Time, as it is want to do, continued. For the next few months, I began to learn my place in the great game of kingdoms. The princess and I continued to spend time together, regardless of her age I started to find her to be an intelligent and knowledgeable source of information. She knew the ins and out of court life as well as the whos who of the court. I can honestly say it was through her skills alone that I was able to make it through those first few months. During that time I also learned what my future would entail.
Having power and knowing how to use it turned out to be two different things. To that end, I was going to be enrolled in the Royal School of Mages. I learned that was just a fancy name for a school for rich kids with too much free time and parents with too much money. I learned two important facts in my first week at school. First Who you know means more than what you know....at least in the eyes of the other students. Second I learned that being rich and having money were two different things. Everyone at the school was rich, but the few that really had money let you know. Being engaged to the princess ensured I received a certain level of status at the school, what that meant was everyone spent a lot of time telling me how they were my best friends and how with their help I'd really go places.
Seems to me being the most powerful mage in the kingdom and engaged to a member of the Royal Family should have taken care of my going places but not in the eyes of these kids. I learned quickly to promise nothing and not to agree to anything. One thing I also learned that really didn't surprise me was that my princess was a true master of the game. She knew exactly what and when to say things. Watching her play each of these rich brats, yes they were brats, against each other was interesting, to say the least. Every one of them thought they had her ear and her support when in truth they knew nothing and had gained not an ounce of support from her. None of them were knowledgeable enough in playing the game to understand that which I think was the real point.
The only thing that made my classmates bearable were the lessons. The teachers were top notch and each was a true master in their field. Besides the classes dealing with magic, we had classes on history, science, well what they called science and math. I also took private lessons to learn courtly etiquette. It seemed I was expected to be a master of a lot of things before I completed my time here. All in all, I really enjoyed my time learning. By the end of my first year not only did I feel as if I had learned more in my non-magic studies than I knew before I arrived but I was starting to really understand my power. With one exception. No one knew how to teach me anything related to divine power. The masters all though they had ideas and some made sense but none seemed to do anything to unlock my power.
I did complete a quest and unlock a lot of skills that first year
QUEST COMPLETE: BEGIN YOUR EDUCATION
Yes the future is there for you to take, you only have to reach for it...ask for a lot of help, get a free ride to a top school and have a girlfriend that shows you the ropes. Well at least you know how to take a hand out
REWARD: Beginning of a true education
SKILL LEARNED: Basic Earth Magic
If you look at a pile of dirt long enough it might move, or it might not. Hey you are no where close to being a master.
REWARD: Unlocks basic earth magic skills
SKILL LEARNED: Basic Wind Magic
By your will alone does the air move, well it might have just been a breeze, but we'll assume it was you.
REWARD: Unlocks wind magic skills
SKILL LEARNED: Basic Fire Magic
Well you can light a candle ands probably all you will ever do, but hey you will always have a roll at birthday parties.
REWARD: Unlocks fire magic skills
SKILL LEARNED: Basic Space Magic
Well being an expert in empty places, such as the one between your ears makes this no surprise.
REWARD: Unlocks space magic skills.
SKILL LEARNED: Basic Light Magic
Hey you will always be invited to visit dark out of the way places.
REWARD: Unlocks light magic skills
I didn't unlock divine magic during that year but it was to be expected. With no way to really learn it I didn't expect a fast unlock if I ever did. Now you might ask what unlocking those skills do, simple it allows me to learn the basic spells for each of them. Things such as Minor healing, minor light, start minor fire, build minor earth wall. Yes, when naming minor skills it seems including the word minor was required. Some of you will want to know if I had time to speak with my princess and the answer is yes, I decided early on if I was going to have to marry her I should not only make the most of it but also make sure it turns out like she wants. Our marriage wasn't by her design so holding it against her wouldn't be fair. Plus regardless of our mental age difference, it was hard to view her as a child. There was a level of maturity about her that even I do not believe I expressed.
While schooling here didn't have long breaks between years, we were given 6 weeks off to visit family. For me, that wasn't really needed because my mother was here with me. Once the decision was made to move me here the queen reposted my mother to the capital. She was given the duties of royal advisor related to the outer cities, which was an area she had a lot of knowledge in. Her being here was for the best, I'm not sure my mother could handle not being around during this period of my life. Also having her around made my move to this new reality easier to bare. Not that I really had much to complain about. The school was enjoyable, spending time with the Princess was enjoyable, in fact, I would have to say my life was in a good place right now. Looking back I now view these as the peaceful and most memorable times in my life. Things would change in the years to come for now the last few years of my childhood were good ones.
Year two of school began almost like year one. Classes were harder but more interesting. The Princess was more attentive, yes we did finally get that first kiss out of the way. I think she made a lot more out of it than I did. I began making real progress of my magic studies and moved all of my skills except Divine to Mid year halfway through the year. This opened up a lot of spells to the point I was starting to have trouble learning them all with any real skill. It was one thing to know how to cast a spell, it was another to really know that spell. Watching the masters I learned real quick that knowing a spell and really knowing a spell were two different things and was what really made a master mage a master mage. Over the years I've seen a lot of magic, I've seen a lot of spells, but I've not seen the skill of a true master that often. It was my hope to master even a small part of the spells I could learn. If I did that then I would truly be a real power worthy of the position I've been given.
The second year also included my first true combat experience. This is when we are trusted enough to be taken, under escort, to some of the local wooded areas that are known for dangerous wildlife and creatures. We were grouped together with kids from some of the more common schools to better make use of the time. There we learned many skills including wood lore, camping, hunting and the dreaded keeping watch. I'd like to say I was the more successful student out there but the honest truth is that I was spoiled a little bit as a child. I never had to hunt for my food, or even cook my own food. Setting up camp wasn't something I had done before and keeping watch was hard. I learned as did everyone else for the most part but we learned that someone who grew up learning those crafts far outshined us in every way. Some of the kids from the more common families had years of experience in the woods and there was nothing a few weeks would ever do to bridge that difference. I did enjoy it and the skills would be needed later but all it really did was tell me I had a long way to go.
After the halfway point we began serious talks about marriage. The Queen wanted me joined her family as soon as the Princess and I were old enough to meet the church requirements. The Princess and I wanted to wait.
'Mother, please understand, I do love him but we only have a few years left to learn all we can. Marriage would get in the way.'
'Child you have to understand we cannot allow the chance for him to get away. Bringing him into the family will tie him to us in a way that isn't easily broken. We must think about the kingdom and our family first.'
'We agree mother and I've talked to him about it. He does care for me as well and will go through with the joining, but he feels and I agree that rushing it isn't the answer.'
'Then what would you two have me do, put off the marriage until you both feel like it?'
'No mother, we agree that the joining should occur the day after we complete our studies. That will ensure that we are both ready to take our places as protectors of this kingdom.'
'Do I have both of your words that you will go through the joining as soon as your studies are complete?'
'We talked about just that and yes you do.'
'Then it is agreed. you two will be joined the day after you complete your studies. Consider this your only delay.'
And with that, we received a 2-year reprieve. Which I think helped me out a lot, at least I would be getting married to an adult. After that, the remainder of my second year in the capital and at school ended.