A flower’s sweet scent


There is so much to see, to hear and feel,

So much to experience on this wide earth

Once you get the courage to leave the hearth,

And decide the layers of life to peel,

Despite the little time we have from birth

We can see so much of all that is real,

Travel around the world from our own heel,

Dream of that of which we know not the worth,

So why is it that near these petals teal

My ship I cannot help but wish to berth,

What are these feels this flower seems to birthe?

And why can I not help but glances steal?



Tales of Ore – Part 8

The dark-haired teenager immediately recognized the slightly raspy voice of the tavern’s owner, which made him smile, but couldn’t place its origin exactly. He had to walk forward a few steps before finally noticing the silhouette of the small woman cleaning a table in the corner. All the curtains had been pulled making it difficult to see the room clearly at first.

“Hello.”, he replied as he looked around. “I hadn’t seen you Carmen, I thought the room was empty. It’s crazy, it seems like nothing has changed since last time, it only feels fresher.”

Thrista noticed the inside of the fine establishment had been renovated slightly, most of the tables looked brand new and the paint seemed freshly redone. But other than that everything was exactly the same, in the same place. Well, except for dirt: not even a trace of dust was visible on the ground.

“Ah, yes! I apologize for the obscurity. I’m taking advantage of the fact that there’s no customer to clean a little, and I hate to do it when the sun beats down like today. Plus its really hot out there so I closed the curtains to keep it cool inside. Isn’t it much more pleasant like this?”, the small woman said, her arm actively scrubbing the wooden table to make every last stain disappear from its surface.

“But do we know each other sir?”, she added, finally looking up smiling, seemingly satisfied with her work.

“So you don’t remember me? I do admit it’s been some time but even so…” asked the young man with a small pout.

The small woman put her tools away and walked towards him, eying his face curiously, her brows furrowed as her gray eyes carefully took in his features. She remained like that for a few seconds and Thrista simply stood there, his smile slowly getting bigger as he waited for the realization to kick in. He had changed quite a bit since the last time she had seen him, he had grown at least a good fifteen centimeters, his shoulders had gotten broader and his hair was a bit longer. It now fell down on his ears even though he used to keep it cut short. His face had gotten thinner and longer and his features slightly sharper, he was almost unrecognizable. Almost. The older woman tilted her head slightly to the right as she slowly voiced her thoughts.

“Your eyes…”, she started while narrowing hers,”Yes, I remember! Thrista! My gods, it has been so long, I hadn’t recognized you! You have grown so much!” she exclaimed as she pulled him into a tight embrace.

Despite her small frame the woman, who was now well into her fifties, possessed an otherworldly strength. This, coupled to her iron will, made it difficult to prevent her to get what she wanted. The young man found himself struggling to breath for a moment before responding to the embrace with a slight chuckle. He was happy to see her again after his long journey, he hadn’t realized it until now but he had missed her warmth. She had been part of his fond memories of Eneleïa since the first time his father had brought him. She was an old friend of his, dating back to childhood if Thrista had understood correctly, and had introduced the strong-willed but incredibly kind woman to him as soon as they had arrived. The young man had become attached to her very quickly. And this had been true the other way round too, Thrista realized this as he saw a small tear roll on her freckled cheek as she finally let him go. She quickly turned around to blow her nose and wipe her cheek.

“It is me”, he nodded with a smile.

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Tales of Ore – Part 6

On a dock not far from where the Leikan had stopped a small patrol from the Eneleïan navy was waiting patiently. The soldiers were standing in close, well-formed ranks, their weapons beside them as they calmly talked with each other. A man with graying hair was pacing slowly in front of them, nervously looking around. Suddenly he stopped and turned towards the water inside the large circular bay.

Men, attention!” he suddenly exclaimed. “They are coming, stay in ranks and salute when given the order, is that clear?”

Yes corporal!” responded each one of them as they picked up their weapons and stood straight.

Good.” he simply added before turning back towards the other side of the bay.

The docks were circular, surrounding the calm body of water, and extended on a diameter eight times wider than the docks where the Trinity had stopped earlier, it had been designed especially for the whole fleet to stay when it stopped in Eneleïa and was supposed to welcome the three ships that day. The Leikan, the Illilda and the Archeniss were scheduled to berth there after their stop at the harbor’s main docks to unload the civilian passengers and the cargo. The doors of the bay opened slowly, creating small ripples on the usually flat surface of the water, and the first ship, the Leikan, appeared and entered it, slowly positionning itself on the right side of the circular dock. It was soon followed by its two companions, each of them stopping in the center and on the left side which prevented any outsider from peeking inside the bay. As the bridges were lowered and the captains of the ships came down the corporal walked towards them to meet halfway. They were three, the young brunette woman from earlier, captain of the Leikan, a tall man with long white hair, captain of the Archeniss, and a smaller blonde man in his forties, captain of the Illilda, who was smiling.

Captains.”, the corporal saluted the three officers. “How was your trip? How may we assist you?”

The woman was the first to speak.

Fine, thank you corporal. As for the rest everything is taken care of, do not worry. Your job will be to secure this perimeter for as long as we remain here, which should be no longer than seven days. We only have to wait for the latecomers, as always…”, she added, shooting a look at the now still water of the bay.

The latecomers? Are you awaiting more ships than those three?”, asked the corporal.

Let’s say that we both are and are not.”, replied the woman in a mysterious tone.

But…”, the officer was about to ask for an explanation when bubbles and swirl started forming on the surface of the water in the center of the bay.

A dark shape started appearing under the water, getting bigger and closer to the surface, before finally revealing a large piece of white stone. The piece was quickly followed by the rest of the ship it belonged to and soon a fourth ship, smaller and with a round front and back, in the shape of a tube. It had no window anywhere. It stabilized at the surface and a door opened at the top of the first part to have come out of the water. A brown-haired man with a thin mustache and a blond woman came out of it one after the other. The man then saluted the four people watching them and smiled.

You should have waited for me before beginning the party!”, he shouted from the ship.

Hurry up Stone! We don’t have all day!”, exclaimed the captain of the Illilda, seemingly amused with his colleague’s attitude.

The cargo is with the Odenon,” then announced the oldest of the three captain present on the dock. “It is completely normal for you to be surprised corporal, very few people know that the Trinity is in fact a fleet of four ships, three cargo ships and a submersible.”

It can switch in mere instants from a cargo fleet to a fully operational armada capable of rivaling with a whole fleet but, as today, when our mission is simply to transport passengers and deliver goods it is not completely operational, which means it is vulnerable. This fourth submersible ship is undetectable and has been added to the fleet to protect it if time is needed.”, completed the young woman.

You may understand that due to its value and possible threat, this cargo must stay a secret for the time being, it will only be handed over to the lieutenant-general himself. It is very important, if not crucial, to the smooth progress of the preparations for the tournament.” Concluded the blond-haired man as his colleague from the submersible just joined them on the dock.

Of course!” replied the corporal once he got over his surprise. “You may unload it immediately, the special warehouse is fully ready for your arrival since this morning. It will remain our highest priority until transportation is ready.”

Excellent!” exclaimed the brunette woman. She then turned towards her men and started giving them orders to unload the cargo. “Men! Prepare to offload the Ortheus system!”

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Tales of Ore – Part 4

Don’t get too far away from me”, the older man warned him as they had just entered the city, “you would get lost very easily.”

Where are we going?”, Thrista asked, his eyes huge with amazement as he looked at the myriads of colors dancing all around him.

Oh, you’ll see soon enough!”, his father replied with playful wink, “but perhaps we might see the princess from up close…”

At the time, the young man hadn’t been able to tell if his father had been joking or not but he knew he hadn’t been able to help feeling very excited at the prospect of visiting such a magnificent city. The memory faded back into the far corners of his mind as he felt the ship finally come to a full stop. The crowd on the ground was still cheering and the passengers were replying with smiles and waves of the hand. Thrista looked around, people were already moving towards the bridges to disembark or back to their cabins to pack up their stuff before exiting the ship. He hesitated an instant before slowly making his way towards the most forward point of the Leikan, choosing to wait for the larger part of the passengers to have disembarked before getting off himself. This way he wouldn’t have to bear the rush of the crowd, both on the ship and on the docks, and he would be able to get to shore more calmly.

He turned towards the palace, a tall and large white building that stood above many of the surrounding constructions and was clearly discernible despite the distance. That was where he was going, to greet the princess, if she agreed to see him again. He let out a small sigh as his eyes swept over the rest of the port city, it didn’t seem to have changed that much since he had left two years before, if anything it seemed to have grown bigger. The elegant architecture was truly a beautiful sight, marrying myriads of colors to the white walls of the buildings, gracefully mixing wood and stone and alternating with tall and short, square and round structures. The city was a rich blend of many different styles and cultures, the diversity that it housed, both in population and architecture, but also in its economy, was what made it so wonderful in the eyes of its inhabitants and foreigners alike.

Finally, when only a handful of people remained on the deck of the ship, the young man decided to move and to disembark. He went back to his cabin, a small room with a single bed and a window on the ocean, to pick up his stuff. He threw on his wide but light cape, placing the hood over his head to shield himself from the heat, shouldered his bag and made sure he hadn’t forgotten anything before walking back outside. As he was about to enter the corridor covered with blue cloth that led down to the docks he noticed the captain of the ship, a young brunette woman, and her second in command, a slim red-haired man, looking down from the upper deck. The second in command gave him a polite nod as he noticed Thrista’s gaze while the captain simply swept her eyes over him before focusing back on the unloading that was taking place below on the docks. The young man offered the redhead a slight nod in return, smirking slightly at both of their reactions. He had seen both the young woman and her first mate in action, none seemed to look the part at first, one was small and considered ‘too good looking to be efficient’ by some, and the other was pale and looked frail enough to faint at the first sign of danger. However, once they were in their post he had seen their ability to maintain their authority and the devotion each of the seamen showed to them; never were they questioned or disrespected.

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Tales of Ore – Part 3

Silence slowly spread over the decks of the Leikan, the Illilda and the Archeniss as each passenger awaited the moment the doors would finally open with increasing tension. Only a few excited exclamations could be heard here and there as the children were beginning to grow impatient. The engines had been slowed down to the minimum while the captain of each ship waited for the authorization to enter the harbor. Suddenly, after what seemed like an eternity, a foghorn rang loudly in the distance, soon followed by a second one and then by a third, the whole of the Gates was soon resounding with the sound. Then a deep shaking sound erupted, coming from the walls themselves. A linear crack, parallel to the horizon, appeared on each part of the Gates, dividing each of the three symbols in half and the doors began to open. In front of the Leikan, Thrista had and unrivaled view of what was unfolding directly in front of him. The young man had already seen it a couples of times, but only from the other side of the Gates, and he had to admit it, although it was an incredible view, it didn’t compare to the sight he was seeing. It seemed as if a gigantic mouth opened itself in the Earth itself, ready to swallow everything.

The wall was at least twice as high as the ships thus hiding them from the sun in its gigantic shadow, so when the central gate finally opened the passengers were instantaneously flooded with bright light and loud sounds of cheering coming from the docks. Finally the trio of white stone maws were fully open and the ships’ engines began humming again, ever so slowly they began advancing into the harbor of Eneleïa, one through each door. Only a few hundred meters were left to their journey but Thrista couldn’t help but feel that this was by far the longest part, impatience and excitement were beginning to boil inside him, he desperately wanted to get off and wander the streets. There still were a few long minutes of wait however, as the fleet still had to dock and let the passengers get off. The cheers got louder and louder as the Leikan approached its docking point, Thrista finally caught a glimpse of what was causing such a ruckus: a large crowd was massed on both sides, waving and shouting gleefully at the three vessels. The clamor got even louder and intense once they got a reply from all three of the members of the Trinity, which simultaneously blasted their horns to signal their arrival.

Thrista was standing on the upper deck, observing the crowd down below and the rest of the harbor. It was immense to say the least, filled with large ships and small boats alike. Every visible square meter of the docks and the streets were occupied by the crowd that was welcoming the Trinity. If one was attentive enough, one could also see the decorations that had already begun to appear further in the distance; hundreds of colored drapes were spread all over, breathing even more life into the city which was ordinarily already bustling with activity. This scene reminded him of the first time he had come to Eneleïa, ten years before, he had been six at the time and the whole city was celebrating the tenth anniversary of the princess. He had come with his father who wanted to show him its magnificence during a time of celebration.

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Rebirth of Tales of Ore

I know.

If you’ve followed what happened on this blog a bit you’re certain to cry out: “Again?!”, and if you didn’t, well you should!

Now, what is this all about? “Tales of Ore? I don’t know that, what is it? Another one of his idiotic projects?”. If that’s what you’ve thought, then yes! You are totally right! That’s exactly it! It’s another writing project that I’m going to start and never finish… Or restart, if I want to be correct. Because yes, I have already written part of that story, some of it which has been posted on this blog in French and in English, but I never got the courage and the determination to continue it and to go all the way.

Tales of Ore, if you’re interested (if not, why are you here?), is a fantasy story I’m writing. The first one actually, my first story ever. I’ve been thinking about it for quite a long time and writing it bit by bit for a few years now. Sadly, however, it has never gotten anywhere really interesting or productive… I’ve stopped not even halfway through the first part of the story and haven’t written a word since… I try to pick it up from time to time but never manage to get far. That is precisely the reason I have decided to put this project in place!

“What is it this time?”, you may ask. Well! Let my explain.

It’s been some time since I’ve really gotten into writing a story, I’ve worked on a few projects of mine here and there, notably Echoes of Power and Stanley, but nothing very consistent (at least in my mind). Also, I haven’t been writing much either these last few months (except maybe poetry, which I have been quite productive at recently) and that bums me a little. So, having recently been renewing my interest/motivation for writing my stories I have decided to give myself a sort of challenge to motivate me and produce something.

The challenge: daily writing. I want to move forward with the story and there’s no secret: to write a book one has to write. So I have decided to write every day, a little bit of course, a minimum of five hundred (500) words on Tales of Ore. This is for two reasons. Number one, to make me write a little everyday. Number two, to finally manage to write Tales of Ore (which has been stagnating for months, years now…). These ‘parts’, as I have taken the habit to call them when I did this for Echoes of Power, will later be regrouped into real chapters, but for the moment here is what I promise: one part a day, everyday of the week (Yes! Even on Sundays!), with at least five hundred words. And that for a month.

Yes. Just one month for now. This is, sort of, a trial period to see if I can manage it. If it works out well, I will keep on going. If it doesn’t, well, revise my methods and start again!

So, yeah, in short: one part of Tales of Ore, 500 words, each day for a full month!

How about that?! Impressed yet? No? Aw…

Anyway. See you later today for part 2 (yes, part 1 was published this morning but it should’ve been uploaded yesterday so, whatever…)

And as always, enjoy!

EoP – Part 117

Echoes of Power

Part 117

“As I am sure you have noticed, there is something different about you, something… unusual, to put it in kind words.” Damian started as Alexandre sat besides him on the grass, “Those creatures that attacked you, they were real. I can assure you that much. You are not dreaming, this is not some hallucination, or delusion of your mind, this is reality. Cold and harsh.”

He paused to look the teenager straight in the eye. Alexandre had to refrain a shiver as he found himself immediately made uncomfortable by the two blue orbs, it felt as if the older man could look directly through him, into the deepest corners of his mind.

“If I hadn’t intervened, you would probably have died. It’s as simple as that.”

Once again he was silent, giving Alexandre time to take it in. If the teenager couldn’t at least come to terms with that then it was useless to waste time on him. At least he seems to be reflecting on that, Damian thought. That seemed a positive sign.

“I- I understand that,” Alexandre replied.

It was true, he did understand the point the older man was making. It had already started dawning on him some time ago and he hadn’t been able to refrain the icy chills since then. What if he hadn’t been there that time? The first time had been pure luck, the teenager still couldn’t say how he had managed to survive it… Plus he had a feeling it wouldn’t be the last time he encountered such strange -and dangerous- things, so he had to be ready, to be able to defend himself. Even if just a little. Damian silently nodded before speaking again.

“What I am going to teach you will not make you invincible, it will not make you strong. You will not learn to bend the laws of our world, at most, and depending on your hard work, you will be able to blur them a little, to curve them slightly. My teachings do not have the goal to make you a superhero or anything close. I will simply be opening your eyes to new possibilities and showing you the potential ways to go. Only you will be able to act upon this new knowledge and explore them. Is that understood?”, he then asked.

“Yes master,” the teenager replied, listening carefully.

“Good,” said Damian before pausing for a short moment as if he was pondering something. “Tell me, what do you know about mana?”, he then asked.

Alexandre furrowed his eyebrows, trying to think about what he knew. He knew that it was something used by video games as a magical energy but that it was based of beliefs and myths about a secret inner energy that could be shaped by one to affect their bodies and the world around them. Apart from the other names it had in different cultures he didn’t know much, though apparently it seemed important for what Damian was about to teach him.

Once again he older man nodded as Alexandre gave voice to his thoughts.

“Yes, you are partly right. Mana, under this name or others, appears in many cultures, mostly in video games nowadays. Why do you think that is? Because there is truth to it, like there is to many of the tales and legends that people tell,” the man in his forties explained. “To an empirist, one who trains in the art of empirium, it is the name of the energy -if you wish to call it that way- that we act upon to bend the laws of this world. It is somewhat akin to fuel that is used to power vehicles. To an empirist it is, to make another analogy, both the paint and the brush that we use to give form to our desires.”

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500 posts mark passed!

Today I have officially posted the 500th post of this blog!

This is cause for a little celebration, is it not?! :D

I have been thinking about this post for a few days now, ever since I realized that I was getting nearer and nearer to post number 500 so here are a few things I wanted to say (I promise it won’t be too long):

Firstly, I wanted to congratulate myself on making it this far, I had hopes that I would when I began posting the Quotidians and writing Stanley (the first serial I decided to write and publish on this blog) but I didn’t know if I was going to make it, if I was able to do it. Many things changed over time, I stopped the Quotidians and paused Stanley to focus on other stories like Echoes of Power or Tales of Ore, I started writing more poetry and, lately, I even began posting some texts in French. I can’t say it’s been easy, I haven’t always felt inspire to write on a daily basis and I have often not felt satisfied with the quality of my writings, but despite that I have kept doing it. I have kept typing words one after the other and posting texts (more or less) regularly. and, over time, it has become easier and I have managed to better myself along the way. For that reason, I am proud and I want to congratulate myself. But enough about me, now it’s time to talk about you, my dear readers!

The second thing I wanted to say was a huge “Thank you!” to all of you readers who feel interested by my writings and taker some time to stop and come read them. Thank you for that, thank you for your comments (always kind and interesting), thank you for liking what I write and thank you for taking time to read me! I had originally planned to delay this post a little because of another incredibly awesome piece of news: Tales of Ore has almost reached one hundred followers! How awesome is that?! The counter has, at the moment, stopped at 98 followers (darn! so close to a hundred!), but you can’t believe how happy and proud I am! Ninety-eight followers! Can you imagine! So many people!Wow… Such wow, much excitement, very happiness! -Ahem- So, yeah, again, thank you so much to all of you who let me know you enjoy reading what I write, it means a lot! And thank you for simply taking time to read it!

The third, and last (don’t worry, it’s almost over!), thing I wanted to say was that I can only hope that in the future you will keep enjoying what I read because I do not plan to stop any time soon! I have so many projects in mind, so many ideas and feelings I still want to share with all of you. May this adventure keep going for as long as my love of writing burns bright! So, yeah, keep reading because I have a lot more in store for you guys and gals!

I think that is all I had to say so, once more,


for everything and may you keep enjoying what I write in the future!


Stanley – 32


Season 2

Part 32

Rated M for mature content.

Previous Chapter

She had the impression they had been running for hours as they finally slowed down to a normal walking pace. They entered the fast food, trying to act as normal as possible despite their heavy breathing and the fact that both of them were drenched in sweat. They sat down at a table after ordering something to eat; Michel had insisted he “fill his belly with the sweet delight of fast cuisine” and she hadn’t had the heart to say no, her stomach rumbling at the smell of those delicious fries. Her partner started devouring his meal immediately and she followed in turn, both famished after having to run away from that horde of cops.

They had been halfway through the second rooftop when they had heard the shouts of police officers telling them to stop coming from the stairway behind them. How they had managed to get up there so fast was something Stephanie couldn’t explain but they had managed it. Of course neither of them had hesitated even a single second before starting to run faster, she couldn’t get caught, especially not after what she had done. She didn’t manage to stop herself from cringing at the thought, it had all been for naught… Plus she didn’t have a very fond memory of prison cells. Apparently Michel wasn’t too keen on letting himself get caught either because he lead the way without slowing down.

Where the shouts of the police officers had not even fazed her a bit, the first gunshots had almost made her freeze on the spot, almost. It had been surprising, she had never heard a gunshot from such little distance and the whizzing of the bullets as they rushed past both of them was quite surprising too but, since Michel didn’t skip a beat in his run, she didn’t stop and kept running. They had cut it close, very close even, she had to admit that. Even with all her good will and the energy she put into moving her legs one in front of the other at the highest speed possible she couldn’t help but being a little scare, or, more precisely, a bit apprehensive. Being on a rooftop wasn’t that dangerous in itself if one knew how to keep one’s balance and not to do anything stupid. The problem is that they were doing all the stupid possible at that moment: running at full speed, not caring where they stepped, running away from cops and being shot at. Not the most clever thing she had done in her life…

She had barely felt anything as the bullet had grazed her on the right side of her chest, making a hole in her jacket, it had been the feeling of wetness and the dizziness that had come after that had alerted her that something was wrong. She hadn’t said anything though, not before they had managed to get back down to the street. Then, and only then, as the cries of the police officers on the rooftops could still be heard, she had told Michel.

“Let’s get to the car first , we’ll see that then,” she had replied as he had advised to check her wound.

They had driven off as quickly as possible, somehow evading all the police cars on the way and had finally ended up in the commercial zone. Michel had parked the car near a mall and had bought a few supplies to treat her wound while she was evaluating the damage. In the end it hadn’t been to serious, a gash on her side and nothing more. Still hurting but with a clean wound and a reassured mind, they had walked in the nearest fast food to grab a quick bite. And here they were, unsure of what to do next, if they had been tracked by the police or if they were now fugitives. After all, the cops hadn’t been close enough to get a look at their faces so they most likely were safe, but one never knew. Stephanie was starting to relax, thinking back to the apartment and the clues they had found as she ate her chicken burger, when she saw the three men in black suits walk in the room.

To be continued…

EoP – Part 116

Echoes of Power

Part 116

“You are late,” was the first thing the teenager heard as he approached the man he had met just a few days before.

“Yeah, I know, I’m sorry I-“, he began his reply but was interrupted.

“I told you not to be late,” he heard Damian say, cutting him in the middle of his sentence and

Alexandre looked at the older man, frowning as his surprise slowly passed. He almost grunted. Almost. The only reason he managed to refrain himself from doing so was that he had a feeling that in doing so he would earn himself another snarky remark. He was realizing too late he had been right in his negative premonition a few minutes earlier, almost regretting his decision to have come. Damian’s face was an unreadable mask as he sat on the ground, his blue scarf around his neck and his legs crossed. His hands were on his thighs and he was visibly doing something akin to meditation. The man hadn’t even opened his eyes or moved to greet the teenager even though Alexandre was sure he had heard him approach and recognized him. The light-haired teen was beginning to regret his decision to accept someone like that as his teacher, whatever the odds of him being killed by dangerous creatures in the future…

“Do you regret your decision?”, suddenly asked Damian, still in the same position, as if he had read the teenager’s thoughts.

“Uh…”, Alexandre began, his surprise making him hesitate, “no, no! I don’t regret it, I just…”, he paused again, unsure of what to say.

Damian remained silent, as if he was waiting for his student, inviting him to explain himself. Alexandre’s hesitation didn’t last long though. He had been prepared to anything when he had accepted Damian as his teacher, well, not anything, as he didn’t even know what would happen next, but he knew it wasn’t going to be something ‘normal’… Plus, despite the thoughts that had crossed his mind, he wasn’t ready to die yet and if that weird dude, sitting on the grass in front of him, could help with that he wasn’t going to say no. Plus he wanted answers, he needed answers. Whatever I have to do, he thought as he opened his mouth again, no matter if this is a bad decision.

“I just have so many questions that I don’t know where to begin,” he replied as he walked the few paces that separated him from the strange man who had agreed to tell him about what was going on.

“Alright then!”, Damian exclaimed as he finally opened his eyes, looking at the teenager with his unsettling blue eyes.

“I will answer your questions, that I have promised, but before we begin anything I must ask you, are you willing to let me teach you about the art of Empirium?”, he then said, still looking straight at Alexandre, before adding, “You know why I am asking that, don’t you? This is not going to be easy in the least, learning to read and use the flow of mana will come with a price, do you accept that?”

“Yes.”, replied Alexandre with a nod, not even letting himself a moment to think about it.

He wanted to know and he saw no other way, at least none in which he could keep it all to himself… Damian looked at him silently for a moment, as if he was evaluating the teenager’s resolve, before nodding and standing up.

“Very well. From now on you are my student, I am your master and that is how we will refer to each other. You will do as I say, no question, no complaint, just follow my orders. I will answer your questions, if you have any, when the time comes, that is when I decide so. I will do it then and only then. In the meantime you will know only what you need to know. Is that understood?”

“Yes!”, replied Alexandre, looking straight back.

The teenager saw Damian frown slightly, the man took a few steps towards him, their gaze never breaking off.

“‘Yes master.’, that is how you will reply to me from now on, only in that manner. Once more, is that understood?”

Alexandre almost froze again, the intensity of the gaze was barely sustainable as it became clear he hadn’t been wrong about Damian. This was not going to be easy.

“Yes master.”, he repeated, straightening slightly at the words.

Damian nodded, seemingly satisfied, before sitting back down.

“Now sit, there are things you need to know before we begin…”

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