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Chapter 26: Dark Path

It can be hard to prepare for a war when you’re not sure what exactly you will be facing. Elementals are so diverse, power levels and skill can all play a part in exactly what they are capable of. Making them an especially dangerous enemy to have.

Sebastian didn’t know how many there would be but he didn’t really care. There was only one Elemental he wanted to fight, the rest would simply be in his way.

Gabrielle would be expecting him to attack her directly which was actually fine because that was exactly what Sebastian was going to do.

Their apartment didn’t have a backyard, only a bit of dirt, or any area that was secluded enough that he could train without fear of exposing himself to humans.

He’d taken to creating human like statues of ice in the kitchen sink. Practising precision with his water and sharpening ice to create a deadly blade. He could take the head off a statue with one swing.

He had returned to full power and he felt more whole than he had since before Gabrielle’s betrayal. The better he felt, the more worried he became for his uncle. The bags under his eyes were deeper, and his limp more pronounced. Sebastian thought he was working too hard.

He was trying to locate Gabrielle, if they could just find where she was then they could stop her laying waste to the city in a bid to get to them. Even with his earth power, even with all of his agents, Daniel couldn’t find her or her army.

“This makes no sense! Even if she has earth Elementals with her she shouldn’t be able to hide from me…” it was unbelievably frustrating for everyone involved. With their combined power the army shouldn’t be able to vanish. It should be chaos. Easily found.

Yet, there wasn’t a single whisper of any strange happenings. No odd storms, or unusual amounts of rain. Not a single earthquake except occasionally from Daniel. It was unnervingly silent, like the natural world was holding its breath.

Sebastian was leaning against the bottom of the staircase watching the Twins doing… Something weird. They were sitting on the floor of the living room facing each other. Cross legged with their palms touching and their eyes closed. It was starting to freak Sebastian out.

“Shaft? Do you know what these two are doing down here?!” they were making the hair on Sebastian’s neck stand up straight. When he breathed in he could almost smell the power coming off them.

Alina was starting to glow a soft yellow light, lines of gold joining the red in her hair. Darcy didn’t look any different at first glance but the longer you stared the deeper the shadows around him seemed to become.

“Relax Blue, they’re charging, making themselves even more powerful for when we face the enemy” Sebastian was almost surprised which was quite unlike him. He realized he didn’t know as much about these two as he thought he did.

“They can be even more powerful than they already are?!” Shaft grinned at Sebastian’s disbelief. Last time they had been this close to each other she had blocked off his air. When she was pretending to be his enemy.

“They are capable of much more than they show, and even at this young age. They are a force to be reckoned with” Sebastian had known they were powerful and important to win this war. He just hadn’t known how important.

Shaft put one of her hands on Sebastian’s shoulder, it may only have been in friendship but it was not appreciated by Sebastian. He stalked off, not missing the hurt expression on Shaft’s face or the way the wind picked up outside.

He went upstairs into the bathroom and locked the door behind him. It wouldn’t keep his uncle out and nothing could keep the Twins out but he needed some space.

He wanted to run the bathroom sink and just decompress. The smell and feel of tap water always helped him feel less stressed. He turned on the tap, but nothing happened.

Not a drop of water came out, all was silent and still from within the tap. Sebastian stared at it for a moment in puzzlement wondering if the pipe was blocked.

There was a sudden surge of power so strong that it actually hurt. He doubled over as blood dripped out of his ears. Distantly he knew that everyone else in the house was hurting as well.

The ground, the walls, the sky, everything around Sebastian exploded outwards and he was thrown through the wall. He saw a flash of gray sky and then he was tumbling across the dirt. The world was a whirl of brown and dried grass as he came to a stop.

Blood, pain, ringing in his ears. Shit, this couldn’t be an accident. Peacemakers, the army. Here.

Sebastian got up slowly, red pain but no time to see where the sensation was coming from. His apartment building had a hole in it from the explosion. There was no sign of the Elementals who had caused it, but Sebastian knew they were here.

He didn’t know where his uncle and Shaft were but he knew the Twins would be safe with them. He would find the ones who did this and put a stop to them.

He summoned a transparent layer of water, protection so that he could not be attacked from behind. He let it hang like a cape behind him as he shook his head to clear lingering dizziness.

So, let’s see how well my new trick works! Sebastian held one of his hands out in front of him and took a deep breath. He felt the pulse of blood in the earth. Three Peacemakers, one of them probably earth. Hiding from him but the cause of the explosion no doubt.

He clenched his fist and created ice inside their veins. They would die as their blood slowly froze them from the inside out. Yet, he would question them first. With the water in their bodies under his control he pulled them from the earth to float in the air above him.

He knew it hurt them, that the pain of freezing would be extraordinary but they made the first move. They weren’t exempt from his countermove. Three young boys. Not much older than Twelve. More was the pity.

“You know what I want to know” they were scared; he knew but he didn’t care. Dressed in the plain black of the Peacemakers with shaved heads. Members of the army no doubt.

The only feature that identified them as individuals was of course their eyes. Green, Grey and Orange irises. Nothing more than pawns in Gabrielle’s game. She would have known they didn’t stand a chance against Sebastian.

“We’re not to tell you a thing, we’re only to make you more vulnerable. Hurt you so it’s easier to fight you later” the air Elemental was the one who spoke. He sounded much braver than he looked. Truly he must be terrified, putting on a front in the hope of sounding like a soldier.

“Kid, Gabrielle knows that I don’t care about injuries. You can’t weaken me and you’ll die trying. You’re expendable as far as she cares” Sebastian curls water around them to hold them in place. Soon they will be frozen, he imagines that it was a combo of the earth and lava that caused the explosion.

“She really doesn’t care… So the rumours were true…” the kids seemed to be realizing just how little Gabrielle cared about them. At the same time, they were wincing with pain as the ice caught in their systems. A twinge of guilt made Sebastian almost waver. They were just children.

He turned away from them, and bought his hands together. Instantly turning the boys completely to ice. Quick and painless, he may hate the Peacemakers, but he wouldn’t leave a bunch of frightened children to suffer. He wasn’t Gabrielle.

He wasn’t cruel, he just wanted her to feel. Feel the cracks her betrayal had left on his heart. It may not heal him, but at least he could lose nothing else if she was gone.

His head was aching from the fall, but he would be alright. Recovery took time both inside and out. He pulled himself back through the hole in the wall thanks to the water behind him.

It gave him a shove and he narrowly avoided the broken brick and plaster that littered what used to be the bathroom.

“Sebastian! Sebastian are you alright?!” his uncle was there and he was safe. Thank the elements. It was one thing for the Peacemakers to come after him, it was another if they came after Daniel. Sebastian would not allow that if he could help it.

Sebastian saw that Shaft had created a wind barrier downstairs. Keeping the Twins and herself safe. Uncle should have been in there as well but he must have come looking for Sebastian.

“There are some bodies down there… You’ll need to take care of them” Sebastian didn’t answer his uncle’s question. He wasn’t alright, after what he’d just done. He felt wrong.

You don’t get to turn me into a man like your father Gabrielle. I will not go down that path. Try and force me at your own peril.

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