2 A Second Chance

He opened his eyes only for them to hurt when a bright warm light hit his delicate them. The first thought he had in his head was maybe he was dreaming from the start and was now in heaven. But once the light faded and his vision finally returned, the first thing he set his eyes on was a beautiful peach-haired woman hovering over him.

She had a curious look in her dark brown eyes as her hands slowly moved over his young masculine body. From feeling her warm and smooth hands, the boy realized that she was touching his bare skin and he was currently in his undergarments while she studied his physique. That's If this was even his body.

"He looks and feels fine," she stated, taking her hands off the half-naked boy.

But who was she speaking to? He wondered as he tried to move his head to see who else was in the room. However, his body felt heavier at the moment as if he had been hit with a paralysis spell.

"Are you sure, have you checked well?"

He heard a man's voice.

"Yes, I have. Are you doubting my magic abilities, Obsidian?" Her question was backed up with a fierce glare warning the man that he should be careful with his words.

"No…not really, I just can't believe it happened on my first day as a professor. This is bad luck, Catherine," he answered, sounding frustrated.

"He's just processing the situation. I heard the entries to the academy can be stressful most times. And for someone as weak as him, he must've gone through hell since he's not everyone else." The woman explained.

They must have thought he was still unconscious to speak so freely in his presence. But it was getting confusing to catch onto their conversation. When did he join an Academy? And who were these people? What was really going on?

All he remembered was the pain and screaming that came with dying before everything faded to black.

He recalled hearing a voice before waking up in a foreign environment. And although it was still vague, he remembered a white-haired man in a robe canceling out his fireballs.

He gasped softly. 'I can use magic, it's all still a blur but I am sure of it. I used fire magic.'

"Oh look, he's awake," the woman noticed his eyes were open.

"Thank goodness," the man sighed after hearing what she had said.

Without saying anything else, Catherine leaned toward the boy and said. "You can't talk right now because of the spell you cast earlier. I am glad that we have another fire user, but magic users like you end up losing a lot of mana from performing spells of a powerful magnitude, hence, your body can't take the fatigue, and you're paralyzed."

What did she mean by "Like you"? He wanted to ask, but he barely had any strength to move his mouth and speak.

She sighed. "Okay…Mr. Arthur Bellrock, I'm going to ask you some simple questions and you're going to answer them for me if that's okay with you. You're going to blink once for no and twice for yes, understand?"

'Arthur Bellrock, that's my name…?' He chose to play along anyway since he had no choice if he wanted to understand what was truly going on with him.

He blinked twice

"Anha, that's good. Are feeling any pain right now?" She asked the first question.

He blinked once.

"Have you ever done fire magic like that?"

He blinked once.

"Then he might be a natural. You see, I you told this year's newcomers are incredible," the man interrupted, sounding a bit cheerful.

"He's not special. He's just a commoner who found his way to the most prestigious magic academy in the kingdom. It's almost unbelievable that someone with this little mana passed the entries," she said to him.

'So I wasn't imagining it. I am in Valron, but when did I get here…and how am I still alive when…' he remembered the silver-haired mage and felt his insides turnover from just how she looked that night.

"Thanks for your feedback, Arthur," Catherine concluded their interaction. "You'll be able to leave once you've recovered your mana. For now, have some rest and think about how you can use your mana efficiently next time." Then smiled with her pink lips one last time before she walked out of the room leaving him with the man.

Although he couldn't see him right now, Arthur could sense that the man hadn't stepped out of the small room they were in. For as long he could remember, he wasn't good at sensing aura; now it felt natural—like he could always do it.

Was it because of this new body?

The man then left his position and stood beside the bed, giving him a glimpse of who he was. He was the white-haired man he tried to attack earlier. "Don't think about what she has said. I was also a commoner like you, Arthur. And from what I've learned… you just have to work hard and you'll make it someday."

His voice was deep, but yet calm and pleasant to Arthur's ears. For a moment, he felt like he could trust this man and he had no need to fear the situation he was in right now.

The man then patted the dark messy hair on his head. "Like I said before, you're special…all you need to do is embrace it."

.

.

.

At night, Arthur had a vivid dream as he tried to have some sleep for the first time since he arrived in this place.

In the dream, he was floating in the night sky. And despite it being windy from up here, he didn't feel cold because this was an astral projection of his real body. Below him, he heard groups of people screaming out words like "scourge" and "monster"

When he looked down, Arthur was shocked to see that he was watching his own execution.

He didn't want to see this.

"What is going on? What's happening?" He asked himself as he whirled his head around to find something that he could maybe use to get him out of this dream, but he was unsuccessful. He already felt uneasy from the idea that he was probably watching his own execution. And worst of all, he felt compelled to see all of this happen right in front of him.

He continued watching until the point where he started begging the villagers to stop. But when the time came for the silver-haired mage to arrive, she didn't. They instead continued to stone and burn him.

"This is not how it happened," he muttered as he shook his head in disbelief.

Suddenly, an alien presence filled the air. "YOU SEE ASH, YOU SEE HOW THESE HUMANS TREATED YOU," said a monotone female voice that followed the alarming presence.

Arthur didn't know what to say to this strange voice, but he couldn't pretend he didn't sense the terrifying presence this being had come with.

"Yes, I see." He answered.

"DO YOU HATE THEM, ASH?"

"I don't know…" Arthur replied, feeling frozen in one place, unable to look away from the violence that was going on. Then, he felt a smooth hand crawl up his spine only to clamp onto his shoulder. Though her aura was too unsettling, so he didn't dare to turn.

"BUT THEY HAVE KILLED MANY OF YOUR KIND, YOU SHOULD HATE THEM!" She raised her tone for a moment and he found himself opening his eyes with a start and a loud gasp as if he had run out of air to breathe.

Seeing the ceiling, he was more than relieved to be back in this body. The voice was clearly aware of who he was, and there was a possibility that it was because of her that he was alive and in a new body.

He quivered, remembering the aura that surrounded her, then stared at the wide window that was close to his bed. His head felt like he had been smacked by something heavy and his body was abnormally hot as if he had a fever. He hoisted himself off the bed and settled on the edge to gaze at the cloudy sky from the window.

'I've been reincarnated.' After seeing that he couldn't sense his demon side at all, he noticed that was a human this time around. And he could use mana like any other human with the ability to cast magic. From his childhood, he would hear tales that claimed that when humans died, they were reborn after some time.

Sigh. He smiled, taking in the scenery of the sky from here.

The biggest part of him was glad that he had been given a second chance at life…a chance to live out the rest of his life with no connection to his past.

But Arthur had no idea of what was installed next for him. In the magic realm where gods, demons, monsters, and other creatures existed—he's bound to face challenges and seize his true destiny.

Because no one can escape their past.

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