Book One: Chapter Fifteen

Leaving Home

Leonidas was not particularly sure of who he was or where he was from exactly. He only knew that he was born sixteen years ago from an egg that was over five hundred years old and his mother told him that he could tell no one about it. Well he did not believe he was born from an egg, thinking it was a jest to make him feel better about having been left behind by his birth parents. He knew she was not his true mother after all. He had no features that resembled his mother. His hair was silver, his large, mismatched almond shaped eyes were amber and green, his complexion was a rich milk chocolate and he was tall. Much taller than the average man. And his build was naturally muscular while his body was extremely agile. His mother had red hair, pale skin and dark brown eyes. She was petite and slender. He also believed that only a fool would go around telling people they were born from an egg.

His mother (Phenixia) informed him of his birth circumstances when he turned five. Leonidas was neither surprised nor sad. He lived in a witches guild with his mother who was the hereditary guild master. He received much affection from the witches surrounding him. Witches being existences who cherished all living things cherished him as much as their own children and families. He did not feel lacking for either mother or father because in addition to the woman who adopted him, he had many fathers and mothers who were witches in the guild.

They began teaching him magic when he was six. There he learned about wizards, warlocks, mages, and sorcerors the witches. Witches were the closest magical branch that also could practice some of the sage arts -sage arts is a diverse and intensive field not directly related to magic- they, focused on nature, life, and death cycles and living as one with their Ourantith, they had the ability to see the future and access spirits and spiritual archives (this was not taught in any of the great schools because they did not use particularly strong power. they used their powers to coordinate their lives and life events with nature). The other magical branches were focused on controlling and mastering their environment to their advantage and to use it often against natural order which often meant using it to the benefit of specific people. Leonidas quickly picked up the magical skills he was taught.

When he turned nine his mother decided to enroll him into the empires magic academy. The academy was a days trip from the capital. Penixia and Leo agreed that they would see each other for every holiday. during short holidays Phenixia would visit Leonidas at the school so that he would not become tired from travel.

Leonidas was a hit in the academy. His exotic features attracted many love letters and young lady Wizards in training – as well as a few befuddled gentleman in training. His ability and intelligence were first rate. Also the fact that he grew up in the most successful witches guild in the country added to the attraction. When his talents using water magic and its polar opposite, fire magic emerged the girls swooned.

Though he practically had a fan club he was quite shy. The girl he cared for most was in his class but two years his junior. Astrid deSarto had mediocre magical skills but she more than made up for it with her ability to help the students understand the theories they would use to perform magic. Astrid’s body simply was not capable of handling the magic contained within her. If she performed her magic to its fullest extent, she would likely die. While Leonidas could see that as soon as he saw Astrid, the rest of the class constantly teased her for her poor spell performance. Because of his shyness, he was never able to speak up for her.

Leonidas tried to approach her several times in class or during lunch but she always was with two male students who were her close friends. If she happened to be alone and he approached, she would walk away as though he was nothing but air. He gave up trying to approach her and got caught up in the wave of his popularity and his classes.

Leonidas remained at the top of his class throughout the next six years and graduated with honors. He received invitations to the homes of many young ladies who graduated with him. Noble families frequently sent marriage proposals to his home and occasionally when he went to social events vasrious noblemen and women encouraged him to study magic further and become a royal Wizard. However he held no aspirations of being a gentleman with a lady by his side and he did not wish to work for the kingdom. He preferred the magic of witches and the gentle appreciation they held towards nature. While he appreciated the knowledge he gained, at the academy, he preferred the ways of the witch. In the end he hid behind his mother’s skirts as she rejected all marriage proposals. Her son would take over the witches guild eventually. Many broken hearts resulted and a few young ladies applied to join the witches guild. Leonidas never saw Astrid again.

Some months later he heard news that the deSarto family had been imprisoned for treason. Apparently Astrids father had conspired with the desert kingdom against Trolvania. He was not sure whether the accusation was true or correct but he felt helpless as the girl he had grown to love from afar was imprisoned and soon to be killed or sold into slavery.

Leonidas began to believe that there was still hope. Perhaps he would be able to help Astrid, when at midnight, on that fateful night he witnessed the glow of a great magical power coming from the prison, before returning to sleep.

The next morning Leonidas had awoken from a dream filled sleep feeling particularly rejuvenated, though he did not sleep for many hours. Upon waking he heard a whisper. Leonidas! For some reason when he heard that whisper he envisioned the small bronze skinned girl with black hair and dark sparkling eyes behind the bars of a prison cell. He whispered to himself, “Astrid?” As he walked down stairs he deep in thought.

“Léo. What’s on your mind this morning? Did you happen to have a dream about a young lady you were in school with but could never talk to?”

He looked up surprised. “Mom?!?!? How…how did you?…”

Phenixia gave him a bored look. As he sat down at the kitchen table. “did you forget I’m a witch?” she whacked him on the head with her greasy cooking spoon. “mom! Such vulgar beh…” she whacked him on the head again. “That’s right. I’m also your mother and I couldn’t help but notice you staring at that dark haired girl during your graduation.” She calmly sat next to her son.

“Léo, you had the dream last night. I can tell that you want to go to her badly. You received a call for help from her?” she raised her brows questioningly. “I have no objections to it but I must tell you that things may be more than they appear.” She kept from him the fact that the girl he would meet was not Astrid.

“whats that mean?”

“well I’ve always had visions about you. Soon before you were born and while you grew up. I knew that you would leave one day.”

“mom. I will always come back to you no matter what but after you mentioned me leaving I realized that may be exactly what I’ve been aching to do for a while.”

Phenixia held her sons hand. “Léo. You had the choice to work as a government official and live a peaceful life while staying oblivious to the world around you or to leave this city perhaps even this country. You will live a dangerous life but you will meet irreplaceable people who would become life-long comrades.” She pulled her son over to her so that he was sitting on her lap. “Léo. You have my blessing. I am also certain that you will return to me… and when you return you and whoever your wife is can take over the guild while i rest and spoil my grandchildren during my final years” She moved her hand towards her arm and as she grasped her upper left arm Leonidas could see a soft glow through her shirt sleeve. From her arm she removed a cuff bracelet. It was shaped like a dragon and it’s eyes were precious stones. One ruby and one sapphire. She placed it on his forearm and as she did so, the bracelet melded into his skin with the appearance of a golden tattoo. “this was with you when you were born. I saved up 16 years worth of protective power in this bracelet and it’s finally yours.”

Tears glistened in the corner of her eyes. “Even if you choose to stay now, you will eventually be forced to leave. Everythings started already…”

Leonidas’ eyes widened.

She caressed his hand and looked into is eyes. “you don’t need to worry about that just yet. Just follow your instincts… but you need breakfast first. And you need to set out today or you will be behind schedule.” Phenixia smirked.

“TODAY?!?!?!”

Phenixia walked to the kitchen area and brought several platters and pans from the stove. She cooked a lot of food and a few if his favorites. She baked an apple pie and a meat pie. She cooked, sausage, eggs over easy and four loaves of unleavened bread. She even gathered fruit for him and harvest month had long passed. Leo devoured every last bit of the food. His mother went into her room and brought out a cape and threw it over her son’s shoulders. It was thick and woolen but it felt light neither warm nor cold. It appeared to keep his body at just the right temperature. “I requested it from a friend of mine from the land of dragon wizards. You know him. The elemental teacher Mr. Parda.”

Ldemy trained mages, who followed a different path than witches but she wanted to give Leonidas a choice of which path to follow rather than only show him the ways of witches. She had
“You called for me?” with a brief rap at the door Léo’s elemental magic teacher entered the room. “mind you we don’t have much time to stay here and discuss any details before we go. Lord deSarto’s execution has been moved to the thirtieth hour today and on the thirty first hour Astrid will be auctioned from the execution platform to the highest bidder.”

Léo’s eyes widened, “You’re coming too?”

“he is.”

“b-b-b-but why?”

Léo stood with a blank expression on his face. He had a lot to think about but he also knew that he probably did not have enough time for thinking. I doesn’t matter… “you said she will be sold during the thirty first hour?”

Parda nodded.

“We don’t have time for this… we need to get Astrid…”

Professor Parda interjected “we do need to go to the prison, but who exactly…”

Phenixia grabbed his arm tightly shook her head and mouthed not right now to the professor. His eyes widened but he said nothing. He put his arm around Leonidas’ shoulders and steered him towards the front door. They bumped into Absoruin, one of the guild members as they exited the guild.

He raised his eyebrows at Phenixia, “its time for him to leave now?”

“yes. But he will return,” she said with tears in her eyes “I just don’t know when.”

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