“Good Morning.” a marginally overweight man greeted him as he walked into the admissions buildings.
“Good morning, master Drilm. Master Gorzon said my classes have been changed?”
“Yes-yes, I’ve been expecting you. Got a notice from headmaster Nylen earlier this morning.” The round man replied.
He grabbed a paper from beside his desk and handed it to Kaidus.
“Here are your new classes. Although unprecedented considering your recent admittance and age, it is the choice of the headmaster.”
Reading the paper, he saw:
-Advance Spell Fusion
-Advance Group combat
“I don’t get to choose my classes?” he asked, remembering when he first enrolled.
“The headmaster did not say. All he did, was sent me a notice with your situation and to put you in these.”
“Situation?” Kaidus inquired.
“Something about passing his test.” The round man grinned.
‘…’ The fat man knew. “What is Council?” He asked.
“Oh right. Here.” Master Drilm handed him another document.
“What is this?” Kaidus asked after reading the document.
“A letter of introduction.” The master replied with a widespread grin.
“I can see that. Why does it say ‘… appoints Kaidus Paltos, the 7th member of Zorin Academy’s Council of Magi.’?”
“Well, you my boy, have been selected to take one of the four remaining seats of the council.” A swift reply. The widespread grin still on the master’s face.
“And this council is…?”
“Right-right, you wouldn’t know yet. The council, is a group of ten students within the academy that handles affairs between the three schools.” Master Drilm quickly answered.
“I thought the masters handled academy affairs?” Kaidus asked, confused about the position.
“We do, but the Council handles the affairs pertaining to student conflicts. Rivalries between the three schools, you could say.” Another swift answer as if trying to skirt around the real question that has yet to be asked.
‘There’s something going on.’ Kaidus thought to himself. “Is being a part of the council mandatory? May I be exempt?” he queried, hoping to get out of it.
“Once chosen, as a student, you must comply. There are no other options.” The same wide grin again.
“Well… where is the council building located?” he asked before he took his leave.
“Third practical building from the Southeast. Last room on the right from the entrance. Show your letter to Philnor when you get there. He is this term’s current head of the council.”
“That old man!” Kaidus cried out after leaving the admissions building. There was a tinge of regret at the decision he had made the previous night.
He thought about paying the headmaster another visit, but thinking about it, he could see the endless excuses that would come out. There was no other choice, but to go with the flow for now.
On the northern academy grounds, an old man sat staring out the window of his room, laughing to himself.
He had neglected to tell the young boy that was with him a while ago something crucial. It was just about the time that the child learned about it.
A childish grin appeared on his face as he brought up his left arm into view.
Recalling the unknown magic the prodigious child had used, he could do nothing but marvel at it.
If his hand had merely been severed, he would have been able to help mend it with magic, but since the arm had vanished completely. There was nothing he could do.
‘Maybe I should make it marble…’ He pondered at the clay arm.
With his mind, he willed his left hand to stroke the unkempt beard hanging on his chin.
‘Surprisingly effective.’ He admired, as he transformed the fingers into a comb and slowly combed the beard.
“This is quite convenient.” He spoke out loud, then laughed.
Kaidus arrived at Advanced Spell Fusion class long after it had already started.
Being an advanced class, there were twelve people in it. The majority of the students in the class were in their early twenties, with three other students possibly under twenty.
All looked at him curiously.
The aggression and contempt of his previous classes were replaced by looks of curiosity and bewilderment in this class.
“Please take a seat.” The master told him as he entered the room.
Kaidus took one at the front.
Spell Fusion: the combination of different spells to create a stronger one of a higher order, or a different magic altogether.
His orb of light from last night was one such spell. It comprises of two different light magics.
The first was the orb of light. By itself, a normal small light orb with a glow. With an intense infusion of explosive light magic into the orb, the brightness is amplified, resulting in the makeshift sun.
It was a complex skill requiring perfect control and mana distribution to sustain the orb and maintain its shape and output of light.
But being made purely made of light, the spell had been primarily a support skill, and did not have any offensive properties.
As such, an offense spell by itself is damaging, but combining two or more compatible spells via spell fusion, the attack power is multiplied exponentially, or their properties change.
The master was currently explaining about different combinations of spells and their resulting phenomenon.
As soon as class was over, he left the room and made his way towards the library. He may have given up searching the previous night, but today was a new day. Along with it, new hopes.
Spying the warden of the Library, “Master Juvol.” Kaidus called out.
“Hello Kaidus.” An older woman around her fifties responded.
“I’m interested in information about large and old drakalls. Would you know any books relating to the subject?” he asked.
Master Juvol was the head librarian and also the teacher for intermediate incantations. He had met her a couple days ago before the ryes, and had wanted to ask her about this specific topic ever since returning to the academy. Unfortunately she had not been in the library last evening.
“Karugas?” she guessed his subject of interest.
“Does master know about Karugas?” Kaidus asked, his eyes widening.
“Sorry. I’ve only heard stories.” She apologized, seeing his face light up. “I believe drakalls are on the first floor by the back wall, shelves 6 through 12.”
“I’ve already looked through those.” He replied.
“Hmmm… there is also shelves 32 to 35 along with 41 and 42 on the third floor. That is where the majority of books entailing organic studies are located.” She added after thinking.
“Also, check shelves 76 through 98 on the fourth floor. Witness reports and matters with insubstantial evidences within the past fifty years are filed there. I must warn you though, those shelves are all just collections of short stories and rumors. ” She added.
“Thank you.” Kaidus gave her a quick bow of gratitude before he left to pursue his purpose.
Master Juvol watched as the child headed for the fourth floor stairs. She had not been aware of it until the headmaster’s notice earlier that morning, but the quiet child whom she had just met a couple of days ago was one walking towards the summit of magic.
‘A child is still a child.’ She smiled at the boy and his fascination with drakalls.
Kaidus elected for rumors and stories instead of going after the published studies.
Starting from shelf 76, he was reading through scrolls and bound books of stories that recounted eye witness events.
His goal is trying to pinpoint specific or general location of sightings. Records of Any abnormal drakall year after year or generation after generation.
“Zanaeos 1207: Palx-16. Malpaars.
Delirious man in the village of Caleor claims … covered in thick fur, devouring an Orshun in front of him as he broke through the thicket. Stared straight at him then took off with the deer in its jaws …”
“Zanaeos 1189: Soqu-11. Kulis.
Villagers of Thernus claim to have seen Duzons, or spectral entities, wandering the forests nearby … Lord Fraeton send a team of knights to investigate … nothing conclusive.”
He was not having much luck this time either. As master Juvol had stated earlier, the shelves were littered with short stories about random events. There were thousands upon thousands of records to look through.
The few notes he went through were mostly just superstitious villagers thinking they saw one thing or another.
The only thing that had made the search feasible, was that all of the records had been titled appropriately with the year, date, and place of origin.
“Zanaeos 1189: Soqu-11. Kulis”
Zanaeos 1189 is the year, Soqu-11 is the turn and day, and Kulis—the name of the continent.
The current era consists of 10 turns per year, each turn comprising of around thirty to forty days.
Hiso and Guso the first two turns making up Grunei.
Soqu, Tarsi, and Lokil makes up Alivai.
With Deju, Linh, and Kinu as Fulta.
Lastly Zali and Palx for Rinol.
There are still seven continents, and still surrounds the endless abyss that has always been known as “The Maws of Lovis”.
Darsus—his currently continent of residence—to the east of the maws.
Kulis to the southeast.
Rovtoss to the northeast.
Malpaars to the north.
Horuns to the southwest.
Lagolls to the south.
And the largest continent of Unotus wrapping the west and northwest.
Though the names have slightly changed, he can still recall their ancient names perfectly.
‘Horuns…’ He had reiterated the new name for Honos in his mind endlessly when he first learned of it years ago.
It was there where his beloved Andarg had been. The legacy of his fallen house. The beginning of everything.
After skimming through a few hundred witness accounts to no avail, the afternoon bell sounded. He was out of time; his second class would start soon.
Advance Group combat was exactly as the name implied. The class is taking place at one of the larger practical training grounds. A flat dirt field, better for demonstrations than magical combat. The class itself had plenty of students, and looked to be a mixture of highly capable advance and intermediate course students.
A group of three students were facing off against another group of three, while the rest of the class watched.
The Master had already erected a wall of stone around the arena, and the students were pitting all they had against each other.
As an advance class, there was nothing to protect the combatants from harm besides themselves and the single rule: No Lethal Magic. Burning, cuts, shocks, and magic inflicted wound were perfectly fine as long as they were not life threatening.
The master himself was ready to intercept at any time, but accidents were prone to happen.
Those who do get hurt are swiftly carried off to the healing room for treatment—the backside of the admissions building.
The point of the class was for young mages to get a feel for actual combat. To learn how to adapt and cope when in a battle against other mages. Harming a student was fine, but killing was grounds for immediate expulsion and a trial. Depending on the lethality of the crime, such actions could result in the offending party forfeiting their lives.
As the mock battle went on, a female student quickly shot a spell—in the form of a tiny bird—at one of her distracted opponents. He instantly went down when the bird hit, and was taken out of the match.
The strategy was a clever use of spell amplification according to elements, and divide and conquer tactics.
Ignoring the other two opponents, her teammates had doused their target with water while evading attacks. Finding an opening amidst barrages of spells, the female student had skillfully rendered their target unconscious with a single lightning spell concealed as a light bird. They then turned against the two leftover, and easily overwhelmed them.
After the battle, the master went over the flaws and choices of the combatants, evaluating each participant and giving out pointers about how such situations may be avoided or guarded against.
Kaidus opted to sit out and watch as more teams jump in to test themselves.
Having skipped lunch, he headed to the student ran shops for an early dinner. Someone he did not want to see appeared before him.
“Kaidus!” Prim yelled out to him.
‘Can’t I just be left in peace?’ He thought to himself. “What is it?”
“I’ve been looking all over for you! What did you do to my friends?!” she barked, angrily.
‘Did something happen?’ He pondered. “I’ve done nothing.” He replied.
“Nothing?! They’re not even coming out for classes now! They won’t even talk to me! You must have done something!”
She was quite angry, and people were starting to stare.
Irritated by her accusatory tone as if she had no part in it, “And whose fault is that?” he whispered, loud enough so that only Prim could hear it.
“You-” Prim started, but the glare in his eyes stopped her. The boy was now very different from his usual self.
“I know your kind all too well. I’ve dealt with many of them before. Prideful creatures, entertaining themselves at the price of those less fortunate. Lashing out at any who would dare to overshadow them.” He whispered while staring straight through her.
Prim could not speak, frozen by the gaze and the sudden change in the boy.
“Did you think I would not expect a retaliation? Don’t underestimate me, ‘Prim’.” He emphasized her name, letting her know he would not back down. “If there is nothing else, then excuse me.” He said before turning to walk away.
“I’m so…y…” She finally muttered, as he walked off.
“What?” He asked, unsure about what she had said.
“I’M SORRY! ALRIGHT?!” Prim screamed out in agony, falling to her knees.
“What are you doing?” He immediately replied, surprised at the prideful princess on her knees.
“I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! … I’m sorry I tried to humiliate you! I’m sorry I tried to get back at you! Please! I don’t care anymore! Just give me my friends back! PLEASE!” Prim cried out. Overcome with emotions, tears were flowing out of her beautiful emerald eyes.
He could see she had been in pain the last couple of days.
Her emotions hit him.
‘Incredible.’ He thought to himself.
The girl before him was now glowing brightly and beautifully. Her words were truly sincere as she pleaded, and he had never expected someone like her to bow down and beg.
His disgusted feelings after the unfortunate event assaulted him as he stood there looking at Prim kneeling on the ground and begging. It was time to exorcise this demon once in for all.
“Stand up. I may have taken my words a little too far with your friends. Please bring me to them so that I may rectify my actions.” *grrwrorr* his stomach grumbled, reminding him of his true objective. “My apologies. How about a snack first?”
Arriving at the girl’s boarding house, Prim had regained her composure and was able to sneak him inside.
Standing in front of Lisin’s room, “Lisin, can I come in?” Prim asked after knocking on the door.
“I told you already, leave me alone…” A defeated tone answered from inside.
“Lisin. Please, open the door and let me come in. I’ll leave you alone for as long as you want afterwards. Just this one last time, please?” Prim begged.
The door slowly unlocked.
*Creak~* the door opened a tiny slit. A pair of eyes peered around before opening wider.
“What do you want, Prim?” a red eyed girl spoke.
“Can I please come in?” Prim asked.
“No. I don’t want to talk about it. I told you already.” Lisin refused.
“It’s not about that. I promise.”
Lisin stepped back and the door opened wider. Prim stepped in. Hiding behind her, Kaidus also stepped in.
“PRIM! Y-y-you!” Lisin started crying out.
“Please stop, I asked her to bring me.” Kaidus spoke gently, and the girl quickly held her mouth with her hands, trying as hard as she could to not anger him. “I am not here to hurt you or anything. You understand?” He asked, his voice soft and low. Lisin nodded her head while still holding her mouth. Kaidus cordially bent forward into a deep apologetic bow.
“I apologize. In my rage, I had done something truly horrible to you both. I did not realize that my words and actions at the time would devastate you so. Know that it has also weighed on my mind heavily, and I regret every moment of it.” He lifted his head. “I know that we may never be friends, but I hope that we can put this behind us and learn from it.”
Lisin stared back at him in shock.
“Again, I’m sorry about what happened.” He apologized one last time before he opened to door to leave the room.
“Please come to class later Lisin, I miss you.” Prim added as she followed Kaidus out.
The seemingly minor incident had been eating at him ever since that night. Going back home and seeing his family had helped mend the scars, but getting pulled into the headmaster’s little farce had just as quickly reopened it.
Having apologized to both Jorva and Lisin, Kaidus made his way to the “Council”.