The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

Photo Courtesy of Sadie Lowe

The Sorcerer’s Happy Ending

I’ve heard the story too many times to count. The great dragon will awaken and wage war on the world. When all seems lost, a great hero with the name Azael will defeat the dragon and save the world. When I came into this world, the sorcerers knew with one look at me that I was that hero. They trained me in every form of sorcery and swordsmanship they knew. I didn’t care. It was a fun way to spend my time outside of school. Plus, what kid doesn’t want to be a sorcerer? I was always the center of attention.

Of course, at one point or another, I had to realize that it wasn’t the fortune tellers that decided what I should do with my life. It was me. If I didn’t take things seriously, I wouldn’t defeat the dragon. Then things got harder. My life in school with my friends started to seem like an afterthought, or even a dream. Training became my life. It had to, because I couldn’t let anyone down.

Present Day…
I woke up this morning to see the stars in the window. I always daydream while looking up at the stars, wishing things were the way they used to be. Maybe now I’m doing it in my sleep. I almost drift off again, but manage to get out of bed after remembering that today is my big day. It’s been 10 years since I defeated the dragon and got my happy ending. Since then, I’ve been looking for a real job, something to make the days seem worthwhile. Luckily, the king had a job opening up for a royal guard, and I got it. It iss the only job I feel comfortable in.

I sheath my sword and head out the door. It’s dark and cold. Luckily, there were two spells that helped me more than anything during the battle with the dragon: the blaze of Ares and the breath of the tundra. Using these, I can regulate my body temperature, but I wish I could let loose like I did on the dragon.

The other guards meet me at the gates and welcome me.

“It’s been a long time, Azael,” one of the guards greets me.

“It’s good to see you,” I reply to him. I have no idea who he is. He can tell from my vague response, and gives an awkward smile. The two guards walk me up to the throne room where I see King Geralt for the first time since I slayed the dragon. Unlike the guards, I remember him. He has a face that’s impossible to forget and a voice like a firing cannon.

“Azael! How are you holding up, my friend?” he asks.

“Better every day,” I respond. I don’t bother to tell him the truth.

“That’s good! I can already tell I will be much safer with you around.”

Inwardly, I grimace, knowing that the reality is that all we do is stand around. You’d think at least one of the king’s angry fans would throw a fit now and then, but no. We take shifts, but no matter where we are, the boredom doesn’t let up. I sigh. Maybe I should’ve brought a book.

Eventually, I start messing around with my old spells to pass the time. I use the blaze of Ares to direct the fire on the torches in the hall and the breath of the tundra to control the heat. I use a more tamed spell, the chromatic spell, to change the colors of the fire. All of this starts to grab the attention of the other guards, and seeing their attention puts a smile on my face. Before I know it, I’m showing off.

I start teaching the guards some of my magic, allowing me to learn more about them. There’s Sir Henry, a man who is one of the last remaining members of what was once the richest family in the kingdom. Then there’s Sir William, an exiled knight from a far away land who came to this kingdom looking for redemption. Sir Bertram is a former jester and one of the funniest people I’ve met. All of them have already had their time to shine like me, but unlike me, somehow have managed to move on and find a new life. Maybe it’s time I also moved on and found my own new life, I muse.

On my last shift of the day, I’m speaking with Sir William when a man wearing a cloak approaches.

“This part of the castle is off limits,” I state. He keeps walking. “Sir…”

He doesn’t give me the chance to finish my sentence before he throws a blast of fire in our direction. I deflect it, but when the flames clear, he’s gone. We look around and spy him scaling the walls behind us.

“Stay here! I’ll catch him!” I shout to Sir William. I pray that Sir Henry and Sir Bertram can catch him before he reaches the king, but I still have to do my part. I race up the stairs and use a chromatic spell to change the color of the walls so I can see through them and locate the sorcerer. When I finally catch up, I confront him.

“Stop, in the name of the king!” I yell.

The sorcerer immediately waves his hand to cast a spell on me, which I block with my own spell just in time. Back and forth, we cast spells on each other in a duel before suddenly, to my shock, he somehow beats me. Seriously? I must be getting rusty, I think to myself as I look around desperately. Just then, Sir Henry and Sir Bertram appear and use the skills I taught them to attack the sorcerer from behind.

“Henry!” I yell. “The blaze of Ares!” He immediately uses it to surround the sorcerer with a wall of fire. In the flames, I see the dragon’s face, and all the doubts that assailed me as I fought that scaly creature come rushing back. I remember the erupting volcano, the blood-red eyes of the dragon, and the cold air emanating off my sword. Like a sudden rush of adrenaline, I feel life and energy infusing my being. I’ve missed this feeling so much.

Being a novice to sorcery, Henry’s flames don’t last too long, but they hide me for long enough to cast a chromatic spell on myself and turn invisible.

“Bertram! Tundra!” I yell.

On command, Bertram freezes the sorcerer’s armor, who now struggles to move, giving me just enough time to shatter his armor with my sword just as my chromatic spell wears off. Our adversary falls to the ground and I pin him down with my sword.

Henry, Bertram, and William stay behind while I turn in the sorcerer.

“You have no idea what you’ve done,” the sorcerer tells me.

“Why’s that?” I respond.

“King Geralt is nothing more than a spoiled child. He couldn’t care less about this kingdom. I’m sure you would know. You couldn’t prevent the destruction of my home either.”

“I’m sorry about your home, but we did the best we could.”

“Then clearly you aren’t the hero we were promised.”

“Maybe not…but those days are gone. Now all we have is today, and the best we can do is live it the right way,” I say as a new confidence and realization that I still have an important role to play in the kingdom fills my heart.

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  • S

    Sarah LSep 6, 2023 at 2:20 PM

    Great writing! Can’t wait to read more—

  • G

    GramsSep 5, 2023 at 3:40 PM

    WOW! Can’t wait for the next episode! This is great, Hunter!

  • B

    Bud HoganSep 5, 2023 at 3:23 PM

    Well done, Hunter. I really enjoyed reading your story and I congratulate you on having it published in the school paper. I look forward to reading more of your work.