Alae Valley's Anguis Has a Heart - 4
It was not unexpected for Aestus to introduce new magic types to Anguis, but this time, Anguis wondered if he could really do it.
In front of him was a dead rat. And what Aestus expected of him was to revive it.
”Teacher, what will happen to the rat if I succeed in reviving it?”
Aestus shrugged and nonchalantly replied: ”According to the books, it will become an undead being. You can become its master and order it. Basically, it will become your slave.”
Hearing this, Anguis shivered. What kind of person made up this magic? Why did it sound so ominous?
Aestus nudged him and hurried him to start. All he needed to say was an order while circulating Crinis through his body.
He hesitated, but stepped forward and put his hand above the carcass.
This simple command made the rat’s body twitch uncontrollably, and a couple seconds later, the rat squeaked and stood up. The only difference was that its eyes were white now. ”Umm, is it supposed to look like that?” Anguis’ voice shook a bit. He was shifting his eyes from unease.
”Yeah, you did it well. Now order it to die.”
Anguis bit his lip before lifting his hand once more and murmuring the command. The rat’s body fell on the ground like it was never animated. He felt Aestus patting his head. It was a sign of praise, but he felt that it was not worth it.
”Who thought of such practice? It is going against the laws of nature…”
To this question, Aestus shook his head indicating that he didn’t know. He silently tapped the ground and it then swallowed the carcass.
This kind of mastery is what Anguis craved. He applauded his teacher in his mind, but kept a poker face outside. Aestus, seeing through Anguis’ excited eyes, smiled and decided to let him off the hook for the further lessons that he was supposed to conduct today.
”From now on, whenever you kill a creature for food or self-defense, try this out on them, and then return them to the earth again. I think that would be enough for you to practice for now. Oh, yeah. The name of this kind of magic is necromancy.”
Anguis nodded, not really looking forward to this practice, but he knew it was for his own good.
Well, not really.
It was more that Aestus actually wanted to impart his knowledge upon someone, and he was the only one interested in magic for now.
Magic came natural to other dragons, they didn’t need chants or any learning to do what they wanted. It was the privilege of being a magical being.
As Anguis was deliberating on this, Aestus asked him with a soft tone: ”Anguis, do you wish to exit the valley and travel the continent?”
Anguis’ expression could only be described as comical. His eyes bulged out, jaws were hanging open, showing little canines he had, and he was frozen in place. ”Teacher… You mean, like, outside? Far from the valley? Like you?”
Aestus laughed and nodded.
Being confronted with such a question, Anguis started thinking about it. He did want to see how the capital looked today. But his family was here, everything he had was here. He did not want to lose it or abandon it.
What if he was unable to return once he was gone? Was this Aestus’ subtle hint that he should go now that he has grown up? He…wasn’t needed anymore? Was he not a part of the flight?
But before he could even ask, Aestus came up to him and hugged him tightly, even bringing him up into the air and swinging him around. Then he put him back down.
”I’m sorry for asking such a difficult question. I didn’t think it through. I just…I just thought that you were curious about the outside. I know I’ve told you many stories over the years about the people of Caelum, so I thought that you would be interested in experiencing it for yourself. I didn’t mean to make you insecure.”
With those words, it was obvious that all of the doubts that Anguis had had shown on his face. Anguis blushed and shook his head, speechless.
He just had never thought about that. He was satisfied with being in the valley for the rest of his life. It was a peaceful, fun, loving environment.
Although he never met another human except for himself, he felt no need to do it. Seeing through him once again, Aestus sighed and motioned for him to sit.
”You see, humans live a lot shorter than dragons do, Anguis. That’s why I want you to meet the world and find its charms before passing away. If you think it’s not necessary, I won’t push it, but if you ever change your mind, I’ll be glad to teach you Human language. I know that we haven’t ever covered that topic, but that was my oversight. You see, you grew up amongst us. You learnt the Dragon’s language. To humans, it seems like we’re hissing and growling when speaking. Mainly, I didn’t teach you because the magic chants are effective in any language, so I thought it wouldn’t matter. It seems that even I forgot you’re human.”
Anguis hung his head low. He didn’t feel very comfortable with this topic, he didn’t want to hear more. Somehow, he felt that it would be much better if he just stayed with the flight, to enjoy peaceful days with them.
Why would anyone want to lose that, or abandon it for uncertainty?
He sighed and asked Aestus to let him think it over. Aestus said to take his time, he had it, after all.
When Anguis exited the cave, the afternoon had already passed and the night was about to cover the entire sky. What was he supposed to do? Leave for a journey or stay?
Deciding that it was not worth thinking about it so late, he headed towards the orchard he made and picked some peaches. He ate a couple before giving the rest to the warmlings of a young cockatrice. She thanked him with a smile on her face.
As Anguis looked around the valley and saw all the dragons walking and cruising around, some dipping in the river, he wondered, do they really differ that much? So much that he had to leave? That he’d die before all of them? Heartache was insufferable.
He wanted to cry, but no tears came. Although he was an expressive person, he rarely cried since his childhood. Even when he was in pain, he didn’t cry, he would just endure. After all, he had been brought up with the pride of a dragon.
For him, a dragon was a mighty being that flew through the sky, swam in the rivers, hid in the earth to hunt. And they were immortal.
He shuddered, thinking that he shouldn’t think of them as immortals. They just had long lifespans.
Suddenly wanting to hear some soothing words and stories from the past, he went to the oldest dragon, Auguris.
From today on, this novel’s releases will be weekly until I get enough chapters written to be able to release it more frequently. So, those who are interested in knowing what’s going to happen to Anguis and Auguris, please tune in next Monday!