“A blessing?” Rander argued. “You were more correct when you mentioned shame. That revelation will bring shame to our entire family. It will be more humiliating than when Aunt Jelena married a human. We must make sure no one ever discovers your ailment.”
“Ailment?” asked Anvar with displeasure in his voice. “I suffer from no affliction good nephew. As I said before, I have been blessed.”
“It is all so clear to me now,” Rander said as he rubbed his chin. “You can’t see it because it affects you. Your powers are a curse, an affliction. They are little different than the old men in the village who limp as they walk due to some deformity or loss of limb.”
The comments were not even directed at Linvin, but he was still offended. “Whenever Rander makes me think he has changed,” Linvin said to himself, “he reminds me of how clueless he truly remains.” Linvin looked to his uncle to see him erupt. To his surprise, Anvar remained calm.
“My dear, sweet Rander,” he began, “you sound just as I expected you would. As you speak through Bander, so your mother speaks through you. It is no fault of yours in truth. Caritha has poisoned your mind against magic from your infancy. She treated me like a sickly younger brother for my entire life. Your grandparents were terrified that my secret would be revealed and all the Greenliths would burn for their association. That was much of the reason I moved to Fraylic after Jelena left. I grew tired of having to hide my powers and be treated as a leper.”
“Caritha would say verbatim what you just recounted to me. Growing up, I actually started to believe there was something wrong with me. Then, I met a man. He was a good man. A man who cared not about the color of my skin, the place from which I came, or even the powers I possessed. He embraced me as a friend without condition. He fell in love and married my oldest sister. They bore an amazing son that they named Linvin. And that man, Dirk Grithinshield, made me swear to always watch over him when he could not do so. I have never wavered in that commitment and that brings us to where we are now.”
“It is true that I hid this from you all as long as possible. I had hoped your reaction would be more favorable. Nevertheless, my powers are a gift young ones. Before this journey meets its end, you will all see that as well.”
Linvin was the first to comment, “I totally understand your apprehension, Uncle. There have been so few magicians known to the public in recent years, that people’s minds have jumped to the wrong conclusions about magic. It is indeed a good turn of fortune that you have this gift. We will need all the help we can muster on this trip.”
Bander uncharacteristically spoke his mind next. “I don’t really understand everything you just said, but magic powers sound like something that could help us alright. So it doesn’t bother me any, unless it’s supposed to. What do you say, Rander?”
“I still want him to tell us what other facts he is hiding,” the distrusting Rander said with his arms crossed. “If he could lie about this, then he could lie about anything.”
Anvar slowly shook his head. “I did not lie. No one ever asked if I was a magician. I simply never mentioned my abilities.”
“You can spin words with the best of them,” Rander noted, “but you still haven’t answered my question. What other secrets are you hiding?”
Anvar was amused by his nephew’s impertinent behavior. Rander acted as though he had the power to make him divulge information. All the same, the brash young elf would need a reply.
“If,” Anvar said with his head tilted to the side, “I had other secrets; I would speak about them when and only when they were of relevance. At this time, I have no other relevant news to tell you. If that answer is not satisfactory, then I am afraid you are going to have a problem.”
All eyes turned to Rander. He pursed his lips and looked away angrily. His lack of audible communication revealed his begrudging acceptance of the answer.