The veil of night has fallen, and yet there’s still no sign of Charleone. After having dinner with the others in the house, Kayrus went back to his room. Changing his clothes to his own, he is still deep in thought about what transpired during the afternoon at his Trial, and the possible connection of the ghostly figures and the Elements.
Suddenly, a knock was heard from his door.
“It’s me.” said a very familiar voice, Charleone.
“Come in.” the young man can already guess the Archmagus's intention.
The blonde man opens the door, revealing a man who is visibly tired and yet still keeps up a facade that says otherwise.
“We need to talk,” he said while closing the door.
“Good, then sit down.” he ordered, to which Kayrus did, though the Archmagus stayed standing with crossed arms.
Charleone then took a glance at the desk in the room, towards the piles of books he gave to the new student.
“You’ve finished that, right?'' he points at a book with white cover titled The Principle of Magic, a Brief Summary.
“Good, then that saves me some time.”
Kayrus can’t help but notice, from his body language, that the Archmagus is restless about something.
“You know about Elements, right? Specifically Elemental Affinity?” he asked.
“Of course,” the young man answered, “Basically every Magus possesses inside of their Soul, an affinity towards an Element. They’re much more proficient, if not only capable of, using spells of the Elements they have the Affinity with. The level of Affinity varies by person, and said level dictates how good you’re going to be with your spells. That’s the gist of it.”
“Good, and most Magus only have an Affinity for only one element. To have an Affinity with two is very rare, with three-”
“It’s even much more rare.”
“Correct. And so far, only one person in recorded history is known to Affinities for four elements at once, and those were many many years ago. So, the very idea of having even more than that is…”
“Wait,” said Kayrus, he realized where this conversation was going. And he doesn’t like it. “Don’t tell me this has something to do with the eight figures?”
The blonde man grins, though not so smug as he usually does.
“You’re quick, I'll give you that. How did you figure it out?”
“I have some hunch.” said Kayrus, omitting that he found the connection by looking at flags.
“But you are right in that regard. Yes, this has something to do with those figures of yours.”
From the way the Archmagus began to fidget more and more, Kayrus knew whatever he’s going to say next is not something that should be taken lightly.
“So, from what you’re saying, I have more than just one Affinity. How many is it now? Two? Four? Five?!”
“What? I can’t hear-”
“It’s eight!” shouted Charleone. “It’s eight Kayrus, it’s all of them…”
Mouth agape, Kayrus is left rendered speechless with this revelation.
“You really are something, aren’t you. Just a lowly thief and yet you turn out to be someone very special. Huh, I did want you to change things up, but not to this extent.”
“B-Bu-How? Why? Is that even possible?” said Kayrus, still in shock. “Are you absolutely sure about this?”
“I’m one hundred percent positive. You know those figures you saw? The ghosts in colors? Those are something that I called ‘Arwah’, and not everyone would have that during their Trial. Only those with high Elemental Affinity would have it. I know that because I have a red one during mine. But you,” he points to the young man. “You have all eight of them, all eight colors, all eight elements.”
Drops of sweat begin to form on Kayrus’ forehead. He can already imagine the gravity of the situation. If someone with just two Affinities were quite rare, then what would that make of him with his eight? How would people react to that? Would they be amazed? Curious? Or perhaps, the worst of all possibilities, terrified of him?
“Then what do you suggest? Does anyone else know about this?”
The Archmagus shakes his head.
“Fortunately there’s no witness, so only the two of us know about this situation. Max, Stefan, Emma…I haven’t even told them yet.” he let out a deep sigh. “But don’t worry, I can handle this so long as the two of us keep our mouths shut. I’ll find out more about your…condition. Hopefully I can find something why this sort of thing could happen in the first place.”
Then suddenly the blonde man opens the door.
“Well, I came to tell you that. I’m going to bed now.” he said, looking even more tired than before. “Remember, keep this as a secret.”
“Wait!” shouted Kayrus right before Charleone left. “You forgot something.”
“What is it?”
“My Collegiate.” the young man put his right hand on his chest. “What is my Collegiate then? All of them?”
“No, don’t be silly. No, I put you on Bea. I think it’s going to suit you more there.”
“Bea…” mutter Kayrus, “Wait, isn’t that-”
But the Archmagus has closed the door.
“Ah, damn it…”
The young man threw his body one the bed, the springy bedding catches his tired self into its comfortable embrace. Kayrus sighed deeply, his mind is still trying to process this new development while his eyes are staring at the dark brown ceiling. This is no longer a matter that he could find a trick or sleight of hand to solve, no, this has gone beyond perhaps about his existence.
If what Charleone says is true, wouldn’t that possibly make himself one of the most powerful Magus, in theory, in the world right now? Wouldn’t people might want to use him as tools or pawns for their own goals or gains? Or perhaps people in power might consider him as a threat to the balance of power?
And speaking of which, what about Charleone himself? What are his goals? He still hasn't told him what he truly wanted, making Kayrus as a Magus, and would that goal of his stay the same with this turn of fate? The capabilities of what that man can do worries the young man.
Kayrus then suddenly remembers the time he’s still with his friends and family back home. Life was tough then, but at least it’s much simpler than the situation he’s facing right now.
All that pondering, worry, anxiety, and regret saps his energy, and soon enough, his eyes feel heavy. He closed his eyes and his mind began to wander off as his exhaustion began to overwhelm himself. And not long after that, he fell asleep.
All he could see was darkness. All he could hear was silence. All he could feel was nothingness. And yet, his heart is at peace at the same time, like being embraced by a warm comfort.
“Where am I?” thought Kayrus, “I was sleeping, right?”
But no one was there to give him an answer. He is all alone in that vast and silent darkness, his very thought echoes endlessly in that empty space.
But then, he saw it…
A gleam of light appeared on the corner of his eyes. He turned towards it, and found himself looking at a small glint of light emanating from far away. A warm light that beckons him to come near. And so he did.
Walking slowly, he followed the light, who with each step grew larger and brighter as the young man came nearer. Soon enough, however, that young man finally realized from where-or what- the light came to his horror, for he then recognized the thing that stood before him.
In front of him is the humongous and myriad-colored sphere of light he witnessed during his trial, one whose tendrils of lights seem dancing freely on the empty darkness. Eerie but beautiful, was the thought that came to Kayrus’ mind in this second encounter with that thing.
It took a while for the young man to realize that he’s not alone in the presence of that ball of light. Standing between him and the sphere and looking at him is a young feminine figure, whose face, clothes, and general appearance are obstructed by the shadow cast from the colorful light of the sphere. What’s certain for him, however, is that he can construe the outline of a smile on the girl’s face.
“Who are you?” he asked her, to no avail, for the girl only continued to smile at him without saying any words.
“What is this place? Why am I here?” he continues to ask. “What is…that thing?”
She chuckles, her soft voice doesn’t sound that alien to Kayrus’ ears. She looked away from him, and said something undecipherable for Kayrus to the giant sphere.
“Wait, what are you doing? Who are you?!” he asked again, this time with a raised voice.
But before the stranger could answer him, the ball of light lets out a blinding flash that forces him to close his eyes. In that instant, he felt energy fading out from his body at a rapid pace, and so did his consciousness.
“W-What is happening?!” he shouted as his sight was overwhelmed by bright light as his awareness was slipping out. And it was in that confusion, he finally heard it, the girl was talking.
“Don’t worry about it, Kayrus,” she said softly, as if comforting him like a mother would to her baby, “We will meet again very soon.”
And with that, he passed out...