This is a continuation of The Potion Master, but I think you might be able to read them in any order.

The Master's Disciple

It was a peaceful afternoon. The sun was setting and casting light onto a quaint village. Red rays were filtered through clouds, and the villagers were hastily preparing for the evening's celebrations. Tonight was the coming-of-age ceremony for the young adults who had passed their exams.

Every year, this night was one of merrymaking and joy, filled with bonfires, feasts, and gifts for all in attendance. At midnight, all of the new adults would be given their gifts from the gods by dipping their hand into the holy water, which would unveil their chosen crest.

Some were gifted with spellcasting or swordsmanship. Others were expert craftsmen or merchants. Still others became researchers or scholars.

No matter the case, this night was one the children would remember for the rest of their lives.

Once the sun sunk below the horizon, the bonfire was lit and cheers could be heard for miles around. For hours, the villagers sung and danced, forgetting the world around them. When it came close to midnight, a stand was erected near the fire and the ceremonial water was poured.

The village chief then called the first young adult, "Haro! Come! Be the first to receive your blessing!"

A strong young man stood and strode towards the chief. He then knelt and bowed his head towards the Earth before saying, "I am ready."

"Rise Haro. You are ready!" The chief said, "Dip your hands into the holy water and learn your fate!"

Haro stood and gently dipped his hands into the bath atop the pedestal. In that moment, a sharp light pulsed from the stand, even brighter than the fire behind them. Then, the chief took Haro's hand, inspected it and said, "Congratulations Haro! You will be a fine swordsman!"

Haro bowed and said, "I accept my responsibility." The crowd of villagers cheered as he returned to the crowd of students still awaiting their blessings, some of which gave him a congratulatory nod or pat on the shoulder.

The chief then called the next student and the next. For the next half hour, students were called and given blessings of all kinds.

"Now for our final student of the night!" The chief called, "This young lady was the most promising student we have ever had the privilege to teach in school. She is charismatic, cunning, and kind. I am pleased to call Illyna forward! Please come and accept your blessing!"

The crowd cheered as a young lady, with long, golden hair and garbed in a clean, white dress made her way to the pedestal. She knelt and said, "I am ready."

"Rise Illyna. You are ready! Dip your hands into the holy water and learn your fate!"

As she stood, the chief smiled and quietly said, "I'm looking forward to this."

Illyna nodded, "Me too." She then dipped her hand in the water, which glowed brighter than it ever had before, causing everyone in attendance to shield their eyes. At the same time, there was a loud crack, and when the light finally faded away, Illyna's silhouette could be seen against the fire, but the pedestal was broken and scattered into pieces.

Illyna looked around and then frantically began picking everything up, "I'm so sorry..." she began, but the chief cut her off.

"Let me see your hand Illyna." He grabbed the hand and inspected it before whispering, "I have never seen this symbol before." The crowd waited, anxiously anticipating her profession, but instead, the chief said nothing.

Soon thereafter, while Illyna was piecing together the stand, a loud trumpet could be heard from the outlying camps of the village. It was an alarm. Something dangerous was about to attack. The chief then called, "To arms! New adventurers. This is not your time to shine. You still need training! Everyone else, grab your weapon! Defend your home! Tonight is a night of celebration, not despair!"

As these words were spoken, arrows began descending on the villagers, some of which caught fire the moment they landed. Soon, the bonfire seemed to be an insignificant flame amongst a village ablaze.

The rest of the night was a blur, filled with chaos and tears.

The next thing Illyna knew, she was trapped in a small box. In the distance, she could hear gentle, but familiar bubbling of potions being brewed. She tapped at the top of the box before forcing it open and looking around. There was no doubt about it, she was in her grandfather's shop. As she moved out from her box, she noticed a large, metal contraption was tied to it which seemed to be connected to a giant cylinder of sorts.

"Grampa?" She called, "How did I get here?"

She opened the door and found herself in the back room, illuminated by a colorful set of potions.

"Grampa?" She called again, "Where are you?"

She noticed a small letter on the table, enclosed in an envelope that was signed to her. Without much thought, she opened the letter and immediately began crying.

Dear Illyna,

Today was a good day. We finally managed to save up 1000 gold coins, which should be enough to start you off on your journey!

Before you go, please take as many potions as you need! At the very least, please take a few health and defense potions. In fact, I can give you some of my favorite recipes in case you want to follow in your grandfather's footsteps and brew a few yourself!

When you were younger, you told me that you wanted to be the greatest adventurer to ever live. You said you wanted to protect everyone in the village and save the world from the Demon Lord.

Well, I believe in you. No matter what happens -- no matter what challenges you encounter in life -- please remember that.

I'll always be with you, encouraging you from the side lines. I miss you more than anything in the world.

I love you,

Next to it was a pile of papers filled with scribbles and crossed-out text. As she sifted through the notes, a small scrap of paper fell out, entitled, "Revival Potion."

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