The Neophyte

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Through my years of being a Spellcaster, I grew quite fond of my fellow Sages, Jessie and Wynona. I always trusted their instincts and they did the same for me.

I told Wynona everything about the possibility of dark magic. Her face, ever so expressive, cringed and gasped as I told her the detailed accounts of my two weeks with my parents. Jessie sat in his chair in deep thought, blue eyes occasionally casting on me and Wynona. When I finished, she leaned back and sank a little into her chair.

“Wasn’t Dean Ryans a Voltaire recommendation?”

I nodded. “He was. But only my grandfather was able to train him for a time before he disappeared.”

“You seem greatly affected by it. Were you two close?” Jessie observed.

“Fondly. We were childhood friends. I cannot deny I am utterly disappointed with his choices.”

“Do you think that his dark magic had something to do with the fate of his family?” Wynona asked, her voice small. I nodded again.

“The Unholy aura,” I said leaning back into my chair, “was somehow channeled into his energy which resulted in deadly spells. They seemed like spells we do all the time, just more heightened and potentially fatal. The lightning bolt, for instance, almost killed my old man.”

Wynona thought for a moment and asked, “Do you think he could’ve killed your father with it?”

“I’m not sure what his true intention was. His aura did not pulsate the way it should be—I believe he was channeling half of the energy from the djinn that was attacking me. But that’s only my theory.”

We sat in silence for a moment. At last, Jessie spoke, “We’ll need to consult Lord Voltaire regarding this, in case he has any thoughts that could contribute to your theory.”

He got up off the chair and picked up the phone.

“We’ll talk about this later,” Wynona said. “It’s getting late. We should get some rest.”

But just as we were about to depart from Jessie’s office, chaos arose in the Gardens in front of the HQ. The oldest and very first tree was engulfed in flames. It looked like somebody was trying to cast a flame spell and misfired. The three of us fled to the scene without hesitation.

* * *

I sat in bed and placed a lit candle beside me. I began to write letters that were to be sent to my parents, asking how everything was. I admit—I was letting the incident get to my head.

Night was perpetual in the Magic Realm. I glazed over my words and began nodding off. I had not had a good rest since that night I found Mrs Ryans’ remains in her bed. Perhaps it was the trauma of finding a neighbour’s skeletons in her safe boudoir, clutching onto her deceased daughter’s portrait that got to me. Or perhaps it was the fact that Dean was still out there and there was a chance that he might have killed his family by design. Or simply that he had discovered dark magic by controlling djinns.

A whirlwind of uneasiness inside me.

I admired the scenery outside my bedroom. Violet skies and infinite stars laid out across the heavens above everything else that mattered to us mortals. I put the letter aside and let my mind wander.

At the age of eight, Dean and I had gotten close. We shared a lot together and he would frequent my parents’ mansion. Dean was my age with light green eyes just like Mrs Ryans’. He had pale skin with curly red locks that would get in his eyes. He also had freckles that sprayed across his face. His curiosity with spellcasting was never a secret.

When he turned sixteen, he began his spellcast training under my grandfather. He was recognised by the King of the Void, Lord Voltaire, as a ‘promising Spellcaster’. A year later, his father set sail and never returned. A few months later, his sister passed. In grief, Mrs Ryans had strained her relationship with her son. Dean then left his mother to move into the city.

I always thought he would move into The Academy—the way some Spellcasters sought refuge here. However, Dean did not find comfort surrounded by any form of support. My grandfather was dismayed. He looked everywhere for him but Dean just disappeared off the Worldly Realm.

Two years later, I turned eighteen. I was at the age where I would soon be entitled a Sage. My grandfather wanted to retire to look for Dean discreetly but fate had met him the night before his departure—he died peacefully in his sleep. At this point, I was given the title of a Sage—at the age of twenty—and had taken over him. We held a grand funeral for my grandfather.

Still, no sign of Dean.

Years passed and the memory of him waned. I got busy and soon forgot about fulfilling my grandfather’s wish, which was to find him and bring him to The Academy.

Alas, he found us.

Earlier that evening after the conversation with the other two Sages, Lord Voltaire returned Jessie’s call; he had summoned us for counsel at the Lair in the Underworld.

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