M'a'lak gave Blood into the care of Pothos saying, "Take this one into your rooms and teach him our ways. Treat him as a brother. And if any harm comes unto him, your life will be forfeit for his."
And M'a'lak said unto Blood, "This man is your brother. Learn of him and take heed of his instruction. Obey him in all things or my wrath will fall heavily upon you."
Then Pothos took Blood into his rooms and the two became as brothers. And they loved one another and all things were held in common between them.
For five years Akai, called Blood, labored in the keep of M'a'lak, the Man of the Mountain. And all that was set before him he accomplished.
In the way of the sword none could surpass Blood. And only Pothos could equal him. For the sword became as one with Blood and no man could disarm him.
It was the same also with the lance and the bow. Blood was master of them all and only Pothos could equal him.
Blood learned the art of war, of the placing of troops and the choosing of fields from the men who had fought the War of the Wyvern. And his understanding surpassed them all.
The way of the poisoner was also known to Blood; as well as that of the healer. For the two are but sides of the same coin. He knew the name and season of each herb and when it could kill and when it could heal. In this too Blood surpassed all others in skill and understanding, save for Pothos.
Then M'a'lak brought forth a tutor unto Blood and Pothos that he might teach them the knowledge of all the books of the world. This tutor's name was Izar.
This Izar had served in the great library of Atlantis until the coming of the War of the Wyvern. Then had Izar ridden forth with the Princes of Atlantis – Sae, Altas, Azaes, and Elasippus – to destroy the mad brother-slayer. But at the fall of the Shining City and the sundering of the world, Izar took refuge in a town of Gihon. And the name of that town was Bak.
M'a'lak heard tales of a great scholar hiding in Bak and sent forth men to find him and bring him unto him. For M'a'lak had been a noble of Ankara and it pleased him to hear the speech of wise men. And he would have Blood and Pothos learn the ways of princes that they might help him rule. (For M'a'lak dreamed of raising an empire that outshone Atlantis.)
Izar taught Blood and Pothos all that he knew of law and history and philosophy and art and music. And Blood excelled in all of these too for the Holy Man of the Wilds had taught him many things.
Then Izar took Blood aside that no one might hear and said, "I know who you are."
And Blood said, "I know not what you mean."
Izar said again, "I know who you are."
Again Blood denied him.
Then Izar said, "You are Akai, the Red Prince, son of Tiryn, Emperor-Heir of Atlantis, and of Sae, Prince and Guardian of Atlantis.