Leader sat in his cell, looking at the small barred window that was inlaid into the doorway. They had been smart in making this cell, really. The walls were steel of the hardest variety made a few inches thick with Alcheic Mystics. Such a pity, such a pity. They did not understand the power of a Sovereign at all.
A creak came and Leader watched with patience as his cell door opened to admit a masked man pulling a child in tow. Another one, eh? These masked men had captured him after he had drank to much a few months back. Every now and then he would get a child in his room. He was told to train them.
Leader was Sovereign of Air, of course, so he could train in that area very well. Sadly, these men knew he could use Plasma and Water as well. They didn't know he was worse with those than most children were.
"What's this one's name?" Leader asked the masked man as he shoved the white-haired boy onto the ground. Using a little of his Air Mystic, Leader softened the fall. Poor kid looked half afraid of everything.
"Ask him yourself, Sovereign," the masked man spat, using a special sort of disgust for Leader's title. Well, it's not like he cared. He was looked down on by the other Sovereigns too!
"Alright, alright," Leader said, standing up slowly. He had to use some Air from his arse to help him stand fully. Getting old was terrible. Your bones got weaker, your hair started falling out, and the ladies never seemed to be as interested. The title of Sovereign could only go so far.
The masked man slammed the door back in place. A series of wet sounds came a few moments later. That would be them using Alcheic Mystics to make the door sealed tight. Useless, but smart.
Leader walked over and helped the boy to his feet. "Now, son, why don't you tell my your name?"
The boy seemed to be terrified of everything. He had obviously been stolen from a nice home. His clothing, though dirty and even ripped in places, was fine. Maybe he was a Tav noble's son? Well, his slightly darkened skin seemed to point at him being from the desert, but that didn't make sense.
"Come on, boy, I'm not gonna bite you."
The boy stepped back and looked around. "Are we prisoners?"
Leader nodded. "A bright one, aren't you?" He looked about nine years of age. Maybe one or two years older or younger at most. "I'm supposed to train you to be a fighter. Then, you will be sent away somewhere. No idea where."
Well, that certainly made the boy look more afraid. Scars and Marks, why did Leader get the scared ones? He wanted a smart one or a brave one. All the scared ones were too afraid to act. Sure, Leader could escape this cell, but he wouldn't be able to walk well without help and if he had a lot of people to fight... It would be a close call. He had tried to get the last lad to help him walk while he fought, but the boy refused to fight, scared he might die.
This one would probably be the same.
Leader snorted a laugh. Well, named after one of the Herost, eh? "A brave name, but are you a brave kid?"
Zero nodded, though he still looked scared. Well, it could work out. "What Mystics do you have?"
"Water, Plasma, Mineral, Mind, and Air..."
Leader laughed. This boy was playing him, surely. Most people were born with two or three. A handful of people were born with four. And only a very little amount of people were born with five Mystics. And almost every one of those only found out they had certain Mystics year later. How was this kid thinking to fool a Sovereign?
"Alright boy, can you use Air?"
Zero nodded again and took off his rough shoes. Unlike the rest of his clothing, they looked to be bought from a beggar. Maybe he had no shoes when they took him. Leader looked on as the boy started breathing heavier. It wasn't so bad that he was out of breathe, but Zero definitely still struggled with his Air Mystics. At least he had the Mystic. It made Leader's job easier.
In a few moments, Zero had managed to lift himself an inch from the ground. It was... sad, really. He should have been able to hold himself a foot above the ground. "Well, we can work with this I-"
Zero lifted off into the cell, nearly hitting the ceiling but diving at the last second. He then proceeded to fly around in the cramped space, narrowly avoiding Leader and the walls. It was... like a bird. Scars and Marks! This boy could do what it took Leader ten years to perfect. And he wasn't a specialist, else his breathing wouldn't be labored.
Leader was smiling widely by the time Zero landed. He had never felt it before now. That 'connection.' The other Sovereigns said that when the right apprentice appeared, they would feel a connection to the subject and know. Well, Zero was the one.
"How would you like to be the next Sovereign, Zero?" Leader asked the child when he landed.
All he got in return was a smile that erased the earlier fear from existence. Excellent.