I glowered, and stamped my staff on the ground.

“Lady, you have no clue what you are dealing with.”

“No,” She said. She cracked her fingers. “It is you who have decided that one small taste of the truth defines it all.

“But as words have little worth to you,” she bowed to me at the waist. “Come. Show what you can do.”

Who was she? Mayor’s guard? A contracted assassin? Didn’t seem to be the case. But she wanted a fight, and I needed to have one.

I lashed out with fire. Quick, easy, some of my best work.

She snapped her fingers. The flames winked out.


I charged forward, casting bursts of fire with every other step. Snap her fingers, it was all gone. I spun around in front of her, lashing out with the staff.

She grabbed my staff. With a hard tug, she flung me away. I was up in an instant, but weaponless.

The lady held the staff in one hand, gingerly. Testing it. She pointed it at me.

“You’re dead.”

And then she tossed the wood back to me. “Try again.”

I sighed. Okay. She was good. But I would find a way to be better. If fire wasn’t going to work, maybe pure magic.

I barked out a harsh phrase. Magic poured through me towards her. More than I had ever done. More than the wyvern had took.

She didn’t even snap her fingers this time. Just let it wash it over her in a wave. The best I could do, and she didn’t even move an inch.

The lady arched an eyebrow. “Was that all?”

I turned and ran. I wanted a fight. I didn’t want to die. And going against someone I was clearly outclassed against wasn’t going to help.

Turned a corner, and kept running towards the Spire. Maybe Lana, and Sela. Get the lady trapped, and then I had a chance.

“Running isn’t going to help.”

Her hand reached out, snatching the staff again. The force of the grab made me leave my feet. Tumbling head over heels, and slammed into a building. Ow.

The lady walked out from around a corner. Again she pointed the staff at me.

“You’re dead.”

Tossed the staff to me again. “What are you going to try next?”

I tried everything I could think of. Earthquake, lightning. I poured every ounce of magic I could think of.

She wouldn’t even let me get off a spell. She knew every counterspell, every movement that could negate my actions, almost before I did it.

And every time she would disarm me. Point the staff at me, and say it. I was dead more than I could count.

I screamed, and struck out again. Punches, kicks. I lunged at her. She blurred, and I was yanked up by my hair.

“That’s it?” she asked. “Your magic gone, this is what you do last?”

“Get off me!”

“Do you have any concept of what you are going to do before you do it?”

“What do you want from me?”

“That you learn!”

I stopped struggling, and looked her up and down. Oh, darn it.

“Headmaster. I thought we had a meeting.”

copyright 2019 Jack Holder

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