A young boy walked through a long corridor escorted by two pointy-eared slender figures. The corridor was formed by towering trees that grew further than the eye could see, their thick branches filled the empty spaces between them, forming an unusual natural barrier adorned by countless beautiful and rare flowers.
Once they got to the end of the magnificent path, a gate formed by thorny vines opened revealing a heavingly Garden. The boy was lost in amusement and fortunately missed the conversation inside.
“It’s insulting! They sent a child to represent them...”
“He is not a common child... Stop your nonsense! Oh... Welcome ambassador!”
Instead of keeping the decorum, the boy adjusted his eyeglasses and asked excitedly:
“Is that the ancient Fehrair symbols? What...”
Before they could process the boy’s indiscretion, the ground started to shake. Cracks appeared and expanded all over. The stone statues and buildings started to crumble as screams dominated in chaos.
A thin layer of translucid bluish material circled the boy, forming a perfect sphere that floated him just before the ground below cracked. The angry-looking Elf also reacted, green energy left his extended hands and controlled the roots below to form a platform for them to stand on.
‘Master, should we activate the emergency transport back to the Capital?’. The boy asked in his thoughts.
‘-- Negative. The Central is not responding. Judging by the magnitude of these seismic events, it is a worldwide incident --’.
Then, countless burning debris came crashing from the sky. Several roots and branches extended forming barriers above the Sacred Forest, shielding it from the destruction.
Even so, the debris found gaps and explosions erupted claiming lives all over the Forest.
But life fought back. Several colored lights traveled through the destruction, reviving plants, curing the wounded and reducing the fire.
Soon, the screams were replaced by Blessings, whispers of life that invaded every corner giving hope and strength.
The catastrophe continued, life and death dueled everywhere for days.
Unfortunately, the boy didn’t resist. The floating sphere tried to find a secure place to escape, but only found more destruction. Glowing symbols would magically appear above him to block the debris, but after days they weakened and couldn’t save him anymore.
‘-- I am sorry... Activate transition protocols, parameter search --’.
Thousands of years passed...
Through the wildlands of the Serion Kingdom, there’s a Path that connects every city and village. Though simple and unguarded, the Path is magically protected against beasts and thus safe for traveling.
On the Path that connects Wind Castle to the Second Section eastern villages, a group of miserable commoners traveled. Without any spare cloth to cover anything that wasn’t their privates, they only carried some pieces of dirty bread.
Instead of walking, someone could say they were being dragged by the wind.
Barefooted, hungry and exhausted, Karl looked to the unending Path, praying to finally see the resting point. They have been walking since noon and if his memory was to be trusted, they should be passing a resting point soon.
When he passed this part, going to Wind Castle two days ago, he was thrilled and full of hope. It was his first time going out of the village, and also his last chance to be something more.
Unsurprisingly, it happened like everyone said it would, he was just ordinary.
Karl was born a commoner in the eastern border village of Caiset. Physically, he wasn’t very outstanding, his brown hair and yellowish skin were fairly common. As for his body build, face and other points, the starving and intensive labor didn’t leave room for growth and development.
Like the majority of the lower born, he didn’t awake any elemental affinity in his registration ceremony.
All citizens of the Serion Kingdom have to be registered and tested for elemental affinity at the age of 15. The young living in villages would travel to the nearest city to be tested by the Serion Magic Association.
There was a tall man with dark hair and skin walking beside Karl. Even tired, the man was doing his best to look after all the children in the group. This year, Karl’s father was chosen to accompany the 15-year children from the village.
Kanin wasn’t sad or surprised by Karl’s results, after all, children of commoners could only be commoners.
All the other boys and girls in the entourage were also depressed. They all looked with a trace of jealousy to a middle-aged man walking by himself. There was a rumor that his son had shown some elemental affinity and had signed up with a big family of Wind Castle.
At dusk, the group stopped at a resting point near the Path. The resting points reserved for commoners are of the lowest possible quality, like caves and stone shelters.
Inside the cave, Karl was filled with frustration and couldn’t sleep. Since early, he dreamt of being powerful. But reality was more powerful than any magic, he would forever be a farmer like his parents.
At sometime through the night, Karl heard a strange sharp sound.
‘For the Origin... What is this sound? My head is exploding!’.
After looking around, Karl realized that no one else was awake or seemed to be bothered by the sound.
‘Maybe it’s magic!’
He laughed in a self-deprecating and sarcastic way. But there was also a hint of hope in his eyes.
‘Who knows? Maybe this is my magic. Why can’t…’
Even knowing that the sound could be anything. Karl couldn’t help but fantasize about having magic. He walked outside and discovered that the sound was coming from the direction of some nearby trees.
‘It Could be dangerous... Everyone talks about beasts outside the Path... But, maybe there’s a chance of being some kind of magic. Should I risk?’
Usually, Karl was smart enough to not get himself into dangerous situations, but something was urging him to go. He couldn’t explain it, something was calling for him. He could only think about finding the origin of the sound.
He walked through the shining moonlight illuminated trees for about five minutes until he saw a vague light form. The shining form seemed to be the origin of the head-crushing sound.
‘What is this?’
‘It’s definitely magic!… Should I go near it?’
‘This might be my last chance’.
Slowly, Karly walked towards the glowing form until he could distinguish its features, it was a sphere made of some kind of energy.
‘It looks powerful... My head is hurting so much, maybe it’s dangerous!’.
Karl took a step back, trying to get some distance from it, but the sphere unexpectedly moved straight to his head.
Karl’s vision went white, all he could see was the bright glow of the dense and warm energy. While all kinds of questions passed through his mind, a voice from deep within asked:
‘-- Are you the inheritor?--’
The voice didn’t seem to come from outside, he wasn’t actually hearing it.
‘Who is it? Is it a Mage?... Hmm… maybe it’s the Origin!’
After the initial shock passed, Karl started to think about the question.
‘What should I answer? Inheritor? I never Inherited anything … I should say yes, it can’t be worse than what I have.’
Karl decided to take a risk and screamed his answer.
‘-- So, it will be. --’
‘What? Nothing? Nothing happened?’
Karl found himself standing in the middle of the trees, the light sphere was gone! After some time exploring and trying to understand, he gave up and walked back dejected.
Karl thought that he was alone, even forgetting that he wasn’t in the Path. However, something was hiding among the trees, looking at him with hungry red eyes.
It had tracked the boy’s scent in the wind and it was observing him for some time. It knew the prey wasn’t strong and with its brethren nearby he couldn’t escape. The prey wasn’t big, but his scent was so good that made it drool. It only resisted attacking because it was afraid of the energy that circled the prey. From instinct, it knew better than getting near that energy.
But soon, the energy disappeared. It still hesitated, but after the prey started moving, it couldn’t resist anymore.
Walking back to the cave, Karl heard something. He instinctively reacted and started to run. He felt desperate and remembered about the beasts outside the Path. He wasn’t used to running and his body wasn’t very healthy, but the adrenaline and fear pushed him.
The first attack came from his left, just midway to the Path. A grey wolf attacked, it wasn’t very big, but its fangs were sharp enough to rip through Karl. The chances of him dodging the attack were zero, but something made him react and duck to his right side, behind a tree.
The movement was enough to escape from the attack, but Karl lost his balance and staggered forward. The second wolf didn’t wait and jumped from behind Karl with claws and fangs ready. Again, something within urged Karl to role under a small gap formed by a fallen tree trunk and without thinking, he dodged the second attack.
His next move didn’t need much thinking, he just dashed towards the Path. But how could he outrun who knows how many wolves?
Karl felt a burst of warmth from his back and after a few more seconds he threw himself into the Path. Unexpectedly, something kept the wolves from getting to him just in time for him to get to safety.
‘Maybe that light was something...’
He was tired and bruised. He looked at the red eyes disappearing into the night and finally realized the level of danger he had been in. The boost of energy that allowed him to run seemed to disappear and he almost fainted. Without contemplating any further, he went back to his non-sleeping rest inside the cave.
Deep within his heart, the hope for magic had been reborn.