Chapter Six

Jasmine

Yami Aphiry City

Still playing outside the village after sunset, I was tracking Owen. We were playing alone as usual since no one else would play with him. The light of dusk was slowly draining to darkness that would mark the end of their game in the forest.

"Jasmine... Jasmine, where are you?" Owen goaded.

"I got you!" I bragged but I'd missed him.

"You can't get me..." Owen taunted. "You can't g- Jasmine!" Owen's reaction was quick. He ran right by me and knocked a stone right out of the air with his bare hand. "Who's there?" he demanded.

"Well, if it isn't Jasmine the Witch and her pet monster. You trained him to defend you now? I thought you were protecting him." One of the larger boys from the village strode forth, arrogant and overconfident flanked be his many friends. This dark haired bastard didn't show fear but everyone from the village fears Owen. His friends clearly didn't want to get any closer and were ready to bolt in the opposite direction from where they came.

"Go away!" Owen took a menacing step towards them and they all backed up, the dark haired one was surprised at Owen's change in attitude, but he retained his confidence, he's never seen Owen's power.

"You know what? You are going to regret coming anywhere near us." the big kid threatened but they all left, quickly.

"Let me see that hand," I reached for Owen's hand the same time he offered it up to me.

"It doesn't hurt," he told me.

Looking it over, I didn't see any real damage done. I poked a tender spot and he cringed. "We should double check by the light of a fire, just in case."

He nodded in agreement.

I woke up unable to sleep because of what that kid had said. It took me a little bit to realize Owen was missing. I rolled out of bed and didn't even bother to get properly dressed into my cloak and boots as I hurried out of our hideout and looked around. It was dark but I could see the flickering light from a fire not too far away. I started walking carefully but when I heard the insult of 'monster' echo in the air, I ran as fast as I could.

I got there to find many kids from the village there, all in a circle around the fire and Owen. He submissively lay tied down to a rock near the fire. A large knife lay on the ground beside him.

I jumped out without thinking and before I could do anything I was caught by two strong boys.

"Where do you think you're going?" they smirked.

I hit one in the gut, and punched another before I felt a sharp pain on the back of my head, then my mind went spinning, everything got blurry before it all turned to darkness.


The crackle of a fire and the talking of many had me open my eyes to something horrific. Surrounded by the kids who harassed us earlier and many others as well, I took in the image of Owen struggling to get free in front of me. One of the males circled around and faced me. I recognized him as the dark haired one we encountered yesterday.

"We waited till you were awake, now let us begin!" he snickered.

Someone picked up the knife and began chanting. "Oh great Arragon, Brother of Dragons. Lend us your power and-"

"Shut it! We are doing this quickly."

"Witches do not die so simply."

"I made up that nickname! Just hand me the knife!" The dark haired boy snatched the knife out of his hands. As fast as a shadow, he passed between me and the fire and suddenly he stood above me with the large knife in hand.

Owen struggled harder to get free, he wanted to protect me.

"Well, I guess we won't see any more of you," He took the knife in both hands and raised it above his head. His face turned into a wicked smile that frightened me.

Just before the knife came down I heard Owen cry out and the entire area was consumed in red darkness.


"You know, sometimes becoming a monster is the only thing you can do." Owen said as he sat on his rock staring at the dying fire.

There was blood everywhere much like when I first met him. I was no longer tied to the large rock but we were both covered in red. I got up and looked around, shocked and a bit horrified. The rocks, dirt and grass, leaves in the bushes and trees, every single thing had blood on it.

I have to keep myself together, it is no different than the first time. I looked at him, he sat perfectly still, no movement what-so-ever. I felt sorry for him but I have to ask. I need to know.

"Whose is it? Why is there so much... blood," I hesitated saying it. I have no idea what kind of reaction I'd get from him, but didn't even flinch.

"It's like a part of me that I attack and tear apart. It only looks like I've killed someone but really I've only killed a part of myself, no idea what part because I feel mostly the same," Owen replied simply, undisturbed by the sheer volume of blood.

"Where did everyone go?" I asked still looking around, if he didn't kill anyone where were the kids who tried to sacrifice us?

"I don't know, probably home. Some probably went covered in blood, too." He pointed to a couple of bloodless spots on the ground, finally moving.

"I want you to make me a promise. Never use this power again." He killed part of himself, is that what he really thought? He shouldn't do something so dangerous.

"Why-"

"Promise me!" I said urgently.

He looked at me and smiled. "As long as you are safe, I promise."

I woke up.

Chloe

Shino Aphiry City

I adjusted the blanket I had wrapped around me to cover my bare feet. Staying with Elder Torn for so long in his cave of fire made me get chills with every passing wind, whether it be a simple breeze or not. Despite that, I kept my eyes focused on the battle between students in front of me. Elder Ed was generous enough to let us use his large training ground. Or so said Owen.

Beautiful, no other word could describe Johnithyn and Joanna's dance. They defended each other and then attacked together as Owen attempted to work around it. Yesterday I had watched Owen practice, he looked so cool and powerful performing his moves but it looked as though he was struggling against their beautiful and dangerous dance.

With no magic allowed in this match Johnithyn and Joanna looked like they were the ones going to win this match. With their ability to defend and set themselves up for a strike at the same time Owen didn't seem much of a challenge for them.

Finally Owen backed off and halted the struggle. "Fighting the two of you is difficult," he said admitting defeat.

"Well, maybe you just got slower," Johnithyn joked. "I'm just kidding, you wouldn't have been able to block half of what you did if you stayed the same after we left. You've improved a lot too."

"I still have a few flaws. No one can learn this fast without having a few," Owen gestured for them to leave the dirt ground then turned and challenged me. "You're turn, show me what ice is all about."

I stepped into the arena and conjured two ice shields.

"I'll start with something you're familiar with," he said as a familiar white flame showed up in his hand.

I shook my head. "Don't, don't go easy on me," I challenged back. The edges of my shields turned sharp, I spun and threw one at him.

My shield was blocked when a dirt wall sprung up between Owen and I, and in front of it two golems rose, one of fire, one of earth, both of them stood three times taller than myself. I heard a third rise behind me.

Usually when more than one golem is created, the summoner only moves one at a time to avoid draining too much power from himself, but Owen was moving all three at the same time.

After a deep breath, I ran towards the earth golem. I dodged to the side as it tried to punch me and jumped onto its arm, it raised its arm and I lightly tossed into the air, over top the earth wall. A water golem waited on the other side but before it got a chance to respond to my decent towards it, I put my shield in front of me and blasted it with frost. Frozen solid, I dived right into it and punched through it with a hand armoured in ice. Landing on the other side, it shattered into tiny shards.

First lesson when creating a golem, if you can remake one, do it. The power is already there so it won't take much, and if you add just a little more, you can make them smaller and faster. I recalled a lesson I learned from my one of my teachers. Creating golems with the elements was always a good way to test our abilities in school.

With my power, I manipulated the shards and gathered them together creating three figures my size. I added my power too and gave them ice weapons, finishing in time to witness the other three golems smash though the earth wall. Fire, earth and stone all looked at me like I was food or just something to crush.

I was always terrible at controlling the golems. They were just too big and didn't move as fast as I wanted them to, but this time shouldn't be a problem.

I had my three golems follow me into battle. I threw my remaining shield at the stone golem. The shield bashed one of its legs out of place causing the rest of it to fall forward and collapsed into useless rubble.

My ice golems made short work of the earth golem, one of them carried an ice axe and chopped the earth golem's head off using the other two as a distraction.

The fire golem was a bit different. I conjured another ice shield and blocked its fire breath as I had my ice golems circle it. I drew my own breath and the four of us blew frost right back, its flame quickly diminished and died. I looked back at my ice golems and sighed a breath of relief. Is it done?

Suddenly, the ice golem with the ice axe spun and cut through another's torso and then almost sliced through the third if I had not responded. I blocked its axe with my shield, my third golem took the opportunity to send its spear into its stomach and twisted the blade inside. The golem's torso cracked and after one more attempt to attack me, which I blocked, it fell apart and shattered.

"Now I can fight you I think." Owen dropped down in front of us. "I'm not too sure of myself yet so let me know if it is still too much power for you to handle." He conjured a massive white fireball and threw it at me.

I put my shield out in front of me and blocked the ball of fire. I was almost disappointed in the impact. I expected to be flying back or even pushed back a bit but there was nothing. It felt pretty powerful. My shield was half melted so I threw what was left of it to the side and conjured two ice blades.

"You don't want to fight me in close combat," he stated and conjured a two handed fire sword. "But I guess this could get interesting after a lot of practise," he leaped towards us.

My clone blocked his downward slash. Owen evaded my side slash, then he backed up, dodging my second and spun around my clone's thrust getting close. His fire blade shrunk into a short sword as he spun, giving him the momentum and speed to cut my ice golem in two. Swinging both my blades down towards his head, he raised his short sword just in time to block my attack. I backed off to evade his quick side swing but only two moves after he had a simple fire knife at my throat.

"I've been trying to learn how to do that, can you teach me?" I asked as he let me go. Switching weapons and fighting styles was hard, Elder Dimetry was popular for that. Fighting him would be like facing your worst one in my class my class would want to learn how to do it though, no one really likes weapon training anymore. All they want to do is become the best magic user.

"I'm not perfect yet and I don't think I could help much, but I can be a sparring partner for you. It's more about discovering what you are comfortable with. I can only really help with the transitions." Owen backed off only to move into a fair distance away. "You did better against me than I thought you would though, this could be a lot of fun. Let's go again," he taunted me to make the next move.

Joanna

Watching Owen and Chloe

Chloe surprised me when she took out the first of Owen's golems, but after she took out the fourth and then her own that turned rouge on her. I was blown away at how much she already knows. Of course, Owen is too fast for any one person to keep up with in close combat, it makes up for his lack of experience in battle. Chloe, on the other hand, seemed like she had practiced a lot on her own. More than Johnithyn ever had and sometimes he'd go for days non-stop. Her moves, stances, attacks, blocks… they were all performed flawlessly. What Owen was doing was giving her the experience of fighting against another, and it was already working.