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Sometimes, though, Elric wondered if Galen might have been better served by a teacher who could have been more of a parent.

Elric set a mug of water on the table in front of Galen, which at last brought him to life. He looked up at Elric with large, hungry eyes. "What was it?" he asked.

"I do not know."

"It was dangerous."

"So it seemed. With a power greater than any I've sensed from a conjury."

"I didn't lose control."

"That," Elric said, "is the most troubling aspect of it." At the beginning of their training, chrysalis-stage apprentices often lost control and generated violent bursts of energy. But that wasn't what Elric had observed today. Galen's spell had been focused, controlled. This hadn't been some outburst of undisciplined violence. It had been a carefully crafted, directed, outpouring of huge power. Elric had barely been able to stop it in time.

Galen shook his head. "I didn't know... what it would do."

"I realize that. Tell me how you arrived at this spell."

Galen brought his screen from his bedroom and led Elric through a progression of equations that he had derived from translating the works of Wierden and Gali-Gali. As Galen spoke, Elric was glad to see him become more animated.

"I realized there was no first equation in the progression, with only one term. That is what I conjured."

Elric sat beside him. "The idea of a first equation in the progression. It makes perfect sense in your spell language. Yet there is no equivalent in mine." Galen was a genius for coming up with it. Although Elric had helped Galen formulate and develop his spell language, it was vastly different from Elric's: much more complex, much more regimented. Elric had thought this would limit Galen's abilities; he had never imagined it would lead to new
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