I studied for a week, both with the other registrants in class and on the field. One of the first years, a young male Agynan elf by the name of Nileyn, helped me learn the basic spells. Another student, Nera of the desert town Sandrest, coached me in a few basic potions, throwing the book Verulus had gotten me across the classroom during our off time. Both wouldn’t tell me what tests laid ahead.
I briefly saw Verulus twice, walking alongside the Headmaster, in heavy discussion over something I never heard. The day of the exams I was awoken early by Master Pyrusn.
“Awake, girl. Your presence is needed with the Council. Head to the first year training ground as soon as possible.”
I groaned but agreed. My nights the past week had been restless, grim images of war and bloodshed filled my mind each time I laid down. Nileyn and Nera had caught on to my restlessness and made hints that I should not take the tests yet.
I went to the training ground through a portal in the first year classroom, yawning as I stepped onto the tan sands, the sun beginning to rise.
“Good morning, Alys. Sorry we haven’t spoken this week.” Verulus’ cheery attitude greeted me.
“Thought you were with the headmaster?”
“I have my own house here in Vale, remember? Besides, I wanted to see you before you take the tests.”
“Isn’t that something you’d rather say to a lover?” I stretched.
Verulus laughed. “I suppose you’re right, though I’m not interested in anyone at the moment. It’s hard to stay tied down anyway, since wanderers travel.”
I just nodded, leaning against the wall of the training grounds.
“Anyway, Alys, be careful today alright?”
“Pass and we’ll head to my place for supper.”
“Sounds good.” I smiled at him.
The portal shimmered, letting me know of the incoming arrival. I looked toward it, standing at the ready. One by one the members of the Master Council came through, the headmaster arriving last. I bowed in greeting.
“Today’s exam consists of displays of the basic spells and combat. Since he is already here, Verulus will be your sparring partner.” The headmaster glanced to Verulus, who still leaned against the wall.
“As you wish, Headmaster.” Verulus and I spoke in unison.
The Master Council nodded and Verulus and I headed to the middle section of the training ground.
“No wand or staff, Alys?” Verulus commented.
“No, I haven’t made or purchased one yet. I’m confident in my hand skills enough to suffice for today.” I retorted, annoyed he chose now of all times to remark about a lack of an extension of myself.
“Drok!” I felt a force suddenly push me after his command, sending me skidding across the training ground’s sand, kicking up the granules.
I quickly got back up, flinging my arms up to protect my face as he started repeating the command. “Burkurm!”
The shield blocked most of the force, but I was still pushed back. I glanced towards the Council, watching them frown.
‘You need to advance on him! Break his flow!’ I reprimanded myself, racking my brain for a spell to accomplish this.
“MES!” I shouted as I opened the palm of my hands, a thick milky mist surrounding us.
The pushing force stopped, giving me precious minutes to start the advancement.
“Doedulek!” The mist quickly dispersed. Verulus had circled behind me.
I whirled around and charged at him, closing the gap between us by a few mere feet, shouting “Drok!” at him as I flung my hand out.
Verulus quickly raised his staff, blocking the spell without a word, reminding me he was more skilled to where he didn’t have to say the casts for basic spells. He smirked and faked a yawn.
I grimaced and held my hands out. “Voorbyl! Ripwend!”
A small fireball followed by a cloud of icy wind propelled towards Verulus. He blocked the fireball and most of the frost as I began to feel the effects of having my energy drained by the simultaneous attacks.
Verulus smirked. “Leggyym vreus.” He blew across his hand.
Ice formed around my limbs, freezing me in place, leaving my head free as the cold was sucking at my magic. Verulus got closer, his smirk turning into a dark grin as he touched my forehead with his finger.
My vision went fuzzy as my head began to ache in protest, something piercing my brain as I vaguely heard shouts of protest. I tried to push out the intruding force, my vision blackening.
I was lying down, resting. There was noise coming through the window, lots of noise. It wakes me up. I cry and feebly kick the blanket off. It takes me a few minutes to get up, clinging to the bars of my crib, howling at the ever growing unintelligible noise outside.
The door bursts open to this room bursts open. A familiar woman, not my mother, heavy with child and a sweating brow shuffled over to me. My nurse. She picked me up out of the crib, wrapping the blanket around me and comforting me between gasps, trying to get me to calm down. I kept crying, but my howls ceased. Something was wrong.
She says something I cannot understand, holding me to her chest. She takes me out of the room, going fast down the halls. She stops; a person in black was waiting for her. She pushed me into the person’s arms, looking desperate as she moved her hands to her stomach. A shiny thing the person had by their neck, I reach out for it. The person’s voice was deep as he said something to my nurse. I grab the shiny thing and put it in my mouth, the thing cold and too big to fit in my mouth completely. It felt funny as I bit it.
The person moves as I try to look at my nurse, she was hurting badly. My mother comes in from where the nurse had entered, she too was with child, but wasn’t hurt but tired. She grabs my nurse’s wrist and my nurse opened her mouth wide and let out a loud noise. The person quietly slips away from the room, my mother didn’t see us. I could hear my nurse’s loud noise as we kept moving away, I started crying again. I want my nurse.
Then she stopped making that noise.