From Prince to Apprentice (Part 1)Mature

Monstroth looked back at the large walls that hid the Capitol. He was going to miss those towering walls that protected the children of Faerein. They were all he had known, in truth. Aside from books and reports, Monstroth had never once seen the lands outside of the desert. Sands, he hadn't even seen all of the desert! 

To his side, the Sovereign of Mineral stood. He was shorter than Monstroth, like everyone outside their family, but gave off an intimidating aura. It seemed to force anyone who looked at him to be in awe. The man was bald, with not a speck of a hair on his head, and had an expression that could be just a rock carved into a face. Maybe that helped him maintain that aura...

"By the sands I have grown," Monstroth said before turning from his precious home, "By the sands I will win."

The Sovereign gave him an odd look. "Isn't that a ritual for leaving warriors that anticipate battle?" His voice didn't have a hint of... well, anything to it. It was bland. That was the only word that could describe the lack of emotion or tone. Was he a Void user as well? 

"I have a feeling I am going to encounter battle, Master," Monstroth said grimly. He had heard reports that Rhazin had escaped. It had been a week since the Kings death, so that made everybody suspect his friend even more. And to make matters worse, someone was sabotaging the investigation into the assassination. Not the attacks that happened throughout the city - just the assassination. This wasn't going to end well. 

"Smart words," the Sovereign said. "Let us be off. I don't fancy being in the desert." Such an odd man. He was the most powerful user of Mineral on the face of Mounseik, yet he preferred lavish surroundings. In the castle, he had taken up residence in the nicest available room. Was he a Tav lord or something before he had begun his apprenticeship?

They began the journey through the desert, bags containing food and water on Monstroth's back. The Sovereign had said that they might as well use his large stature for something useful. Sadly, Monstroth had to leave his armor behind. He wore a pair of breeches and a tight silk shirt under his large robe. It was for the suns rays, really. The sand, as per his new master's orders, didn't touch them. Using Mineral for something so trivial seemed wasteful, but Monstroth figured it was some sort of training exercise. 

Then again, the man probably just didn't want to bother getting dirty.



"Where are you from originally?"

The man walked in silence for a moment, as if contemplating his answer. "Tav."

Monstroth stopped, barely holding on to his anger. "You're from Tav?! Are you going to sell us out!? You heard every bit of our plans of attack! Sands!" Monstroth gritted his teeth. There had to be an explanation. Maybe he was an outcast?

The Sovereign laughed a little. It was a sound that seemed... sinister. "Your first lesson is to forget your origin, Monstroth." The man looked back at the towering walls that had nearly vanished from sight. "A Sovereign is something that exists outside of the kingdoms. We don't help or harm any of them. Instead, we give guidance to those who ask." He eyed Monstroth hard. "But we NEVER give advice that will harm another."

Monstroth calmed himself a little. Yeah, that made sense. But still, how was he expected to believe that completely. If the situation was reversed and Monstroth had been a Sovereign who heard the Tav's plans for attack on his home... He would have definitely told his uncle that- Er... Father. He would have told his father the plans. It was only right!

"Right is not something for you to decide yet," the Sovereign said. Damn Mind Mystic. Monstroth's head wasn't even safe. "Right and wrong are circumstantial. Almost everybody thinks that their choice is the right one. Like that boy who killed your king. He was-"

"Innocent!" Monstroth interrupted forcefully. "There was someone controlling him." 

The Sovereign eyed him, then continued talking. "People make the choice they think is right. It's our job to travel and offer advice. We do not tell them what to do, but instead encourage them onto a better path. Understand?"

"How do we know what path is right?"

"When you understand things like I do, you will know." The way the Sovereign had said that seemed to indicate he was done talking, so Monstroth didn't press any further.

They walked for hours on end. Sandreavers, the annoying things, often came to bite at Monstroth's feet. Luckily, he had been allowed to keep his metal boots, so their little mouths did little before he stomped on them. Their long bodies looked like a smaller version of a serpent and blended with the sand, so it was hard to spot them before they tried to bite. 

"Blasted creatures," Monstroth cursed. 

"Try using the sand where you place your foot. Make it rigid so there are no echoes through the earth." 

Monstroth did as instructed and was surprised that no more sandreavers came. It was like they just stopped wanting his blood. How had he known they use the sound of footsteps to track prey? Monstroth could barely hear his own footsteps as it was. 

It was silent for an hour after that. Of course, not completely silent. The sand still whirled around them. The sun lay low in the sky, so there were calls from the surrounding area of wolves journeying into the desert for the night. It was a good sign. They were nearing an oasis. The first checkpoint for leaving, from what Monstroth had read. Finally. He was getting tired of the silence. He could talk to some of the people who made the oasis their home. There was always a few. 

The End

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