“Incendio?” Alec asked. “I’ve been wondering… What’s your last name?”
“Coalburn, but don’t bother trying to map out my lineage, boy. It’s enough for you to know that I was descended from kings and the like.”
Alec smirked. “Seriously? Incendio Coal-Burn? I don’t believe that’s your real name. Tell me the truth. You owe me that.”
Incendio scoffed. “I don’t owe you anything.”
“What about all my gold you gambled away? Or the three or four times I saved your life this week? I can go on and on.”
“Fine…” Incendio sighed, “My real name is Alec…”
“Oh, come on. That’s my name.”
“Well, it’s my name too, but ‘Alec the Fire Mage’ doesn’t inspire fear in the hearts of men. At least, not according to the study I commissioned early in my wizarding career. In fact, not one of the peasants in my focus group found the name ‘Alec’ to be very mystical, cryptic, or mysterious in the slightest. To be honest, they found ‘Alec’ to be quite comprehendible.
“They really liked Incendio Coalburn, with Flint Kindleman and Blayze Embersmith coming in second and third places respectively, but ‘Alec’, no… ‘Alec the Fire Mage’ caused one of the 12 test subjects to throw up and gave several others heartburn.
“‘Alec’ is just not a good, strong name. It sounds cowardly, weak, and, as one test subject so eloquently put it, reminds one of a feeble-minded man-child… Why I was given the name is beyond me.”
Alec stared hard at Incendio.
“Don’t look at me that way, boy! The name suits you just fine.”
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