Dragon Wars: Land Of Myth Chapter Eight Part Five

August 9th, 2010  |  Published in Dragon Wars  |  12 Comments

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Chapter Eight
Part Five

Lydia sat crosslegged on the floor of the cave. Her eyes were closed and a handful of small silver flames were dancing around her head.

Andrew watched enviously. She was so much better at this than him. With Kimi’s help, Aratts had taught him how to freeze water that was already present in the air and even how to maintain it so it didn’t melt or shatter. But he couldn’t summon it out of thin air the way Lydia could her fire.

“You’ll get there, Drew. You’ve only just started. But could you think more quietly?” Lydia opened her eyes and scowled at him. “When did your thoughts get so noisy?” The flames danced around her head more vigorously, suggesting she was agitated. “No, just a little irritated. It’s no wonder you can’t control your ice; you can’t even stop broadcasting.”

“Well at least my ice is still ice-coloured,” he said sourly. “But why are my thoughts flying around like this? They never used to.”

“They aren’t,” Arrats said. “Your sister is picking up more as she approaches her maturity. You shouldn’t be far behind her, so I suspect your ice will  change colour soon. At least some of the stories mention this colour change. I’m not sure why they match your goblin silk clothes, though.”

“Maturity? Well, we are sixteen,” Andrew said.

“No, Drew, I think he means something specific.” Her eyes narrowed and she cocked her head as if she was listening to something. “Something like a second puberty, but relating to our powers?”

“I can’t really answer that,” Arrats replied. “I don’t understand that word you used.”

“Puberty?” Lydia asked.

“Yes, that one. The best I can make of it is ‘starting to lay eggs’.”

Lydia choked slightly at that. “It’s the process of physical and sexual maturation for humans. It’s a bit drawn out and messy. What you’re talking about seems similar, but shorter and for our powers?”

“Magical Puberty?” Andrew asked. He saw Lydia scowl again and open her mouth so he continued before she could speak. “Don’t say it, Lyd. Not unless you  have a better word for what we can do. I mean we have to call it something, but psychic doesn’t do this justice and superpowers just sounds lame.”

“No argument on the latter,” Lydia agreed after a long pause. “And while I think that psychic may be the most technically accurate term, you’re right that it seems inadequate.” She scowled at  the cave floor and prodded at some pebbles angrily. “I  guess ‘magic’ will have to do, but I still don’t  believe in it.  It’s just a  placeholder word until I think of a better word.” She looked up at Arrats. “I’m sorry, an old semantics debate. So you think I’m about to go through this maturity?”

“So I gathered.” The gryphon sounded amused. “And yes, the  evidence suggests you are. All I have to go on are the stories, but the fact that your flames have changed colour is suggestive. They also mention excessive mental sensitivity as a symptom.” He cocked his head at Lydia. “I wish I knew more, but while the stories explain the early symptoms they get very quiet about what happens next. Apparently humans don’t like to talk about it. I don’t think it’s protracted, however.”

“Wonderful! Something is about to happen to me but you aren’t quite sure what,” Lydia gave a sigh. “But apparently it will send my powers haywire for a while. This is not good when half the world wants to kill you.”

Aratts chuckled. At least Andrew’s brain insisted the sound was a chuckle. “That’s true, but at least you should be stronger afterwards. Just try to avoid fighting when it’s happening.” He looked back at Andrew and clacked his beak thoughtfully. “You’re a quick learner. You’ve picked up using diffuse water to make a weapon and few places you’re likely to visit here are totally arid, so generation can wait.  I’d say the next thing you need to learn is shielding.”

“That makes sense,”  Andrew said. “So how do I make a  shield?”

“I think you’ll need to focus on drawing all the heat out of the air around you,” Lydia said. “At least I know I put heat into it,  and yours should work the opposite way.”

“That sounds cold,” Andrew said. “But okay.” He closed his eyes and did as she  suggested. Oddly, it didn’t feel cold as he’d expected it to but warn, very warm. Indeed, he realised, he was starting to sweat.

“Drew, open  your eyes,” Lydia said softly. He did as she asked and gasped. The cave floor where he was sitting was frosted and a strange mist swirled around him. Except mist should obscure his vision shouldn’t it? So why could he see perfectly?

“Well, that looks like a shield to me,” Kimi said.

“It does,” Lydia agreed. “So let’s test it.” A tiny flame appeared in her palm. She tossed it at the mist and it snuffed out.

“It works!” Andrew made a whooping noise.

“Well, it’s a start,” Lydia said. “But people don’t fight with candle flames. Did you feel anything when it snuffed out?”

He shook his head. “No, should I have?”

“If it was straining the shield you’d have noticed. It’s a good sign.” She summoned a slightly larger flame and tossed it. Again it snuffed out as soon as it touched the mist. “Not bad!” She kept tossing larger flames at him until she threw one about the size of large coffee mug.

“Ooof!” It felt like an invisible fist struck him in the solar plexus and pushed him backwards into the cave wall. The flame penetrated several inches into the mist before guttering out and  he noticed the mist seemed thinner afterwards.

“Hmm. Not bad,” Aratts said. “A bit of practice and you’ll have a good shield. But I think we should pause there. You don’t want to overdo it.”

“Sir?” Kaguya’s voice sounded in the cavern even though she wasn’t present.

“Yes?” he said.

“There’s a dark imp hovering just outside the wards. It keeps trying to pass them. Should I admit it?”

“Of course.” He sounded exasperated. “Imps are harmless. You don’t need to ask about messages, girl.”

A few minutes later a tiny, vaguely humanoid creature made of darkness flew into the cave and began fluttering back and forth between Lydia and Andrew.

“Hmm, it seems it’s looking for you two,” Aratts said. “It’s a message. Looks like it was made by the mountain king.”

“Made?” Andrew asked.

“Imps are … well you break off a piece of your own essence and imbue it with a message. One of you will need to absorb it to get it.”

“How do we do  that?” Lydia held out her palm and the imp landed on it and became quiescent.

“Just imagine you’re drawing it into yourself,” he replied.

“Okay.” Lydia closed her eyes and the Imp became diffuse and seemed to sink into her skin. Lydia let out a distressed gasp and leapt to her feet. “We have to go back to Caerdu! Karen’s been hurt!”

“What?!” Andrew also leapt up ignoring the pain in  his ankle. “Karen’s not in Caerdu!”

“She will be. Valeria’s taking her there. We have to go!”

Andrew shook her by the shoulders. “Calm down and tell me what’s happened.”

Lydia gasped in a couple of breaths and then nodded. She was still very pale and her eyes looked suspiciously wet. By the time she finished relaying what the imp had shown, he suspected he looked much the same.

“Kimi and I can fly you to Caerdu in a couple of hours. That should get us there a little after  your sister if they’re bringing her from the Eyrie. I’ll call a friend to bring Eyvindr,” Aratts said. “Kaguya, can  you explain the situation to Eyvindr? I think he’s in the library.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Go and get your things, warriors. We’ll leave immediately.”

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12 Responses to “Dragon Wars: Land Of Myth Chapter Eight Part Five”

  1. Sentior says:

    Nice update, can’t wait for the next one. 😀

    I was wondering, if i see any spelling mistakes (not that i find much), should i point them out, or do you consider that rude?

    • maileguy says:

      Becca (Admin) has been appreciative of the typos I’ve pointed out so far, for which I’m grateful 🙂 Just don’t complain about the British variants she uses… like ‘colour’

      And right, it’s a very good story so far.

    • admin says:

      Yep, please do point out any typos you find. My beta read and I crush most of them, but they do slip through.

  2. mjkj says:

    Great one again
    I really like it

    I just wish I could think of any questions to ask… *sighs*


  3. Sentior says:

    The flame penetrated several inches into the mist before guttering out and he noticed the mist seemed thinner afterwards.”

    That last symbol should not be there, i believe.

  4. Fiona says:

    Except mist should obscure his visit shouldn’t it?

    “visit” should be “vision”

  5. Krynne says:

    Found one… “She looked up at Arrats. “I’m sorry, a old semantics debate.”
    Should be ‘an’ old semantics debate.

    Fantastic story!

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