As the grounds of the Academy were illuminated, “Very impressive! But the light will not help you.” a voice taunted from all sides.
His dreadful instincts automatically honed in on the true origin of the voice, and within a split second, blasts of lightning rained down upon where the voice had been.
He turned to look, but there was nothing there.
The ground underneath him twisted, softening as if to swallow him under.
With a single thought, the ground solidified once again.
“Instantaneous cast speed and voiceless incantation! Truly marvelous!” Another bout of laughter.
A jet of water suddenly assaulted him from his left side, forcing him to defend himself with a mana shield. As the water hit the shield, a spire of flames instantly shot toward him from his right side. Kaidus extended his right arm out and a wall of earth erupted upward to block the flames. ‘There are multiple attackers!’ He finally realized.
As soon as the realization hit him, a large fireball came straight at him from the front.
He was about to move back some more, but a large amount of mana could be felt manifesting behind him.
Surrounded, he closed his eyes.
By his will, there was a blinding flash of light and everything in his immediate vicinity disappeared.
The old man had been in his office. His eagerness to meet the young boy who had exerted such bloodlust and magic the day before, was overflowing.
Yet, as the ryes came, and he finally stepped out of his room, he was disappointed to find that the child had left the academy grounds early that morning.
Three days later and near bursting with anticipation, one of his assistants brought him the news that he had been looking forward to.
“The child has returned, headmaster.”
“Where is he?!” Nylen had excited asked when the news came. Having made him wait, he was itching to test the child.
Yet another frustration. The child had gone straight to the library.
As he was thinking of how to lure the child out, another idea came to mind.
“Go get Hamin, Zaele, and Niron. There’s something I want them to do.” He grinned at his idea.
Hours later, and waiting on top of the admission building, they spotted the child coming out of the library.
As per the plan, the three masters: Hamin, Zaele, and Niron, would conceal themselves and wait until his orders to attack. While he would get up close to contest, and assess the child’s abilities.
Sensing the three masters in position, headmaster Nylen drew on the earth, allowing it to envelope him and absorb him into the ground.
Using his pride earth magic, he wove his way underground into the path of the child and waited.
With voiceless incantation, he began invoking a spell as the boy approached.
Sensing the boy’s position via the earth, he fused the ground, molding it into a spike and shot it out towards the child.
Living up to his expectations, the boy had instantly propelled himself backwards as soon as he noticed the attack.
‘Voiceless incantation, and instant cast… very impressive!’ Nylen thought to himself.
He had not felt a single ounce of concentrated mana until that split second before the child’s position shifted.
Sensing where the child had landed, headmaster Nylen quick invoked an immobilization spell in the form of a hand to capture the child. But the child proved elusive, and evaded the hand.
Everything had been what he had expected so far.
Yet that did not satisfy him. He wanted the child angry, he wanted to feel the magic and bloodlust that he had felt the other day.
With pinpoint shockwaves, he shook the trees around the grounds, relieving them of some of their leaves. With wind magic, he blew the leaves over the where the child was standing, and infused mana into them.
Trapping the child in a storm of leaves, he invoked an earth immobilization spell, and rooted the child in place.
Suddenly, his immobilization spell disintegrated, and half of his mana infused in the leaves vanished. Surprised, he quickly moved himself a distance behind the child, and came out of the ground to see for himself.
Tucking his head out of the ground, he saw daylight—even thought it was bordering on bedtime. He quickly noticed a glowing orb revealing everything around the north-west section of the academy.
“Very Impressive! But the light will not help you.” He threw around his voice to agitate and confuse the boy.
Suddenly he felt a frightening amount of mana. He quickly ducked underground and escaped as the storm of mana obliterated the area where he had been.
His old heart pounded with excitement. ‘The boy has started to get serious!’ he excitedly thought to himself.
Moving under the boy, he attempted another immobilization spell, but as soon as he invoked the spell, it was canceled.
Backing off a bit, he threw out his voice again, complementing the child’s prowess.
With discreet shockwaves to his three associates, he sensed as they each sent an attack of their own towards their target.
A water jet from Zaele, a cone of flames from Nion, and a fireball from Hamin.
As Hamin unleashed his fireball, headmaster Nylen quickly moved behind the child to block the boy’s only avenue of escape.
Thinking the child would jump back to evade the incoming fireball, he moved in and invoked an advance capture spell. Yet, the child never moved.
Instead, a torrent of mana could be felt expelling from the child’s position.
Headmaster Nylen turned and ran for his life.
He heard shouting.
‘Those must be Zaele and Niron…’ Nylen thought to himself, half conscious.
*cough* *cough* He was no longer underground, but lying face up towards the brightly lit sky. Tilting his head, his location struck him. He was in a crater.
Looking to the epicenter, Headmaster Nylen spotted the boy glaring at him.
Eyes filled with animosity and rage, they were glowing almost as brightly as the now silver hair on the boys head.
A cold terror instantly shot through his body. ‘This is very bad.’ He thought as he tried to push himself up off the ground.
Except, he could not. Bringing his hands up to his face, he could not feel his left arm. His right hand too, was missing the tips of all his fingers except for the thumb. Turning to his left, his whole left arm had vanished beyond his elbow, leaving only a bleeding stump.
The pain quickly struck him. *COUGH* *COUGH* “Ha… Ha… Hahahaha….” He laughed. He had gotten what he wanted, and it had come with a price. A price he painfully paid for with blood.
With a quick chant, he seared his bloody stump to stop the bleeding.
Looking at the boy moving toward him, he tried to remember what had occurred in that instant.
He had not expected such a devastating magic.
Unable to outrun the flood of mana that was consuming everything, he had tried to stand his ground.
Stretching out his left arm to focus his mana into a shield, he stabilized the flow with his right. The intensity of the boy’s magic ate through his shield and left arm instantly, before throwing him against the side of the crater that the magic had dug out.
“*Cough* Ha… *cough cough* Heheh… Getting too careless, Nylen… *cough*” he scolded himself. If he had not been so arrogant and did not close in on the child to trap him, it would have been easy to escape the radius of the magic. “*Cough* Marvelous… way beyond expectations…” he spoke as death approached.
“YOU!” The boy shouted at him angrily, while edging closer.
Three figures jumped in between them.
“Please, little one. That is enough.” Master Hamin spoke. Respect and awe in his voice, with a touch of fear.
Before Kaidus, stood three of the academy’s masters. ‘The perpetrators!’ His mind shouted furiously. “All of you!” He screamed out.
“Allow me to apologize for this selfish incident.” Hamin spoke sincerely as all three of the masters lowered their heads.
“You were all after my life!”
“Please- *Cough* do not blame them- *cough* …it was my idea.” The old man spoke up from behind the three.
Kaidus glared at the culprit.
“*Cough* Hahahaha… *hack, hack*… I apologize. I had only wanted to measure your- *COUGH*…strength, but it seems these old bones cannot keep up.” The old man spoke, a pained grin on his face.
“You endanger my life, all to test me?!” Kaidus bellowed.
“I had- *COUGH COUGH* …to be sure.” The old man replied, his eyes resolute and earnest.
-people slaughtered for enjoyment.
-families ripped apart.
-death at the whims of the foolish.
The memories came roaring back.
“All of you, for your own self-interest!” A force of mana exploded in his right hand, forming into a flaming sword. “I SHOULD CUT YOU DOWN WHERE YOU STAND!”
The three masters edged forward, ready to protect the old man with their lives. Courage and resolve in their eyes.
The old man shouted, his eyes watching Kaidus.
“*COUGH* my life is- *Cough* yours… the laws of combat dee- *HACK HACK* …deems the loser, at the mercy of the victor- *COUGH*. You may do as you will, young Dvitus.”
The three master’s faces distorted upon hearing what they had all assumed. Terror and reverence filled their eyes, as they looked at the child.
‘Dvitus’ an unknown word to him. Within his mind his anger cried out for release, but he could see that the old man’s words were genuine and held no ulterior motive. The old man was truly ready to forfeit his life. “GGGRRRAAAHHHHH!!” He screamed out in rage, flinging his sword into the side of the crater.
The fiery weapon sunk up to its hilt before vanishing.
“““!!””” the three masters recoiled in surprise at the action.
Sensing Kaidus’s murderous concentration of mana vanishing, “Thank you- *COUGH* young one… and welcome to Zorin Academy.” The old man spoke.
“Headmaster, let us move away from here before more students show up.” One of the masters suggested.
His anger subsiding, Kaidus finally noticed.
There were a small number of students gawking from the perimeter of the hole he had created. His hair still streaked its true color of silver, and the orb in the sky had illuminated the whole spectacle.
With a single thought, night returned.
“Do not TEST my patience. NEVER do that again.” He warned.
“I would not- *COUGH* …dare, in my state.” The old man replied. A jubilant tone in his voice.
Kaidus marched out of the crater and made his way back to his room. Too irritated to care about the fearful stares of the witnesses as he passed by them.
The previous night’s fiasco still fresh on his mind, an older student caught him on his way to arkane studies.
“Kaidus?” The student called out to him.
“Yes?” He replied, trying not to let his irritation show.
“I was told to bring you to the headmaster’s office. Can you please follow me?” the older student answered.
“Please lead the way.” A reluctant answer. He did not know how he felt about this, considering what just happened last night.
‘I can’t believe this…’ He thought to himself.
He was handed off to one of the headmaster’s assistant when they reached a large and intricate building in the northern academy grounds.
The building looked much like the other master’s building, but upon reaching it, he realized it to be constructed of black marble. There were intricate designs made of white sandstone fused into the marble.
“He is here, Headmaster.” The assistant called as they reached the master’s room.
“Let him in.” the old man answered from inside.
Stepping into the room, Kaidus spotted the headmaster sitting in a chair by the window. Sensing a permeation of mana, he noticed the headmaster’s clay left arm.
The old man grinned a wide grin at him. “Sorry about last night.”
“…” Kaidus remained silent, trying to pick out what was going on.
“Thank you for coming. I realize I may have taken it a little too far, but as I said last night. I had to make sure.” The headmaster spoke, in a conciliatory tone.
“There are better ways. Someone could have DIED.” He replied, annoyed at the old man’s overly familiar tone.
“Someone, but not you.” The headmaster corrected him.
“You do not know that.” he barked back.
“I did not rise to my position with just my magic alone, child. It is my acute senses that have brought me this far.” The headmaster replied, his grin exchanged for a serious appearance. “I’ve known since feeling your magic and thirst for blood a couple days ago. I just did not know to what extent.” Headmaster Nylen added, bringing up the clay arm to display his folly.
“…” It was really just a test, and his outburst before the ryes had been the source for the ambush.
Seeing Kaidus standing there silently,
“Although very late, allow me to introduce myself. I am the headmaster of Zorin academy, and Malizur of Ferrent. People who know me call me the Subterranean Drakall. Third of my name, and last of my Line, I am, Nylen Gvius Das Jozion. Kaidus Paltos, I welcome you to Zorin Academy.” The headmaster spoke officially and extended his clay arm out while grinning from ear to ear.
Uncertain if the extended gesture had been to spite him, he did not take the hand.
“If that is all, I must be heading back. Class has probably already started.” Kaidus replied, having known the old man’s identity already.
As he turned to leave,
“I do not know what my academy can offer one such as yourself, but as mages, we have only ever dreamed of one thing: to ascend, and attain the legendary strength of the Dvitus. Gods among men. Only ever mentioned in myths.” The headmaster continued.
“I care not for your aspirations, or that of your ‘Dvitus’.” He swiftly replied, stopping to look at the old man.
“That is where you are wrong. For one so young, you have already proven yourself beyond a Malizur. I know naught about your circumstances, but with time, I believe you will undoubtedly achieve the pinnacle of magic. Allow this old man to witness the birth of your legend.” Headmaster Nylen lowered his head in respect, as Kaidus walked out of the room.
Having left the headmaster’s room, he headed to his Intermediate Arkane studies.
“What are you doing?” Master Gorzon asked him as he entered the lecture room.
He could feel all eyes looking at him. “Sorry I’m late. I had a meeting with someone.” Kaidus answered.
“What are you doing here?” Master Gorzon clarified.
“Is this not my arkane studies class?” He asked, confused.
“Someone was sent to tell you before class started. Your courses have been changed. Go to the admissions building and reselect your classes.” Master Gorzon elaborated.
“Understood.” He complied, promptly gathering himself and departing.
‘That damned headmaster.’ He thought to himself as he made his way to admissions.