The Arcane Warrior’s Apprentice
Novel by Roberta Downing
Cover artwork designed by Jerry Langdon
Bards were gathering on the very large stage setting up their instruments. The music began and that signaled the start of the feast.
Bell sat down between her mother and father. Her eyes opened wide as the lid was lifted from her plate as she saw the lobster. She loved lobster above all of other foods except maybe that of dragon steak.
As it turned out RavenDance had been placed directly across from Jotar so Bell had full view of him. She became filled with trepidation knowing that she was going to have to tell everyone that she was not going to the academy and face the shock and other emotions that would arise from the announcement of the bomb. She knew that now was not the time to say anything.
After dinner there was much dancing and singing then a special announcement from the stage was announced.
A young man who was an enlisted Katana stepped up to the megaphone and spoke “Bell, my dear sister, this is my gift for you. I know you have been trying to learn this in secrete.” he laughed, “but you know there are no secretes anyone can hide from the Katanas. Happy birthday!” he concluded.
Then a hundred or more Katanas gathered on the stage in formation. The drums began beating and she knew that her brother, the one who challenged her to everything and always beat her, the one who she loved and hated at the same time was gifting her with the Katana Dance.
She watched in awe as they did the dance with swords being thrown up into the air and being caught by others. It was truly a one of a kind sight to see. The dance ended, the Katans bowed and left the stage. Everyone was applauding.
Cwell appeared in front of the megaphone and asked Bell to come up to the stage. It was time for her to face the music as it were. She got up from her seat and walked up to the stage all the while feeling like a sinking rock. She walked up the steps and stood next to the patriarch of the clan. He stepped aside and motioned for her to stand before the megaphone.
“Thank you everybody for all the presents you gave me!” she cleared her throat “I know I am supposed to sing a song now but I have something to say.”
She closed her eyes for a moment and lowered her head. She could still smell the sulfur lingering from the nightmare. She took a deep breath, raised her head and opened her eyes.
“I have a very important announcement to make” she stated.
A few of her relatives joking yelled out “You are running away to join the circus!” The audience laughed.
“Oh how I wish it were that simple but no. I…I am not going to the academy” she said.
Her parents made their way up toward the stage with RavenDance. Jotar and Lily climbed up on the stage and stood next to their daughter.
“Bell. What do you mean you are not going to the academy” her mother asked her. Everyone could hear as the megaphone was so close to them. “You have wanted to go there since you learned to walk and talk. I don’t understand. If you aren’t going to the academy then where is it you are going my love?
Bell found RavenDance standing in front of the stage and she looked directly in his eyes. She pointed at him and said “With him. I’m going with RavenDance.” You could hear a pin drop.