Chapter Twenty-Five – Like Soldiers
There they stood within Deena’s abode, five in total: Kevin the ginger warrior, Daveon the handsome druid, Deena the little witch, Renatta the fire ninja, and Eldrian the aspiring wizard. They were in circle looking towards one another, as Eldrian just finished explaining everything he knew to those who were out of the loop—about Asta, the thugs, and the upcoming battle.
“So we’re expecting to run into a guy with mind control powers, and a guy who has indestructible skin, on top of a spellbreaker, which is apparently the thing that counters all of your powers?” Kevin asked.
“Yes,” Eldrian replied.
“You know I’ll help you, but how do we deal with this? It sounds even more dangerous than the giant Dylan thing.”
“Planning, and a lot of improvising, like usual.”
Deena crossed her arms and gathered their attention. “Eldrian and I have been discussing what to do. They all have unique abilities that need to be dealt with. If only those three are there as threats, we need to figure out who is best made to handle each one. There’s five of us, which means two of them can be dealt two of us instead of one, and I imagine Asta is on the top of that list.”
Chapter Twenty-Four – The Lonely Bull
Even when I was little, my father taught me how to be tough, because that was the only way he knew to make me strong. We trained with blunt sticks. I thought it was infuriating at first, but I grew to enjoy that time we spent together, and I’ll never forget when the day came that I knocked the stick out of his hands. Neither did he, I assume, because I knew it wasn’t raining, even if he told me it was.
But this story isn’t about my dad and I. Xeno, Ron, you both fill me with rage. I hope you know that. I’m sharing with you why you’re here only because soldiers need substance behind their fighting, I assume. That’s what my dad told me once. So sit back and I’ll tell you a bit of it, and you better damn well listen closely. I’m not repeating a thing. All right? Good. Though, I don’t know why I’d need to explain why magic is bad in the first place. You both experienced it first-hand. Twice.
Again, back to my father, but that’s where I have to start. I’m a descendent of the Bull clan of spellbreakers. Whether one realizes it or not, all spellbreakers come from one of many clans named after animals. That’s what my dad told me, anyway. He possessed no abilities himself. They skip generations, sometimes several, leaving some lost from their ancestral connections completely. He knew I had the abilities of a spellbreaker, so he had me practice. You might think this is why I hate wizards, and it might be part of it, but this isn’t the reason, no. It’s simply how I managed to enter this wizard’s world that hardly a person knows about.
Chapter Twenty-Three – Twisted
Renatta no longer reflected the image of a deadly assassin. Instead, she wore fine red clothes, and not unlike in the way of a belly dancer. Her footwear slipped on, like flats, and in the end, Eldrian thought she resembled moreso a genie, but he also assumed if genies were real, they wouldn’t be armed with blades.
“I barely remember,” she whispered. “But I do have fleeting memories of a building. A small house, at the border of the city. It was old, worn, and next thing I knew, everything was spinning and twisting. I heard a voice in my head, and snickering, and here I am. I am sorry I do not remember more. I can take you to the place, though, at the very least. And then we can burn him up!”
She flexed her arm, and upon the edge of her knuckles sprouted a roaring fire. Eldrian winced back a step or two after feeling the wave of warmth come over his skin.
“Careful with that,” he muttered.
“Oops. Sorry,” she said in response, snuffing out the flame.
Chapter Twenty-One – Out of Mind
Both the ambitious wizard Eldrian and his brave companion Kevin sat together on a bench overlooking one of the local parks, bundled up in cozy jackets and scarves, but luckily they shared that Canadian durability to combat Alberta’s crisp biome. In Eldrian’s hands was a newspaper. He licked his finger, and brought the page over to the next before snapping it flat into place.
It was nearly empty. Not only was the park not one of the most expansive, but few went out without the bright warmth of the sun, at least not in the same degree.
“Interesting,” he muttered. “So it displays the news, but on paper.”
Kevin deadpanned his expression over to Eldrian.
“Do you actually not know what a newspaper is, or are you doing a bit?”
“Life is a bit, my friend. The sooner you learn that, the easier it’ll be.”
“You’re only a year older than me.”
“In wizard years.”
Chapter Twenty – Eyes From Afar
It had been a couple days since the group’s picnic in Peru. Since then, things had become relaxing and quiet, though eerily so, as they knew that somewhere near lurked a threat of unknown origin. They hadn’t heard from Lucy either. It was a time of impatient waiting for the most part, so in the mean time, Eldrian did what he usually did—wander about.
The boy made his way along one of the downtown streets. A cool, almost blinding layer of snow covered the land while a chill remained in the air, so he brought with him a coat and scarf to avoid becoming a wizard-cicle. He wondered how the rest of his friends were dealing with things. He was fully aware that in his short life he’d already experienced plenty of oddities, but for someone like Kevin, it could be overwhelming. All he could hope was that he’d adjust over time.
Eldrian wished to enjoy the day and pass some time, so he found an antique shop and stepped inside. The first thing he noticed was the welcoming warmth that greeted him upon entry. After that, the valuable knickknacks of all varieties up and down the shelves and tables, with only a few customers populating the room.
Chapter Nineteen – Shadow of a Doubt Pt. 2
It was sunrise—a brand new day—but it wasn’t a good one. Blood came down Daveon’s lips. His throat was sore and bleeding from screaming. The local police had to hold him down within the station, and around him were people who knew him and his family.
“Let me go!” Daveon yelled at the top of his lungs. “I want to see them!”
“You don’t want to, dear boy,” came the voice of an older man. He shook his head. “Trust me. It’s not something yours eyes should be seeing. No one deserves to go that way.”
“It was Mr. Markani. I know it was!”
“Calm down,” came the voice of an officer. “And don’t shout that so loud. Please.”
Finally the druid calmed down enough where they could release him from their grip. Nobody let him see his parents. There were already police at his house when he got home, and they kept telling him that it was horrible, but he didn’t know what to think.
Chapter Eighteen – Shadow of a Doubt Pt. 1
The noises of the wild soothed him. At every side was a tree. He made his way down a grassy dirt path to pass a wild stream of water coming down from the mountains. It was crystal clear, and it was calming despite the velocity. Birds were chirping and flowers were blooming, because at long last, it was the time of rebirth—spring. He knew he shouldn’t stay out for much longer, however, as his parents were waiting for him back home.
Daveon looked to the sun reaching midway through the sky. Despite the miles of flora, mountains, and more, he never got lost, as he travelled this way often. It was the only place he could be himself, given his powers, but he also had a passion for the natural world.
It was his eighteenth birthday only a week before. He didn’t feel any different. Was he supposed to? Often he pondered this. Becoming an adult might have happened already, or maybe it’ll come the year after, but will he know?
He asked himself a lot of questions when he was out in the forests, or climbing mountains. His magic allowed him to soar to heights nobody else would climb to, giving him a place to be alone whenever he needed it. When he was sad, he’d come to sit upon a cliff and just breath deeply—a view to rest his soul.