Barsidious White was getting on in years. He'd been a treasure hunter as long as he could remember. He'd had an exciting life, but never really struck it big. He was slowing down. The aches and pains of old age wore him out, day by day. He finally considered laying down his shovel and retiring, after over 50 years seeking fortune in the World of Twelve.

On the eve of his 77th birthday, the day he planned to announce his retirement, Barsidious received a letter from an old friend:

Dearest Barsidious,
How could you even think of retiring? Your glory days are far from over! I am coming to see you tomorrow, so you'd better prepare yourself! signed, Sage Oriol Leone

"Ah, the ever-punctual Ollie Ravioli! Eh, hee hee hee!"

A visit from the Sage was never dull, but Barsidious couldn't figure any way that he could continue his life's work. Still, he looked forward to his birthday, glad to know his old friend would be there.

The next day, Barsidious welcomed all the guests to his rather extravagant home.

"I hope you all brought gifts! Heh heh heh!"

But the Sage was nowhere to be seen. As the guests were leaving that evening, Barsidious sat on a lounge chair on his balcony, examining a dish he'd received. Something down below caught his eye, and he rushed to the edge to sneak a peek. There, approaching his front door, was the Sage. As usual, he carried a sword and a strange weapon that Barsidious knew nothing about, other than it was very powerful. The Sage wore blue armor, one of his two usual outfits. Barsidious had never actually seen the Sage's face before.

He rushed downstairs to meet his friend.

"It's time you learned my secrets, Barsidious."

"Wha-? What secrets?"

"Who I really am..."

Barsidious stared, dumbfounded, as the Sage laid down his weapons, and the armor dissolved away to reveal a rickety old man.

"S-s-s-s-s-s-see? I'm o-o-o-o-older than you!" The old man managed to exclaim before uttering a wheezing cough/laugh.

"Aah!" Barsidious stared in disbelief.

"Y-y-y-y-y-y-y-you take these, you b-b-b-become like me! The S-s-s-s-s-s-Sage!"

"What? No! You're the Sage! Not me!"

"Yes... You are! N-n-n-n-n-now, I can d-d-d-d-d-d-d-die!"

The old man collapsed right then, his heart stopped.

Barsidious scooped up the weapons and carried them inside. He emerged again with a shovel, and dug a grave for his old friend. He finished the burial somberly.

A week later, he pulled out the Sage's weapons again. He held up the sword.


A light flashed suddenly before his eyes, blinding him. When he could see again, he immediately noticed something different. He was taller! He looked at the hand that held the sword. There was a glove and a light brown sleeve that wasn't there before.

"What am I wearing?" He took a slow step towards a wall mirror. The pain in his ankles was gone. He stepped faster and faster, until he was running and nearly crashed into the mirror.

"Ha ha!" A creepy-looking, smiling face stared back at him.

"I'm old Ravioli's Bandit! That must mean..." He glanced at the sword again. Ice was forming around his hand. He concentrated. The ice suddenly spread over the entire blade.

"Ooh... Whee hee!" He leapt into the air and made a full front flip before landing safely on his feet again.

"Wow! But what about..." He ran back to where he'd left the strange weapon. It was an unusual shape, almost like a small crossbow, without the limbs and string. He shifted the sword from his right hand to his left and picked up the weapon. He felt another change. Plates of armor were forming around his body. Soon his face was covered by a helmet rather than the Bandit's hood.

His Water powers felt even more powerful.

"Wow..." His voice sounded like the Sage's, but not quite the same.


He ran his finger over the trigger on the weapon, then turned the barrel toward his face and peered inside. Nothing. He turned it away and accidentally pulled the trigger. A shard of ice sped out and stuck into the wall behind him.

"Whoo... But... There's more..." He aimed and fired at the wall again.

This time, a ball of ice flew out, and when it hit the wall, it exploded into tiny pieces of ice that shot out in all directions. Many of them hit Barsidious. but they barely made an impact through the armor. It hurt, but he knew... With concentration, he quickly soothed the pain.

"And there's one more..." He raised his right arm, holding the weapon. A pool of water formed in front of him, and a female figure rose out of it. She remained motionless, staring at him. He fired the weapon at his own foot.

"Argh!" The ice pierced his foot, numbing it from the ankle down. The lady immediately threw sparkling water at his foot, and the wound quickly closed and healed.

"Hooray! Ah ha ha ha hee hee!" The old man in knight's armor danced around the room, and the Lady in the Water observed silently.

The End