continued from 39/366 – A Little Truth
“What are you thinking about?” Morn asked.
“About which spells to offer to Jaque,” Koldian replied. “I’m not sure which ones would be the best fit for him.”
“He was talking about evocative something or other before,” Morn said.
“He does have a talent for evocation,” Koldian corrected, “but it can be too much for young wizards sometimes.”
Koldian, Morn, Celeste, Jaque, and Helem reached a splitting point in the walk and stopped. Koldian and Helem traded a look of grim determination that Morn didn’t quite understand.
“See you in the morning,” Helem said, motioning for Morn and Celeste to leave with her.
“In the morning,” Koldian said as Jaque turned away with him.
Morn followed his mother with Celeste next to him. Celeste grabbed Morn’s hand and slowed him down to let his mother get a little further away from them.
“What’s up?” Morn asked when he was sure that his mother wouldn’t hear them.
“I’ve been thinking about it, and I’m not sure this is a good idea. I know Rashem came to us in an emergency, but I’m not sure it’ll happen again. I don’t want anything to happen to anyone just because we want to know what’s going on out there,” Celeste said.
“Things are going to happen out there whether we are there or not,” Morn replied, “and you heard Master Scaine and Koldian. Something is trying to get to the town and we have to figure out what.”
“I’m scared,” Celeste admitted.
“Me too, a little,” Morn said, “but we can’t be afraid now. We have to do what’s right. We have to try to stop whatever is trying to get to the town.”
“Things haven’t been the same since the zombie attack,” Celeste said, “There haven’t been any classes, and Dad said that fewer and fewer people are coming out. He thinks that people are getting ready to leave.”
“Really?” Morn asked.
Celeste nodded. “That’s not all. He said that a bunch of guards has left. They are abandoning the town now. They don’t believe it’s safe anymore.”
“Why did your father tell you all that?” Morn asked, “All the adults seem to be keeping secrets from the town.”
“I feel like he’s going to be leaving soon, too,” Celeste said. “Even as Captain of the guard, I know that he thinks about my mother and me and whether we are safe or not.”
“I had noticed that not many people were out and about lately. There’s not even much for traders lately coming past the houses,” Morn said.
“What are you two talking about,” Morn’s mother asked when she realized they weren’t right behind her.
“Nothing,” Morn said as he and Celeste ran to catch up to her.
Helem eyed them both suspiciously, “Alright then.”
“We’re just nervous about tomorrow,” Celeste said.
“I’m nervous about tomorrow, too,” she replied, “but we can’t let it stop us. The right thing to do is the right thing to do for a reason. You and your friends have proven that even when the adults around you believe that you may not be ready for something, you can still make a difference. I am a prime example of your determination.”
“You would have died again if we didn’t,” Morn said.
“Still, there is something special about all of you. I’ve never seen teenagers take the initiative like you three. I can tell you I wasn’t trying to get into things like this when I was your age,” Morn’s mother said, pulling Morn into a hug. “Can I tell you both a secret?”
Morn and Celeste exchanged a glance.
“Yeah,” Celeste said.
“Master Scaine believes that Jaque could be connected to what’s happening at the lake,” she said. “He’s not saying it’s Jaque’s fault, but he thinks that the magic prowess that Jaque showed when he was young may have been something other than arcane magic.”
“What do you mean?” Morn asked, stepping out of his mother’s arms.
“He thinks that Jaque could be like me,” she replied.
“He thinks Jaque is a sorcerer?” Celeste asked.
“There are many types of magic in this world,” Morn’s mother said, “I know what my magic is, you have personally seen what a god’s magic is like, and there is Archmage Koldian. Arcane magic is something that takes time and practice to get better. Jaque was able to use magic far younger than anyone else in his classes.”
“He’s one of the smartest people I know,” Morn said, “that just means that he’s smarter than his class too.”
“No, honey, you don’t understand. Archmage Koldian’s type of magic isn’t something that you just figure out. You have to be taught that. My magic, though, is from within me. I’m connected to it differently. A wizard sees the world and its parts and forces it to behave the way they want. I will it. I ask it. It’s why it was so hard to be without it for me.”
“How can Jaque do magic like the wizards then?” Morn asked.
“I think what your mother is saying is that Jaque is doing the spells he’s doing through his willpower and not his intelligence, as smart as he is,” Celeste said.
“Exactly,” Helem said. “Just because his magic looks like theirs, doesn’t mean it is. The will of a sorcerer can alter a lot of things. It would also explain why he’s not advancing further than his class.”
“How do you know that?” Morn asked.
“Koldian told me,” she replied. “As smart of a boy as he is, he still doesn’t come up with his own spells like some of his classmates. He mimics them.”
“So what if he is a sorcerer? How does that connect him to the lake?” Morn asked, his cheeks feeling hot.
“I wasn’t born here, but often enough, when sorcerers are born, strange things happen. When I was born, some wildfires started that couldn’t be put out and fire elementals began to show up. This is one of the reasons that we are feared. Things tend to happen when we are nearby,” Helem said.
“Jaque is only a few months older than Morn, and I’m older than him,” Celeste said. “What makes him think it’s Jaque? Isn’t it more likely that it’s Morn?”
“I agree,” Morn said.
“I’m not saying that it’s not Morn. What I’m saying is that after Azariah talked about whether Morn was like me or not, it eliminated Morn as a potential cause of it,” she replied.
“What does it mean if he is?” Morn asked.
“It means that there is likely something going on that a sorcerer needs to deal with. It would also explain why the wizards weren’t able to figure it out,” Helem replied. “We’ll get some rest tonight, and tomorrow you’ll see what I mean. I think I’ll be able to tell if it’s related to the birth of a sorcerer or not.”
“Morn,” Celeste said, “Don’t forget to try to get Azariah back here. They might not be too far away.”
“Okay,” Morn said.
“Promise?” Celeste said.
“Promise,” Morn replied.
“See you in the morning,” Helem said. “I’ll meet you out front a half-hour before dawn.”
“Okay,” Celeste said as she walked to her door and went inside.
Morn and his mother entered their house, and Morn immediately went upstairs to his room. He sat on his bed and thought about how simple things had been not that long ago. Now the town was emptying out and Celeste thought that her dad was going to move them as well. He didn’t want to think any more than he had to, so he laid down and faced the window.
Morn thought about Azariah and the place with the fire. He thought about Azariah telling them that Morn wasn’t a sorcerer, but now Jaque was a sorcerer. He closed his eyes and said a silent prayer to Azariah, hoping that they would hear it and come back to them. He didn’t want anyone else to get hurt, and if Azariah was the way to make that happen, then they needed to come back.
continued 41/366 – A Little Truth (Cont.)