Authors: D.W. Jackson
Tags: #magic, #wizard, #mage, #cheap, #mage and magic, #wizadry
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had watched as his
son blew apart the Brotherhood’s palace and couldn’t help but feel
his heart rise. When Bren walked out of the wreckage carrying the
young lady on his shoulder, Thad turned toward Humanius to boast
but found the god bent over on the ground holding his chest and
gasping for air.
Suddenly, Thad felt a huge burst of magical
energy. It was raw and powerful and made his body ache. It had been
so long since he had felt the touch of magic that it was painful,
almost like giving a man dying of thirst, a single drop of water.
It made Thad yearn for the feeling of magic once again.
As the wave of magic flooded the area around
him Thad heard Humanius scream again. Thad didn’t have to look; he
felt the magic and had an idea of what it was for. Turning back to
the window, Thad found that it was gone. Bren had destroyed
Humanius’s link to the outside world, and thus blinded not only the
god but Thad as well. Thad felt a mixture of pride and sadness. His
son had won, but now Thad was once again left alone in the dark of
the abyss with nothing to keep his mind busy.
Bren sat in his bedroll staring down at Faye.
Ever since he had awoken in that small cave, she had not left his
side. Oddly, Bren no longer felt shy around the woman—or in truth
any feeling. He knew that something was wrong, but he didn’t know
what. It wasn’t so much as he felt empty, but that he was too full.
He could see, hear, and feel more than he could before. The way he
saw had changed as well. He no longer had to focus to see the
rivers of magical energies that flowed across the land, nor the
patterns that existed in a person. In Faye, he could see the slight
mixture of mostly water and wind but a little of the others as
well. Bren found it odd that he could almost tell what Faye was
thinking by how the colors changed and swirled within her. That
fact that the elements changed because of mood or thought, meant
that Bren had been right about training in thought patterns. If one
could teach someone to think and feel a specific way, then it would
be possible to bring up any kind of mage that one wished.
We need to decipher the map.
“Right now that is not possible,” Bren
replied to the staff. Another thing that Bren found odd was that
the staff had a flow of elements just like that of humans, and it
changed with the staff’s thoughts. “We need not hurry. Once we
arrive at Hayao’s village, we can take our time and plan things
out. Right now the Brotherhood is trying to follow us, and if we
sit and wait for them, then things will only get more
You could simply kill all of them. It is not
like they would not do the same if they could get ahold of you.
“True,” Bren admitted. “I just see no point
in their death. They follow their own path, and though it may not
be the same path that I follow, it is not my job to judge
“My lord, it is time for us to leave,” Arashi
said, walking over and standing over him. Since he had learned they
were going to Hayao’s village, the samurai had been sullen and
quiet. Bren could tell that the man was not really mad, but rather
he was feeling more helpless at the moment and was not completely
happy with Bren’s decision.
Bren shook Faye lightly until she opened her
eyes. “It is time that we left,” Bren said, his voice sounding cold
e are almost there
my lord,” Hayao said with a barely contained smile.
“I see nothing that would hint that we are
near a village,” Bren said as he looked around. They had left the
main road two days past, leaving their wagons and goods behind.
Since leaving the roads behind, they had not passed so much as a
farm, and it had been days since Bren had seen another human beside
those traveling with him.
“As I told you before, only a select few are
ever allowed inside my village,” Hayao said, no longer trying to
hide his smile.
Bren nodded his head and remained silent. He
didn’t know why Hayao was taking them to his homeland if it was
such a secret. Bren could detect no hint of subterfuge coming from
Hayao, but he was one of the few that he could not read. The man
kept his feelings so close that he would make a Vathari
Bren looked around at his other companions.
Each of them looked at him as if he was a stranger. The only one
who still treated him the same was Faye, and even she held doubts
about him hidden deep within her. Bren couldn’t blame them, he felt
like a stranger to himself. Ever since he left the Brotherhood
camp, he had changed a great deal. Not only had his skin turned a
light silver, his hair was now white as snow, and his eyes now
burned a deep gold, almost like a coin thrown into a fire.
“You seem to be thinking a lot lately,” Cass
said, reining his horse in next to Bren.
“My mind seems to have a lot of thoughts that
need answers,” Bren replied. “Every moment I find new questions,
but few of them have I found answers for.”
“What kind of questions would those be?” Cass
“Let us start with a simple question then,”
Bren replied as he looked up at the overcast sky. “What is
“An easy one,” Cass said laughing. “I believe
that is anything but easy. Love…I guess I would say it is a feeling
of….Ugh,” Cass said scratching his head. “It is…Caring for someone
deeply, so much so that you would be willing to give your life for
“Is that how you see it?” Bren asked, his
voice still calm and emotionless. “You might be right, but it is
hard for me to know. I can feel emotions swirling inside me, but it
is almost as if I am looking down on them from outside.”
“At least you still know you have them,” Cass
offered. “I can’t say I know what you are going through. In fact, I
don’t think I really would want to know. I would suggest you simply
take it slowly, and get to know yourself first. I am sure it will
get better…I think. For now, I think acting like you have emotions
will make many of us feel a little more comfortable.”
Bren didn’t respond but thought about what
Cass had said. He had changed, and he had to admit that and not
only just in appearance. Bren forcibly put a smile on his face and
looked around at everyone, and for the first time in days, they
“See makes a big difference,” Cass said
Bren continued his introspection as he rode
along. After a few hours, he quickly grew tired of looking at
himself, so he thought he would try to push himself a little.
Pulling in magical energy for the first time since he had awoken,
Bren found it as easy as breathing. Focusing light energy in his
eyes, Bren extended his sight.
In the distance he could see a thick forest.
It was still a few hours away, but Bren could see it as clearly as
if he was standing a few feet in front of it. When he noticed a
small hare among the grass, Bren tried to focus in on it to see how
close he could get. Surprisingly, the hare looked in Bren’s general
direction and smelled the air. After a few moments, the hare went
back to grazing, but every so often, it would look back toward him
as its small muscles twitched nervously.
“Does anyone have a bow?” Bren asked, not
letting his sight waver from the hare. After a few moments, Hayao
handed Bren a short bow and a black shafted arrow. Keeping half his
attention focused on the hare Bren looked over the bow. It was made
of a mixture of wood that was both strong and supple, giving it
more range, but even then, an arrow would not fly very far.
Notching the arrow Bren pulled back on the
bow and took aim as he pulled in more magical energy. Once he was
sure that everything was ready, Bren let the arrow go. The arrow
flew straight and continued on, well out of sight of everyone else,
but Bren still followed it as it continued on its magically
designated path. The hare looked toward the arrow as it flew toward
it and tried to jump away, but Bren altered the arrows path ever so
slightly skewering the hare straight through the heart.
Bren felt a slight sadness as he felt the
life leave the small creatures body. He could have as easily shot
at a tree but Bren wanted to test more than just his skill with a
bow. He watched as the small amount of ethereal energy left the
hare’s body. It looked like a mass of energy far beyond what could
have fit inside the creature’s body. Bren followed the mass of
energy as it floated into the air and began to dissipate. Bren
tried to see where the energy went, but it was almost as if the
universe itself had soaked it up like water spilt upon the
Bren had a few ideas about where the energy
went, but he wanted proof. He was sure it was part of a cycle that
sustained the universe. As far as he knew, energy was seldom
destroyed—it could be—but to do so would be dangerous, and not even
Bren was sure what would happen if he committed such an act, even
if he could. When one used magic, one simply changed elemental
energy into a different form, and as soon as it was used, it was
soaked back into the universe.
On the other hand, energy could be created,
though Bren couldn’t do it. It was a product of the life and growth
of natural creatures. One might call it a soul, but it was simply a
mass of natural energy that grew with the body and one’s
experiences. This did not just apply to humans and animals but
trees and grass as well. It was an odd thing that Bren had only
recently noticed. His main question was not why it grew, but what
the universe did with this ever expanding amount of energy.”
“That was one powerful shot,” Cass said with
a low whistle. “How far did the arrow go?”
“It landed in a forest off in the distance,”
Bren said handing the bow back to Hayao who looked at him with a
look of reverence.