“Teacher… is that you?”
Calron spluttered as he tried to get his words out.
How could Calron not recognize that familiar voice that had guided and comforted him for the past few years? He knew at once that the man who had just spoken, was definitely his Teacher.
“Wait, I saw you before… in my memories… you went by the name… Ezkael.”
Calron rasped out his words, as a sudden headache overtook him.
Within his mind, he always imagined the Voice as an old pudgy man with a deep grating voice. However, the person who stood in front of him was the complete opposite!
“Yes, I used to go by the name Ezkael once… but that is a thing of the past. Calron, we have more pressing matters at hand.”
Ezkael stated in a serious tone.
“Teacher, what is going on? I can’t feel my body anymore”
Calron exclaimed as he once again tried to sense his body.
“Your body is dying, Calron.”
Ezkael said quietly to his student.
“This cannot be happening… what did I do wrong?”
Calron asked in a helpless and despairing tone.
“You did nothing wrong, kid. The fault is mine. I did not consider how your body would react to your beast heritage. Your bloodline is not of a normal beast, but that of a primordial beast! Your human body is unable to contain its presence now that it’s awakened.”
Ezkael stated with worry etched on his face.
“But you said that the third stage of the Thunder-Bird technique would allow me to safely absorb the lightning.”
Calron said while turning around and observing the events unfolding on the white wall.
“I lied, kid… There is no third stage of that technique. It was just meant to ease your mind, so your body could naturally awaken to your beast heritage.”
Ezkael sighed as he walked next to Calron and stared at the white wall as well.
“Haha, I knew there was something that you were hiding from me. Is this truly the way I will die?”
Calron muttered with a trace of mockery in his voice.
“I just don’t know where we went wrong, kid. As soon as the lightning entered your body, your mind should have instinctively absorbed the memories of your ancestors and let you safely complete your first beast shape-shift. Are you sure there was nothing in your inherited memories about this?”
Ezkael inquired with a frown on his face.
“Memories… there were some about a man… wait… you were also there! There was a golden bird… and the man’s name was… Raizel…”
Calron suddenly felt his head hurting once again, as a ringing sound vibrated throughout his mind and scattered his thoughts.
“Why are your memories unclear? Dammit, it seems that the awakening of a beast heritage will be different for a part human. Calron, FOCUS!”
Ezkael abruptly burst out when he sensed that Calron was losing his consciousness.
There have been humans with beast bloodlines before in the past, but never had there been a human with the heritage of a primordial beast. To ensure the purity of their bloodline, most primordial beasts would only mate others of their kind.
“It appears as if your shared ancestry of human and beast are conflicting with each other and stopping you from shape-shifting properly. Calron, I need you to go back into your memories and dig out the moment when Raizel undergoes his first shape-shift! I will help you in getting there, but we need to do this now!”
Ezkael frantically yelled, but a slight trace of hope could be seen within his eyes.
“I am… ready!”
Calron rasped as he felt his headache increasing in intensity.
“Keep still and don’t panic.”
Ezkael whispered as he neared in front of Calron’s vision.
Before Calron could contemplate it any further, his Teacher raised his hand and pierced his fingers straight through his head!
“Put some more effort into it, Raizel!”
A large old man furiously bellowed and he swung his wooden sword towards a dark-haired youth.
“Geez, Grandpa, I told you that I don’t like fighting. Violence is just not my thing. Can I leave?”
A six year old Raizel complained, as he swiftly dodged the old man’s attack.
“You rascal, you might not like violence, but will your enemies share the same sentiments?”
The old man replied as he attempted to strike his palm against the little boy’s chest.
“I’ll just crack a joke, and I’ll make friends with my enemies!”
The cute dark-haired boy retorted with a childish grin on his face.
“Do you not care about your life?”
A sinister man stated in a chilling voice, as he slowly approached the twenty year old Raizel.
“Let me see her one last time, and I promise to leave here peacefully.”
Raizel calmly replied.
“You might be a primordial beast, but you are still no match for me. Leave now, before it’s too late.”
The sinister man warned in a threatening tone.
Suddenly, a series of golden scales covered his body while bursts of blue lightning erupted all around him.
“Let’s test that theory out, shall we?”
Raizel viciously hissed as his eyes morphed into an azure blue.
“Are you ready, Raizel?”
An old man gently asked the eight year old boy standing in front of him.
“I don’t want to do this…”
The dark-haired boy answered as he nervously played with his fingers.
“Don’t be afraid, boy, it does not hurt one bit. It is a part of you, just like your soul or the beating heart inside your body.”
The elderly man said tenderly while petting the boy’s messy hair.
“I heard Ezkael’s first shape-shift was very painful. I don’t like it when stuff hurts!”
The dark-haired boy protested as he threw a fit.
“Raziel… do you trust me?”
The old man inquired as he firmly gazed into his grandson’s eyes.
The boy responded without hesitation.
“Then, trust the beast within your body, as it will never betray you. Do not fight it. Do not fear it. Simply, accept it as a part of you. Do you understand, Raizel?”
“…ron…. alron…. CALRON!”
Ezkael shouted out, as he desperately nudged Calron.
Hearing the groggy voice of his student, Ezkael let out a sigh of relief.
“Did you find the memory?”
Ezkael curiously inquired in a hopeful tone.
“I think I know what to do right now.”
Calron slowly stated as he gathered his thoughts.
“Hurry up then! You do not have enough time!”
“Teacher, you knew him, right?”
Calron suddenly asked as he faced the purple-eyed man.
“Yes. He was the only friend I ever had, and for me, he was the closest thing to a brother. He was extremely lazy, and hated to put any effort into training, but even then, he was one of the strongest beasts within our entire realm!”
Ezkael said softly as he gently gazed at Calron.
“You both share the same kind heart, Calron. Even after everything that has happened to you, there is still that trace of gentleness within your heart. Your life has been full of tragedy and loss, but never forget the love taught to you by your parents. Keep their memory alive, and remember that you still have a bright future to look forward to.”
Ezkael stated with deep emotion in his voice.
“I have been waiting to tell this to you for a long time, Calron. Watching the rage swirling in your heart and the dark emotions tearing away at your soul, I feared that you would lose your true self to the darkness. But after seeing you interact with the baby beasts, I had started to hope again. Hope that you would be able to trust others once more… time is running out, kid, so you better leave now. We can always talk later.”
Ezkael stated hurriedly with a slight smile on his face.
“For some reason I feel like you will just pretend none of this ever happened when we see each other again.”
Calron said in an amused tone, but his eyes conveyed the immense affection he felt for his Teacher.
He never realized that the Voice had always been looking out after him, and worrying about his future. Knowing that there was still someone who unconditionally cared about him like family, Calron felt his heart be at peace after a very long time.
“You know me too well.”
Ezkael answered with a wink.
“I will win this battle, Teacher!”
Calron stated as a new confidence surged through him, and in the next moment, he suddenly vanished from the white room.
“I know you will, kid, I know you will…”
Ezkael quietly whispered into the empty room, as he turned around and left.
After countless centuries, a genuine smile finally appeared on Ezkael’s face.
“Teacher… is that you?”