The Descendant Of Elves
"You know this is your last chance to pass your exam this year Con! If you fail, you have to wait another year."
Con looked at the teachers up on the stands and nodded silently in response. All lights went out abruptly, and he was left in total darkness. This test was the final examination to receive the title of Magician. The layout of the test was easy. Con had received information about four different things: a name, a city, a place and time. The test was to get through an obstacle course from one side of the hall to the other. At each obstacle, there were instructions on how to go about to move on to the next one. The obstacle course consisted of physical exertion and logical thinking, and he knew he had a better physique than many of those who had already passed the test. What made the test difficult, was that there were other students hiding in the hall with one single task. They were using a magic designed to obtain the information that he had to keep a secret and Con would, in turn, with his magic, find out the names of the students.
He used his magic and contours and shapes were suddenly visible in the darkness. His magic began looking for the students while he stopped at the first obstacle. He saw the magic script in the air in front of him and read the instructions. He would fill a large tube with water from a bucket until something from the bottom of the tube came up to the surface. He filled the bucket with water and poured it into the tube.
The bucket was big and heavy and the tube was so high that he had to stand on the tip of his toes to pour the water inside. When he came back a second time to the tube he saw that most of the water had leaked from a hole in the bottom of the tube.
I have to move quickly in order to fill it up before all the water leakes out from the tube, he thought. Con hurried to fill the bucket, emptying it inside the tube and bring more water. He didn’t know how long he kept this up but eventually he got a hold of something that came up to the surface. It looked like a ball of feathers, and he stuffed it into his pocket and proceeded to the next obstacle. He was constantly aware of his magic and had found out that there were seven students in the hall and that one name was Thomas, and another, Ellen. The second task was to climb a rope. He was to climb up as far as he could, and attach the weird feathered ball before he could climb down.
Good thing I took it with me, otherwise I would have lost time in running back to get it.
He climbed as fast as he could and felt the weakening strength in his arms, he had after all, carried the heavy water bucket.
Henry! Now I have the name of three students ... only four remain. The next obstacle was a puzzle that would form a magical figure. There were only seven pieces, but it was easily done, it was no challenge and Con stood and tried combinations after combinations until he finally made it. The sweat ran down his forehead and stung in his eyes as he tried to blink away the drops.
Jill and Marten ... two to go!
The next challenge was to complete three magical spells in which some of the ingredients were missing. The first two were done quite easily, but the third was something he’d forgotten. He didn’t remember this spell, it was old and used very seldom. In pure desperation, his magic was looking up toward the stands and the teachers and after a brief moment he had the answer to the spell.
Renni! Now it's just one more left.
The final test consisted of a long thin board that hung ten feet up in the air with magic. He would build a stairway up to the board and then walk across the thin board to the other side and then he was done. Con stood still, looking at the different materials that would build a staircase.
There’s not enough. It’s not enough to make the stairs ... there must be more building materials somewhere.
He let his magic sweep the floor and indeed found more building blocks a distance away. He ran in the darkness, only guided by his magic sight, to the building blocks and started dragging them one by one until he had enough to finish the stairs. When the steps were done, he took it slowly.
One name to go! One name remains. Who are you? What is your name!
The Magic tried repeatedly to penetrate the last student protective shield but it was hard, so hard. He arrived at the top of the stairs and took his first steps out onto the thin board when he got the name.
He walked carefully across the board and jumped over to the other side. The lights came on and he looked up towards the stands where the teachers sat. Magicians of the third degree.
"Give us the names of the students Con!" echoed one of the teachers´ voices.
"The students are Thomas, Ellen, Henry, Jill, Marten, Renni and Joel," said Con loud and clear.
"Students! Are there any of you who have figured out a name, a city, a place or a time from Con? "
No student said anything. They fidgeted under the teachers' eyes and knew they would get additional homework and cleaning on their schedule in the coming weeks.
"Then I ask you to leave us alone with Con." The students quickly disappeared from the hall and Con stood still and waited tensely for their verdict.
"Con," one of the teachers said.
"Yes, Principal Chey," he replied.
"There’s one thing I want to ask you… I noticed that there was one magic formula that you didn´t remember. I sensed that you were searching for the answer from the students but none of them could know the answer... My question is: How did you manage to complete it?"
Con felt his pulse speeding up, and he didn´t know how the teachers would react to his answer.
"Principal Chey, in my urgent need for knowledge about the spell I turned to where knowledge was to be found," he responded cautiously.
Chey made eye contact with Con and got his question answered.
"You mean you snatched the answer from one of my colleagues," Chey laughed.
The other two teachers froze for a moment and looked intently at Con. He inspected his teachers with a weighing look. The spokesman was Magician Chey, Principal of the magic faculty here at the university. The remaining two teachers of magic were Professor Laney and Professor Cort.
Professor Laney was Con's mentor and the person he least of all wanted to disappoint today. Laney had never stopped believing in Con's skills even though he flunked the examination last fall. Laney was the only one who was fully conversant with Con's problem with magic. He had a magical barrier that sometimes hindered him in his magical studies; it could cause a problem with everything from simple to more advanced magic. The barrier reacted randomly and was completely unpredictable. It was, in other words, dangerous if he hadn’t learned to deal with it.
Laney and Con had managed to avoid the barrier on several occasions in recent times and they believed they had found a method that worked.
If I fail the exam, I won’t be able to get a job, thought Con sadly. He glanced at Laney before he looked at Chey.
"I got the magic formula from you, Principal Chey."
Professor Cort breathed loudly as a result from a long and inconvenient silence. Principal Chey stood like a statue, and didn’t say a word. The only indication that he’d heard what Con said was the slow spread of red color in his face. Con had never seen Chey angry before, and had the feeling that he wouldn´t want to see it again.
Laney cleared his throat loudly and took a step forward but was stopped suddenly when Chey raised his hand. The hand began to glow and a blue light surrounded Chey´s body where a weak little gray surface was visible in Chey´s protective barrier.
"It looks like you are telling the truth Con," hissed Chey.
"You pushed your magic undetected through my protective barrier and took the information. I've never had the need to guard myself during an exam in the past and was inattentive to something as bold as what you did to me. Do you think your student has acted correctly Professor Laney," he said, turning to his colleague.
"You know as well as I do, Principal Chey, that right or wrong is a gray area if you manage to get the information you need to fulfill a mission. Especially when national security…"
"National security!" cried Chey. "This was an exam!"
"But if he would pass this test, it may well be his profession in the future," said Cort thoughtfully.
"You accept this? Both of you?" said Chey with a startled voice. Cort and Laney looked at each other and nodded.
"Then you are two against one," said Chey. He turned his attention back towards Con and said nothing for a long while. Con felt that his future was hanging on a thread and the sweat ran over his body underneath his clothing.
"I was ready to accept you as Magician Con," said Chey.
"I am not so sure about how I feel that you used me as an instrument to solve your problem but you have proven that you have mastered sufficient control and knowledge to pursue studies in the specialization you are interested in or to work as a Magician of the first degree. I congratulate you Magician Con".
Principal Chey turned and left the room. Both Cort and Laney stepped forward and congratulated him with outstretched arms and friendly smiles. Con finally exhaled. He could fell some strain on his chest and hadn’t been aware that he’d held his breath. Professor Cort excused himself and left Laney and Con alone. They looked at each other for a while, Con was able to read in Laney´s facial expression and posture that he’d been as nervous about his magical barrier screwing everything up as he had been.
"I guess you are not aware of how impossible it would be for you to infiltrate Cheys consciousness Con. Had I not seen the evidence myself, I would have never thought that it was possible."
"But we have trained you and I. I've managed to gather information from you Laney," said Con.
"There are some differences between Principal Chey and me, Con. I am a magician of the Third degree... Chey is a magician of the Fifth degree, and I know I would not be able to get into his consciousness unnoticed."
Con stood with open mouth and stared at Laney.
"Principal Chey is a fifth-degree magician? I don’t understand..."
"Me either Con, your magic is not among the strongest here at the university and we both know that but... we know that your magic sometimes do things that we can’t really explain."
Laney looked at his watch and sighed loudly.
"Now I have to go to one of those boring lunches with one of our sponsors for the faculty and you have other classes to attend to I presume. Take care. See you tomorrow Magician Con, so don’t celebrate too much tonight."
Con watched his mentor walk away and he had the sensation of something unreal.
It can’t be true that I’m a Magician. Magician Con!
If someone else had been there in the hall, they’d have thought that the young man was completely out of his mind when he started to jump around and cheer.