I thought you all might enjoy the next installment of Levi’s story while I’m working on the next book list project (and waiting for these antibiotics to kick in after almost seven weeks of illness).
He got braces last week and a haircut yesterday. It’s like I have a full-fledged teenager on my hands! He is almost as tall as me, and his feet passed up mine some time ago. I’m not sure I’m coping. The quotes above express his personality so well.
Into the Menagerie
Canth strode into the receiving hall he had been directed to by a hassled-looking servant, who had told him that he might wait there till the lord of the keep came to that place as was required and commanded the servants to notify the resident Asura Krewe that the gate must be opened for a young man who was to be trained as a Ranger.
Canth was told that he might rest his feet on a stool which another tired-out servant procured from a nearby room. After a while of wait Canth was directed to meet the Lord of the Hold.
"Young man, you are the first new Trainee in five years!" boomed the Lord. "And we were not prepared for such a speedy arrival at this time of year!" Canth decided that he liked this man, for he had been hospitable even though his servants were exhausted.
"Thank you for receiving me so pleasantly," Canth replied. "But my new teacher must be waiting for me inside......."
"Oh, your teacher can wait, young man. I would like to make your acquaintance first."
"I am sorry, and I do not mean to be rude, but if your resident Asura Krewe have finished their task then I should be going," he notified the affronted Lord of the Hold.
"I understand young man. I will allow you to be on your way, but please do not mention that I detained your arrival to the Master Trainer. He would make me wish I had a different hold to care for than this castle on the border. It would weaken me to have to fight him off and still have the minotaurs to bother me in my harried state. I would'st prefer if thou think'est of me not as a pompous lord but as a friend." With those words the lord of the hold beckoned to Canth and strode through the halls to the room with the gate.
When they arrived in the room a surprise awaited Canth. He thought that he would be going through a normal-seeming castle gate that had a teleport spell cast upon it, but instead it was a circular frame of metal with a purple swirling energy inside.
The portal, since that was the proper name for the Asura Gate, glowed softly in the twilight, a thing of another world. The Asura in charge told him to step through. He did and felt a pull, like a strong tug, then he walked out of the other gate. This time he was inside the Menagerie.
Inside at last
Inside the Menagerie, birds twittered, deer and stags stalked through the forest, and Canth was in the midst of it all, on a journey into the heart of the forest. A journey to find the person who would teach him how to survive in the wild, find food. He had an apprenticeship to fulfill. An apprenticeship that was his and not another's.
He arrived in the heart of the forest and found a little house built into a hill, in a sixty foot wide clearing, with a round door, and beautifully kept plants in front. The house had a stump outside that had been perfectly shaped into a sort of chair, and there sat a man of about twenty-eight. Canth advanced and presented himself in front of the man, saluting and coming to attention.
"First lesson: don't salute or come to attention for me. If you were in sword school then you would have to do that, but here the rules are a little bit less formal. No officials allowed in here; they would want to disturb the peace by bringing heralds with trumpets, and many horses. That would frighten many of the animals on the Island. We use our proper names, not titles and surnames. And, unless we need to show rank in the corps, no saying ‘sir.’ My name is Peter Wolfwynd. Yours is Canth, correct?"
"Yes, it is.”
“Well, today we should start lessons with archery and a preview of Earth Magik."
Peter and Canth began lessons. Canth was a natural at Earth Magik, but archery would have to be worked on. When Peter saw that Canth was such a good student and that he could perform some of the more complex Magik and had some expertise in simple wilderness survival, he switched Canth's schedule to include more of this because these were what he himself was proficient in, and were what would be more time-consuming to learn.
[To be continued…]