Chapter Sixteen – Power of Imagination
Asta Ahlgren was alone now. It was hours later, and Ron was instructed to go a different way, just to be safe. Though her clothing was ordinary, she still carried the gold and white mace that she often does. It seemed incredibly strange. However, it wasn’t a blade, so nobody persecuted her. Many likely thought it was part of a cosplay, but not everyone keeps to themselves.
The dim lights of Alberta’s chilly streets lit a figure up ahead. It was just Asta and the stranger. This part of town was deserted, and the day was fading away.
It was a man—a young man. His nose was tinted red, showing that he had likely been drinking. The hair on his head and face weren’t groomed, and frankly, he didn’t smell all that nice either. He stumbled up to Asta and smiled strangely.
“Heya, cutie,” he said before he hiccuped.
“Very feisty.” He laughed. “What is that you have there? Oh. A mace. Do you roleplay or something? That’s kinda weird, but I’m into anything if you are.”
She said nothing more, and simply kept walking.
“Hey,” he snapped. “Don’t walk away from me.”
His hand grabbed Asta’s shoulder, and it was the last thing he remembered. She spun around and drove a fist into his nose, shattering the cartilage into tiny pieces. She then grabbed his head, and crushed his forehead against her knee, dropping him to the ground in merely a few seconds. Rubbing her fist, she continued on her way.
She withdrew a key and unlocked the door of her safe house. It was ordinary is almost every way, drawing no attention towards it compared to any of the homes adjacent. This was where she fed the Elixir of Strength to Ron, Dylan, Xeno, and their now-deceased leader.
The bald one was in the kitchen.
“What are you doing?” Asta asked.
“That’s not what I meant. Don’t smoke in here.”
Ron grunted and put his cigar out. Eventually the stench of smoke was overtaken by the aroma of freshly cooked eggs. He sizzled them in a pan over the oven’s element.
“Why’d ya help us try to get revenge?”
“I don’t need you to understand. I just believe magic has no place on this world. It caused more problems than anything should. No single person should have the potential of having god-like powers. Controlling reality with their mind. Their creativity. Wizards are living weapons.”
“Ya keep talkin’ about the government comin’ to take care of that, though.”
“They try. We have different opinions, though. I can’t let them find me, but now the wizards are multiplying. There’s Eldrian, the one who seems to be trying to master all kinds of magic, but now there’s also the witch girl, a druid boy, and some fellow with a sword. Kevin, yes. That was his name. Eldrian’s friend. I’m going to need to research them more. I don’t know enough. And if you find Xeno, make him come back! He receives power and immediately leaves.”
“He said he doesn’t care about hunting Eldrian or the others. What’s the deal with these wizards, anyway? I just don’t get it.”
“They’re born the way they are. Just like spellbreakers. Wizards have a grasp over controlling reality in strange, confusing ways, using just their mind. They use their own energy—their stamina—to do this, so they aren’t deities. But before they run out, they’re incredibly deadly.”
“These wizards are startin’ to piss me off more and more.”
“The longer I wait, the worse it gets. And I already lost control of two of you. See, wizards are like animals. You back them into a corner, and they get even more dangerous. When they need to, they can come up with seemingly impossible power. The reach of a wizard’s magic is the peak of their own imagination. If that limit is high, then God help us.”
Deena brought back her hands. They held at her side, and between them, a frozen star appeared. It grew in size, especially length, until it resembled a thick javelin of solid ice. She dug her feet into the ground and thrust it forwards. Ice Spear!
It soared through the air and met its target. The spear stabbed straight into Dylan’s back, and he roared out with furious, deadly intent. He turned his head to the others. The ice slowly crumbled into pieces, and the hole it left behind closed soon after.
He retaliated by thrusting his giant fist down at the group. However, unexpected vines came from the side and wrapped around his wrist, tugging it into a miss. It was pulled to the ground. Daveon knew his spell wouldn’t hold, but he looked to the tangerine samurai coming to save the day.
Kevin swung Drodias and sliced the beast’s hand clean off. It fell to the ground with a thud.
“You got it!” shouted Daveon.
However, it was no different than before. Strands of tendons and muscle tissue shot out of both ends of his wrist and they met in the middle. The hand was pulled up to connect back into place, and both inside and out, the wound repaired it self completely. It did buy them time to take a breath and prepare.
“We need to all attack at once to do enough damage!” called Eldrian from behind the creature. “Five seconds, and unleash hell!”
They looked to one another. It was barely a plan still, but it was the only one they had.
Deena began conjuring up her shadow ball. Beside her, Kevin was ready to sprint into action with a sword in-hand. Daveon was next to him, and he had both his hands ready to fire thorns from his palms.
The target was easy to hit, but nothing was working. However, it was time to begin the barrage.
A ball of chaotic energy came from Deena and blew a hole through his shoulder. Next, two thorns, one from each of Daveon’s hands, fired like bullets into Dylan’s stomach. Finally, Kevin leapt into action. He dashed by the monster’s right leg, and cut it nearly off with a single swing of his magic blade.
Eldrian was ready. He took a pose similar to the one he takes when casting his lightning lance. However, this was different. Sparks of magic came to the ends of his finger tips—two fingers out on each hand. One was of lightning, but the other was black as night.
He circled the two types of magic around before bringing them to his side
“The speed and power of a lightning bolt. The chaotic explosion of shadow magic,” Eldrian said with a furious glare up at his target. “Try this new spell out. Dark Lightning!”
The two sparks meant and became what he said. A solid black bold of electricity appeared in the shape of a spear beside him. It crackled with power. Sparing no more time, he thrust it forward, and it flashed across the night sky. The effect was incredible.
Shock waves of electricity burst out from the point of impact, but they caused further damage by the strength of the chaotic power the current held, and on collision, the spell detonated a gigantic hole through the monster’s torso. It cracked and surged. The spell was difficult to cast, and even moreso to aim, leaving Eldrian exhausted. However, it met the target perfectly.
His hat soared from his head and disappeared into sparkles behind him.
All of the damage combined left Dylan in pieces. His limbs hung by strands before snapping off, and his midsection crumbled into fragments. The head was the only part that remained whole, and it tumbled and rolled across the desert ground.
Daveon acted quickly. He wrapped vines up around both arms and legs. The neck’s stub crawled towards the torso like a spider of flesh, and it soon met up. However, even though Dylan had reattached his head, all of his limbs were not only cracked, but held down by powerful magic vines.
He finally gave out. Dylan stopped moving.
They saw his skin begin to shiver. The muscles making up his massive form started to shrink.
“Let him go!” yelled Eldrian. “He’s turning back!”
The druid was uncertain. But he thought for a moment. If he turned back like this, he’d bleed out on the ground with no limbs. He wasn’t one to want someone to suffer. The arms and legs were released, and they started to connect back to the body as it all shrink.
Soon, Dylan was left small once more and unconscious before the group.
“I’ll take him,” Lucy said, stepping up. “There’s no place here that could hold him. Maybe one of your governments. But we can’t take the chance of waiting for them to arrive. Plus, you guys probably don’t want that to happen anyway.”
Eldrian nodded. “Thanks, Lucy. Let’s get out of here now before people start showing up.”
“Oh. Now you’re going to be careful,” muttered Deena.
“You’re the one that keeps using magic in public. And now you try something so crazy as using lighting and shadow magic at one time. Those are both the most difficult to control elements. You could have blown your fingers off.”
Daveon shook his head and laughed. “You can be worried about him later. Let’s go somewhere safe.”
“I’m not—“ She pursed her lips and grumbled like a frustrated child. “Whatever. I’ll open a door to my house. Nobody can find us there.”
Just like before, she manifested a pale door in the middle of nowhere. All but Lucy proceeded through. The devil had a lot of work to do, and even otherwise, she usually does. They were soon all safe within the protection of Deena’s mysterious dungeon home. They had no idea where it was actually situated. For all they know, it could be across the globe. Eldrian’s phone received no bars wherever they were, so he assumed they were underground.
There was a calmness that came over them—a relief. A lot of madness had happened over the last day, or even the last week.
Eldrian embraced Kevin with a loving hug—as a friend, of course.
“I’m so glad you’re safe,” he said.
Kevin laughed. “Thanks to you guys.”
“They wanted to get to you, Eldrian,” Deena said.
Releasing Kevin from his wizard grip, he looked to her with a confused expression. “Why?”
“I do,” Kevin spoke up. “That monster. You didn’t recognize him when he turned back? That was one of the guys that tried to rob me on the night I ran into you. The night you saved me. The other one with powers was the bald thug. Somehow, they both drank from the Elixir and wanted revenge on you for humiliating them.”
“No way… How did they get the Elixir?”
Daveon shook his head. “We have no idea.”
“Thank you, by the way,” spoke Eldrian. “You came all the way across the world, Daveon, and you’re helping us. You don’t have to. I appreciate it.”
“It’s not a problem. It feels right. I was accomplishing nothing back home, but now, I’ve already helped save people. You’re all good friends. And you’re a talented wizard, Eldrian.”
“He said he wants to be an archmage. A master of all magic,” Kevin added.
“Out of anyone I’ve met, you’re the one I imagine could actually accomplish that. I have no aspiration to achieve that myself, so I’ll be here along the way to assist.”
“That’s all fine,” said Deena. “But there’s little room in this world for something like that. Magic is hidden away.”
Eldrian sighed. “Maybe the world needs to change.”
“Good luck asking all the governments and all the spellbreakers if that’s fine with them.”
“I know the world doesn’t want people with ultimate power able to walk freely around. I get that. I know wizards can be living weapons. But you can’t just capture or kill those people who are born that way. They need to be educated and protected. Maybe there’s only bad wizards because they feel afraid. I don’t know about you guys, but I can imagine an Earth, one day in the future, where wizards can use their magic without fear.”
“I’d be fine with that,” Kevin said.
“That’s a far away dream,” muttered Deena. “There’s far more immediate problems then changing the entire planet. There’s apparently someone with a powerful artifact giving magical strength to people who shouldn’t have it, and that was three that came specifically after us.”
“You’re right. We need to focus. Do we even have any idea what to do?”
“The most I can imagine is to speak with Lucy. Maybe that guy can tell us. He has to know something.”
“Let’s rest for now,” said Eldrian before a yawn escaped his lips. “I’m exhausted.”
The others looked at one another. It began to sink in just how tired they all were. Adrenaline levels dropped. Their bodies ached and the day was over.
“You can sleep somewhere in this room or portal home. I don’t care which,” stated Deena as she turned. “I’m going to bed either way. Please don’t break anything.”
Eldrian then turned to his ginger companion. “I saw your dad,” he said softly.
Kevin gasped. “My dad? He’s all right?”
“He is. The nurse said the bullet didn’t pierce anything important. They’re taking care of him at the hospital right now. I’m so sorry this happened. They attacked you because they were mad at me. And then they brought your family into it. I thought if I messed up, maybe spellbreakers would find me, but I never thought people would target my friends and their loved ones. I really feel awful.”
“It isn’t your fault, Eldrian. If you didn’t step in back then, I could have died anyway. You just tried to help. And then without you, Rend might still be hunting people.”
“I don’t hold anything against you, buddy. Cheer up. We managed to win today, somehow, and I can’t believe I’m the one saying these things. Like a week ago, if you told me any of this, I wouldn’t believe it. I don’t know how you haven’t gone mad.”
“You get used to it. Mostly. Anyway, come morning, you should visit your dad. I’ll text you if I find anything else out.”
“Do you know why someone could be sending super powered killers after us?”
“It isn’t like the government to send things like this. Spellbreakers would take care of us with half the effort. It has to be someone else, but I honestly have no idea who it could be.”
“An angry ex?”
“Uh. I really doubt that.”
“Because you never get any girls?”
“No…” Eldrian sweated nervously.
“How about we sleep tonight, and worry about the rest tomorrow?”
“That I can agree to.”
Stay tuned for Chapter Seventeen – Sentimental Sandwiches!