“Find the boy who did this to my son. Use any means necessary.” A well-dressed man spoke solemnly to those around him. His face distorted angrily, as he looked at the sleeping young man in front of him.
“Yes sir.” Three men responded, before promptly leaving the room.
Seven broken ribs, a cracked sternum, and a punctured lung. Using his wealth, he had hired the best physicians around to treat his son—his heir. The bones had been set, and the puncture stitched up, but his son was now unconscious.
‘A child…’ he thought to himself.
The sole person who had gotten out of the ordeal unscathed, had also begged and cried as he gave his recollection of what happened. A monster in the form of a child assaulted the four of them in the alley, dealing such damage to his son and two of his son’s friends. Strangely, the boy had begged for them to not pursue the attacker, as if fearing for his life.
“I will find this ‘monster’, and make him pay for what he’s done!” The man vowed in anger, smashing a fist into the nightstand by the bed.
The similar incident last Zali—which his son took part in—was already forgotten.
“Kaidush! Look! Birdy!” Anise pointed to the sky.
A large flock of small birds was flying above Ferrent, flying low enough that Kaidus recognized what they were.
The annual Lippar migration was here.
Tiny exotic birds of greenish gold for females, and blackish silver for males. They were nomadic birds and always appeared around the turn of Hiso. They inhabit the surrounding forests and gorged on insects before moving onto a different forest around Darsus.
“I guess it’s that time of the year again.” Kaidus spoke to himself as he watched as the cloud of Lippars grow larger and blanket the sky.
“Kaidush, can Anish have a burd?” Anise asked, not taking her eye off the spectacle.
“Maybe if you’re a good girl.” He replied back.
“Anish ish a good gurl!” She pouted.
“I know.” Kaidus answered, a big smile on his face—showing that he was joking.
He cupped his hands together and stretched it out to his little sister. With a thought, he willed mana into the cupped hands.
Kaidus motioned for Anise to put her hands under his. She did so, and he opened his. A tiny wooden Lippar fell into her cupped hands.
“WAAA!!! Can I have it?!?” Anise beamed back, her eyes were overjoyed.
“Of course. I made it for you.” He smiled.
The Paltos siblings were currently at home, watching the migration through the living room window. Kaidus had been reading while Anise played with some toys that Adalina bought her. Adalina herself was sitting on a chair nearby, sewing a new dress for Anise.
*knock knock!* someone was at the door.
‘Who could that be?’ Adalina wondered, as she got up to get the door.
“Hello madam, is this the Paltos residence?” A stranger asked. There were two of them—a man and a woman.
“Yes, it is, and who might you two be?”
“We are mages from the 11th ward Mystiks Guild. We would like to ask you a couple questions. Is that alright?” The female responded. On their right chest, they each wore a silver badge with a symbol on it.
“Yes, of course. How may I help you?” Adalina replied.
“Were you and your children in the shopping district five days ago? Around the afternoon?” The woman questioned.
“Five days ago… yes. Yes, we were.”
“What were you doing?”
“Buying ingredients for lunch and dinner…” Adalina answered, not sure where the questions were going.
“What about your son?” The man asked.
“What about my son?” She questioned.
“Was he also out shopping with you?” The man asked again.
“No. As I recall, he separated from me and my daughter, and went to a book-” Adalina stopped. She was feeling uneasy about this. “Sorry. May I ask what this is about?” She inquired.
“Of course. Around noon five days ago, three young men were beaten horribly in an alley near the outskirts of the shopping area. We are just following some leads that brought us here.” The man replied.
“…W-Why here? What does that have to do with us?” Adalina was dreading the answer.
“We were called over to investigate this event three days ago. One of the victims had injuries that would be impossible without magic. The only witness mentioned a young boy with black hair who used magic to attack them.”
Adalina’s body went limp.
As if on cue, Kaidus came over to the door. “Is everything alright?”
“K-Kaidus…” Adalina barely managed his name.
“You are Kaidus Paltos?” The woman asked, a hint of surprise in her voice as she scrutinized him.
“Yes, I am.” Kaidus answered, gazing back at the woman.
“We have information that you have awoken? And that you are currently going to Zorin academy?” The woman queried, almost doubtful.
“Yes.” Kaidus simply replied, not tearing away the gaze.
“Are you aware of an attack a couple days ago in an alley off of Trilsuv Street?” The woman added.
“Yes.” Kaidus calmly replied.
“Were… you involved”? The woman got to the point of the matter.
“Yes, I was.” Another calm answer, precise and honest.
Adalina’s knees buckled at the confession.
“For what reasons did you attack the boys?” The woman questioned. She was looking at him differently now. Unsure what to make of the brazen reply.
“I did it in self-defense.” Kaidus answered. Not wavering, or showing an ounce of regret.
“Self-defense?” The man spoke up. It was the first time they heard of any such thing.
“I was cutting through the alley, and they attacked me. I merely fought back.” Kaidus replied with a straight face. He did not want to lie, but he didn’t want to drag the poor girl who had gone through so much pain into this mess. Also, it was mostly the truth. They did attacked him first.
“…” The two mages were not sure what to make of it.
“M-My son would never do such a thing without reasons.” Adalina had managed to pick herself off the ground, and moved to hold Kaidus as she defended him.
“…that is the first we’ve heard of you fighting back in self-defense. Using magic maliciously to attack others is a serious offense. I’m sure you know that. Yet, if it was for self-defense, considering your age, there may be some justifications.” The man spoke.
“The point of this investigation is to find the culprit and bring them to trial. Would you be willing to explain your side of the incident in a trial?” The woman asked him, curiosity and doubt both showing on her face.
“Who am I to be judged by?” Kaidus promptly asked.
There were three different types of trials.
One is a trial judged by the people of the ward you live in. This sort of trial normally encases: domestic violence, disputes, theft, various damages, murders, fraud, etc… pretty much anything that had to do with any crime. The offenders are judged by those in their own ward, and was the most common trial for both commoners and nobles.
The second was a trial judged by members of the Mystiks guild. This usually happens when someone is abusing magic.
The third was the royal court. Offenders are brought before the King himself, and judged by him. This was where disputes between nobles usually ended up, along with uncertain disputes between high profile people in Ferrent.
“The Mystiks guild will oversee your trial. A messenger will deliver you the time and place.” The woman answered.
“Understood.” Kaidus calmly replied.
“NO! PLEASE! There must be a misunderstanding!” Adalina pleaded.
The Mystiks guild held the highest authority in Ferrent when it came to magic. At best, Kaidus would be freed without any problems. But if guilty, they would brand him as a dangerous element, and exile him. She has heard many stories from Lady Reanne of nobles who are found guilty of abusing magic, and sent to other continents as exiles.
“The decision has already been made during the beginning of our investigation. With that, our search comes to an end. Good luck at the trial.” The woman replied to Adalina’s pleas. The two mages promptly turned around and walked away.
They had been searching for the boy for three days already. It was only through their connection with Zorin academy, which they learned of a young mage. With that contact, they were able to trace the boy’s name back to where he lived. For him to have admitted to his crimes so easily, they were thankful that they did not have to resort to more violent means.
Two days later, a messenger arrived at the Paltos residence. The trial would take place at noon on the 34th within the 3rd ward. Three days before the end of Hiso.
It was nearing the afternoon, and Kaidus was sitting in a large room filled with people. They were waiting for the judges from the Mystiks guild to arrive.
The current room was in the 3rd ward community building—located near the 3rd ward library, and is one of the largest buildings in the area. The trial is in the main hall, allowing for spectators.
The room had two wooden podiums set on two sides—for the parties involved. There was a large desk in front of the podiums for the judges. Behind the podiums were benches for both parties, along with anyone else who would speak for them. The rest of the hall was empty of furniture, and the audience was left standing.
Troyle and Adalina were sitting next to Kaidus, with Anise on Adalina’s lap. Troyle had gotten the day off to come stand by his son for the trial.
Opposite of their position sat four angry families, and the boy who was unharmed. The boy was begging his parents to let him leave. Making eye contact with Kaidus, the boy started crying in fear—it only infuriated his parents.
Earlier when they saw each other, the angry parents had threatened to overrun the Paltos family. Lucky for them, the guards quickly stepped in before Kaidus needed to do anything. With the guards now in between them, the parents were now shouting at Troyle and Adalina for being unable to discipline Kaidus.
The Paltos family sat quietly as they waited for the judges.
A large audience had gathered in the hall.
Many of those from the shopping district—who knew the Paltos, were there to spectate. Others who heard of the attack and were curious to see the outcome, were also there to watch. Many people were merely there for entertainment, hoping for something dramatic.
Everyone was shocked to see that the malefactor who had caused such grievances, was nothing but a young boy. Even those from the shopping district who knew him, were shocked to hear that the calm young boy would do such a thing.
Mixed in with the crowd were a couple of nobles from the 11th ward. An immaculately dressed old man with an insignia of a sword and helmet on his coat, with three companions. Another old man with a white beard and missing his left arm, also in the company of a few people. The two groups were in the back, failing at the feeble attempt to not draw attention to themselves. They were just there to see what the boy would do, and the outcome of the trial.
Also mixed in with the crowd were: Lord Varath, Lady Reanne, Jillian, and Sylvia. The Varath family had heard about the attack, and was there to witness the outcome of the trial.
As noon rolled around, nine people came into the room. Six women, and three men. The nine of them each wore a cloak with the insignia of the Mystiks guild on it—a flaming hand. The women wore cloaks of black and red, while the men wore white and red.
“Thank you for waiting. Let us commence this trial.” A woman around her 30’s spoke as the group sat down.
As the trial proceeded, Kaidus did not believe what he was hearing.
The parents of the four boys were collaborating their stories. Claiming that their kids would never have provoked Kaidus, and that the injuries they received were unwarranted. They appealed that their sons were good kids, even if they’ve done some wrong in the past, and that what Kaidus did was nothing short of attempted manslaughter.
Each of the parent’s took turns going up to the podium to relay about the condition of their son, and what kind of a child they were. Spouting praises without an ounce of blemish.
This was the main goal of the vindictive families. Cooperating, the wealthier Heldeins house had used money and bribes, to force this into a public trial. They would discredit the boy who had done this to their sons, and disgrace his whole family.
Even with one of the boy’s incessant begging to not do such a thing, the parents had gone ahead with the plan.
“And the side of the offender?” The woman sitting in the middle of the desk—facing both parties—spoke up, gesturing to the Paltos family.
Troyle quickly stood up to defend his son.
“Father, please. Let me explain myself.” Kaidus request, also getting up.
Troyle heard the resolve in his son’s voice. He had heard about the problem from Adalina during dinner the day she learned of it. They both listened Kaidus’s short recount of the engagement. He knew his son would not do something like this without proper cause. Although he did not know what the cause was, he was confident in his son. Troyle sat back down, and allowed his young son to defend himself.
“You want to speak for yourself?” one of the judges spoke. Astonishment in her voice, at the young boy who took the stand.
“Yes.” Kaidus replied.
Surprise flew about the faces of the judges. They were not expecting such a young child—even after hearing about the case. For said child to calmly walk up to the podium, and ask to speak for his own defense, it was quite the unusual trial.
“Very well… can you tell us what happened on the 20th of Hiso, in an alley near Trilsuv Street? What you were doing, and how did this incident come about?” Another judge asked.
The audience watched with abated breath, as the young culprit took the stand.
“Of course. I was on my way to the ‘Waylaying Pages’ book store. Using a path I normally take to avoid the rush of shoppers in the early afternoon, I ran across the four of them in the alley.” Kaidus calmly conveyed the first part of the engagement.
“Noticing that something was wrong, I approached the boys to investigate. Unable to divert me away with threats, three of them attacked me. In my surprise, I retaliated in self-defense. Upon seeing what they were doing, I simply gave them what they deserved.” He finished off his defense, not going into details.
“You dare lie in front of everyone?! The audacity!” A well-dressed man in his 40’s shouted at Kaidus. Anger in his voice, and sparking whispers amongst the audience.
“ENOUGH! Mister Heldeins, you will sit back down and hold your tongue!” The judge in the middle cried out, silencing the man—along with the room.
“And what was it they were doing?” The judge inquired.
“They were doing to someone, what I did to them.” Kaidus replied, his calm tone was gone. His words were filled with venom, as he turned glared at the man who spoke out of turn
The parents of the victims straightened up in their seats. They knew their sons were far from the stalwart images they had painted earlier.
“They were assaulting someone?” The judge asked.
“Yes Madam.” Kaidus replied, turning back to the judge. His dark eyes not showing an ounce of dishonesty.
The judges’ eyes perked up in curiosity. They had not heard of another victim.
“Who is this someone?” The judge added, as she watched Kaidus closely.
“I will not divulge that information. It would be better to ask the “victim” over there.” He replied, gesturing to the scared young man sitting on the other side.
“Young man. What is the boy talking about?” The head judge in the middle turned to ask the older boy.
“PROPOSTEROUS!” The same angry man shouted. “Six guards were there at the scene! Not a single one of them saw another person!”
“I am not asking you, mister Heldeins!” The judge shot an angry glare at the man. “One more outburst, and you will forfeit any further chances of disputing your claims!”
“YOU CAN’T BE-” The man started shouting again, but with a quick incantation from the judge, the man’s mouth locked up—unable to speak further.
“What is the boy talking about?” The judge looked at the cowering young man, and asked again.
“I-I-We…” The boy was tearing up, fear gripped him. He was unable to reply. The visage of his friend’s father attempting to shout, brought back the memories of what the child had done to them.
“He is in no position to answer. I will have to ask you to answer in his stead.” The judge spoke, returning to Kaidus.
“…” Kaidus was contemplating about whether or not to reveal the identity of the girl.
“It was a child… They were assaulting a young child.” Kaidus finally answered.
“My Ashis would never do such a thing!” A woman yelled out.
“Such drivel! My son would never harm a child!” The parents started yelling together, in congruity.
“SILENCE!” Another judge bellowed. His voice infused with mana—thundering through the room, silencing everyone. “Mister Heldeins brings up a good point. Where was this child when the guards came to help?” He asked Kaidus.
“I did not want to leave her with them, so I helped her home myself.” Kaidus replied.
More silent chatter from the audience at the mention of “her”.
“Her?” The judges’ face darkened. The pieces were coming together in this farce of a trial. They had only been briefed that a young mage viciously attacked four boys in self-defense. Nothing about the mage being such a young boy, that he was saving someone, or that the true victim was a little girl.
“And just how did you manage to help this girl, who you claimed was beaten so badly, home? Surely someone would have noticed her condition.” The head female judge asked. With the revelation of the girl, there was something else in the judge’s eyes. Perhaps a look of understanding, of sympathy.
“I healed her.” Kaidus openly stated, seeing no way out of the question. The hall flew into an uproar.
Healing magic was the highest order of magic, far beyond that of the other nine elements. It is not an element, but originates directly from the casters themselves. It was the epitome of a truly powerful magician. One who has complete mastery of their mana, and can bend it to their will.
Healing magic could heal injuries as horrific as severed limbs to things as simple as scratches. As long as the body was whole—or could be made whole again, it could heal it. The only known exceptions were: death, destroyed body parts, and the ability to heal others.
It was the most coveted of all skills. There were currently less than ten mages in the world who could heal themselves. While there are mages who dabbled in healing, they were nothing more but common physickers who could only set bones and stop internal bleeding with magic. True healing magic was the recovery of broken bones, the nullification of pain, and reinvigoration of one’s own body to a comfortable state of wellbeing.
The judges began whispering to themselves at the revelation.
Another person with healing magic had appeared in Ferrent. Not only is the user a child, his healing magic was not restricted to only himself. Someone who was overturning the laws of magic was in front of their eyes.
In the uproar, the door to the trial room opened. The people in the audience stopped chattering, and turned to look. The audience split down the middle, allowing those that had just entered to proceed to the front.
A young girl in a beautiful black dress walked forward. She walked with a stride that exhibited fear and hesitation, but her eyes shone with resolve and determination.
Behind her were two large men, carrying a young man. Two well-dressed man and woman followed behind.
“Celene?” Kaidus asked, as the young girl reached the front of the room.
“H-hello Kaidus.” She spoke, trying to give him a smile. Her actions belying the resolve in her eyes.
The parents of the “victims” turned pale at the intruders.