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Chapter 16

My muscles were burning, my hands shaking from the exhaustion. But I couldn’t get this one move down. It was a complex mixture of several different moves, that included a lot of slashing and spinning. I set down my swords, deciding I needed a small break before I continued.

I sheathed my swords in the sheaths, picking them up off the ground where I had thrown them after I had started to sweat too much. The sheaths were making my back extra sweaty and were getting in the way. I picked them up, going back into the cabin to grab some water and food.

Kalama and Camden were now awake, and annoying each other. They barely spared me a glance when I walked in. Arden was asleep still, and Raphael and Brook were still outside, wherever they had gone. The kitchen was now, thankfully, clean, and it was easy to find a glass. There was also a jug of water in the fridge that was labelled ‘drinking.’ I poured myself the glass, chugging it down.

Then I went in search of food. I didn’t really care what I got, as long as it would feed me. After all of the exercise, I was hungry, ravenous. I found a package of crackers and some, what I assumed, was peanut butter. I looked for a butter knife and started to spread the assumed peanut butter onto the crackers. It was definitely peanut butter. Thankfully.

I have to say that this was one of my favourite snacks. A few moments later Raphael came back in, Brook nowhere to be seen. I wiped the peanut butter off the knife, ready to throw it if I had to. Raphael saw me when I came in.

“Brook’s outside,” he said, sensing the aggressiveness coming off me. “She wanted some time to think. She asked me not to tell you anything until she came back in.”

I nodded, going back to my food. Raphael looked at me weirdly, and I raised an eyebrow in question. He walked over to me, grabbing a cracker.

“Your mother loved peanut butter and crackers,” he commented.

I raised both of my eyebrows in surprise, my mouth full of peanut butter and cracker. That was interesting. I didn’t really know anything about my mother. Other than her name was Solanna, and she had convinced an army of dark creatures to fight for her. And that she was trying to kill my friends and family, but you know, nice family things.

I continued eating my snack, Raphael beside me, in a comfortable silence. Once I was done I picked my swords up and went outside again. I wanted to get this move perfect and I couldn’t do that if I was sitting around.

I stretched out my shoulders, and my back, strapping my sheaths back on. I unsheath my swords, getting back into my stance. I started my movements again.

Swing, turn, kick. Stab. Aerial. And I landed wrong.

God damn it, I couldn’t get this move down. I couldn’t land the aerial.

I started again. I messed up. But I kept trying, again and again. I landed it once. Once, in all the times I tried. So, I finally took a break. I couldn’t take my body to the breaking point. I sheathed my swords, and walked into the forest, looking for a reprieve from the sun. The forest was very shaded, the tightly packed trees letting little sun through.

I saw a tall tree, taller than all the others, and I saw Brook sitting under it. I approached, stepping on a few sticks so that she knows someone is approaching her. If I were her, I would want to know if someone’s coming, so I thought I would give her the same courtesy.

She looked up at me, her eyes rimmed in red. Even if I wasn’t good when it came to emotions, except for anger, really, I still knew how to comfort people.

I sat down beside her, my legs extended, and leaned against the tree. It was a bit uncomfortable, the bark biting into my back through the suit. “Whatever we have to do to get your powers back, I’m willing to do so. Even if it means delaying our hunt for Storm.”

She looked at me surprised. “Thanks, Blaze. That means a lot,” she said, taking a deep breath. “Raphael says that I have a power imbalance. When I went back home, my family and I went to the north pole for a small vacation away from home. While we were there, I went exploring by myself and found an orb. It was a perfect sphere, and it was pearl coloured. I wanted to see what it was and touch it. When I did touch it, I was blown away from it, my vision going blurry. There was so much pain, too. When I recovered from it, I tried to access my power to help me out. All of the ice covering the cave walls makes it easier for an Aquem to navigate it. But I couldn’t access my power. I could barely feel it.

“When I told Raphael had happened leading up to me losing control of my powers. The orb is where our powers originated, according to Raphael. But that orb can also make our powers of control when we touch it. According to Raphael, I have to go back to Elamantti to get my power back. Back to the orb. But I don’t want Storm to be in the hands of whoever took him. I want you to get him back. But I can’t get my powers back at the same time.”

I didn’t know what we would do but we would figure it out. “Let’s go back. We can figure out what to do once we tell the others. I wouldn’t know what to do without control of my powers, now, and leaving them out of your control could endanger a ton of people. If we don’t find another way, we’ll all go back to Elamantti, and get your powers back. Even if we have to leave Storm for a little while.”

She nodded gratefully, standing up as I did. We walked back in a comfortable silence. When we got back I unstrapped my swords and set them down by the front door. Kalama and Camden were lazing around, and Arden was making food. I couldn’t see Raphael anywhere, but he was probably outside or in another room.

“Guys,” I said to get everyone’s attention. They all turned to me and Brook at the door. “Brook has something to tell you guys.”

I nodded at Brook and she told everyone what she told me. They listened intently, absorbing every word she said. Once she finished, they all took time to process, but finally, Arden proposed an idea.

“What if Brook and I went back to Elamantti and the rest of you continue following Storm? That way we can divide and conquer. We can also get reinforcements, so when you guys do find where they’re going, if they have more bodies fighting for them, we can actually fight them off. We could actually win this battle, Blaze. And Brook can regain control over her powers.”

“Brook is a great fighter, with or without her power,” Camden chimed in. “Having her fighting with her power would help us out on the battlefield.”

It was a good idea. That way Kalama, Camden and I could continue our search for Storm, and Brook could get control of her powers, with Arden’s help. That would also allow them to bring back up. But there was one problem with this plan.

“How would you find us once you get reinforcements and Brook’s power?” I asked. “We would be in yet another parallel universe. It would be almost impossible to find us.”

“Not impossible, just improbable,” we all turned to look at Kalama. I raised my eyebrow in question. “I’m pretty sure I can charm an object that can track what parallel universe I’m in. I’ve seen it done, but have never actually done it myself. I could try to do it so that you could find us again.”

That solved that problem. If she could do it.

“Well, we should start preparing to leave tomorrow,” I said. “Everyone should start repacking their things. Prepare yourselves for the fight tomorrow, too. We’re going to find the bastards, and get Storm back.”

Everyone got up, picking up the things that they had unpacked. I hadn’t unpacked my bag, except for my swords, but wanted to make sure I had everything we needed.

Brook and Arden would be gone tomorrow. That means two less skilled warriors. We would prevail, anyway.

Tomorrow we would get Storm back, and go home. Go back to Elamantti.

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