Magical Essence Ch. 06bynoplex©
Thank you again for all of your support! Here's the next chapter. I hope your appetite is slowly filling up -- because we're approaching the climax of this series. I promise that it'll go out with a bang and you won't know what hit you. Just a few more chapters left to go!
Magical Essence Chapter 6: Destiny
Gavin stood outside waiting for the two women to finish up inside. They had neared the final leg of their journey back to Eliza and Meredith's hometown. Gavin walked around the small town watching the shops beginning to wake up. He closed his eyes and breathed in the fresh hair that was carried from the east wind. They were traveling to a harbor city on the coastline. Gavin had never seen the ocean before but had heard stories his whole life of boats that were swallowed up by waves forty and fifty feet high. The ocean was a relentless terror that not even magic could stop but only deter. He took another deep breath as he headed back towards the carriage that had been carrying them to their destination. He turned his covered head and walked towards a child that was staring at him with amazement. Gavin bent down to the child's level, his brown robe covering him underneath and he stared the kid directly into his eyes.
"What's your name buddy?" Gavin spoke with a friendly smile on his face.
"Sir, my name is Galen, sir," the child stumbled with his words. He had could not have been any older than five summers but was already working hard for his family. He would be a strapping young man when he matured into an adult.
"Are you a fan of magic?" the Mage said as he took pulled his hand in front of his face creating a spectacle of sparkling colors. He patted the kid on his head and turned away to leave before receiving and gentle tug on his robes. Gavin looked down to look and then behind him. He turned to look up the road but there was no sign of the young boy. He took a step forward and the landscape changed dramatically. The houses were scorched and burned to rubble. The ground, which was once green with healthy grass, was now dried up and brittle. Gavin turned his head as he noticed the same small boy. A black aura was radiating around his body and with a quick flash the boy disappeared from his vision along with the rest of the precognition. Meredith's calling voice drew him away from the center of the town. He pulled his robes together tightly around him and walked directly to the carriage. He had many questions for Eliza's mentor, the other ArchMage and he wanted to get there as quickly as possible. He knew in his gut that something was about to break loose.
The carriage took off with blazing speed and grace as they entered the home stretch of their journey. Gavin looked out the window and watched as the landscape slowly changed to a craggy and rocky as the neared the costal city. The smell was the first that he noticed. He could almost taste the salt in the air from the ocean. Gavin pulled back the shutter on the window and put his feet him. They were at least an hour off and he decided to spend that time resting his eyes. Meredith was already sleeping peacefully at his side and Eliza had her nose in a book that she had brought along for the trip. He had spent most of his time admiring the different landscapes as they moved every so slowly to their destination. His face was perplexed thinking about what he had seen at their last stop. He was recalling his initial walk through the town. He did not remember seeing the child the first time around but it caught his attention. He was not sure exactly what to make of the premonition but somehow it would all mesh together soon enough.
"What irks you Gavin?" Eliza had looked up from her book and been studying him over the past few minutes. She had always been able to read him, but over the past few weeks the workload had left her detached from the two of them. Meredith was spending more time training with Gavin and he seemed to spend all of his time out on the battlefield honing his skills.
"Just something that I have been pondering over the past few weeks now, you know, since my little incident," he turned his gaze to look at her with a solid focus. He quickly decided that this would be the best time to break the news. "I do not plan on participating in the Olympic events. I figured I better tell that to you now."
Eliza did not seemed surprised by this at all. She had watched this boy, of which whom was only a few years younger than herself mature from an adolescent to a responsible man. Even though he had acted out over the past few months she knew he would handle he situation well. In fact, she had expected this of him even though he was the one who created the dilemma in the first place. She could tell that he had made the decision by himself and had not even informed Meredith by watching his stares over at her sleeping form.
"You do understand what this means..." she was cut off short.
"Absolutely. I have trained with her for the past few weeks. She is more than ready," he reached out and brushed the hair from Meredith's face while she continued to sleep. "I have full faith in her, Eliza, or else I would not put the burden on her shoulders. But I cannot do this. I belong outside of this fight."
He took a few moments to pause and consider his next thoughts. Gavin knew very much that Eliza could handle the words he was about to tell her, but he did not know how she would interpret them. She was, in fact, a politician. Gavin had long since decided that politicians were not the ones to be trusted even if two of his best friends were both politicians. He turned to stare her down.
"I do not trust the council. There is something brewing and I have a feeling it is going to happen during the events. Someone else knows about what I am," his voice was clear and straight to the point, "have you told anyone?"
"Gavin, what, absolutely not! I believe I understand this more than..." again she was cut off before she could finish her line of thinking.
"And Merik?" his face had gone stone cold showing no sign of emotion whatsoever. Eliza was not enjoying this line of questioning. She was more concerned about what had prompted him to begin asking. He awaited a reply with a relentless stare.
"Absolutely not. Gavin, what is going on here?" she started talking in her raised voice demanding an answer to these obtrusive questions.
He pulled gently on the shutters and looked quickly around judging their surrounds a bit more before proceeding. He was being not only cautious but leaving Eliza on short leash information wise. He did not want her to become worried too soon. He needed to find out more before continuing with this conversation.
"Not now Eliza. I need to speak with Esterme first. Then we will talk."
She was floored by this and was about to raise her voice louder before she fell into a deep sleep. Gavin had cast the spell quicker than she was able to even react. He cracked his neck slowly on each side and looked back at Meredith lovingly. He could feel her love of him radiating through her body. Each and every time he saw her smile it melted him on the inside. Gavin did not understand what this girl was doing to him but he did not care nevertheless. She was beautiful. She was magnificent. There was absolutely nothing wrong with her. But now, he was throwing her to the sharks. They had been training for weeks and she was keeping up with him as well as could be expected. She was going to be forced into a situation in which she was not prepared for mentally. This would be her weakness.
Gavin closed his eyes and his form blinked slowly from inside the carriage. He had apparated his body back to Tevrin and after a few seconds of limbo was standing on the rainy streets of the city. He pulled his heavy brown cloak across his body and began walking up the street towards the club that he had been to a few months prior, 'The Grail,' where his little incident with Jordan was subverted by Merik before it could escalate. He pushed through the doors and scanned the surroundings. He could see Jordan and his cohorts at a far table. Gavin walked in the immediate direction of the table slowing down as they realized who was walking towards them. Jordan immediately stood up crossing room to meet him.
"What are you doing here? You want me to mop you up again," he laughed and the others behind him followed in key. Gavin cold stared into his eyes and then smiled back at the mage.
"I want to speak with Derek. Jordan, Where can I find him?"
The face on the mage changed to a contorted expression and the other two stood up from their position at the table joining Jordan by his side. Gavin searched their eyes one by one until settling his gaze back on the leader of the pack. When another mage asks to see your Master you are obligated to provide such communication. This was the law of the land -- as long as you were still an apprentice you had to follow the laws or you could face the dire consequences. Jordan sneered and pushed past Gavin walking towards the door. Gavin followed the two henchmen out the door and into the streets.
The rain was cold and pounding hard like miniature ice needles hitting the skin. The walk was not too far and there was no worry about ill conversation. After a few minutes the three had started to mumble between themselves but Gavin paid no attention. They had been specifically warned not to attack him, and nevertheless, they could not do anything even if they fully exerted their powers on him. At this point in his training he had little to worry about when approaching any normal mage. The walk through the streets had proved to be a little longer than he had anticipated looking up at the sky as sort of guidance for the time of the day. The heavy rain clouds masked the sun and he stopped as the trio turned around to look at him.
"What do you want with him?" Jordan had asked in all seriousness. There was no malice in his voice and he was generally concerned. If Gavin felt the need to speak with his Master then Jordan was expecting a rather stern talking to shortly afterwards. Gavin merely nodded towards the door and they pushed it wide open. He stood in the foyer of the building as the three ascended the staircase to their Master's quarters.
The room was surrounded with spell books and alchemists' gear. There were vials upon vials of liquids -- some transparent and others ranging from all the colors and hues of the rainbow. There were very few that were labeled and as he examined further they seemed to be abbreviated with some form of a notation. Gavin had never been taught anything about alchemy. His studies had been solely on learning spells and executing them. He was training for war, it seemed and Eliza forgave his inabilities to create concoctions out of a book. She was not the best alchemist herself either and did not even bother teaching Meredith beyond her initial studies. Gavin reached out and touched a few of the ornaments hanging on the wall before he heard the yelling above him.
One of the younger apprentices ran down the stairs first before the other younger apprentice quickly followed and they rushed out the door screaming at the top of their lungs. Gavin had heard part of the conversation as they were leaving which he took to understand that their Master had been murdered. He walked up the stairs to take a survey of the scene. Most of the doors had been pushed open. Gavin quickly looked for Jordan's aura and followed his sense to what seemed to be a sparring room. He found Jordan on his knees grasping at his hair. Gavin looked around the room to find exactly what the three had found.
There were spell burns across some of the walls, which were obvious signs of a struggle, but not enough to be of much merit. There were parts of Derek's body littered across all four corners of the room. His torso was pushed up against he wall. The spray of blood had been minimized for some unapparent reason. The struggle, if there was one, did not last for long. Someone vastly more powerful had done this deed. Gavin looked up at Jordan for a few brief moments worrying about the young man. His aura was radiating with the brightest glow that Gavin had ever seen come from him -- he surely was a powerful mage. This had even taken Gavin by surprise. He looked straight up at Gavin with a dark glow in his eyes.
"Do you know who did this?" his voice cracked a little but was strictly to the point. Gavin stared him down for a few seconds and shook his head. He was not sure what Jordan wanted to hear from him. But they both knew it was not mere coincidence that Gavin came around wanting to speak to Derek. The mage had been murdered and Gavin was sure that it was because of him.
He had come to suspect that Derek was on to his secret a few times after speaking with him. In the beginning Gavin really did not take notice to it, but after a few conversations the mage was surely suspecting something was up. The rest of the community was already spreading buzzwords like wildfire. Gavin had been immediately propelled into the limelight of the community as soon as it was announced that he would be attending the Olympics under Eliza's apprenticeship. Even though none of them have ever seen Gavin fight they immediately took the side of whom seemingly was the underdog. He laughed this off but it soon became to be an annoyance.
"He was fascinated with you," Jordan finally admitted and Gavin did not respond at all. The young boy continued, "He kept asking me to stir some things up with you. I did not understand at first. But now..." Jordan looked around the room for any signs of who might have done this. At this point both young men felt a slight bond. Gavin nodded slightly to him.
"I have to get back to Eliza," he looked around once more and then nodding slightly to the other mage, "You take care of yourself. Who ever did this might not stop with Derek." With that Gavin disappeared from the room just in time for the Guard to come running up the stairs. They were five strong and more had been roused by the screaming of the young apprentices as they ran down the cobblestone street way. Jordan just stood back and looking out he window wondering what was going to come out of this whole situation.
There were seemingly problems with Gavin and carriages. He had arrived back in the carriage just in time to deflect an immediate assault from the right side. The wooden box splintered exploding from the outward in. He did his best to protect the two women as they both were wrestled to a groggy awareness. Gavin floated down from the debris looking across the rocky enclosure at the black robed figure.
Almost as quickly as the spell was cast Gavin deflected and quickly returned the fire back at their assaulter. The other mage had done the same and moved parallel to Gavin's stance. Meredith and Eliza had quickly retreated from the carriage watching the two magi stare down each other. A few more exchanges of similar spells occurred with no effect on either of the men. Gavin started the assault and began running full sprint toward the figure deflecting his attack spells to the left and right of him.
The rocks cracked around them as they clashed and their power flowed straight through their bodies into the ground. Eliza ran out from her observing point and moved closer to the battle. Gavin was struck across the body with a lash of magic causing his robes to ignite immediately. The hooded figure caught one of his own spending him sprawling back into a rock formation. Gavin retreated back towards Eliza and Meredith scanning the rocks in front of him. He was bleeding from his side and quickly bit the pain and burned his wound shut. He yelled towards Eliza to take cover but she refused his order. The next spell was meant for her but Gavin stood in front of the spell taking the brunt of the attack and rolling off into the grass.
Eliza put her hands up backing up from the advancing man. He had been wounded as well from Gavin's last assault and he slowly made his way towards the grass. He had seemingly no interest in either of the women at the time being and was focusing his attack on the strongest of the three.
Eliza closed her eyes as an arch of the two Mages clashed together creating and amazing and unreal scene. There were all colors of the spectrum clashing with the dark energy of the unnamed mage. Gavin stood up from one knee focusing all of his energy into blocking the attack. Flows of energy arched from the central point of the two snapping limbs off trees and causing small brush fires around the perimeter of their battlefield.
Meredith joined alongside Eliza as they both screamed out spells launching their attacks towards the black robed man. He put up one hand to deflect the spells back towards the women but it gave Gavin enough time to overcome him causing the energy to surround him. The robed man had disappeared inside of vortex of colors and darkness and Gavin was left standing around the single chunk of preserved green grass for the whole field. The myriad of merging colors had left the two women speechless. It was almost something that could not be explained.
He breathed out but felt nothing except pain escape his body and collapsed into the grass. He could feel the onset of his drained body coming over him and he struggled to keep himself awake as the voices of both Meredith and Eliza fell on his deaf ears. Gavin looked down his body at the wounds across his torso. Even though they were not deep they were enough to cause the seeping blood to pool and stain his brown robes. He laid his head back taking in another breath as a flash of white light blinded his eyes for a second.
Gavin faded in and out of consciousness as an older man leaned over his body examining his wounds. His white beard was long and neatly trimmed and he wore white flowing robes that covered every single inch of his body. Nothing except white emitted from this Mage that Gavin had only guessed to be Esterme.
He felt his body being lifted slowly off the ground and the last thing he remembered was the unfamiliar smell of vanilla.