Friday, December 1, 2017

(46) When all else is lost the future still remains

Kayne closed the door to the training room, and set up more wards over the ones that still existed from when Shan had worked with neophyte battle mages. Then he pointed to the center of the room.

“Sit and stay there until I instruct you otherwise.”

“Yes bossman,” Race muttered, doing as he’d been told.

“That would be master, boy. Now close your eyes and try to empty your mind.”

After rolling his eyes at Kayne’s bossiness, Race closed them. “Empty my mind? Just how do I do that?”

“Think of a word or object that you find soothing, concentrate on it and slow your breathing and then relax your body. Keep that one image in your mind to the exclusion of all others.”

Race nodded. It took him a while, testing several images and discarding them until his thoughts went to a soft, gentle breeze. He found, quite to his surprise, that he could use that, combined with his inhalations of breath, to blow any other images away. Slowly he relaxed until he felt limp. Then Kayne’s voice brought him back to awareness.

“I am going to put my hands on either side of your head,” Kayne told him, kneeling in front of him. “Once I do, you are to empty your mind again. It will be somewhat harder because I am touching you but you can do it.”

Impossible, was Race’s thought at first, as he had trouble ignoring the light pressure of Kayne’s fingertips on his temples. Then, visualizing again, he went beyond them into a dark void, empty of everything but the whisper of a breeze. This continued for he had no idea how long and then he felt something alien enter his thoughts. A strange sense of power that exhilarated him.

From some distant place came a voice instructing him to visualize doors and then open them one by one. He did that and as each one opened he felt the power grow as colors flooded his mind. His eyes snapped open and he looked at Kayne, shaking his head. “That was just because of my touch ability, I think. There was a feeling of power but it was all…colors.”

“Because that is how your mind works. I can tell you that you do have magic potential, and now that you know how to open your mind to it, even though you may doubt what you felt, Darshan will be able to train you.”

“To do what? I’m not all that certain I want to be what you call a battle mage.”

Kayne nodded in understanding. “Tell me about the colors. While I could sense your power, your mind is still a void to me and will continue to be so.”

“It was the whole range of the spectrum, but…” Race closed his eyes for a moment to visualize what he’d seen, “But predominately there were reds and oranges, or to be more precise a blend of red and orange. Does that mean something specific—well other than the fact that those are the colors I associate with Shan, as well as brown? And that mix told me he was a non-human.”

“An interesting slant to what you saw. The red-orange suggests that you may be a healer.” Kayne tapped a nail against his lips before smiling. “Yes, I suspect healing will be your forte, and Shan will be a great influence in your life as well. But then, that I suspected long before now.”

“But can he teach me to be a healer?”

Kayne nodded. “Among other things, yes. I’m afraid that like it or not, you will learn many defensive and some offensive spells as well. You will need them to keep yourself safe in the throes of battle. Healers are often targeted by the enemy for obvious reasons.”

“Oh, that’s just fantastic. Not.” Race’s muttered words made Kayne smile.

“With magic comes power and danger. That is unavoidable. You must…” Kayne was interrupted by a knocking at the door. He went to open it, leaving the wards in place, as they were for containment not defense.

“You wanted to see me?” Addie asked.

“I have something to tell all of you,” Kayne replied. He nodded when he saw Shan come into view, beckoning both of them into the room.