-Good, you already look livelier. Come, Son of The Lake, we have much to talk about.
-Old man, thank you! I would’ve been dead by now if you hadn’t found me.
-That you would, my friend, that you would. I had some doubts about whether or not you would make it, but you’re a strong fellow. Go on then, ask me what you want to know.
-First of all, who are you, and what is this place? – asked the man. He had a calmer tone in his voice now. He felt he could trust the old man and decided to stop being so demanding.
-I told you, Son of The Lake, I’m Professor Seann and this is the House of The Wise.
-Yes, I know you told me those things, but what is this House of The Wise? What kind of professor are you? And why do you keep calling me Son of The Lake?
-The House of The Wise is an ancient Order who protects the Realm of The Living. We’ve been battling forces that ordinary people think of as only fairy tales. We’ve been at war since the beginning of time, and now we have reached a critical point. The enemy grew strong, and our numbers have greatly diminished. Our end is near and we cannot fight it unless we find the one that our predecessors called The Enlighten One, or, Sollsich Aon, in the Old Tongue.
-Enlighten One, War, Realm of The Living… I don’t understand, old man. What forces are you battling and who’s banner are you holding?
-Oh, dear friend, The Order has no banner, nor does it answer to anyone! We fight for humans. We don’t care, nor do we mingle in human’s politics, or their trivial disputes over lands and influence spheres. We serve only The Great Cause and our only foe is Evil.
-I, the Professor continued, am just a servant to The Order, and I have been tasked to look for Sollsich Aon, as many of my fellow brethren are. This is our attempt to fight back what’s coming. Dark days are on their way and the Enemy has already reached Bhaile. For now, it hasn’t unleashed its full power but has resumed itself to infiltrate the town. Its acolytes are looking for you!
-For me? – asked the man in shock. What could a force so great that you speak of want from me? I’m just a merchant’s fish supplier. I have no knowledge of war. I don’t know any important people and don’t hold any kind of information or knowledge.
-That is but what you know about yourself, Son of The Lake! The Enemy sensed the power within you and he recognized you as a threat to him. It is for that reason that he is after you. That is why the Kelpies attacked you. Fortunately, you managed to fend them off.
-Fend them? They stabbed me in the back. They could have killed me at any point. They probably thought they did and that’s the only reason I’m still here. They messed up!
-Oh, no, that is not how it went down. Yes, they did stab you, but when they were preparing to give you their final blow, you fought back. You were most likely unconscious at that time, but your powers fended for you. Your body entered a state of self-awareness and emanated an explosion of energy, sending those Kelpies flying through the air. One of them almost got impaled in a tree branch. They fled without looking back after that, but that effort almost depleted your body of any kind of life force.
-Old man, you must be out of your mind! I don’t have any kind of powers, especially ones that imply explosions of energy. You should stop smoking those leaves of yours.
-It’s normal for you to have doubts. As you said, you’re only a merchant’s fish supplier, without any knowledge of war or anything else special. But, you’re so much more. Your aunt felt your power as well. She was wise to give you that recipe. You see, Gliche was a member of The House of The Wise. She was my sister in The Order’s eyes and she wielded great power.
-Aunt Gliche was in your sect? She never told me anything about any such matter. She was a librarian in The Capital and she used to spend most of her days in some dusty corner of her office reading and writing.
-Yes, that was her official role. All of us, in The Order, have human occupations so that we can blend in unseen, but your aunt was, in reality, the Head of The Sollsichees. That’s The Order’s wing composed by those who search for The Enlightened One. Your aunt was the Head of my kind.
Professor Seann fell quiet for a moment. He seemed to be thinking about something. He sighed from the depth of his soul and then continued.
-She made it her life’s goal to protect you. She saw your potential and knew you would play a critical role in the war that is to come. That pledge would come to set her free from this realm.
-What do you mean? – cried the man. My aunt died in The Capital. She fell in the Abhainn river and drowned. She was attacked by some lowlife and he pushed her in the river. At least she had the power to pull him with her. That is how they both met their end.
-Not quite! She fell fighting one of The Enemy’s most cruel servants. He was the leader of The Night Horde, the same one the Kelpies belong to. Oidhch Righ, he was called. He found out about your whereabouts and he was coming for you, but Gliche caught up to him and they fought with all their might. None of them would give in. Your aunt realized that he was too powerful for her to defeat, so she sacrificed herself, taking him with her into the depths of the waters and not letting him go until she saw the despicable fire in his eyes fading. She managed to get to shore, but her wounds were too terrible to endure and that is how Gliche past away from this realm.
-This is madness! – the man yelled. My aunt, fighting Evil’s servant to protect me? If she was so powerful as you say she was, why would she sacrifice herself for me? She would have been a much greater ally to you than I could ever possibly be. This makes no sense.
-She knew very well what she was doing, Son of The Lake! There is no point in regretting her doings, only to honor her sacrifice by deeds even greater. She saw your power and she knew your heart. This is why she cared for you all of her life. You are her hope for the War. You are our hope for it!
-Me? I don’t understand how I could play any part in all of this!
-Come now, Son of The Lake, it’s time for you to rest again. That potion has great effect, but only time has the power to truly heal your wounds. We’ll talk more later. All will be revealed and then you will understand.
Having said that, the Professor turned away from the man and exited the room through a small wooden door with the knob in the middle.
The man stood there, thinking about the entire conversation and all the things the Professor told him about his aunt Gliche. It was too much to process at once. A secret war, his aunt, Head of a powerful ancient Order, him, and his newly discovered powers? It was all too much right now.
The man walked over the other side of the room where there was a small, round window. He looked outside and saw a green pasture in front of the building. There were no people in sight, only a few cows on a hill, in the distance. Then, he saw the sky. It was clear and blue above his head, but over the town, it was black as if the clouds had waged war on the people underneath. They stood no chance in front of such power.