Durmas was lying in a comfortable bed in a room that was not unlike my own. There were a few basic comforts, but mostly the room was fairly plain.
He raised a feeble hand at my appearance and I stepped forward to take it. My first instinct was to search for the problem and then fix it, but he stopped me.
“You can’t fix it, boy. I was old when your father was born if I understand your life span well enough. It’s my time and I’m glad that I had one such as you to teach. Feeling your magic, your big magic, almost makes me understand some of the things I’ve heard about out in the…the word is ‘universe’, isn’t it? I’ve heard that suns are born, live and die – just like people do. Feeling you do your magic makes me think that I’m watching a sun being born. I can almost understand how your people can do the things they do with those big…ships…and…” He grimaced and took another breath. “What you did for Larak was truly a miracle. And Carm, is he well?”
“Yes, I was able to remake all his bones. He’s still sleeping it off.”
“He was able to rekindle Larak’s magic even after so long,” said Oskan.
“I felt it. His hunger would have quenched both of us I think, if we had been able to reach him at all, yet you let it tap your resources with ease and then you tuck all that power away in that small body of yours.” He shuddered again and then smiled. “I’ve held on long enough. I wanted to tell you that your journey is not over yet; you will come back here some day, and when you do, it is my hope that you will take my place here and teach what you know to those who come here.”
I didn’t want to waste his time with my protests. I would never be the man he was. I could never teach another how to wield this power, and I had no plans of returning here once I left. All I could do was watch him close his eyes. He had such a peaceful look on his face. He was content with his life…and then he was gone.
He just stopped breathing, and the force of his life went out, leaving behind the deflated husk of a very old man.
I don’t know how long I stayed there, trying to believe what my eyes and my magic were telling me. Somewhere along the way, Oskan took me back to my room where he and Haines helped me change my clothes. I don’t know how long I slept. I know I dreamed, because I woke up sobbing; I can’t remember a time when I was so sad, and I can’t even remember the dream.