Authors: C. Dale Brittain,Brittain
Tags: #Fantasy Fiction; American, #Science Fiction, #General, #Fantasy, #Fiction
“There are always a lot of young wizards who stay on at the school for a few years, helping out as demonstrators and the like. Many of the City merchants also employ wizards, at least part time. Maybe Dominic wil want some magical assistance while ne’s there! It won’t be a disgrace to go back to the City, and maybe with a few more years of experience I’d actualy be qualified to serve some duke or count somewhere.”
I was caught between agreeing with him and feeling that he was much too hard on himself. “So you’ve fuly recovered from the monster knocking al your magic out of you—” I asked tentatively.
‘ Oh, yes,” he said as though surprised. “I’d forgotten I said that. The monster didnt suck my abilities out of me or anything so dramatic.” He would have Eut a binding spel on my foot to show me how wel e could stil work magic if I had not stopped him in time.
“I think you’l be a very good wizard someday,” I said, hoping I did not souna patronizing.
“I don’t want you to feel you’ve failed me,” he continued, looking down at the closed book in his hands.
“I’ve learned a tremendous amount from associating with you, Daimbert. And, of course, if I’d never come to Yurt, I would never have met the wood nymph!”
“I’l miss you,” I said, entirely truthfuly.
“There’s one thing I do feel badly about,” he said, looking at me fuly for the first time since I had come in. “When I go, you won’t have anyone here to talk to but the chaplain. Who wil you tel your jokes to? Who wil put ilusory frogs on your pilow?”
I smiled, glad he could not stay serious for long. “I’l be al right. Joachim and I have been friends for a long time. Though I haven’t taught him how to do ilusions, I have hopes of giving him a sense of humor someday. But if you can get away from the school sometimes, I’d very much like you to come visit.”
Evrard opened the first of the books and frowned at it as though he had never seen it before. “If you don’t mind, I d like to stay here until my leg is a little better. With al those young wizards, the school is no place for the wounded. And maybe by the time I go back, my beard wil have grown out properly.”
“Of course, of course. Stay as long as you like.”
“I’l telephone the school, to tel them what’s been happening, and find out if there’s a particular branch of magic they think they’l need there so I can brush up.” But before Evrard could cal the school that evening, our glass telephone rang. It was King Haimerie, caling us.
The constable answered and the king asked first about his roses, but then we al gathered around to talk to him. “I just got the message the duchess sent from her castle, via die pigeons, that she’d gotten married!” said the king.
“She and her husband left for his principality today,” said Dominic. “But they plan to be back in a month or so.”
“Wel, then,” said the king cheerfuly, “I can look
forward to meeting him when they return. Has anything else happened?”
Dominic and I looked at each other. “The retired wizard, my predecessor, has died,” I said.
“Oh, dear,” said the king, sounding genuinely sorry, while also conveying the sense that this news would not trouble him for long. “Wel, he’d already served, what was it, five generations of kings of Yurt?”
“He left me the ring you gave him,” I said. “I hope you don’t mind.”
“Of course not, Wizard. Wel, is that al the news? I hope things haven’t been too dul in Yurt for you while we’re gone!” There was a short pause while Dominic and I looked at each other again. The regent, for one minute, came very close to smiling. Before either of us could speak, the queen appeared beside her husband in the tiny image in the telephone’s base. She was even more beautiful than I remembered. She held the baby prince by the hand; he clung tightly but was indubitably taking steps on his own.
The queen’s Aunt Maria smiled from behind them. “Did we tel you Baby Buttons has started to walk?” she asked.
“Dromnick! Gizward!” said the little prince, looking toward us with a broad smile. I hoped he never found out what chaos his birth had caused here in Yurt.
“Yes, sire,” said Dominic, when the king’s face appeared again, “a few other things have happened, but we can tel you al about them when you’re back. Do you know yet when that wil be?”
“Probably another week or two,” said the king. “So nothing’s happened that you can’t handle?”
Dominic nodded slowly. “Nothing that the wizard and I can’t handle.”