"Anfey, what is it?" Doris asked beneath her breath, glancing around. There wasn't really anything between them, but now, after people began joking about it, it was as if there really was something. Doris shifted uncomfortably.
"Do you know how to use levitation magic?"
"Um, not particularly. Why?"
"Didn't they say mages can start practicing it at the novice level?"
"You mean a space wizard," Doris said, grinning. "I'm a water wizard. I can't practice other element's magic before I become an actual mage. Why?"
"You can't help me then," Anfey said, disappointed.
"Help you? You're not saying you want to do levitation, right? You've got to be crazy."
"I'm not," Anfey said, whispering a few spells. His body began rising in the air.
"Anfey, no!" Doris covered her mouth with her hands, trying not to make a loud noise. An apprentice using high-level magic was unheard of, as they might very well lose control over the magic. If she startled him, something would surely go wrong.
However, in her panic, Doris did not notice the fact that Anfey's magic had been used silently.
Anfey was entirely focused on the control of his magic, despite how seemingly dangerous his wobbling body was. He could feel the surge of his magic, but he could control so little of it. It felt as if he had the entire ocean at hand, but he could only hold a tiny scoop in his hands.
The longer he stayed in the air, the more magic escaped from him. He began falling from mid-air.
Doris raised her right hand, and a ribbon of water suddenly appeared from the grassy ground and caught Anfey in the air. He tumbled onto the ground.
"You're absolutely out of your mind!" Doris cried angrily. "You're just an apprentice. Using intermediate level magic will kill you!"
"I…" Anfey opened his mouth to say something but, in the end, chose not to argue. He wouldn't get hurt falling from this height. Now that he was drenched in water, he felt his nose itching and knew that a cold would be coming soon.
"Do you know how dangerous that was?!" Doris asked pointedly.
"I said I would be fine!"
"Those wizards that lost control over their magic said so too! Nonsense!"
"Alright, alright," Anfey said, defeated. He came from a world where innovation and novelty were applauded, and there were easy ways to solve almost every problem. He wanted to use the least amount of work to achieve the greatest amount of success. This world had already developed an entire system of magic and its studies, but he didn't want to follow tradition. He looked up to Doris because he wanted to exchange some of his experience with her. At this time, he was far too juvenile to discuss magic with people like Saul or Steger. Doris was his best choice so far.
"Anfey, I understand. For someone like you, studying magic in the Academy in secret as a servant is going to be embarrassing. Men, always leaving everything behind your honor. But you're pushing yourself too much!" Doris exclaimed. "Last year a student did what you did, and he lost control over his magic. Three years ago, a high level mage used a forbidden spell, ten years ago…"
"Doris, I understand. I get it," Anfey responded as Doris's example began tracing back hundreds of years. He had to respond sincerely to stop Doris from going mad.
"You're lucky," Doris said conclusively. "If you keep this going, your body may not hold magic anymore."
Anfey closed his eyes and pretended to meditate, but was interrupted by several sneezes. "I'm fine," he said. If he didn't do anything, then he would probably be sick by tomorrow.
"You're too careless," Doris said. "God, why did Saul ever take you in?"
"Doris," Anfey said, trying to shift the topic. "Are you free later? After class, I mean."
"What?" Doris looked at him, surprised. Who would ask a girl out so directly? Doris smiled.
Anfey was direct in learning magic, and it appeared that he was direct with girls too.
Girls tended to be sensitive, and after a few jokes, Doris began to notice Anfey as well. And now this question… His intentions seemed very clear.
"I want to ask you a favor."
"What is it?"
"I have a letter. Can you go to Master Saul's place and hand it to someone called Ernest?"
"Letter? Ah, alright," Doris said, blushing. She had thought that she didn't know Anfey well, and was going to turn him down. Now that she realized his intention wasn't anything romantic, she felt embarrassed and disappointed.
"You have a pen?"
"Yes," Doris said, pulling out a quill from her pocket.
Anfey glanced around. He found a book from his ring, opened the book to the blurb section and ripped it out.
"Hey!" Doris called, but it was too late, and the page was already separated from the book.
"What?" Anfey looked at her, strangely.
"You are so careless with public property! Why are you ripping apart the book? Do you know how much effort I had to make to get one when I was an apprentice?" Doris asked angrily.
"This is not the school's, but my professor gave it to me."
"Then it's even more wrong! You should treasure a gift from your professor forever, not ruin it like this." Doris suddenly felt that Anfey perhaps had a lot of shortcomings: rushing into things and disregarding property. So as a friend, she felt responsible to help him improve.
"I'm sorry," Anfey said. "It won't happen again." He wrote down a few words on the paper and handed it to her. "Don't forget it."
"No worries, I have an excellent memory," Doris said, putting the paper in her pocket. "Anything else?"
"No." Anfey shook his head.
"Then I'll be on my way."
"Go ahead," he said.
"Alright. Remember to change your clothes, as you're all wet. Otherwise you'll get sick."
"I'll be fine. I'm going to find Headmaster Steger in a bit."
Doris nodded. She began trekking out of the woods before turning back, "Anfey, who did you say I should give the letter to?"
"Ernest. A man called Ernest."
"Alright," Doris said. "Ernest? You mean Master Swordsman Ernest?" Ernest's reputation may not be good, but it was still there. There were very few who did not know his name.
"Shhh, keep it a secret for me, would you?" Anfey asked, pressing his finger to his lip.
"Alright," Doris nodded. It was Anfey's secret, and she wasn't in a position to ask anything.
Seeing that Doris had disappeared, Anfey extend his right hand and summoned a small ball of fire. The fire traced along his body as if it had a mind of its own. As it passed, the water evaporated from his clothes. If Saul had seen it, he would be shocked. Even an archmage like him could not control elements as well as this. Anfey had already mastered the way of controlling small amounts of elemental magic.
After a few seconds, his clothes were mostly dry. He dispersed his magic and sank into his thoughts. Anfey was certain that he was being followed. After a few glances he had already spotted his followers, but Anfey didn't know why anyone would bother to do such thing.
Ever since leaving the island, Anfey thought that he was careful enough to not catch any attention. He had only two enemies, Maris and Melinda. Were they finally deciding to strike out against him? Possible.
He never thought he would be in trouble, since he had laid low for so long. Of course, things happen because they were bound to happen, not because he wanted or didn't want them to happen.
Anfey closed his eyes and began meditating. The Academy was full of powerful mages. As long as he was with a teacher or any mages that were above him, whoever was following him wouldn't dare to move carelessly. As long as he was in the school, he would be safe.