“So, you’re this prophecy child, huh? The strongest Magic Caster in three Millennia. Bound to create a new magic, the likes of which have never been seen before?” He studied her carefully. Stupidly, the forefront though in her mind was that she should have combed her hair better before tying it back today.
“That’s what they tell me. Not that I’m a hundred percent sure that I believe them. I mean, if they really knew me they would no better than to think that I’m dedicated enough to create some sort of magic.”
“So, you’re not the strongest Magic Caster in three millennia?”
“Oh, I don’t know about that, I don’t know all the magic casters of the last three millennia. I’m certainly the strongest Magic Caster of this age, though. I can tell you that much.”
The ways that the corners of his mouth turned up slightly told her that he took that as the challenge that she meant it as.
Sure, he was three years her elder. He had royal Magical training from birth, while she hadn’t started her official training until age seven. He was a member of the Order of the Rose, while she was still a member of the Order of the Heart. By every reasoning on paper, he should be worlds better than her.
But she was confident in the challenge she made. She was the most powerful Magic Caster in this age, and she would take him down easily, if only he would make the challenge.
That night, he didn’t. “You just might be. I don’t know. But, rest assured, I’ll be there the day you take your test for the Rose. And then I really will know.”
That had been five years ago. Eighteen year old Morrigan was just as confident as thirteen year old Morrigan was, if a little bit better about biting her tongue when it came to the bragging. Over those five years, she had seen Alun quite a few times, through different meeting here and there for various magical reasons, but she had yet to see him perform any magic, and the same the other way around. She certainly hadn’t had a chance to challenge him to any kind of fight.
It did not shock her in the least that he was one of the five members on the board at her Rose Trials, the series of events that would determine her fate in regards to the Order of the Rose. It shocked her even less when he was the one who rose to challenge her in the final battle.
They stood about a foot apart as the rules were being read for the fight. Morrigan tuned the dry voice out, having already memorized every single rule of the trials. Instead, she spent her time studying the insignia on Alun’s formal robes, trying to familiarize herself with what she might be going against when the battle started.
“Best of our age, hmm?” Alun whispered.
“Yes.” Morrigan answered seriously. Alun studied her for a second, his smile shifting just slightly. She couldn’t read his expression anymore.
The signal was given for the trial to begin. Neither Alun nor Morrigan hesitated, both sensing that a second of hesitation would lose them the fight.
It was the longest duel that Morrigan had ever been a part of. It wasn’t anywhere near lengthy, and in the end of it all, Alun was a little bit ashamed that he was beaten so quickly. But he was impressed with the pure strength that Morrigan could exhort in the fight.
As for Morrigan, she was scared. It was the closest she had ever come to losing. Not that Alun realized just how close he had been, she had an extremely fast turn about when she realized she was losing, pouring so much into the battle so quickly that it was very rapidly approaching dangerous, and it was only at the last second that she pulled up enough to win the fight without actually harming him. He was strong. Much stronger than she gave him credit for. And that was worrying. She almost missed the announcement she’d earned her rank.