Artonus, Grimlock and I gathered around the bonfire in the center of our camp. There, Grimlock broke the news about Master Juxon, describing the battle with Nightwing in detail. Artonus did not react; not a sigh of grief nor tears of sorrow fell from his face. He simply listened to what Grimlock recounted. The serious expression of his face was all he needed to express his grief. Grimlock and Artonus must have experienced much worse when they were younger.
The only time Artonus even lifted his gaze from the bonfire was when Grimlock mentioned the magic barrier, and how I managed to shatter it.
“I would expect nothing less from one of your apprentices,” Artonus chuckled.
It was hard for me not to smile at that comment, but I was already becoming exhausted by the praise that the rest of guild is giving me. Becoming the center of attention was something I wanted to avoid when I joined Supernova.
“Speaking of your apprentices, where is that other one? I only remember him as the ‘Voracious Destroyer.’”
“Marx is resting,” I spoke up. “He nearly wasted his entire magic reserve on that battle.”
Artonus nodded, “Your apprentices are...interesting, Master Grimlock.”
Grimlock snarled at him, forcing Artonus into laughter. “What are you planning to do now? An extra hand around here is always helpful.”
“I think this ‘Nightwing’ guild needs to pay for what they did to Juxon. I might be persuaded to come out of retirement.”
“Then our first step is to reclaim our territory. I’ll be off to make preparations. You two can keep yourselves company until I return.”
“Sounds good, Mas—”
“Don’t. Call me. Master,” Grimlock gave Artonus an irritated glare and walked away from the bonfire.
“Stiff, isn’t he?” Artonus redirected his attention to me as he removed his jacket and readjusted his crimson bandana.
“Uh, yeah," I chuckled. "You should see his training regimen.”
“From what I’ve heard from Grimlock, you’re packing quite the magic reserve. Not just anyone can break a magic barrier that big on their own.”
“It wasn’t on my own. A chunk of it was already broken before I finished it off.”
"Kid, come on. Give yourself a little credit." Artonus squinted towards my sword, “You’re a swordsman?”
“Not really,” I got this by disarming one of the Nightwings. It’s a keepsake from my first real ‘mission’ as a member of Supernova. I would mount it in my room, but...it’s currently occupied.”
Artonus laughed hysterically, “You’re a riot, kid!”
Was what I said really that funny?
“I can see the potential in you, Fallen. If you really want to learn how to use that sword, I’ll teach you everything I know.”
The offer was so sudden. However, learning to use a sword was not the worst idea ever. To be proficient at hand-to-hand combat and swordsmanship would definitely throw any Nightwing off. The Nightwing swords also have the ability to channel my magic, which would allow me to overpower them.
Thoughts scattered through my brain, until I finally answered, “Absolutely.”
“Funny, I didn’t think you were capable of smiling.”
I hadn’t even noticed that I smeared a wide grin across my face. There was a numb feeling within my cheeks. I enjoyed the tingling sensation that manifested within me. The last time I smiled this frequently was the morning before my parents died.
But this place...Supernova...made me feel alive again.