• Begin Chapter 2

    -15 years after the events of chapter 1-

    “Nico, wake up,” were the first words Nico heard on a brisk autumn morning 13 years later. ”Today is the when they make the selection announcement!”

    “Be quiet Mora,” Nico replied. “I’m not going to the stupid ceremony just to congratulate you and the other snot-faces that continue with their magic training.”

    Losing patience, Mora grabbed Nico’s arm and forced him out of bed and onto the floor.

    “You act as if you don’t have a chance at being selected,” Mora said. “And I’m not a snot-face!”

    “I don’t have a chance,” Nico said as he stood up and went to his dresser, “There are only 4 spots for the apprenticeship. Their all taken and you know it.”

    “Not necessarily,” Mora said, trying to be reassuring. “You don’t know who Master Septum will choose.”

    “The choices are obvious,” Nico told her with barely retained anger. Why couldn’t she just let the subject drop? It was bad enough that his magic career was over without her trying to give him false hope. Nico had been dreading the day when he would be asked to leave the only home he ever knew, be given a small bag of silver coins, and have to find a new life leaving everything he cared about behind.

    “One spot will go to you. You’re the second daughter of the Empress, ancient magic runs through your veins.”

    “Next is Leera, the most skilled wizard in since Master Septum. She was sought out by The Listeners as a baby. They apparently heard the god of Prophecy tell of her becoming an unbelievably powerful wizard who was second only to one.”

    “Then there is Martin, he’s the most adept battle mage in over a century. He isn’t as great at other magic’s like Leera, but he’s skilled nonetheless.”

    “The final spot will probably go to Shane. He’s great at seeking magic. Also, he’s the nephew of Duke Dersive.”

    “You’re a good wizard too.” Mora said as Nico finished dressing and came from behind the privacy curtain by the corner. “You have chance.”

    “You already told me that,” Nico said. His mood was darkening. He just wanted to pack his bags in peace. “Besides, if you want proof, just look at where I came from. An infant left on the doorstep, no parents, no note, not even a basket. I was lucky for Master Septum to have found me. Otherwise I would have been killed by a wild animal. Would they really want someone with that kind of past to be the next Grand Wizard?”

    “Master Septum doesn’t care about that.” was Mora’s response. “He always seemed to like you, and you do well with the Dragons.”

    “Septum isn’t the only one who makes the decision. They call up the spirit of every last Grand Wizard that ever existed, and they converse about who to choose, and how to test their choices. I doubt that the other Grand Wizards will agree to have an abandoned child as an apprentice.”

    “If you keep that attitude up, you’ll destroy any chance you have,” Mora said. “Now quit wallowing and let’s go.”
    “I can’t believe I actually came to this foregone conclusion.” Nico said as he watched Master Septum Take the stage in front of the 169 students of magic. Most were a few years older than Nico. Many were talking with excitement, wondering if they would be chosen. Others, like Nico, were looking sullenly at the ground, knowing they would not be picked. The buzz of talk stopped as Master Septum reached the center of the stage. The sunlight made his red and gold robes shimmer and the wind seemed to stop around him.

    “As you are all aware, I have been in council with the Spirits of the Former Grand Wizards for the Past 39 hours. We have now made our decision as to who will be tested for the title of Grand Apprentice.”

    “First we will call up our most skilled Wizard. Leera Ajik.”

    There was a lot of applause and cheering as Leera walked on to the stage. She had the same self-assured look that Nico couldn’t stand.

    He hated people like Leera. She never had to work hard to accomplish anything. The fact that she was a knock-out didn’t help her personality either. She always had a group of guys falling over themselves to do her bidding. Even if they didn’t follow her around like starving puppies, the other guys would do just about anything she wanted if she flashed them a smile, all except for Nico. Mora had once asked him why he didn’t act like all the others. His response was that the others were thinking with the wrong head.

    “The next is our resident Royalty, Princess Mora Mersad.”

    There was more applause, though Nico noted that there was less enthusiasm from the guys. Mora may not have been a primped and cherished beauty like Leera, but she was still, in Nico’s opinion, beautiful.

    “Our next potential apprentice is unrivaled in Battle Magic, as many of you have found out the hard way. I present Martin Berueh.”

    More cheers, this time there were eyelashes fluttered and hands waved from the girls. Nico saw girls do this from time to time around Martin. He was tall for his 15 years, and built. He was physically the strongest student in the tower. Nobody was able to beat him at arm wrestling.

    “Now it is time to announce our final choice. This young man is an impressive Wizard and shows great potential in his future.”

    “Just get on with it,” Nico thought. “Call Shane and end this already.”

    “Our fourth Potential Apprentice is…,” Septum then paused and waited for everyone’s suspense too peak.

    “Nico Redrep!”

    -End Chapter 2-