From Prince to Apprentice (Part 2)Mature

"Do you know what gives Mineral Mystic users their power?"

Monstroth nearly jumped. They were almost an hour away from the oasis, so the larger man hadn't been thinking about the man who was now his master. It had surprised him to hear the man ask a question so suddenly. "The earth?"

The bald man shook his head. "That's too generic an answer, boy." For some reason, Monstroth didn't feel odd when the Sovereign - who was half his own mass - called him 'boy.' Then again, the man made Monstroth feel like a kid again. He might as well be anyway.

"Too generic? What do you mean, Master?"

The Sovereign pulled a handful of sand from the desert ground with his Mystics. It floated around his hand for a moment like a serpent surround it's prey in water before settling in the dry palm of the Sovereign's hand. "When we pull the earth, we use the minerals inside as our anchors. This is why it was called Mineral Mystics. Understand?"

Monstroth nodded, pulling some sand from the ground. It was odd, really. Though he had been manipulating sand and rocks since childhood, he had never known this little fact. In fact, he never cared to learn. Now, though, he was strangely fascinated by this little piece of information. "How do we move the mineral, though?"

A smile split the Sovereign's face. It was a little dark, to be honest. "All minerals are connected. We simply use our Mystic to make ourselves more like the minerals and form our own connection to manipulate the 'location.' Understand?"

Monstroth nodded. That made sense. But... now he was more curious. "What about Plasma Mystic? How does it work?"

The Sovereign nodded. Why did he nod? "Good question. I am not entirely sure on this, but I believe that it's similar to how we manipulate the sand." The Sovereign let the sand in his hand drop. "You would have to ask someone more instructed in that Mystic, as I lack access to it."

Well, that was disappointing, but it made Monstroth feel better about the shoes he would fill. He didn't have to know everything, it seemed, and if he got a good control over his own Plasma Mystic, then he would have more time to become a memorable Sovereign. What other Mystics did his Master have, though?

As if sensing this question, the Sovereign cut his chance to ask off. "I don't know any Mystic other than Mineral. I was a specialist before being Sovereign."

"What is it like, being one?" Monstroth was curious now. He usually focused on one thing at a time, but now he wanted to focus on learning anything. 

The Sovereign seemed to think on this. "It's like being born into money. You don't have to work so hard to get it. It's something you just get used to. Like a given right." The bald man smiled his evil smile. "You don't have any of that anymore, you know."

Monstroth avoided his master's eyes. "I know. Riches aren't important anyway."

That seemed to surprise the Sovereign, though only his eyes showed it. Maybe this man didn't like being replaced. It made sense. No one liked giving up their position. Even his greatmother, Galvure, despite her great achievements, clung to the throne until she left for Paradise. Monstroth would have to endure this. 

The oasis town came into view after the two men passed over another of the desert's hills. At first it was a simple flicker of light that was barely able to be seen through the gentle sandstorm, of course. It took a few more minutes to actually distinguish the transportable tents and campfires ran by Flame. The oasis lay just beyond them. Though it was just a large puddle with a few trees around it, the water source was more precious than gold to any who lived in the desert. 

It was said that Faerein, on his journey into the desert, created the oases along the way to where he would build the Capitol City. It would explain the way they crossed the desert in a straight line, yet no one to this day knew just how the founder had done this. Not even Jeroha, the Sovereign of Water, knew. No one had heard of him for years, though, so the old man might have figured it out by now. Unless he was dead...

"Sands guide you!" a voice shouted. Monstroth waved at the figure moving to greet them. He would be the Seeker - a man who guided people through the desert and guarded the oasis. No point in guarding it, honestly, but the Seekers prided themselves on their duty.

"And you, Seeker," Monstroth said with a grin. 

The man came closer. "I didn't hear of anyone coming this way, with the death of King Saeron," the Seeker said, trying not to seem suspicious of Monstroth and the Sovereign. "Are you traveling to return home for your own safety, or..." The man trailed off as he observed Monstroth's face. "Scarred Father!" And there went a nice quiet night. "Prince Monstroth, I am sorry for your loss. The Seekers saw no one coming, else we would have-"

Monstroth slapped his hand on the Seeker's shoulder. "They came by Voidgate, according to our investigators. The fault is not yours, Seeker, nor any of your brethren. Please, be at ease. My father will give us justice." The man nodded and lead them back to the oasis camp. 

"Not going to tell them you are no longer a Prince?" 

Monstroth shook his head. "No, Master, they have already lost a King. I don't want them to lose another royal in so short a time."

The Sovereign sighed. "I am going to have to break you of that kindness."

What was wrong with being kind? Monstroth didn't say anything, though. He would never stop trying to do the right thing and be gentle. He did not want to be known like his Uncle had been - a vicious ruler - or even like his father - a hard warrior. He wanted to be known as someone who cared for his people. Even though he had no right to the throne, he would still keep this vow.

The End

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