Disgust and envy, two tyrants constantly at war over territory of Randall’s heart. Of the thirteen brothers, only three had no magical aptitude whatsoever; Enso, Xagyg, and Randall. Oblivious to the very notion that magic even existed, Enso trained his body day and night to be his greatest weapon. He never even went to a single lesson Arresh gave about magic or any test to see if he was capable of using magic in the first place. He cared nothing of its art, only in the perfection of his mind and body. On the contrary, Xagyg swore he was the greatest magic user that ever existed in all of of its application and had no need to train on something he already mastered. When implored to show the rest of his brothers an example of his prowess, he responded by saying he didn’t want to disgrace his skills by showing it to such lower beings and that such a display would put all their lives in danger. What scared everyone the most was that he seemed to honestly believe it. Randall on the other hand, went to every lesson Arresh taught on arcana, trained in all the different forms of magic, read up on every technique to bring out even the smallest amount of talent to the surface. But to his utter dismay, after months of practice he could not cast spells that novices are taught on their first day. His brothers did what all young boys do and continually ridiculed him about it. They told him to stand far away from the them when they practiced so it wouldn’t rub off on them too. The jokes only fueled him to try harder but to everyone’s shock there was truth to their humiliating words. He was in fact having a negative affect on the spellcasters around him. Jokes became arguments, and soon arguments became constant fights, fights became all out brawls. But you can’t out bully the bully so Randall usually ended up winning the fights and stayed despite the unspoken embargo against him. It was only when Arresh himself kindly suggested individual lessons between him and Randall did he relent and stopped joining the others in the lessons. In fact, he stopped going to any lessons at all. Arresh may have used soft words but what it meant to Randall was razor sharp. Arresh now also believed there was no hope for Randall in pursuing magic and his very presence was detrimental to all those around him in the continuing their education in arcana. He never felt a pain like the one he felt on that day. Any injury he received in battle paled in comparison. It was like everything he tried to do to impress Arresh was stepped on. He would now never be able to compete with and prove he was better his rival, Rhaegar, who never failed at anything he attempted. With no reason to stay at the mansion in his mind, he packed his things and ran away. The volcanoes surrounding the mountain was the only thing Randall ever experienced outside the estate and it’s immediate grounds so it was the only option to run to. A week and a half passed with no sight of Arresh or any of his brothers. Surviving on the few things he learned about nature, he discovered that physical dominance was an indispensable boon and did well on his own in the harsh environment. He didn’t know if his family was happy he left or if he was just that good at disappearing. He would think to himself how much easier this would be if Amros was with him. How much better the meals would be if Ichino was the one preparing them. How even the the worst day could be made better with the help of Jerji and his songs. How alone he felt right now. But he would always repress those thoughts and blame them for shutting him out and forcing him to leave.
Until one day Graeme briskly walks in on his camp while Randall was roasting a lizard for his meal. He didn’t think Graeme would have been the one to find him. He probably was told by Arresh how to get here or commissioned Xagyg to find Randall for him, but Xagyg was nowhere to be seen. Graeme always seemed to find a way to get the job done, always planning, always finding an answer.
Seeing anyone after being in solitude for so long was a relief that could not be described. His thoughts had grown very dark in the past few days, and he’s not sure what would have become of him had he been left to his own machinations. However, Graeme didn’t need to know that.
“What do you want.” Randall spit out barely raising his sight from cooking his meal.
Graeme raised one eyebrow and focused his glare straight at Randall as he always does when he feels like he will be expending more time than necessary on a project. “Why did you leave?”
“What do you care? Why don’t you go back to your loser brothers and leave me alone. I’m finally happy that I don’t have to see your ugly faces then you show up here and ruin everything.”
It was as if the entire volcano fell silent, holding it’s breath in hopes not to miss even a single sound of what was to happen next. On Graeme’s face was the look of deep speculation and thought. Like playing a game of chess on a board only visible to himself. Randall on the other hand made every effort not to pay him any attention, as if his intrusion had already gone too long. Then with a sigh Graeme finally relaxed his body and shot Randall a look that he will remember for the rest of his life. It was the frown a hunter has when he is standing above his kill that has not yet died. The expression you have when you are about to end the life of the greatest buck you have ever seen, one that should have roamed the forest ruling in grandeur, but instead fell victim to your desire to own it within the confines of your trophy room. And so you draw the knife and have this expression on your face for the tragic ceremony of a momentous victory.”
“I care because you are ruining my plans. I needed you to take care of something for me. But then you decided to just get up and leave. I thought you would be back in a day or two but this is ridiculous. Now, if you’re done pouting, get your things together and let’s get back before you waste anymore of my time.”
Randall was caught off guard. Graeme never spoke this way. The tone was all wrong, Graeme wasn’t the kind of person to look down on his pawns. The pieces didn’t matter as long as he achieved his goal. Puzzled, Randall asked himself if Graeme treated even his emotions as pieces to manipulate?
“I should smash your face in for the way your talking to me”
“I had a plan for that in case you tried to”
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”
“And I planned on not getting punched at all, especially not from you”
Randall cracked a smile and let out muffled laugh “and what are your amazingly important plans that couldn’t wait until I got back?” he said as he began to brush the dirt off his clothes and stand.
A smirk crept onto Graeme’s face, “those losers back home are a bunch of puppets. They wouldn’t be able to lift a finger without Arresh pulling their strings. They need someone to tell them where to go and how to think. And when Arresh isn’t around Yohan will be the light showing the path and I will be the hand that holds the reins driving the carriage. What we need is a whip to gently persuade them from getting out of hand and staying in line.”
Randall bellowed out a hearty laugh. “ You know you suck at acting mean.” His laughter only got louder when he saw how disappointed Graeme was for being called out on it. “How about you let me handle the tough guy routine from now on while you get some acting lessons from Sheyba. Unless he thinks you’re a lost cause.” he continued
“I’m realizing now more than ever that I’m not good at a lot of things. But I’m not going to let anyone or any limitations stop me from doing what Arresh raised us to do.”
It took a second but Randall finally collected himself and started packing his few things “That’s nice. Now whose face am I smashing in?”
“I’ll tell you when the time is right. For now stay by my side and and wait for my command” he said as he he turned and began walking away from the camp, Randall in tow slightly behind him. “I am weak, I need you. I need you to be my fists, to be my sword, and strike down any in our way. You possess a special skill I can use to our advantage. You will bring down any magi who are too high for us to reach. With you I will fulfill the prophecy.”
And since that day, Randall was always by Graeme’s side waiting for his orders. He would heal the world with his sword and defeat any mage who stood in their way.