A warning: this section is very short, but will be continued. I couldn't find a good place to break up the next section of the tale, so I had to do it here. It is a quick read, and hopefully enjoyable.
The mountain summit was frigid this time of year. Winter had come in full, coating the peak in blissfully white powder. It was, in fact, Merrik's favorite season. Others would prefer spring, watching life return to the land, but he had always held a fascination with the dormant state that winter would bring. He marveled at how everything seemed to freeze in time, coated in beautiful icing.
Teacher had walked with him to the summit, but after an icy blast of wind, Merrik had found himself alone with his thoughts. It was nothing out of the ordinary, though it would have been at one time. His teacher would often disappear without a word, and was even more likely to do so when Merrik was distracted with something else, or even closed his eyes for a brief few seconds.
He never asked where Teacher went when he disappeared, or why he always left so suddenly or at strange times. He imagined that it was to teach him some sort of lesson, or to further entrench the distrust of all he could see. He also would imagine Teacher wandering through the golden fields of his stories, reunited with the real world of which he spoke.
Teacher's power and grasp on life seemed to grow as he taught Merrik. He often wondered if the power was truly returning to Teacher, or if he was simply showing Merrik more of it as he began to grasp the truth. Either way, the man he used to know as Teller was a much different person.
A slight breeze was swirling around the mountain peak, blowing a dusting of snow across Merrik's face. He realized that he was shivering and wished he had brought a more substantial coat. The thought was only brief, as he could hear Teacher's voice echoing within his mind, 'This world is not as it appears.'
Merrik closed his eyes, and reopened them to a pleasant warmth rising around him, melting the thin layer of snow beneath his feet.
"Never forget that this is not your power. You have not conjured this. You are simply seeing the world for what it really is."
Merrik turned to see Teacher standing behind him. "It is difficult to teach faith, in fact I don't know that it even can be done. Yet, here I am." The old man smiled the same warm smile that Merrik had grown accustomed to.
"I have learned much from you, Teacher. My faith has only grown through my studies."
"Perhaps you are right, but I still see in you a weakness. You have not been tested. Your faith is still young." He shook his head. "You are not ready."
Merrik furrowed his brow, confused at his teacher's statement. "Ready for what, Teacher?"
As soon as Merrik had asked the question, Teacher smiled his ever-knowing smile, and vanished before his student's eyes. That would be the last time Merrik saw him for quite a long time.
To Be Continued...