Druff handed the small boy the statue and it was surprisingly light, Kalt had expected it to be heavier than it was. Kalt looked at the statue of a hermit who had a blank face, no nose or eyes or mouth just blank stone, the bald head had wrinkles and the beard was long. Not as long as Xectix’s though.
Kalt watched the stone hermit for a while; the more he looked at it to more he felt like the stone was watching him back even though it had no face. Soon enough Kalt felt like he was in a dream and became light headed, he felt like he was reliving every memory and thought he had like he was watching somebody else.
Kalt saw himself in school learning about heroes, then he saw himself eating dinner with his family, he felt the warm and happy feeling that memory had with it, he also saw himself anticipating things like falling apples from trees.
Also when he knew somehow that a traveller’s horse was going to break loose and he pushed one of his older sisters out of its path before it did happen and the praise and attention he got from doing such a good thing.
Then he saw fire, and men with weapons, and he heard screaming all around him. He felt cold, scared and panicked; he looked around and saw his mum and older sister’s dead with blood dripping from their frozen faces.
He looked away and saw a group of men slashing and stabbing his father who was reaching out to him, Kalt’s legs became numb and before he could help it, he ran and ran as fast as he could.
A sharp sudden pain broke him from his trance as he had ran straight into Druff’s desk and hurt his nose, he began to grizzle from seeing his family and his painful nose, not realising he had dropped the hermit statue at his feet.
Xectix at once came and patted his back, trying to calm him down until Kalt eventually did; Druff seemed uncaring of this small boy’s crying.
He did however stand up and walk over to the dropped statue to pick it up and put it back on his desk and began watching it intensely, Xectix did the same and Kalt noticed the attention they were giving it and watched it with them.
“What happens now?” Kalt asked as Druff and Xectix stared at the hermit.
Xectix looked at Kalt and with an anxious expression. “Now we wait for its decision” he said.
Kalt was a little confused by this, he didn’t know what just happened or if he did anything to prove if he was a hero but was too shy to say anything so he stayed quiet.
After a very long minute the hermit statue began stirring a little, and the blank face suddenly grew some eyes, a small mouth and out popped a little nose. It stood up from its stone stump and stared into space whilst Kalt, scared from a moving statue, hid behind Xectix.
Druff took a step towards the statue and knelt before it so his face was level with it; the statue responded by staring back at Druff until eventually it shook its head. Once it had done that the face went blank again and the hermit sat back down on his stump, Druff stood back up and turned to a hiding Kalt with a negative look on his face.
“The hermit has seen many heroes, and he has always been right about them. He can tell if they will be good or evil, he can tell what type of hero they are; he can also tell if somebody cannot be a hero. After searching your soul the hermit has made a decision about you from your memories and feelings Kalt, and I can safely tell you that you do not possess the hidden potential to be a hero.” Druff said with an uncaring look on his face.
Xectix fell backwards and fainted in shock as Kalt stood there dumbstruck. He was crushed, he had gotten his hopes up so high and it was all for nothing, he couldn’t believe it as he just stood there with his mouth open.
He couldn’t be a hero, that was it plain and simple, he just couldn’t be a hero, all his life he dreamed of them, but that’s all they were it dawned on him; dreams.
“You may recover here as long as you need, when you deem yourself healthy enough I will contact the Country Guards to come and collect you, they will from there take you to the capital Jarus-Jukai and there you can decide what you will do with your life. The Country Guards will see to it that you are well taken care of; I can promise you that boy. I must however have your memory erased once you leave to protect the location of the academy, I’m sure you understand-”
Druff stopped mid-sentence. Kalt looked up to see why he did, Xectix shot up from the floor with a shocked look on his face, Druff himself showed his first signs of emotions by looking confused and shocked too because of what was happening right in front of them.
The hermit had stood up again and regrown its face and beckoned Druff to come towards him; Druff and Xectix stared at each other wondering what was happening.
Druff knelt once again in front of the hermit and this time it nodded, leaving both Druff and Xectix speechless while they stared at it for a long while. “It... it has changed its mind... it says you do have hero potential” Druff said with a quiver in his lulling voice.
Xectix was silent and Druff’s hands were shaking, Kalt took half a second to realise and accept what had just happened before he jumped into the air and cheered at the top of his lungs in excitement.
''I can't believe it! The hermit changed its mind! I do have hero potential! I'm going to become a hero! I'm finally going to be a hero!'