Back at the cottage, Mac held a meeting in the small sitting room. He addressed them, “Today was a short recruiting, but dare I say it was successful! Thanks to our new member, recruitment in the peasant’s village should fare well.” Everyone clapped for Kasmira, who blushed. “I think it would be best if we spent the rest of the day training. Since Kasmira hasn’t done this before, we’ll start with the basics.”
Amberline and Anthony placed themselves in the edge of one side of the cottage where there was a small, cleared off area. Holly put Preston in his crib and stood next to Mac. Kasmira, whose nerves and self doubt were evident, joined Anthony and Amberline. Holly told them, “Now, I’m a full witch. So, I’ve already honed my powers. I’ll give you a small demonstration of what you can expect to accomplish at the end of your training.” She put her hands in front of her, pointing them at the center of the area. A ball, whose look appeared to be light made into liquid, materialized. She moved her hands as if she was a puppeteer, and she made the ball fly in circles around the area. She easily made it do flips, loops, and bounces. she extinguished the ball and made random drawers around the room pop open and close. She made the weak fire in the fireplace burn brightly. She conjured the small jug of a trace amount of water to a full ewer. She made Anthony then Amberline then Kasmira levitate a little bit. She closed by giving her husband a small, non-contactual punch in the stomach. Amberline, Anthony, and Kasmira applauded, and she gave them a cute curtsy.
Mac told mostly Kasmira but also to everyone, “Holly has told me that you cannot materialize things from nowhere, however, you can make present objects larger or reproduced. So, I thought today we’d fill a glass of water.” Holly took three glasses and set them on the wooden table. She only poured a quarter glass of water. Mac instructed, “Go!”
Anthony pointed at the glass, concentrated, and produced more water easily. Amberline was having trouble remembering how to do it, and Kasmira was reluctant to try at all. Anthony encouraged Amberline, “Come on, you know this! You used to do it with your father’s wine as a child!”
“I only did that once!” Amberline protested.
Anthony kidded, “So, maybe if we just put some alcohol in there maybe then Amberline will be motivated to-” Amberline interupted him by pointing at the glass and filling it up. She looked at him with an I-told-you-so look, and he countered with, “See, I helped her! She was probably pretending it was wine!” Amberline bit her thumb at him, and he pretended to be offended.
“Settle down, you two.” Mac turned from them to Kasmira. “Now, Kasmira, you try.”
Kasmira looked alarmed at being called to attention like that. She unconfidently pointed at the glass and nothing happened. She commented ruefully, “I don’t think I have any powers.”
“Of course you do,” Holly told her kindly, “Your grandfather was a wizard. Pure evil for certain, but he was powerful. Magic is in your veins. You have power, you’re just afraid to use it.”
Kasmira stated, “I’ve never even tried to use my powers before. My mother always told me I wouldn’t be able to since my dad wasn’t magical.”
“Sounds like your mom was ignoring your potential,” Holly said, “Everyone with magical ancestors can perform magic, and I bet you have more power than you let yourself believe. You can do this! You just got to keep concentrating. And don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do it at first. It takes us all a while to learn, yes, even full witches. Just really picture more water in the cup, and eventually, you’ll get it.” Holly patted Kasmira in a comforting way, and it made Kasmira feel a little better. She pointed and tried to give her full concentration, but it didn’t work. She sighed and tried again.
After about an hour of trying, Kasmira still hadn’t filled the water. It was almost sunset, and she knew they were waiting for dinner. It made Kasmira even more frustrated at her fruitless attempts to fill the glass. Vexed, Kasmira pointed at her glass, and her spell’s effect made the glass tip over. Holly quickly refilled the glass, and Mac commented, “You used her powers! That’s a marvelous start!”
“Psh! What is the point of having powers if I cannot use them right?” Kasmira turned away from him, facing the door and trying to push back her frustrated tears.
Mac seemed to have sensed Kasmira’s disposition. He assured her, “You mustn’t be so hard on yourself! You’re so close; I know you can do it! Try at least one more time!”
Kasmira was grateful for his kind words, but she still lacked faith in her abilities. She turned towards the cup, but she didn’t really look at it as she executed her spell. It bounced off of the mirror and reverberated back to Kasmira, who was sent flying backwards. The door opened, and Kasmira collided with a pair of old boots. She wasn’t really looking at the visitor, but from the corner of her eye, she could see an old man with a bushy, gray beard and a tattered wool coat. She felt extremely embarrassed, and it took her a minute to realize that he was reaching out his his hand to help her up. She took his hand, and despite her situation, she couldn’t help but notice how smooth his skin felt. When she was back upright, Mac greeted the man, “Good evening! I apologize for our training running into you like that.”
A familiar voice replied, “I understand, it’s quite alright.” Kasmira looked at the man, very confused. He smiled and then took off his beard and coat, revealing himself as Prince Orlando! Kasmira was shocked. Orlando chuckled and explained, “I wear this disguise to sneak out of the castle.”
“Oh!” Kasmira now felt more embarrassed than ever and turned away from him. She felt awkward trying to do magic before, and now she felt like a total fool. She really tried to hold back her tears, but a few managed to creep out.
Prince Orlando sensed how she was feeling, so he went up to her and gently put his hands on her shoulders. He could feel her body reacting to the nerves it felt. He kindly told her, “It’s a pretty lucky chance you missed the glass or you’d have a glass shaped hole in the side of your house!” Kasmira stiffled a laugh. Orlando went on, “Clearly, you have some powerful magic within you; now we’ve just got to hone it correctly.” He steered her back to where she had been practicing and guided her, “Now, take a deep breath and ignore all of your negative thoughts.” Kasmira naturally followed his direction. He continued, “Point at the cup. No, you’ve got to have a strong arm, like this.” He positioned her arm and hand for her. He stayed by her side as he instructed, “Imagine the water as a bunch of small particles, and picture those molecules multiplying.” Kasmira closed her eyes and pictured it. Orlando finished with, “Now picture those thoughts as a ball of energy and send it through your hand, firing it at the cup.”
She did exactly as he advised and was surprised to see that she had filled the glass to the brim! Kasmira felt both relief and excitement that she had actually accomplished what she had set out to do. Mac, who had a knowing smile, said to Orlando, “Thank you, sir!”
Orlando humbly replied, “I live to serve my kingdom. Speaking of which, I wanted to tell you about the king…”