The second year of being with the Kirin Tor was far more exciting than the first. I began practicing with simple arcane and frost magical techniques, each one slowly building on the last until I was able to create ice formations using nothing more than the moisture in the air. I excelled at the use of magic, but I was not studied and performed poorly when it came time for written exams.
I was also, if I might say, rather handsome and had recently turned fifteen. I was developing a very powerful interest in the women of Stormwind. I can assure you that being young, handsome, and wealthy, is a terrible concoction for a young man in a city that was looking to rebuild its population. There were many young women who wanted to study with me, go to eat with me, visit me at the mansion, and so on and so forth.
I accepted a great many of their requests.
The only two people that I made time for, above all others, was Apprentice Evanor and Appleon. The two of them could send for me at any time and I would drop what I was doing to speak with them.
I think Appleon had trouble adjusting to the fact that so many young women wanted to spend time with me, but he soon learned that this benefited him as well. I was able to arrange a great many study sessions with two friends instead of one. On such evenings, Appoleon’s bright attitude and hilarious personality made him the star of the show.
Evanor never seemed overly attached to my company, which of course only frustrated me since she seemed to be the one girl that had no interest in my time. She was older than me by several years, but she was a very beautiful and intelligent woman.
I was thankful to spend my time with her. Especially when she taught me the one fire spell she had learned. When I produced a small spark between my fingers I felt like the most powerful mage in the world.
While Appleon did not have magic on his side, he did have the power of the light. He had sought the path to becoming a blacksmith when he had arrived in Stormwind, and his apprenticeship there had put him in with the right crowd. He told us stories of meeting the Paladins and Clerics that came through the Old Town district, and then proudly told us of the day he had been asked to join one of the paladins in the Order of the Silver Hand as an apprentice.
At first I had been excited for Appleon, but then I realized that this meant Appleon would be returning to Lordaeron in the north. Appleon’s father had just secured a job as an Alchemist professor in the Mage Quarter and would be staying for the foreseeable future. I had just assumed this meant Appleon would be staying too.
“I don’t want you to go,” I said when we met again the day after his announcement.
He laughed; an honest laugh like I might hear from Uncle Maron. “You old softie, you know I should do this. It’s a big chance for me. You’re going to be a powerful mage some day. I am going to be right beside you with my holy mace.”
I frowned. “You know we may never see each other again.”
Appleon didn’t respond for a moment, clearly giving this thought consideration, but ultimately he shook his head with rejection. “I think we’ll see each other again soon.”
“What makes you say that?”
“I just know,” he replied. “Why wouldn’t we meet up again?”
This time I was at a loss for words. “I guess I just—”
“You have a bad past,” Appleon finished for me. “You lost a lot of people. You have had to say a lot of goodbyes. I get that. That’s why I’m telling you right now that this isn’t a goodbye. This is me telling you that I’ll see you again.”
“Thank you,” I said. “It means a lot.”
“I’m a thoughtful person,” Appleon said. “Now I have to go get ready for my grand adventure. The paladin that’s taking me under his wing needs to get to Lakeshire.”
“You’re going now?” I asked.
“Yeah, we’re heading out in the morning,” he replied as he started to walk away. “I’ll swing through the Mage Quarter when we get back to New Stormwind!”
That night, I was sad. I skipped my class, which alerted Evanor that I wasn’t in a good mood. She showed up at the mansion just as the sun was setting and Uncle Maron directed her to the room I had chosen for my sulking.
When she came through the door I was worried she was going to try cheering me up. I wasn’t in the mood and very nearly told her so before she had a chance to speak. Instead, she wrapped me up in her arms and rested her head against my own. It was peaceful and warm and I very much liked feeling her hold me.
I fell asleep sometime that night and woke the next morning alone in my room with no sign of Evanor. I headed out into the main hall and found Maron enjoying some breakfast. He looked at me and gave a gentle smile.
“She headed out about an hour after you fell asleep.”
“Did I snore?” I asked.
Maron laughed. “No, you were quite peaceful.”
“I’m sorry I got emotional.”
“Emotions are a good thing,” Maron said. “I’d rather you be sensitive about these things than callous about them. That being said, don’t overplay your sensitive feelings. You got Evanor here yesterday because she knew you cared, but you can’t care too much, or she’ll think you have no resolve.”
I tilted my head. “Relationship advice?”
“Heavens no,” Maron said casually. “Just tips for living.”
I thanked Maron for his words and decided I should head out to help some of the farmers in the western fields. I had heard that their father was ill and they could use the extra help. I wasn’t quite ready for the hustle and bustle of the city, and some honest hard work would help clear my mind.