Lanis, 'Well!'



LanisEpisode five, ‘Well?’By Rusty Knight Previously in episode four, ‘Really!’ Lanis discovers the riches of Lenden’s laboratory and library, being rewarded for diligently working through Lenden’s lab and libr...

Episode five, ‘Well?’
By Rusty Knight

Previously in episode four, ‘Really!

Lanis discovers the riches of Lenden’s laboratory and library, being rewarded for diligently working through Lenden’s lab and library on Lenden’s birthday.

Now in episode five, ‘Well?’

Spring 8 Bear

Lenden sits back in his chair as Lanis is placing their food for morning meal on the table. He smirks. “So, Drake will you go out with me today?”
Lanis falters, ‘What is this? The old fart called me a duck and asked me out. Now what do I do?’ She regains composure quickly. “Well, only if you’re going to buy me gems and jewelry, old man, Master Lenden.”
Lenden smacks the table hard while smirking. “Done. I need a bag-lady anyways. And my own personal Drake will do just fine. We leave as soon as I have the carriage geared up and you have the house cleaned up. I say an hour after morning meal is eaten. What kind of gems and jewelry do you like?”
Taken aback by this oddity, Lanis’ only reaction is to flippantly answer, “Oh I think garnets and silver armbands.”
Smiling even more, Lenden answers. “How odd, I am buying a dozen garnets today. We’ll see if they have armbands, if I have any coin left.”
Staring at Lenden, Lanis’ mouth opens and closes a few times, then she asks, “Are you serious?”
Lenden swallows his scrambled duck egg that he had been chewing and replies. “Very much so, Drake. I am also serious about calling you Drake. You will pay to learn to know the difference in items, before you purchase things.”
Lanis, who is now to be Drake, thinks about this. It was kind of ironic, coming back from Hangela’s with drakes, when she was sent out for hens. He won’t let her forget, and this is Lenden’s way of continually reminding her to learn about her subject before going out and spending good coin on it. The name Drake is a badge of honor and a lesson well learned.
“OK Old Man, I’m Drake. But, I will find a name for you too, Master Lenden.” Drake responds. “Besides, any good mage has a mage name. Drake will do as well as any.”
They laugh together at this, then proceed to finish morning meal.
Having rode in the carriage together, with Lenden driving, the two went shopping in Berry Market. Lenden surprised Drake even further today with purchases of clothing for her. He also purchased curtains, a rug and bedding for her room. Then, they did a large food purchase before arriving at Morgus’ Gems, at stall 12 in Berry market.
Lenden negotiated with Morgus for half-an-hour over twelve perfect garnets. Drake watched in admiration at Lenden’s skill at manipulation as he bought the twelve precious gems for half their normal value.
Normally, the garnets sell for five-hundred Flairs each. By the time half-an-hour had passed, Lenden purchased them for two-hundred-and-fifty Flairs each.
Looking at Drake, Lenden asks, “Well?’
Drake sighs, smiling, and then she answers. “I apologize for my ineptness in buying two drakes when you wanted three hens. I did purchase you the spell components you required though. I would love an armband, seeing as you have a few coins leftover from your purchases today, Master Lenden, Mage Extraordinaire.”
Laughing, Lenden smiles as he nods and points to a specific armband on display. It has three ducks in flight, etched in the silver. Lenden says, “Three drakes for my Drake. How much?”
Morgus sighs and taking the female-size armband from his display, he hands it to Drake. “Try it on My Lady, then the old geezer will pay me two-hundred-fifty Flairs for it.”
Lenden coughs, covering his mouth. He says quietly as Drake tries on the armband. “Its worth less than one-hundred-fifty.”
Morgus shakes his head, “No, its worth two-hundred, but seeing as you stole my garnets, you can pay well for this, and I see it fits the lady well. Is she your niece?”
Drake laughs as she gently rubs the armband now on her right wrist.
Drake muses, ‘It feels so comfortable, so right. Like it was made for me. Lenden is right. Drakes’ for Drake.’ “Uncle, I’ll take it.”
Lenden doubles over laughing. Morgus looks confused as Drake breaks out in infectious laughing as well.
As Drake and Lenden calm down, Morgus says, “Like I said, two-fifty.”
Lenden wipes the tears from his eyes to clear them and he says, “No, you old goat. A hundred and fifty and I’ll leave you two-hundred for my niece to come shopping later.”
This stops Drake and Morgus. Drake peers mischievously at Lenden, and Morgus guffaws.
Morgus says, “Leave three-hundred and I’ll consider this sold for one-seventy-eight.”
Still wiping laughter tears from his eyes, Lenden looks at Drake, then he extends his arm to Morgus, “Deal.”
Lenden unloads another five hundred usury note from his belt pouch and he hands it to Morgus.
Lenden says, “Take the one-seventy-eight from that, three-hundred for Drake’s future purchases, and what is left for my future purchases. Unless you are going to deduct conversion fees from that, then bill me the conversion fees.”
Morgus looks at the note signatures, then smiling he looks at Lenden, “We’ll call it even at one-seventy-eight and three-hundred, Master Lenden. Drake, I look forward to your visit in the future.”
Lenden, Drake and Morgus exchange arm clasps, then the two mages leave and take the wet road home. It had rained more than five millimetres for nearly three hours while they were in the market. Water is still running in the gutters, though the rain had stopped nearly an hour ago.
“So uncle, to what do I owe all these treasures?” asks Drake.
Lenden looks out at the sphere, from inside the cabin of the carriage. He then turns to Drake. “Oh don’t you worry; you’ll be earning it all, and more. I tested your powers this morning; your flow is strong. You’ll be working hard for me and yourself. Your studies and work aren’t going to be easy, Drake.”
Taken back a notch or two, Drake looks at the pair of horses for a minute before responding. Then she gasps before saying. “Isn’t it proper for a mage to tell someone that he is reading them, before he reads them, Uncle?”
“It is, and I like you too, Drake, but we’ll only maintain proper etiquette when in public. Don’t worry, I’m not going to make a pass at you. You’re much too young.” Lenden pats Drakes knee.
Drake sighs, “And here I was hoping.”
They laugh together a minute. “Okay, so I don’t have to call you master anymore when we are in private?” asks Drake.
“No, Drake, you don’t. I know you, you’re past that.” Responds the old man.
“Okay, thank you, as long as you know there will still be secrets.” Offers the student.
Lenden chuckles, “More than you know, Niece.”
They converse idle chatter the rest of the way home. Arriving home, Drake unloads the carriage before Lenden unhitches the team and puts away the carriage.
Following their evening meal, they meet in the laboratory, as discussed, where Drake has set on her desk the forty-two-page tome, ink, quills and parchment, which Lenden purchased for her today.
Lenden enters Drake’s zone. “Okay like I said, you’ll be able to focus your spells better if you use a talisman. It is just the way your power works. This is why you haven’t had the success you desire so far. You are an artificer … Artifice Drake. Make the armband your talisman. It is something you will always possess and shouldn’t lose. Give it the power to channel for you.”
Drake looks at the armband, then at Lenden. She asks, “Like we talked about in the carriage?”
Lenden nods. “Yes.”
Grasping the armband with her left hand, she stands and faces west with feet placed shoulder width apart. Drake begins the chant, repeating it, feeling her power build in her. Focusing on the armband and the power flowing around and through her, she chants, infusing the ley-lines and focus through the armband, drawing them in to the jewelry tighter, stronger, until it can no longer be bound any stronger. Then she begins the chant to bind this all together, and hold it so the focus binds between her and the armband. Sweating, she continues chanting, tying it together tightly and sealing it. Suddenly, she feels a bursting flash and loses consciousness, falling to the floor of her lab.


Lenden is leaning over Drake, wiping her forehead with a cool damp cloth. He is smiling proudly. “You did excellent. I was right. You are clearly a true artificer and your armband is now your talisman and focus. Welcome to being a Class One Artificer, Apprentice Drake.”
Drake sits up weakly and then touching the duck etched armband, she feels the power ebbing and flowing in it. Smiling, she thinks. ‘He was right, it worked and I did it. I can do this. I’m not a fraud or wanna be. I am an artificer.’ She turns to look up at the mage, who is now sitting next to her. “Thank you, Uncle. It worked; I can feel it.”

To be continued …
In the next episode six, ‘Friends?’

Drake attempts to put aside her initial feelings, and the bad experiences with Hangela and make a friendship with the merchant, for the sake of Lenden.

© 2016 Rusty Knight with Inevitable Unicorn Press

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