God Mage - D.W. Jackson

Chapter 1

We are almost there my lord,” Hayao said with a barely contained smile.

“I see nothing that would hint that we are near a village,” Bren said as he looked around. They had left the main road two days past, leaving their wagons and goods behind. Since leaving the roads behind, they had not passed so much as a farm, and it had been days since Bren had seen another human beside those traveling with him.

“As I told you before, only a select few are ever allowed inside my village,” Hayao said, no longer trying to hide his smile.

Bren nodded his head and remained silent. He didn’t know why Hayao was taking them to his homeland if it was such a secret. Bren could detect no hint of subterfuge coming from Hayao, but he was one of the few that he could not read. The man kept his feelings so close that he would make a Vathari jealous.

Bren looked around at his other companions. Each of them looked at him as if he was a stranger. The only one who still treated him the same was Faye, and even she held doubts about him hidden deep within her. Bren couldn’t blame them, he felt like a stranger to himself. Ever since he left the Brotherhood camp, he had changed a great deal. Not only had his skin turned a light silver, his hair was now white as snow, and his eyes now burned a deep gold, almost like a coin thrown into a fire.

“You seem to be thinking a lot lately,” Cass said, reining his horse in next to Bren.

“My mind seems to have a lot of thoughts that need answers,” Bren replied. “Every moment I find new questions, but few of them have I found answers for.”

“What kind of questions would those be?” Cass asked.

“Let us start with a simple question then,” Bren replied as he looked up at the overcast sky. “What is love?”

“An easy one,” Cass said laughing. “I believe that is anything but easy. Love…I guess I would say it is a feeling of….Ugh,” Cass said scratching his head. “It is…Caring for someone deeply, so much so that you would be willing to give your life for them.”

“Is that how you see it?” Bren asked, his voice still calm and emotionless. “You might be right, but it is hard for me to know. I can feel emotions swirling inside me, but it is almost as if I am looking down on them from outside.”

“At least you still know you have them,” Cass offered. “I can’t say I know what you are going through. In fact, I don’t think I really would want to know. I would suggest you simply take it slowly, and get to know yourself first. I am sure it will get better…I think. For now, I think acting like you have emotions will make many of us feel a little more comfortable.”

Bren didn’t respond but thought about what Cass had said. He had changed, and he had to admit that and not only just in appearance. Bren forcibly put a smile on his face and looked around at everyone, and for the first time in days, they smiled back.

“See makes a big difference,” Cass said laughing lightly.

Bren continued his introspection as he rode along. After a few hours, he quickly grew tired of looking at himself, so he thought he would try to push himself a little. Pulling in magical energy for the first time since he had awoken, Bren found it as easy as breathing. Focusing light energy in his eyes, Bren extended his sight.

In the distance he could see a thick forest. It was still a few hours away, but Bren could see it as clearly as if he was standing a few feet in front of it. When he noticed a small hare among the grass, Bren tried to focus in on it to see how close he could get. Surprisingly, the hare looked in Bren’s general direction and smelled the air. After a few moments, the hare went back to grazing, but every so often, it would look back toward him as its small muscles twitched nervously.

“Does anyone have a bow?” Bren asked, not letting his sight waver from the hare. After a few moments, Hayao handed Bren a short bow and a black shafted arrow. Keeping half his attention focused on the hare Bren looked over the bow. It was made of a mixture of wood that was both