Chapter 7

You walk, slowly at first, then more quickly, then you find yourself sprinting through the stone halls and up a flight of stairs towards the Master’s quarters, one thought echoing in your mind.

Why would Naema do this?

You crest the top of the staircase and catch your first glimpse of the large double-doors that lead to the Master’s quarters.

Doors that currently stand ajar.

You stop dead in your tracks at the top of the staircase as your confused thoughts finally click into place.

“No,” you say softly to yourself in a shaky voice. The word becomes louder, firmer, and more terrible with each repeated utterance.

You rush into the sparsely furnished room, to find the Master lying on the floor, curled up into a ball and clutching at her stomach. Her hands radiate flickering blue energy that slowly, effortfully, moves into her body. Kneeling by her side you check her pulse, it is weak and erratic, but the fact that she has one at all is nothing short of a miracle.

You spot a smashed porcelain teacup laying next to her and immediately deduce that Naema must have poisoned her nighttime tea. The remnants of the spilled tea have spread across the stone floor and seem to be slowly eating into the hard surface. Shuddering at the thought of what such a concoction must be doing to the Master’s insides, you close your eyes and cast Healing Spells one after the other until you are exhausted and cannot keep your eyes open any longer.

Several hours later, the guards find both you and the Master still on the floor. You are exhausted beyond reason, the Master – comatose, but alive.

After some days, the Master recovers enough to confirm your suspicions about what had happened to Naema. She had apparently fallen to the temptation of some sort of demonic entity, which had exacerbated her lust for knowledge and power to radically dangerous levels.

Had you not heard the Master’s summons that night and been roused from your sleep, the Master would never have survived and Naema would have made a clean escape. The kingdom would have been weakened with no true master of the Old Arts alive to teach new disciples.

You are promoted to Primus and once the Master recovers, she directly tutors you in the advanced secrets of the Old Arts. The training is rigorous, but you grow in strength and knowledge daily. Eventually, even the King takes notice of your progress and puts in a request to have you work directly for him when the time comes.

It appears that you have a bright future ahead of you!

THE END.

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