My Blood Mage System

C.4: Sweet revengeSep 30, 2023
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There was one group of people Cael forgot about in his excitement and hurry to get home and share his joy. But these people hadn't forgotten him.

"Hey, look who's that! It's the biggest loser in the city! The manaless lordling!"

A familiar gaggle of kids surrounded Cael, making him realize he walked past "their" street again.

The kids' ringleader grinned at Cael, showing a fresh hole in place of one of his teeth. "Kale-no-Mane, want to play a game with us? We will throw balls, and you will dodge!"

"Dodgeball!" other kids squealed in excitement. One of them raised a cloth ball and jumped in enthusiasm. "Let's play dodgeball!" Without waiting for others to agree, the boy threw the ball at Cael's head.

Cael ducked, and the projectile harmlessly passed over him.

"Enough!" He clenched his fists. He really wasn't in the mood for it now. "This is the last day you pester me."

"Oh, really?" the ringleader grinned. "And what can you do, Kale-No-Mane? Tell our moms? Tell YOUR mom?" He laughed, and the rest of the children laughed, too. The sound grated on Cael's ears.

A spell came to his head on its own. A simple cantrip—Cael should be able to cast it even without training and with his minuscule mana pool. He raised a hand to his chest.

"*Magic's might, invisible force!*"

The ringleader laughed louder. "Are you trying to scare us with a spell? Manaless loser, don't you know spells need mana to work? Kale-No—Ouch!"

The spell ate Cael's entire mana pool again, but it was worth it. An invisible copy of Cael's palm, formed entirely out of mana, grabbed the boy's ear, catching him completely unawares.

This spell, Mage's Hand, was most often used to move small objects—just another take on domestic telekinesis spells out of many. But it could be used this way, too. 𝒃𝙚𝙙𝙣𝙤𝒗𝙚𝒍.𝒏𝒆𝒕

"What, what, what?!" the ringleader stood on his toes, blindly trying to free his ear with his hands.

"Impossible!" a kid gasped from the side.

"Kale has mana now?!"

"He just did a spell! A spell!"

Cael grinned and looked down at the helpless boy in his invisible grasp. "Apologize for your behavior."

"Sorry! I'm fucking sorry, don't tear off my ear!" the boy whined out. He was, like most bullies, not all that brave when met with superior force.

His friends weren't very sympathetic to his plight, either. A few already ran away, while the others watched with wide and scary eyes, but didn't interfere.

"My mother would've told you to wash your mouth with soap," Cael shook his hands, but let go. His spell, taxed by such harsh use, was going to go out soon, anyway.

The boy almost fell on his knees, holding his balance at the last moment. With both hands grabbing his tomato-red ear, he scowled at Cael with teary eyes.

"The worthless Kale grew into another bastard noble!" The boy shouted and ran, his friends following him.

Cael snorted and kept on his way, whistling a merry tune.

Revenge was damn sweet.

***

The guards that stood watch at the tower's entrance met Cael's wish shocked looks. Their rank wasn't high enough to see details of Cael's mana pool with a glance, but they could sense that he had mana in it now. He grinned at them and silently walked by. But his mood soon dimmed.

Cael had a distinctive feeling that his absence was noticed only because he skipped breakfast. Mother was always insistent on having them together as a family. And she always kept a tight watch on everything that happened in the Oliveira tower…

So when her ghostly, magically-carried voice called Cael "for a talk", he was not surprised.

"My son, where have you been?" Emilia asked, pinning him to his seat with the strength of her disapproving look. "You have disappeared for a day, only to return with mana in your mana pool. Did something extraordinary happen?"

She appeared her usual collected, proper self, except that the knuckles of her fingers, clenched on a pair of knitting needles, were white with tension.

"Yes, Mother!" Cael grinned, but then paused. He couldn't tell anyone about his encounter yet… He couldn't even imagine what terrible consequences could happen. Ninth circle magic! Some people would destroy entire countries to have it.

When Cael stayed silent, Emilia frowned. "Well?"

"I don't know." Cael slumped his shoulders. "I just fell asleep on a riverbank, then woke up like this a day later. Maybe my condition just passed by itself!"

Emilia's lips pinched into a tight line. "This is hard to believe."

Cael shrugged. "Well, maybe a fairy visited me in my sleep, and instead of tearing out all my teeth, cured me."

His mother sent him a sharp look. "Such gall is unbecoming of the Oliveira heir. And you are your father's heir now, Cael, no matter what. However this happened, I'm glad," Emilia lowered her eyes. "I only wish this had happened at a better time."

Cael sucked in a sharp breath. He didn't think about that before, but…

"What? What happened, Mother?"

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