When Bryn was rushed into the town by his father, he had already passed out. Unable to warn his father otherwise, George had naturally reported the attack to the guild.
When he finally came out of his coma, Bryn had been hoping he would be able to misreport how he survived and even claim damages as a result. Little did he know this was naive, wishful thinking.
He had been coming here for years, but this was the first time he had seen the guild master in person. Why would he suddenly call for me now after all these years? Only at this moment did the full gravity of his blunder sink into his gut.
"Fire, of course, like I stated in the report. The man's head was burned right off his body... right?" Bryn struggled to maintain his cool.
Luis, on the other hand, was growing concerned. Bryn had vaguely explained to him some things when he was being taught the language, one of those being that he had a light affinity and must never reveal this to anyone.
When asked to elaborate more, Bryn had explained to him that it was a rare affinity and beast, like him, who have this affinity were highly sought after. For what purpose, Luis could only guess.
Luis tried to ask more questions, but in response to Luis' persistence on the subject, Bryn promised he would explain everything the next time they visited the guild library. Bryn didn't like it when Luis kept scratching the wood with his claws.
Unfortunately, the guild master had called for him before they had the chance to go upstairs. Luis had been looking forward to learning more about his situation in this foreign world.
The guild master smiled coldly. He had seen the damage done to the magic knights head, having inspected the body himself. He wasn't a greenhorn, and if his conjecture was true, then this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
"Boy, don't lie to me..." The guild master warned, his smile gone.
Bryn saw no other choice than to double down. "I'm not lying! He killed the swordsman with a fire breath attack. He shot it right into his face..."
Luis flinched. As Bryn was talking, he felt a sharp mental sting in his mind coming from the man behind the desk. It was the same kind of sensation he felt from the bandit that had tried to murder them. He's going to attack Bryn! Luis panicked.
Reacting purely on instinct, Luis charged up and fired a bright, deadly beam from his mouth in the span of a second, aimed right at the man across the desk. He spared no expense, immediately using as much power as he could in one shot. It was equivalent to the blast that had killed the bandit from before.
Bryn, who was sitting right next to Luis, nearly fell out of his chair at Luis' sudden action. He was unable to sense the threat like Luis, so this attack appeared to him as completely out of nowhere.
Luis' eyes widened considerably. The man had vanished! Luis' attack went straight through the window behind where the man had stood, melting the glass and setting the curtains on fire. Hopefully, that didn't hit anyone outside... Luis was surprised by his own power.
"Remarkable... What intense magical strength your beast has, even when it's only rank two..." The guild master's impressed voice came from behind Luis.
Turning around, Luis found the man standing there, rubbing his chin in consideration, a blue aura surrounding his body. Blue... Luis noted that it was similar to the green energy displayed by the bandit, but bluish. A different form of energy?
The sharp feeling of danger had disappeared the moment Luis had attacked, and Luis now felt confused. Did this man mean them harm or not? If he did, Luis sensed that they would already be dead. This man was strong.
"FINN! WHY DID YOU DO THAT?" Bryn's horrified voice snapped Luis back to his senses. Only now did he fully comprehend what be had just done. Oops... Luis wasn't sure how to proceed.
"Calm down boy, it's not the beast's fault..." The guild master waved his hand unperturbed, as if Luis had only knocked over his coffee instead of trying to kill him, destroying his windows and curtains in the process. Both Luis and Bryn were stumped by his nonchalance.
Sensing the need for an explanation, the guild master elaborated for Bryn. "I merely released my killing intent to gage his reaction. A magical beast's senses are much sharper than a human's.
A shame about my silk curtains, though. Those weren't cheap." The guild master sighed in remorse. With a wave of his hand, a sudden breeze appeared and blew out the fire that had been forming on the drapes.
Bryn had a million thoughts going through his head, the most prevalent one being how Finn was now in deep trouble. His secret was revealed to the guild master, the worst person possible in this establishment.
He would report Finn to the main guild hall. No, worse... He might even take it upon himself to capture Finn and deliver him, earning the reward that woukd most surely be promised for Finn's capture.
Overall, their chances of leaving unscathed were slim to none. The guild master was obviously powerful, much more powerful than the bandit they had faced with how easily he dodged such a powerful strike.
Not daring to make any movements, the lizard and boy duo simply watched as the man returned to his chair. He examined them both, drumming his fingers on the desk.
Bryn was dreadfully waiting for the command from the guild master to relinquish Finn into the the guild's custody. What he said next however, was completely unexpected.
"I have a proposition for you."
Bryn and Luis looked at each other in confusion. "A... proposition?" Bryn mustered up the courage to speak.
"I, personally, would like to request a favor from you. More specifically, your magic beast, with your word as confirmation. In return, I promise to keep his secret." The guild master spoke as if conducting a business transaction.
His words were like a miracle from heaven to Bryn. He is not taking Finn away... The amount of relief he felt was overwhelming. It sounded almost too good to be true, but he had no choice but to accept.
Anything but losing Finn... The sheer thought alone filled him with horror. "Deal, but what can he possibly help you with?"
What the heck! This situation was too jarring for Luis. From acting threateningly to asking for a request? At on top of that, Bryn immediately jumped at the chance...
Luis wished now more than ever that they had gotten the chance to head up to the library first. He really wanted for Bryn to explain everything in detail. That knowledge would have really come in handy here...
Also, Luis felt like his opinions were considered upon less and less lately. It's so frustrating when Bryn is the only one who knows that I'm not just a mere mindless beast... Luis decided he would also discuss this with Bryn later.
He loved the boy dearly, but Luis was his own person... lizard, an old one at that. He did not wish for Bryn to decide for him on everything without discussing it with him first.
"Tell me... how much do you know about those who possess a light affinity? The guild master asked Bryn directly.
Bryn answered truthfully. "Not too much, just what was mentioned in the bestiary. It's a very rare affinity..." Bryn added, trying to be helpful.
The guild master laughed loudly. "Yound lad, rare doesn't even begin to describe it. The world is far bigger than you know, much more than this mere small town. Tell me... do you know how many humans on this half of the continent are known to have an affinity to light? He asked rhetorically.
Brian shrugged in response.
"Four. Only four known people out the tens of millions who live in the five kingdoms. They are collectively called the 'Priests of Light' and the legends of their abilities are well known throughout the major cities.
There are more established kingdoms than there are confirmed magic users with a light affinity. Although I suspect there might be a couple who have managed to hide it, it's likely not more than two or three."
This statistic blew Bryn's original guess away. It was much rarer than he thought. The guild master wasn't done talking.
"Confirmed magic beasts with this affinity are even more mythic. Seven years ago, a Sun Basilisk, a rank seven magical beast with an innate light affinity, was discovered on an expedition deep into the border forest.
It was hunted by the three of the five kingdoms most powerful mages and warriors, and its stone extracted. That stone, shared among the three kingdoms who hunted the beast, has the power to heal any injury, recent or old, when one absorbs its energy.
It gathers energy from the sun, and can be used once a month. You can imagine just how valuable that stone is, with effects like that."
Bryn felt like he was receiving a lesson in a classroom. After hearing about the Sun Basilisk, and how truly rare the light affinity is, Bryn looked upon Luis in a new light.
His wild imagination reformed his meeting with Luis as destiny. They were destined to do great things together! Bryn felt his blood pumping.
But... wait. His blood cooled considerably. He asked the question plaguing his heart. "If this is the case... why aren't you threatening to take him?"
The guild master nodded, as if expecting this question. "I bet you are thinking that I would recieve some kind of big 'reward' for reporting him, yes?"
Brian nodded, it was exactly what he thought. Luis, who had also been listening the whole time, was also thinking this. He mostly understood what the guild master was saying. Anything else he missed, he would confer with Bryn later.
"That's not quite true. The most likely scenario would be my superiors at the main guild hall taking the credit, with me receiving a minor reward as pittance. However, this isn't the biggest loss... The guild master leaned forward, as if he was about to tell a big secret.
"The biggest loss, would be the golden opportunity his appearance can provide me..." The guild master let the sentence linger.
Bryn was beginning to connect the dots. "You mentioned the Sun Basilisk stone's healing properties... but what does that have to do with you?"
Clever boy. The guild master stood up slowly and lifted the edge of his cotton shirt. Luis and Bryn both winced hard, the former internally. There was a horrible gash on the abdomen of the guild master.
Red, raw looking skin that didn't quite heal right covering up a nasty scar running across his stomach at an angle leading up to his chest, where there was more of the scar hidden.
The guild master frowned sadly. "The opportunity to recover what I have lost, lies with this beast here..."
Luis tilted his head like a question, and the smile returned to the man's face. He continued describing his intentions.
"He seems to be quite intelligent and listens to you, so I hope we can come to an arrangement. You see... I was stationed here at this guild branch due to an old injury." The man scowled at the memory.
"Years ago, I was wounded in a duel of pride, and only barely survived due to luck. This wouldn't trouble me on it's own, but the injury was deep enough that it affects my mana flow.
I can no longer channel it properly, limiting my strength and blocking any hope of advancement. Originally, I was forced to settle at my current state. Now, though, I see a chance to recover my past self." The guild master's blue eyes brightened.
"With a magic beast of light, there is now a chance! I simply implore you, that when the time comes and he grows strong enough, you can convince him to fix this old injury of mine." The man sighed heavily while rubbing his scar, and Luis actually felt pity for him.
He didn't understand what he was talking about with regards to mana, but as an old man himself, he understood the pain of old injuries limiting you for the rest of your life.
Back in Luis' thirties, he crushed his hand in a construction accident, and that injury affected him till the day he died... and came here.
Although, I'm not sure how to heal others, or if I'm even capable of doing so... Luis knew his power could heal himself from within, but he never tried extending that ability outward. He would definitely test this later.
Nudging Bryn, Luis looked up and gave his consent with a nod. Filled with confidence at Luis' acceptance, Bryn agreed to the guild master's request.
Smiling brightly, the guild master stood up. "Splendid! We have come to an agreement then! Bryn, is there anything you desire? I will not extort you. For bringing this old man some hope, I will not leave you with nothing in return," The man declared with a magnanimous air fitting of a man in his position.
Bryn saw a grand opportunity. "Sir, do you know the method of how one trains to become a magic knight?"
The man's luminous smile wilted back into a frown, and he sat back in his chair, a thoughtful look on his face. "Bryn, you have been coming to this guild since you were a child. The receptionists have grown fond of you, and your name had come up every so often in their reports. I believe you wished to become an adventurer, yes?"
Bryn nodded vigorously. "I want to see more of the world. I want to go on a grand adventure!" His youthful optimism was on full display. It was like he had already forgotten how how close they just were to certain disaster.
Luis shook his head on the side. This boy just keeps pushing his luck... They had just avoided a catastrophe, and Luis couldn't believe how fast he was already back to wanting to go on adventurers. A true one track mind.
The guild master probed a bit. "It wasn't hard to guess, but why then, do you want to become a magic knight? There are countless adventures here who are ordinary folk."
"I want to be more than ordinary! I want to command the same powers I have only seen glimpes of. I want to shoot fire, command tornados, summon tidal waves, create earthquakes..." Bryn listed off many of the fantastical rumors he had heard about mages and magic knights.
The old man couldn't help but laugh at the boys description of magic. It's good for the young to dream... "Lad, you make it sound like it's as easy as snapping your fingers. It takes decades for most to even command a fraction of the power you described..." He turned solemn again.
"Not to mention the hardship that goes along with obtaining that power. Sometimes, living an ordinary life can provide the most happiness..."
Luis could understand the wisdom of the man's words. He had seen many people chase after big dreams only to be disappointed when what they were able to achieve didn't match their expectations.
Simple lives are blessed in their own way... Luis understood this concept very well, having lived through one in its entirety.
However, a simple life was one Bryn viewed with abhorrence. I would rather die gloriously than live in mediocrity... Bryn did not want to live in the same town for the rest of his life.
"No, I only desire to become a magic knight. From what I have been told, its unlikely I have talent for magic, but I also heard you don't need that to become a magic knight!" Bryn was headstrong with his one desire.
The guild master explained it in more detail. There was is still so much the boy didn't know... "Yes. Only about one in a thousand have enough talent to be trained as mages. However, training as a knight of the elements is not as easy as you think. It requires resources, as well as talents in other things."
"Sir, this is my desire. If you can help me achieve it. I would be eternally grateful. As you can see, this is my only chance..." Bryn glanced down at his stump, frowning sadly.
The guild master frowned as well. It was true, the association would never bother to waste resources to train a cripple. A hint of pity flashed in his eyes.
With a great sigh, the guild master acquiesced. "Very well, but I must leave and retrieve some things from the city. This small town does not have what I need. Even then, incannot guarentee you with success."
Bryn felt like cheering, his dream that he thought was lost was now coming true, and he there was only one lizard he could thank. This made it official in his mind, meeting Luis was destiny!
After agreeing upon a return date, the guild master excused them both. Before leaving the office on Luis' back, the guild master addressed Bryn one last time.
"Lad, be sure to keep this a secret. If anyone else finds out about him, there would be nowhere he could run that they wouldn't chase..."
Bryn swallowed a lump of saliva when he imagined who 'they' would be, but as long as no more surprise attacks happened, Bryn felt they would be safe. Finn never wantonly attacked anyone anyway. He was quite friendly.
"Sir, I promise not to reveal anything!" Bryn beat his chest in confirmation.
"Please, my name is Markus. Soon, you will be calling me teacher..." The man smiled as they walked out back into the receptionist area.
Bryn, without a word, led Luis upstairs. Luckily there was no one up here at this time of day. Hopping off of Luis' back, Bryn hopped in front and looked him in the eyes. Balancing himself on one leg, Bryn gave Luis a full on hug. Luis fell still.
"Thank you Finn. This is the second time you have saved me. You have given me another chance at my dreams. I can never repay you for that." Bryn spoke his most honest thanks as he hugged the large lizard tighter.
All minor transgressions Luis had with the boy withered away. "Ah, he is so naive and foolhardy, but he has a pure heart." Bryn reminded him too much of his grandkids back in his old life. At this point, Luis considered him one of his own now. He could never stay mad at his grandkids.
Luis nudged Bryn's head with his own, licking his face, causing Bryn to laughed.
"Yea yea, I love you too, you fat lizard!"
Oi... This brat was asking for a beating. Being the bigger man... lizard, Luis nudged Bryn towards the bookcases.
"Yes, I know. We have the whole library to ourselves. Now is the time I teach you everything!