*** Read authors note at end please. Very important information! ***
I marched along with the rest of the Water-abled students towards the gym and, as usual, every other Abled was already there. It seemed as though Water Skills always went overtime because Coach Shulk and the other students were always waiting on us before we could start. It was probably all due to Ms Flumine’s incessant need for a dramatic entrance and exit to every single class. My head pounded from the Skills class. For once I wasn’t able to excel in that class and I blamed the mountain of information and worry piled high up in my brain for not being able to concentrate and control the water with solely my mind. That, and it was extremely difficult to do.
My eyes found Derrek but this time he wasn’t looking and waiting for me to stand by his side. We weren’t together. Breaking up with him had been the worst decision I’d ever made by far... but I wouldn’t buckle under any scrutiny, I wouldn’t beg for him back... I stood beside Helena and smiled at the Elementals; Cara, as usual hung back and I doubted she’d join in, which was fine.
“Hurry up you slackers!” Coach Shulk boomed, she was an ever ready megaphone. The rest of the students picked up the pace and soon we were all standing in the centre of the gym. The ruined city had disappeared and the gym was back to its regular atmosphere of forest, desert, rocky lake and infirmary. “Alright, today’s class is going to be a recap of everything you learnt up to date! Include, if you can, the techniques you learnt from today’s Skills class. No partners this time... every Abled and uh, Elemental for his or her self. If you decide to partner up or gang up then fine by me. Just don’t kill anyone! Go!”
My eyes widened at the quick dismissal and in a matter of seconds everyone had scrambled for either their best element environment or into the forest to hide. I darted into the forest by force of habit so I could gather my wits. I dove behind a rotted tree trunk on the ground and decided what my best plan of action was.
Attack and don’t die.
Seemed like an idea... maybe not the best, but it was something.
The sounds of guns and swords ringing through the air reached my ears and maybe the faint sound of a flame thrower but I wasn’t too sure. Suddenly my cover snapped into two as an Earth-abled clenched his fists together. He lifted his hands and the logs lifted into the air. I could sense his intention was to squash me in between the two pieces but he was too slow and I tumbled forward through the wet leaves and mud of the ground.
I collected the molecules of water as I threw my fisted hands back over my shoulders and by the time I threw them forward in his direction two solid whips, one in each hand, whipped forward and slashed across his face and chest. As the pain registered in his face he lost all concentration on the logs and they fell to the wet mud with a heavy thud. I whipped back and forth as I watched my footing so I could quickly run away. I’d counted twenty gashes across his body, cutting through his skin and clothes, before I turned and ran in the opposite direction.
“I saw that Valerie girl run down there!” I heard a group of Abled shouting. I’d always been one of the last students standing and I guess now I had a target on the back of my head. My ice whips grew in thickness as it slid over the dew drops of leaves and a slight frost decorated the slick body. I saw a thick, horizontal branch up ahead and I flung the whips forward and watched as they swirled around the branch in success. I ran harder and faster, and once I felt the tension tighten in the whip I tightened my grip on the handles and jumped.
The forest momentarily turned upside down as I flew into the trees. I released the whips and cut my hands across my body instantly making the whips rain down as nothing but water. I landed roughly on the branches surrounded by leaves and felt my footing slip causing my shin to hit the wood hard. I winced but kept quiet as I watched the students who were chasing me run past. I couldn’t help the smirk that crept onto my lips as I quickly fashioned an ice bow.
As I pulled my arm back an arrow grew from the frosted string and I released it before watching it slice through the air and catching the thigh of a Fire-abled girl. She fell and dragged another of her friends down in the process. Just as I was about to fire another arrow a huge gust of wind rustled through the leaves and bent the trunks of the neighbouring trees.
“Bree” I chuckled as I quickly hugged the trunk of the tree with everything I had. I suddenly saw a miniature tornado about ten feet tall ripping through the forest. Its destructive force tore smaller trees from their roots in the ground and littered them across the mud. The students who had been chasing me were shouting and screaming as their eyes watered from the winds but soon enough they were flying through the air and thrown out of the forest environment.
In the corner of my eye I noticed a dark figure flitting through the trees and growing closer to me. I turned and saw the shadow watching me and my grip on the trunk broke. I felt a ticklish sensation in my stomach as I began to fall backwards. The branches and twigs that I fell past cut through my skin leaving faint red scratches in its wake and as though it wasn’t enough falling from a tall tree, a small glowing red rock was thrown at the trunk and as I fell past it, it exploded.
It was a Fire-abled bomb.
My vertical descent was thrown off course as the force of the explosion threw me to the side and against a large boulder. The sizzling fragments of magma scorched my skin and I quickly threw ice water across the burns. I looked up and noticed a Fire-abled boy grinning at me as he playfully tosses another bomb in his hand.
“Well that was a nice boom” he chuckled, “Let’s hear another one”
He wound his arm back to throw it in my direction but before he could a large boulder was thrown from his side and he was instantly gone from my sight. Whoa! I looked in the direction from where the boulder came hurtling from and saw Colin, my usual partner from last year, salute me before running over.
“Geez, it looks like you took a bloody beating” he winced as he helped me up. “Long time no see”
“Yeah... thanks Colin” I gasped, “But I don’t think now is the time for pleasantries!”
“Right, right, you’re totally right. I’m glad I found you. It seems like the whole ‘no partners’ thing went out the metaphorical window because everyone decided to gang up on you, Derrek, Helena and the Elementals” Colin explained with an apologetic face.
“Yeah. You and Derrek because you two are usually winners, Helena because, well she’s associated with you and the Elementals because... well... they’re Elementals”
“There’s nothing wrong with the Elementals” I defended them. I couldn’t help wincing every time I spoke, my burns were killing me and whenever I spoke the skin around the burn would pull at it.
Colin held his hands up in surrender, “I never said they were... I was just saying. Anyway, I’m pretty sure they tried taking Helena out first because she’s not as good in Combat as you and Derrek, but that ice fire Elemental seems to be protecting her pretty well”
I nodded as I took in all the information but our conversation was cut short when the sound of another large group of students began to grow closer. “We have to get out from here, we’re sitting ducks here” I said frantically staring at the destruction Bree had left behind.
“Leave it to me” Colin smiled. He ran over to the boulder behind me and placed his hands on either side of it. He widened his fingers and looked as though he was pushing hard against it. I was about to ask what he was doing when suddenly the boulder shattered into tiny stones. I watched as Colin rubbed his hands together and the tiny stones shrivelled up more and more until they were nothing but a boulder sized cluster of dust.
I threw him a confused look but he grinned and with one look at the closing in students he whipped his hands horizontally across his body the dust flew out over the students and easily blinded them from our whereabouts. “Colin, that was amazing!” I laughed, “Let’s go! Let’s go!”
We ran in a random direction and easily took care of any lone students. Colin and I actually made quite a good working team but it was nothing like when I was partnered with Derrek. At the thought of my ex-boyfriend I wondered where he was and if the rest of the class had been able to take him out. I shook my head mentally, no... he was stronger than that.
In my lapse of concentration I collided painfully with another person and, despite the throbbing pain in my head, I army rolled to the side and jumped holding an ice scimitar. The smooth and sharp edge of the sword glinted with frost under the bright imitation lights of the gym and I held it tightly with the intention of swinging it sharply across whoever I bumped into. My attack was halted when I realised I’d collided with... no one.
Out of nowhere Cameron appeared holding his jaw and sprawled across the ground. “God Val, you bloody pack a punch with your face when you’re running! Your head is ridiculously hard! You really need to watch where you’re running” I chuckled and rolled my eyes before helping him up.
“You were the one who was invisible Cameron!” I laughed. “Do you know what’s happening with everyone else?”
“Most of the class is out and being treated by the Healers in the infirmary area already. I saw Bree flying through earlier... but then it’s pretty easy to see where she’s gone off to. No idea where Derrek and the other Elementals are, but I was pretty sure I saw Helena and Blake run up ahead-“ Cameron was cut off by Blake panting as he ran out from behind a large bush. “Okay... so maybe he wasn’t with Helena...?”
Blake spotted us and ran over. “Crap! Have you seen Helena? I lost her when we were running from the other students”
I had begun to have more respect for Blake when I realised how much he like Helena and how much he tried to protect her. Even if he did lose her in the forest... I froze the scimitar to my hip and nodded my head to the direction Cameron thought Helena was in. “Come on, let’s go!”
We all began to run and once again disposed of any few students we came across. There were less and less students that we were running into and I figured there were a lot of students who were out of the fight already. I heard people shouting at each other and quickly changed directions towards their voice. I knew in the back of my head that it was a Combat lesson where everyone was supposed to take each other down but I guessed it was my protective side for Helena that had me wanting to stop her from getting taken out.
As we jumped out from behind a dirt ledge my eyes widened in pure shock at the scene unravelling before us. Helena seemed to have gotten a taste for more than just defending herself and had trapped the students in what looked like giant carnivorous plants. The shouts from the students were muffled as they fought against their leafy confinements and I couldn’t help but burst out laughing.
“That was awesome, Helena!” I shouted grinning from one ear to the other. In the corner of my eye I saw Blake kicking the outside of the plants and heard the muffled ‘oomph’ of the student inside. Mature...
“Let’s go and take out more students!” she cried happily. I couldn’t be happier that the Helena I first met was back and I knew deep inside that it was because of Blake.
We all worked as a team. Colin, Cameron, Helena, Blake and I ran around and cleared out the forest of any lingering students and knew that we had to venture out of the safe environment. We stood at the edge of the forest and the desert environment and I watched the miniature volcano-like craters spit out fire. I already felt the water molecules evaporating around me and wasn’t so sure how I’d fare in this environment.
“There’s Derrek!” Helena cried.
My head snapped up and saw Derrek on the far side of the desert holding what looked like a double ended scythe. As he twirled and spun around fighting with the three other students, bright orange flames ate at the edges of the blades and wrote circles across the air almost like a signature. Colin stared hard at the volcanic crater closest to them and he looked completely focused as he eventually was able to rip the crater from the ground and tilt it at the other students. The crater spat out the fire and soon had the other students running away covered in flames.
“Nice” Cameron nodded.
“You know... outside this university, these kinds of actions would be considered torture of some sort” I murmured shaking my head.
The smell of smoke was suddenly thick in the air and I began to realise that the water molecules were dissipating quickly, very quickly. The sound of branches and trees snapping had me whirling around to see that several Fire-ableds were setting the forest on fire. Flames roared loudly and the heat had me feeling weak in a matter of seconds.
“They’re getting rid of the water molecules and any plants from the forest so the Earth-ableds have and Water-ableds have less material to work with” I commented when the realisation hit me. The Fire-ableds flames were harsher than normal and were able to blacken and kill the forest in a matter of minutes. “Smart bastards”
“Watch out!” Derrek shouted to us and I turned to see the Fire-ableds running towards us with miniature versions of flame throwers. Flame throwers?!
“Cameron! Throw me up!” I cried. I had no water near me in this environment and the lake was on the other side of the gym.
“What?!” He stared at me with confusion.
“Just do it!” I’d already begun running towards him, “Throw me in the direction of the lake, Colin help me get there okay!”
As I reached Cameron he bent down and cupped his hands creating a perfect footing for me to step in. I jumped and with a heave Cameron threw me high in to the air and I shouted at Colin to ‘go!’ Colin was crouching with his hands to the ground and at my call he began to throw one hand up at a time. Rocks flew up from the ground to the air and as I neared them I easily stepped on them like stepping stones, growing closer and closer to the lake.
Just as I stepped onto a rock above the lake I jumped one last time and dove straight down into the cold water. I revelled in the coolness and with ease transformed into a Water-being. I knew by now the rest of them would be fighting with the rest of the students... whoever was left of them anyway, and that thought pushed me to swim faster around the edges of the lake. I swirled the water faster and faster. I closed my eyes to concentrate completely and with a hard push I, along with all the water in the lake, flew out and gushed across the grounds towards the fighting students.
I was a tidal wave with the capability to take out whoever I wanted simply by rushing over them, and that’s what I did. I skipped over any of my friends, though I noticed Helena and Cameron were gone, and once the weight of all the water became too much I twirled around and was instantly standing back to normal as all the water splashed to the ground around me. I was panting and my body shook from the intense workout of carrying all the water.
“And time!” Coach Shulk shouted.
“Finally!” I groaned and fell to the soggy ground panting. I was exhausted and barely able to lift my limbs without the aches in my body screaming at me.
“Great job Val!” Colin shouted offering me a rough hand to help me up and slapping my back.
“Ouch...! Thanks” I smiled. I heaved myself up and saw Derrek looking our way. He offered me a small smile but that was it.
“Great job everyone but we’ve gone way over time! Get out, and if you need healing head to the infirmary!” The Coach shouted. I was covered in red cuts and burns and was sure to have a few nasty bruises colouring my skin under my clothes.
“Val... I have to go to my lesson already. If you’re too tired to come along you don’t need to come” Cara smiled tentatively.
Oh no, Cara’s personal lesson. I was tempted to deny going along with her. I was so exhausted and my head pounded fiercely but Cara did so much better when I was there with her and even though every lesson usually ended with me in the infirmary it was worth it in the end for the both of us. “No, no I’ll go with you” I answered happily, but on the inside I was groaning. I just wanted to sleep to be honest. “I’ll go to the infirmary afterwards”
No doubt I’d end up there anyway... there just wasn’t any point in going there twice in a day.
We said our goodbyes and began walking down the corridors to the same room while talking about the Combat lesson. I mentioned to Cara that I’d seen the shadow in the gym but didn’t notice it other than the one time. My headache had steadily grown worse and worse and by the time we were almost at the room I was squinting in pain.
All of a sudden, almost as though the thought called for it, the shadow was howling behind us. It seemed different this time though. It wasn’t simply watching or following us but was actually flying straight at us. “Run!” I shouted at Cara and grabbed her arm as we darted down the hallways. As we ran the shadow multiplied and we had no choice but to turn this way and that just to avoid it. Derrek wasn’t here and our abilities had no affect on it!
“Crap!” I squeaked when Cara and I found ourselves in a dead end. The shadow was standing deathly quiet at the entrance and I had no energy to even try to fight it. A cloaked figure stepped into the entrance and my jaw dropped. “Malum...” I whispered.
Malum was standing behind the shadow and was void of any expression. “Finally... I have the both of you” he spoke quietly. “Take them”
I pushed Cara behind me and willed some energy to appear for me to fight. But it just wasn’t there! I was too exhausted and could barely collect any molecules to conjure a sword. I cursed under my breath when I realised my scimitar was long gone. I expected the shadow to take us, but it didn’t.
My breath was stolen away when two more figures stepped into the entrance and began to stalk towards us. Their eyes were dead of any emotion and looked eerie, like brainwashed zombies or robots. “Elementals” Cara whimpered behind me.
They were both boys; probably a bit older than myself and while one boy looked somewhat normal, albeit a little worse for wear, with sparks of electricity that lit up between his fingers, it was the other boy that held my attention. His skin took a slight greenish tint and his dead eyes were large and calloused. As my eyes slid down I couldn’t help the loud gulp that broke the silence. His arms were mutated and looked similar to a praying mantis’s bladed arms. The sharp edges glinted in the dim light of the hallway and I tried to slow my breathing down. “You’ll take us over my dead body!” I spat at Malum
His decayed mouth smiled. “That can be arranged”
I know something’s wrong... I could just feel it. I’d felt this way halfway through Combat and now the feeling was even stronger. I half wondered if it was just a premonition, knowing that Val was going to Cara’s lesson and knowing she would, once again, end up in the infirmary. I sighed as I walked quickly down the hallways.
I was already following my gut instinct and coming after Val feeling stupid. A painful stabbing pain shot through my head and I instantly knew that that ‘something wrong’ feeling was happening right now. I ran straight to the room they always practised in and was surprised to see Ms Avia leaving.
“Where’s Ta-Val and Cara?” I demanded. She cocked her head to the side and looked at me curiously.
“They never turned up. I guess Combat really took it out of them. You tell them that today I’ll let them off for not showing up but next time-“ I didn’t let her finish. I ran off and tried to channel my inner mind reading side to pin point where Val was. I hated that it was so dodgy!
I ran past a dead end corridor but quickly did a double take. Blood. There were pools of blood decorating the floor and pieces of what looked like hair, clothing and... something else. I frowned and stepped closer bending down to pick up... Val’s necklace. My eyes widened. It was the necklace I’d given Val for Christmas. I wiped the blood off the frozen purple flame and fell to my knees.
Malum... it had to be Malum! I shouted out in anger, sadness, frustration and just pure agony! I’d promised her. I promised Val I’d be there for her no matter what; it was my New Year’s resolution.
‘My promise for the New Year is to be your rock. I’ll protect you from anything that ranges from a mental breakdown to a psychotic Elemental.’
It was just a silly New Year’s resolution... but I was going to keep it. Despite the horrifying amount of blood pooled on the ground I still felt Val was alive... barely alive maybe, but alive. I stood slowly and blinked away the salty tears that blurred my vision. I was angry, furious! Red flames flickered over my skin as they responded to my fury and with every step I took out of the blood soaked hallway I felt my determination rise and harden.
Malum took my Tadpole... and I will find out where she is and kill him for taking her from me again. I swore my life on it.
And that my dear readers and fans is the last chapter of The Elementals: The Dawn of New Abilities.
-------------------->>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>. On the side is a video fo the song that inspired this chapter and was on repeat for about 2 days while I wrote it lol
Alas, it is NOT the end of the series. I will take some time off to edit this story and have a little break to concentrate on my other story before starting again. I will let my facebook followers know first when I’ve started writing for it again and then my fans will know next since they’d receive my messages and whatnot.
Thank you everyone for giving me the second chance to play around with your imagination and bring you into my world of Elementals.
Stay tuned amazing readers!
à Dedicated to everyone who followed me and kept with me chapter by chapter since the first book (n.n)
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