That night, Idrissa requested to converse with Lores. They walked up to an abandoned stable with Lores assisting the old man. They sat polar apart on the stale woods that were reposed disorderly. The moon was pale and the night breeze swirled like ghosts exploring nature.

”Why have you brought me here? ” The anxious Lores finally asked the question that had been playing on his mind the moment he was called by the old mage.

”I have a lot to tell you. Im ninety. If I don tell you everything you need to know, Ill never rest in peace after I die. ”

”What do you have to tell me? ” Lores heart throbbed nervously as thoughts crossed his binary mind. One mind told him he knew why he was called while the other mind opposed.

”Do you know why we kept you in the dark for a long time? ” The old mage asked, peering at the boy as if it was a compulsory question that he must answer. Lores was too nervous to reply. His gaze was glued to Idrissa in expectation for the mage to answer the question himself which he did.

”Before your dad left eighteen years ago, he stated that he wanted you to live a good and free life. He said if you didn know much about your origin, youll not be too unhappy. He entrusted your mum, Vicksen and I with your tutelage. ”

”Why are you telling me this all of a sudden? ” Lores was unsatisfied. If he was going to know a lot tonight, then it should be from the scratch. He was itching to know the propellant of the discussion. The mages gaze fell on Lores sword which made Lores to suspect that his sword could be the major factor.

”That sword. ” The mage began, pointing at the weapon. ”It was given to you by, according to Shawlunge, one of the most mysterious people walking the world. According to the trilogy text written by Shawlunge, there are three mysterious people namely, the wanderer, the sage and the ever living bodache. In his book, he also claimed that he had encountered the three of them. This claim led to a commotion in the mages society. ” The mage got interrupted by a harsh habitual cough that erupted from his throat.

”First and foremost, who is Shawlunge. Secondly, why was his work controversial? ” Lores found the chance to ask. Idrissa had a little illness that made him cough after talking for a while and Lores was used to it. The mage replied after recovering.

”Shawlunge was an ambitious mage scholar and explorer. The third mysterious person he claimed to have encountered was the cause of the controversy. Rumours have it that the ever living bodache resides in Deadland, a place where mortals cannot survive because of the poisonous magical aura contained in it. Other mage scholars heavily criticized his work, saying that he was trying to get attention by misleading the public. ” Idrissa paused and sighed before continuing. He was about to say the crux of the conversation.

”You happened to meet the wanderer at such a young age which shows that youve at least gotten a glimpse of the outside world. I will tell you what you need to know to strengthen your decision making. Three years before you were born, Liz invaded Solice. Your grandfather refused to surrender and managed to hold the kingdom for three years before it finally fell. The royal family was wiped out, save for your parents who were rescued by Vicksen. ”

”How did it fall? ” Lores quizzed to pacify his ever growing curiosity.

”I lost to the archmage of Liz which led to the fall of our kingdom in the third year of the battle. ” The old mage stopped to see how Lores would react to this.

”You lost? ” Lores eyebrows hoisted in surprise. Idrissa was a powerful mage which meant that the person he lost to must be formidable.

”You seem surprised because youve not yet grasped the concept of magery. The knowledge you are about to obtain will test your determination. As far as magery is concerned, there are only two species of humans who can be its practitioners. They are called the naturals and the attainers. The naturals are those born with essence of magic while the attainers are those who are not born with magic but can attain the gift at a cost from the naturals. The attainers are very rare, thereby making them a unique specie. When you were newly born, your dad said he didn care if you were either of these species. He only wanted what he thought was the best life for you; to live with a free heart. ” The cough relapsed, sending the mage to respite.

Lores jaw dropped. His heart had never been totally free even while he was unenlightened about his origin. It dawned on him that there were more than enough things he was ignorant of and he was disposed to get to the bottom of it as it would modify his mode of thought.

”So did you lose because you are an attainer? ”

The old mage shook his head.

”Im a natural. I lost because I was inferior to him in terms of level. There are four levels or stages of magery which are stage of the the newling, familiarity, exaltation and earthly celestiality, respectively. The last stage is the ultimate and very difficult to attain. Im still in the third stage. ”

”Is the last stage really that difficult? ” Lores asked

”Yes. Do you know what the last stage entails? It makes you a god among men. Over the years, Only the late Shawlunge and the archmage of Liz have reached the fourth stage. Its even going to be more difficult for attainers like you. ” Lores lurched his head, slightly squinting his eyes.

Wait, was he an attainer?

”Me? ” This was a serious matter. Why was he never told?

”I may be going against your fathers wish but you can stay in this village forever. You will attain the gift from me. ”

Lores sighed. He realized that the world was a place of profound competition. The words of the wanderer flashed back into his memory. The course of changing destiny was more difficult than he imagined. He uttered with an undertone.

”You said the gift can be attained at a cost from the natural. Whats the cost? ”

”The natural will degrade by one stage. Don worry. Im already old and I have nothing to lose. ” The mage said with a dim smile. He saw the discontentment written on Lores face.

”Do you have any questions? ”

”Is there no special way that can enable one get to the stage of earthly celestiality? ”

The old mage thought for a while before answering Lores.

”There is. By using the forbidden formation with human sacrifice. You also need the dragon Flintstone to provoke this formation. However, this method applies to only mages who are in the stage of exaltation. It is a heinous form of sorcery. You must think of using such method. ” Lores wagged his head disapprovingly. He would never be as cruel as fate to buy into such philosophy.

”I know. Obtaining ones blood to nurture another is an act of evil. I dare not subscribe to that. ” He stated self-assured. The mage was impressed to hear those words. He bobbed at the boys generous disposition. Lores too was impressed by the level of knowledge Idrissa possessed.

”Idrissa, how do you know so much? ” He asked with a bewildered expression. Idrissa was indeed knowledgeable. Back then, he was the highest ranked preceptor of Solice.

The mage just snorted a chuckle and rose to his feet. Lores made to assist him but he declined by hoving a hand.

”Im about to cast the initiation formation. Stay back till I ask you to step in. ” With these words, the mage showed his wand and started muttering unintelligible words. After a while, a cyclone began hovering about a particular spot. Soon, a circular pattern emitting a golden glow came to sight.

”Step in. ” The mage ordered. Once inside the formation, Lores felt a warmish air penetrating his veins. He closed his eyes and clutched his fists in full concentration. The mage remained in bearing to stabilize the efficacy of the formation.

”Its done. ” The mage spoke as he staggered with recurring coughs. He had invested quite a huge energy during the transfer. Lores quickly opened his eyes and rushed to attend to the mage.

Authors note-

A mage in the fourth stage will not degrade if he gifts an attainer because the fourth stage is the ultimate.

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