St Chaos Healer
I opened my eyes finding myself under a mysterious ceiling, tucked under a comfy bed. Not a room that I was familiar with.
Next to my bed, I saw the giant baldy, Milo who was putting flowers in a vase with a bright smile while humming some song. This looked so out of character that I for once thought it was a nightmare.
“You are awake. How do you feel now?”
I turned my head and saw Mr. Keith leaning by the window sill who noticed I was awake.
“I..,” I replied as I got up from the bed.
I tried moving my legs and arms. Even my broken foot was now patched up.
“I feel a lot better, thanks.”
“Hey!” Suddenly Milo shouted, “You should lie down and rest. Healing might fix your wounds but it still wears out your body’s strength.”
“I am fine. Thanks for your concern.”
Baldy’s really a friendly guy, I thought he would be the one to hold a grudge.
“Well if you say so. But I didn't expect you to get knocked out by your own move like that. It was so lame, hahaha.” laughed off Milo loudly.
I really do wanna punch this guy in the face.
“Oh, by the way, I am Milo Boar. I am a blacksmith by profession and the appointed weapons expert of the Emerald Lion’s guild. I also have a weapon shop located in the outer district. If you need any weapon to be crafted, my shop is the right place.” said Milo proudly while placing his hands on his hip.
But then Milo looked at me with wide eyes,
“But seriously you put up one heck of a fight for a kid. I never saw such a young brat like you who would ever fight like that. I heard noble brats are trained to fight at a young age, but I haven’t seen one myself so I don’t know. But you coming from a commoner’s background pulling off such a feat was really something. No wonder master Bervice gave you the golden pass.”
“It was no big deal. I was just really lucky back there,” I replied humbly.
I really would like to keep what happened under wraps.
I must at least maintain a low profile until I could stand on my own and defend myself. The last thing I want is to blow up my identity.
“I am quite surprised seeing your battle skills.” praised Mr. Kieth.
“Thanks, I guess,” I replied.
“No, I am serious. I am quite baffled, you see,” replied Kieth as he looked at me with hawk eyes.
Now how do I reason with them about how I learned to fight like that. Milo is one thing but Kieth doesn’t look like the guy who would be fooled easily.
Kieth got up from the windowsill and stood before me with his arms folded.
“Despite being blessed to use mana arts at such a young age, your hand-to-hand skills in combat were also amazing. It didn’t feel like some kid putting on a fight but rather a warrior with countless battle experiences fighting against Milo. Not even once did you flinch when fighting him despite the number of disadvantages. You also created a commotion in the ceremony train and it wasn’t just once but twice,”
Milo interrupts us between,
“Are you sure he is not an old martial art master disguised as a young boy?” he asked as he held his chin like some intellectual.
I wanna run away from this room.
Technically Milo wasn’t so far off the truth.
“Well when he was unconscious, I did check his bone mass. Turns out he is really just a 12-year-old brat and there is no foul play,” replied Kieth.
“I think you are praising me too highly. It's all the result of my hard work and the blessing of my parents that I am, what I am.” I replied with a smile.
“Tell me, who is your master?” asked Kieth.
“What?” I asked in a puzzled manner.
“I asked, who is your master? The one who taught you to fight like that?”
I dropped the smile and looked at him with shrewd eyes,
“Would you believe me if I said that I learned it on my own?”
“Hmph. If you don’t wanna tell, then don’t. I just hope that you won’t turn your back against master Bervice after all that he has done.” replied Kieth.
It's better for them to think that I was taught by an enlightened master mage.
“Don’t worry, I won’t let master Bervice's kindness go unpaid. So please continue to protect my parents during our stay here.” I requested humbly.
“Your parents are in good hands. You just focus on the ascension ceremony that will happen in 2 days' time.” Kieth got up, ”Until then recuperate and enjoy your stay at our Delven city.”
He then walked out.
“Let's cross swords again some time. Until then good luck.” even Milo bid byes as he followed Kieth out of the room.
My parents came after a few minutes and were quite worried.
It took me some time to explain to them that I was fine.
The next two days passed by roaming around the inner district and sightseeing.
We visited gardens, museums, temples, art exhibitions, tea ceremonials, fine dining, shopping, etc. In two days we experienced everything that a typical noble would do. And everything above was funded by the Emerald Lions guild.
The Almond family didn’t shy away from the kindness the guild had to offer. We spent lavishly that even my father started getting worried if the guild wouldn’t ask for a reimbursement.
We would have to become slaves if they asked for compensation.
To be honest, my parents enjoyed the time of their life but I wasn’t much of a connoisseur of the noble lifestyle. I hope they don’t get too used to this lifestyle otherwise my parents won’t be able to go back to living like a commoner. But it's okay to let them loose for once in life.
The two days passed leisurely.
Finally, the day of ascension arrived and all the candidates were called upon to the ceremony hall. This time there was no need to wear the white jumpsuit, any normal attire would suffice as long as it was deemed appropriate.
I wore my normal attire that I felt comfortable in.
My mother was nagging me to dress in a noble’s clothes but I duly rejected wearing that crap.
Armed with some cash and a water bottle I finally left the mansion.
The guild had specially booked a beast wagon to escort me to the ceremony hall safely.
My parents, Kieth, and head maid were all waiting at the gate.
I greeted them and my mother quickly started adjusting my shirt collar for the 3rd time now,
“Did you take the water bottle I arranged for you?”
“Yes, here it is.” I showed the bottle kept in my pocket sleeve.
“Also you remember the lessons that I taught last night?” my mother asked me worriedly.
“Yes, yes, I do remember.”
“Also, did you go to the toilet? If you need to take a leak or dump, now is the only time.”
“Mom? I am just fine, stop embarrassing me.”
“Embarrassed? It wasn’t long when you were so small and roamed around the house butt naked without any shame. Now you are embarrassed by merely a mother asking whether her son went to the potty or not, huh?”
Mr. Kieth and the head maid were standing at the side watching us.
Mr. Kieth had a deadpan face like ever but the head maid was giggling while watching the drama.
I really didn’t want them to see their mother’s overprotective side.
I turned to my mom,
“Mom, I don’t want our last conversation before the ascension ceremony to be the topic of my bowel movements, alright?”
“Bowel movements? When did you start to learn to use fancy words?”, suddenly a smile appeared on her face, “It wasn’t long when you used crude words like ‘shit’ and ‘poop’. I guess the noble district did rub on your way of talking as well. I am so proud of you.”
I take defeat, arguing with her would be more embarrassing.
“Nevermind. I have to go now, mom. Love you.” I hugged my mom.
“Take care son.”
I stood in front of my dad.
Dad had a bright smile,
“Son, don’t cause any more trouble during the ascension ceremony.”
“I never cause trouble,” I replied.
“It's also best to get along with fellow mage candidates during the ceremony and make a few friends for real this time.”
I gave dad a good hug.
But before I could board the wagon he stopped me.
“Wait for a second” my dad suddenly reached out deep in his pocket and unveiled a silver pendant, “This will protect you son.”
The silver pendant had a small translucent capsule with a small feather locked within.
It gave off a little aura from the pendant as if it was magical. It was a very small aura but this made me sure it was no ordinary pendant.
He tied the pendant around my neck,
“This is the feather of the Sunfire bird beast that is said to be the last descendant of the legendary phoenix bird. It has amazing regenerative power that will surely aid you one day. I had to spend a lot getting a hand on this so you better treasure it well.”
“Thank you, dad. I shall treasure it. Now I’ll take my leave now. You guys take care.”
I finally boarded the wagon and peeked out of the wagon window to get one last glance.
“Remember, don’t let those big mages affect your choices. You are free to choose whichever school you like to go to.” my mother reminded me.
“Yes. I will.”
“Also be sure to absorb the phoenix fire thoroughly.” added my father.
“Best of luck, young Benji.” The head maid wished me with a sweet smile.
Even she started using my pet name.
I glanced at Keith and he replied with a nod.
With his assurance, I can rest easy on my worries about my parents well being.
My carriage finally departed towards the ceremony hall.
The ceremony hall was located between the inner and the outer district of Delven city.
Usually, this zone is forbidden to enter at all times of the year and is only open during the ceremony. Only top mages officials and the candidates are allowed to enter this hall.
It is a place where the young mage candidates' true abilities would be declared.
Before the ascension ceremony, there is the blessing ritual which is the most anticipated event in the kingdom.
During the blessing ritual, the candidate's every injury, pain, fatigue, or illness would be resolved. It is almost as if the candidates get a whole new body like a newborn. The phoenix also blessed the people of the city with its divine fire. Hence why the people from far away land flock to this event who seek to heal themselves.
There are also a few lucky people who often get insight into understanding the deeper meaning of the mana arts unlocking even more abilities. Especially the mages who control the element of fire flock to this ritual like a moth attracted to a flame. Hence, why a number of adventurers flock to this blessing ritual as well.
As my wagon sped through the city, I saw the street was bustling with many adventurers and rich-class citizens parading around the city. They were all looking for the appropriate place in the city where they would then intake the phoenix blessing.
I peeped out of the wagon window and I saw a green iron lantern altar placed in one of the gardens. People were gathering around these lantern altars like some picnic spot. There were nobles and adventurers alike hoarding the space.
“What is that?” I asked the carriage driver.
“That is the ceremonial altar that catches the divine phoenix fire. There are hundreds of such altars spread across the city every time of this year.”
“Oh, so that’s the ceremonial altar.”
The ceremonial altar is a magical device that could capture the phoenix fire and channel twice as much power to the people around the altar.
There was such an altar placed even in the mansion’s garden back there.
Usually, the rich class nobles had their own backyard with a private ceremonial altar of their own. But for those adventurers and other nobles coming from outside the city, they had to resort to public altars that were scattered around the city. Usually places like gardens, parks, and public squares. There are few altars placed on the road itself deeming that no wagons would enter those roads and only walking was the only option.
I also noticed that each ceremonial altar was protected by a pair of city guards.
People competing for the best place beside the altar would certainly result in breaking fights.
There are also a few altars placed in the outer district and I am pretty sure it was densely populated as well. There are also instances where some people even resort to killing just to secure a good place.
So I am pretty glad that my parents would just use the altar placed at the mansion.
I must repay the kindness somehow.
The wagon suddenly halted,
“Sir, we are here.” replied the driver.
Finally arrived at the ceremonial hall.
Let’s go and secure the official mage title, shall we?