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Over the Westrem Ocean: Book II of The Shards of Creation

Over the Westrem Ocean: Book II of The Shards of Creation

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Over the Westrem Ocean: Book II of The Shards of Creation

Lunghezza:
448 pagine
6 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jun 8, 2014
ISBN:
9781312262225
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Gracie Ann is one of Bara's most powerful magicians, and it will take every bit of her immense power to try and save her mentor and best friend Professor Abrim Adamson. Enjoy the adventure as two beings from two planets share a destiny that was written at the beginning of time. Their faith will be tested and in the end, it will be a supreme love that saves them both. Bara is a planet where magic rules, dragons soar through the air, and the forces of good and evil wage war for the souls of men. The hopes of all lay with a powerful teenager and an ancient man; both blessed by God and both in need of each other.
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jun 8, 2014
ISBN:
9781312262225
Formato:
Libro

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Anteprima del libro

Over the Westrem Ocean - Timothy Vian

Grace

Gracie Ann began to fidget and squirm again. This was the third time in an hour her mother admonished her. Honestly Gracie Ann! Queen Isabella said, raising a disapproving eyebrow. How are you ever going to be a proper lady if you cannot learn to sit still for more than twenty minutes?

Gracie Ann rolled her eyes at her mother as only teenagers can. She smoothed out the ruffles on her dress, which she hated wearing as the rough fabric scratched her neck and constricted her in unnatural ways; something only fashion could be blamed for. But I don’t want to be a ‘proper lady,’ she whined. Can I go to sword practice now?

The small room off her mother’s chambers was arranged as a makeshift classroom. Today’s lesson was on needlepoint. A small wooden hoop stretched linen fabric upon which Gracie Ann practiced.

Her mother commented that her needlepoint up to now had been less than stellar, in fact it was downright awful. No two stitches were alike and a straight line might as well have been a foreign concept.   

What am I going to do with you? Her mother gently laughed. You know the only way for you to practice swordplay is to also practice the graceful arts. That was our agreement. One day you will be Queen and the gentry will expect proper decorum of their leader.

The gentry can take care of themselves Mother, Gracie Ann responded haughtily. I want to help everyone else. Her lip was set in a stubborn and defensive position.

Of course dear. The diminutive Queen ignored her daughter’s whining and facial protests. Gracie Ann might have towered over her mother, but there was no doubt who was in charge. Now, let us practice the blanket stitch once again, said the Queen softly. Gracie Ann groaned but begrudgingly began her needlepoint.

A soft knock interrupted the lesson mid-stitch. As Queen Isabella rose to answer she gave her daughter instructions. Make ten perfect stitches and I will allow you go to sword practice. Humming as she left the small ante-room, the Queen opened the door to find Calista, her lady in waiting. She was holding a tray of small morsels to snack on before lunch. The two friends chatted for a few moments before the Queen returned with the tray to check on Gracie Ann’s progress.

Gracie Ann was nowhere to be found, but her ten perfect button stitches were left haphazardly on her seat. Isabella picked up the fabric, smelling the magic on it. She giggled. Gracie Ann was going to be a handful these next couple of years.

Gracie Ann grumbled to herself as she raced down the hallway to her room. She hated stitching. She disliked anything that made her sit still for long periods of time, except reading. Ever since she returned to Bara and rescued her parents from Nirgali, she’d found herself restless to learn new things. Her new-found love was the art of swordplay and it had taken all of her persuasive abilities—which were substantial—to talk her mother and father into it.

Her father was easy, her mother was not. The Queen finally agreed after extracting a promise from her daughter to continue instruction in the ‘finer points of court life’. Gracie Ann was not convinced it was a fair trade. She detested many ‘skills’ she had to learn. What good was needlepoint anyway when she could magically create almost anything she wished. Or why should it matter who sits where and why during a state dinner? And whose idea was it to learn the fine art of table setting?

Upon reaching her bedroom, she pulled off her horrid dress, slipping into the leather jerkin and breeches Captain Escariot required for practice. Brown soft-soled calf-high boots were much more comfortable than her dress slippers, and pants were quickly becoming her favorite clothing choice.

Looking in the mirror, she smiled at what she saw. Her long blonde hair was braided away from her face. Her shoulders were square, hips small, and back straight. At five foot ten inches tall, she looked every bit a fighter, even at twelve. Her body skipped the normal awkward teenage shape as her height was already in proportion to her feet. She attributed some to eating a certain apple four years ago.

Grabbing her weapons—a sheathed rapier and a broad sword—she sprinted through the halls toward the training room. The more observant servants who saw her coming yelled a warning while flattening themselves against the narrow rock and plaster passageways, which were not built with an energetic twelve year old in mind. They had encountered her exuberance before, the castle healer had treated many a sore shoulder of those blindsided by the streak known as Gracie Ann.

Gracie Ann struck an en garde pose holding her stoppered practice rapier slightly above waist level. The tip pointed at her opponent in the triangle position with her offhand dagger completing the shape. Circled by the entire class in the large practice arena for soldiers in training, her eyes never left her combatant, a particularly large and fast boy named Edan. Edan was the class bully. He’d taken Captain Escariot’s words given during her first day in the class seriously: Gracie Ann may be your princess, but in this classroom, she is just another fighter in training. You will treat her no differently, or you will answer to me.

Most of the class was respectful to her. They treated each other as equals—as did Edan; he was equally mean to everyone. Edan was the worst kind of bully; he was good and knew it. Edan had been training since he was eight. And now at eighteen, he was completing his last year before joining the fighting ranks as an officer.

Early on he'd risen to the top of his class and it had gone to his head. He reveled in the power he had over the others. Any slip-up and he was sure to give his opponent a nasty bruise, as well as a tongue lashing on their shortcomings as a fighter.

On the other hand, Gracie Ann had only been in training for two years and was already in the advanced class. There were rumors that she used magic to enhance her abilities, although she and Captain Escariot knew the truth. She pushed herself hard, the only magic used was an inherent part of Gracie Ann; manifesting itself as speed, flexibility, reflexes, and agility. She had a natural talent and athleticism that rivaled most.

It was this natural talent and an unrelenting drive that put her with third-year students within two months; fifth by a year. By twenty-four months she was in the top class, her body and mind a sponge, no information forgotten or wasted. While the other boys were in classes she did not need, she was able to focus primarily on fighting and sparring. She immersed herself in learning every weapon available, as well as hand-to-hand training.

Sparring with partners, she found each boy a challenge and enjoyed them as such, but not Edan. Her very first encounter with him had gone poorly. Edan was exceptionally strong and fast: a tough combination to begin with, deadly in Edan’s case. She had let her guard down for an instant. He made her pay with a nasty slap to her side, leaving both a welt and bruise for a week. She refused to magically heal herself, but instead wore it as a reminder. She wanted to remember his taunts and viewed them as a challenge. This is no place for a girl, much less a ‘princess’ your Highness, he would say with a mocking bow. Go back to your other studies, like making doilies or napkins. He had an annoying laugh, which only made her more determined.

That nasty encounter was four months ago; today was his final exam. He was required to choose three students to fight in succession using a long sword and had to beat all three in order to pass. His choices had to also be granted by the sword master. Edan wanted to beat the best.

First he chose Chad, a good and light natured boy from Lake Terriene, a fishing village which was also Captain Escariot’s home. He was excellent and had some fascinating moves that were hard to defend. Problem was, Edan knew all the right counters. Chad chose a dagger for his off-hand weapon, while Edan used his familiar buckler.

The battle was over within seconds. Chad lay on the ground in agony from a knock to his ribs as Edan walked back smugly to his ready position. Some of the other young men helped Chad off the floor as he held his side. Trying to appear brave, he sucked in air almost passing out from the excruciating pain. The pain soon subsided and disappeared. Standing up tall, he told everyone he was fine as he positioned himself back in line.

Gracie Ann had turned around so no one could see her eyes glow that unnatural blue every time she used magic. She was glad she was the only one able to see the magical emanation that entered Chad’s body, easing his pain and healing the broken rib.

For his second duel, Edan chose one of his favorite students to pick on, Abert. Abert was from Chowph, a coastal city and a major port of Deneth. Although Abert was incredibly athletic, he had the unfortunate problem of stuttering.

He was teased mercilessly by Edan. Again, the fight was over within moments as Abert grabbed his arm from a vicious hit by the wooden practice swords. Edan laughed and mocked Abert. Y-y-ou all, all, all right? Abert grimaced, walking away slowly

For his final challenge, he chose Gracie Ann. She was not the best, nor in the top ten of the class, but was improving each day. Captain Escariot at first refused to allow the fight, but Gracie Ann persuaded him. I will be careful, she whispered to him. Staring into her face, there was a silent command there. He acquiesced.

Under Captain Escariot’s baleful watch, the two faced each other in the combat ring.

Her mind was now fully focused on the fight. Gracie Ann had been watching Edan for a while and was annoyed that Edan did something that good swordsmen never do; he began combat with his sword tip facing the ground. It was an arrogance that told an opponent he had no respect for their ability. Gracie Ann kept her rapier at waist level, tip pointed at her opponent.

Circling each other, Edan began taunting her again, his words trying to anger and distract. You are my princess, but today I am your better. Remember me when you become Queen. I will then be the captain of your guard.

Not likely, she thought as her mind tried to stay focused and not allow his words to affect her. Edan took a half-hearted swing at Gracie Ann, which was easily dodged. She did admire his swordsmanship, but hated his arrogance. Knowing she was not fast enough to beat him in a protracted fight, she relied on one talent he could not match; intelligence. Her quick reflexes and acumen gave her an advantage over most, with the ability to think her way through situations as fast as most people reacted.

Continuing to circle each other, Edan once again lowered his point, daring Gracie Ann to attack. If she took the bait, he was most likely to get a free shot with the buckler at either her ribs or arm. Normally, those that use the offhand buckler use it as a defensive weapon, but not Edan, he used it offensively and quite well.

They continued this way for another fifteen seconds or so, Edan waiting for Gracie Ann to take the bait. Gracie Ann knew how to be patient when the need arose and focused on her balance and positioning.

You should stop now and resign. You know this is going to hurt. She gave nothing away to acknowledge his taunts.

He tried again. You know, I have always admired your father, but why the Queen could not have given him a son is beyond me. She continued to answer his baiting with silence.

Impatience began to creep into his voice. I respect Captain Escariot, but why he allowed a girl into the training room is a mystery. You don’t belong here. Today, I am going to prove that to you.

He suddenly lunged at her taking a vicious swipe at her midsection. She easily leapt back and let his blade go by. Thinking that he would recoil, he instead reversed the swing toward her in a backhand position. This not only left his buckler useless, but allowed her to use her rapier to deflect the sword. Catching it on her pommel she pushed him off balance just enough to swipe her dagger toward his midsection. He leapt out of the way just in time.

He grimaced. Impatience taking its toll on Edan. Raising his sword in the en garde position he began circling her again. He was now bound and determined to make her hurt.

He was the aggressor, the hunter, the punisher.

Stalking Gracie Ann with cat-like precision, he stayed on the balls of his feet, his muscles coiled and ready to spring.

She knew what was coming. She had seen him do it many times before, and was in awe of his reflexes and speed. But, she also knew the counter move and had been practicing it for days. He would swing in with his sword in a feint to her head; she would move to block it with her rapier. He would then push his buckler up over his head blocking her sword and finish his opponent by thrusting his sword into her stomach. A dangerous and fast move.

She did not have to wait too long. He swung his sword toward her head. Instead of raising her sword or knife to block it, she side-stepped to the left pushing his sword away with hers and stabbing with her knife into his side.

The blade struck home. For safety reasons, all the practice blade points had wooden stoppers on them, otherwise the blade would have dug deep into his side just under his right lung. Captain Escariot raised his hand signifying the fight’s end. Gracie Ann smiled as she bowed to the Captain in salute. She turned to bow to Edan, but he just stood there, his mouth open in disbelief.

She shrugged when he did not return the customary bow and walked away to the cheering students who all came over to congratulate her.

Cheat! Edan eventually yelled. I say she cheated.

Captain Escariot glared at the young man. Proof? he demanded.

She used her magic and was able to deflect my blow. I felt my blade move on its own.

Gracie Ann walked back over to Edan and stood face to face with him, anger welling up inside her. Edan, I did not use my magic on you, she said slowly and deliberately. Your move was one you have used way too often and I figured out a counter. You should not be so arrogant.

Edan’s face glowed red in anger as Gracie Ann turned and walked away from him. A flicker out of the corner of her eye and a warning from a student was all she needed to protect herself. The flat edge of his sword bounced off her magically shielded shoulder as Edan screamed the word liar.

She turned, unharmed. In an instant Edan flew to the ceiling, hitting it rather hard.

Captain Escariot glared at Edan, his own sword drawn.

Back down Captain, Gracie Ann growled, instantly taking charge, her voice reverberating through the room. Nodding, he obediently re-sheathed his sword and backed away.

Edan slowly floated down, stopping at her eye level, his body parallel to the ground. His eyes no longer shone anger, replaced instead with worry. He knew he had stepped over the line.

Edan! Her eyes flashed blue. Your pride and arrogance have made you useless to me and my father’s army. Would you be banished or sent to the mines of Teyman?

Edan didn’t say a word. He gulped and his eyes told the whole story. The bully finally found his equal and beyond. She allowed him to see into her eyes, down through to her magical source. He began to tremble as he witnessed the awesome and terrible energies swirling inside her.

Four years ago a guard attacked and tried to kill me. I showed him mercy. I will show you that same mercy. I banished him from the kingdom, but he bravely returned and repented. What happens to you will be your decision.

She nodded to Captain Escariot. With the Captain as witness, I hereby strip you of your upcoming commendation and rank. You now have a choice. You can be sent to reside with a man named Dov and return to take up your studies again when he states you are ready, or you may leave the kingdom never to return.

With that she turned and left. As the door closed he dropped to the floor like a sack of flour. He lay their unwilling to move when he noticed a pair of leather boots standing in front of him. He looked up as Abert returned his gaze from above. Expecting a taunting laugh, he was surprised when Abert offered his hand. He took it. Standing, he smiled meekly. Abert grimly nodded to him and walked away as did the entire class. Only Captain Escariot remained.

Edan could not face the eyes of his teacher. Edan, even if you had defeated Gracie Ann, I would not have given you a commission. You should feel grateful, this is your one chance to set things right. Get cleaned up, and if you choose, meet me in my quarters. I will give you a letter and directions for your departure in the morning. You may leave.

Edan left, his massive shoulders sagging and his head hung low.

The Captain smiled. Well done, my Princess, he whispered.

Returning to her room, Gracie Ann was mad. She wiped her brow and stomped through the halls. Although she was still frothing, she was pleased with how she’d dealt with Edan. She was fairly certain that Dov would be the best hope to teach the young hothead humility and patience. Something about a three thousand year old giant could grab anyone’s attention.

Still, she hated having it end that way. Edan was an extraordinary fighter and could become a great asset to the kingdom, but not as an arrogant fool who could get himself and others killed.

She opened her bedroom door and was greeted by her best friend Daphne lying on her bed grooming her nails. Hey, she said with her usual cheery smile.

The little blond girl was the same age as Gracie Ann, though you could not tell. Gracie Ann was tall, muscular and athletic. Daphne was not even five foot, petite with the looks of a little girl. Her father was the king of Oldam, the land directly south of Deneth. Their fathers were close friends and the two girls had become kindred spirits as well. They got along like sisters, fights and all, and when not studying, or when Gracie Ann was with the Professor, they were inseparable. They even shared Gracie Ann’s room and slept on the same bed, which was big enough for fifty.

You look a mess, Daphne stated simply. No rancor or malice was in her voice, just her honest opinion which Gracie Ann mostly enjoyed, even when it was a bit abrupt.

Yeah, I just finished arms training, she said with a growl.

Ugh, Daphne stated, voicing her obvious distaste of fighting. She brushed a blonde curl out of her eyes. Why you would want to play swords with boys is beyond me.

I like beating up boys at times, Gracie Ann replied, almost jokingly.

Boys aren’t for beating up, they are for ordering around, Daphne responded. Gracie Ann chuckled, her anger slowly dissipating. Daphne was the type of girl who always got her way around boys. They fawned over her all the time. Gracie Ann thought it silly.

As good a friend as each other was, they could not be more opposite. Daphne enjoyed courtly training. She was an accomplished seamstress and had already mastered many graceful arts, whereas Gracie Ann was woefully and purposefully ignorant.

Gracie Ann decided a hot bath would relieve her tension. Afterwards, as she brushed her long blonde hair out, she told Daphne of the events that took place and her decision to send Edan to Dov.

Could not have happened to a nicer guy, Daphne quipped sarcastically after Gracie Ann finished. Do you think Dov can help him?

I hope so. Edan might be an asset to the kingdom someday, but not now. Now he would only be useful as target practice, she smirked. She continued in a more serious tone. If Dov cannot help him, no one can. I definitely will be praying for him.

Daphne agreed. God will have to dig into an arrogant heart, but with Dov’s help, Edan should be all right.

Gracie Ann’s mind wandered back to the first time she met the giant from Earth. His countenance was like a calm sea during a hurricane.

Have you told your parents about your dreams yet? Daphne said, changing the subject.

Gracie Ann’s mind snapped back to the present as she continued to brush her hair out. No, but I will soon. I hate to worry them, but maybe they’ll understand. I haven’t even told the Professor.

Honestly? Daphne said, surprised. She knew how close Gracie Ann and the Professor had become. Gracie Ann was the Professor’s pupil in several subjects, as well as his teacher in magic. Although at this point he probably knew more about magic than even she.

How are your studies going? Gracie Ann asked. Gracie Ann was proud of her friend who was a rare student whose magical abilities manifested at an early age. She’d been eleven years old when she discovered she could move objects with her mind. Her parents decided to send her to the Professor’s school to control and hone her abilities.

Gracie Ann knew that most magicians who discover magic at too early an age do not have the mental capabilities to control it. If left unchecked, there could be disastrous results, including and not limited to insanity. Maybe this was why most magicians were awkward around social settings?

Daphne was fortunate that she had a strong mind and a fairly large pool of energy. It was also fortune that her talents only included manipulation and healing. Anything more could have been problematic she would not have been able to contain or control the swirling energies that bubbled below the surface of her mind.

They are fine. The Professor is an amazing teacher and is so patient. He works me, but is also forgiving. I make a lot mistakes.

He is forgiving, but only because you’re younger. He can be quite harsh to the older students. They should know better not to do certain things, and when they ignore his teaching, he gets grumpy.

Daphne nodded. I saw him berate a third year student for conjuring the wrong item. It was not pretty.

Magic is dangerous, and those students need to learn that. They could conjure something that explodes and either hurt themselves, or someone else.

Yes, I know. But I guess I’m not as excited to be a magician as the others. I want to use it to help, but I don’t want it do define me. How do you stay so driven?

Gracie Ann thought about it for a while. I don’t know why I push myself so hard. I always have. Maybe it’s because I’m the king’s daughter and I feel it’s my duty.

I’m a king’s daughter too, but I don’t feel that obligation.

Gracie Ann nodded. She had heard this before. The Professor had talked to her about her drive and need for perfection. She tried changing, but it was an integral part of her. She demanded self perfection and berated herself often for failures. Odd part is that she demanded much from those around her, but was willing to excuse their failures, just not her own. Perhaps another talk with the Professor would help.

Off in the distance the bell tower chimed signaling midday. Are you going to join us for lunch? Gracie Ann asked, moving toward the door.

No, I have an etiquette lesson with Calista, she replied, perking up as she jumped out of bed. She primped her hair in the full length mirror walking to the door with Gracie Ann.

Say hello to Aldor for me, he will most likely be near her.

Daphne smiled. Oh, he will be. Never failed yet. Do you think he will ever get the courage to ask for her hand?

Gracie Ann shrugged. I don’t understand any of that, so I’m not sure.

The two girls hugged and went their separate ways.

Gracie Ann sat at the dinner table with her father and mother enjoying a nice lunch when an explosion shook the entire castle. Neither of the three moved an eyelash except to keep the water glasses from tipping over. This seemed to have become a rather common occurrence.

Gracie Ann dear, her father said calmly, his eyes furrowed. Could you please ask the Professor to take his more dangerous experiments outside? I don’t think the castle help is going to take much more of this. I would hate to be overthrown because of frightening experiments by an absent minded teacher.

Yes father, she replied, smiling. Truth was, the Professor’s experiments excited her. He had found a cache of books from the king’s ex-advisor and Gracie Ann’s former instructor, Nirgali. The number and breadth of books were staggering. At least one hundred were on various forms of magic, spells, potions, and treatises. Most important were the offensive and defensive spells. Some of the books were chemically oriented; no magic required, which is what the Professor was experimenting with at the moment.

After lunch she raced down to the Professor’s laboratory and sleeping quarters. Not bothering to knock she entered and laughed at what she saw. The Professor sat there studying a leather-bound book oblivious that part of his experiment was still on fire. She spoke a spell and smothered the ill-fated experiment. The Professor, whose face was blackened with soot, eyebrows singed, and coat still smoldering, never even noticed that Gracie Ann had walked in. How he did not blow himself up completely was a mystery, she thought.

Gracie Ann sat on the stool next to her mentor. So what did you discover this time?

Eh? he replied, finally noticing her. A broad smile broke over his face. Hey, how are you?

I am doing well, but Father has had it with your experiments inside the castle. I think we need to relocate your school somewhere safe, where explosions will not damage the calm of the staff, or bring the castle down upon our heads.

The Professor laughed. He had become increasingly absent minded since coming to Bara. He attributed part of it to the novelty of magic that seemed to become an addiction to him. So much so that he started a school for young and gifted magicians.

In three years his enrollment increased to one hundred and twenty. Most students were in their twenties since magic usually doesn’t manifest itself until the late teens or early twenties. In some cases younger students developed magical talents as early as twelve, but he only had three of those, including Gracie Ann’s friend Daphne.

His five year course was rigorous and tough. The classes were not always about magic either. The Professor had a comprehensive course structure that included other disciplines: history, grammar, economics, art, music, theology, and science. The instructors he employed were also as rigorous as he and the students seemed to enjoy the challenge.

Since the school was on a five year rotation, no one had yet graduated, except Gracie Ann. The Professor had little to teach her in the ways of magic and she read every book he had on the subject within her first year of school. Most of her schooling now dealt with situational ethics and hypothetical scenarios. These mental games were fun for both of them.

She tried music as she had been fascinated with the piano ever since he conjured one in Bvuyhen. But she soon gave up as practicing took too much patience for her. She loved listening to the Professor play, and that was good enough for her.

Does your father have a place for me to build my school? the Professor asked.

She nodded. Yes. We are going to convert some of the farm land outside the castle for the school. Already your next years enrollment numbers for new students are twice what they have been so far and father believes in what you are doing. Teaching magicians to be responsible and safe is so vital, especially after the problems we had with the Rasheph cult. She shivered a bit at the memory of her battle with Nirgali and his followers years earlier.

The Professor sighed. Yes, and with the hiring of new staff, if I ever need to leave, the school will be able to continue.

Why would you need to leave? Gracie Ann asked, suspicion creeping into her voice.

I am not going to do it voluntarily, but we have been silent far too long. I have a feeling something is coming. Call it intuition.

Extremely old intuition, Gracie Ann quipped, a mischievous grin invoking a challenge.

The Professor looked at her sternly. If you weren’t one of the most powerful magicians on this planet, I would punish you.

Gracie Ann laughed. All right, I give. She grabbed a piece of paper. Draw up the plans for your school and I’ll finish it within the next couple of weeks.

The Professor smiled. He sometimes wished he had the power that Gracie Ann had, but the cost seemed steep. He was glad, in certain aspects, he was her sidekick.

Professor, I need you to come to dinner tonight. I have something important to discuss with you and my parents. The Professor was always invited to dinner, but many times he lost track of time due to his experiments. He never forgot to see her father every morning though. They had become fast friends and her father relied heavily on his vast knowledge and wisdom.   

The Professor looked up at her. Is everything all right?

I think so, she replied. I just need your advice.

I will be there.

Do I need to send a reminder? she asked, her mouth set in a slight smirk.

I will remember, he replied. Promise.

She laughed as she left. She set a magical reminder above his head. She knew him too well.

Truth was, the Professor was not doing well. He felt his mind unravelling. Memories that had been dear to him, or would have been dear to him if he could still remember, were slipping away like sand through open fingers.

He had sought out the castle healer, an elderly lady named Selma, but she could not discover anything physically wrong with him or his mind. None of her remedies helped either. He swore her to secrecy, and so far no one else knew of his malady.

The memory block on his mind, or amnesia, was starting to spread. He could almost see and feel a black wall moving forward. It was becoming increasingly more difficult to keep ahold of his sanity. The wall seemed to be huge, swallowing memories of faces, events, sounds, smells, and voices of the past. He had written down some memoirs for some students a couple of years ago, and when he reread them a while back, he could not recall those memories. He remembered writing them down, but he had no recollection of having lived through them.

His fight with Ur’Aima in Ai deeply troubled him. He remembered his battle in the fishing village of Bvuyhen, and knew that he had fought him in the past, but he no longer had any recollection of that first fight. Joshua’s face dimmed and faded like an old photograph. The ancient Israelites of the Exodus were now on the other side of the curtain, no memory existed. It was also evident that this was not dementia. All his memories were being erased from the furthest to the present, as if the chapters of his life were slowly being ripped out of a book, page by page.

His frustration was boiling over. Tonight he was going to ask King Minas for a leave so he could seek out Cethedra, the giant queen of the dragons. He believed she was the only being on the planet with the possible knowledge on how to help him. Problem was, he didn’t know where her lair was, only hints that it was over the Westrem Ocean, somewhere on the Eastern Continent.

He did feel fortunate that he remembered all of the spells he had learned, but no matter what, he could not find a cure for the problem. He sighed and bowed his head in silent prayer.

He gave thanks for everything that had happened the past four years. His life had taken on such a different meaning since coming to Bara. He was fascinated by magic and by the different types of learning.

The treasure trove of books he found were amazing, and even the books and manuscripts King Minas had in his library kept him busy. He even found some original copies of Biblical letters, including one of the book of Luke and Acts. He remembered having them copied before the original was stolen. He recognized the penmanship of

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