24 A secret revealed
"Now let me tell you a story on how I found out about magical beast and external Mages..." the old man said as he stroked the horned serpent who floated around him, pausing for a moment to let the group in the clearing recover from their shock.
"I was born into the most unusual of clans. There, what you call Knights, were as common as the stars. But we called them internal Mages. Our clan's mageline was still pure and since we accepted internal Mages who wanted training and happened to find us, we could protect the bloodline to some extent. However, what made my clan exceptional was the presence of external Mages albeit they live secluded from the rest of the clan."
When the old man said this, the whole gathering was agitated again.
This time a mature woman who was not afraid to reveal her identity as well and who was surrounded by three youthful masked girls, questioned him saying, "External Mages are a thing of myth, your tamed beast may have magical powers but that just means it is a rare monster, what matters is sentience."
At her statement, the horned serpent charged at her group with ice spikes forming in the air around it.
"Ha ha ha, It seems your statement has provoked Omoye...calm down, girl. Look at her reaction and her eyes you can tell if she is just a controlled monster or a special creature." After everyone noticed the difference in the creature, the old man continued.
"Now back to my story; most of the children born in my generation were internal mages but there were always some regulars who were still allowed to stay in the clan. These regular people were allowed to live as warriors and servants of the clan but were not to marry any of the mages. However, one day we noticed one of those regulars who was the only granddaughter of the clan head, suddenly had abilities that were beyond any internal mage. By the power of the clan, She had become an external Mage." the anger was still present in the old man's voice as he said this which caused Omoye to come back and surround him.
After calming down, the old man continued, "Some of us internal mages were displeased but the clan responded that there was no restriction on who could be granted the opportunity to be an external mage, citing precedence of when it had been done in the past. This managed to calm most of our cohort, but me and a few of my good brothers and sisters could not take it. So we rebelled and attacked the chamber were the magical beast eggs were kept, however, suffice it to say we failed and failure was more bitter than any of us imagined." The old man paused, reminiscing on heavy memories.
"I was the only one left alive and that is mostly because of my ability. Luckily, I was imprisoned instead of executed and it was there that I met my master who revealed to me the secrets of the magical beasts. Apparently, although my clan was the only power that still knew how to create magical beast eggs, the process seemed to be a hidden secret of the clan that even my master was not aware. However, based on my master's knowledge, I learnt of places that could potentially have magical beast eggs which were outside the control of my clan. Sadly, my master passed away in prison before he could reveal the full extent of his knowledge but what he told me was enough. Some years later, I was released from prison and bide my time to research further. Then finally, I escaped from the clan and searched endlessly for the magical beast eggs in multiple locations. Now I have attained that power and by uniting all the mages of the secular world, I will destroy my clan and take hold of the power to create magical beasts."
After the old man's story, there was a brief moment of reflection before the mature old woman said again, "Even if your story is true, by your own words, your clan has external mages who have power that can destroy us from a distance, how are we supposed to fight against them? They must even have spies in every kingdom with power like theirs. In addition, what is the guarantee that we will get the magical beast eggs even if we win as there are so many of us but so few eggs? No, I don't think we will be joining your endeavor."
"I am sorry but I forgot to add...although my clan gets reports from people they have trained who wish to return to their homes, my clan tries to stay away from the secular world as they pursue enlightenment. I, however, prefer absolute power so any internal mage who is not with us, is against us. Do you want to reconsider your stance Madam Taiwo?" the old man threatened
After saying this, the sky was covered with multiple ice spikes and the temperature in the clearing began to drop such that even the old man's companions were shivering.
The audience at the clearing looked around at each other with some of them excited about the prospect of additional power while some still had doubts and misgivings in their minds. However, once the gigantic man without any weapons and his group proceeded to kneel before the old man with enthusiasm, the rest of the assembly willing or reluctantly knelt down, with Madam Taiwo's group ensuring that they were not the last.
"So be it." the old man said, "we will first take over this republic before we match on the other territories."