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Chapter 2 : Impossible

The Mage of the Millennium

Pithar looked at the table confused. From all the books he had read before, he had never seen anything

like it. Magic with the power to rot didn't appear anywhere.

"Did I do that?" Pithar asked himself dumbfounded.

The silence within the room was terrifying to the point where even breathing couldn't be heard.

"I did it. I really did it. Mother will be proud. Are you watching me? Are you proud of me?" Pithar thought to himself as tears welled up in his eyes.

The silence was finally broken when Pithar began to hear indistinctive whispers of the mage walking to themselves.

The two had already let go of their earlier thoughts in fear of Pyrus's words.

"What was that? I've never seen that type of magic before..." one of the mages whispered

The mage sitting next to him moved in closer to whisper back, "I've never seen it either. Is it a mutated power we haven't seen before. It's such a despicable style of magic."

"You're right. I don't even want to look at him anymore. My heart goes out to the great Archmage." he responded with fear in his eyes for what was to come.

Finally, the Grand Pyromancer spoke. " The magic you have cast is quite different from the ones we have now. I will need to consult your father before you're given a direct result. Also, do not speak to anyone else about this before your father makes a statement."

Pithar's eyes gleamed in hope that his father may finally acknowledge him. Not only had he manage to pass the aptitude test, he had utilized a type of magic not even Pyrus had heard of.

After Pyrus instructed him to leave the room, Pithar headed to the Praetorium* where all the participants would be housed before the details of the true trial were revealed.

When the door closed and Pyrus could no longer sense Pithar's presence, his eyes turned to face the two mages once again.

The two gulped as they looked towards the ground to avoid Pyrus's murderous gaze.

"I always uphold my promises. Remember that" Pyrus calmly said as he walked out of the room.

~~~~~~~~

Pithat strolled down the hall joyously. His eyes had the giddy and innocent look of a five-year-old. His mouth opened slightly as he silently yelled in happiness within his head. Even with his joy, he couldn't shake off the eerie feeling he had when he saw the mages faces earlier.

"Actually it. Doesn't. MATTER!" Pithar yelled at himself in his head to stop himself from ruining his joy.

In a matter of minutes, he made his way into the Praetorium. He scanned the room for any familiar faces and spotted a red-haired boy sneering at him.

Pithar smiled at him and yelled across the room, "Hey, asshole!" The boy was caught off guard for a moment, but his gaze soon exuded killing intent. He stood halfway up before one of the people next to him grabbed onto his arm and pulled him down while whispering something into his ear. The boy's mouth transformed into a smile capable of striking terror into the hearts of criminals, but Pithar was currently too happy to be affected.

He found an empty table by the corner of the room. He observed his surroundings and marvelled at the fine of everything within the room which perhaps now he could potentially create one day. The smooth stone tables and the chairs lined with a warm grassy surface which naturally acted as a

He was in bliss, constantly the scene of the aptitude test within his mind over and over again. He could remember struggling to influence the pencil, but after his thoughts became fuzzy for a while, the table suddenly rot away. He wasn't sure how he did it, but he held onto the fact that he, Pithar Pyreye, had done it. He'd actually cast magic, which everyone doubted him for.

He grinned thinking of how he'd return the favor to his brothers' antics after all these years. They wouldn't be able to ever tease him again. His father wouldn't toss him to the side anymore. Best of all, he could face Pyroth right in the eye and not beat the snot out of him.

Pithar let out a quiet, but maniacal laughter as he suddenly felt something his shoulder that sent a shiver down his spine. A cool wind passed through his back giving him the chills.

"What're you doing here? Shouldn't you have been tossed out already?" he saw a beautiful girl ask him as he turned around.

"If only I had. Now I have to see your face all day. It really really really sucks," Pithar teased.

Her eye twitched a little bit and she raised her left hand and lightly punched Pithar on his head.

"OWWWW" Pithar yelled out dramatically as nearly the entire hall turned to look at him.

"Practicing to be the jester?" the girl grinned at him.

"Alright, you win. How've you been Aerin? I haven't seen you for nearly a month." Pithar sighed.

"So soon? You usually hold out a little bit longer. It's no fun teasing you if you give up." Aerin said as she sat down.

"I've been fine though. Mother forced me into private training for a month to prepare me for the trials. Man, I'm tiiiiireeeeed."

Aerin's eyes lit up as she looked at him seductively and sneakily thrust her head onto his shoulder.

Pithar eyes opened wide in disbelief. He rubbed his eyes with his left hand and pushed her head off with his right.

"Pweeeaaaseeeee" Aerin attempted to counter his attacks with cuteness.

"Get off before I rot your face off," Pithar whispered to her with a smile.

"I don't waaaan- Wait what? What did you just say?" Aerin raised her and head and looked at him towards what he had just said.

"I can actually cast magic now. That's how I passed." Pithar smiled as he spoke to her.

Her face gradually transformed into one of pure joy as she couldn't express just how happy she was.

"You and magic? You're not lying right? Riiiight?" Aerin shook him for an answer.

"During the aptitude test, I was really struggling to do anything to the stick. Nothing I did worked."

"As expected" Aerin commented as she nodded her head.

Pithar reached for her ear and pinched it.

"Owww. Owwww. Owww. Ok, ok, I'll stop, I'll stop. I promise." Aerin struggled out of his grip.

Pithar continued, "After a while, with my mana running out, my thoughts became fuzzy and I can't remember what happened, but soon after the table was surrounded by a aura and it rot away in ;

"It rot away? I've never heard of any magic like that. Have you, bookworm?" Aerin asked.

"Surprisingly, even I don't know it. The two mages observing me other than Pyrus seemed to be frozen in fear though, I'm not sure exactly why." Pithar responded.

"You thick-headed What do you expect them to do, start your circus performance? Of course, they'd be afraid of the kid that has the ability to rot objects. Truly a fearsome ability." Aerin said as she hit him in the head again.

"You're right. That's probably why." Pithar said, but he couldn't shake the eerie feeling he had.

The two best friends continued chatting catching up after being separated for over a month.

~~~~~~~~~~

Pyrus swiftly traversed the corridors until he found himself in front of regal golden door. He stood there outside for several moments, unsure of what to do. After a while, he finally entered the room and saw the archmage looking out a window.

"Pyrus, is that you? A beautiful today, isn't it? The light shining throughout the city really brings it to life. What a great day for the trials. I can't wait to see the new talent we have this year" a well built man responded from the edge of the room.

"Truly a great day outside." Pyrus said as he nodded his head.

Luminus turned around and gestured Pyrus to take a seat.

"You look troubled. I can sense the sadness in your eyes. Tell me what it is friend. How can I help?" Luminus asked.

'I-I'm not sure what to say." Pyrus responded.

"No worries friend. Anything you're going through, I promise I'll put in my best effort to fix it." Luminus looked at Pyrus with

"It's not about me. It's… actually about you." Pyrus finally told him.

"Me? What could it be that pains you so much?" Luminus inquired.

"Your son. He.. He-"

"He's what? Not qualified for the trials? Don't worry I expected that. That child doesn't have the ability to participate in the trials anymore anyway. Nothing can be done." Luminus sighed.

Pyrus had a guilty look in his eyes, but he continued, "He actually performed magnificently."

"He did what now?" Luminus was truly confused.

"But he has paid the worst price possible to pass." Pyrus looked down at the floor while he spoke.

"You can't mean- NO. It can't be true. Tell me you're lying. Please. You're joking aren't you?" Luminus clutched his head.

"I'm afraid not," Pyrus responded.

The man turned around with his messy golden hair flipping through the air. His simple red and gold colored robes fluttered in the air. The crest of the dragon wrapping around a sword on his robes came to life. The symbol of the Archmage emanated a powerful aura which intimidated even Pyrus.

"Call the council members to gather in the next half hour. Until then, please leave me be. I need to sort out my thoughts." Luminus commanded.

Sensing Luminus's aura intensifying further, Pyrus quickly left the room to do as he was told.

Luminus cast a barrier of sound within the room and began laughing. He laughed like a maniac for a few minutes, before his laughter transformed into tears.

"I failed you my beloved. I failed you. The first where I failed to protect our son. The where I failed to protect you. Now the third where I have failed to protect him again." Luminus cried as he looked at the portrait of his wife on his desk.

Luminus punched the wall numerous times to the point where his fists began bleeding. Even still he kept up his , until the wall broke.

Luminus then fell to the ground covering his eyes as he wept.

~~~~~~~

After a long while, the announcer once again reappeared. He readied himself after drinking a of water.

"All participants qualified for the Magi Trials will have their names called now. If you hear your name, please go to the podium in the front of the praetorium immediately to receive your token as proof of passing the aptitude test. We will be calling participants based on the ranking of their aptitudes as determined by the Grand Council.."

Pithar was waiting for this moment. He couldn't imagine the joy he would feel when he heard his name being called. He readied himself to go up at anytime. The announcer took out a long scroll and began to read out the names. The first name he called really surprised him.

"Aerin Dehma"

Aerin walked up to the podium in the front and received her token. She came back and sat next him. His mouth was literally frozen as he tried to comprehend what had just happened.

"Did I hear that right? Aerin first? Must be a joke." Pithar laughed to himslef.

"What're you laughing at?" Aerin asked him.

He turned to tell her that he'd thought that she'd actually been called first. How funny a joke that would have been. Then he saw the token in her hand which clearly denoted the number, one.

"What. The. Heck. You? Number One? How?" Pithar her stuttering constantly.

"You fool. Now, do you see my power? You still dare doubt me?" Aerin sarcastically laughed at him.

Pithar was still in a state of shock but soon overcame it as he heard the next name.

He was absolutely angered by the named that was called.

"Pyroth ;

Pithar could hear people whispering next to him. The direct grandson of the Grand Pyromancer had been called up He was definitely promising enough to the leader of the family in the future.

Pithar absolutely despised Pyroth. Every opportunity that he got, Pyroth enjoyed tormenting Pithar. He remembered days where Pyroth would burn his books just to make fun of him. He'd constantly call him names and bother him to no end.

Their conflicts had actually begun at an age that neither of them could even comprehend what a conflict was.

Though he despised Pyroth, he couldn't help but admit that the boy was indeed powerful. only to Tergo, the son of the strongest terramancer in the kingdom.

Pyroth sneered at him from the podium as he received his token. He knew he had surpassed Pithar and couldn't help but gloat.

Then the third person was called, Tergo. Then the fourth. Then the fifth.

Pithar crossed his fingers hoping that he'd make at least the top ten and still have some dignity left in front of Pyroth.

The sixth was called. Seventh. Eighth. Ninth. Tenth and still nothing. He wasn't in the top 10.

Aerin looked at him worried, but he told her not to worry too much. If not the top ten, then the top 20.

As the twentieth person was called, Pithar's heart sank. He prayed that he'd be graced with the top fifty., but another thirty names were called on. "I can still work with the top hundred," Pithar thought to himself

Even after a hundred, he still wasn't called. His head drooped to the table and lay there in dismay. Aerin swept through his hair attempting to comfort him. Pithar was honestly just confused. Why wasn't his name called? After how he had shocked the Grand Pyromancer, he should have been called by now.

"And our final participant, Golith Huneer.""

"Final?" Pithar "Did they just say final?"

After a short moment of , he walked up to the side of the podium and confronted one of the mages. At first, they were unsure of who had the audacity to walk straight up to them, but they soon Pithar as the son of the Archmage. Once they figured that out they took a step back and told Pithar to talk from a distance. They were attempting to escape something, but Pithar couldn't tell what. We'll have to check with the officials/. Please follow us to the back room," they told him.

Pithar did not know what awaited him in the back. All he knew was that it was his only chance.

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