The voice came from Ash's room. If one were to listen, you could've heard the boy scream for hours on end.
Ash was trying his hardest to cast 'Tier I Light Magic' on his arm. He didn't want to have to explain to Angela, how he got the wound on his arm. It would probably make her question his sanity. Having to explain that a voice inside your head is hurting you, outside of your dreams, would sound crazy no matter who was on the listening end.
Even though Ash tried harder, and longer than his fellow monks, he could never cast even the lowest tier of Light Magic. It was as if he was just not compatible with that type of magic.
"Is it because I'm an elf?! Is that what this is?!" Ash screamed.
He'd had enough. The world was simply too unfair, and even though he knew it was a common thought, he wanted change. If only he could bring himself to believe the voice in his head.
In the end, Ash patched the wound up with some bandage, and headed towards the lone apple tree in the courtyard, where Angela said they would meet. Ash looked at the giant clock, located on the church's wall.
Ash sat with his back against the tree, counting the minutes until Angela would come, and talk to him.
"What's with that woman? Making promises, and then not showing up. She truly is just like the rest of them" He clicked his tongue, and stood up.
It was Angela.
"Ash, I got held up doing some research. How are you holding up?"
There she was. She was in everyday attire, instead of her nurse's uniform.
The twenty-something year old nurse asked Ash if he was okay? That truly made Ash happy.
Happiness. A feeling he hadn't felt in a long time.
"I'm a slave, Angela." Ash said, with a strained smile.
"That's true, anyway, regarding the job. How does 30 copper an hour sound?"
Thirty copper was a lot of money for Ash. Buying himself out of slavery was five gold coin, which was 5000 copper coins. Angela was actually offering him freedom?
"Better than earning nothing, I suppose".
Ash said that coldly, but in reality, he was ecstatic.
"Splendid, you can start today. I need some 'myrilia' harvested for today. Please do be careful, when handling them. Getting yourself pricked on their thorns will cause immense pain and swelling. I really need the leaves for some medicine, which, ironically is used as a painkiller. Fun fact- Hey! Where are you going?!"
Ash had started walking in the direction of Angela's place of residence.
"To tend to your plants"
The day went by quickly. Ash ended up with a rash on both of his hands, but since Angela was nearby, it was taken care of quickly with her healing magic.
Life was looking up for Ash. Who needed deals with the devil, when you could simply work your way to victory?
Those were the thoughts swirling around Ash's head, while the happy elf sprinted back to his room with his first silver coin in his pocket.
Darkness enveloped Ash, as he fell asleep.
"Mr. Tsuga, pleasant to see you again this fine night".
"I don't need you" Ash said.
Only laughter followed Ash's remark. Cold, mocking laughter.
"I suppose I'll have to convince you" The voice said.
A figure emerged from the shadows.