Delsin = Apprentice

Kiyar, (Kylar?) = KC

Syed = E.W. Eminent Wizard

Delsin stared at the blood splattered room. He hated cleaning after his Master had his fun but that’s just how it went. Worse, he couldn't use magic. A "null room" his Master called it. Any magic used was siphoned off and dumped into the null spell, strengthening it.

Delsin wiped his eyes. He wouldn't cry. He refused to cry.

He got to work, scrubbing the blood splattered walls, the blood splattered floors, the blood splattered mirrors. Everywhere until everything was clean. Except the bed. He wouldn't look at the bed. He couldn't. He wiped at his eyes again.

An apprenticeship to a wizard. An easy thing. Delsin developed his magic at an early age and was quickly apprenticed to the Eminent Wizard. Delsin shook his head, he was standing in the middle of the room, staring at the newly cleaned floor.

The first time Delsin had been told to clean up after his Master, it had been a week after thier one year probation.

An apprentice and his or her new Master had a year probation. If the year didnt work out, the family of the child didn't get paid and the child got apprenticed to someone else. If the matched passed the one year probation, the family got paid and the child was the Master's, to do with what they pleased until the child turned 18 and went onto their own practice.

He had been happy, that single year. Lessons in magic, in horseback riding, in painting. Anything that caught his eye his Master would smile and show him, or get someone in the palace to show him.

"Whets the point if being Eminent Wizard, if you can't do what you want?" he always told the boy. That had more significance now than it did then.

He went home the weekend before his probation ended and showed his parents what he had learned and chattered on about his Master for hours.

His parents got paid and a week later he had to clean this very room for the first time. He hadn't understood what had happened. Hadn't understood why his Master had tortured and murdered an innocent girl. He asked his Master why and got whipped for his trouble then sent back into the bloody room.

Of course his Master hadn't told him he couldn't use magic so, naturally, he tried to use it.

At first attempting to heal his back then, figuring the wizard had put a non-heal spell on the stripes, attempting to clean the blood soaked mirror. After the fourth or fifth attempt, he noticed his magic sort of transforming and then being pulled somewhere else. He set out another tendril of magic and followed it.

That’s when he found the silver box just outside the door, set into the wall, he also found his Master, who was obviously waiting for him. The Eminent Wizard smiled at him, explained the null spell, then sent him back into the room to clean.

Just like this time, he had saved the body for last. When he finially got close to the torn flesh and dismembered limbs, he vomited all over the floor he had washed.

He had just turned seven.

After ten years of cleaning up after the E.W.'s monthly fun, Delsin thought. I should be used to it by now.

But this body was different. He knew who's body he would find today when Jod, the head groomsmen, had sought him out.

Delsin slowly walked to the bed, still staring at the floor until he saw a blood drenched sheet. Just as slowly as he had walked, he raised his eyes to the body and a tear fell down his cheek.

He held a clean, damp cloth in his hand. He knew he had to do this. To... make sure. Maybe it wasn't her.

He lifted the cloth to the ruined face and carefully wiped it clean. "Oh, Tariana." he whispered. "I am so sorry. I am so sorry. I didn't know. I swear, I didn't know. I would have, I would have-" his voice broke as he began to bawl, great wrenching sobs pulled out of him.

His poor sister. His poor, 15 year old sister. If he had known EW would take a liking to her, he would have told his parents to apprentice her elsewhere. She looked like Delsin, not like EW's usual victims. Black hair, not blonde. Tall, not short. Strong, not weak.

"But you weren't strong enough, were you?" he asked her. He had stopped sobbing and was smoothing her hair, ignoring the mess he got on his hands.

"Are you done cleaning yet?" his Master walked into the room. "You saved the body for last. What did I tell you about that? Why are you crying?"

The Eminent Wizard was tall, strong, powerful. In his late 40's, he looked to be more in his early 30's. Wizards aged well. His brown hair was long and his beard oiled into a point. His grey eyes flashed angrily when he noticed Delsin was kneeling by the bed.

He strode to his apprentice, grabbed his arm and yanked him to his feet. He pointed at the corpse on the bed. "Did you know her?"

Delsin, his arm painfully squeezed, lied. "No, Master. I saw her around the castle, that’s all. I... I..." he thought quickly of a suitable lie. "I thought she was pretty, Master. I would have liked to bed her before you..." he trailed off and made a gesture towards the bed.

"Bed her?" He squeezed harder. "Into incest are you? Yes, I knew." he said, laughing at Delsin's expression. "Why else would I have picked her? She's not my... usual type, as you know."

Delsin yanked his arm out of his Master grip. "Why?" he pointed to his sister's body. "Why did you do that to her?"

"To prove to you I could. You defied me last month. Now you won't ever do it again. Be grateful you were born a boy or you might have ended up in the same place."

Delsin wanted to badly to hit that evil grin off the Eminent Wizard's face but he held back. He couldn't avenge Tariana's death if he was dead to.

"Please leave, Master." he turned back to the bed. "Please leave and let me do this in peace."

EW stood there for a few more minutes, watching as Delsin stared at his sister.

"Lessons in an hour. Don't be late or it will be 10 lashes."

Delsin nodded once, a quick jerk of his head and his Master strode out of the room as quickly as he had come.

Delsin wanted so badly to fall to his knees and cry some more but EW was probably watching him from the doorway, invisable. He got to work.

Twenty minutes later he strode out into the hall carrying Tariana. He sent a quick probe to see if his master was there, hiding behind an invisibility spell.

His Master didn't know it, probably too cocky of his own abilities, Delsin thought. But while the invisibility spell was perfect, when Delsin sent out a magical probe, the probe could feel the slipperiness of the spell when it came into contact with it.

He sent the probe in a wide arc, and then sent it up.

As a child he had taken to following his oldest cousin, Frennel and could never figure out where he disappeared to. That last weekend before his real apprenticeship began, he had asked him.

At first Delsin though he wasn't going to tell, then Frennel had smiled.

"Up." He pointed to a tree, to an awning and then to a low roof. "No one ever looks up. Have you noticed? You never did, anyway." His cousin had laughed, ruffled Delsin's hair and sprinted off, Delsin following close behind.

This time when he had lost sight of Frennel, he looked up and around. Sure enough, there he was, a few feet away in the neighbor's apple tree and waving at him.

That piece of advice, to look up, had saved him from countless whippings and other, inventive punishments.

The prob found nothing. Delsin set the body down and, saying a quick spell, sent it in the middle of a pile of hay in the stable. He quickly went back into the room. He had set the spell up after Jod had spoken with him and now he activated it. Soon he walked back out carrying another body.

He put a weak illusion spell on the bundle and walked though the castle and into the basement. He hadn't thought about it that first year, but that second year he thought about it a lot. He came to the conclusion that only an Evil Wizard would torture innocent girls and work out of a basement.

That’s how Delsin's nickname for his master had first popped into his head It was good that his Master's title of Eminent Wizard also was E.W. Sometimes he slipped up in front of others, never his Master though. He told those who asked that Eminent Wizard was difficult to say and EW was easier.

They naturally accepting it, saying it was indeed a hard thing for a seven year old to say.

Whither someone had told EW of his apprentice's nickname, Delsin didn't know. But he hadn't been punished for it. Yet.

Why the null room was on the third floor and the Eminent Wizard's workroom in the basement was easy. The Eminent Wizard served the king and that his most trusted advisor tortured peasant girls wasn't something the king would be happy with.

Before EW had sent him in the null room for the first time, he placed a spell on Delsin, forbidding him to tell anyone the Eminent Wizard's business. He strengthened the spell every six months.

He walked into his Master's workroom. A fire was already blazing. Delsin quickly walked over to it and made to toss the body in.

"Wait."

Delsin halted and turned. "Master?"

"You have an illusion spell on that. Why?" EW walked from behind a table covered in glass bottles and books and waved his hand, dismissing Delsin's weak illusion.

He peaked into the bundle, at the face as Delsin stammered. "I, I'm sorry, M-master. I couldn’t look at her face anymore." his face fell.

"Sentimental brat." He withdrew his hand from the body and waved at the fire. "Toss it in."

Delsin followed suit and then fell to his knees as the body burned.

"Get up. Did you change the sheets yet?"

Delsin raised his teary face. "No, Master. Burn the body first. That's your rule." He wiped his face and rose.

"I'll do that now, Master."

EW nodded at him, seated back at his table. "Ask the herbalist for some Ladieslock. I think you need it."

Delsin took the insult without a sound and left. Ladieslock. Like saying I have a monthly is going to bother me, Delsin huffed.

Instead of going back to the third floor, he had already made the bed and cleaned what was left, he went out to the stable. He located the stack he had placed Tariana in but didn't know what to do next. He sat there for a good while, staring at the hay and thinking.

"Apprentice Delsin, is that you?" A male voice asked, deep and rich. "Why are you crying?"

Delsin looked up while touching his face, surprised to find it damp.

"I'm sorry, Champion. I wasn't aware I was. Do you need me?" he tried to keep his voice steady.

"How many times have I told you to call me Kiyar. Champion sounds so formal. I thought we were friends." he mock pouted and a lock of brown hair fell over one eye.

Delsin smiled, a little weakly.

"A smile is good. Now, will you tell me what's wrong?"

Delsin went to shake his head but stopped, thinking. Kiyar was the King's Champion. He had always been nice to Delsin, even before he had won the title.

Delsin had come when he was six and, that first year, an eleven year old Kiyar was his riding teacher. They had played often the first few years of Delsin's apprenticeship but grew apart as Delsin's Master grew more demanding and the punishments got worse.

When Kiyar had won the tournament for title of King's Champion at 20, Delsin had missed it. He foolishly mentioned his interest in it and was forbidden to go. He had ben laid up with 30 lashes across his back anyway.

"Kiyar." Delsin began but halted.

"Yes?" Kiyar sat next to him.

"I know we haven't been friends," Delsin put up a hand to stop Kiyar's protests. "I mean real friends in a long time but." Delsin halted again. He knew he trusted Kiyar, but did Kiyar trust Delsin?

"First. Do you trust me? Like, "if you were falling off a roof, I'd catch you" trust."

Kiyar didn't give him a funny look like he was expecting but seemed to consider the question. "Yes." he finally answered.

"I trust you in the same way. Thing is, I can't tell you."

Kiyar threw up his hands and made to get up. Delsin grabbed his arm and pulled him back down.

"Please listen?"

Kiyar sighed an nodded. "Think who my Master is. Who am I apprenticed to. I can't tell you." he stressed can't, hoping Kiyar would get it and he did, his eyes widening. He looked at the apprentice. "Go on. I'm listening."

"You know I have a younger sister, right?" Another tear wanted to fall, but Delsin blinked it quickly away, hoping Kiyar hadn't seen it.

"Yes. Tara-something. She works with Jod, in here. Oh, are you waiting for her? You used to talk about her all the time. I'm glad you were able to find her a job wor- what?"

Delsin was shaking his head, a bit franticly. "You know I love her right?"

"Yes. Delsin. What is this about?"

"I can't tell you, but," he made another grab for Kiyar's arm again, but the Champion hadn't moved.

"I.... I..." Delsin tried to say, "But I can show you“, but he couldn't get the words out. He gestured fast and quick to the hay pile. "Th... th.."

Kiyar pointed.

"Th..." was all Delsin could say again but Kiyar understood.

"Close your eyes and cover your ears. I think if you sense me looking you might attack me, under the influence of that spell."

Delsin nodded, closed his eyes, covered his ears and lala'ed to himself as he had done as a child.

He lala'ed for awhile, he wasn’t sure how long, until someone tapped him on the shoulder. Delsin pulled his hands away from his ears and opened his eyes.

Gritto, the stable boy stood in front of him, his eyebrows raised. Kiyar was no where to be seen.

Maybe he went to see the king with what he- at that thought Delsin's body jerked up of its own accord and suddenly he was running. Delsin fought the spell. Delsin's magic was a little stronger than his Master's but this spell had 10 years of strengthening. It wouldn't budge.

He continued to run, full tilt. He slammed into the throne room, yelling “Stop!“ He was half way to the dais before he realized the king‘s throne was empty but the queen sat in hers. And the Eminent Wizard was speaking to her.

"Apprentice Delsin? Is that you?" the queen asked, staring at his red rimmed, wide eyes and wild hair. "Whatever is the matter?"

EW glared at him. "What is your problem?" he sent a small pain spell at his apprentice and, surprisingly, that jolt relieved a little of the Secrecy Spell, enough of it that he could fight it with his own magic.

Delsin stopped and rested his hands on his knees, catching his breath and fighting the spell. He managed to tear a chunk of it and felt something give a bit in his head.

"Answer the queen now!" His Master ordered Delsin, but the queen shushed him.

"Give the boy a minute. Let him breathe."

Delsin was grateful. The Secrecy spell was still in place but no longer forcing past his will. Now he just had to think of a lie.

He stood slowly upright when he thought of one. It wasn’t a good lie, but it would convince the queen, at least.

"Forgive me." he bowed to the queen then turned to his master.

"You told me to be ready for lessons in an hour and not to be late or I would regret it. I am about twenty minutes late. I fell asleep in the stables and when I woke up I went to your workroom but you weren't there, I thought you were in here, asking the king's permission to let me go."

He turned back to the queen. "With less than 8 months to my 18th birthday, I panicked. Will you forgive me for disturbing you?"

Queen Midnight smiled at him. "You are forgiven. I am sure your master didn't mean he would dismiss you though." She looked at the Eminent Wizard. "Right, Lord Syed?"

The wizard nodded. "Extra chores was all, Your Highness."

"There" the queen smiled. "Your lessons are canceled for the day. Go enjoy yourself for the rest of the day. You will be working very hard for the next 8 months."

E.W glowered at his apprentice but his face lightened to a smile as the queen turned back to him.

Delsin stood there a moment before the queen wave a hand at him and said. "You may leave my presence now."

He bowed deeply and walked quickly out of the throne room.

Once he reached the hallway he looked left, then right. Where could Kiyar be?

Delsin sent out a tendril of magic as he walked randomly through the castle.

There. His magic spoke to him, pulling him to where it felt the one he sought. Delsin stopped walking and looked around. Second floor of the Knight Wing.

He followed the thread of magic to the 6th door on the left. He knocked.

No answer. He waited and then knocked again, this time calling, "Kiyar? Are you in there?"

The door was yanked open, Delsin was pulled in and the door was closed softly.

"Can you make footsteps leaving?" Kiyar asked him, almost whispering.

Delsin was surprised but he nodded and a moment later there was a loud sigh outside the door and then footsteps receding down the hall.

"Like that?"

"Exellent. I liked the sigh too, perfect touch."

Delsin smiled then asked. "Why all the secrecy? E.W., I mean my master is speaking with Queen Midnight."

Kiyar didn't answer, just took his arm and led him from the entrance to the suite and into a bedroom.

The King sat on one of the chaises by a window. Delsin bowed. "Your Majesty."

There was movement in the corner of his eye and he looked left.

A short, squat little man had stood up and was walking towards Delsin and Kiyar.

When he reached them, he swept his cloak out and bowed.

"Apprentice Delsin. I have been watching you for quite sometime. I am Wizard Axtes."

“Ah” Delsin said, a bit weakly.

The little Wizard smiled at him. "Have you heard of me?"

Delsin glanced sideways at Kiyar and then at the King before shaking his head no. "I am sorry, Wizard Axites-"

"Axtes" the wizard corrected him.

"Im sorry, Wizard Axtes. I’ve never heard of you. Should I have?"

"Well, let just say if the King," the squat man shot a look at the king "employed gnomes, I would be Eminent Wizard, not your current master."

Delsin blinked at this. "Um." He couldn’t think of what to say and he didn't dare look at the king.

Kiyar saved him. "Wizard Axtes is here to break the Eminent Wizard's Secrecy spell on you."

"Oh, well, I managed to... break a piece off earlier." Delsin said, surprised at this.

"Break a piece off?" the gnome peered at him then groaned. "Here, sit down. I can't look at you properly with your eyes way up there."

Kiyar bit back a grin but the king didn’t even blink.

Delsin sat on another of the chaises, this one against a wall, and the wizard peered at him again.

Delsin sat very still and tried not to blink. When his master did this, every blink earned him a lash from the whip.

When his eyes started tearing from leaving them open so long, the gnome whacked him on the knee. "Blink boy, blink! You wont be disturbing my Seeing."

Delsin did as he was told. As the gnome inspected the spell on his mind, Kiyar and the king spoke softly.

After what seemed like ages the little man poked the right side of Delsin head right above the ear.

"You broke this piece off. Do you know what part it was?" Delsin shook his head.

"Awell, doesn’t matter anyway. Can you at least tell me what happened when you broke it?"

"I stopped running. I had to stop Kiyar from -" again his body tried to jerk itself up and he was half standing as he fought the compulsion. With all his strength he fought but he wasn't winning.

"Pain," he bit out. "Send... pain."

A walking stick appeared in Wizard Axtes's hand and he whacked Delsin over the head with it.

"Hey!" both the king and Kiyar stood up.

"I’m fine. I’m fine. Had to fight the spell." Delsin said as he came back to himself. The king sat back down but Kiyar didn't.

"You sure you ok?"

"Yeah. Pain helps me find a way into the spell to fight it." As Kiyar nodded and lowered himself down next to the king, Delsin spoke to the gnome.

"Thank you. I think I broke another piece off. I managed to... hold on to it for you. It’s getting difficult. It wants to go back into the spell."

"Let me" The wizard did something and Delsin no longer "held" the piece.

"Hmm." The gnome's eyes were closed but his hands, now sans the walking stick, were moving in the air as if they held something. His index finger poked at the air and the wrinkled face broke into a grin. The wizard opened his eyes and they stared back into Delsin's.

Again his hands moved in the air and his index fingers prodded at invisible things.

After about 10 minuets of this, he shouted "Gotcha" and Delsin felt a great wrenching in his mind. It hurt. He clutched at his head and still it pulled and pulled until there was a ‘pop’ and he felt nothing blocking his thoughts. "I'm free."

He turned to the king. "The Eminent Wizard makes me toss the bodies of the women he kills into the great furnace in his workroom."

He clasped his hands over his mouth but his eyes gleamed.

"It worked!" Kyar said excitedly, then what Delsin had said sunk in. "How many?"

Delsin slowly removed his hand from his mouth. "At least once a month, a few times it was twice a month."

"Since you started Apprenticing to him?" the king spoke up. His voice was higher than Kiyar's but not reedy like the gnome wizard's.

Delsin nodded. "He didn't have me clean up the room the Probation Year. But not even a week after it was offical..." he trailed off, not wanting to go down this road again.

Kiyar quickly did the math in his head. "At least 124 women?"

Delsin nodded. "At least, not counting the doubles.

“And your sister?” Kiyar asked. “Why isn’t she burning in the furnace right now?”

“I… I couldn’t. That was the last straw. He said it was my punishment for defying him last week. I don’t even remember defying him. I… My baby sister”

Delsin didn’t want to cry in front of the king. He stared at his hands until the pressure behind his eyes lessened. When he finally had himself under control he looked at the king.

“I swear I didn’t want to clean up after his fun” his lip curled at the word but he continued. “But I had no choice. None. He is the Eminiant Wizard! I couldn’t fight him.”

The king laid a hand on his shoulder. “I believe you. Where is your sister’s body now? How did you get away with not burning it?”

“She’s still in the stables. And I… uh. I dug up a freshly dead body and put a glamour over it to make it look like my sister.”

This was illegal and they all knew it but the king simply nodded. “And you tossed it into the furnace? No experiments or the like?”

Delsin shook his head. “No, my King. I swear. I cast a spell to bring it to me when I was just outside the Null Room. Then I sent my sister’s” he drew a deep breath in “body to the stable where I knew she’d be safe. Then I carried it to E.W.’s work- I mean, my Master’s workroom and tosses it in the furnace.”

The king patted his shoulder. “I’m sorry you’ve been subjected to this for,” he looked at Kiyar, who mouthed “ten years” at him. “For ten years.”

The king nodded to Wizard Axtes. “Can you examine the body and tell us if she died like this young man says she did?”

Delsin started to protest but Kiyar said. “They need proof. Can’t just haul off the Eminiant Wizard without proof.”

Delsin closed his mouth, thought for a second, nodded at Kiyar then asked. “Does it matter if she died in a Null Room?”

The king looked puzzled as did Kiyar. “What is a Null Room?”

“It’s where he has his… fun. No magic can be used in the room. Anytime magic is used, it gets siphoned off and put into the spell itself.”

Wizard Axtes thought, his brow wrinkling, his mouth frowning. Finally he said. “Shouldn’t be a problem, as long as she isn’t in a Null Spell when we examine her. Can you, uh, summon the body?”

Delsin nodded. “Do I have to be here while you examine her?”

“No, no” the gnome assured him. “In fact only the king and I should be in the room. No chance of someone saying you magicked my findings. Here” Wizard Axtes patted the bed. “If you can place her here and then leave?”

Desin nodded again, closed his eyes and “fetched”. There was a slight creaking of the bed when the weight settled on it. Delsin didn’t even bother to open his eyes, he just turned and fled towards Kiyar. Kiyar caught him and led him out of the room, closing the door behind them.

 

2635 words

Syed = E.W. Eminent Wizard

Now the premise is theres an apprentice to an evil wizard whos been torturing and killing women and leaving the apprentice to clean up after him.

The apprentice has been following orders because the wizard is the Master in all and apprentice is only a pesant, if one with magic.

The scene opens with apprentince cleaning the bedroom after the E. W. has killed another pesant serving girl but it's his sister.

He goes into like church, or something, and asks for god to help him stop EW.

The Kings Champion hears his prayer and decides to help.

Obviously Apprentice and KC fall in love.

 

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