Wilhelm finished off the ritual with a sigh. Tension washed away as quickly as it came. When performing the ritual, there were strict actions to be done and phrases that needed to be said. It was more a ceremony performed for the ancient ones than a recipe being followed.
Considering that Wilhelm still lived, without a scratch, he had performed the ritual well.
The candles were snuffed and the dimly lit apartment grew darker. Even the greenish glow of the outside light did little to define the contents of the small room. Wilhelm waited for a response, eager, but not eager.
There was a sound, growing louder. It was the low grumble of an ancient, the grumpy grunting of an old being after being disturbed from an enjoyable slumber.
“What is it now?” the voice echoed, shaking the apartment. Wilhelm was comforted by the fact that only the ritual performer could hear the ancient.
He didn’t want another noise complaint from the neighbours.
“Oh, Ancient, I beseech thee!” Wilhelm began.
“Yes, yes, skip the theatrics,” the ancient grumbled once more. “What do you want? Make it quick!”
“I…uh...my powers have dwindled,” Wilhelm continued as professionally as he could. “T-too...well, too much use, really.”
“Hoping for a recharge then?”
“Yes, that would be appreciated.”
“Right, well, hold out our hands.”
Wilhelm held out his hands, preparing for the shock which would run through his body, like the last time. He could practically see the purple sparks already, twisting in short bursts around his skin. His heart began to race.
Then his arms bent, both hands slapping him in the face suddenly. Wilhelm fell backwards, his crossed legs unable to save him.
“Listen here, you spoiled twit, you don’t think I know who you are?” the ancient roared. “Four times now you have summoned me for a simple electric charge. Don’t think the powers that I bestow are some simple trick to take lightly!”
“I don’t think that great one,” Wilhelm said quickly. “Your power is something I respect and even a fraction of it is of great importance to me. The fraction of a fraction you lend me I consider a great honour!”
“If that were so, you would use it wisely! Too many times you have called upon me, too many times I have submitted! Me, an ancient!”
“This is the last time, I swear!”
The ancient grunted.
“Yes, it is,” he muttered.
With that, a purple shock ran through Wilhelm, a magical charge. The ancient had faded with that charge. Wilhelm was alone, fully aware of how lucky he was to still be alive. He felt the magic charge within him and chuckled for a brief moment as it awakened the sleeping cells in his body.
The room lightened with the fading of the ancient, who no doubt returned to his slumber. It was a strange sense of peace, where everything was silent. Only a moment later did the sounds of the night return. The horse carriages could be heard from the streets below, the sounds of other tenants in neighbouring apartments.
Wilhelm breathed deeply, enjoying the effect magic had over his body. He felt stronger, healthier. The devilish deeds that came to mind were already being judged for the amount of fun they were. It wouldn’t be long before Wilhelm decided which was most deserving of his power.
He faltered at the thought and looked down at his hands.
“Maybe...maybe it’s better to save it for a time when my life depends on it,” Wilhelm murmured. With such a sensible thought standing out amongst the other foolhardy ones, Wilhelm decided to save his powers for emergencies only.
Such a time came quickly as the Ministry knocked the door down.
“‘Ello, ‘ello, ‘ello, what do we have here?” a cockney accent greeted with such superiority that Wilhelm immediately felt like throwing a lightning bolt at the shadowy figure.
The Ministry agent entered, flanked by two more agents. All three wore black attire, hoods and masks covering their faces. However, the central agent’s eyes twinkled, amused by the shaking individual that was Wilhelm. The swords at their sides had the same sinister twinkle when they caught the moonlight.
“Now, see here, I was n-not doing anything wrong!” Wilhelm began, standing up to face the agents.
“Black magic, summoning an ancient and from our sensors…” the central agent said, glancing at what looked like a brass watch. “...you have even harnessed some of its power. I believe that all three are illegal activities, isn’t that right, Reginald?”
“Quite right, sir,” Reginald replied on the central agent’s right side.
“What is the punishment for black magic, Reginald?”
“Life imprisonment, sir.”
“Punishment for summoning an ancient, Reginald?”
“Life imprisonment with half rations, sir.”
“And what about harnessing an ancient’s power?”
The central agent nodded and returned his focus to Wilhelm.
“Well, we could follow the sequence of events, put you in prison for two life sentences, half rations, etc,” the central agent rattled off. “And then just kill you at the end. However, we’re having budget cuts at the Ministry, at the moment. A new policy dictates that the sequence of events no longer matters and we should opt for the harshest punishment when it comes to a list of crimes. Death is always preferred if it is an option.”
In unison, the three agents drew their swords.
Wilhelm considered the situation a necessary occasion to his limited power. With all his might, he thrust dark magic towards the agents, with the hopes of incinerating the agents. The central agent did not move the face of the power, so his flanking agents didn’t dodge either.
The electric energy crackled into them, there was a slight shake, but the agents were unharmed.
“Yes, I should say that the amount of power you harnessed was almost negligible,” the central agent said, answering Wilhelm’s silent question. “From your complexion, I can see that you are empty of dark magic already. Someone upset the ancient, right boys?”
The flanking agents nodded, voicing their agreement politely.
“Bugger,” Wilhelm said before his head was removed from his shoulder’s by Reginald.
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