Chapter 13: Q & A
I just stare at him, dumbfounded.
What was this old bat saying?
“What? You can’t be serious right?” I manage to blurt out.
He just tilts his head, “Why not?”
“F-for one thing! I’m a human! Is it even allowed to have humans in this kingdom? Also, I need to make sure my family is okay and tell them I’m still alive.” I refute.
At this, the grandpa ponders a little bit before talking again.
“Living here isn’t a problem as long as you’re under my name. As for your parents… Brat, is it an absolute necessity to meet them in person?”
It was my turn to ponder this time.
“I mean, I guess it isn’t strictly a necessity for me to meet my parents in person. Although I miss them, the most important thing is finding out how they’re doing and letting them know that I’m fine if they are as well.” I answer.
“Then come with me tomorrow morning. I will be outside the manor by 6 A.M.”
Before he turns to leave, I ask, “Wait! I don’t get why you want me as your disciple. Also, you sound awfully hurried. Isn’t it possible for me to go back home and spend a bit of time with my parents before coming back here to train under you?”
“I want you to be my disciple because I want to see your potential. Kid. An uncountable amount of people has asked me to take them in as their disciple. But do you know how many I’ve taken in so far? None! These new generation brats bore me. Just because some of the wealthy n.o.bles’ brats have a little potential, they think they’re qualified to ask me as their teacher…”
I just furrow my brows, not knowing where the grandpa is going with this.
“… You’re different. I know you have exceptional talent in mana manipulation and only G.o.d knows how but you possess better technique than even I but that isn’t the reason why I decided on teaching you. Brat…I need to ask you. How are you a Beast Tamer?” Any sort of amus.e.m.e.nt that was previously on his face was all but gone and his sharp facial feature emitted a deathly gaze.
“Beast Tamer? What are you talking about?” I was really confused. Although it was getting well into the night and the elder already sent Tessia in to sleep, it didn’t seem like this conversation was going to end soon.
“Let’s go back inside and talk.” He says, leading me to a living room with couches and a roaring fireplace.
Sitting down on the couch, he continues on. “Let’s start from the beginning. I a.s.sume you know that mana beasts possess mana cores just like humans, elves and dwarves right?”
I nod at this.
“Right. Among the humans, elves and dwarves, each race possesses qualities in their mana core that are distinct to their own race.”
He picks up a piece of paper and begins drawing a chart.
Water – Ice
Earth – Gravity
Fire – Lightning
Wind – Sound
“These are the 4 basic elements and their higher forms. The higher forms (Ice, Metal, Lightning, Sound) can only be controlled by mages especially adept at a particular basic element, i.e. a deviant. This is where the distinct racial qualities lie…”
He writes a couple of brief description under each race
Human mages possess the ability to manipulate all 4 basic elements and are the only race capable of having deviants that can control the higher form of their adept element. They also have deviants that can even transcend the 4 basic elements like healers (emitters), making their mana cores the most diverse.
Elf mages can only manipulate water, wind, and earth but with much higher affinity. We also have a special trait distinct to our race that allows very pureblooded elf mages to control plants. However, elves don’t have deviants that can manipulate water, wind, and earth into their higher forms.
Dwarf mages can only manipulate earth and fire but, like elves, they possess a much higher affinity to those two elements. Their distinct trait is that all dwarves are able to manipulate a special form of earth, metal and also possess the special ability to manipulate both earth and fire into magma, something even human deviants are not able to do, much less elves. However, they can only manipulate those two basic elements and, like elves, do not possess the ability to control the higher form of the basic elements.
“Wait I’m not getting all of this. Why can’t humans manipulate plants and magma?” I ask after reading his handy info chart.
“Good question. Only elves can manipulate plant, which is the only form of nature that is alive, because of our lineage being highly affinitive to the nurturing elements. Only the Dwarf race can manipulate magma and metal because, like us elves, their lineage makes them highly adept to the constructing elements.”
I start subconsciously rubbing the bridge of my nose while thinking harder than I have ever before.
“Okay. I get the differences between the 3 three races, but what does that have to do with me being a Beast Tamer? What does that even mean anyway?”
“I’m getting to that brat!” He growls.
“Mana beasts are different from the three humanoid races because each species have their own special characteristics. Listing all of them would be endless so I’ll give you a simple example. Mages, adventurers or not, are cla.s.sified: E, D, C, B, A, AA, S, SS cla.s.s. This cla.s.sification is the same for mana beasts as well. Take the Sonic Hawk. They are B Cla.s.s beasts that possess incredible speed while in flight. They all have to affinity for wind and sound. These attributes are innate in their mana cores. If these mana cores are taken out and given to a human or elf mage that specialize in the wind element, their training will go by much faster than just cultivating mana from their surroundings but that’s it.”
I impatiently wait as Elder Virion gulps down a gla.s.s of water.
“…However! When a mana beast reaches A cla.s.s or higher, they have the ability to pa.s.s on their ‘will’, or ability to be more precise, to one person. I called you a Beast Tamer earlier because you have a mana beast’s will in your mana core and from my estimation, not just any will but an S cla.s.s mana beast’s will if not an SS cla.s.s will. I’m only able to sense this because I’m a Beast Tamer as well, although the beast’s will that I tamed was the Shadow Panther, an AA cla.s.s beast.”
So that’s how he was able to be so f.u.c.king fast earlier.
Noticing the look of revelation on my face, Elder Virion just chuckles. “Yes brat, I was able to bully you that badly by utilizing my Shadow Panther’s will. But I only used around 50% of my speed.” He gives me wink.
He can go even faster?
Everything was beginning to make sense; the strange, faint markings that appeared on my mana core after Sylvia gouged through it and how she said my future progress would depend on understanding her power.
My eyes welled up with tears and I couldn’t help but quietly cry.
“You must have been through a lot child. I’m not going to push you for an answer, but the reason why it is urgent for me to guide you is because you don’t have much time.” He says in a warm but stern voice.
“Sniff.” “What do you mean?” I look up at him.
“The power from your mana core is too strong for your immature body to handle. It hasn’t been that long so you may not feel it, but if you don’t learn to control your new mana core, it’ll destroy your body.” His eyes looking straight at me, dissolving any doubt I may have once had.
“I understand. It seems I have no choice but to be under your guidance. However, I don’t think I can just train without making sure that my family is all right and they know I’m safe too. You mentioned something about that earlier?” I say, trying to put my emotions under control.
“Haha! Just call me Grandpa from now on. My first disciple should at least be able to call me that. And who knows, maybe I’ll become your grandpa-in-law.” He throws me a wink.
UGH! Bringing up Tessia into this isn’t right!
Continuing, he says, “We’ll go see an old friend of mine tomorrow that’ll take care of your worries. What I need from you starting now is your upmost diligence. Even I’m not sure how long it’ll take for you to master the basics of your beast’s will. In my two hundred years of living, I’ve never seen such a young mage, let alone a beast tamer at that. You’re going to bring big changes into this world brat. I just know it.”
I just scratch my cheek, a little red from embarra.s.sment.
“Go to sleep now brat! Tomorrow is going to be a long day. You’ll need the rest.”
I get up and bow before wishing him goodnight. “Goodnight…Grandpa.”
He chuckles and waves me off and I plop into my bed, too tired to even get under the covers.
I rouse from my sleep, grunting, feeling a heavy sensation weighing down on my body.
Is it my worries? My burdens? The expectations placed on me? Are these weighing down on me even as I sleep?
“G’ morning Art! Wake up!”
I open my eyes and see that my burdens have taken the form of a lovely young lady very similar in appearance to my friend Tess.
“Come on sleepyhead! You need to meet grandpa soon! H-hey! Don’t go back to sleep!” She jumps up and down while still straddled on top of me.
Does she know how indecent this may look to others? Haa…the innocence of youth.
“I get it! I’m up Tess! Please get down from my stomach so I can get up.” I mumble out, still half asleep.
“Hehe~ Art, your hair looks funny. Hey hey, is it true you’re going to be staying here for a while? Grandpa told me this morning! I’m so happy! You’re really staying right? Right?” Tess exclaims with a wide smile pasted on her cute face.
How the h.e.l.l is she so energetic this early in the morning?
Trying to tame my bed hair, I respond, “We’ll know for sure after my trip with Elder Virion, but most likely, it seems I’ll be bothering you for a bit longer princess.”
She stabs my side with her hand, “Not princess! Tess! T.E.S.S.! I’m going to get upset if you don’t treat me better.”
Dammit, she looks so cute with her pouting face.
“All right all right! I have to shower and get ready so unless you want to see me naked, I think you should leave the room Tess.” I waggle my eyebrows lewdly.
“Eek! I’m leaving you pervert!” I can see her ears turn bright scarlet as she runs out of the room.
I didn’t think that’d work so well. My 4-year-old body hasn’t even matured any of its “manly parts” anyhow.
I just shrug and hop into the shower and get ready, making sure to keep the feather-wrapped stone in my robe.
The butler opens the front door for me and I see a small carriage with Grandpa Virion and Tess inside.
“Father! It is not appropriate for a human to be residing within this kingdom!”
“Alduin is right Elder Virion. Although saving Tessia is something I will be grateful for, having a human stay here goes against all traditions.”
I hear The King and Queen talking to Grandpa Virion as he is lazily leaning back in the carriage.
“BAH! Screw traditions! I’ve taken a liking to that brat and so has Tessia, haven’t you child.” He says.
“G-grandpa! It’s not like that! He’s just…” She mumbles at the end, face red.
“Hahaha! Anyways! He’s going to be under my direct guidance from now on so make sure to let everyone know that he is not to be trifled with!”
“ENOUGH! This is not a discussion! Oh brat! You’re here! Come! We should hurry!” His expression changes into a smile upon seeing me.
I nod and hop into the carriage, avoiding the frowns that the King and Queen are giving me.
A little into the journey, I ask Grandpa Virion. “Hey Gramps, where are we headed anyhow. You said we were meeting a friend of yours right?”
“Haha! Gramps eh? Well aren’t you awfully comfortable with me now. Good good! As for where we’re going, it’s a surprise.” He throws in a wink.
Tessia has fallen asleep and her head is leaning against my shoulder. She must have been tired from waking up so early.
“Take good care of her Art. She grew up in a very lonely environment.” He suddenly says, a look of compa.s.sion in his eyes as he looks at his sleeping granddaughter.
“What do you mean?”
“Growing up as the only princess of an entire kingdom is very stressful, too much for a child to handle. Growing up with no close friends, it was hard on her. She has gotten hurt too many times by people pretending to befriend her, only to be using her for their personal gains. This has made Tessia into someone cold and distant to those around her. Imagine how surprised we all were when we saw you two holding hands.” He continues.
“Yeah, I noticed when I heard her talk to the guards.” I add.
“Arthur. Tessia has shown more expression, more smiles now than she ever has growing up, around you, she finally seems more like a child. For that, I thank you.” He pats my shoulder.
This was the first time Grandpa Virion ever patted me, catching me by surprise.
The carriage stops before the driver opens our carriage door and says we’ve arrived.
“Hey Tess, we’re here.” I gently nudge her.
“Mmm…” She eventually stirs awake and we get out of the carriage, arriving at what seems like a small hut.
“Hey you old witch! Come out!” Grandpa Virion suddenly yells while knocking on the door.
Suddenly the door swishes open and what we see is a hunched elder lady with grey hair that seems like it was struck by lightning and wrinkled eyes that was strangely a mixture of multiple colors, all blending together. Dressed in a simple brown robe, she looks at me with a studying eye.
“Took you long enough to get here!” She scowls!
“Hahaha! Arthur! Let me introduce you to Rinia Darca.s.san. She’s a very special deviant amongst us elves.” Grandpa Virion announces.
“It’s good seeing you again Virion. Charming as always little Tessia.” She says patting Tess’s head.
Looking at me, she smiles, “We finally meet young Arthur. I am Rinia. A Diviner.”