Bryson was sitting on top of his bed, hands covering his face and moping. Lila Frost stood by staring at Bryson with a mixture of minor concern and amusement.
“Eeeurrrgh.” Bryson groaned.
“Come on, it’s not that bad.” Lila tried to assure.
“Are you kidding me? I have to take combat magic lessons now!” Bryson exclaimed.
“Is it really that terrible?”
“Yes! You’re suppose to start training combat magic when you’re ten not seven!”
“Well, it’s meant to be a birthday present right?” Lila said trying to relieve him.
“Honestly, worst birthday present of my entire life.” Bryson complained before giving a small pause, “Well, I guess that’s very low bar for me.”
Lila looked around Bryson’s bedroom, which was larger than her apartment, “You don’t say.” She muttered.
“Well, I’m not the one who blew nearly half a million credits.” Bryson pondered for a second before continuing, “Actually I donated that money to you, so I guess I did.”
“I-I didn’t use all of it!” She said weakly.
“I said nearly.”
“Argh, anyways considering what you’ve been through, is it really that bad?” She said trying to change the subject.
“I don’t know. Maybe it is smart.” Bryson admitted.
It had been almost two months since the incident at the now defunct Warrington Sprite. After they made it out and uncovered what Edvard Bo was up to, much to Bryson’s surprise, they weren’t punished, well not exactly that is.
After a bit of lying from the group, they had managed to convince his parents that they had just accidently stumbled upon Edvard and put a stop to his plans. It was mostly true at least, just no mention of Sable sneaking out and breaking in.
Bryson swore that his father almost smiled when he found out that Bryson was able to put up a fight against Edvard. He was impressed enough to hire some sort of teacher to train Bryson in combat magic. Supposedly this person was a top-of-the-line spellcaster, an early birthday present apparently. All that sounded to Bryson was a lot of hard work in the future.
Would it have killed them to have waited a few more weeks so I would at least be eight when I have to start learning this? Bryson moped.
“At least it comes from a place of care, besides it might not be so bad. Who is this person anyways?” Lila said.
“Some sort of mage from far away or something, honestly I didn’t pay that much attention.” Bryson admitted.
“Well, we better get going. I’m supposed to meet them today.” Bryson said finally picking himself up from the bed and walking over to Lila as she helped him put on his suit jacket.
“If they’re that special, I kind of look forward to meeting them.” Lila mused.
The two of them walked through the hallway and reached the landing where they saw Bryson’s mother.
“Ah, hello dear, had a good night’s rest?” Duchess Coldwater greeted Bryson sweetly.
“Yes mother, I thought my new tutor was suppose to be here?” Bryson replied.
“Ah yes, she’s waiting outside actually. I think you will like her. Come along now.” She said beckoning him to follow her.
Following Bryson’s mother, they exited the mansion and made their way towards the garden. Lila while walking noticed out of the corner of her eye something in the trees. Looking over to the tree, she saw nothing.
“Relax.” Bryson whispered, “You aren’t seeing things, it’s mother’s personal ‘servants’. Honestly, they’re more like bodyguards.”
“I’ve never seen them before.” Lila said.
“You probably have seen one or two serving her tea or getting her clothes. I honestly have no idea which ones are actually her servants. They keep their identities a secret, part of the job.” Bryson explained.
“They work for your father too?”
“No, well, yes. Technically, I mean you work for him. But no, father likes his guards to be more like him. Big and scary.” Bryson said with a shrug.
“Huh, learn something new every time I work here.” Lila said. Looking across the yard, she noticed Sable out on an open field with a few of the royal guards.
“What is she doing?” Lila said.
“Training, like me she began to take more lessons.” Bryson replied.
“She talk to you much?”
“Ah, there she is.” Duchess Coldwater said, pointing over at the fountain.
Looking over to where she was gesturing, Bryson saw a hooded figure wielding some sort of wooden staff.
“Come along.” Duchess Coldwater beckoned them to follow as she approached the hooded figure.
Getting closer towards the hooded figure, Bryson noticed the robes that the figure was wearing. It was a green robe that seemed to be lined with white fur. More importantly than that, there seemed to be some sort of pattern on robe.
Bryson still couldn’t make out what it was exactly, but it felt as if he had seen it before. The hooded figure then turned to look over towards them.
“Hello Duchess Coldwater. I hope you have had a fine morning.” The robed figure greeted with a polite bow.
“Yes, it has been lovely. Bryson, this is Primrose, your new teacher. Introduce yourself to her.” Duchess Coldwater prodded.
“Hello, my name Bryson Coldwater, I hope you had a safe journey coming all the way here to teach me.” Bryson greeted.
The hooded figure removed their cowl and revealed her face to them. Short hazelnut brown hair tucked neatly behind a pair of slightly pointed ears. Atop her head was adorned with a pair of curled brown ram horns. Her emerald green eyes and a tanned face greeted Bryson.
“Greetings Bryson Coldwater, I have heard many things about you. I am Primrose, a guardian druid from Wemore.” Primrose introduced herself.
“Guardian druid? They’re very powerful, correct?” Bryson said. Not to mention Wemore, the island continent? He thought as he stared at Primrose and had a strange sense of familiarity talking to this stranger. Have we met before? He wondered.
“You praise me too much; I am but a humble servant here to serve you.” Primrose said graciously.
“Alright then, Bryson dear, I’ll leave you here to start your teachings with Primrose. I’ll have someone call you later.” Duchess Coldwater said, turning around she began to leave before stopping to face Lila.
“Oh, before I forget, make sure to stay with Bryson to attend his needs.” She said.
“O-oh, yes of course Lady Coldwater.” Lila said hurriedly.
Duchess Coldwater raised her eyebrows at Lila and stared at her expectantly.
“I-I mean Duchess Coldwater.” Lila quickly change.
“Hmph, I suppose you are at least trying.” Duchess Coldwater said, turning to Bryson she said, “You can always ask for a new servant dear.”
“I’m fine mom. You can go.” Bryson said, rolling his eyes.
“Alright then, have fun!” She said cheerfully and left.
“Huh, I think she’s starting to tolerate me.” Lila mused once she was gone.
“Well, you’ve helped me and Sable twice now. She sort of had to.” Bryson said.
“Alright, we should start, please follow me to the trees, easier to teach you there.” Primrose said with a smile.
“Sorry, but have we met before?” Bryson asked.
“Hmm? No, no I don’t believe so.” Primrose replied, “Follow me.” She said as she started to walk towards the more wooded area of the garden.
As they walked, Lila asked Bryson, “Where in the world would you have met her?”
“Honestly, no idea, never met anyone with horns before. But… I don’t know, something about her looks familiar. I think it’s the magic.” Bryson said with a shrug.
For a very brief moment in the corner of Bryson’s eye he noticed Primrose stop moving for a moment before continuing forward. That’s weird.
“Alright, this is a nice place to begin your training.” Primrose said as she brought them to a small circular surrounded by trees. In the middle of the clearing there was a tree stump which Primrose headed over and sat down cross legged upon it.
“Have a seat please.” Primrose beckoned.
Bryson stood still and squinted at Primrose in deep concentration.
“Ummm… Lord Coldwater, may I ask what you are doing?” Primrose asked.
“We’ve met.” Bryson said slowly.
“I beg your pardon?” Primrose said with a look of concern.
“We’ve met. It’s you!” Bryson said coming to a realization.
“W-what? No, no no! You’re mistaken!” Primrose said desperately.
“You’re from the shop. You gave me the scroll. You look different. But the mana is the same.” Bryson continued on in complete awe, “What are you doing here? Wait you’re a druid?”
“Oh… good… you remember me.” She said meekly.
“Wait, what’s going on?” Lila asked in confusion.
“Right, you weren’t there. You know how I have some strange abilities right?”
“The glowing eye thing?”
“Yeah, well, while these abilities were developing, I was drawn to her weird shop and she gave me a scroll that helped me understand magic better.” Bryson explained.
“You were able to decipher all of it?” Primrose asked in disbelief.
“Yes, it came surprisingly naturally.” Bryson answered.
“Oh.” Primrose said pursing her lips for a moment, “And you were able to tell who I was through mana alone?”
“Yeah, but your mana is rather unique. It’s so much different from everyone else’s.” Bryson said.
“I see…that’s good.” She said looking to be deep in thought.
“So, why are you here?” Bryson asked.
“Yeah, why have you decided to train Bryson personally?” Lila asked, “You’re hiding something.”
“Uh… okay… I was hoping to avoid this for now. But looks like that won’t be happening, I’m not exactly a normal druid, I’m a nymph. More specifically, an Anthousai.” Primrose said.
“You’re telling me that you’re a flower?” Bryson asked.
“What? Well- no that’s not exactly how it works, but sort off.”
“Are you a primrose flower then?” Lila asked.
“I’m not a flower! I’m a deity!” Primrose cried indignantly.
“Okay, back to the point, why are you here?” Bryson asked again.
Primrose face become far more serious as she spoke, “I am here because of you Bryson. As you already know, your powers make you special, your upbringing makes you special. There are things that are going to happen to you. Your future will be difficult.”
Bryson stared at Primrose for a moment before speaking, “Right, and what you going to do?”
“I’m here to watch over you, help you train, get you prepared.” She answered.
“There’s something you’re not telling me right? Hence why you’re so nervous, back then and now?” Bryson asked.
“… Yes.” She admitted, “There are a few things that are going that I am hesitant to tell you.”
Bryson gave a small sigh, “Alright then. You don’t need to tell me yet. I can figure it out.”
Primrose raised and eyebrow in surprise, “Really now?”
“Oh, don’t get me wrong. I am extremely curious, but if it would make things easier for you, I’m willing to go with flow for now.” Bryson said politely.
“Huh. Well, how about that?” She said with a smile, “Alright then, shall we begin our first lesson?”