Iocas Pelu hurried to the council chamber. The disadvantage of being Magister of Body was that often, you first had to provide students with physical exercise, then quickly bathe and change into more formal wear to attend a council meeting. Of course, it was almost tradition for the Magister of Body to be the latest to arrive because of this. Pelu valued punctuality though, even when a training session with Tharash interrupted his schedule.
He wasted little time as he entered the hexagonal room and took place, not willing to keep the others waiting with pointless formalities. Besides, he had very important news.
“Welcome to this meeting,” Corastes started formally.
Often they had a list of topics they would go through. Today they were minor issues, though. Especially compared to the topic Pelu was about to put on top of that list: “Today, in my biology class, Tharash accidentally accomplished firemaking.”
Four faces turn his way. “Could you explain?” Corastes asked him calmly.
“In my lecture about heat flows in the human body, he accidentally set his table on fire.”
“Who taught him that?” Artes Telaios asked him. “I didn’t even speak with Tharo regarding his wizardry yet.”
Pelu shook his head. “Pelvacto started on his own initiative last night, the boy told me.”
“The relevant part here is that he did so without tools,” Corastes reminded them. “Are you absolutely sure?”
“I am sure. His hands were as hot as the fire itself and he wasn’t even aware of it himself. If the fire had started at the table, he would have reflexively retracted his hands.”
“This has happened before, has it not?” Corastes asked.
“No,” Pelu shook his head again. “Nobody has ever accomplished even a tiny spark of firemaking without years of training. “
“So what´s the point you´re trying to make here, Iocas? That the boy finally showed himself as extraordinary as you had hoped for so long?” The Magister of Shadow said. “I, for one, cannot recall of any student with such an aptitude for firemaking.”
“That’s what I’m hoping,” Iocas Pelu said, looking uncharacteristically doubtful. “I don’t like the alternative.”
A silence fell over the room. It happened occasionally that students had a natural talent for the Forbidden Arts. The first response was to suppress that urge and reorient their training. If successful, the student could still develop into a proper wizard. If not, his education would be terminated to prevent him from developing into a warlock.
Corastes reminded them of this procedure. “The fact that he was even able to produce so much heat after only a brief introduction into the Internal Arts is staggering proof of his talent. We should not let it go to waste if we can avoid it.”
“As we discussed before, he has a strongly intuitive understanding. Perhaps that is exactly what is necessary for the Internal Arts. However, such intuition could descend into an imaginary understanding, when not tempered by a firm grasp on reality,” Gorios commented.
Telaios nodded in agreement. “His mathematics are improving, but he still needs more time than most other students to fully understand the lessons.”
“His mind is strong, but unfocused. If he cannot master true control over the arts, he will be a danger to those around him,” Gorios explained.
“We all know that, Gorios. The question is what to do about it?” the magister of Shadow asked.
“I will intensify his lessons in mathematics. Understanding is the key to control,” Telaios decided.
Tharo took his hat off as he closed the door behind him. Now that summer was well left behind, the hat provided him ample protection from the fierce October winds. He headed into the kitchen, where Tharash had already started dinner.
“I heard there was a fire in the Academy this morning,” he told his student casually.
As he expected, Tharash cringed. “It was an accident.”
“I know,” Tharo smiled. “But still, it is quite an accomplishment.”
While he wasn’t the first to compliment his student on the feat, Tharash clearly still had to get used to it.
“However, this Academy does not educate raw power. It strives for understanding and control. That means we will once again adjust your education to your talent,” he paused, knowing his student would not like the message.
“And that means what exactly?” Tharash wondered, somewhat suspicious.
“To keep your understanding of theory up with your magical talent, Artes will give you more mathematics lessons.”
Tharash let out a groan, but stopped halfway. “I shouldn’t complain, should I? I need those lessons.”
Tharo was surprised at this more mature reaction. The boy is sixteen now, he reminded himself. He gave Tharash a satisfied nod and joined him for dinner. “Now, have you decided on a project for your wizardry?”
“Yes!” Tharash beamed brightly. “I want to fly!”
Tharo frowned at him. “That’s a bit beyond the abilities of an apprentice. And what do you want to make fly?”
“Me! I want to fly.”
Tharo could not resist a short burst of laughter. “Setting the bar high, aren’t you?”
“Can we do it?” Tharash asked hopefully.
“Are we wizards?” Tharo asked in return.