Episode 25 – I should get a pet
◈ Canyon near Beyd, Wednesday, 15th of August 1449 A.W. ◈
(10 days prior)
Elaru Wayvin stood in front of the orange canyon ridge. The winds howled around her, ruffling her red hair and raising up puffs of red sand. The sun blared down on her as if trying to burn her to a crisp, yet neither her clothes nor her hair were wet with sweat.
Around her spread an intricate mage-sustained spell that bent light which entered its area of effect. This spell treated rays of light as if they had shape, and as such, that shape could be altered by transmutation magic to curve away from her. Since no light touched her, the warmth of the sun was unable to directly reach her.
Elaru walked right into the wall of the canyon. Just as her body was about to hit the wall, the rock bent and twisted away from her, creating a hole for her to pass through. She was like a queen, everything moved out of her way.
Ok, so it wasn’t anything grand like that…she just transmuted the rock around her to shift away from her.
Her goal was deep inside the wall of the canyon. It took the form of a small, orange root, growing inside the rock.
Burrowing windroot was a rare magical plant that could only grow in a hot, windy valley inside a special type of canyon rock. It was an expensive, hard to find ingredient because it couldn’t be seen from the outside, nor could it be found by bloodhound’s sense of smell.
There were very few ways to find the root inside the walls, Elaru’s eyes being one of them.
Every living creature had a soul that provided it with mana. Including plants. Since Elaru could see mana, living creatures looked like bright flames in comparison to the rest of the world. She could clearly see the root inside of the wall because the mana inside the root and the mana in the rest of the rock were very different in quantity and density.
She shapeshifted the stone away from the root and caught it before it fell to the ground. She quickly exited trough the path she had created and shifted all the rock back in place.
When she arrived out in the open, she removed the remnants of the rock from the root, until it was sparklingly clean. Then she found a metal box from her backpack and put the root inside.
She admired the contents of the box for a while. It was filled to the brim with orange roots. This should be enough.
She should go back to Ashar now. Uncle Ixos would probably want her to find a few more herbs, and she didn’t have much time to find them. Ashar University of Magic exams were starting in less than two weeks. And after that, she wouldn’t be free to travel the lands and collect rare ingredients.
She snapped the box closed and returned it to her backpack. She pulled out her Eternal Beacon so she could teleport to Ashar. She twirled it around and looked at the lifeless walls of the canyon in front of her. Adventuring alone sure is boring…maybe I should get a pet like uncle Ixos suggested…
Hmmm…what kind should I get? It would have to be pleasing to the eye, and useful. It must be a male, don’t want to end up with a litter of little ones.
As she was about to activate her Beacon, an idea struck her.
Wouldn’t it be fun if she climbed high up to the top of the canyon and jumped down the cliff? It would be just like flying! And before she became a pancake, she would just teleport away.
Elaru nodded her head. The people who invented Beacons must have had this in mind as the proper usage. Yes, yes. That’s how it should be used.
Her eyes glittered mischievously as she climbed the walls as quickly as zuzels climbed trees. Wherever she touched would turn into a place where she could grab or place her foot.
She had to admit that she didn’t do a lot of mountain climbing in her 18 years of life. But she climbed a lot of buildings. And climbing as an elibu sure was fun! Transmutation magic was the best climbing gear!
Soon she was towering over the entire canyon, looking down at the rock bellow like an emperor looked down at his loyal subjects.
She grinned wide and walked back, away from the cliff. She needed to put some distance between herself and the edge so she could run and reach her maximum speed before jumping down the cliff. The faster, the better.
Her steps suddenly stilled, her excited expression replaced by shock.
A moment before, everything was fine. A moment later, a bright torch appeared in her mana vision, right in the middle of her chest.
She looked down towards her chest to see a long crystal, the size of a finger, which was agitatedly quivering left and right. This usually lifeless pendant was suddenly pulsating with life as if trying to tell her something.
She had been wearing this crystal around her neck for the last 3 years, and in that time, it had never shown any signs of activity. If it weren’t for her Aethernea of Sight, to which this crystal looked almost alive, she too would have thought it to be a mundane object with no magical properties.
Each time she looked at the object, she would remember the person who gave it to her, and her face would turn sour.
“What does it do?” She had asked that person. The response she got still caused her face to turn unsightly: “Allegedly it has something to do with the soul. And the return of the gods. Perhaps it can help you find what you seek? Or perhaps it might warn you of the impending crisis? If it is meant to be, I’m sure you’ll figure it out. For now, just think of it as a lucky charm.”
She humphed in displeasure. Almost two millennia had passed since they received the object, in that time even an idiot could have found out some clues of its actual usage. Yet, instead of investigating their own family heirloom, they left it up to fate. They believed that the one that was fated with it would eventually unveil its secrets.
Elaru looked around her with all her senses. She spread her mind, employed her Aethernea to its maximum distance and accuracy, she even used her ears to pick up any sounds. Yet no matter how hard she searched, she could not find the reason for the pendant’s strange behavior.
“Perhaps it can help you find what you seek? Or perhaps it might warn you of the impending crisis?” The words echoed in her head.
Which one is it? Should I search for the cause, or should I stay away from it?
She gripped the pendant tightly, her gaze steeled. Even if it is dangerous, if it can help me understand this pendant better, I should investigate.
Elaru Wayvin wasn’t the kind of person to just wait for fate to find her. She made her own fate.
This seemingly useless pendant could prove to be of life and death importance. Every clue she found might end up bringing her closer to her goal. She most definitely wouldn’t let a single one slip away!
The pendant was obviously reacting to something. She just had to find out to what. If she moved closer to the source of the reaction, would the pendant’s reaction intensify?
Elaru started moving away from the cliff. The pendant started reacting when she was moving in this direction so she decided to continue. As she walked, every few steps, the pendant’s glow would intensify slightly.
She was indeed coming closer. Her eyes glittered, her heart thumped hard in anticipation.
What is it? What is it reacting to?
Her chase of the unknown led her to the forest on the top of the canyon. It was on the outskirts of a small town.
She walked slowly but surely, sometimes she would proceed in the wrong direction, but the shaking and glowing of the pendant would soon put her back on track.
It was growing more and more resplendent. If it were someone else, they probably wouldn’t be able to conceal the waves of mana the pendant created wherever it passed, but Elaru’s mana concealing abilities had constantly been polished over 18 years. It wasn’t just a habit; it was her way of life.
As she spread her Aethernea over the forest, she noticed it was full of wildlife. There were several argel in the forest too. Most of them appeared to be hunters. There was one mage using the forest as his training ground.
She looked over the people briefly but then paid them no more attention. It was only when the pendant led her deeper in, in the direction of the practicing mage, that she started paying him more attention.
Her presence was completely erased, and she was under a light bending spell that made her invisible to the eye. Even so, she still didn’t approach him too closely and decided to go around him.
To her surprise, no matter how she tried to go around him she always ended up going towards him.
The pendant was pointing straight at him!
Elaru focused on the mage, this time with profound interest. The trees blocked her vision, but she could still see him with her Aethernea. His mage armor wasn’t very dense, but it was very stable and perfectly under his control. His aura was light, and slowly dissipating as he was using magic. The amount of mana exiting his body was too little to be able to keep up with his consumption.
Still, even in a scenario where his mana was sparse and light, it still flowed with intricate beauty. In her vision, it glowed prettily, sometimes icy blue, sometimes deep azure. The colors were very pure and extremely beautiful.
Mana was colored by the mage’s mind. His personality, feelings, and desires reflected on the mana. As her mind came into contact with his mana, Elaru felt a sense of Deja Vu.
Her first impression was that this mana belonged to a sentimental yet lonely person. It seemed like he was loyal, dedicated and really passionate about that which is important to him.
Usually, she wouldn’t have been able to tell that much about the person just by sensing his mana. But this feeling…was very familiar…
Elaru smiled involuntarily. This person…his mana feels a lot like yours Wade… She chuckled. But without all the naughtiness and trouble causing tendencies.
This time, instead of trying to avoid him, she went straight towards him. The closer she came, the more excitedly the pendant pulsated, glowed and shook.
Soon she was close enough to see him clearly.
It was a boy that looked to be around her age. He was extremely good looking, so much that he could be called beautiful. Raven black hair with several blue locks. She focused on his eyes. Icy blue.
Most likely a Rroda from the main branch. She deduced instantly. This color combination was very unique; it originated from the Rroda family ancestor and everyone with this color combination was blood-related to the Rrodas. Rrodas weren’t the only ones that had a signature color combination, Arites, for example, were the only noble family whose members had violet eyes, and Tanyers inherited eyes the color of molten gold.
What would a Rroda be doing here? Is this place their vacation spot or something?
She looked at the boy closely, inspecting his toned body. Is the pendant reacting to him, or is it reacting to something he has on his person?
As far as her eyes could see, he wasn’t wearing any artifacts or objects of value. But if he wasn’t in possession of an Aetherneal artifact, why would the pendant be pointing towards him? Is he a wielder of an Aethernea?