Chapter 106:

Chapter 106 - Life

The Flight of The Draykes

Despite not knowing how much time I had left, we still waited for a good amount of time for my injuries to heal.

After a couple of days had passed, I found myself again in front of the tree in the garden, sitting cross-legged as the two teachers looked at each other.

Then, Sir Leonidas moved forward and infused his warforce slowly into me. Except that things always seemed to go wrong when it came to me.

Because his warforce was being sucked in by my nerves greedily, and his panicked expression meant that it was out of his control.

At that moment, the calm teacher shouted out, “Circulate the warforce. Let it touch all your circulation nodes as fast as you can.”

Eyes closed, I visualized the inside of my body and guided the warforce into the nodes that formed my circulation path, and grimaced in pain as the warforce charged through, expanding the nodes just a little bit more.

But immediately after the pain, pleasure filled me, as the nodes cried out in bliss; filled with warforce as they were, instead of being almost completely dry.

As I guided the warforce along the circulation path, I noticed that bits and pieces of it were bleeding off into all directions.

Panicking myself now, I tried to bring them back onto the main circulation path, only for those bits and pieces to race into the thousands of smaller nerves, and then piercing pain filled me as they expanded to accommodate the rampaging warforce.

With great difficulty, I bore the pain, and emptying my mind of everything else; I circulated the warforce and completed one cycle, two cycles, three cycles, and then the tattoos began circling my hands and slowly extended up the arms and onto my body.

Knowing it was time, I shot up, and the teachers exchanged anxious glances at each other before they charged at me and began laying into me.

Almost unconscious, I began fighting with my hands and feet blurring into shadows of punches and kicks. As the onslaught of the teachers became even more furious, the tattoos crept ever higher and soon; they began turning reddish black.

The fighting continued for a long time as my warforce surged and filled me with power constantly.

The more it went on, the more shocked the teachers became.

Until mid punch, I fell forward and straight onto Sir Galen, the calm teacher who wasn’t so calm anymore.

Catching me, he urgently checked my condition and sighed in relief as he noticed that I was still conscious.

Grinning feebly at them, I murmured, “Success?”

Grinning back at me, the calm teacher replied, “Success!”

Relieved, I let the darkness take hold of me again.

When I awoke, each part of me was sore, and beside me was a table with three candle holders. Two of them were but pools of wax with nails lying inside while the third was still burning, the nails still solidly stuck inside.

Looking at them, I realized I had been unconscious for the better part of the day, but I didn’t understand why the candles were there. I mean, while it was nice to know how long I had been out cold for, it was just a waste of good candles... wasn’t it?

My questions were answered a moment later as a voice broke the silence and said, “16 hours… you’ve survived for 16 hours without more warforce infused into you.”

Turning my head slightly, I saw the calm teacher, who looked exhausted, as he reclined on his chair beside my bed.

Greeting him, I asked, “16 hours? That’s better than what we expected… right?”

Nodding slowly, Sir Galen spoke with a weird expression, “It would be… except you took over a quarter of Leonidas’s warforce into you and then you could live for 16 hours - and counting - without an attack.”

Stunned, I mumbled, “A quarter?”

“A quarter,” Sir Galen confirmed.

“Wouldn’t this mean that I will have to have someone do this for me every single day before I can go out?” I asked.

Nodding gravely at me, Sir Galen said, “We’re having a change of guard. Sir Patrick will lead the household guards and he’ll be in charge of the warforce infusion after we understand your limits. We’ll observe you for a while, and then if things are the way we think they are; you will be able to resume your jobs.”

Clenching my fists under the sheet, I spoke normally and asked, “What about Sir Egon?”

“He’ll be joining us in the mercenary platoon,” the calm teacher replied before adding, “Don’t worry. It’s good to rotate the men in the platoon too.”

Voicing a question that had been floating in my head for a while, I asked, “why does it have to be gold ranks who infuse warforce into me? Can’t a silver rank do it too? Speaking of which, isn’t Sir Leonidas a weaponmaster now?”

Raising his hands in the gesture to slow down, Sir Galen grinned at me and said, “It’s not that silver ranks can’t infuse warforce into you. In fact, even an iron rank can do that. The problem is quantity and quality. If it's not a gold rank or a weaponmaster like Leonidas, they simply won't be able to infuse enough into you. For example, an iron rank, well... Let me think of a way to say this...".

Puzzled, I waited for him to collect his thoughts, and then he spoke again, “For an iron rank, the major problem is, the iron rank can empty his entire warforce into you and you’ll still be half empty. Remember the bucket problem? You have three to four buckets compared to the iron ranks one bucket.”

Continuing, he said, “As for silver ranks… we will be trying it out later - but I suspect that if they infuse warforce into you, they will be combat ineffective for the better part of the day.”

Stupefied, I looked at him and mouthed, “Even silver ranks?”

Nodding, he spoke a little admiringly, “You get through this, and you’ll probably be the strongest iron rank that at least I know of in Protos!”

Looking down, I murmured, “If I get through this….”

Then looking up, I firmly said, “I will get through this.”

And so started the endless cycle of infusion, fighting, a lot of pain, and the testing of how far I could go with different infusions of warforce.

It was torturous, and my mind almost broke apart. But I gritted my teeth and slowly, the gaps between the infusion and the time it took me to wake up decreased bit by bit.

Until I could stay awake after the infusion and the beating up had finished.

Then slowly, it turned into staying awake and being able to work after the infusion and the beating up had finished.

And today, I stood in front of the library, and taking a deep breath, I walked in.

An oversized man shuffled his way toward me from the shelves in the back.

Coming near, he raised his eyebrows and questioned, “Do you want to read a book, lad?”

Grinning at the man, I said, “I not only want to read a book, but I also want to work here. Do you have any openings?”

Grinning back, the man stared at me before he said, “I can take you on as an assistant, but I can’t offer much in terms of pay. 5 silver per month is the most I can pay you.”

Stepping forward and hugging the man, I asked displeased, “What happened to the copper? I thought my pay was 5 silver and 1 copper?”

Narrowing his eyes, Alden looked at me appraisingly and said, “2 coppers. I’ll give you two coppers.”

Holding out my hand, I smirked as I said, “Deal!”

And so it was done.

Later, as I sat and scribbled on my notes as I studied; I stared out of the window, and then, grabbing a small piece of paper, I wrote.


A curious thing.

A wonderful thing.

I’m glad to be alive.

I don’t know how much longer I have.

But I shall fight!

For I am Faustus.

And I am a Drayke.”