Chapter 3 – Training
Derek woke up to a loud rumbling sound. He opened his eyes and saw a dirt ceiling. Wait, what? Where was the… oh. The old man had taken him here, wherever here was. He was inside a dirt hut. He felt the rumble again. He went outside to investigate and saw the old man speed-growing vegetables. In front of his eyes, he spread seeds, covered up the soil, and began growing the plants. Small stalks emerged from the soil, quickly growing and thickening into strong shoots. Small buds appeared, and then flowers. The old man reached into a pocket and spread dust over them. Then he continued to grow the plant by growing the flowers, turning them into fruits, and growing the fruits. technically vegetables. The vegetables ripened and grew big and healthy. Finally, the old man pulled off the vegetables and put them in a basket. Then he grew the plant further and killed it. All of this happened within 3 minutes. Then the old man spotted him. He smiled. “Hello, Derek”, he said and then, “I see you’re up already. I think we should start with Earthbeat.” Derek gulped and asked, “Umm… what is Earthbeat?”, then hastily added, “Master.” The old man laughed and said, “Earthbeat is a potion that lets you feel the earth’s heartbeat, and thus, do any kind of Earth magic properly.” Then he said, “And please call me Master Hector.” Derek nodded. Master Hector motioned for him to stay outside. He went inside and returned with a vial with ancient runes on it. He handed it to Derek. Derek saw a bunch of runes, clearly handwritten:
He turned it over and read an inscription in the language of the Old Earth Kingdom, from before the times of the founding emperor, Fenoxillius Maximus.
‘Drechemone Gildas laftern,
Denise jusdergeit lirdo zolbruchtar jevri norsed hift brogagdor,
Deve lafter drin Pradis, dosalbi lut groden,
Dreal Pradein aldere golletese halogetar vahilbone‘ .
Derek read aloud,
“When the earth’s children with the power of Gildar,
Consume the liquid hereth given,
The power of the earth shall become theirs,
And all things of the earth whom they wield it on shall have to obey their command.”
Master Hector smiled. Derek saw that he looked impressed. He said, “I haven’t heard anyone who has read such fluent Pradisprode in a long time.” Derek gulped and said, “I learnt it when I was very young, around 7 years old.” Master Hector asked, “So when did you learn Air speech?” Derek answered, “My parents taught it to me when I was 4”, then continued in the New Earth tongue, “Menue altorned lurntian imos altir vane 9 kohran duone sprode dorn nevenoe Pradein.” (‘My parents taught me the New Earth tongue when I was 9.’) Master Hector answered, “Jadeir gotel. Este isto sohrin seltone, einonem sprode lut zandone, ferise hiote haiutiganer Pradein sprode kogezebe zroiptele. ” (‘Well, that’s good. It’s really rare to find someone who speaks the Earth tongues fluently nowadays.’) Then he continued in the Air tongue, “Anyway, you can have the liquid within now.” Derek asked, “Umm… Master? What does the inscription mean?” Hector replied, “You want to know the meaning of the first line, right?” Derek nodded. Hector said, “The earth’s children refers to the Earth kynd. The power of Gildar is a story of legend, about a great king called Gildar, who ruled before Emperor Fenoxillius and after whose death the 100 Years of Anarchy started. Gildar was said to be 5th in a line of half-Mage, half-Firden kings. The Firden are said to be magical beasts, who look like humans and can control all 4 elements. The Firden apparently couldn’t survive in their ethereal form for long and they could not appear anywhere in the Empire in any other form. Gildar’s line, the Magigester Emperors, were said to be the descendants of a Mage called Kolstaka Magig and a Firden called Hiresti Gester. Their son, Dildar Magigester, was delivered back to the Empire, and his great-great grandson, Gildar Magigester, is believed to have invented Earthbeat. He experimented greatly with Earth Magic, and his power serves to embody the power of the Earth.”
Derek mouth opened in a silent Oh. He then shook himself, uncorked the bottle, and drank it all. Immediately, he felt something pulling him down to the ground. He fell, and then began to sink through. He desperately tried focusing his power to stop himself. He only succeeded in slowing himself down. But then, he felt as if someone was infusing him with energy. The next moment, he heard a strange, powerful rumbling, and before he knew what was happening, he was flung out of the ground. Somehow, he knew it was his power. But he did not feel any pain. He shut off the rumbling in his chest, and immediately fell down. Only then did he realize that he had been floating above the ground all this while. He stood up and looked at his master. He found Master Hector looking at him in surprise. Hector gulped and said, “I’ve never seen anyone do that just moments after drinking Earthbeat.” Derek was aware of a powerful and continuous rumbling, coming from the Earth. Hector noticed that he was overwhelmed, and said, “That sound you are hearing is the Earth’s heartbeat. Once you can sense it, you can draw power from the Earth, instead of yourself. Using your own powers can be quite taxing. Try to depend on the Earth as much as possible.” Then he said, “Come, let me teach you some basic rules of magic” and turned to the cabin.
Derek followed him. He felt pretty nervous. What would he learn now? And the rumble of the Earth, though fainter, was distracting. He followed his master into the hut. His master brought out a large book. “This book”, he said, “contains all you need to know about Earth magic, including its rules. However, I will be explaining some of these rules myself.” He opened the book to the first chapter.
Until next Sunday…