I began with reading a little bit of Taliqa’s history. The kingdom began flourishing after the first king, Olivar, was selected to lead its people. Glinn.. is the current Queen.
From what I remember, I jumped from a moving castle. A large castle at that. It’s possible that my mother and this Glinn are the same person, and it isn’t that hard to believe. I sighed. This will be a problem if they start looking for me. I should think of ridding myself of my old clothing, burning them so that not even the phoenix insignia remains. And my hair, too, needs to change.
“Find anything interesting about your home?” asked Zeyl, who had come out from taking a bath, her hair was still wet, and I made sure not look in her direction for more than a second when I heard her coming inside the room.
“Zeyl,” I said, “these books aren’t too up to date, are they?” Noting that it has no mention of whether this Glinn had any children.
“They are updated every decade or so.”
“Does Queen Glinn have children?”
“Yes.. they are…” Zeyl began thinking to herself, while making noises of cloth moving on her skin. “Her royal highness princess Lehvie, and princess Nes.”
“…” Well, that settles it, these two Glinns are the same per– “Wait.”
“What is it?”
“Just two children? No son?” I asked.
“Not that I know of,” said Zeyl, followed by a knock on the door. Selsie pops her head up to see who it is.
“Master Zeyl,” said the voice, “your clothes are ready.” I look back and see Isla… and Zeyl in her underwear. I look back to my book immediately, blushing in the process and forgetting everything about our previous conversation.
“Oh,” said Isla, “I think I saw something interesting with the young lord.”
“What?” asked Zeyl. Isla began referring to me as young lord when she found out I was from Talica, but more importantly because of the insignia on my old clothing.
“Nothing~,” said Isla, and I could feel from her words that she was perhaps grinning. She then leaves shortly after, leaving only Zeyl and myself in the room.
I continued reading. This time about the religion but to my surprise, there wasn’t any. Actually, the book mentions people who are revered by each region. Living Saints, in other words. To earn this, one must do an outstanding service to their home country, often, these same people are giving, as Saints, other titles such as Viceroy, as stated in the book. That’s a very high rank.
“Is there a Living Saint in this region?” I asked.
“That would be Saint Pacard, he lives in this City actually.”
“What did he do to earn that tittle?”
“He.. uh…. I can’t remember,” laughed Zeyl, “I know the Saint from my country saved my region from several natural distasters with his magic, but that was along time ago. He has already passed away, and we are without a living Saint.”
“…Is that so.”
“Alright, I’m done,” said Zeyl, “let’s go.” I follow behind Zeyl, and on this trip we take Selsie with us, and that by the time we got outside, she jumped out the window. We headed south of Aria, opposite direction of where the sea was located. We are going to check on my abilities, whether I can use magic or not and see what to do after that. The streets on our way there were more pleasant to travel by, since we were avoiding the main road with travelers walking to and from one exit. Aria is not without its share of problems, however, we neared ourselves to something I suspected would exist in this world. Slavery. Zeyl walked beside me as I rode on Selsie.
“Oi there,” said a man, behind him were slaves that he was trying to sell. They were mostly young and none exceeded the age of twenty.
“…” I try ignoring him.
“Young lord,” he says, a reminder that I should find a way to change the color of my hair, as it is very unique in the city apart from the black, brown, or blond that are found on the heads of travelers. “Might you be interested in purchasing a slaver, or two? I have a special offer, you can buy two for the price of five gold!”
“We aren’t interested,” said Zeyl, the slaver owner backs away, and looks irritated at Zeyl.
We keep walking pass him, and I notice the two slaves he was speaking about, two young kids in their teens. A boy and a girl. I have the gold to buy them, and perhaps let them free, but Zeyl stops me from doing so.
“If you do that, then you’ll end up losing all your money,” she said. “There is a limit to how kind you can be.”
We keep making our way south, passing homes and people who were likely native to Aria. Some animals were seeing on the streets, resembling mix breeds of animals I know from my world. I point to one of them.
“What animal is that,” I asked Zeyl. I only browsed once through the book on wildlife, and it was a book easily about five hundred pages, mostly images and details on common behaviour of the animals.
“That is a horn-husky,” she said. And it looks like a mix between some lizard and a dog. “These are very loyal, and a favorite around Sharia.”
We continued talking about the different animals I saw until we arrived at our location no more than thirty minutes later. It was a school that teaches magic, and from what Zeyl explained, entry is ten gold per semester, or about the same as a semester at my university. It’s expensive no matter where I go. There is also no age restriction, meaning that if I am granted access, I would likely be learning with other students who will be much older than myself… physically.
The entrance was busy with students entering, as it was still somewhat early in the morning. There was no one around my age, and all those that were here seemed to carry themselves with an air of importance among each other. After some the distance was shortened, I began seeing people actually practicing magic outside in groups with what seemed like their instructors. I can’t say that I am not excited, this is magic after all, but my goal is to find something to get find my way back home. Family trumps everything.
Suddenly, a ball of fire flies towards me, before I could react, Selsie arches herself back, having me fall on the ground in the process. She then opens her mouth and eats the fire, soon letting fumes of steam coming out of her mouth. She then growls.
“I am so sorry,” yelled a voice from far, a girl ran toward us, and Selsie steps in between her and I. Zeyl helps me get back on my feet after making sure didn’t suffer anything serious. I felt no pain on my body.
“I’m sorry on her behalf,” said a man who followed behind her, he was likely her instructor. “Please, let me check your body for injuries.”
“It’s okay,” I said, “I feel fine.” The man didn’t listen, he places his hand over my head and lets some particles of magic flow out from his hand.
“Good,” he said, “everything looks fine. Again, I’m sorry this had to happen in the first place.”
The girl apologizes again with her instructor. Zeyl looked on to them annoyed. We continued on to the main building, and I walked this time instead of riding on Selsie, to which the wolf made sure to place herself between me and others who were practicing their magic. We finally got our chance to get inside. The halls were large, even so that Selsie had more than enough space to walk them, which was a strange sight in itself. I’m wondering if this is even allowed, but then I’ll just wait for someone to say so. I should think about buying a book on the common laws in this country. We then stop by a door. The sign on it reads “Magic Analysis.”
“Hello,” greeted a young woman when the door opened. We introduced ourselves and explain what we came here for. “Then sit right here.” She had me sitting in an awkward position, one in which the back of my neck was more than exposed, and I faced down to the floor.
“Okay, then let’s see what we’ve got here,” she said. Zeyl takes her own seat close by, and Selsie waited outside the room. The lady introduced herself as Neean, and she begins feeling with her hands the back of my neck. “Found it. It seems like you can use magic… however.”
“Is there something wrong?” asked Zeyl.
“His vein is still very thin, which is expected of children,” she said. “He can use magic, the only problem is that he only use… a little bit of it at one time. Using any more than what he has could prove fatal.”
My excitement died down as she said that, but there was still hope in perhaps thinking that my capacity would increase over time as I got older.
“Then about taking classes?” asked Zeyl.
“Hmmm… it should be fine, I suppose, but I would refrain from using magic leisurely, so long as it is for practicing magic.”
I didn’t really think about taking classes, and I was only curious as to whether I could use any or not. Then Neean goes on to explain that people who can use magic will be given a semester for free. It is a very tempting offer, and then she goes on to mention the large selection of books in the library that can teach magic and I couldn’t help but accept. I might be able to find something if I search long enough.
“Luckily,” interrupted Zeyl, “the semester started only a week ago, you should be able to catch up if it’s only been that long. Neean agrees, though she then explains that uniform isn’t free and that it will cost at most one gold. That’s very expensive for a piece of cloth, and even the ones I bought with Zeyl the other day never reached even one silver in total.
“Is there something special about the uniform?” I asked.
“Yes,” said Neean, “they have some magic properties in them to protect the wearer from low-class magic, meaning that it will be safe for you to have when practicing spells.”
“When can he start?” asked Zeyl, she’s been asking things in my place for sometime now.
“Today, but only to test out his magic and see his real limits. We can have an older student teach him something, since our instructors will be too busy with their groups Is that fine?”
“Yes,” I said. We then walk out the room, follow Neean with Selsie close behind until we reach yet another room about ten minutes later. We could easily get lost in this building without proper direction. The room we reach is quite large. Several students enter from a different entrance. I spot the girl from before that almost burned my face off and Selsie notices too, and began to growl. I pat her, and she calms down a little. Neean walks to them and speaks to the instructor. We can’t hear their conversation from where we are, and then Neean signals to us to come to her.
“Lo here will be your tutor,” said Neean.
“I’d rather the person be someone else,” said Zeyl, and Lo expresses her sadness, this was the same girl from earlier, and she looks down to the ground and apologizes for the previous accident again.
“What seems to be the problem?” asked Neean.
“It is obvious that her control over her magic is inadequate,” said Zeyl. The instructor pulls Neean to speak to her privately, leaving us with Lo. The two then rather moments later.
“I understand your concern,” said Neean, “it was an accident, and nothing more. We cannot simply go around judging people by the one mistake they make, and Lo here is holds a rank of staff sergeant in Aria. Please give her a chance.”
“Okay,” I said. Zeyl looks to me displeased, but Neean was right when she said we shouldn’t judge someone so quickly.
“Then I’ll leave you in Lo’s care,” said Neean, and she stands back to see what we will be doing.
“Then,” said Lo, “please stand behind the line right here.” She points to a line on the floor, and right in front it is a small pool of water. Lo stands on the opposite end of the small pool, which would more safe to say that it is a puddle. “I’ll give you a demonstration.” She holds her hands out and water begins rising from the puddle. “I want you to imagine yourself lifting the water, it should be that simple.” She then stops what she is doing, and lets the water go back into its original form on the ground. I put my hands out and do as Lo instructed.
“Now just imagine the water rising,” said Lo.
Nothing happens. Am I doing it wrong? A small bulge starts forming from the puddle.
“Good, good,” said Lo. “Keep that up.”
I imagine the small water molecules in the water, and to my surprise, I lift all of the water from the puddle. Normally, water molecules bounce around when in liquid form. If I imagine them locked in place, then this should create ice. Then, as I thought, the water turns into ice. I then return it to its liquid state, and speed up their movement, thus turning the water in to steam. In excitement, I try returning whatever steam was made and turn some of it into water again.
“…” Silence fills the room. A second later and I feel a sharp sting hitting behind my neck, as if all the energy was sucked out of me, I pass out.