For Now.

Raistled

No one asked about my past, and for that I am... dare I say it... thankful. There were things in my past that even I didn't want to know about.

We, and by we I mean the group of completely unrelated strangers, decided to travel along with the girl and her lunatic captor. Each had his reasons and I didn't believe for a second that they were all benign.

Mine certainly weren't.

Magicians become magicians for a few, rather obvious, reasons.

1. Because they have power.
2. Because they want power.
3. They have a fascination with magical objects.

Some, like myself, possessed all three.This sword was clearly magical. It couldn't be removed by a man, nor even a dragonspawn. Yet some girl had easily pulled it from its resting place. I was curious, and quite simply...

I wanted it.

There were quite a few skilled individuals here, but I had no doubts that I could steal a sword and escape. However, before I saddled myself with something I knew nothing of, I decided to journey with this ramshackle group and increase my knowledge concerning the artifact.

After traveling awhile, the group settled down for the night. I meditated on my spells, re-committing them to memory. By the time I had finished the others had blissfully drifted off to sleep.

How easy it would be to kill them all where they lay. I stood, grabbing my staff, and for a second I had made up my mind to do it. But I stopped myself, and began to curse my own hunger and stupidity.

I knew it was unwise, but I didn't care. I couldn't get my mind off of the chance that I had. I needed a distraction. So rustled through my pouch and pulled out the book I had been about to unlock.

It was white, with touches of green that swirled across the front and back covers. My own spellbooks were black and like this one they were locked. The adage used by thousands who had no talent whatsoever was very true to one of power.

A magician never revealed his secrets.

He hid them. Stored them. Wrote them down and concealed them to ensure that the one who could break his enchantment was at least as strong as he was. This way the few of us who remained could only ever grow stronger.

Protection spells could take on many forms.

Some required finesse: Only a magician skilled in moving power around carefully and precisely could break it.
Others required blunt, yet sheer, power.
Some required cunning.
Some required the practitioner to take risks.

All were deadly if approached with stupidity. I stared at the book in my hands, the first task would be to probe it with my mind, to find out what I needed to unlock the secrets within. This book was very dear to me... it was a last hope of sorts. The runes on the front, those I could read in any case, said that this book was the property of so-and-so, and that it contained all spells relating to... healing.

Perhaps it contained a cure for my co-

"What are you doing?" My head snapped up, and my staff was raised in a second. The thief girl was looking up at where I still stood.

"Nothing. Go back to sleep." I said as I turned and walked to one of the trees. I sank down and set my things beside me. I pretended to close my eyes, but I watched the girl through slits as she stared at me with a mixture of curiosity and suspicion.

I would have to be careful around her. She would have to be careful around me.

I would allow her to live... for now.

The End

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