The Neophyte

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Sacrifice

TRISTAN

The adrenaline pumping in me from before did not last. I admit, I was winded out at one point, but Dean kept going.

So I strengthened the magic shield—something I learned from Wynona after my first duel with Dean—and waited for him to tire out. Despite Synto’s spirit, Dean’s biological vessel was still human—and it was wearing thin.

“Face me, you coward!” He yelled impatiently.

Typical Dean. I was starting to miss Synto’s polished manners.

“I would lift this shield if you allow me to use my magic. If I’m the coward, why don’t you let this be a fair fight?”

That made him let out a deep-throated laugh. “Your lack of magic is not because of me, Embers. If you’re smarter than you think you are, you would’ve figured out that she was holding you back this whole time!”

I stifled an eye roll. “That effort is also coming from you, Dean. At least lie intelligently.”

That angered him more. Dean tried all he could to break the magic shield. Synto blocked my attack magic but could not touch my defence magic. All my Untamed magic spells were attacks. I needed to think of a plan.

“You know, Tristan. Out of all the Spellcasters I’ve met, I like you the least. You wanna know why?”

Practical magic might do well if I could transport myself out of here but Synto blocked that too. Perhaps he was only blocking my active attack spells?

“You’re just like your grandfather, Tristan! You think you’re better than everybody who isn’t a Sage, or from such a lineage. You’re just a lucky, spoiled brat who was born into a wealthy family!”

Cursify? Or Delirium? They both attack, but are passive spells. Worth a sh

“Ignoring me won’t do you any good, Embers!” Dean yelled like a child wanting attention.

Time to lift the shield. One, two

Cursify!” I chanted the spell as my wand pointed to him. It was a split-second moment where the spell caught him off-guard.

Dean cried out as he flew backwards upon impact. He looked less sane each time I saw him. The spell actually managed to get him, which, I admitted, was a surprise. His muscles began to twitch immediately. That would buy me some time before the curse wore off.

Quickly, I pointed my wand towards him, “Frozium!

Nothing.

“You will die,” Dean growled before his black aura engulfed him and Synto reappeared once again.

“You first,” I said. I watched him transform into Synto’s black mist. Its yellow eyes illuminated. “You look like you could use some help with that vessel. Synto is eating you alive, isn’t he?”

His golden eyes emerged from the black smoke. “Infant! Thy words hath no power over me.”

I stifled a flinch. I hated that voice.

“My army hath arrived,” its booming voice quaked the floor beneath us, “and it hath cometh to take the souls of all mortals until none is left alive. The Vampires will work for us until they can no longer. The djinns shalt roam the earth free, once again.”

“That’s your plan?” I asked, unamused. Predictable.

“Even the Vampires have been recruited. There are more of us now.”

“But the vessel isn’t going to last. Dean is…” my voice trailed. Then it hit me. “Dean is just a temporary vessel, isn’t it? You have found the right one and you brought her here.”

The thing laughed, a demonic rumble. Chills went down my spine. Heidi.

“Thou art a smart mortal but weak, as mortals art.”

I could feel the magic energy in me diminishing. Synto was strong enough to even steal my aura. I needed to think of a way and fast.

“You leave her alone,” I said, gathering as much energy as I could.

Synto roared with laughter and cast a spell I had never seen before. An arcane spell, made up of pure energy that could obliterate anything.

Malleficus arcanum!

I had not gotten rid of my magic shield when the magic was cast. The sheer force of energy broke my shield and sent me flying backwards to the window. I crashed into it but fell forward, a huge piece of glass cut my eyebrow and lower lip. I fell hard onto the floor, my hands protecting my face. I groaned.

Synto towered over me as I laid on the wooden floor. Then her voice called from behind it.

“Let him go!”

We both turned to the direction of the voice. Heidi stood at the doorway, her hazel eyes glowering.

“No,” I croaked, “Heidi, get back!”

She ignored me. “If you let him go, I will go with you.”

“No, Heidi!” I yelled and winced from the pain in my head. I must have hit it hard onto the glass.

“Leave him and take me. That’s what you wanted, right?” She asked and pointed to her choker, “And you can take this off too.”

Without wasting a minute, Synto reverted into Dean’s vessel.

“Very well,” he said and smiled at her.

My limbs were weak. Synto cast a portal, one that looked into blackness, like a scar of the material world. He held out his hand to Heidi.

“Do not listen to him, Heidi!” I yelled.

Her eyes looked cold but before she followed him into the darkness, she stole a glance at me—and smiled.

I gathered all my strength and pushed myself off the ground but I was too late. The portal closed and she was gone.

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