Wil and Airy sat at their desks writing words over and over. They came to the wizard's tower today, like every day, to continue their studies. When they arrived, no instructor sat at the instructor's desk. The room was quiet and a little more eerie than usual. Airy turned on all the magical globes hovering around the room. She couldn't shake the feeling of being watched.
A guest instructor had been scheduled for today, but they didn't know the details. They started their usual routine. Copy magical texts, then complete word challenges to enhance their knowledge and concentration. They could smell Antum's tea and the pleasant scent of pastries. The enticing aromas usually filled the second-floor dining room, not the classroom. Wil's stomach gurgled. He looked at Airy and shrugged, "I skipped breakfast." She didn't smile back.
A tendril of black smoke wound along the floor and up onto Wil's desk. The form of a short woman, barely 3ft tall, in dark spike-covered armor appeared, standing on his desk. Purple lightning arced around her torso. The black smoke whirled around her arm and formed into a sword. She swung it toward Wil.
Startled, Wil had jumped back, knocking his chair over, but he was still in range of the sword. It never reached him as Airy stepped between Wil and the woman. Airy's arms stretched out as she generated a magical shield. The energy poured out of her as she held her eyes closed tight. The woman's sword never hit the shield. It faded away, and the wizard applauded.
Now that was impressive. I thought you two were a lost cause. I was standing behind you for the last ten minutes!" The wizard wiped some jelly off her mouth and licked her fingers. "Hmm, where did I sit my cup of tea?"
"Mercy," Airy said with a sigh as she released her shield.
"Apparently, I am supposed to go by Master Sage Mercy now." The wizard giggled at her new title. "So, let's talk about illusions."