Authors: Rain Oxford
Tags: #Fiction, #Fantasy
The Wizard’s Secret
The Sorcerer’s Saga Book 2
Wizard’s Secret © 2016 Rain Oxford
art by Brooke Gillette
by Crystal Potts
Measure out a large pinch of zinc sulfate
I poured a small sample of the white powder into my
palm. Merlin had taught me to measure using the creases in my hand. I had to be
careful, though, because some of the ingredients Magnus had were dangerous to
touch. I trusted Merlin not to mislead me. “Like this?”
I set the jar down and dumped the powder into the
small cauldron. Merlin and I were in one of Magnus’s three magic rooms. This
one was Merlin’s favorite because it was fully stocked with everything Merlin
The floor and wall were stone. The south wall was
dominated by a large fireplace, a tall window took up most of the northern
wall, a bookshelf took up the entire east wall, and the heavy wooden door was
on the west wall. A large round table in the middle of the room was covered in
ingredients and tools, including books, bottles, and burners. Similar items
filled the shelves, hung on hooks all over the walls, and even hung from the
chandelier above the table. In the south-west corner of the room was a small tree,
where a black snake usually hung from the branches. I never worried about the
snake until Magnus’s stock of venom ran out and it was up to me to get more. I
I had my grimoire out, in which Merlin had me write
all the magic he taught me, especially the magic from his world. Usually, the
wolf said I had to trust the magic in order for it to work. In this case, I
really didn’t think it would.
Next, pour the bottle of water into it
I emptied one of the two glass bottles of spring
water into the cauldron and lit a small fire under it.
Now, add some pieces of zinc
I picked up another jar and shook out a few pieces of
scrap metal into my palm before adding them to the cauldron and replacing the
jar on the shelf. I was expecting him to tell me to say an incantation, focus
my mind, or use my wand.
Drop the copper coin in gently and make sure the
copper is on top of the zinc
I grabbed the tongs, picked up the coin with it, and
set the coin in the cauldron. While we were waiting, Merlin had me grab the
flat burner plate, which was a small, round, flat rock in a metal bracket. I
could set a fire under it just like the cauldron and burn things on it. This
was one of Merlin’s inventions. Following his instructions, I set a fire under
it so that it could heat up.
Take the coin out of the cauldron, dip it into
the water to rinse it off, and then put it on the flat burner
Using the tongs, I pulled out the coin and gaped.
I told you it would be
“But I didn’t use my wand or staff!” I dipped it in
the water like he said and doused the fire under the cauldron. We watched as
the coin slowly turned from silver back to copper. “It’s not working.”
Patience, young sorcerer. This is all according
to plan. Take it off the plate now and hold it in the water to cool it
I did, though I was skeptical. Then, to my shock, the
coin did turn to gold as it cooled. “Wow. Your world’s magic is much more
powerful than mine. Is it really gold or is it an illusion?”
This is science. Alchemy if you will, not
illusion or sorcery. It is, however, temporary
* * *
I would like to say I was a wizard, or even a
sorcerer. The fact was, I didn’t know what I was. I was the seventh born son of
a family of infamous sorcerers, known for their ruthlessness and malevolent
powers. Unfortunately, I was always the embarrassment of the family, for no
matter how hard I tried to use my magic for chaos and destruction, I could only
ever do wizardry.
On my world, wizards only used light magic and
sorcerers only used dark magic. Both were respected for their own talents and
both had a purpose in life. It seemed I was destined to be an outcast, because
wizards and sorcerers couldn’t just switch roles.
Then I discovered that my mother had planned to kill
me, so I left home to prove myself; I was going to defeat the greatest wizard
of all the lands— Magnus. Soon, I accidentally freed Merlin from a magical
prison called the syrus. At the time, however, he was under a curse. He was a
wizard from another world, yet his magic was not strictly light magic, and he
had been forced into the form of a wolf and his powers were stripped away. Once
he learned of my quest, he decided that Magnus could break his curse, so he
promised to teach me to be a malevolent sorcerer if I agreed to help him.
I was hopeful, but despite the fact that he walked me
through every step of the way, I couldn’t stand to hurt people. Even when I got
a sorcerer’s staff, the sinister magic only succeeded in helping people. It
wasn’t until I met my aunt that I learned why I was this way. Being the seventh
born child, I had supposedly extra powers, but this magic was neither good nor
When I ended up saving Magnus and banishing my evil
brothers to another world, I finally gave up trying to be something I wasn’t. I
just wasn’t cut out for being cruel. Unfortunately, that didn’t make me a
For three months, that didn’t matter. I lived with
Magnus and enjoyed his magnificent library. I learned about new spells and
potions and tried them out with Magnus and Merlin’s guidance. I was even able
to use sorcery as long as it was only in practice. After much practice, I was
confident I could kill even the scariest rock.
* * *
I wasn’t ready for things to change, but Merlin was.
“You’re leaving?” I asked.
No, I am not leaving; I am merely going away for
a few days so that I can get this curse removed
I set my book down and stood. Merlin and I were in
the library. When he came in, I thought he was going to tell me what he was
going to teach me next, but instead, he told me to make a portal to another
“Okay, just let me grab my bag.”
You know what Dessa said, Ayden
“That the curse will be broken on the day I die. That
could mean anything. Maybe Dessa is wrong. I can help you.”
I will not put you in danger. This is my curse
and my mistake to fix
“Mistake? You mean falling in love with some woman?
You did nothing wrong!”
I have not told you everything. Send me to my
world and when the curse is broken, I will return and continue teaching you
“If it’s so dangerous to travel the worlds, I should
definitely go with you. You can’t use magic.”
I know how to survive without magic. Trust me; I
will return before you can even miss me. Now, please do as I ask
I wanted to argue, but I trusted him. “Okay.” I
should have known Merlin would get restless and want to return to his world. I
wanted to try to break it myself, but a seer named Dessa had warned him that
his curse would be broken on the day I died. She didn’t say how I would die, so
Merlin wanted to make sure I was far away and safe at the castle when it was.
That was how I ended up making a portal for Merlin in
one of the magic rooms. We rarely used this one because it wasn’t well stocked,
but it had a large, open space in the middle. There was no table or fireplace,
only one bookshelf, a chandelier, and a window. I had to clean the floor every
day because Merlin made me practice drawing the base of the portal daily.
All portals had the same basic design of a pentagram
inside of a circle, with a slightly larger circle around that. Merlin had me
make the pentagram and circles over and over again until I could make it
perfect before he would teach me the sigils I needed to actually travel to
It didn’t take long for me to draw the base, and then
I painted sigils into the floor that Merlin sent directly to my mind. When I
had released him from the syrus, I had somehow bonded us so that we could speak
in each other’s mind. Recently, he was able to actually send me images, which
he often used in our lessons.
That looks good
,” Merlin said.
“Do you really think I have enough power to do this?
What if I screw up?”
Then I will likely die. Do not screw up
“Maybe I should get Magnus.”
Why do I always believe in you more than you do
Request his assistance if you wish, but please make it quick. I am in a
hurry to shed this curse
I had sent one of my brothers across to another
world, but that was in the middle of a battle. “I just have to pour magic into
it, right? You said that it was the sigils that determine where the portal
Maybe it would be better if Magnus does it. The
sigils do determine where the portal opens to. However, they do not possess any
power. Think of it as a mathematical formula in which
“A what?” I interrupted.
He sat on his haunches. “
The symbols are a
combination lock. Your magic is
“No, you lost me again.”
He sighed. “
Just trust me in this, young sorcerer.
Your magic does not determine the location, but the symbols are harmless
without the proper magic. With the improper magic, I can get trapped between
worlds or even torn apart
“But… what about my brothers? What if I didn’t do it
right when I sent them off?”
You did. You are a true enigma of Caldaca
“What does that mean?”
I have been to worlds where magic is feared,
worlds where there is no magic, and worlds where it is practiced openly, but I
have never found another world like yours. On other worlds, those of us who
practice magic can use it for good or evil. People of Caldaca, however, can
only do one branch of magic. Thus, sorcerers cannot travel worlds; they have to
employ travelers. Because of this rare power you have, you are not limited
“I thought it just meant I have neutral magic.”
That is the case; all magic is neutral. It is the
person who is limited, not their magic. You and your aunt are not limited,
which is likely why you are not innately malevolent like your family.
Unfortunately, as much as I know you would wish otherwise, that means they
cannot change. People of your world cannot change
“That’s not a nice thing to say.”
No, it is not. Perhaps I am only being negative
because I have gone so long without magic. My point is merely that you are the
only thing standing in your way
“What do you mean?”
Oh, heavens. Never mind. Grab your staff and I
will show you how to activate the portal
I closed the bottles of paint, left the room, and ran
upstairs. My bedroom was the first door on the right when I got to the top of
the east wing staircase. The castle was massive and pretty lonely considering
it was just Merlin, Magnus, and me. There were so many unoccupied rooms it was
ridiculous, but I never brought it up to the powerful wizard because I knew
it was empty.
My room was lavish, with a huge bed, elegant
furniture, and a grand fireplace. My blankets were dark blue and softer than
anything I had ever had before. The chest at the foot of my bed, my wardrobe,
and the writing desk by the window were all matching dark wood with gold
accents. I had a deep bathtub in the east corner with a blue and gold silk
screen room divider. My staff was leaning against the wardrobe, so I grabbed it
and rushed back to the magic room.
Merlin was waiting patiently, exactly as I left him.
“Are you sure I can’t go with you?”
I would be devastated if I somehow caused your
death. Since we do not know what Dessa saw, your safety comes first
“She should have told you more.”
Divination is the most dangerous magic there is
so trust your friend to know when to speak and when to keep her silence
He walked over to stand in the circle. “
You can do this, Ayden. Trust
yourself for once
I nodded and knelt before the circle. “Talk me
through it.” Before he could, I heard a creepy whisper and glanced at the syrus
on the middle shelf of the bookcase. “Why does it do that?”
The chimera is trying to entice us to let it out.
If it did escape, it would undoubtedly kill its rescuer. Now, clear your mind
and visualize staring straight up into the night sky
.” I did as he
Stare into the portal and imagine you can see straight through
it, into the night sky. As you do this, push your magic into it
I tried to fit the memory of the dark black sky and
stars inside the outer circle of the stone floor. As I did, the white lines and
sigils stood out.
Do you see that the sigils and lines are brighter
Very good. In the dark space of the portal, align
the stars into the lines
I was startled when I did as he said, because my
energy immediately vanished. It was as if the portal burst open into that
darkness like a hole. Then the portal began pulling on my magic forcefully. It
was only draining my magic, but I felt its effect on my body almost
immediately. I started sweating and breathing harder as if I had been running.
Even my muscles felt the strain.
The glowing lines and sigils started growing brighter
until they were too bright to look at. “Be safe,” I said just as he vanished.
* * *
One month later
“Something’s wrong! He’s been gone too long!”