"Master, I've finally learned the king level magic, Vermilion Strike!" A young teenage boy excitedly barged into the room where Hakim resided.
Hakim raised his aged eyebrows in wonder, "Boy, did you really?" His wizened voice sounded weak, but contained the fires of life. From his appearance, he looked like an ancient elder, ready to depart from the world at any time. But if you looked into his eyes, it contained a youth that aged men would normally lack.
The boy, David, nodded, "Uh-huh! Come out, I'll show you!" He excitedly tugged on the sleeve of Hakim's robe, hurrying the old sage up from seat. To David, Hakim was a fatherly figure. Like any young boy, they wanted nothing more than to get the approval of their father. A king level magic was the peak of all magics, and would normally take decades just to be able to properly perform, but to a prodigal child of God such as David, he had managed to learn it at the ripe age of fourteen.
Even Hakim, who was recognized as one of the greatest magicians of his era, and known as the Great Sage, wasn't able to have such accomplishments at a young age. Because of this, Hakim was skeptical, but unhurriedly walked outside of his dilapidated shack and out to the open field where David normally practiced his magic.
David gave Hakim an expectant look. He was ready to perform the spell at any given time. Hakim nodded, ready to witness David's accomplishments.
With Hakim's approval, David did not wait any longer and began his chant, "King of Flames and King of Vigor, grant me thy ardor..." David chanted the verses, articulating every syllable with care and precision. He did not want to mess this up, especially in front of Hakim. The chant continued for a full ten minutes before he unleashed, "Unleash thy heavenly Might! Vermilion Strike!"
During the chant, the skies around David had turned crimson, and clouds began forming around David, creating a typhoon-like formation with him as the eye of the storm. The area around him began to gradually heat up, and when he completed the incantation, a series from crimson flaming meteors descended from the skies. The meteor's heavenly might pummeled the earth, creating shock waves one after another. After the last meteor struck the ground, the ground had turned into a barren wasteland wherever the meteors struck. Where David has targeted was now a barren wasteland within a diameter of one mile. This kind of destruction would level a town.
Hakim gave a nod of approval, "No wonder there were so many shockwaves an hour ago." He recalled. However, Hakim was used to such happenings with David's practice of magic. Given the hour wait before David barged into Hakim's room, he must've been using that time to restore his mana power to show off to Hakim. This young genius, under the guidance of the Great Sage Hakim, had officially become the most talented magician of this era.
"Congratulations are in order," Hakim said, "Now you are ready to take your learning to the next level."
Hakim had been waiting for this day. This was the very reason he took in David and raised him. He wanted to leave behind a legacy of his magical research.
"Have a good rest and see me tomorrow, I will now give you my magical inheritance, young one."
"Yes!" David ran back into the dilapidated shack. Performing a king level magic was no joke. As he ran, one could see drops of sweat falling down to the ground. Even though he was tired, his sense of pride and accomplishment made him feel full of energy. Thanks to this burst of energy, he did not look the least bit tired at all.
Hakim sighed. It had been an entire decade since he had taken the young boy in. He had trained him in magic, and the boy's love of learning further spurned Hakim's enthusiasm, giving him more and more lessons. Thanks to Hakim's teachings, he was able to reach a high level of magic at such a young age. Hakim was considered the greatest teacher of magic, after all. It was he who revolutionized and developed the modern system of magic, making it efficient and easy to understand.
Before Hakim's era, magic was still in its developing period, and there were few people willing to be magicians thanks to the difficulty of it. However, thanks to Hakim, the influx of youths desiring to become magicians had steady increased, eventually ushering a golden age of magic. Of course, this was of no interest of Hakim. He was now a reclusive person, with no interest in the affairs of the world. He did not have much longer to live, so he only wished to live out his days in peace.
Before his passing away though, he would pass down the rest of his knowledge to David. After that, he would finally pass away in peace. A suitable death for one such as the Great Sage.
Two years passed.
David was now at the ripe age of sixteen. His face was full of youth and vigor, with a hint of maturity in his eyes. Hakim nodded in approval at David's growth. Over the past two years, Hakim had given him the teachings of his greatest works, his personal magic system that was far more advanced than the current known one. However, it was far harder to learn, but with David's talent, he was able to scratch the surface of it. Now that David had grown up, it was time to leave the bird's nest.
"Go, David. Experience the world, I don't have much longer to live. If you've ever returned here, I'll most likely have passed away." Hakim told David. Hakim could feel his life force fading away, and he was aware that his time was near. He didn't want David, a child he treated like a son, to see him passing away. Most of all, he wanted David to go out adventuring and seeing the world. He wanted him to see what the world had to offer and experience it, something that he wasn't able to do in his life. After all, in his life, he had mostly remained in seclusion, researching magic in order to make the world a better place. He had devoted himself to furthering the needs of the world that he had neglected his own happiness. It was a regret he had.
Raising David, though, was a form of happiness to Hakim. He did not want to see David sad, and had thus decided to have David leave him so he could pass away peacefully.
David had a forlorn expression on his face, a unwillingness to leave. To David, Hakim was a fatherly figure. Somebody he loved and respected with all of his heart. The thought of Hakim passing away left him sad. However, there was also an excitement of experiencing the world. To a young adolescent like David, the world was a vast place, and there were many things to experience.
David sighed. He knew what he had to do, but remained reluctant. After a moment, he finally steeled his resolve. This parting, David thought to himself, will be a happy one. "Teacher, I'll never forget your teachings. This is goodbye now, I wish you the very best." He gave a hearty smile. The smile was youthful, full of his hopes and dreams. Seeing his smile, Hakim was reassured that David would not disappoint him. "Farewell, David. Enjoy what life has to offer. Enjoy all the things I wasn't able to when I was younger."
Hakim watched as the back of the adolescent eventually sunk into the horizon. He took a deep breath and walked back into his dilapidated house and spend the rest of his days in peace.
Several months passed and Hakim was lying on his bed. He on the last moments of his life. Given his knowledge in the workings of the world and his high attainments in magic, he knew exactly how long he had to live. As he laid in bed, he took out a necklace. Attached to the necklace was a spherical object. From the fluctuations of magic, it was definitely not an ordinary item. Hakim had found it in the east in an ancient ruin on one of his outings to investigate an event.
"All this time I've spent researching you, and yet I still don't know a thing." Hakim said to himself. He sighed before putting it away. If there were any regrets he had in his life, it was that he had never gotten to enjoy and live life to the fullest. However, he was still satisfied. In the last remaining years of his life, he had raised David like a son and gave him his love and affection. At times, he was strict and stern. Other times he was loving and forgiving. As he recalled the memories of David, he closed his eyes, going off to sleep one last time.
Eventually, David would become the First Hero, ushering in an Age of Heroes.
The chapter title has a double meaning to it. I hope you guys get it!
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