Characters in this chapter
- Cohen Kheda: The main character.
- Winslet: A she-elf, daughter of the Elf Majesty. Cohen rescued her from hunters at her youth.
- Windsor: A little vampire girl caught along with Winslet. Saved by Cohen’s willingly blood at her youth.
- Visual Kheda: Cohen’s father. Duke of the Swabia Empire
- Webster: Arch-mage, Cohen’s parents’ good friend.
- Tennessee: Expert warrior, Cohen’s parents’ good friend.
- Flynn & Carey Rhona: Sisters, Cohen’s childhood friends, and future wives.
- Moya, Jack, Marfa, Wilder: Homeless boys, Cohen’s childhood friends till then.
- Bellerina: Saintess of the Swabia Capital Mage Guild, Cohen’s parents’ good friend.
“These are Ice Tear gems.” Winslet untied my pendant and smartly stringed two blue stones on it. She handed the locket back and said, “They are no specialty other than looking beautiful.”
“Wow! Lovely stones…” Windsor appeared out of nowhere and begged, “I want one too!”
“I don’t have an extra,” Winslet said, “There are two and only.”
“I don’t care! I’m not coming home without it!”
The she-elf looked at me in apologies. I untied the locket one more time.
“You’ll have them.”
“Oh yeah…” Windsor smiled and said, “One is enough for Windsor! You have the other one!”
“Well, how sweet of you!” I whispered in Windsor’s ear, “Then thanks!”
My friends’ departure grieved me. I made an effort to make farewell less sorrowful, but watching over their carriages diminishing was not easy.
Five days later, a letter from the Royal Academy addressed to my father appeared on his desk. He glanced quickly and handed it over to me.
Thus in the sunny afternoon, I started reading…
Dear Visual Kheda the Duke,
We have been instructed by the Divine City Security Department to give you written notice about your son Cohen Kheda’s incident at the Grand Altar.
The cause of the fistfight was as clear that the responsibility was not that of your child’s.
However, you son’s act, which included crotch kicking, eye stabbing that cause death, was in serious violation of the Nobleman Standard. His behavior and manner are unaccepted by the Royal Academic and upper class.
The Academy considered it is not appropriate for you son, Mr. Cohen Kheda, to continue his education at this facility.
The Academy now rules that Mr. Cohen Kheda expelled.
We are aware that you son was seriously wounded in the incident. Thus the Academy will not enforce further punishment.
We are deeply sorry for your loss in the hope that you will restrain your grief.
Royal Academy of Divine City
“What do you think?” Father asked, facing the opposite side.
“I’m all right.” I threw the letter out of the window and grinned, “Nothing much, it was a breakup, that’s all.”
“Good! Son of mine will come off with or without the Royal Academy!” Father admired, “You’ll set off tomorrow for Webster and Tennessee’s!”
“Are you coming along?”
“Why would I go? He said, “Duty calls, I’m returning Darkmoon. Before I go, remember, Cohen. I’m not asking too much of you, spells or physical training, don’t get over your head. Those two brothers of mine, they watched you born. They may not be perfect, but they’ll take care of you.”
Hence I traveled into the mountains hundreds of miles away from DC, and as the fastest student expelled in the Academy history, my friends and I started yet another education. Unlike the old days, this time the two professors were extremely strict, not merely Sir Nice to be told.
Tennessee, one of my father’s best friends, was an excellent warrior. He who excelled in tactics and combat was addicted to real life practice, we vs. him. And it always meant us defeated and wounded all over, which often horrified the Rhona sisters who acted as medics.
A half day training in martial arts and briefly after healing, came the tactics lesson. Professor Tennessee would cut in with scoldings.
NO PROGRESS, YOU’LL DIE was one of his classics. Regular scolding daily and massive scolding per three days, we were spat all over the face and not allowed to clean it.
Arch-mage Webster, stonced (stone-faced), who looked numb when not using magic, as if nothing concerned him in the world. A falling sky will not make him breathe any heavier. When he turned and looked at us deeply, it was the time we knew things would go upheaval.
Jack and Marfa managed to make do learning while the rest of us was solely there to practice being a target. Things like role play surprising attack, or on-spot rescuing during Tennessee’s live dissect, were his ideas.
To be fair, such ways of learning fit us. Everyone have learned and grown. Wilder and Moya can already swing their massive sword like sewing needles while talking about tactics clearly and logically. The Rhona sisters thrived in magic so far as to reach a junior mage.
As for me, my body had healed, and my previous knowledge was gaining back. The good news was I have become ready to learn spells since I had obtained mana after the altar incident. It took a while for me to merge the two lives, then I put my time into reforming my friends and becoming their third professor.
Within the year, my memories had trained me well. My figure had changed, and I had grown stronger. I’ve yet reached Tennessee but far better than the others.
The only problem was still magic. The anomaly happened when I had gained knowledge in most Lvl.3 spells. Next, no matter how hard I’ve tried, my mana stayed the same level. There was not the tiniest bit of sign to increase.
Helplessly and without choices, Tennessee, Webster and I sat down and studied this matter accordingly.
“What went wrong?” Webster closed his eyes, “I’ve never come across anything like this.”
“Never mind that.” I shrugged, “Don’t I have the basic Level. 3? It’s much better than none.”
“Based on your situation, you shouldn’t be!” Webster glared at me, “Besides, Level.3 is as shitty as it can be.”
“It is what it is, what can I do about it?” I said, “I still got other skills other than spells.”
After studying the matter for a few days, none came up. The only conclusion was, it was time for me to graduate.
“What’s left for you is a proper weapon and experience.” They told me, “You are better off get out there than wasting time here.”
“Where am I going?”
“To your dwarf friend’s, they’ll get you a weapon that suits you.” Tennessee said.
“Then the elf’s, to feel the soul of magic.”
“Forget that. I’m only a Level. 3.”
“You stupid kid!” Webster’ stroke my head, “Even Lvl.1 spells are irreplaceable!”
“I know! I know!” I dodged quickly to not end up like a Buddha with a headful full of balls.
After my birthday, I had to wave my friends and set off wearing a gray mage robe. Except for a few piece of clothes, I’ve got no souvenir from the two uncles. At the same time, I received two crystal lenses to hide my black eyes, and a vial of dye from Bellerina to fake my hair color… the rest was to pick a sunny day.