6 The well of dooms

A week had passed since Nier became an apprentice in the 'Wands for all' shop.

Since then his job has been upgraded after he petitioned Eleanor enough to teach him some of her grade 0 chore magic, and since then he had been upgraded from a janitor to a janitor that records all transactions, including customers' names which sometimes can fill a whole page, bartered or sold wands, the amount of money involved, and so forth.

On the other end, Nier confidently can say that in only a week, he now knows more than any wizard in Mortemhill save Eleanor about wand making, which in this specific shop, he found out that the wood used to construct the outer covering of the wand is a very rare kind that only grows off the back of a strange race of bears by the name of Oslo, then, the material consisting the inside varies from Dragon's throat strings or Pheonix feathers preferably the ones closest to the Pheonix head, as considered to be the highest quality of material contrary there are also wands made by the latter's junk, which Eleanor threatened to strangle Nier if he ever disclosed the secret, as most wizard's preferred to buy cheaply made wands for their young children.

"And nobody wants dragon poop inside their wand you understand me?" Eleanor exclaimed shortly after the warning.

Eleanor also thought that expensive wands naturally had their merits as they allowed the user faster spell casting and a shorter time of ignition.

Nier was currently pretending to scribe something in a ledger in front of Eleanor's desk. His eyes, however, were adjusted on a book resting on his lap by the name of 'Creatures to avoid'.

Nier skipped all manner of hazardous beasts and flipped straight to a part titled 'Hags.'

"A Hag is once a dark witch that got consumed by the dark arts, experts have been in protracted debates about the cause of such change, in this book we will follow the study of one of the greatest wizards of all times, Sir Merlin himself, as he orated about the soul corruption caused by some of the spells within the dark arts, dictating that when the soul gets too much damaged, a witch will face the decision of either cessation or sacrificing one of her 5 senses and turn into a hag that only goal is to kill and extract souls to prolong her lifespan." Nier read.

"Hags also are extremely harmful to any wizard or witch below grade 3, making them rated as C- in our threat rank list,"

Nier put down the book, giving view to another book, this time titled, 'History in the dark arts,'

"The dark arts were first sired from Marlock's shadow and was first developed by Anikote attempt to revive his little sister, creating one of the first and gruesome rituals of dark witchcraft which amassed 12 virgin witches lives,"

Nier's interest peaked when he heard the word 'revival', must it be the only thing that can help him figure out the concept of death is within the dark arts?

Nier hoped not, although, his curiosity said otherwise.

He wanted to read more but was interrupted by the boisterous screams of utter terror from the people in the portrait which was overhauled right on the wall behind him.

Nier scrambled to hug the quill, ink bottle, and parchment put on the desk as he jumped out of the portrait range.

What seemed to be a mammoth Sea wave rushed to lave and engulf the shores of a small town, drowning the shrieking people inside the enchanted portrait, thus after the townhouses were completely submerged, the water trespassed the portrait rim, drizzling the desk with a strong surge of water.

"Eleanor! Remind me again of why do we need a tidal bore (tsunami) portrait above my head!", Niet shouted, relieved that his new clothes hadn't gotten wet.

"How many times do I need to tell you to use honorifics?" Eleanor's voice rumbled from underground, through the trap door just below Nier's desk, "The portrait is from my ancestors, I can't simply cast it away."

"Then feel free to put it over your own head then," Nier replied, charming a piece of cloth to drive away the seawater outside.

"Boy, don't smarten up on me. Technically, it was over my head until you arrived—And by the way, what did I tell you about stealing my books?" she added, barreling a branch.

"You seem to tell me a lot of things," Nier wanted to grumble but was disturbed by the sound of a fancy carriage pulling into a halt right in front of the shop.

Nier discarded what's on his hand, and walked up from the office to the main mart, expecting a wealthy customer.

He then saw a hooded old women stagger inside the shop, supported by a bony cane held in her long-nailed right hand, while an evil-looking aristocratic man, with fan-shaped eyebrows and a taut greyish skin complexion that seemed as if he regularly donated his blood proudly pranced abreast her.

The man looked around, as he asked, "Does a witch by the name of Eleanor Roosevelt lives here,"

Nier stood there confused, his first instincts were to deny Eleanor's existence, as the man carried a soft but at the same time endangering tone to his voice.

Eleanor with her ability to sense and hear anything happening, at least inside her shop's walls, climbed the ladder outside her underground wand-forge and peered outside the cabin to meet the unexpected guests.

Just when the pair reached a certain point towards Nier, the invisible Necronomicon sounded on his ears.

[Caution: A grade 4 wizard and a grade 5 witch is in the bearers range]

Nier taken by surprise, had a better look at the man, remembering that wizards are ranked in a very specific echelon called grades spanning from 0 to 10, the grades depended on the wizard's spell mastery, alchemy proficiency, divination in any of its many branches, and some other minor professions like beast keeping, and not to forget the dark arts as in the likes of necromancy, blood magic, and anything that has to do with sacrifices, torture and dabbling with souls.

"Umm, the Roosevelts, the only ancient wizarding family in the town that retained a righteous artery—a pity only one descendant remains alive."

"Sir Lasker?" Eleanor said, astounded to see the town's baron in her humble shop.

Eleanor reluctantly put down her wand out of view, which was a sign of respect between the wizardkind, and proceeded to inquire politely, "What can I serve Sir Lasker with?"

Sir Lasker moved his free hand and pulled something out of his coat pocket.

Nier saw a scroll, stretch its infinitely lengthy paper to the ground.

"My close sources have informed me that your housing a nameless young wizard in your shop," Sir Lasker eyed Nier from the side as he said.

Eleanor shook her head, slightly changing her tone, "I don't see the problem?"

Sir Lasker smiled a smile that wasn't a smile at all. "Of course there's no problem , I'm just curious to know which foolish household would let their offspring belong to another family, but let's discuss that another day,"

"Hastur school of witchcraft have sent yesterday a candle letter bearing me the news that they began their first-year selection, " Sir Lasker said. "Today, the school surveyor Grand Lady Margot arrived, and had already inspected almost all magical kids in Mortemhill aged between 10 and 12—And as of now only my 2 sons and daughter have passed the grand lady's test." Sir Lasker proudly hauled his chest.

"It is time already?" Eleanor glanced back at Nier, gulping. Although she was considered a grade 3 witch herself which was decent in a small town like Mortemhill, she was still what wizards referred to as a chore witch, same as a chore wizard, they cannot conjure complex spells, and so she wasn't selected into Hastur Academy but settled on her father's teachings, which were insufficient in any sector besides wand making.

"I saw him learn a grade 1 spell in a matter of seconds," she thought, "Maybe he has a chance."

"Nier, Hastur Academy is the only witchcraft school that exists in the realm of Dagonvania, if you want to become a grade 3 wizard or beyond, you must graduate from this school," Eleanor said.

Nier already understood that he needs magical books to progress in his path of becoming a powerful wizard, the wizarding ministry has decreed that not a single magical book can be owned by a wizard unless the grade of the wizard matches with the grade of the book.

The old witch jabbed her cane twice on the floor, making a transparent well appear in the ground of the shop, as she let Sir Lasker do the talking: "This is the well of dooms, grab your wand, close your eyes, and cast the spell that first appeared to you in your head, if it's a chore one you fails, if it's a dueling one you pass, blimey, the last kid made a table full of Apple pies."

Nier unhesitantly did just that, it did not truly matter to him if he gets accepted or not, as the Necronomicon would say, it's their loss, not ours.

Nier stretched his wand toward the well, igniting the magical power deep within him, as he closed his eyes.

Soon, the well shone bright, and a hazy spell written in black characters, materialized inside his head.

Nier felt his whole energy get sucked towards the wand, which in her own way also craved to cast the spell, making the red serpentine seams on its surface kindle.

[Rank 9 spell temporarily mastered by the help of a rank 9 artifact, "the well of dooms"]


Nier began but felt a painful sting disarm him of his wand shortly after the first couple of letters.

Nier opened his eyes to see Grand lady Margot, pointing her cane at him, while the well water turned black like melted lava—gurgling and churning in absolute rage.

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