4.05 The Apprentice

The people of the town have gotten used to another strange sight. Varden has progressed from jumping off his house to gliding off his house to flying from his house. He can now maintain height; and with great effort, he can even climb. Flying from a running start is still difficult, and starting from a dead stop is still impossible.

More and more from his lessons with Kianna and other students in the town, Varden is reminded of his own lessons. It was the first lesson he ever had, and also the hardest – engraving a candle. It was a large candle, both the height and width of his arm at the time. It was stained dark blue on the outside and was wax coloured on the inside, and it was his task to engrave the phrase “Strength from Wisdom from Patience” around and around the candle, so the white showed through the blue. It took forever to work through, and by the end of it, Varden did not ever want to see the candle again, but it was his next task to follow an elder around the aerie, with the lit candle. It was doing this that he mastered one of his first spells – using a force hand to carry the candle around behind the elder, while using his real hands for holding old scrolls while the elder read aloud. At first the candle was shaky and wobbled, but eventually it grew sturdy, so that one day the elder tried to knock it from the air and failed.

This lesson was lost to Kianna, who, when given the first task, animated two chisels to do it for her and had completed the carving in less than an hour. At that point, Varden tried a different tack. Kianna’s next task was to sit still and concentrate on the wick of her candle, the goal being that if she can concentrate her mind and focus her energies, she would be able to light her candle without a match. As of now, Kianna hates that candle just as much as Varden hated his.

Lighting a candle and flying straight up – two goals that are yet to be achieved…

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