Chapter 1- Gold Pen

Kerna sighed as she sifted through all the junk in the back storeroom. This is not how I wanted to spend my afternoon she thought rebelliously. Why did Master put his old wand back here anyway?
As soon as she asked the question of herself, Kerna knew the answer. Because Master normally doesn't take pupils, she answered herself. Everyone knew that. Why he had picked her remained a mystery to both Kerna and the rest of the school.
Most people think he's a pervert. Though if he was, why pick me and not Juline or Briz. They're both much prettier than me.
Juline and Briz were beautiful. Juline appeared to be a blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess whereas Briz was dark-haired and dark-skinned beauty. Both were much sought after by the male students of her school.
Kerna on the other hand, had long white-blond hair, bright green eyes and skin as dark as Briz's. It gave her an odd appearance to say the least. However, Kerna's main problem with her appearance was that she was short. Nearly every girl in school was taller then her by at least an inch, normally more.
I could deal with my looks if only I were taller. Being short sucks! She thought to herself, still sifting through the heaps of oddities.
The back storeroom was very disorganized because it was very rare that anyone actually came all the way through the other ten immense storerooms to the tiny eleventh one.
I'm glad this one's small. If it were the same size as the others I'd never be able to find that wand.
As Kerna shoved another pile of junk away she saw a glint of gold in the heap. Moving the rest of the stuff out of the way, she found herself looking at an ornate gold pen.
What the heck is this doing here? She thought. I was sure anything valuable would have been taken out of here long ago. One of the school's rules was that anyone could keep anything found in the eleventh storeroom.
Kerna picked up the pen. It was engraved all over with pictures of the sun and of fire. It was really pretty, so Kerna pocketed it and turned her attention back to the junk-pile.
As she looked through the heap she'd just separated, she finally found her Master's old wand. She knew it was his because he was the only person who used the phoenix motif.
Her task finally finished, Kerna left the storeroom and hurried towards the pool, her mage-robes flapping behind her. If she was lucky, she might be able to see her brother's race.
Kerna was indeed lucky; she arrived at the pool just in time to see the beginning. She pushed her way towards the front of the crowd and cheered loudly as her brother pulled into the lead.
"Go Trayn!" she began chanting, as those around her began to pick it up. Soon half of the crowd was chanting, "Go Trayn! Go Trayn!"
The encouragement got louder as they approached the end of the race, it was clear then that Trayn had won. The cheers that erupted could have, in all honesty, shook the roof.
As soon as he had changed, a crowd of admiring girls surrounded Trayn. For some unknown reason, Trayn looked nothing like Kerna. He had black hair, grey eyes and light skin. In short, he was one of the hottest guys in school. Many people doubted the fact that they were brother and sister.
Shoving her way through the crowd, Kerna finally reached her brother. "Great job!"
Trayn grinned at his little sister. "Am I correct in assuming you're the one who started the chant?"
Kerna laughed. "Of course. Most of the crowd was cheering for you anyway, I just got them to do it as one, so you could hear."
Her brother shook his head and grabbed her arm, pulling Kerna out of the crowd, heading towards her room.
"I'm surprised you made it, I heard that crazy old badger had you on some fool's errand down in the eleventh storeroom."
"It wasn't a fool's errand. I just had to find his old wand. He said I don't need my training wand anymore." Kerna said with pride. That meant she was finished being an apprentice mage.
Trayn shook his head. "But why his old one? Don't most beginner mages get new wands?"
Kerna shrugged. "He said his old one would be better then a new one. He was being mysterious again. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, look what I found in the storeroom."
With that, she pulled out the gold pen, showing it to her brother.
"Whoa! You found that in the eleventh storeroom? Damn, I wish I had your luck."
Kerna stuck out her tongue at him. "And I wish I had your looks." She said, using her usual reply.
Almost as if to make up for her perceived lack of looks, Kerna had almost supernatural luck. She had once fallen from a third story window and landed on a pile of mattresses that one of the students had forgotten to take in. If she had fallen even slightly to the right or the left, she would have hit the ground and surely broken something. Instead, she got up without a scratch on her.
Trayn laughed. "Yeah you would, right up until you found that you get mobbed everyday. So what are you going to do now?"
Kerna shrugged. "I don't know."
"Well if that old badger doesn't give you anymore work, come see me after dinner. I've got something to show you too."
"Hmmm. Old badger. I don't believe I've heard that one before. Did you think that one up just now, Trayn?" Came a deep gravely voice from behind them.
Kerna winced while Trayn flushed. They both turned around to face Kerna's Master, Freem.
Master Freem was tall and still retained his muscular form. He had short grey hair and a thin beard. Right now he had one of his bushy eyebrows raised, as he regarded Trayn.
For some reason unknown to Kerna, her Master and her brother could not get along.
"No. Actually I've been using this one for about a week. And since you caught me, I'll have to think up a new one. I'm sure it will be much worse."
Master Freem harrumphed. "Go back to the warriors' buildings. Your sister is safe enough on the mages' side. You don't need to walk her back everyday."
Trayn gave Master Freem a mocking bow and winked at Kerna before heading back to his own rooms.
"So, did you find the wand, or were you too busy watching your brother in the pool?"
"I have it right here." Kerna said, pulling the wand out.
"Hmph. Well come on then. We still have time for a lesson before dinner. Today I'm going to teach you the water-finding spell, the compass spell and then we're going to work on your shielding spells."
Kerna sighed and followed her Master. He always has me learn multiple spells at once, she thought.
Not being very sociable with the other mage students, Kerna had no idea that the spells she were being taught at three a day, took a normal student a week to master just one. She also had no idea that the other spells she was taught were not spells normally taught to students.
After her magic lessons, Kerna was ravenous, so she ran to the mages' dining hall and stuffed herself. Doing magic always made her extremely hungry.
After dinner, Kerna headed over to the warriors' dormitory, going to go visit Trayn. She was halfway there when she was stopped by a group of the older males.
"Well what do we have here?" asked the big blond one.
"Looks like some kind of mage-girl." Another one replied.
"An ugly girl at that." Added the shortest one.
Kerna rolled her eyes. "I really don't have time for this. I'm going to go visit my brother, so if you'll excuse me, I'll be on my way."
"Your brother? I thought all of you mages' siblings were also mages." Said the blond leader in surprise.
"Well not my brother and me, so please move."
"Wait a minute. Didn't I hear that the oh so great Trayn had a sister who was a mage?"
"Yah that's right! I heard she was ugly to boot. So you're Trayn's little sister aren't you?"
"Hurray for me." Kerna said. "Now I really have to go."
"Oh no." the leader said with a grin. "You're not going anywhere. We have a bone to pick with Trayn but he just ignores us. I'm sure that if we brought you along or if something 'accidentally' happened to you, he'd fight us like a man."
"So you're saying that my brother is less of a man then a group of guys who use another guy's little sister to start a fight with him? Yah, real manly and fair."
"You stupid little brat!" the leader said, making a grab for her. The second Kerna saw him move, she called on the shocking spell, Master Freem had taught her.
As the older boy touched her arm, the feeling of as much electricity shocked him as if he'd grabbed an electric eel with both hands.
Kerna laughed as he fell to the floor. "Now why would you go and attack a mage student. Surely you've figure out that we're taught to defend ourselves the same as you."
The other two helped the shocked boy up and then ran away. They hadn't expected her to be able to use that kind of magic. Only the highest level of student-mage knew that!
Chuckling to herself about their stupidity, Kerna finally arrived at Trayn's room. She knocked on the door and heard her brother's voice from within say. "Come in."
She opened the door and found Trayn sitting at the table. When she entered he looked her up and down and then shook his head.
"What happened this time?"
"More idiots who don't like you and don't like mages took exception to me."
"Do you have to use magic on them every time?"
"Yes. We can't let anyone know that were exchanging lessons. You know the rule."
Trayn sighed. "Yeah. I know."
One of the prime rules of the school was that every student learned either magic or weapons work. Never both. Trayn and Kerna had decided that they didn't care and wanted to learn fighting and magic skills. They both had aptitudes for both and so had been exchanging lessons for the two years they'd been at school.
"So did you have something you wanted to show me or was that just an excuse for lessons today?"
"No I really do have something to show you today. I found it in the far back of the library. It has some of the same designs as your pen."
Trayn pointed at the book on the table. It was made of the same gold as the pen and had the same illustrations as the pen, except at the top it had words that said 'The Book of Sun'.
"The Book of Sun? What's it about?" Kerna asked.
"No idea. It won't open."
"Really?"
Thayn nodded.
"Must be some kind of magic. I'll see if I can't get some info out of Master Freem. Don't worry I won't tell him about the book or you." Kerna said correctly interpreting her brother's look of horror. "I'll just phrase it as if I had thought of doing it to my diary or something."
Trayn chuckled. "Well then, shall we start our lessons?"
Kerna grinned. "Sure. It was two new spells today along with a new way to strengthen shields."
"Excellent. We learned one new drill and a new sweeping attack. So magic first then sword-work?"
"Of course. Isn't that how we always do it?"
With that the two siblings began teaching each other magic and blade- work until it was time for Kerna to go back to her room.
"See you tomorrow night." She called to her brother as she left.
"Make sure you don't mention anything about the book." Trayn called back.
"I won't."
Kerna's walk back was uneventful, but when she got back to the rooms she shared with Master Freem, she found him waiting for her.
Oh no. Something's happened. Kerna thought to herself, carefully schooling her face into one of innocence.
"Don't try to fool me with the innocent look. I want to know why you attacked a warrior student with magic. They complained to their teachers who then complained to me. Now out with it!"
Kerna let out an inner sigh of relief. Her and Trayn's secret was still safe.
"They started it. One of them attacked me so I defended myself."
"He attacked you? How?"
"They said they didn't much care for Trayn and that he completely ignored them when they tried to challenge him, so they said they were going to use me so Trayn would fight with them. One of them tried to grab me, so I shocked him. He deserved it."
Master Freem sighed. "I didn't think you were going around just shocking people. You really should stop these nightly visits to your brother. He has made plenty of enemies."
"All the more reason for me to see him. He needs to know that there's at least one person who'll always stand by him and love him no matter what."
Her Master shook his head. "Go to bed youngling. We have lots to do in the morning."
Kerna nodded and went straight to bed. She was fairly tired from the extra magic practice and the sword-work. One day, she vowed before she drifted off to sleep, I'm going to be a hero and show this stupid school that mages and warriors can work together and exchange skills.