A week passed before things got truly back to normal. But, three people have become my elite guards. Shana, Jeff, and Emily. They have the most skill and are best with small bows and switching to closed quarters. They are also exceptional with short swords and daggers. So, they followed me around in black armor, cloaks with purple trimmings. I trained with Melinda as often as I could. I even joined her other classes and relearned some things she already taught me, but tried new moves out. She even said, “This is how you learn your own form as well! Taking what you’re taught and advancing on your own!” She told the class one day when I took the best student down.
“It doesn’t matter that he’s the School Master and the strongest?” A girl asked. “Strength doesn’t mean anything in a fight. It helps. But, the skinniest person can take down the largest opponent. All you need is to know how.” She said. “We will keep at it. I won’t let you finish these courses until you know the basic moves.” She vowed. “Matt, you don’t need to be here,” She told me one day. “I know, but it looks like you’re spreading yourself too thin. You’re teaching me, the security and my guards. And you are teaching the other students.” I told her. She only smiled.
“I’m fine. This is nothing. I’m teaching four groups. This one. The one who is going to go out and take groups of their own and then you and our security. Once the twenty go out, they will each take on twenty. Then they can go out and each takes on twenty. Yeah, they might not be anywhere near my level. But, that isn’t the point of this right?” She countered. “No, but to give them the best training possible and to allow them the chance to protect themselves. Right now, no one is strong enough. Not even me. We are all going to have to be on our toes and at the top of our games if we want to live.” She only nodded. “Though, I think you should train others. You’re actually the best one to train.”
I gave her a shocked look. “Why me?” I asked. “Your ability to copy others. You can automatically sense where they went wrong and show them the correct form. You have almost learned everything from me. There’s not a lot more I can teach you.” When she finished speaking, I sensed something from her. “Are you afraid of me?” I asked her. She only stared blankly at me. “No. I am not.” She said too quickly. I crossed my arms in front of her and she sighed. “Fine, I’m scared of what will happen to you. You’re not at the level of the woman I mentioned and she was still taken off guard and slain. I fear for your safety. Not for who you’ll become. But, for you as a person.”
I felt my cheeks flame with the compliment. “Thanks, but I don’t think I have anything to worry about.” She gave me a sad smile. “That’s what she said. Right before they slit her throat.” I only looked at her in surprise. “Oh, and you want to know the most messed up part? Whoever kills one like you, will also learn everything the person they killed knows regarding fighting.” She said and turned away. “How do you know that? Are you the one who killed the woman?” I asked scared, but controlling it and slowly backed away. She whipped around. “No!” Then I saw the fear and pain in her eyes.
“You were in love with her,” I said simply walking back to her. Tears filled her eyes. “Yes, she was my girlfriend and I couldn’t be there to protect her. I tried to make it back in time. But, I was too late.” She said. “You’re like me and her. You learn by-“ She nodded violently. Fear filled her expression. “You won’t be harmed. I won’t allow it.” I told her. She took in a calming breath. “I know. But, there’s always a few people who want to harm us. And that fear is going to always be around me. I saw what they did to her. You don’t ever want to be around something like that. You don’t want to experience something like that.” She told me. “Thanks for the warning,” I said with a slight smile. She nods and walks away.
Now I was back in the training room and I was with Ashlee, and Julie. I was going easy on them. I wanted to make sure they got the basics down. I showed them a flip and then a kick. I showed them a couple other moves. Then they would try it. It took a few tries, but they were slowly getting it down. I had to redo the move a few more times. That didn’t bother me. They were trying and that’s all I cared about. They weren’t slacking. After half an hour, they finally got it down. Then I moved on to another part of the martial arts. It was the last part and then I would have them put it all together and I would watch them one at a time and help with any corrections they may need.
There’s always room for improvement. Even with me. I thought. This one they got down right away. Julie went first and she pretended like she was in a fight with someone. She blocked, elbowed, punched and grabbed a hold of them flipping them through the air. Then she rolled out of the way and jumped around facing where her opponent was. She blocked and countered and then jumped and flipped. She almost landed. But, right before, she spun and kicked sending her opponent flying. Then she landed and sidestepped a step and stood ready for her opponent. They were back in a flash and she blocked and countered and she ducked under and made a motion to jam a stake in their hearts.
“Nicely done.” I said to her. She smiled. I showed her a couple minor parts that she needs to tighten up, but otherwise, she was ready to get approval for passing this training exercise. Ashlee was up and went through the same motions. Once she was done, the beginning and the end was solid. But, the middle was sloppy and I showed her where she messed up. She didn’t take the criticism well. But, she listened and minus the death glares, corrected herself. She went through it twice and finally got it all down. Then Julie went through it again.
“Okay. Do you two want a rest before we do the trial?” I asked. Ashlee glared at me. “No.” She said. “Kind of.” Julie muttered. I chuckled. “Go get some water. It’s fine.” I turned from them. “I’m ready now.” Ashlee snapped. I turned around and she was glaring at me. “Are you sure?” I asked. “Yes, I hate how you’re always giving me crap. You don’t think I feel bad enough for what I did to you?” She demanded. “I don’t know what you feel. I’m not you.” I countered calmly. She rolled her eyes. “You know what I mean.” She hissed. “I’m ready. Get your ass here on this mat and fight me.” I only stared at her. Then I shrugged. “If you insist.” I said to her. I got into a stance and she did the same.
Then she slowly walked around me. I watched her and felt her even when I couldn’t see her anymore. These two knew three different types of martial arts. One was defensive, one was universal and one was offensive. I didn’t know which one was going to be used here. But, I had to be ready for anything. Even offensive can be used as defense and vice versa. She came at me snake like. I dropped to the ground and rolled forward as she sailed over me and landed facing me.
Then I brought my hand out and she slapped it away and we punched, kicked and countered each other for quite some time. She used everything she learned into tight and well-focused attacks. We circled each other again and I feinted an attack to the left, but she anticipated that and moved right which allowed her to counter me. She grabbed my wrist and then I grabbed her arm and lifted it off. She pulled back and jumped up and bent backward. She almost managed a kick. But, I leaned back and avoided the strike. We went at this for quite some time. Even though she was exhausted from the training, she showed great stamina. We continued at it and then I spun behind her.
She crouched down and grabbed my arms and flipped me over and threw me across the room. I landed hard on my back and quickly flipped into the air and grabbed her foot that was two inches from my face. “You think you’re so special don’t you?” She demanded of me. “No, I don’t. I’ve never thought that. But, if you’re so jealous of me, why’d you date me?” I countered. She didn’t respond. She twisted out of my grip and rose into the air on a lightning bolt.
“I dated you because I knew you were different. You were special and I came to love you. But, I don’t know anymore who you are.” She snapped. “I haven’t changed.” I said. I don’t know what was holding her in the air, but small little dagger looking lightning bolts hovered all around her. “You may outclass me in combat. But, let’s see how you feel about magic!” She screamed. “You know I am immune to your magic.” I said and it wasn’t a brag. It was the truth. It didn’t faze her. She only laughed psychotically. That sent a cold chill up my spine. I just stood there with my arms crossed.
She then launched all the bolts at me and they sizzled and singed the air. They got within a foot of me and I watched her the entire time. She didn’t change her demeanor. At the last second, I conjured thick water bubbles that acted like a sponge and sucked up all the bolts of lightning. They shot electricity at the bubbles, but couldn’t break through. They zigzagged through the air. After a time they burst with all the energy and the heat released vaporized most of the water. Ashlee dropped back to the ground. “Well, well. You seem to be ready for everything. I must admit. You had me worried there for a second.” She said.
I snapped my fingers behind me and one large bolt got completely trapped by a water shield. She wasn’t mad about it. She only smiled. “Nicely done. “Are you testing me or trying to kill me?” I demanded. “Wanting to see if you really going to be the one who will save us. I think you are.” She told me and then she came up to me and kissed me. I was taken aback by that. She wrapped her arms around my neck and held me tightly to her. Her hands after a time slowly moved to my chest and then my jeans. They went to undo the belt. I pulled from her. “No.” I grumbled and walked away.
“What’s the matter?” She asked hurt and confused. “We are not doing that here.” I said stiffly. “Okay, we can go back to the bedroom?” She suggested. “No. You haven’t proven your loyalty to me yet. I don’t know if I want to be with you like that until I know you’re not just going to take me and leave me.” I said coldly and went to walk out. “You really think I would do that?” She asked in a quiet voice. “I don’t know what to expect!” I told her.
“You still have the same restraint as before. I admire that. But, when are you finally going to open up to me?” She asked me and then came up to me again. “I don’t know. When I know where you’re-“ I didn’t finish. “Sharla!” I shouted. It only took a few minutes before the fly appeared. She nodded and flew around Ashlee. She then landed on her shoulder and then shook violently. I took that as a bad sign. Sharla flew over to me then and landed on my shoulder.
She buzzed with excitement at me and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “You’re serious?” I asked her stunned. She nodded and pointed at her. I looked back at Ashlee and sighed in relief. She took it wrong though and got pissed off. “Well, fine. I’ll just leave you alone.” She snapped and stormed passed me. I created a water wall in front of her blocking her. “What are you-“ She didn’t finish. I grabbed her and kissed her passionately and held her firmly against me. She rubbed her hands up and down my back. I kissed her with everything I had in me. I felt the tears forming. She pulled away from me slightly.
“Matt? Why are you crying?” She asked me. I turned away from her and walked a few feet away and clasped my hands together tightly. “I’m…I’m just confused on what I should be feeling and what I should be doing right now.” I said. She rested a hand on my shoulders. “How do you want to be feeling?” She asked softly. “I want to know that those closest to me are truthful to me. I want to know that those I love the most won’t be killing me off. Or stabbing me in the back. I want to know that you’re all one hundred percent with me.” I said and turned around to face her.
She didn’t react at all. “You know we are working to live up to those expectations.” She said. “It’s not something you work at. If you really love me, it’s just something you do. If my cousin and friends who I trusted with my life care, then you fight for and with me. I will do the same. Now, do I have your complete trust? Are you on my side without question? If someone comes to you offering you power, wealth, whatever. Would you without hesitation or a second thought turn them down for me?” I asked.
She smiled and said, “Without a second thought. With a smile on my face, I would tell them to go fuck themselves.” I nodded without emotion. “I hope so. I know I’m taking a big risk in this. I know some people will kick my butt for trusting you.” She rolled her eyes. “It’s your life.” She said coldly. “I know. Watch the tone. He’s only looking out for me.” I said icily and then walked away from her. “Wait!” She called. I was out of the room down the hall. Julie was leaning against the wall and looked at me as I approached. “You know? I didn’t think you would be able to walk away from her.” She said.
“Why’s that?” I said with hostility. She stepped in front of me. “Matt. Stop.” She ordered. “What?” I asked. I crossed my arms in front of me and looked at her. “I’m not going to pretend that I’m completely on her side with this whole situation. But, I have to say. This week she’s been trying to help you. She’s been going on some seriously dangerous secret missions. We haven’t wanted to tell you about it. But, she thinks she found something. She’s been looking for something for you. She knows this past week, you’ve been obsessed with finding something to protect us all. So, please. Give her a break?” I glared.
“I want to. I really do. But, it’s going to take a lot more than some promises to make me completely trust her stabbing me literally in the heart.” I said and sidestepped around her. She grabbed me and slammed me into the wall. “You think that’s bad? Grow the fuck up.” She snapped. I gave her a shocked look. “Hey, Julie? What’s going on?” I turned to see Jaise walking up to us. “Oh, just giving your cousin some lessons in life and betrayal.” She said. “About what?” He asked her stepping closer to us.
“I am not fond of what Ashlee did. But, she’s been trying to find something that will help Matt. Something that will allow him to protect himself and protect us all. And he’s still pushing her away.” She snapped at me. “Matt, I don’t get that. You’re the one who’s always forgiving. Why has that changed?” He asked. I was stunned. “What?” I demanded. “You’re the one who always told me that I shouldn’t trust her! Now, you’re questioning me?” I asked in disbelief. “Well, yes. I’ve been going with her on the missions this past week and I know what she’s been going through. She had to complete more trials of rigorous tests than I could possibly explain. So, give her a break.” He told me.
I took in a deep breath. “You know? I’m shocked at you all. I have no doubt that I trust her and all of you completely. I know subconsciously I have trust for you all. But, I have to know that it’s returned and I have to feel it. If you all are going to attack me at every turn when my personal beliefs are shaken, then so be it. But, I will just be on my own then.” I said and stormed by them. Jaise body slammed me into the wall. “I don’t think so. You’re going to sit here and listen.” He said.
Julie blocked me from behind while Jaise stood in front of me. “What are you guys doing?” I asked. I wasn’t mad or pissed. I was confused and concerned. “Trying to make you see what you need to see.” Julie said. She grabbed me by the throat and slammed me into the all. She even picked me up and held me off the ground a few feet. I tried to break free, but I couldn’t. Something was blocking my strength and I don’t know what it was. “What’s going on here?” I glanced over to see Liam jogging up to us. Oh, no. I couldn’t deal with him attacking me too.
“Oh, good babe. We were just trying to convince Matt to start trusting Ashlee.” Julie told him. He gave them a blank look. “Yeah, see. I think that’s a dumb idea and thing to try and force him until she proves herself. He should trust her to an extent. But, she’s got to prove herself to him and us.” He said. “You aren’t on our side?” She demanded of him. “You know I am. But, this isn’t the way.” He told her. Jaise launched a fire bolt at him and a thick rock took the blast. It shattered into dust. “You’re going to have to do better than that man.” He told him.
Julie waved her hand around and tossed a thick, white and bright curtain and Liam was ready for that as well. A thick bush grew out of the ground and it had spikes on it. It shot up in the air caught the curtain. Then it spun and began to shred it. “Come on people. Is that all you have?” He asked. He punched Jaise as hard as he could and he went flying. He pulled Julie’s hands from my throat. “We are going.” He snapped and steered me away and into the throne room. Tom was there with the security team. “Is his guards ready for one hundred percent duty now?” Liam demanded.
“Actually yes. They are finishing up now. Melinda said they passed everything and are ready for active duty. I know they’ve been off and on before. But, why do you sound so urgent?” Tom asked. “Well, some people have been acting strange and attacked him. He needs to be guarded now.” Liam told him. I didn’t say anything. “Matt?” Tom asked looking at me. I barely met his eyes. “What’s the matter with him?” Liam shrugged. I slowly walked around them and kept my head down. I don’t know what was going on with me.
What was stopping me from fighting? Why didn’t I protect myself when Julie and Jaise attacked me? I can’t remember being that weak even as a human. I said, I’m going to go to my room.” I slouched away. “Hey, wait a damn minute.” Tom shouted. I froze and gave him a scared look. What was happening to me? I wondered. He reached into my shirt in the back and I freaked out. I flipped him through the air and sent him flying with a kick. He zipped through the air and crashed into the far wall. On impact, a huge chunk of rock and concrete smashed on the ground and he lay in a heap on the ground. I froze in shock and fear. What had the hell? Liam charged towards him to make sure he was okay. He helped Tom to his feet. He seemed okay. He just gave me a hurt look. “Tom, I’m so sorry. I don’t know what happened.” I said.
“I do. This.” He said holding out his hand. “What is it?” Liam asked. “It’s some kind of shadow gem. It sends fears and doubts into someone. If left unchecked, it leaves them useless and eventually will cause them to suicide.” He said giving me a blank look. “I’m sorry.” I said. I was starting to feel better. I walked over to him. He inched back. I raised my hands up in surrender. He crushed the gem in his hands and the doubt went away in a flash. I trembled and looked around in confusion. “Are you okay?” Liam asked me. “Y-yeah, I think so. But, what just happened to me?” I asked. “Someone was controlling you with a shadow gem.” Tom said looking at me with a guarded look.
“Tom, I am so sorry about what just happened. I don’t know why I freaked out like that.” I told him. He looked at me again and then walked over to me. “You’re a lot stronger than you look.” He said with a half grin. “He’s of royal powers. He’s actually probably a match for any of the council. But, he doesn’t have Jason’s or Ran’s strength or power.” I looked around. “So, how is everyone doing with training?” I asked. “Oh, I think it’s all coming along pretty well.” Tom told me. “It’s almost time to continue building the ceiling.” Liam commented. “Let me help this time.” I said.
“You sure? I thought you were still somewhat weak from the last time you almost killed yourself?” He asked. “Well, I’ve gotten better and with the other vampires helping me and lending each other our strength, it shouldn’t be too bad. Besides, we have to get it done soon. We don’t know how much longer we have before we are attacked.” I said. “Are you sure we are going to get attacked?” Someone asked. “I am pretty sure.” I replied and then walked out of the room, down the steps and across the courtyard.
Other vampires were already waiting there. “Matt, hey. What’s going on? Are we not creating the roof anymore?” A girl asked. “Oh, we are. I am just going to lend a hand.” I told her. They all seemed to grow nervous. “What’s the matter?” I asked. “They are intimidated by you!” Liam said laughing. “Why?” I asked feeling my face burn. “They know how much of the roof that you created on your own. It may not seem like much, but one vampire using three elements at the same time to get sixty feet on all sides of this…mountain range which is about two-hundred miles across? That’s pretty impressive.” He said.
“It wasn’t a big deal. So, how have you been doing it? All focusing together, or lending your strength to someone?” I asked. “Mostly just casting together.” Liam told me. Then he looked at me and then the ceiling. “But, I think we should try that channeling spell again. Or is it called linking?” He asked. “I think it’s linking. I know how to do it. But, only if they are willing.” I said. “What’s linking?” A boy about my age asked.
“It’s where you all link your powers, strength and life together and imbue someone with it. So, that person has the strength and power of everyone involved. Now, the positive side it creates someone with massive power for a time while the spell is active. But, the downside is if one of the linked is killed, everyone is killed.” I said. “You are going to make us do this without telling us?!” A girl asked freaking out. I didn’t even try to speak until everyone calmed down a bit. “Of course not. I was going to ask you if you would be willing. It would take a lot of trusts. But, you wouldn’t be defenseless. Tom!” I shouted.
He came running over and looked at me in shock. “What did I do?” He asked. I rolled my eyes. “Nothing. Where’s security?” I asked. “They are doing rounds and patrolling the tunnels and forests.” He explained. “Call a group of them over here.” I said. He nodded and looked confused. He got on the radio and called for ten of his soldiers. “I have my best men on their way. I don’t know what’s going on.” He said looking at me. “I want them to watch over us while we cast our spell. It’s going to put us in a vulnerable spot.” I said. “I don’t know about this.” Another boy said apprehensively.
“You don’t think Matt is going to let anything happen to you do you?” A young girl asked. “Well, no since it will kill him too.” The boy mumbled. I smiled lightly at him. “You’re all going to be fine. I’ll keep an eye out for you all. I have no intention of dying today or allowing anyone dying either.” I said. The guards came walking up. “Matt! How are you!?” Christina asked. “I’m good. “What’s going on?” Lucas asked. You could tell they were brother and sister. Both with long golden straight hair. Bright baby blue eyes and a warming smile. “We need you to guard us while we cast our spell.” They all agreed without issue. “Are you guys willing to do this? If any of you is having doubts about your safety. Speak now.” I told them.
I could sense that a few of them were scared, but they all knew what needed to be done. “I’m freaking out. But, I know what has to be done.” They all formed a circle and held hands. “Matt, you need to be in the middle.” They let me through and then reformed the circle. They tightened in and I was able to touch both sides. “What do we need to do?” A boy asked. “It’s simple. I’ll cast the spell and all you have to do are agree and offer your strength to me.” They all nodded and some looked nervous but ready.
“Power of the circle around me. Powers within the heart and soul. Grant me your strength to protect us all. Combine your powers with me to shield us from thy enemy. Do you offer me your power?” I asked the group. Every single one shouted, “Yes!” Their combined strength lifted me into the air and flowed through me. I spread my hands outward toward the sky. Earth, ice and fire sheets spread towards the sky and with all the magic from the others.
The entire top of the mountain range in the sky ended up in a swirl of colors. It kind of looked like a compressed tornado. The three elements shot out bolts of energy and it looked like a lightning storm of fire, ice and multi-colored leaves and rocks. A translucent curtain formed over the sky and it showed what needed to be filled in. I noticed a couple of the vampires start to look pale. It has been an hour and I started using my strength with a higher focus. It cut off the major toll on the others. But, after a few hours, they all were feeling it. I used full power then.
Sweat started to form and it drenched my shirt in moments. Another ten minutes, and I said, “Okay, that’s enough. You’re all too taxed and I don’t want you to push your limits.” I said. “No, we are fine.” A girl gasped. But, I noticed something off. I looked around and saw only a handful of those around me suffering from exhaustion. Most seemed just fine. I closed my eyes and I reached out to them. “So, I see you’re avoiding by giving me your full strength and that’s putting the strain on the others. I’m going to take your strength and give the others a break.” I told them.
And that’s exactly what I did. “Hey, you’re stealing our power!” A boy screamed. “No, I’m borrowing. You don’t get to let the others suffer when you agreed to help! This isn’t just to protect me or you. It’s to keep us all safe, or have you forgotten that important detail?!” I said loudly. Another three hours and I got the ceiling a quarter of the way complete. I released them from the spell then and I landed softly on my feet while they all collapsed in exhaustion. I stood there panting. The medical team showed up helped the vampires to the feeding ward. I could see the outline of what needed to be covered and Jaise and Liam appeared around me.
“Matt?” Jaise asked looking sheepish. “Yeah?” I said without emotion. “I wanted to apologize for what I did. I didn’t know what came over me. But, there was a tainted fire gem on me and Liam noticed something on the back of my neck. Fire gems are usually used to give someone a fighting spirit. But, a tainted one makes them have the fighting spirit. But, it works in the opposite of what the person truly believes is the cause worth fighting for.” He said.
“Wait, so you were on my side to be a little unsure of believing Ashlee? And the fire gem made you go against that belief?” I asked him stunned. “Yes, that’s what the gem made me feel. It made me feel like going on her side is the only thing to believe. But, I am better now.” He said. I nodded and then asked, “Julie?” She stepped up next to Liam. “Yeah, same thing. Tainted Holy gem. Holy gems are made to make the wearer relaxed and more focused. But, a tainted one puts the person on edge and causes them to go insane with paranoia.” She told me.
“How does that fit with how you were acting?” I wondered. “Well, I was slowly going insane and thinking that you needed to fully trust in her and everything she does and I would have gotten paranoid eventually about why you weren’t.” She told me. “So, who do you think put those on us?” “Ashlee?” Liam asked. I shook my head. “No, I am betting there’s more to this than meets the eye.” I said. I saw Ashlee coming at us and I walked over to her.
“Are you here to yell at me some more?” She said harshly. “No. I just want to check something on your neck.” I said. She glared at me and then she turned scared. “Okay.” She said. I went to see what was there and I saw a yellow gem. I tried to reach for it, but she freaked out and started throwing punches and kicks and I did everything to dodge them and avoid getting hit. “Woah! Ashlee, calm down!” I yelled. “No, you’re touching me! I don’t like that!” She screamed with hostility in her voice.
“Since when?” A boy muttered across the yard. I glared at him and he looked away. I turned back towards her. “Ashlee, I’m not going to hurt you. Trust me. You want me to trust you, so you’re going to have to trust me.” She stopped and shook violently. Tears formed in her eyes and she looked petrified. “Is it a-“ I silenced Julie with a look. I slowly walked behind her again and touched her on the arm and the shoulder to let her know where I was and then I lightly crushed the gem between my fingers. She shuddered hard and then she would have collapsed on the ground, but I caught her.
“Are you okay?” She asked. She blinked and looked at me. “Yeah, I think so. What happened?” She asked. Lightning gem. It was making your emotions go random. Unpredictable.” I said to her. She groaned. “Just like lightning.” I nodded. I helped her to her feet. “So, is everyone okay? Or do we have to worry about others being affected by the gems as well?” Julie asked. “Well, Tom and Liam weren’t targeted yet. So, either they are behind it, which I doubt one hundred percent.” I said ignoring their glares. “Or they are next.” I stated. “Oh, I think you just covered your sexy ass there at the last part.” Ashlee mumbled to me. I rolled my eyes. “Okay, then. Now, we have to figure out what’s happening now. On top of everything else? Should be easy, who wants cake!?” I asked.
No one knew what to say for a moment. “Um, seriously?” Tom asked. “Of course. I never joke about cake.” I said straight-faced. Everyone burst out laughing and I couldn’t help but join them. Once the laughing fit was over, we decided to get something to eat. We sat around the largest table in the commons and I never felt so at ease. Ashlee sat next to me, and this time, I didn’t mind. Draven sat across the hall, and when he noticed us he came over and joined. He squeezed in between Jaise and Tom. Tom looked up at him with a shocked, pleasant and sheepish smile. Draven smiled back and then asked, “So, what’s up? Haven’t I seen any of you guys in a while and Matt? We have some catching up to do!” He said.
“Oh, I know! How about tonight?” I asked. He smiled and Tom gave me a strange look. I winked at him. “Drave? Would you mind if Tom joins us?” He looked at Tom and shrugged. “Na. But, no other people!” He said glaring and looking around.” No one said anything and chuckled. We finished eating and then we all got up. “Okay, Tom? Drave? My room. We can have a game night or horror movie and laugh at the screen moment.” They all laughed. “Okay, seven?” I nodded and Tom nodded eagerly. Draven vanished and Tom turned towards me. “Thanks, man.” I smiled.
“Tom, you know I’m not into him like that right?” I asked. I caught him off guard and he flushed a bright red. “Um, well, what makes you think that I was…” The look you gave me when I asked him to hang out with me tonight.” I told him. I didn’t think it was possible for his face to burn any brighter. “Oh.” That’s all he said. “Tom, he was my best friend growing up and continues to be. We used to talk all the time. You have nothing to fear. If you want to be with him romantically. I’m not going to stop you.” I told him.
“How do I know if he likes me or not?” I smiled. “Oh, don’t worry. He’ll tell you. He’s never been shy about any of that.” I said. He nodded. I went to see Melinda after that leaving Tom with his thoughts. She had me working with a bastard sword. The sword is long and large. Awkward for some and it had to look funny in my size. I held it in one hand. It felt feather light. “I don’t know too many vampires that can use a sword like that one-handed.” She said. “Why’s that? It’s not that heavy.” I said. “Heavy? No. Awkward.” I looked at her. Was she reading my mind? I wondered.
“No, I’m not.” She said. I gave her a blank look. “Your face gives much away. These are going to be some tricks you’ll learn if you want to survive on the battlefield.” She told me. “Hiding my facial expressions?” I asked. “No. Reading people. You can bet the seasoned vampire warriors are going to be able to be able to anticipate your moves. You’re going to have to be at the top of your game if you’re going to take them.” She said. I gave her a hard look. “So, are you going to want to fight soon with everything we have? No holding back. Whoever gets a stake through the heart is the loser kind of fight?” I asked.
“Well, yes. But, not necessarily to the death. We will have stakes, but they won’t be able to kill.” She told me. “When would you like to do this fight?” I asked. “Soon, when everyone has mastered as much as they can. We don’t know how much time we have and you’re pushing yourself to the limits with building the ceiling.” She told me. “You’d rather I didn’t?” I asked. “No! We need it. But, I want to fight you at the top of your game. Not when you’re weakened by excessive magical use. But, we have talked enough for now. Let’s train.” She said and then attacked me. I blocked and countered and parried. Our swords sliced through the air and she rolled and picked up another sword. She blocked and spun and brought the left sword up and sliced down with the right.
I blocked both of them and spun away sending both swords upward. She rolled back and I came at her this time. She was ready for me, though. She blocked and countered me and brought the left sword around and spun around me dropping the right at my shoulders. But, I was ready for her. I blocked the left and ducked under the right. We went at it like that for a few hours, before she conceded a draw. “You’ve been really keeping up haven’t you?” She asked. I nodded. “I think it’s time for a break,” Melinda said.
A month passed and the ceiling was almost completed. Only about a mile remained of the ceiling and it looked really solid. I don’t know how long it would hold against an air raid, but I think it will, at least, slow them down. I checked the maps of the castle frequently and went to find the best places for the people to get to the areas to teleport to Nexus. I really had to figure out the best course of action. “Matt!” I turned to see Draven jogging up to me. “What’s up?” I asked. “Um, have you seen Tom?” He asked. I shook my head.
“He said he wanted to ask me something and wanted me to meet him at the large oak tree by the woods, but he never showed up and it’s been three hours,” He told me. “You must really have a lot of patience to wait that long,” I told him. He smiled. “Well, I think Tom is cute and it’s obvious he wants to date me. He’s so innocent.” I frowned. “You’re not going to just use him are you?” I asked. Draven looked offended. “What?! No, of course not! I like him. I think he’s cute. I won’t deny that I’ve had sex before. But, hasn’t he? But, that’s not the point. No, I don’t want just sex with him. I want a real relationship and I think he wants the same thing.”
I nodded. “I don’t know if he’s active or not. That’s not my business. But, I will help you look for him if you want.” I told him. He nodded and sighed with relief. “Thanks. It isn’t like him to do this. Every other time he wanted to meet up, he was there early. I don’t know what’s happened this time.” He told me. “Well, don’t worry. We’ll find him.” I pulled out my phone and typed in Tom’s name. It scanned the area and found him in the dungeons. “I don’t know what he’s doing down there, but he’s in the dungeons. You know where they are?” I asked him.
He shook his head. Dread filled me, but I said, “Come on. I’ll show you.” We crossed the courtyard and I saw Liam approaching. “Something wrong?” He asked when he saw us. “We don’t know. We are going to see Tom.” I told him. “You know where he is?” Draven nodded. “He’s in the dungeons.” Liam grew shocked and looked at me. “Are you-“ “I’m fine.” I interrupted. “What’s the big deal?” Draven asked. “It’s nothing. We should go.” I said and pulled him along. I could feel Liam staring at me the entire time.
“What was that about?” He asked. “Oh, it was nothing. Don’t worry.” We walked through the front doors. “Where in the dungeons is he?” Drave asked. I checked the phone again. He’s in the middle at the end on the right.” I told him. “Okay, thanks!” He said and then started walking in the wrong way. “Uh, Draven?” He turned around and I pointed behind the steps. “It’s that way.” He flushed and nodded. I walked towards the gates and Ashlee appeared in front of me. “Where are you going?” She asked suspiciously.
“He’s looking for Tom. For some reason, he’s down in the dungeons. I’m going to show him where he is at.” She glared at Drave and gave me a scared look. “After what you’ve been through!?” She asked. I just shook my head. “What?” Drave asked. “Nothing.” I said. “Damn it, Matt. Tell him how you almost died there at least twice! How you were tortured and bullied. Humiliated and forced to suffer!” She demanded. I felt my face heat up and I just snapped. “Oh, thanks for shouting everything I went through to the entire castle. Thanks for keeping my embarrassing moments in my life, a secret. Thanks for breaking your promise.” She only looked at me in shock and then I stormed passed her.
“Matt?” Drave asked. I didn’t stop and I pretended to like I didn’t hear him. I made it to the landing to the dungeons before he grabbed my arm and turned me around. “What?” I said coldly. “What was she talking about?” He asked. “It was nothing. It’s in the past. So, don’t worry about it.” I said and tried to continue on but he held me. “Matt, I know we haven’t talked in a while. But, please. I still feel like you’re my best friend. Please talk to me.” I took in a shaky breath and said, “I was brought to the dungeons by the old school master and she and a couple colleagues attacked me and tortured me almost to death. I was also framed for trying to kill one of the vampire council members and sentenced to my death in the basement of the dungeons and no one knew where I was or how to find me. Had I to fight and survive for a week? I think. Or maybe longer. I don’t know. Time got a little off while I was down there. But, I was freezing and basically nude. But, I got out. It’s not a big deal. I have to thank the gods for helping me, though.” I said.
“Gods? Like ‘the’ God?” He asked. “No, gods. Lower-cased. Kind of like Greek gods? But, they weren’t Greek.” He nodded. “You make it sound like it’s not a big deal. But-“ I cut him off. “It’s not a big deal. I’m fine from the experience. It doesn’t bother me.” I said and walked down the steps. My heart was pounding in my chest. But, I wasn’t going to let it stop me. We continued down the steps and then Julie teleported right in front of me. “You know? Are you guys able to pop all over the place now that the magic protection is down? Why do you all insist on trying to annoy me?” I asked. “We are making sure you’re one hundred sure of what you’re doing.” She said. “We?” I asked.
“We.” Jaise said from behind me. “What the fuck are you all doing!?” I screamed. Julie blinked at me in shock. “I don’t think I am used to him using that kind of language.” She said. I glared at them and the temperature dropped eighty degrees. Ice formed on the walls, stairs, and floor. Our breaths misted in front of us. Everyone began to shiver and tremble. Jaise tried to counter it with fire magic, but he wasn’t a match for it.
“Matt, what are you doing?” He stammered. His teeth clattering. They both were rubbing their arms from the cold. “What does it look like I’m doing? I’m showing how pissed off I am.” I said. Drave looked confused. “I see the ice, but I don’t feel it.” He muttered. “Lucky you.” Julie stuttered. “How about you all leave me alone and let me do this.” I suggested and walked past them. Drave followed me but he seemed scared. “Matt!” Jaise tried to scream, but it turned out to be a loud whisper. I turned towards giving him a cold expression.
“You’re not dealing…with your emotions or fears.” He said and dropped to the ground violently rubbing his arms and trying to warm up. His magic was useless against mine. Julie wasn’t any better off. “Jaise, I know what I’m doing.” I told him. “Are you sure?” He asked. I nodded. “You went through a lot down here. You were tortured endlessly and bullied. You were sent to die and Julie sensed your mind was almost destroyed by fear. You almost went insane.” I blinked and frowned. “What are you talking about?” I asked turning towards Julie.
“It’s true Matt. When Jacob and Derek saved you from that small chamber. Your mind was on the verge of snapping. It took some seriously powerful magic and some tender touches to prevent you from snapping from the pain and fear you were radiating.” She said. “I wasn’t afraid.” I said too defensively. “Yes, yes you were. But, that’s nothing to be ashamed of.” She said and then I noticed their skin turned a bright white and her lips were turning blue.
I snapped my fingers and a bright almost blinding blue light appeared and the entire staircase began to steam from the increased temperature. The ice melted and the water turned to vapor. Several minutes passed before they moved. Jaise shakily climbed to his feet. Julie remained where she was sitting, but she watched me warily. “I don’t know why you’re fighting us. You have nothing to be ashamed of.” She said. “I’m not ashamed!” I screamed. “Matt, I think you are.” I turned an icy glare at Drave. He took in a large breath but he didn’t back down. “They are only trying to look out for you.” He told me.
I sighed in annoyance. “You don’t think I know that?” They all shrugged. “I don’t know what you believe. But, please if they can help you. Let them.” He told me. I turned to them and then fear struck me. I don’t know where it was coming from. “I am sorry. I can’t! Go three floors and follow it to the end. I have to go!” I said and ran back up the steps. I didn’t feel like teleporting anywhere. I ran away from everything. I couldn’t face the dungeons. They were right. I felt someone behind me. I didn’t stop and I burst through the front doors into the courtyard.
I passed staff and students and they all looked at me in confusion. I don’t know who was behind and right now I didn’t care. I ran towards the forests and I tried to get lost in the trees. But, I skidded to a stop when I saw who was standing there giving me a dark smirk. “Trisha?” I gasped. I couldn’t believe it was her. “Oh, hell to you too Matt. It’s been so long. I was hoping we could catch up.” She said wickedly. I didn’t say anything. I almost forgot to breathe. Seeing her made me forget everything I learned over the years. All the growth I have gone through. I felt like I was back from school and I felt weak again. I felt like I couldn’t do anything. No matter what I did, she always found a way to counter me.
Whenever I did manage to get one up on her, she found a way to get back at me twice as hard. So, I never won anything. I felt like that again. I felt human and weak. I didn’t feel like I had the strength to beat her just like before. “What do you want?” I asked, my voice shaking. A cold sweat began to form. “Oh, I was only hoping to talk. But, since you’re so untrustworthy of me. I think it’s time to set your mind at ease.” She said to me.
“What do you mean?” I asked. “Oh, well. I wanted to come clean about everything you’ve been within the dungeons. I am the one who found a way to summon the ghosts that attacked that council member? You remember what’s his face? Well, anyways. She was me. So, you have framed thanks to me.” She told me with a smile. I blinked at her. I couldn’t move.
It felt like I was frozen in place. “Oh, yes. I forgot. When you were human. Remember? Yeah, I was the one who tricked Nergal, and it didn’t take much, into thinking you were the Matt from the prophecy. But, you want to honestly know what he said to us? Oh, and thank includes, my father, and Tom? He said he didn’t care if you were the Matt from the prophecy. He was going to kill you anyways. Somehow though obviously, you were able to convince him not to. I can still see you’re the scared boy you couldn’t make any friends and girls thought you were creepy and weird. Of course, I am sure I didn’t help with that.” She said. Her voice even sounded like ice cracking. It grated on my nerves. But, it only added to the coldness of her.
She turned her head and I saw a black and diamond streak in her hair. “H-how did you get two streaks?” I demanded. She smiled and it was a creepy site. “Oh, there’s some ancient beings who practiced two elements and instead of just one. I got shadow and ice. You know? These two elements really work out very well together. I have to say. She was a powerful witch as well.” Trisha shot a cone of frost at me and I thought it wasn’t going to affect me. But, I was launched into a tree and my hands and ankles were frozen to it. “Oh, you’re not so immune now are you?” She asked mockingly.
“How?! Are you royal as well?” I asked in fear. “No, but I soon will be. I’m going to still your power. I’m going to steal your immunity. You are affected by me because you let yourself grow weak! You doubt your own strength and powers and now you are suffering for it. You don’t deserve them. Your own doubts are going to kill you.” She said smiling. No, please! I had to find a way out of this. I had to. But, I couldn’t. I tried and nothing worked. Even my own magic wouldn’t work. I saw Gideon fading in and out of focus a few feet away and he looked depressed. He gave me a look that broke my heart.
“I’m sorry.” I whispered. Trisha gave me a look. “Who are you talking to?” She wondered. “It doesn’t matter.” She finally stated. I was really regretting the people who I lost. Now, I’ll never be able to tell them how sorry I was. She set tendrils of shadows at me and they wrapped around my upper arms and lower legs. I could feel their teeth biting through my clothes and flesh. Blood dripped down and they were drinking from me. Then I noticed that they weren’t separated from her. They were connected to one big rope. She was gasping.
“Oh, god yes. Your power! You don’t deserve it!” She said. It sounded like she was getting off from it. Gross! I thought. She then looked at me. Oh, your wind magic is powerful. I’m going to enjoy tossing people around.” She said. I don’t know how long she fed on me, but my vision started to go fuzzy and I couldn’t find the strength to struggle anymore. “Oh, wow. Sorry, I’m late to the party.” I heard someone say, but I couldn’t see who. “Who are you?” Trisha demanded. “I’m a friend.” He said, but I couldn’t tell from who. Although, she acted like she didn’t know him, which made it seem like a good thing for me.
“You know you’re killing him right?” The man asked in such an obvious way I could almost see her are you stupid or just unobservant? Look. “That’s kind of the point.” She stated. Then I felt a gust of wind and I feared for the newcomer. “Oh, you’re going to have to do better than that!” He said and a piercing scream filled the air. “You stopped me from feeding!” She snapped. “Oh, yes. You know? It’s a major crime to steal the powers from another vampire. Unless it’s decreed okay by Zach.”
I tried to break free and I couldn’t move yet. My heart was pounding in my chest. Slowly, my vision returned and I saw Liam facing off with Trisha. “You don’t have the power to beat her.” I gasped out. Liam only laughed. “Oh, ye of little faith!” He said to me. She launched an icy wind at him. Liam was more than prepared. The dirt rose up from the ground and formed a solid wall. It took the blunt of the attack. It crumbled back into the ground. Then he went on the offensive. He snapped his fingers and the trees stretched out and the roots popped up from the ground.
“Who are you?” She snapped. “I’m his friend. I’m also his cousin’s best friend and he’s like an older brother to me. So, that would make this punk,” he said with a wink towards me, “Family. I don’t let people mess with family.” Liam said coldly. “I don’t understand this. He’s weak. He’s pathetic. Why protect him? I could be so much more useful than him.” Trisha said coldly. Without hesitation. “I would rather lose the world with Matt trying to save it. Then have someone like you actually save it. I could see that being a worse evil than the world losing.” Liam said to her. The trees reached and grabbed her.
She tried to use the wind magic she took from me, but she couldn’t find enough force to counter him. “What’s happening to my magic?!” She screamed. “Oh, see. The magic isn’t yours. It’s his. So, the wind magic is returning to where it belongs. You can’t steal magic.” Liam said again. “Who made that rule up?” Trisha demanded. “I did.” I turned to see Zach leaning against the tree closest to Trisha.
“Who the hell are you?” Zach didn’t even scowl or look offended by her tone and question. “Why I am the god of vampires. I was tempted to choose you to fail in the ritual to make you a vampire. But, I wanted to watch Matt kick your ass in the final fight.” He said. Zach turned towards me and smiled at me. He waved his hands and the ice around my hands and ankles shattered and I fell to the ground. “Fight? He didn’t put up much of a fight!” She snarled. “I said the final fight you, daft bimbo.” Zach snapped. Liam helped me to my feet. What was he talking about? If I couldn’t beat her now. I wasn’t going to be able to beat her in any kind of fight. How was I going to be able to do that? I wondered.
Trisha pulled out a stake and before I could shout, jammed it into Zach’s back. He gasped in surprise and then fell to the ground on his knees. What had the hell? Was she really able to kill a god!? I wondered. She walked up behind him and whispered, “You? A god. You don’t have any power.” She said. “Oh? He asked. Quicker than I could catch, he held the stake in his hand. “You think you’re more powerful than me? Let’s find out.” He said and then he grabbed her wrists and flipped her through the air and her somersaulted over the ground. She blasted through five trees, causing them to fall.
Zach stood up and sighed. “Vampires. They think they have more power than anyone.” He turned towards us. I took a step back in fear. “What the hell is wrong with him?” Zach asked Liam. “I don’t know. He’s been acting weird these past few days.” He told the god. Zach continued to study me and I was starting to feel self-conscious. “Would you stop staring? You’re giving me the creeps.” I said. Liam sucked in a large breath and said, “Watch how you speak to him.” He warned me in fear. Zach only sighed.
“He needs to get his confidence back. That’s the only way he’s going to get out of this okay.” Liam gave him a confused look. “His confidence? What’s wrong with it?” He asked. “He lost it. It must be that shadow gem he had on him. It’s still in his system. But, there’s no cure. He has to find the strength within himself.” Zach said and then vanished. Liam gently placed a hand on my shoulder and I shrugged it off. “Thanks for coming,” I muttered. I could feel him frowning at me. I walked towards the school and Trisha appeared in front of me with a wicked and royally pissed off glare. “You will die now.”
Liam appeared right next to me. “I don’t need a fucking god to get rid of an annoying twat!” He shouted and then something happened to his streak. It began to glow brightly and then a different color began to form in it. An aura pulsed around him. “Liam?” I asked in shock. The brightly green streak mixed with a bright blue color like the ocean. The aura faded away and Liam was left standing there looking dazed. Trisha took the advantage of his moment of weakness and sent him flying. I stepped in front of her to try and attack. But, I couldn’t get any magic to work. She went to punch me.
I brought my hand up to block, and my strength failed me as well. I was sent flying and cracked into a tree. I looked at her through a daze and she stalked towards me. Liam tackled her to the ground. “You aren’t going to hurt him.” He snarled. “You think you can stop me?” She snapped back. He only gave her a bone-chilling smile. He flipped her over and then pointed his pointer finger, and his ring finger at her with his middle finger and pinky pointing upwards. Through the fingers pointing up, they caused the ground to rupture and water burst forth.
It created a barrier around the two of us and with the other thick cracked and jagged vines shot up from the ground and from the trees and small mini vines grew from the thicker vines and grabbed rocks. So, each vine waved and twirled thousands of rocks around. The water shot forward and encased Trisha. She tried to scream, but the water filled her lungs and she looked like she was suffocating. “You think you’re the strongest vampire in the world? I think not.” He said.
The vines shot forward and cut through the water assaulting her. Thick cuts and scrapes covered her face and the water even turned a dark red. It swirled together. “Liam?” I asked uncertainly. He turned and smiled at me reassuringly. I walked up to him and stood next to him. The vines continued their assault on her. The water slowly faded away and she lay on the ground gasping for breath and spitting up water. Several larger vines came and wrapped around her. She rose in the air and they held her tightly. “You’re going to die now,” He told her.
“Hey, what’s going on?” I saw Tom approaching. He rushed over and saw Trisha in the air. He tackled Liam and threw him on the ground. The vines dissolved and Trisha teleported out of there. Liam launched to his feet and with an open palm, faced Tom. Water and rocks shot out. Tom formed a small shield in front of him that shimmered blackness. The water and rocks passed right through it. He kept the blast up and with a snap of his fingers, a tree root came up and wrapped around Tom’s leg. He shrieked when it launched him into the air.
But, he kept his shield up. “Hey!” Jaise shouted with Julie and Ashlee running over to see what was going on. Julie and Jaise tackled Liam again and pinned him against a nearby tree. I rushed out of the way. I stumbled forward and I dropped to my knees. Ashlee caught Tom and held him tightly. Drave was right behind him and took Tom from her. She came up to me and forced me to look into her eyes. “Matt, what’s going on with you?” She demanded.
“I don’t know. Just leave me alone.” I said and jumping to my feet, began to take off further into the woods. “I can’t let him go.” I heard her say. “You have to. He needs to find the strength on his own. We can’t help him.” I heard Jaise said sounding concerned. I could literally feel her heart breaking. By this point, I was out of earshot. I have no idea what they were saying. But, I had too much to think about as it was. I couldn’t deal with them at the moment. I had to get myself clear headed and I don’t know what I could do to make that happen. Something was changing in me.
Something was affecting me to the point where all the vows I made myself went right out the window. Something was blocking my confidence. I stopped next to a tree and gasped. I couldn’t run the school anymore. I couldn’t be the leader. I didn’t have the strength or will to be in charge. I should never have been appointed that role. I don’t even know why I chose it! I screamed as loud as I could. It kind of sounded like a car trying to start and an inhuman howl. I pointed my finger up at the star lit sky. I focused all my thoughts on the message and then shot it in the air.
“I’m sorry for this. Jaise, Ashlee? You’re now in charge of the school until I return. If I return.”
“I hoped they didn’t come looking for me. The message kind of morphed into a cross between fire and lightning. Kind of fitting since I put in charge a fire and lightning user. I kept on going and began to run again. I stopped a shorter distance away and collapsed against a tree. Tears sprang to my eyes and I tried to control the flood, but couldn’t. I didn’t have the strength to stop them. I couldn’t hold them back. I cried. I bawled my eyes out then and I ended up gasping for breath. I don’t know how much time passed. But, I felt someone watching me. “Who’s there?” I demanded.
I stood up and wiped at my eyes. No one said anything and I felt like I was imagining someone looking at me, and then I noticed a glow behind a giant thick bush. “Who’s there?” I demanded again. Whoever it was, didn’t say anything or move. I slowly walked up behind the bush and I noticed it was a boy. He couldn’t have been older than ten. He was looking ahead and looked confused. “So, maybe you should have said something?” I asked from behind him.
He tried to run past me and I blocked him. He punched at me and I slapped his hand away. I went to hit him and he wasn’t fast enough. I struck hard but instead knocking him down, I felt my bones in my hand shatter. I screamed from the pain. He only looked confused. “That was new.” He said to me. His voice kind of high. His voice hadn’t changed. “Who are you?” I demanded to try to not shout in pain. I could feel the bones reforming and healing. “I’m Robert. Angel of relaxation and lust.” I looked at him in a funny way. “Lust? You serious? You’re like ten.” I said.
He glared at me. “Yeah? Well, I have some tricks up my sleeve.” He said and I didn’t even realize it was seductive. I only stared at him. He walked up to me and then grabbed me by the hair. He tossed me on the ground. He climbed over me and sat down on my chest. I tried to push him off, but he was too heavy. Too strong to lift him off. “You won’t be able to move me.” He told me with a seducing smile. He then put his hands under my shirt and began to rub my chest lightly. I couldn’t believe how good it felt. I couldn’t believe I was liking it!
“Oh, kid. You’re so tense.” He said in a velvety voice. He got off of me and lifted me up. He put me down cross-legged on the ground and then tore off my shirt. He knelt behind me and began massage my shoulders and back. I felt myself relax and the tension just slips away. He then began to work down my back and got the kinks out. Then my arms. He lay me down on my stomach and I lay my hands down at my side. He slowly turned me over and worked on my chest and stomach. I had a wide smile on my face and I was almost in dreamland when I felt him unbuckling my belt.
I snapped awake and sat up. “Whoa, there. I’m not okay with that.” He gave me a sad smile. “You’re homophobic?” He asked. I felt the hurt in his voice and I gave him a frown. “No, but I…I have never been naked in front of someone before.” I said with heat invading my face. He only gave me a gentle smile. “Oh. Don’t worry. Just relax. I am not going to judge. I’m just here to make you relaxed and happy.” He told me. He slowly continued to work on the belt and I lost my will to fight him. What was happening to me? I wondered.
His hands were good at making you relax and then he worked down my legs. I knew it was weird. But, he crossed a line that I couldn’t stop. He started rubbing towards my groin and I couldn’t stop him. I didn’t have any control over my arms. It was like his relaxing technique forced me into submission and prevented me from moving. “Oh, you’re not going to mind. You’re going enjoy this. I promise.” He said and I felt my penis respond. It jumped in my boxers. “Oh, so you do like it.” He smiled at me and all I could do was stare helplessly. He pulled down my boxers and gaped at me.
“Holy crap! That’s a big cock you have here!” He said with a high voice. I flushed and he went to touch it. “Please, no!” I squeaked out. “You forgot about something. I’m the lost angel. You can’t help it. It’s going to feel great!” He said all cheery. A blast of icy wind came from nowhere and Robert was tossed several feet. With his spell broken, I was able to grab some wits about me and pull up my underwear and crawl away. I pulled my legs up to my chest and wrapped my arms around them against a tree.
I didn’t even think it was important to grab my jeans. “You know this is wrong!” Another male voice snapped. “How else am I supposed to get laid!?” The boy wailed. It sounded so wrong hearing a ten-year-old say that. “You’re ten-thousand years old! You should be able to control your urges. Besides, angels don’t need sex.” I looked up to see a man in his late twenties with short spiky blond hair and a chiseled face. His arms were large and well-muscled. He wore an open flannel shirt and khaki shorts with sandals. “Robert, you know better than this. You can’t rape people! They have to come to you willingly.” Robert pouted like a little kid. But, he didn’t say anything. The man came walking over to me.
“I’m so sorry for him.” He said and kneeled down next to me. “Are you okay?” He asked me. I looked up into his face and nodded. “Y-yeah.” I choked out. “I just wish I could find my way and figure out what I needed to do.” I told him. I don’t know why, though. I didn’t know him at all. I gave Robert a wary glance. “I’m Nick. I’m the angel of trust and truth. I can’t lie and I always keep my promises.” I looked up into his face and there was something in it that made me want to believe him. But, how could I be sure that he wasn’t lying to me? I wondered.
“I know you don’t know if you can trust me. But, let me help you. Do you know how to get back to the school?” I shook my head. “I don’t know if I want to.” I said. He only smiled. “I’m sure you do. But, you could always teleport there if you’d like.” He said. “Well, right now I don’t want to. I would like to go back to train with Melinda. But, that’s about it. I think she can keep a secret.” I said to him. He nodded. “Melinda is a fierce warrior. But, she’s also a trustworthy person. You can trust in her. She won’t say anything you don’t want her to.”
He then held out his hand. I took it and he lifted me easily up. He then walked over to my jeans and grabbed them. For a second, I thought he was going to smell them or something. He only glanced at them and then looked at Robert in a strange way and then handed them to me. “What was that look for?” I asked. “I was only seeing if he did anything to them.” He told me. I almost didn’t want to put them back on. It wasn’t like I never walked around in my boxers before. “You don’t have to worry about them. There’s nothing wrong with them besides a little dirt.”
I nodded and quickly pulled them back up and fastened everything so it wouldn’t be easy for them to come off again. “Robert, you can go now.” Nick said coldly. Robert vanished without a word. “Where’d he go?” I asked. “Oh, don’t worry. He won’t be bothering you again. Nothing happened to him. He just went back to the camp we set for him. It’s so hard to keep him in check.” Nick sighed. “Are you going to kidnap me?” I asked. He only gave me a shocked look.
“No, but if you’d like to come back to my camp, you can. You can stay as long as you’d like. I know there’s a lot weighing on your mind and you need time to figure things out.” He said to me. I nodded and I agreed. I followed him and we came upon a cave. It felt like the dungeon. Dark, and evil. He only gave me a sympathetic smile. “There’s nothing that can hurt you in there. I promise. I won’t allow it.” I felt better than and followed him in. We passed some kind of barrier and right away I found myself surrounded by a warm and inviting light. Right away I grew uneasy.
“You want something to eat?” He asked me. I nodded feeling tense like a winded up spring. “Relax Matt. You’re not in danger here.” He told me. “How do you know my name?” I asked. “I know a lot about you. You’re the one who’s going to save the world. But, you have to believe in yourself. You have to trust yourself. And you have to trust those around you. You’re going to be in for one hell of a betrayal. But, it’s not from anyone who trusts in you. They will just find evidence that is overwhelming at first, but will soon find a way to clear your name.” He told me. “Great, just great.” I muttered and collapsed in a chair.
“Hey, it’s not so bad. You’ll find a strength you didn’t even know existed once this happens, and you’ll be better than ever!” He said. “Can you tell me what it is you’re talking about?” I asked. “You know I can’t do that. It would break the rules. But, I assure you. It’s going to be big and it’s going to be a turning point for you. But, I just hope that you come back from it. You have two roles once it has surfaced. You can either let it destroy you. Or you can allow it to feel you up and learn to gain strength from it.” He said and then waved his hand over the table.
Several large platters of food appeared. I even smelled blood. “Please, eat your fill. You need to put some meat on your bones.” He told me and then walked towards the cave entrance. “Who else is here?” I asked grabbing some food. I don’t know why. But, I felt like I could trust him completely. “No one at the moment. Everyone is out on missions. There’s hundreds of us below in the tunnels. We made a home here to hide and watch out for special people. You are one I am supposed to watch out for.” He told me without turning around.
“Why?” I asked. He laughed. “You don’t yet know how special you are. What kind of role you’re going to play in the future. Everything hangs in the balance with you. Everything in this life or the end of it literally lies in your hands.” He told me. “Why are you looking at the door like you’re waiting for an attack?” I asked. “That’s exactly what I am waiting for.” He told me to flat out. “What?” I demanded. “We aren’t the only ones looking for you. They’re dark angels out there. Did You read about the myths about the Greek gods? How they had giants who were the opposite of each of them?” He asked me turning to give me a quick glance.
I nodded, well we have the same. There are dark angels who are counterparts to us. They are looking to slaughter you so you leave your people defenseless. I vowed to not let that happen. But, I can’t do it alone.” He said. “I don’t know if I’m able to help you.” I muttered. “No, not yet. But, I have to make sure you remain alive long enough until my soldiers come back.” He told me. “I don’t like this. If me being here is a danger to you. I’ll go back to the castle.” I said. He froze like a statue and then white translucent wings spread out from his back. It made him look like he was glowing in a brilliant white light.
He looked handsome! It was enough to make anyone think they weren’t ever going to be good enough to be with him let alone next to him. He changed and it made me feel self-conscious. He looked perfect in every way. “It’s too late for you to leave. They are here.” He said. He changed back to the form I first met him in. “Go to the wall!” He hissed. I rushed over and hid in the shadows. Someone stepped through the cave mouth. “Nick. Welcome, brother!” The man said. He could have passed as Nick’s twin…Oh, crap. He was Nick’s twin! The only difference was the hair. Nick’s was bright blond and his brother was darker than night. Styled the same way, though.
His brother wore a tight silk muscle shirt with a spiked barbed choker, and a similar wristband with skull rings. They actually looked like they were screaming in pain and anger. He wore black jeans with chains of different colors going in different pockets and leather boots. “You didn’t think you would be getting away from me, did you? You know I have to kill him.” He said pointing at me. “You know I can’t let you do that America.” The other boy only smirked. “You don’t think you can stop me do you?” He asked. He unfolded his wings.
I felt pain and fear then. His entire form changed. He looked like a handsome young man before. But, now he looked like a greenish slimy zombie with glowing dark pink and tan eyes. When he smiled, his teeth were rotting and stained different colors. His clothes stayed the same, but the wings. They looked like they were drenched in slime, goo, grease, tar and sludge. The feathers looked like they were matted down. Nick changed as well. I don’t know who was the stronger. “You don’t think I’m here alone do you?” Nick asked. “I don’t know. Nor do I care. I’m not. And soon you’ll all be killed.” Aerick said. “We shall see,” Nick told him.
They flew at each other. Honestly, I didn’t know how Aerick could fly with his wings looking like they do. But, on the fly, Nick seemed to call forth a giant long sword. It was bigger than him and he swung it at his brother. The other angel called forth a giant spear and blocked the attack. “I don’t know why you protect them. They have nothing to offer you.” He said. Nick didn’t comment. It was better that he didn’t. It looked like his brother was stronger than him. Aerick’s eyes flicked towards me for a second.
“Your charge believes in me more than you or himself. That doesn’t look good for you brother.” Nick only shook his head. He was slammed into the cave wall and chunks of rock and dirt rained down all around them. “You’re going to all die in here. I will personally see that you suffer horribly!” Aerick snapped. I didn’t say anything. I just seriously hoped that Nick could best him or get his allies to show up. “Nick!” a chorus of female and male voices shouted. A group of beautiful angels appeared in the doorway and changed forms. I couldn’t even look at them.
I heard the sound of battle all around us, and after a while, I risked a glance. Nick was right next to me holding his side and his soldiers stood in front of the door. “Matt?” He asked with concern. “You’re hurt!” I shouted. “I’ll be fine. I heal quickly.” He said. Blood trickled out from the wound. “You won’t heal from this one. It’s poisoned.” I said. I pressed my hand up to the wound and he sucked in a lungful of air. Then I used magic to heal him. I then stepped back in surprise. “How did I-?” I asked. “You lost some of your confidence. But, you’re slowly gaining it back. You haven’t lost that part of you that wants to help and protect those who fight for you.” He said smiling. A couple angels all looked at me in shock.
“What?” I asked with embarrassment. “Normally angels can’t be healed by vampires, witches, or even gods. We normally are on a different level. But, for some reason, your magic breaks that rule.” He told me. “Well, maybe he’s special after all.” A young female said. “I don’t need crap from you. If you’re going to insult me, then step off.” I snapped. She only looked at me in shock. “That’s not what I meant at all,” She said without emotion.
“Matt, I think you need to get some sleep. You are exhausted and grab some food as well.” Nick told me. I nodded. “Sorry,” I muttered. “It’s fine,” He said, but I got the feeling he was looking over at the angel rather than me. I turned to see in time her shrug like she didn’t care one way or the other. They all watched the doorway while I ate and then he led me down a hidden passageway in the wall to the left. He showed me where they lived and took me to a cell in the wall. There is no door. But, they had a curtain for privacy. “You will have to bunk with Craig. He’s not the most talkative person. But, he’s not a bad guy. He’s just a little defensive.” He told me.
I nodded and then crawled into the small bed. It felt so comfortable. I couldn’t even believe it. I passed out within minutes. Something moving next to me woke me up with a jolt. “Hey, sorry to wake you up.” A boy about my age said. He wore hair long like mine and the same color. His eyes were jet black and he had a small beard forming. He looked stockier than someone his age probably should. “Hey, it’s fine. You must be Craig.” I said. His eyes hardened. “Nick told me that this is your room. He said he didn’t have a choice, but to put me here.” I told him quickly.
He relaxed and nodded. “Yeah, and it’s fine. Don’t mind me if I get paranoid or sensitive. It’s not personal.” He said to me. “Oh, I get it. Well, obviously not the same situation as you. But, I used to be the same way. Still am in some ways I guess.” Craig smiled at me. “Well, I think you should get back to sleep. It’s still too soon and you’re going to need your strength tomorrow.” He said. I gave him a confused look. “Why?” I asked. He laughed. “
We are going to help you learn how to fight and we are going to teach you some holy magic. A few of us have some practice with other magic’s. But, most holy. However, we can show you how to use holy into a shield against the other elements. It’s going to be up to you on how well you can use the protection spells.” He told me and then stripped down to his briefs and climbed into the bed. He was bigger than average, but he wasn’t fat. He obviously didn’t have a confidence issue. I rolled back over and fell asleep right away. I saw Gideon walking towards me on a yellow brick road.
Wait, what?! I looked around in shock. “Gideon? Wizard of Oz? Really?” I asked. He only gave me a sad smile. “You got one element back. But, you have eight more to gain. It’s going to be a difficult time to get them all. Once you do, you’ll have one final test. Complete that. You’ll be back to your old self. You’ll have healed yourself completely. But, four of the elements won’t be easy and you’ll feel like giving up. There’s a taint in you where you think your magic isn’t strong enough. You have to do these trials and that way you can fight through it and get back to your old self. I trust you to want to find yourself again. If not, you’ll lose me completely. All you’ll have is the strength. But, the thing that a lot of vampire’s don’t understand is that the magic and strength is connected. Take one away and you weaken the other.” He said.
“Wait, are you saying I am defenseless?” I asked. “Basically, at this moment yes. Once you gain back all the elements though and yourself, you’ll be fine. I just hope you have the strength. I can’t do it for you. I hope you want to. And I worry about you. Please, trust me right in thinking you’re stronger than others believe. A lot of ancient beings feel like I was a fool to choose you. I don’t see it that way.” I gave him a lopsided stare.
“What?” He asked. “Zolem said you were a bit naïve. I don’t see it.” I told him. He sighed. “My brother believes I don’t watch and learn from the world as it goes by. But, that’s only partially true. I also learn from those who I am sharing with. You have a heavy burden weighing on your heart and soul. You have a maturity most don’t have and I learn from it. Don’t lose that. Don’t give up on that. Please.” He pleaded. I nodded. “I will do my best to find myself. I promise that.” I told him.
He nodded. Then he vanished and Craig was shaking me awake. “Hey, wake up dude. It’s time to begin training.” He said. I jolted awake and then jumped out of bed. “Wow, you’re easier to wake up than Nick.” He said with a grin. “I’m used to getting up at a second’s notice.” I told him. “Well, down that hall there,” he said pointing, “Is the bathroom.” Then he walked out of the cell and I followed his directions. I went to the bathroom and came back out and then followed Craig up to the ground floor. Nick was waiting for me. “Huh. I thought that would take longer to get you up.
Taylor sensed a high level of exhaustion radiating off of you. Like you’ve not been sleeping well.” I shrugged. “I don’t sleep much. But, I haven’t slept well or long for so long it doesn’t affect me anymore.” I told them. They nodded but gave me a look of concern. “So, what’s on the agenda?” I asked. “Well, I want to see where your level of martial arts is at. I want to make sure you’re fully at the level you should be.” He said. A female angel stepped forward with short cropped red hair and freckles on her face. She looked so slim. I hoped I didn’t break her.
She only smirked at me. Great. I didn’t like that look at all and she gave me a wink. I went to make the first move and she grabbed me by the wrist and flipped me over. I slammed hard into the ground and the walls trembled. “Ow!” I said, slowly climbing to my feet. I went to take a step, but she didn’t let me get a step before sending me sprawling into the wall. I smashed into it hard and blood squirted from my nose and I felt a cut on my lip. I turned around to see her smirking at me. “Don’t think just because you’re bigger than your opponent, that you have the advantage.” She said.
I didn’t respond. I only slowly walked back to her and watched her warily. “Your ability to learn by watching or copying isn’t going to save you here, but it isn’t something you have to fear us knowing.” But, I couldn’t help but fear. “How do you know?” I asked her. “We all have the same ability. We angels were the first ones gifted with that knowledge. A few angels who fell ended up having children and they passed down the gene. You were the only one who inherited it as a dominant gene.” Nick explained.
I didn’t know what to say to that. I thought it was a random fluke. Or part of the powers as a vampire I was given. “So, you mean everyone with this gift is a descendant of angels?” I asked. She nodded and Nick smiled at me. “Yes, but that doesn’t mean you are all safe. People will still fear it. Especially if you tell them everything. They might come to the conclusion that it’s from a dark angel. Which is possible. They have the same powers we do. Just a twisted mockery of them.”
“Enough talk!” The female angel said. “Marcy. Behave.” Nick told her. She rolled her eyes. I tried to be ready for her. But, she took me by surprise again. She sent me spiraling head over feet and blasted through a wall. Dark bruises started to form and blood pooled around me. I could feel it all around me. I only glared at her. “You’re angry? Good. Channel that. But, don’t let it control you.” She said. I charged her and she flipped over me and landed behind me.
I spun around and brought my arm up and she easily deflected it. I sent several quick punches and a sweeping attack with my feet. But, she easily jumped it and then spun around and kicked me to the ground. She grabbed my arms and pinned me to the floor. “You are outmatched. YOU don’t have the strength. Your powers are useless. What good are you to us?!” She snapped. Tears fell from my eyes. I don’t know! I wanted to shout. “No one would take you seriously. I don’t know how you snagged a girl. You couldn’t catch a fly.” She said coldly.
Anger coursed through me. Tears continued to fall and I couldn’t really see. But, I felt power flood through me. The tears manifested and changed and became a geyser that blasted her square in the face. She jumped off me screaming in pain. I turned to face her. Everyone looked at me in shock. She got her bearings quickly enough. I countered and blocked her attacks. She tried to kick me and duck under my attacks. She managed to dodge me, but when she countered I was more than ready for her. I spun out of the way flipped over her. I then did a spinning kick and sent her stumbling forward. I brought my arms around and countered her attacks.
She tried to press me, but I wasn’t giving her any ground. I channeled the anger, pain, and determination into strength. I saw her as only another obstacle in my life I had to get through. I had to get over it. I couldn’t allow myself to fall. I couldn’t allow myself to be weak. I kept dodging her. I kept blocking her and I spun around her to counter her flipping jumps. She couldn’t get over me. I grabbed her arms and pinned them to her sides and slammed her into the wall. She gasped out and then I encased her in water. She screamed and struggled. I shot her towards the entrance of the cave. We all rushed out and right before she hit a tree, I took away the water cocoon. She slammed into it at ninety miles per hour and it brought the entire thing down. She struggled to her feet.
Blood gushing onto her clothes and bright bruises on her face and arms. If she looked mad, she didn’t show it. “That’s enough.” Nick said loudly. I could tell Marcy wasn’t done, though. She wanted more. “Marcy, I said enough. She wasn’t listening. She vanished and appeared behind me. She wrapped her arms around me and began to squeeze. She began to crush me. I felt my ribs snapping and breaking under the pressure she put on me.
“Marcy!” He snapped! She wasn’t going to give up. I used all the strength I had and jumped into the air. I then turned where I was facing down. We slammed into the ceiling of the roof. She cushioned the blow and then I flipped around and tossed her to the ground. She landed with a sickening crunch on the hard ground. I landed next to her and she did a twirling kick and sent me fumbling back into the wall. “God fucking damn it! I said enough!”
Nick exploded and a cold icy wind blasted us at the opposite wall. “You don’t listen and you literally try to kill each other! I’m done with your insubordination. You know the objective. He needs to learn how to beat us. You taught him that! Now, go to your quarters! I will deal with you later.” He snapped. She went to walk away and he flicked something at her. It wrapped around her wrist and she gasped at him. “You didn’t!” She screamed. “Don’t talk. Just go!” He snapped. I wanted to say something, but I didn’t know what to say. I went to try and I caught Craig’s eyes. He subtly shook his head.
I closed my mouth and leaned against the wall. “Nick, he did beat her. He learned some pretty impressive moves in that fight. I think his ability was still acting subconsciously.” An angel said. He looked like a middle-aged man with sandy brown hair with the slightest touch of salt and pepper streaks. “It’s not possible.” He said. His voice tight. No one dared speak. I was starting to feel my pain. But, I didn’t want to deal with his wrath from complaining. He then stopped and turned towards me. I gulped and he snapped his fingers. Instantly the pain faded and I felt completely healed.
“I have to say, you handled yourself pretty well in that fight. Things got far too carried away. But, at the end, you found your strength.” Nick told me. “Some of it.” I said in a whisper. He only nodded. “You could have died you know. She could have killed you.” He stated. “I know, but I couldn’t let her win. I had to prove myself.” I said. “To who?” He demanded. “Me. I had to prove to myself that I can handle hopeless situations. That I can find the strength. What she said about my girlfriend. That ticked me off. I couldn’t let her say that about her. I wanted to prove to myself that I deserve her and that it’s not just a pity that I have her.”
Nick studied me carefully. “You love her.” A middle-aged woman said. I turned towards her and she had her long thin white hair hanging around her face. “Yes.” I said quietly. She only nodded. “So, this was for her?” He asked in confusion. “No, Nick. This was for him to believe he deserved her. He knows that she knows that they deserve each other. But, he had to make himself believe the same thing. Otherwise, he would constantly believe she deserves better than him. He couldn’t allow that.” The angel said.
I smiled at her and said, “Thanks.” She smiled back and nodded. “I don’t get love. But, that’s why it’s not my talent.” He muttered. A few angels smirked and some burst out laughing. He only shrugged and sighed. “Well, that was an interesting fight. Now, what do you say that we teach you about some magic? You may find them useful.” He said. I nodded eagerly. “Craig?” He said and then he stepped forward. “Okay, I’m the best healer here. So, pay attention!” He said loudly. I nodded. “Chris, Ariel?” They both nodded and stepped forward. Two angels who looked similar. Both with flowing red hair.
Ariel jammed a long rusty looking spear through Chris’ stomach. He gasped and sucked in some air. Craig held his hand wide open and then a white beam of light shot out and healed him. It instantly closed the wound and he gasped in relief. “Okay, it’s your turn. All you have to do is focus your magic through the palm of your hand and focus on its destination. It’s really no different than your other spells.” He told me. I nodded determinedly. “I really wish you were the one getting stabbed.” Chris muttered. Ariel only gave him a pitying look.
“Oh, take it like a man you little bitch.” Another angel commented. Chris glared at him. “You try it you piece of-“ He never finished as the spear went right through him again. I opened my palm like Craig did and focused my magic through my palm. But, it wasn’t as easy as going up to someone and touching them. How did he do it? I wondered. I tried for several minutes and the blood pooled on the ground underneath his feet. “You can heal me anytime now.” He gasped. Ariel looked nervous. “I’m trying.” I said. “Don’t think about it. Feel the energy course through you. Feel the peace and a calm. You must find your center.” Craig explained. I closed my eyes and then when I opened them again, Chris was on the ground gasping for breath.
I was not going to let him suffer any longer. Please, let me do this. I centered myself and took steadying breaths. I then felt a white pulsing light shot through my palm and encased him. “What’s going on?” He asked. He knelt there pale from the blood loss. The barrier around him seemed to pick up the blood and suck it back into his body. Color returned to his face and he slowly stood up leaning on his sister for support. “Thanks, Ariel.” He muttered. The spell continued to heal him and clear out his system from the rust and whatever poison was on the spear.
I went to walk over to him to see if he was okay. But, his sister gave me a death glare. “Chris. I’m really sorry. I was trying.” I said and I could feel the tears began to build again. “Oh, I know. I don’t blame you. I thought it was a little touch and go there.” He said. He still looked a little pale. But, he was looking better by the second. “I think it’s time we took a break,” Nick said. “No, I’m okay,” Chris said. “Yeah, he’s good.” Someone grinned. “Fine, but Darrius? You’re up.” Nick ordered. Chris leaned against the wall and sighed. “What?” Darrius asked. “You heard me. I’m done with all your smart ass comments.” Nick scolded.
Darrius only glared at me. “Okay, so I am going to show you how to cast a shield spell using holy. Since you have all eight elements. It won’t be hard for you. Now, do you know how to create a regular elemental shield?” He asked. I nodded. I waved my left hand in a small arc and a crystal gleaming kite shield formed. I grabbed it by the handle and when Nick went to touch it, he yipped and jumped back in alarm. “Damn, that thing is cold,” I smirked.
“I’ve been practicing.” I said proudly. “He didn’t smile back. “Is it imbued with holy?” He wondered. My smile faded away. “Holy? No. It’s just an ice shield. “Ah, well see the trick is to incorporate two elements into one shield.” He told me. He did a complicated movement and got an ice shield, but it had a majestic quality about it. “Do you see the differences?” He nodded. Darrius?” He said. He launched a fireball at me and I brought up my shield to block it. The fire sizzled out, but the ice began to melt. I used magic to repair it. For a while, I was holding my own. But, after a while, my strength began to fade.
“You’re weakening yourself too much. Now, watch.” He told me. Darrius launched a dozen quick-fire missiles at Nick. His shield seemed to grow a mouth and absorb them! I even thought that the shield was growing! “You see what happened?” He asked me. I nodded uncertainly. “Again.” He ordered. Two dozen fire orbs shot out and came at Nick. He blocked them with his shield and it continued to grow. It now stood as tall as him and as wide. “A tower shield?” I asked. He smiled at me.
“Yes. At a beginning level, it won’t grow too large. But, it will keep absorbing the enemy’s magic. It doesn’t draw from your strength since it doesn’t need to be repaired like your ice shield. Now, get rid of it.” He commanded. I concentrated and it faded away. “Now, try to do what I did.” He said. He showed me the hand gestures and I copied him as best as I could. I got a weak looking shield that kind of resembled his. He only smiled at me. “You can’t expect it to-“ He froze as he noticed the shield wasn’t done forming. “What’s that?” He asked. I looked at it and said, “It looks like a white dragon walking up a snowy mountain in a fresh snowfall. A beautiful woman with sparkly wings in a white snowy flowing dress awaits it.”
“How is that possible? Who is this kid?” Craig demanded. I shrug. I really didn’t have a clue as to what is going on. “Well, it’s a small shield. So, let’s see what it can do.” He said. Darrius blasted me with a dozen missiles. “Not so fast!” Nick snapped. I brought my shield down and around, trying to block them all. The force knocked me against the wall. I barely held onto the shield. He launched another volley. It hit the shield and slammed me into the wall again. Another volley and then another.
The shield was absorbing them as much as possible. But, it didn’t seem to be growing stronger. I noticed that the dragon was slowly moving towards the woman. “Don’t worry about the design on the shield.” He told me. Darrius continued his assault on me and I did everything I could to block him. But, I couldn’t counter the last three fire spheres and they struck me in the chest and stomach. The pain was unbearable and I quickly dropped to the ground. I smelled the scent of burning flesh and I felt something in my hands. Was I still holding onto the shield? I wondered.
“Damn it! Darrius! Quarters! I’ll deal with you later!” He said. “Oh, you did the same thing to me as well?!” He snapped. I felt a power radiating from me. “Is the shield rising in the air?” I heard Craig’s voice ask. “Yes.” Nick said flatly. Then a pulsating aura encased the cave. I felt the healing powers and knew that the dragon had reached the woman. I knew she was a fairy of ice and he was a dragon of light. I slowly climbed to my feet and I felt someone next to me helping me up.
I turned to see Ariel there. She only gave me a blank stare. “I’m sorry for what I almost did to your brother.” I said apologetically. “You don’t have to apologize to me. I’m not mad at you.” She said and leaned me against the wall. “Well, you’re not having a good day.” Nick muttered. I laughed. “This is my day every day.” I stated. He only stared at me. “You serious?” He asked. I nodded glumly. He only shook his head. “So, do you think you’re up for another round?” He asked.
I nodded. “So, you showed me how to do the spell. What else is there?” I asked. “I want to know how you are with a bow. And a sword. Or even an ax. They’re three weapons I want to see how you are with them.” He told me. “Let’s start with an ax.” I suggested. He nodded. He tapped a spot on the wall and it opened up revealing a giant hidden room with a wide variety of weapons on them. I walked in completely flabbergasted. “Where do you keep hiding these rooms?” I demanded. They only laughed. “Magic.”
He said simply. I rolled my eyes. He laughed. I walked in and grabbed a double bladed ax. It looked a lot heavier than it was. “They are enchanted so they don’t weigh what they normally do.” He explained. I twirled it in the air and got a feel for the balance. He nodded in approval. I circled around him. “What about you?” I asked. “Oh, I get my weapons from a plane I store them in. Only my magic can access them and they would need identification to get in.” He said. He reached his fist into the air and the air shimmered around him. He then pulled out a giant double-pointed spear. He twirled something in the middle and he pulled the spear apart revealing two half spears that were longer than a sword.
“I’m ready. Let’s go.” I said and he circled around watching me like a game of cat and mouse. I wondered. Who was who? I circled opposite of him. I matched his movements and twirled the Ax in a small arc. He came to me and brought one spear straight at me and I deflected it. He spun the other spear in the air and brought it down on me. I jammed the Ax right in the air and blocked him.
I brought the ax around and swung up and he blocked me. We parried and countered. He brought the spears up and around and jabbed at me. I continued my assault and kept him as far away from me as I could get. I don’t know how long I could keep this up. He didn’t seem to be tiring and I was gasping for breath. Sweat trickled down my face and drenched my shirt. “You are a good kid. But, you’re going to have to be better.” He told me. I tried. I really did. I pressed in on him hard. But, he kept seeing what I was going to do and kept blocking me. I was wheezing for breath at this point and my guard slipped and he slashed across my chest. A deep gash appeared and blood puddled onto the ground.
“Ah, well. I see we have our first drop of blood.” Nick commented gravely. “I think it’s more a faucet.” A woman commented and people started to laugh. I silenced them with a look of pure hatred and rage. I turned my focus back to my opponent. I charged him and ignored my pain in my chest. I slid under him and he brought the right spear down on me. I slapped it away and swung the ax up and he brought the other spear to counter me. The two weapons clashed and sparks shot from the scraping. “What kind of spear is that?” I demanded. He only smirked.
I jumped to my feet and swung my ax around. He was more than ready for me. He interlocked the spear and my Ax together and with the other one, he scraped it against my cheek and then slashed at my side. The tip had some kind of thick wire on it. How was I not able to notice that? Hold on. It wasn’t there before. “You’re cheating.” I snapped. “How?” He asked innocently. “Your weapon. It didn’t have the thick pointed wiring on the tip when you first starting fighting me.” I stated. “You just didn’t notice,” He said simply. Sharla buzzed around my ear and I sucked in a breath. “Are you sure?” I asked her. She nodded and pointed at him.
“Get that annoying fly out of here,” He said. I paled and looked around at the others. Instantly they all seemed to change in appearance towards me. How? I collapsed against a wall and then I tried to teleport out of there. “Oh, you’ve summoned ratted us out huh?” Nick demanded. “I thought you said you couldn’t lie?” I demanded. “You’re trying to weaken me and kill me for fun. You wouldn’t let the other angel do it because you wanted to do it yourself.” I stated.
He only laughed wickedly. “You didn’t hear the true version of that encounter. He’s not trying to kill you. He’s trying to save you. I was really nervous you were going to believe in him and then he would have gotten you to safety. However, you switched your belief to me and my followers. It allowed them to gain the strength to beat him and drive him away. Now, you’re going to die and there’s no one who can save you.” Nick said and walked towards me. I tried to bring my Ax up to block his spears. It shattered with one blow. “The thing about these weapons? You need uninterrupted confidence. The slightest weakness and they break. Now, you’re defenseless.” He said. He speared me through the stomach and chest.
The pain was excruciating. I couldn’t even suck in a small breath. Blood poured out of my mouth. “Now, die bitch. I’ve had enough of you. Oh, and before you go. I wanted to let you know why we even taught you that. I wanted to see if you could show a lack of compassion for someone. But, you couldn’t and now you’ll pay for that weakness.” He told me. He lifted me higher into the air and jammed the spears through me and into the wall.
The handles went all the way through me. I looked down with the blood puddled on the floor and noticed that the end of the shaft was the only thing that could be seen through the wound. My body was trying to heal itself, but the problem was the spears were inside me. “Matt!” I heard a scream. But, by that time my vision was dark and I didn’t see anything. How could I have been tricked in such a way? How could he have altered what I saw and heard? How could that have happened? Am I that too far gone? Am I that weak I can’t tell good from evil anymore? I wondered. Then everything went dark and I fainted.
I don’t know what happened to me. But, I wondered if I was still alive? Am I? Or is this the After Life? Will I run into Zach here? Or is Jacob the one who will take me on and maybe give me another chance? No, I doubted he wanted me. I doubted he would take a weakling. I slowly opened my eyes and I saw Aerick looking over me. He was wrapping a bandage around my arm. “What…?” I tried to choke out. “Hey, don’t worry. You’re going to be fine.” He told me.
His voice seemed to have changed then. It sounded like a harp, but on a deeper sounding level. Still musical. “Why…?” “Don’t talk. Just rest. You almost died…Twice now. You need to sleep. You’re well protected here. Don’t worry.” He said to me. And even though I tried to stay awake. Something kept pulling me back into unconsciousness. I don’t know what, but it sounded mystical and enchanting and I couldn’t deny the lure of it. I then closed my eyes and felt at peace once again. I thought I would end up seeing Gideon again. But, I guess he was gone for good. He did warn me.
I don’t know how much time passed then. I woke up again, feeling a little bit of strength. “Are you okay?” I turned to see a female walking over to me noticing me move. She was beyond pale with sparkling green and silver eyes. Long jet black hair fell to her shoulders. She wore plate mail and a heavy woolen cloak of reds and yellows in a checkered pattern. “Yeah.” I choked out. My throat felt like it was on fire. “Here.” She said kindly and handed me a glass of a clear liquid. “What’s this?” I asked. “A healing tonic. It’ll help speed up your body’s healing and it will quench the thirst. You’ve been asleep for three and a half days.” She said to me.
I almost choked on the drink. “What?” I demanded. “Hey, it’s fine. You’re safe here.” She told me. “No, I have to leave. I can’t-“ I tried to move and my vision darkened and I collapsed back into the bed. “Susan?” I turned to see Aerick walking towards us. “He okay?” He asked her. “Yeah, I think so. But, he won’t stay still.” She said. He sighed. “He’s always been the stubborn one,” He told her. Then I felt my eyes growing heavy and that was all I remembered.
I don’t know how much time passed again. But, when I woke up, I was alone. I noticed a sign across the room that said, ‘restrooms.’ I slowly got up and found myself in a pair of tight boxer briefs. Heat flushed towards my face. Someone changed my clothes and gave me a bath? Talk about being body conscious. I slowly made my way over to them and went. I felt so much better after a few minutes. I stumbled out of the bathroom to see Susan looking at my bed and then turned at the sound of my approach. “Oh, thank goodness. I thought you had left on me.” She said.
“Well, technically…” I pointed towards the bathroom. She rolled her eyes. “You know what I meant.” She scolded me. “Yeah, sorry,” I muttered. Aerick appeared in the doorway. “So, you feeling better now?” He asked. “Yeah, a little embarrassed, though,” I said. “Why?” He asked me. “You guys had to take off my clothes and give me a bath and everything.” I stuttered.
“Um, Matt. You did that yourself. You wouldn’t let us. You freaked out about being embarrassed and everything and so you washed yourself up and we gave you the underwear. It was the only thing we could give you that wouldn’t rub in the wounds.” He told me. I didn’t even realize I was holding my breath. But, that made me feel so much better. “Oh, cool,” I muttered. “I don’t know why you were freaking out. But, hey. We all have our issues.” He said simply.
“I don’t know why. I’ve always been body conscious.” I said. He only gave me an odd look. It kind of unnerved me. “Why?” He asked. “I don’t know…” I said. “Aerick…” Susan said like a warning. He nodded. “Right. Well, I bet you’re going to want to get back to your people. They’ve been searching for you for a good long time.” He told me. “I’m afraid to go back,” I said. “Why?” Susan asked. “I don’t know. I don’t feel like I am the leader that they think I am or could be. I don’t see myself as their champion and I don’t want the fate of the world on my shoulders!” I said loudly. “No one does. But, that’s not for them to decide. We all have a role to play and no matter our personal feelings, we have to play out the destiny.” He said.
“Just take it a day at a time. Everything will work out for the best.” Susan told me. “But, you’re probably tired of angels. Aren’t you?” He asked. I only shrugged and a pain coursed through me. “You okay?” She asked. I nodded weakly. “The wound is worse than I thought. It’s going to take a long time even with his enhanced healing powers.” Susan stated. “Yeah, but maybe his friends can help him.” He said. She nodded. “You know how to get back to them?” She asked.
“I think so. I…Thank you for everything. I’d be dead if it wasn’t for you. So, thank you.” I said weakly and tears fell down my face. They both hugged me. “It’s fine. Don’t worry about it. Besides, you’ll be seeing us again.” He said with a wink. I stepped away from him and gave them both a strange look. “Why would you want to meet up with me again?” I demanded. They both frowned. “Well, because you’re awesome! You have done so much to help your people out. You’ve done so much to protect those you love. You have sacrificed so much and now it’s their turn to do the same for you. You’re special and some of the oldest rules are about to be broken for you. Just keep having faith. It’s always going to get darker before it gets light again. Just trust in those who have your back. You know who they are.”
Susan handed me a pair of tight blue jeans. I barely got them on. A tight silk black undershirt, a black silk short sleeved shirt and a denim jacket. Then I thanked them and teleported to the castle. I walked or rather limped towards the training area where I was hoping to talk to Melinda about everything that happened. I froze and paled at the sight. She was having what looked like a spasm. Her entire body trembling as the creature ripped out her throat and then pulled her head off. I couldn’t move. It stood up and then turned into Nick drenched in her blood. “Your weapons master didn’t put up as much of a fight as I thought she would. I guess she’s not the one from the past.
“Oh, well.” He said and then vanished. I rushed over to her and I tried to put her head back together and heal her. But, she was dead and after a few minutes, covered in her blood. I knew there was nothing that could be done. “Melinda I…” The boy froze when he entered the room. He froze and paled when saw me and then looked at the sight before him. “You? How? Why?” He gasped out in fear. “I didn’t. I didn’t do this!” I shouted. He sprinted out of the room and I tried to catch him.
I ended up just out of reach before he ran into five security soldiers. “He killed Melinda!” The boy shrieked. They surrounded the boy and then looked at me. “Matt?” The smaller one on the right asked in confusion. I almost collapsed on the ground for lack of breath and exhaustion and pain. “Yeah, it’s me. I didn’t do anything.” I said. “Why are you covered in blood?” The fatter one on the left demanded. “I was trying to help her…” I wheezed out. The one in the middle didn’t say anything. Just ran into the room and after a couple minutes came out shaking his head.
“So, it’s true. You did kill her.” The one on the right said. “No, I didn’t!” I screamed. My voice echoed all around the grounds. “Tom. We have a situation. Gather the other masters. We are going to need them.” The guard who went into the training room radioed. They all appeared within twenty minutes. “Matt?” Ashlee asked. “Hey, I…” I tried walking towards her, but a thick clear ice wall appeared in front of me. “What’s the meaning with this?” She demanded. “He’s the master of this school.” She snapped. “No, you two are. He appointed you two to be in charge.” The fat one said.
“Only until he returned.” Jaise pointed out. “He’s back.” The guards only glared at me. “That remains to be seen. He has been discovered at the scene of the crime. There’s a witness saying he killed Melinda.” The smaller guard said. I felt my body began to shake. No one even glanced at me. “Oh, you have to be kidding me, right?! Matt? Killing one of his own? Julie? Please give him brain surgery. He may need a new one!” Julie snapped. “Harsh, but she’s got a point.” Liam stated. Security showed up from all over and surrounded us. “I didn’t kill anyone. I swear.”
Jaise only looked at me with a dark expression. “Jaise?” I asked in a squeaky voice. “I don’t believe my cousin is capable of killing her or any of us. He has been fighting for us and sacrificed so much. Why would he kill us now?” His words were vouching for me. But, his tone was dark. Was there a hidden meaning behind them? I wondered. “Be that as it may. Melinda is dead and he’s the only suspect we have.” The fat guard said. Another guard came out of the training room and his face looked grim. “Well?” Tom asked. Her throat seemed to have been ripped out like someone fed on her and her head ripped clean off.”
“Matt, couldn’t have done that. He doesn’t even feed on people. Why would he feed on another vampire?” Julie asked. “It’s quite simple actually. Maybe he wanted her powers and skills?” Jaise only continued to seethe in anger. “He didn’t need to take her skills. She confided in me that he was learning at an incredible rate and he almost learned everything that he could have from her. What good would killing her do? He wouldn’t be able to steal her experience with the weapons or martial arts. That’s something that comes with time.” I could see the flames building around him. I felt his aura and it was black and smoky with wild flames shooting out like the sun about to explode.
“He’s going to the dungeons and he’s going to be stripped of his power! That’s the only thing that can be done with him. I have to tell you. I’m sorry, but the evidence is strong. He’s most likely going to be executed.” The guard said stepping towards me. I paled and stepped back in fear. “No, please.” I whispered. The guard grabbed me and clasped something on my wrist. It looked like a small bracelet. “Let’s go.” He ordered and shoved me roughly towards the steps. No one stood in the way. “Hey!” The gate guard turned around and a giant fire spell in the shape of a saw blade said ‘hello.’
His head was taken clean off and it twirled around through the air like a boomerang and landed lightly in Jaise’s hands. “Anyone else want to try to take him?” He snapped. His voice raged like a volcano about to erupt. “You just killed a guard!” Someone shouted at him. Jaise ignored her and walked over to me. He burned away the wristband and then he grabbed me firmly by the shoulder. But, he didn’t hurt me. “Anyone else?” He challenged. “Jaise, I don’t like this either. But, we can’t ignore what’s going on here.” Tom said to him.
Jaise looked like he was about to cut him in half, but I whispered, “No.” Tom’s eyes didn’t even flick to me. “After what you did to him, he gave you a chance. He believed in you. And condemning him to death is how you repay him? I tried to talk him out of it. But, he wasn’t going to be dissuaded. I obviously should have tried harder. Tom raised his hands in surrender. “Will you even try to listen to me?” He asked. “What?!” Jaise exploded. A tidal wave of flames wrapped around them all. Draven and Liam together tried to cool off the room with water. But, the fire was too strong.
I saw a boy step up. He couldn’t have been older than thirteen, but he had a diamond streak in his air and over the tidal wave of flames, formed light fluffy clouds. Then a heavy but slow snowfall began to form and the ice began to vanish before it got to the flames. Then it began to fall heavily and the fire hissed and sputtered. He needed help to control the flames. His dark brown hair looked sang around the edges and his clothes looked like they were melting away. A girl with bright red hair and freckles stepped up. She pointed at the clouds overhead and channeled her magic into it.
The cloud grew in size and seemed to solidify. The boy looked at her. She winked and he nodded with a happy smile. He followed her example and then the cloud changed and turned into a mountain upside down. The mountain began to shake like a salt shaker and thick chunks of snow continued to fall and after a while, it kind looked like an avalanche. It took a while, but Jaise was finally forced to cool off and the fire wave faded away and they canceled out the snow mountain. Both the boy and girl were weak and collapsed in exhaustion on the ground next to each other.
Julie and the other healers rushed to them and went to work. “You guys were amazing.” She said to them. They nodded and smiled weakly. They all turned to Jaise. He still showed rage, but he seemed to reign it in a little. “Jaise, listen to me. I am not talking about killing him or throwing him in the dungeon. Not one of us knows about him killing Melinda. Not even the ‘witness.’” He said looking at the boy. “But, we have to lock him up and find out what happened. We can put a bracelet on his wrist to prevent him from leaving and keep him in his room.” Tom suggested.
Jaise was struggling with the idea. “Jaise, it’s okay. I know I didn’t do it and you do to. So, I’ll go freely.” I said. “Matt, you don’t know what you’re saying. You’ll be defenseless.” He told me. I shook my head. “I’m always defenseless. The only reason why I have survived this long is because of you and them.” I said pointedly. He only gave me a pained look. Tom walked up behind me and fastened another bracelet around my right wrist. “You won’t have access to magic anymore or your advanced healing powers. You’ll still heal faster than a human. But, not by much. Your strength is also going to be reduced significantly.” He explained.
I nodded and took in a deep breath to control my nerves. “Okay, good. We will take him to his room.” The tall guard said. “I don’t think so. Liam and I will.” Tom snapped. The guards stepped back in shock. “Ashlee, keep an eye on Jaise.” Liam patted her on the shoulder and gave his best friend a concerned look. Tom and Liam walked next to me up the steps and through the throne room. It took a while to get to the room, but finally, we made it. I walked in. “Once we close these doors, it will lock from this side and we will seal it off. You won’t be able to leave.” Tom told me. I nodded and then sat down on my bed. “Don’t worry. You’ll be fine. We will get you out of there.” Liam said to me and then closed the door.
I heard the click and then the sound of enchantments and I knew the door was sealed off. I couldn’t leave. But, did that mean others would be able to get in? How was I going to explain this mess? I wondered. All I could do was pace around and play some games and watch television. I took a quick shower and grabbed a change of clothes. Who were those angels? I wondered. I climbed into bed and passed out right away. I didn’t even know how exhausted I really was! The only thing I dreamed about were the fact that I was back in the normal situation and that I was about to be judged for the umpteenth time on killing someone or punishing someone that I didn’t do. But, at least, they didn’t put me in the dungeons. God, I was really getting mad at this.