Having sat through the first class with no new information to show for it – and plenty of time before his next one, Kaidus left the room and headed toward the library.
Reading had been something to occupy his time and to gather knowledge about the current world, but his ultimate goal has always been to find out about what happened to the world, and how long he has been gone.
Being an Elite Academy, he was certain the library would hold some answers to his questions.
The Library had 4 floors with multiple sets of stairs connecting the different levels. He headed straight for the 3rd floor where he had spied a few historical tomes while skimming through the building the previous day.
‘Fall of the Agrian Empire, Rules of History, Devils of the Past, Trials and Tribulations of the Godunul Principality, etc…’
Looking at the titles, none of them came close to anything or place he has ever heard of.
Rules of history was about the suppressions and war between the different races three centuries ago, while Devils of the past merely identified mass murderers and tyrants of the past century. While the other books contained subjects that were irrelevant to his goal.
‘I need something even earlier than these.’ He concluded after looking through the books he had picked out. Luckily, this was but a small shelf in the third floor. He still has three years to peruse through everything in the library. Undaunted by the disappointment, Kaidus made his way towards the 2nd class.
The class for intermediate summoning was outside for a summoning demonstration.
Arriving, the number of students in the class was merely 6 students including himself.
Three other humans, two female and a male, a male Kovus, a female Gveril, and Kaidus himself.
It was surprising for him to see Gverils in the academy, but seeing how they the bore closest resemblance to humans, he understood.
The master quickly introduced him to everyone and went on with her lesson, while the older students gave him looks of reproach.
“Summoning is not a means to an end. It it’s a means to help you reach that end. Abuse it, and you may find yourself unable to perform magic without the spirit’s help.”
The master said as she started reciting an incantation, then finally invoking it.
*SHWAK!!* A light spirit in the shape of a pegril—a type of bird with an exceptionally long antennae and wingspan—appeared.
“UWAA!” a male student muttered in awe at the sight of the spirit.
“As many of you may have surmised, I am a High Malgin. Only those who have reached the rank of Malgin are blessed by their spirits with the ability to summon them into the physical world as a familiar.” The Instructor specified.
“You all are extremely gifted, and the time for your own summons will soon approach. Even if you may never be able to summon them as familiars, know that just contracting them to help channel the mana from Lagus will make you a formidable mage.”
“Master, how many spirits are you contracted with?” The Gveril student questioned.
“I am currently contracted with 7 spirits, every element except shadow and metal.”
“Is there a problem with contracting more than one of the same elemental?” a female student voiced.
“Yes. Although there are special cases where Malizurs have been able to contract more than one of the same type of spirit, normally the limit is one type each. Anymore, and the spirits enter into conflict with each other.”
“What kind of conflict?” the same student investigated.
“Being of the same element, they will try and absorb each other within the physical plane. Most circumstances result in the death of both spirits.” the master answered gravely.
… Everyone had gone silent at the dark revelation.
“If there is no more questions, I would like for you to get into pairs and attempt a summoning. Luckily there are six of you so that shouldn’t be a problem.”
“Are we to bind the spirit?” the Gveril student spoke up.
“No. This time will not be the one where you bind your spirit. The practice is primarily to get in touch with the spirit world. If you are lucky, a spirit that has good affinity with you will make contact and link itself with your mind. If you are extremely lucky and the spirit chooses you, you will know.” the instructor explained the goal of the practice, along with some added anticipation.
“What about the incantation for the summoning?” The female student from earlier asked.
Having disclosed the summoning incantation and the various methods of using it, the instructor took a seat on one of the many benches in the practice yard as a spectator.
Having paired up with the gveril, Kaidus was watching as his partner invoked the incantation to ease into Lagus and make contact with the spirits.
“Asiran! DEVO NAAGARTIAN! ENT FEIN-!” his partner was invoking the incantation for a fire spirit.
“AZAN! SURAN ENFREMS!” She yelled out her invocation.
Suddenly a ball of flame appeared in front of her, swirled about, and then vanished into her bosoms.
All the other students stared at the miraculous feat performed before them. Even the master who had been sitting down had stood up and was walking towards Kaidus’ pair with a look of astonishment on her face.
The other two students who were going first invoked the incantation a second time after having failed the first try. There was a sudden breeze that blew by indicating the contact with a wind elemental, and cry of shock as the confirmation of connection with the lightning elemental.
“That was incredible!” the three who had successfully made contact were happily talking amongst each other.
“I can’t believe it Rena, your spirit even came out to greet you!” one of the female students bellowed excitedly.
“It looks like this year’s batch has some promise.” The master spoke with a smile on her face. “Now the next three.”
It was finally his turn.
Summoning was not something he had been practicing in this new life–due to the fact that he had enough power to distort and mold the world to however he want.
But this being a class for summoning, he closed his eyes and concentrated.
No incantation was invoked.
He aligned his mana and synchronized with the elements; the sensation came easily. Like reopening a window that he had just closed.
‘Master…’ A voice called to him.
“!!!” Kaidus threw open his eyes, panic and sudden realization dawned on him.
Two of the other students muffled their laughter, while Rena eyed him quizzically. “Did you forget the incantation?” She asked.
“No. Sorry. Just feeling a bit unwell.” Kaidus quickly replied.
“Go to the admissions building. Master Borus will see to you.” The master instructed “Would you like some help to get there?” She added.
“It’s alright, I’ll be fine on my own.” Kaidus reassured as he headed toward the Admissions building.
Out of earshot, “Hahahaha! Did you see that? It was like he had a panic attack.” The Kovus boy laughed.
“How did a peasant like that even get into Zorin?” One of the female students remarked.
“Well, we won’t be seeing much of him if he keeps that up.” The human boy added.
“Quiet all of you. Proceed with the practice.” The master ordered.
Having left the class half way, he had an abundant amount of time until his next class. Instead of heading to the Admissions building, Kaidus headed straight to his room.
Adalina was currently looking around in the 3rd ward market shopping for dinner. Anise was strapped to her back and ogling the shops while making incomprehensible conversation with the shoppers.
Anise had asked about Kaidus the day he left, and after hearing that he had gone somewhere, had cried herself to sleep that night. She had been asking about him incessantly for the past day only ending it that morning.
Today would be the third day her son was away from the house, and she was excessively worried for him.
She missed his tiny posture when he sat sluggishly by the window reading one of the many books he brought home. Her conversations with him about the happenings around the 3rd ward, his ruse with Anise making her laugh, and even his progressively detailed explanations when she asked him about what he’s reading.
“How about we cook something nice tomorrow morning and give it to daddy to see if he can bring it to Kai?” Adalina asked, turning her head to the side to talk to Anise.
“Fo Anish too?” Anise asked.
“For Anise too.” Adalina replied, a smile on her face.
“UHN!” Anise nodded happily.
“I see you are as busy as ever, Gelrin.” An older gentleman–although not as old as the lord–greeted the Old Knight Commander after intruding into his study.
“Pate? HAHAHA!” The old knight exclaimed, his voice ecstatic over the reunion. “You should have sent words! I would have greeted you at the gates!”
“There was no need for that. I wanted to see if you can still recognize an old man like me.” Pate sneered at the commander.
“BWAHAHAHHA!!” the old knight went into his fit of laughter. “You haven’t aged a bit! There’s no way I wouldn’t recognize you.” Having calmed down, Gelrin stood up. “Has it already been six years since your last visit to Ferrent?”
“I was here two years ago, but circumstances did not avail myself to come pay you a visit. My apologies.” Pate gave an apologetic bow.
“Nonsense! The records you brought me last time has really helped in my research. I am grateful that you even bothered to visit me at all!” Lord Gelrin spoke graciously.
“Please sit. We have much to catch up on!”
The two gents reminisced about their earlier days and eventually caught up onto current events.
With the pleasantries over with, business was starting.
“A little bird told me that you recently took a child under your wings, going as far as showering him with an exorbitant number of gifts and privileges?” Pate queried.
“I’ve done no such thing, but I did sponsor the child into Zorin.”
“Hoh? Zorin Academy?”
“The very one.”
“The bird also insinuated that the child played a large part in the recent incident at the plaza.” Pate added sheepishly.
“Well, just who is this bird? Let me know so that I may pay him his due respect with strangulation.” Gelrin jested.
“So, it is true.”
“Yes… Like I’ve told everyone who’s asked, while I was on the brink of death, the child… kind of… sort of blew up the kalligor. He saved my life and those of my men.” Lord Gelrin spoke, reluctant to fall into Pate’s pace.
“The child did it?” Like a riddle, things were coming together at last.
“Yes. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. You may think me delusional, but after the boy was done, we could not even make out which pieces of the kalligor was which. Bones, flesh, scales, claws, everything had been shredded into pieces and blown about the plaza.”
“There was a flash of light…” Pate muttered.
“!!” it was now Gelrin who was curios. “How did you know?”
“I never told you, but six years ago I picked up a family of three. A husband, wife, and an infant child from a small village in southern Darsus. My caravan had been assailed by bandits, and having given up myself and those in my charge for death, a blinding light seared our eyes. When next my vision came to, I saw a scene of blood splattered all around us, and the young wife was holding her child to her breast.”
… Gelrin was shocked. ‘It was true.’ He thought to himself about Adalina’s declaration of the child’s capabilities ever since he was an infant.
“We in the caravan had thought the wife to be our savior… but if it was the child, then this is a completely different state of affairs. The measure of his abilities now that he’s grown… exactly what would become of such a person in the future?” Pate spoke carefully and quietly as if talking to himself.
“…” the old lord himself was pondering the same thing.
A dank chamber, filled with a surplus of artifacts and relics from ages past.
An old man quietly sat at a lone desk in the room, dutifully recording newly acquired items. This has been his job for the past 40 years and the work had become something of a rhythm to him.
On his desk laid two pieces of metal. One, a circular shape with a face on it. The other, a broken piece of a blade with runes carved along the edge.
As the old man jotted down descriptions and carefully illustrated the two pieces of metals into his ledger, a dim light caught the corner of his eyes.
The object that was emitting the light was an old ebony dagger. The hilt was glowing with a dim light while the blade had started to ooze a shadowy miasma.
The object had never done anything like this in all the years since he began working there. Currently the 18th generation of keepers, knowledge about everything inside the room was something that he prided himself on. Yet, this specific dagger was a mystery.
No one knew its origins, or could recall the person who founded the artifact. Even his predecessors had no knowledge of the dagger.
Being the only person allowed into the chamber, the old man was in a dilemma on how to approach this situation. Without any ideas, he stood at a distance, quietly watching to see what would happen.
The glow started getting brighter and brighter. The miasma that had been oozing now looked as if it was alive and started forming into something. Illuminated by the glow of the dagger’s hilt, the old man clearly saw the formation of an arm. The ethereal limb moved toward the dagger and as soon as the misty hand grabbed onto the hilt, the weapon vanished in a flash of light.
A sleek black dagger appeared onto an open palm. A cloud of black fog started seeping out of the dagger before forming into a shadowy figure, one of a fully formed upper body while its legs retained a misty cloud.
“… I… have been waiting… master…” The hazy figure bowed toward its master.