38 The Light Magician Arita*
Arita Jekani had been on the road for a week. She was bored out of her mind. One minute she'd been minding her own business during the weekly Toulle City Guild Meeting, and the next she'd been handed a mission notice that she'd apparently volunteered for. She didn't remember volunteering, no doubt that righteous b*tch Lena had done that on her behalf. Why? Well, mostly because Arita was not well-liked amongst the Magician Community. Her views were...well, they didn't align with what a Light Magician should be responsible for. Healing and Ritual Guidance. Light Magicians were the only passive Magicians around, Arita had her own opinion on that. If she had her way, every Light Magician would be out there with the rest of the Elemental Magicians, taking on the more dangerous requests. But no, she was confined to an old abandoned laboratory where her colleagues put her so that she'd stop complaining. None of her work was ever taken seriously, but the Guild tolerated her. Why? Because Arita was one of the most powerful Light Magicians to awaken in the last two decades.
No one really wanted to talk about it as a serious problem, but Light Magicians were on the decline. No one knew why or how, but it was a fact, and Arita had spent much of her time researching this. It garnered little results, which only led to her further ridicule at the hands of some of her more respected (though less powerful) colleagues.
So, with no other choice, here Arita was, on her way to some backwater town in the middle of nowhere to perform an exorcism on who knows what. She wasn't even honestly sure an exorcism would work from the description, in her opinion, it was a load of bogus. There was no such thing as the monster they described, and if one were to materialise, she highly doubted it would be in the body of a twelve year old boy.
"Grandmaster Jekani, we're approaching Cordon," the carriage driver announced.
Cordon, that was it! She'd honestly forgotten it. Nobody talked about Cordon, there were few people that even knew of it. Though, if the report was to be believed, there would be plenty that would know of it sooner or later.
Arita moved aside the curtains to look out, The town was indeed small. Perhaps only a population of 100 individuals from the looks of the housing. A larger house stood to the southern point, no doubt the local Baron's estate. It was hardly as impressive as the nobles of larger cities, but Arita knew it would be rude to comment on that.
Much of the north looked covered in a well spaced Orchard of various fruits, and to the far east was the border line of Greenvale Forest. From where they approached from the west there were only a few fields of necessities such as wheat and a few vegetables. No doubt the villagers hunted in the forest for their meat. As for their milk or butter, Arita thought it more likely that every few families kept goats, as they were less expensive to keep than cattle.
All in all, despite it's lesser known status, Cordon seemed to be quite the self-sufficient village. It was no wonder so few people knew of it.
Drawing closer though, Arita sensed the ominous aura surrounding the village. Something was wrong. It was not as picturesque as it had appeared from a distance. The shadows seemed longer, and a sort of mist that only an adept Magician could see had settled over the town. Most Magicians referred to this mist as just that, Mist. It was the essence of those that dwelled within. It carried their emotions and their hopes and dreams. Mist was a layer over the surface of the material world that carried the secrets of those that dwelled there. It was more concentrated in some places than in others. And, should there be beings with life lines within it, it was also more responsive. The Mist after all, was what gave magical beings their Life Lines, a well guarded secret by any creature with Life Lines. The Mist was theirs alone to enjoy, it would do them no good to share its secrets with those not granted the privelge to see it.
As Arita drew close enough, she suddenly gasped at what she saw within the Mist. Death. So potent and rampant that she nearly chocked on its thickness. Whatever had caused this...it was certainly not human. Arita wasn't even sure if it was real. Such dark and indifferent emotions had caused this. It was...evil. Arita had never encountered anything like it before. And worse still...the Mist didn't seem to have any problem with it. It was not rejecting it in the slightest.
Arita had been led to believe that the Mist would inform a Magician should the world's Order be tipped out of balance. It was a Magician's responsibility to listen to that, to aid it in fixing a problem. But this...it was almost as if the Mist was actually happy. Like it was welcoming this presence, whatever it was. The driver took Arita to the Baron's estate, and she alighted from the carriage with cautious eyes.
The Baron Peters came to greet her, though he looked rather haggard and stressed. Not at all like the nobles she was used to dealing with.
"My name is Arita Jekani, a Grandmaster ranked Magician of Toulle Magician's Guild," Arita greeted.
"Greetings, Grandmaster," the Baron stated, "I am the Baron of Cordon and I thank you for coming on such short notice".
"You said you needed me to perform an exorcism?" asked Arita.
The Baron nodded, "Yes, apologies, but I believe it would be best if you ascertain what this monster has done so far so that you are aware of the danger it poses. Afterall, I doubt you have come across anything like it".
"What is has done? My understanding was that it was simply drinking blood from forest animals and that you'd captured it already," Arita replied.
"That was before last night..."
Arita's gaze narrowed, "What happened last night?"
The Baron pointed to the field behind Arita where various Knight tents were set up, "We requested Knights from Varkevia to aid us in hunting the monster. They were keeping it in a cage in their camp. Last night it got out...and slaughtered all but one".
Arita's eyes widened in shock. She could certainly see where all the death had condensed over the field. She'd never expected those victims to all be Knights. But as she continued to watch, the Mist could only oblige her curiosity as to how it was possible. It did so with what Arita could only describe as glee. It twisted and turned, forming the images of the massacre that had happened only the night before. And within it, moving with more grace than a imperial dancer, was a twelve year old boy, eyes glowing red. Arita closed her eyes to the images, swallowing heavily. This was not normal. It was anything but. Why had she been assigned this again? It was more suited to a Miracle or Saint Class Magician. This was absolutely insane. How could a mere exorcism solve this?
"How was he stopped?" asked Arita cautiously.
"One of our villagers...the boy's father...he had ordered Anthrite chains. It seems to be the Monster's only weakness. One of our young girls managed to get the chains around him after she awakened as a Wind Magician last night," the Baron admitted.
Arita spun around. An Awakening as well? No wonder the Mist was thriving so much here.
"Where is the girl?"