Who would have known that Evander Alestaer, the so-called Arch Magus, would die not on the battlefield but from a curse? Over a dozen disciples of Evander surrounded him on his deathbed, their eyes brimming with tears.
“Teacher! You promised me that after I become a Royal Court Magician, you’ll tell me the secret of the Void History!” said a young girl wearing a white robe. “You can’t die! You promised!”
Evander smiled and stroked the hair of the young girl. She was the youngest of all his disciples and also the brightest. Five years ago, he journeyed through the Endless Desert in the West. Along the way, he passed by a village devastated by a Ground Dragon. Although those creatures were weak before Evander’s eyes, they still possessed enough strength to lay waste to a village or two. The desert clans were unable to subdue the Ground Dragon, resulting to hundreds of casualties. And this girl was among those that survived.
After killing the Ground Dragon on a whim, the young girl suddenly started following him around. It was easy for Evander to shake off the tail, but his curiosity got the better of him. After three days, he finally turned around and confronted the young girl.
“Why are you following me?” he asked that time.
“How did you do that?” said the young girl. It had been three days since she started following Evander in the desert, and Evander had never seen her eat even once. Furthermore, the skin flask containing the water she carried with her had long been emptied. The girl definitely followed her through sheer will alone.
“I saw how you killed the Desert Beast. The Dragon. Please,” she knelt down in front of him. “Teach me.”
Others may say it was foolishness, but for Evander, it was one of the most precious memories he had in his short life. Picking up this frail girl had given him a sense of purpose. Back then, he had been killing monsters left and right just to satiate his curiosity, to get rid of his boredom. But after that, he decided to take in disciples, nurturing them to lead the path of the next generation.
And right now, those very same disciples surrounded him in all directions, spouting things one after another, telling him that he should be strong and resist the curse.
Unfortunately, this curse was something he got not from a monster, but from a failed experiment. When he was young, he kept searching for the elixir of immortality, the way to transfer souls, the way to extend a mortal’s life. After countless experiments, this was the result.
Instead of prolonging his life, the curse started eating his soul. And now, at a young age of fifty, he was slowly dying.
Looking back on his youth, he knew he had been foolish. It was decades after his countless experiments before he realized the true beauty of life. Life without end was not beautiful – it was nothing but torture.
If he could have travelled back in time and meet with his younger self, he would have clearly told him that what he was seeking was nothing but foolishness, a futile thing that would do nothing but create an endless cycle of agony and suffering. “Teacher! Please don’t leave us!”
Under the constant sobs, Evander felt his strength leaving his body. He could no longer open his mouth to speak. Moreover, his fingers started disintegrating into ashes. It was only a matter of time before he disappeared completely.
Using what remained of his magic, he spoke through everyone’s mind. “I regret that I would no longer be able to accompany everyone through the path ahead. The war with the Demons will be surely tough, but I have faith in every one of you.”
“Leanne,” said Evander to the young girl. “After my death, go to the Forbidden Tower and take my research. Inside those books I have written is the secret of the Void History. I’ve arranged it so that the Forbidden Tower will react to your magic.”
The young girl still had snot dripping down her nose as she nodded. By now, only the trunk and the head of Evander remained.
Everything else had vanished into dust.
“Pollux,” said Evander.
The oldest of his disciples, a bald old man, replied, “Teacher.”
“I entrust the disciples to you.”
Pollux bit his lips as tears fell down his cheeks. “Yes, Teacher.”
Evander closed his eyes. Moments lingered and his entire body turned to dust.