pm 21

    OOOOOOH! To who? Julie? Not Minnie I hope 🙂 I’m sorry I didn’t reveiw your fourth chapter. I thought it was awesome all the same, but again, it was late at night and i couldn’t even see the letters on the keyboard 🙂

  22. OK so here’s the thing. I was hoping to win, but I know you’ll get first place for the Elements contest. Let me just say an early congrats, thats how great it was! 😀 *Shrugs* Oh well, another day, another fic. I loved it. Maybe you could write a side story?

  23. HappyHappyJoyJoy September 6th, 2010 at 10:48 am 23


  24. you will update, correct

  25. Amazing! Five stars! Two thumbs up!

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