“He’s waking up.”
I can hear whispering around me. Ouch, my head hurts. I open my eyes a little. The sunlight makes me dazed for a moment. What happened? All I can recall is that Martha died . . .
“Are you waking up or not?” a voice is asking me.
I open my eyes and try to sit. A female elf is sitting beside me. Wowee. She’s gorgeous with her bright blue eyes and long blue hair. I feel stunned for a moment. I must be dead.
“Yup, I’m dead,” I blurt out loud.
“Oi! GRIMMJOW! YOU IDIOT! You brought home another idiot? Don’t we have enough around here?” the woman shouts loudly at someone.
I may have been feeling confused but what she said was clear enough to make me feel offended. For a beauty, she sure has a foul mouth. What woman other than Martha would say that to people who they don’t even know?
“No, Lalatina. This guy is crazy strong. I’m 100% sure that this guy is going to be useful to us. Besides, it was Ligero’s order to bring him here. Not mine,” a male elf replies.
“Ehem . . . Ehem . . . Useful? Why should I be useful to you? What happened? Why am I here?” I interrupt to ask.
“Hold on, kid. I know you have a million questions but first let me introduce myself. My name is Grimmjow de Rossa and this is my twin sister, Lalatina de Rossa. Call me Grimmjow and her, Tina. You asked me what happened. Let me explain. We have been taking care of you for three days – ”
Before Grimmjow can finish I intercept him with a “WHATT??!! Three days? I passed out for that long?!”
“Oi! Let me finish. Yes, for three days. After that lightning blast, Ligero ordered me to search for you. But wow. When I arrived there, the whole village was gone. You were the only survivor. Then, it hit me. You must be the guy that Ligero is searching for. So I rescued you from the rubble.”
“Ligero? Who the hell is that? Why is he searching for me?” So many questions are in my mind but I can’t seem to put them into words.
The woman elf cuts in just then. “He’s our boss, and he’s a Light Wizard. Ligero doesn’t have a last name just like you. And for your information, all of us have bounties on our heads. That includes you. After that blast, Friedrich sent his men to search the area. You’re lucky we picked you up or else you would have been dead by now.”
“I – I’m being hunted? But I don’t remember anything!”
“That’s because your real mana has finally been activated,” said a voice.
A white-haired man looking about my age materializes out of nowhere. I was startled. Where had he come from? I didn’t see him pass through the door.
“What do you mean by that?” I ask.
He sighs. “Stop asking stupid questions and let me explain. While I talk, you keep quiet.”
Why is everyone here so rude? “Fine. I’ll shut up.”
“I am Ligero and I am your brother. Before you start screeching in disbelief, let me finish. Yes, we’re brothers and I’m not the only sibling you have. Including you, there are seven of us. Seven siblings. And we are all the magic reincarnation of King Ezra.”
“We were born 15 years ago,” he continues. “The exact time King Ezra disappeared and Draak split. I’m not sure what happened but I know he used powerful magic to split his soul into seven parts. I’m the reincarnation of Ezra’s Light Magic. And you, you’re Lightning.”
“Whoa, hold up. You’re telling me I’m – no, we – are King Ezra?” I scoff. “I don’t know what you all have been drinking but it must have been strong. This is too much. How can you know all of this? How can you even have those memories of King Ezra splitting himself? There’s no way I have strong magic. I couldn’t even save my mum!”
“Man, it’s really hard to explain all this to a magic newbie. I know all of this because I was born with a part of the King’s memories. Since I was a baby I knew my mission and what I had to do. The only reasons for our existence are to eliminate the King’s killer and to rebuild Draak. The proof of your true nature is your birth mark. The dragon-like birth mark on your back is the symbol of Ezra’s magic. King Ezra is a half dragon. That mark is the source of the dragon’s magic.” I can see Ligero struggling to explain everything to me.
I hold up both hands. “I’m sorry. This is all too much for me.”
He sighs yet again. “Very well. You claim to not believe what I said about your true power. Let me show you then. What really happened on the day you lost your mum.
“Let me show you a memory.”
He whistles loudly and a black eagle flies to his arm. He pats the bird and starts to chant a spell. After that, he pulls out a strange blue thread from the eagle’s head. It’s fascinating yet disturbing at the same time. Placing the thread on his palm he chants,
“Il ton se de ribura. Share the light. Lumos!”
It’s as if I’m flying without moving an inch. I can see the sky. I can feel the clouds. This must be the memory of the eagle at that particular time.
The nightmare returns. I’m there again, seeing the death of Martha. The pain slams in my chest as if for the first time. I see myself lying on the ground, broken and tearful, an utterly pathetic sight. And then –
My body jumps up from the ground, dragon’s wings sprouting between shoulder blades. Friedrich’s men die easily in my hands as I call down lightning from the sky. Watching the memory I’m awestruck and relieved seeing how those killers died. As a final punch I see myself roaring and a lightning bolt from the sky strikes the whole village. Nothing but rubble remains. Rather than feeling awful about the villagers, I feel more relieved. They deserve it for being so selfish. I don’t care anymore about the people.
The spell finishes and I come back to reality. Still I feel skeptical. Should I believe Ligero? It could all have been a trick, and illusion, but somehow it seems all too realistic. I decide to believe him. What can possibly go wrong?
“So what do you want to do now? Are you still going to check out your village and live your miserable life alone or follow us . . . and live your miserable life with us?” Ligero asks.
I roll my eyes. “Your offer sucks. However, since my mom is dead and I don’t have anything better to do, I accept your offer.”
“Splendid! This calls for a celebration! Tina, gather everyone. We’re having a new member.” Ligero is instantly filled with enthusiasm.
Tina walks to me and smiles. “Welcome to the Black Eagle. Congrats, you’re one of us now.”
“Oh, this is a guild?”
“Yes. We are a dark guild as we all have bounties on our heads. Let me show you around.”
As we walk around I pester her with questions. According to Tina, all guild members have different and difficult pasts. Grimmjow and her for example, earned their five thousand gold bounty due to their bloodline. Their mother was normal but their father was a dark elf. This led to their execution. Tina was only six and Grimmjow seven. Their parents’ deaths triggered Grimmjow’s true magic and he slaughtered the entire village – willingly and with full control of his senses. After that incident, Lord Jack put bounties on their heads.
Tina says there are ten members in the guild including me, but I see only two. Feu and Elsie, my so-called siblings. Turns out I’m not the first sibling that Ligero had recruited. Feu is the reincarnation of Fire magic while Elsie is water.
Unsurprisingly, both of them can’t get along. Elsie is from Northern Draak while Feu comes from the Western side. Despite their differences they have a lot of similarities. Both of them grew up in the slums, living the lives of common thieves before Ligero found them three years ago. As I learn more about them I realize how blessed I am to have been born under a mother’s care.
I miss you, Martha.
To turn my mind away from the grim matter I ask Tina, “Where are the other four?”
“On a mission. Sir Darmuid’s assassination,” she replies.
“Assassination? You people take that kind of task?”
“Of course. We are a dark guild, an unauthorized guild. To survive we take on any task that brings in the gold. We need weapons, and that requires money. All of us share the same goal and will do anything to achieve it. Anything . . . to rebuild Draak.”
I look at her and can see her eyes burning with hope. Her anger and vengeance on the kingdom unfurl unbounded, in wrathful waves. Ezra might have been a great king but his generals are extreme opposites. As survivors of the Last Magic War, they rule not with kindness and wisdom, but with arrogance and dictatorship. The country which had once been peaceful had fallen to shambles because of them.
As the days pass, I devote myself to training. A novice in magic, the only offense spell I know is the hardening spell. It allows you to harden your body like a metal depending on the amount of mana you use. It’s a basic spell for a soldier that Martha taught me.
Ligero conducts the training personally and despite me finding him annoying, I can’t deny that I am improving day by day. Lightning magic is the only thing I’m allowed to do. He explains that to improve a person’s mana one has to practice with their true nature of elements. What an absolute pain in the back. It’s repetitive and senseless.
The day I tried escaping training, Ligero put a blinding spell on me. I was blind for a day.
It was not a pleasant experience.
After that, every day, for countless times, I chant.
“Re lam pa go, izuchi! Re lam pa go, izuchi! Re lam pa go, izuchi! Re lam pa – ”
And every day I find myself driven closer to insanity by boredom.
author : Anwar Haziq bin Hilmi