Chapter Thirty – The Dark Mage Rises
Two wizards, vastly different in both style and technique—Kevin had never seen one wizard battle another before. He could barely keep up. Without magic eyes, he figured, he would be unable to tell illusions apart from reality, and it was simply difficult to comprehend it all. His heart pumped nonetheless. Nothing he had seen was this exciting, and he could only imagine how the actual combatants felt.
Kevin tried to follow. Eldrian had blinked, but so had Ouray. At least, that’s what he guessed had happened. Neither were in the same place anymore. He saw a frozen spear come from Eldrian. It nearly met its target, but the martial artist was too quick. This continued for a few moments. His poor friend could barely land a spell, but at the very least, he had not been crushed into the ground again—as close as a few strikes had been. Were they taking this too seriously? Kevin thought to himself. He realised that he had no idea what a wizard battle taken seriously looked like. Was it crazier than this?
“I’ve never fought or even met with a wizard with a body as strong as yours,” said Eldrian, catching his breath.
“Neither have I.”
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 – 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 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.”
Chapter Fifteen – Silent but Deadly
He had muscles. His muscles had muscles. At least, that’s what it seemed, but Dylan had grown so large under the night’s sky that he became only a shadow looming before a canvas of stars. Daveon, Deena, and Kevin stood at the ready. Though, none of them felt ready in the slightest.
“Are we fighting a kaijou now?” shouted Kevin.
“This is bad,” stated Deena. “For more reasons than just him. We’re causing way too much noise. People are going to end up coming here soon, and then we’ll have more than just a monster to deal with. We need to get out of here.”
“We can’t just let this thing run free in the city. It could kill people! Somehow, we’re going to have to stop him.”
Deena shook her head. “I can see why you’re friends with Eldrian. Then what do we do?”
Chapter Twelve – Pass the Newt Eyes
Eldrian wasn’t certain if what he was looking over was an ornate dining room table or an altar prepped for a ritualistic sacrifice, or a seance. Candles holding flickering blue flames rose from macabre decorative skulls. Plates and utensils were already laid out, ready for company, and it was all upon a dark wooden table surrounded by matching chairs.
The time was almost four o’clock when he arrived. As evil as it might have all appeared, it was impressive, and he definitely thought it was cool. Deena, however, looked out of energy. She came from the kitchen and wiped her brow before removing the straps of a red apron to place it aside.
“Sorry. I just had to finish up,” she said. “The turkey is just about done. The mashed potatoes are good. I’ve got cranberry sauce and stuffing too. That should be good enough for just the four of us.”
“You’ve been cooking that stuff all day? I could have helped.”
“No. It’s fine. I just… wanted to do it myself.”
Chapter Ten – Survival of the Fittest
Kevin’s blade, Drodias, performed a bisection to the floating green orb, like a magic blade through magic butter. The spell fizzled into a series of gradually descending sparkles, but before he could catch a breath, another appeared. This time, he jabbed forward the sword to pierce straight through the spell, and once again, it burst apart. Sweat came down from Kevin’s forehead as he continued, but above his goatee wasn’t a face of despair. He was enjoying himself.
“You’re pretty quick,” said Daveon as he materialized another floating ball from his palm.
“Thanks. Make the next one faster!” Kevin replied with a laugh.
“You’ve got it.”