Ghosts of the Past

Ezra turned to follow the voice he heard. He should have noticed anyone entering the room, even teleporting in would have given them away.

“What, did you say?”

A figure stands before him, a great and powerful one. The young mage shows no sign of recognition. This saddens the great Thi’mae’yous, but it makes no difference. The young walker will pay for his actions.

 

“Are you even listening to me? What’s a walker? Are you talking about me?” The book floating above his right hand scribbled words as he spoke. Then suddenly he was forced to swim out of the way of a spell. The red light of it swerved past him almost making contact with him. One of the scrolls he had already read immediately dissolved from the contact with the spell. Thi’mae’yous soon followed with a second attack. Shadows danced around him forming many menacing looking shapes of figures and weapons. “I’m getting tired of this.”

Ezra clapped his hands together. The ocean water muffled but carried the noise as his hands struck one another. Then a wave of light pulsated with each clap. He continued the motion keeping the shadows at bay.

The young mage continued his feeble motion hoping to hold The Describer’s spell at bay. The Describer didn’t understand, since the futility of the effort was clearly evident to both parties involved.

 

“Come now boy I thought you were smarter than that.”

“Oh now he addresses me directly.” Wires wrapped around Ezra’s enemy’s throat. They dug deep slicing into the skin, veins, windpipe, and even his vocal cords. Thi’mae’yous gasped as if for air. Blood gushed from the wound Ezra had inflicted. His headless cane casually floated to him till he could pluck it from in front of him. When the damage was done he recalled the etherium to his cane. The cloud of blood surrounded his opponent. Ezra himself kept his distance from the substance just incase.

“I wonder if the master sent him to test me again.” Ezra muttered to himself. He stared at the blood hiding the body, his adrenaline was pumping for some reason. He kept his guard up; it was never so simple when the master sent serious assassins. It paid off.

The blood swirled then shot at Ezra in the form of needlelike spikes. A wall of ice formed in front of him blocking the attack.

“No way, he should be dead. I could see bone from that attack.” The ice wall then moved forward with crushing force. If anything was hit by that it would surely be dead. A clawed hand slashed down at him from the side. Ezra parried with his cane. The blow surely would have dealt great damage to its intended target had it made contact.

His instinct serves him well he may not remember the battles or the death he dealt, but his edge hasn’t faded. He floats in the water hoping to surprise it. His deceptions are getting more and more predictable. Thi’mae’yous walks forward sizing up his the mage before it. What tricks will the boy use now? A faint? A distraction? Will he use another spell? Or has he already cast one? These are the questions emerging from the mind of the Describer.

 

Ezra floated in the water, staring suspiciously at the Describer; he didn’t know what to do. He felt the piercing gaze of his opponent, even with his eyes hidden.  It frankly unsettled him. What was this thing? It couldn’t be human not at these depths. Not wanting to give him time to think Thi’mae’yous charged forward with another slash from its razor sharp claws. This time Ezra manipulated the water in his territory. Snakes made of ice bit down on the assailant’s wrist stopping the attack mid-swing. Then a stream of boiling hot water shot at the walker from the free hand of the Describer. The heated water, bubbles and all simply glided around Ezra. The ice wall behind him rapidly melted after contact.

Another ice serpent bit the free wrist, and more covered the open palms. Ezra forced the would be assassin to the ground and stone enveloped its feet. Unmoving at a safe distance he spoke to his captive.

“Who are you? Who sent you? Was it my master Laquatas?”

The mighty Thi’mae’yous stares blankly and the boy in front of him. It mildly pretends to struggle against its restraints.

 

“That’s really creepy you know.”

“Thi’mae’yous the Describer, Slayer of armies, Chronicler of ages, knows the value of knowledge. Knowledge in the past has lead to the rise and fall of nations.”

“What? Speak clearly.” Inky blackness began to exude from Ezra’s captive, slowly engulfing it.

“You seem to have won again. I have a gift for you.” The Describer’s body next started to be eaten away by the blackness.

“What are you doing? Stop that!” Everything you know to be true is a lie. Your name isn’t Ezra, you’re not a merman; you’re not even of this plane.” His legs were mere stumps at this point.

“What are you saying? That’s ridiculous of course I am.”

“In three days the Rebirthing ceremony is about to commence. There Laquatus’ betrayal will be evident there he will lead to the death of an empire.”

“My master has been a loyal servant of the Berous Empire for years. Why would he harm our nation?”

“Why would he alter your memories; for personal gain of course.” Thi’mae’yous was just a head, now except for his tomes; they continued to float untouched by decay.

“For the last time he didn’t do anything to me. He’s been helping me regain my lost memories.” The head let out a harsh rasping laugh at Ezra that quickly turned into a coughing fit.

“Fine, don’t believe me. Live in your blindness. But know this, your inaction will be the death of this nation just as much as you master’s actions will lead to it. All I can do is this then.”

A single page from the right book that wrote all his words tore itself away. On it were words written in Ezra’s own handwriting or at least what appeared to be his. It then folded into a small square then flew into his pocket.

“What was that?” He asked alarmed. Now only a mouth remained to say.

“A spell, if you ever doubt your master’s lies for a second cast it when you are alone. Then you will know my words to be true. I just pray they will not fall on deaf ears for much longer.” Then he was gone. Only his chilling presence remained. While his words repeated in his mind Ezra removed the damage done to the room and returned to his studies.

~#~#~#~

Studying seemed impossible to him as time passed, but before he knew it the day of the Rebirth had arrived. Floating in his room another soul from the dungeons had been changed forever. Ezra began to wonder what people they were before the dungeons. Were they thieves? Murderers? Political enemies? Farmers? Merchants? Did they have families? Wives and Children? If they could so easily live new fabricated lives why not Ezra himself?

That’s silly Ezra, you still know your hard earned magical training from before your apprenticeship. What would he gain from taking everything else away?

“Good work today. Unfortunately we’re going to have to cut our lesson short for today. The Rebirthing Ceremony is going to commence in a few hours and I need to be present.”

I’ll be ready shortly to attend master.”

“No Ezra you won’t be. You have too many lessons ahead of you.”

“But all but the Emperor must attend to give.”

“No, I have been exempt from the Ritual this time, and I have convinced the Emperor that you should be too.”

“But master…”

“No Ezra you will obey me, and continue your studies that is final!”

“Yes master.” Ezra lowered his head. He felt stupid for arguing tradition with his master. If an exemption was made it was made.

“I’ll be back tonight.”

“Yes master.”

“Now continue reading the scrolls I’ve given you.”

“Yes master.”

“Goodbye Ezra.”

“Goodbye master.” Ambassador Laquatus swam away wordlessly after that. He felt stupid. He never doubted his master’s word before. He read the slip of paper in his pocket again. It was a simple spell. It seemed to harness blue mana to protect a person from spells among other things. He had been tempted twice already to cast it. He was still, floating in silence. The room was empty save himself.

Ezra made a decision. He needed to test it to see if it wasn’t a curse. He immediately set up the appropriate wards to protect himself.

~#~#~#~

What had been a quick decision took a very long time to prepare. It had been two hours of casting, recasting, and mentally preparing himself for the worst, but he’d done it. Now in the center of his own circle of protection he began to cast. It was funny He remembered how he taught himself every spell he knew or learned from Laquatus, but he couldn’t remember how he knew this one.

It was a subtle and elegant spell. No light shown to be flashy just an absence of water. It created a small bubble in his hands then it quickly expanded to engulf them. Then before he knew it he was suffocating, seconds after that, he took his first breath of air, and saw his hands for the first time.

“My God…”

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