42 The Magician“s Path*
Despite finding a Magician with a boatload of potential, Arita had been so busy organising her departure that she'd neglected to address Jane's no doubt burning questions. She'd only managed to explain the life lines to the most basic degree when the little girl had admitted she was terrified of them and she wanted rid of them. Arita had to hold back an amused chuckle when the girl had done a 180 degree flip and started caressing the life lines like little pets. Though as adorable as it was, Arita would have to nip the habit in the bud, it was considered inappropriate in public.
"Alright, I've neglected you the past few days so ask any questions you have now. We have a six day journey ahead," Arita stated.
Jane grinned, "You mentioned there are classes of Magicians, what class am I?"
"You've only just awakened so we consider somebody like you to be an Apprentice Magician," Arita replied, "Magician classes are not based solely on magical ability, but on experience as well. The classes begin just after awakening at the Apprentice Level, then move on to Senior Apprentice, Master, Grandmaster, Miracle, Saint and the fabled God Level Magician. In all, seven Classes, and you are addressed by your class when in the field".
"So you are a Grandmaster? The Fourth Class?" asked Jane.
Arita nodded, "Yes. You'll find that most Magicians make it to the Master or Grandmaster levels. Only the lucky few make it beyond that, and you only every hear stories about Magicians becoming Magic Gods. It hasn't happened for so long now that most people believe it's not possible".
Jane thought for a moment, then spoke again, "Why must I go to the Academy? Can't I just learn it from you?"
Arita chuckled, "No, I am a Light Magician, you must learn from someone who has the same element as you, an Wind Magician. The Academy is a congregation of teachers and students, so it is the easiest place for one to learn, and certainly a great place for you to be acknowledged by Guilds. The better the Guild you are enrolled into when you become a Senior Apprentice, the better your job prospects will be".
"I thought it was simply one guild per city?"
"Most of the time that is the case, but in larger cities one Guild cannot possibly reach the demands of the populace, so more than one are usually in place. For instance, Toulle only has one Guild as it is only a small city, but a place like Barday where the main branch of the Academy is has ten Guilds".
"Why Barday?" asked Jane, "It's so far away".
She'd been given access to a map on more than one occaision through her friendship with Falla. Barday was a city to the south, they called in the Academy City because all kinds of trades were learned there, the main ones being Scholars, Knights and Magicians.
"Barday was originally the capital of the Empire, then some generations ago, the Emperor moved the Capital further North for a less tropical climate. But Barday had been the centre of trade and business for some time, it was not as if the people were going to just abandon it," Arita explained, "You will go to Barday because you are only an Apprentice Magician. Every Apprentice goes to Barday, only those Senior Apprentices without Guild alliances are allowed to attend the branch Academies. They almost act like Guilds of their own, though they aren't technically Guilds because they do not profit from jobs, only enrollments and donations".
Jane turned silent once more and after a while Arita couldn't help but smile, "What, out of questions already?"
Jane sighed, "Just...what will happen to Rassa? He's not coming to Barday is he?"
Arita's smile dropped, "No, he won't be. I don't know yet what they will want to do with him. I only took him to learn more about him, perhaps discover what being a Vampire means. What they are. After all, it is unlikely he pulled the term out of thin air. There has to be some record, no matter how long ago it was".
"You mean, he's not the first to change like this?" asked Jane.
"I cannot say for sure. But what is clear is that he is the first in a very long time. So long that knowledge of such a race is completely erased from the mainstream. Perhaps only Higher Order Scholars could know of something like this," Arita admitted, "But enough of that. I know he is your friend but you have more pressing concerns at the moment. No doubt he can look after himself anyway".
If his abilities the other night had been any indication, there really was no doubt the boy could fend for himself. Arita just wasn't sure how effective the Anthrite was, especially if he was in that instinctual state he'd been in. But, she was not be testing it out any time soon, she'd decided to use the horses to ensure that.
In the cage at the back, Rassa listened in on their conversation as he gazed through the gaps in the fabric that covered his cage. Despite being wrapped in Anthrite chains and put into a cage, he was the most relaxed he'd been in weeks. Of course, through studies with his father he'd already known about the Magician Classes and the City of Barday. His father had not neglected such things. Despite his knowledge however, Rassa's only trip outside of Cordon and Greenvale Forest had been to the Night Markets in Varkevia. He had never been West. As it turned out, West was simply rolling green hills dotted with various farms and villages. Some were much larger, but most seemed to be only slightly larger than Cordon. The Woman in the carriage did not speak about them, and Jane never asked, so Rassa could only consult a mental map he had contructed with his father's teachings. Updating this map, as well as filling in any other information about the landscape, became Rassa's way to pass the time, and avoid the inevitable hunger that kept poking at him for attention.