Here’s another bookmark to go with your copy of SongBird by Dighm Liting! I’ll be printing a bunch of these soon once I’m done with some more designs so look out for them! This one is the mermaids who have some of my favorite designs and I’ll be putting out some sketches soon as well.
Meanwhile, you can purchase the novel here:
Age: ??? Species: Mermaid
The King of the Sea has had many forms but the woman who site on the throne now is tolerant of little. She doesn’t smile, but her people speak of her kindness often. It is said that the Sea King can see through the eyes of any creature that dwells under the water and that her magic can lift the entire ocean.
Ahti is not the first Sea King, but she has watched over the waters of Tuonela for many years. She doesn’t seem to care much about what happens on the surface, but from what we can gather, she’s quite fond of Louhi. She is the purest of the sea people and it is impossible to look her in the eye and tell a lie.
Some more pics of Mr. Sofos from Kleronomos. The owl form is consistent, but if Charlie messes up the Song of Change or if he doesn’t have enough power then his dragon form will be small and cute like a baby. It’s often cold where they are since they’re in the mountains so Charlie will give Sofos her scarf a lot. Partially because it’s cold, but mostly because it’s adorable.
I’m this far into my story and it feels like I’ve made no progress. Azusa hung out with me outside of school but it wasn’t a date and even though we spent the whole day together I don’t feel like we’ve gotten any closer. I thought that because I learned about her secret hobby we would become friends. I thought she was being more honest with me than anyone else. But after yesterday I’m not sure she was ever honest about anything she told me.
Azusa is surprisingly mean-spirited. Now that I know that I’m not actually sure why I was surprised at all. I mean, it’s not like she’d never said anything before yesterday that hurt my feelings but I guess I was just so infatuated that I was fine with overlooking them. I know now that I was being naïve, but the worst part is that despite that I still want to be around her. Thinking about her ignoring me from now on makes me impatient. I don’t want to keep going like this. I can admit that we were both at fault if that’s what it takes. After all, I did pressure her into something she told me she didn’t want to do. But I just can’t bring myself to accept that not even a small part of Azusa wanted to do it to.
“You know, midterms are in two weeks. Are you going to be okay? You haven’t been studying.” Kazuto leaned over the back of his chair, taking bites out of a milk bread, no doubt. He was eyeing me. Watching me carefully.
“I’m fine, I’m not stupid.”
“Yeah, but you get distracted easily.” He wasn’t teasing like normal, but a part of me felt like he only wanted me to pass so he wouldn’t be alone next year. When had I become so insecure?
“Shouldn’t you be worried about yourself?” I asked defensively, knowing what he was going to say.
“I’m like a million times smarter than you.” He laughed. “Just try to pay attention in class instead of thinking about Amamiya.”
It was a reflexive response. I didn’t even register the sound of my chair scraping against the floor or Kazuto’s surprised expression. Before I knew it I was walking down the hallway, shoulders tense, probably looking really angry. Angrier than I felt, for sure. After all I wasn’t really mad. I couldn’t name what I was feeling so easily.
I stopped when my eyes met with Saya’s. I wanted to run away but I just stood there like an idiot until she greeted me politely with a small bow.
“I’m sorry about the other day, Takahashi.” I blurted out, immediately feeling embarrassed. I expected Saya to smile at me sweetly and forgiving or maybe even pitying, but she didn’t.
“That’s a little disappointing.” She sighed, folding her arms. “I thought you were going to ask me to give it another shot.”
“Wh-what?” I gaped. That wasn’t at all what I was expecting. I had half a mind to ask right then and there if Saya would reconsider and just communicate with Azusa through me but then I realized that Azusa would still be a part of the equation. I wondered if I was willing to do that.
“I guess I can’t blame you if you’re annoyed at her but… you should probably be annoyed at me too.” She sounded like she didn’t want to admit that, but her gaze was steady and confident and I couldn’t look her directly in the eyes. “I might have went into that conversation with the intention of provoking Azusa. I don’t know if you know this but we don’t have the best track record.”
“Amamiya said something about you being pushy.”
“Well… Maybe I expect a bit much from people.” Saya grimaced, obviously trying not to get annoyed. “It just bugs me when I see how half-hearted she does everything. She doesn’t care about anything. Not other people’s feelings or even her own it seems. I guess I just wanted to see her get passionate about something… or at least riled up. I’m disappointed in myself for not trying my best for what I agreed to do. That wasn’t fair to you, Izumi. I know you were really excited about it so I’m sorry.”
My hands bolted up in response, shaking rapidly as she bowed. I couldn’t recall the last time someone apologized so formally but I definitely didn’t feel like I deserved it.
“It’s alright! I mean… I guess… maybe it isn’t. But I was the one forcing everyone into this… so…”
The few passersby slowed to watch Saya slap me hard on the arm. The warm days of early May assured that my favorite hoodie or and blazer weren’t there to shield me from her impressive strength. I stood there rubbing my arm in shock, but Saya went unfazed making me wonder how often she did that to people.
“Izumi, would you have some confidence! What you did was pure and passionate and I commend you so have some pride!” She breathed through her nostrils in a way that said she was way tired of my attitude. “There’s nothing wrong with being passionate! It was mine and Azusa’s fault for arguing and that’s that.”
“But I can’t force her to write if she doesn’t want to.”
“What are you forcing her to do? She’s going to have ideas whether you ask her to or not! Do you really think she didn’t want any part of that? Does Azusa strike you as the type of girl who would let herself be forced to do something she doesn’t want to do? I don’t think so. That girl does whatever she wants with no regard for others. I think you’re misunderstanding her.”
Saya smiled at me and all of the conversations I’d had with Azusa seemed to pile at my feet. I watched them, counting the times on my fingers that Azusa’s smile seemed genuine. What were we talking about when she did that? What did she say to me that I’d missed? What wasn’t I understanding about her? I couldn’t say for sure, but I did know that she looked happy when we talked about stories whether they were hers or Obana Michiyo’s. Azusa loves stories as much as I do. There’s no way she could be as opposed to this as she seemed. Maybe she was just as frustrated as I was.
“I should talk to her.” I said, feeling my priorities shifting back into place. “Is she in class?”
“Oh.” Saya looked blankly at me. “Azusa didn’t come to school today. She should be back tomorrow I think.”
That caught me off guard. “Is she that mad? Or is she sick?”
“I wouldn’t worry about it. Azusa misses a lot of school. She says she’s sick, but I’m pretty sure she’s just playing hooky.”
“She does…?” That thought troubled me. I wanted to believe she was someone who didn’t think much of ditching, but I couldn’t shake the image of her tired eyes out of my head.
“Her brother usually picks up her homework when she’s absent. He’s very friendly if you want to talk to him, but like I said, she should be back tomorrow.” Saya smiled, patting me on the shoulder she’d smacked earlier and paying no mind to the way I rubbed it afterward. As she turned to leave she left me with one last notion. “Oh and, Izumi. You have terrible taste in women.” She winked at me before walking away, soon joined by a girl with long brown hair that I didn’t recognize.
My face changed five shades, I’m sure, as I whipped around and stocked back to my classroom.
“Her brother usually picks up her homework when she’s absent.”
Was Azusa absent so much that that had become a routine thing? The whole thing made me feel so impatient. How was I supposed to wait until tomorrow to talk to her? What if she was absent tomorrow, too? What if she didn’t want to talk to me?
Kazuto was right. I watched the back of his head during class knowing those focused green eyes were concentrating on learning. Meanwhile I sat there distracted by the thought of Azusa. I scratched my head and looked up at the board, trying to take notes. Midterms were coming and I was lost in my own world again. Before when this would happen it would be because I was in the middle of a book or the last episode of my favorite drama ended on a cliffhanger and waiting a week for the next one was driving me crazy. I’d never been this distracted over a person.
When class was over Kazuto leaned against my desk and prodded me about the notes. I didn’t lie exactly, since I did manage to write a few things down, but I knew he didn’t believe I was paying attention. I thought about seeing if Azusa’s brother was there, but I didn’t know what to say to him so instead I packed up my things and prepared to leave. What I didn’t expect was the sly grin on Kazuto’s face as he grabbed me by the strap on my book bag and dragged me down the hall to Azusa’s classroom.
“What are you doing?!” I struggled, holding onto my bag for dear life.
“I’m sick of watching your depressed ass. We’re going to talk this out.”
“Amamiya’s absent today!” I called out to him and he stopped suddenly, but as I regained my bearings and turned around I realized that it wasn’t because of what I said.
“Who’s Saya talking to?”
At first glance I thought I saw Azusa’s familiar mop of burgundy hair, but her image was quickly replaced with a brown private school uniform and a boy much taller than her. I didn’t notice the envious look on Kazuto’s face or the smile and wave Saya shot toward me until the boy turned to me with a bright, unguarded smile. He definitely wasn’t Azusa.
“Narumi, this who I was telling you about. The angry looking one is Izumi Koichi and the pretty boy is for some reason his friend.”
“What the hell kind of introduction is that?!” Kazuto fumed. “My name is Hinamori Kazuto!” He glared at Saya who responded in kind, sticking her tongue out for added effect.
“Nice to meet you both!” The boy seemed to sparkle as he smiled, giving a short bow to us both. “My name is Amamiya Narumi. Thank you for being friends with my sister. I know she can be a handful.”
“I’ll say!” Kazuto grinned.
“It’s not a problem!” I scratched my head nervously. “I kind of feel like I’m bothering her most of the time actually.”
“Nonsense!” Narumi patted me on the shoulder, looking at me with stars in his eyes. “Azusa is especially fond of you, Koichi!”
“I-is that so…?” I could feel my face reddening, unsure if it was because of this guy’s over-familiar attitude or because of what he said.
“Yup! She never goes out with friends!” He giggled. “Least of all on the weekend. That’s her sacred time.”
“What the hell does that mean?” Kazuto gave Narumi a weird look.
“Oh, nothing. Azusa’s just a strange girl.” Narumi glanced back at Saya for a second before his eyes brightened. “Say! How about you all come to see her? She’s never had friends come to visit so I’m sure she’ll be thrilled!”
By the looks on everyone’s faces I could tell that that thought was just as hard for them to believe as it was for me. I had to wonder if these two were even related. From a strangers point of view there would be no question with his familiar features and constant smile. He looked just like her on the outside, but I could tell that his joy was real and full and something about Azusa’s was forced and hollow. It made me really curious about their home life.
“Audition number two, huh?” Saya smiled at me. It gave me a bit of courage.
“Yeah, alright!” Kazuto chimed in before I could say anything. “Come on, Kou. Let’s go see Amamiya.”
“Oh, yeah, one more thing!” Narumi grinned and for the first time I saw a resemblance between the siblings. His grin was sneaky, like he had been planning something and finally caught us in his trap. “Everyone at our house is Amamiya so you’re going to have to call her Azusa, okay?” His smile was innocent, but I wasn’t fooled anymore. I was sure now that it was every bit as practiced as his sister’s.
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Age: 19 Species: Human
Talent: “The Gift” or the ability to see the supernatural, Playing wind instruments
Likes: Music, Fashion, Praise, Freedom, Applause
Dislikes: Reading, Studying, Chores, Being put on the spot
Charlie had been able to ignore the strange things she sees quite well up until high school, at the peak of her musical career. She was a prodigy on her way to Julliard until she realized that her music attracts the supernatural. As she grew and improved the monsters became stronger and more frequent when, suddenly she was attacked during a performance. Since no one else could see the monster they chalked it up to the girl having a melt down. After trying to continue her passion only to repeat this same kind of event, Charlie finally gave up music for good.
A frustrated young adult at the end of her teen years, Charlie wants to move on with her future but finds herself trapped by the world of the supernatural. She’s usually positive and laid-back, albeit lazy, but sometimes becomes melancholy and lonely when she thinks about her secrets and the things she’s missed out on because of them. She is envious of her little brother, Elliot, who seems to easily obtain the things she can’t have.
Though Charlie feels like an awkward nerd most of the time, she is very vein and loves to impress. She often dresses fashionable and comes of as cool to onlookers. That is of course until she reacts to things that no one else can see. Then she looks kind of insane.
Ansa’s straightforwardness tends to rub people the wrong way but she’s a good ally to have when you’re in a pinch. She’s a crack shot and seems to know a ton of necessary information that no one else does. Despite her strong, sturdy air, she can be as elegant and beautiful as her gold laced bow and quiver.
Ansa’s Profile will be posted on 2.26.16
Age: ?? Species: ??
Likes: Being helpful, Having a good time, Whistling, Archery
Dislikes: Arguments, Unproductive people, Wasting time, Stupidity
Ansa is truly the Golden Girl in many different ways. Though she comes off as playful and carefree, she’s pretty no nonsense. She doesn’t like misunderstandings or pointless arguments and isn’t afraid of putting herself in the line of fire if it means solving them. That’s not to say she’s argumentative. Ansa has no problem backing out of a fight if she feels her interjection would be pointless.
Ansa is sturdy and reliable and an excellent shot. She knows a lot about Tuonela and her knowledge proved useful quite often, though no one would really like to admit it. Her straightforward and fearless attitude tends to irritate most people and her strength as a woman tends to intimidate the boys. Not that she’s concerned with any of that. Ansa’s too busy searching for something important, although it’s not entirely clear what that thing is.
Greta finds this curious object in the midst of a bad decision but it may just help her preform one of her most virtuous actions. Magic is easiest when channeled through an instrument, they say. Laced with runes, this pen is designed to turn one object into another.
Hilja is the captain of the she-pirates and a dangerous person to make an enemy out of. She wields an elegant black and gold long sword called The Black Mamba and a separating serpent-like red blade called Crotalus Ruber. (Neither names are mentioned in the book so this is more of a fun fact! :D) Obviously Crotalus Ruber is the one on top and The Black Mamba’s on the bottom. Hilja is a single sword user so she never wields them together. The Black Mamba is for close combat and Crotalus Ruber is for long range.
I’m pretty sure they’re not the swords on her profile only because I designed them after I drew her so pay no mind to that. Another fun fact: The Black Mamba is the name of one of the the most venomous and silent killing snakes in the world while Crotalus Ruber is the name for the red rattlesnake. I chose these names for the colors of the blades, but also the amount of noise and grace they produce in battle.
The process for acquiring this weapon turns out to be longer and more excruciating than Hanno would’ve preferred. It’s a short bow made for speed and hunting that doesn’t require as much strength as others making it excellent for beginners. The thin layer of jewel-like stone that’s encrusted into both bow and quiver is purely ornamental, but something about it’s blue glow feels very magical to Hanno. Perhaps that’s because it reminds him of his sister.