”E- Eaanir…” Rey stammered and took a fast step back,”what are you… why are you…”
His voice died, and he just stared at the man standing in front of him. This was exactly what he had feared. This was exactly what he wanted to avoid. The stupid mage, did he have to come and destroy everything? What was he going to say next? Was he going to tell Rey what he had done was wrong? Well, he was not going to listen to the mage’s words!
“I’ve killed the king”, he said with a voice as cold as ice. “And now I am going to kill you too.”
Eaanir smiled sadly and shook his head.
“No, Rey”, he said, “you will not kill me. You want to, but you can’t. I was the only one who did not give up on you, when your father realised it was impossible for him to raise you as a good prince.” Eaanir dragged one of his fine, pale hands through his white hair and looked out the window on the east wall. The weather had been beautiful a moment ago. The sun had been strong and the clouds as white as milk. But it had started to rain. Rey could hear the clatter of the rain drops on the glass, like the fingernails of the dead. “But I still have not given up on you”, Eaanir continued. “Look at this rain, Rey. It’s grey. It’s sad, and it makes the world look like a place without happiness. But we need the rain, since the rain is water, and every living thing needs water to survive. And when the rain stops, the sun will always shine again. Do you understand what I am saying? You have killed your father, but we can make something out of it, we can create a new kingdom, a kingdom full of happiness, if you only let me try….”
Eaanir reached out like he wanted to grab Rey, capture him and force him to… to do what? He would never be the king in such a kingdom. But he would be the king, for sure.
Rey laughed high. “No, old man! If you want that so badly, you have to catch me first!”
Rey’s first thought was to run, just run, but he immediately understood Eaanir would not let him escape that easily, he did not hesitate on using his magic on him. So Rey used magic too, as fast as he could.
He threw out a hand against Eaanir to lead the power, and mumbled a few words at the same time as he concentrated at Eaanir’s spirit. His pure, white, good spirit…
But Eaanir, the strongest mage in the kingdom, was faster.
Rey felt something on his chest, like a giant hand made of air pushing him down. He fell on the floor and the hand pressed him so hard he could barely breathe.
“I’m sorry, Rey”, Eaanir said, “but I have this feeling… you will kill living creatures while searching for the Silver Staff. Without hesitating. And I can not let you do that. It is like letting an evil shadow out of its jail, and watching it while it destroys the happiness in this world.”
“Let me go!” Rey shouted, struggling against the air that held him down, the power that Eaanir possessed. “I swear I will kill you!”
“No. You won’t.”
Eaanir stepped forward and stopped beside Rey. “Rey...” he began, but Rey did not give him one more moment to say whatever he had on his heart. He immediately tore one of his arms away from the air with a shout and threw his fist as hard as he could in Eaanir’s unprotected ribs. He was not physically strong, but the mage had not expected the attack. The air pressing Rey down disappeared as Eaanir lost his control and fell forward with his hand covering the place where Rey hit him.
Rey rolled aside and rose.
“It’s time to use… whatever you have learned me”, Rey said coldly with a grin. Eaanir turned his face and looked at him, but he did not move. He just looked. His expression told Rey he was blaming him, blaming him for everything he had done. Eaanir wanted him to feel guilty.
Well, good luck with that, he thought. I won’t kill you, but it’s time to show you who’s the boss.