Journey of the Elementals RP (Pm if Interested, Started)

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What the hell was going on? One minute Gabriel was in the thick of the crowd of dancers with a... shapeshifting girl on his arm? The next, he and his shadow were on the deck of the airship that had carried them to Kerbones. Fei and her shadow were there as well... and so was the shapeshifter. She was apparently a mage now... and - Oh, Alainia preserve us. There were dragons flying alongside the ship, attacking it!

"Help, Gabriel!"

The girl who was changing forms had been knocked off her feet. But she sprang right back up and unleashed a stream of flames at the roaring dragon head bearing down on her. Gabe ran forward to take up a spot between Fei and the stranger... clinking sounds were heard with each step he took, and his clothing felt heavy... was he wearing armour? He looked down to find that yes, his clothes had been changed into protective gear. His shadow wore similar garb. The situation was bizarre.

"The hell is this place..." he muttered as he began to draw on the water in the air, attempting to shape it into an orb. If he was lucky, he would be able to retain control over the sphere and use it to hit one of the dragons at a decent speed. It wouldn't do much damage or anything, but it might make them think twice before coming in for another attack.

Joseph nodded as Alexander spoke, seeming to be unsure of the questions that Alexander seemed to pose to him. However, his enthusiasm didn't seem to go down all that much, and he glanced at the Prime Minister once more, who sighed and stood, stretching as he did so.

"Well then, Alexander. I guess we will be going to the Academy once more. That is where we have the odd....gemstone locked away. Hope you don't mind the small amount of distance. I can get an aide to assist you if you so desire." The Prime Minister said, flexing his hands as he did so.

"Of course, I will be asking you about...well, whatever it is you are doing or your shadow will be doing. As long as you don't mind the questions, of course. And I'll need, see what you are seeing. If you can make sense of that, of course. Not that I can't trust your analysis, since you have been quite helpful so far. Just want to be sure that you don't start seeing things from that crystal or something. Can't have that." Joseph rattled off, standing up himself and then looking Alexander's condition over.

As Phebe and her shadow prepared to strike, a loud call seemed to echo overhead. The men instantly seemed to start rushing, the one cursing as he made his way away from the pair. "Goddamned demons all over the place then! C'mon, they'll be moving and not waiting on us!"

With the men taking off, it suddenly could be heard as a lot of horses and other people seemed to be gearing up to move onward. More specifically, they seemed to be getting closer to Phebe's location somewhat. The shadow shared a glance with Phebe as the noises seemed to go around them. It was apparent that while they were not coming right to them, there were a lot of people moving around them. And the sounds of movement and clanging that had been coming from behind had also gotten closer. Soon, some shouts and clanging metal could be heard. Someone had started fighting.

While Raven weaved her element around the fire mass that the master had formed, it seemed to react. It struggled slightly against the first line that Raven was making, but it held on as she moved past it. The fire in the middle seemed to become more defined, becoming more of a ball of fire rather than just a flaming mess. As Raven stepped away from the master of fire and the now circle of flames, he whispered something as she stepped past. It wasn't clear what he was talking to, or what was going on, but it was obvious that it was of some importance to the man as he whispered it.

"Honesty is the only route that will be clear to him. May you say it in time."

As Raven continued her steps, with the master of the earth next, the woman there seemed to also be whispering as she made her solid lines in the elements alongside the fire which was already there. These elements, while not precisely opposites, did not entirely want to stay put, and seemed to put up some small amount of struggle against staying put. However, the woman continued her whispers as the solid earth seemed to form a more solid core.

"May the earth forgive what must be done to save those upon it."

As the man finally got his hand on one of the horns and sounded it, he noted that the mages seemed to have come back to the camp, which instantly seemed to annoy the man more than the demons did already. He began muttering to himself as some horse riders came forward into the camp, jumping off to check their crossbows and move forward.

"Damned.....look, you were brought here to FIND the damned other mages. We have this all well and good. Go do your damned job before we start having to engage an entire hoard of the bastards. With any luck they'll kill the ones in the mountains, but we'd rather not take the chance of them just sitting back and having the demons as a screen for their activities." The man said at Silvana as he seemed to want to stay around.

Several more demons jumped out of the forest once more, again being cut down by a flurry of bolts ready for their arrival. The man cursed again, as he knew it meant worse things to come.

"GET THOSE WEAPONS LOADED. YOU FOUR, GET TO EXPLORING WITH THE MAGES, WE NEED THESE BASTARDS FOUND BEFORE THIS BECOMES A PIT OF FIGHTING. MOVE IT MOVE IT MOVE IT!" The man seemed more angry than was possible before as it seemed the chattering that had been happening before seemed to be in a lot more places now, with many more sounds accompanying it. Swords, armors, and other such things clanging against one another.

A man approached the mages, obviously somewhat displeased with the orders he had been given. "Look, I don't like this crap, so lets get this straight. You are going to find out what the hell is going on in the mountains, and I'll help put bolts into it. Otherwise, I don't give a damn. Lets go get this done so I can get the hell out of here and away from you."

And with that, he began moving back into the canyon, and upon seeing the odd creature from before that Silvana had seen, did not hesitate to pull up his crossbow and put a bolt into the creature, who stumbled back and fell to the ground. "Damned things all over here now."

Cale saw the demons and other ilk jumped out from the darkness and into the bolts of the soldiers nearby. Once again, he drew out his sand and formed a solid whip to keep the monsters at bay. Men screamed and cursed as the monsters hissed and growled at them.

"Nydia, stay close!" Cale said. A demon rushed at Cale and he brought his whip to the monster's feet, sweeping it out from under it. The demon doubled over in front of him and he brought his foot onto its head, crushing it with the heel of his boot. Adrenaline started to pump through his veins as combat roared around him but he stayed calm for the most part. One of the men approached the mages, willing to follow them into the depths of the canyon to uncover what exactly is attacking them so Cale followed without hesitation.

Nydia and Cale had barely begun to make their way out of the camp when they found themselves under attack by the demons. Thankfully the soldiers were quite alert and had them dealt with in short manner although it was impossible to say how many more of the creatures lay in wait. Nydia's first instinct was to check for any wounded but a man with a crossbow came up to them who seemed insistent that they continue to scout the canyon ahead for mages. They must truly fear these mages if they choose to hunt them down rather than deal with the demons that attack their camp. Or perhaps the demons are tools of the mages... I suppose there's only one way to find out.

As they followed the man into the canyon, Nydia realized that she had yet to thank Cale for protecting her during the attack earlier. She had come here to protect her allies after all rather than burden them. "Thank you for your assistance earlier Cale." She said giving a slight nod to show her gratitude as they walked. "I apologize for my inattentiveness and shall endeavor to be more useful in any future skirmishes."

Raven wasn't paying much attention to the mutterings of the other elemental masters. She was focusing on keeping her chain going as she passed around these giant orbs. The warmth from the fire tickled her face a bit as she passed. It was an enjoyable heat, hitting her like the kiss of the sun's rays...wait, no. Not that. Like the glow of an enemy's home going up in flames. That's more like it. The earth however, it wasn't affecting her in the slightest. Cold and unfeeling as she moved around it.

Not that any of them really mattered. She looked ahead, at the blinding bright ball that she would have to pass by next. The one being channelled by the Sun-Sucker general. Light. Why does it always have to be light? She attempted to line her self up properly with the path she would have to take before shutting her eyes to avoid as much contact with the shimmering sphere as she could. Just get by this one. Just get by this one and you'll be home free.

"Hmpf. Fine, but there's no need to yell at me like that. I thought my help was needed here, but if you're so insisting that I go and scout, then scout I will." Silvana didn't even bother with staying with the group of the mages she'd arrived with or the guards who had been stationed with them. She could deal with any threat coming her way on her own. Didn't look all that tough, anyway.

Going alone wasn't all it was cracked up to be, though, when she got attacked by a couple of demons. Not that it really mattered since she blinded both of them with a flick of her left wrist, then held her right palm out towards the two demons and sent a small beam of darkness towards the two of them, one for each one, knocking them back a fair distance.

"Come get me if you really want me that much." She kept the blinding darkness over their eyes, but one of them still found a way to her somehow. But that still didn't help as it played right into her hands. She placed both hands on the demon's chest, then began draining it of energy with a wicked grin on her face. "You shouldn't mess with Silvana Dakron." Her crimson eyes had a sadistic look to them while she drained the demon, it slowly turning paler and skinnier until she was done and there was nothing left of it except the skeletal remains and skin.

She looked towards the other one with the same grin. "You're next." she said to it as she started to have the darkness around the demon slowly devour it, watching it writhe around, trying to escape. But there was no escape for it as the darkness completely covered the demon before she seemingly had it sink into the ground before letting the darkness let go of the demon, with no sign of it anywhere. Rarely she could allow herself to use her draining and devouring abilities, and it seemed like the demon she drained had been rather filling in that regard. She still had her mission, and she started to scout again, but she now sported a grin.

Drew saw the demons, but payed them no mind as he started heading towards the canyon. Got to remember this isn't real. This is a trial. They said go for the mages, that's what I'm going to do. That gets me what I want. He took a look around and noticed that Silvana wasn't there. Oh hell, don't tell me she went ahead... He turned to Cale and Nydia. "Oi. You two. Imma go look for a couple of the others. We're gonna need all the help we can get. Send me a signal if things go south." he said, turning toward the general area Silvana was seen last and dashing off.

Plus, either Silvana or those two will end up being the first one to run into the mages. Might be able to get a more strategic position this way. If nothing else, I won't end up on the firing line. I might be in a hurry, but only idiots rush into situations they know are dangerous... for a brief second he thought of what Fei might be facing, but he shook his head She'll be fine... she has to be. Getting myself hurt or killed wouldn't do her any good...

"Gabriel, come on!" The shapeshifting girl was all over the place, trying to fend off half a dozen dragons at once and still finding time to call out to the armoured Hydromancer. Gabe, however, was trying to shut out the sounds of battle as he continued to gather water into an orb of steadily increasing size. It was roughly as big as his head now, and was starting to slow down.

"Gabriel! Don't just stand there! Give us a hand!" In his peripheral vision, Gabe caught a glimpse of a plume of fire sprouting and quickly vanishing: whether it belonged to a dragon or the shapeshifter was anyone's guess. I'm trying... if I'm going to be of any help I need to focus, was what he would have told her if he could have. His gaze was locked onto the orb in front of him, hovering between his hands. It was taking a considerable amount of mental strength to keep it coherent; that was to say, remaining a sphere instead of collapsing and splashing everywhere.

Another dragon swooped down, making a pass just in front of the Hydromancer. Once its head had flown past Gabriel, he shot a hand out towards the join of its head and neck, willing the liquid sphere to catapult itself towards the dragon. It did so, and Gabriel kept his gaze locked on it to try and maintain its solid-but-liquid form. The orb moved with surprising speed, and made contact with the dragon's neck. He had missed his intended target, but still landed a blow on the dragon's armoured skin.

The orb bounced off, appearing to have little to no impact. The dragon must have felt it, because it came around for another pass, roaring at Gabriel as it did so. As it bore down on him it spat a burst of wind, knocking him off his feet and sending him crashing straight into the shapeshifter girl. The breath was knocked out of both of them as they collided with the airship's protective railings.

Gabriel hurriedly disentangled himself from the girl, getting to his feet. The dragon was roaring again, its attention somehow away from the mage. Somehow, though Gabriel's focus had been broken by the roar, his sphere of water was still coherent, sailing around in the air and bashing into the dragon with stronger force than he had used. Then he saw the object of the dragon's attention... and he had to blink.

His shadow had taken over the orb, and appeared to be commanding it with ease. It was executing repeated, swift gestures and acrobatic maneuvers to simultaneously avoid the dragon's gust breath-weapon and direct the orb's movements to hammer on its scales. Each time the orb connected the dragon howled and tried to lash out, but its attacks barely connected with the shadow. It seemed to get out of the way at the last second, almost every time.

"Now! We need to fry it while it's distracted!" The shapeshifter had taken on the appearance of a pale-skinned, white-haired teenager. She gestured and Gabriel began to feel winds tugging at his armour. He had never worked with an Airshifter to create lightning before... but he knew the theory behind it. The girl began to generate a cloud, drawing on residue water from Gabe's previous channeling of the element. Once it was of a decent size, Gabriel reached out and touched it. He felt a slight jolt as a finger of lightning jumped from the cloud to his arm and began to circle the limb. More soon followed, coalescing into larger bolts of the stuff.

"Throw it!" the girl commanded. Gabriel stabbed his hand out towards the dragon and the lightning jumped from his palm, electrocuting the beast. It screamed and whirled around on him... only for his shadow to smack it in the side of the head with Gabe's orb. Gabriel launched another lightning bolt, resulting in another scream from the monster. Another smack with the sphere and the dragon was knocked away from the airship, where it soon vanished out of sight.

The girl dispelled the cloud surrounding the two mages, and breathed a sigh of relief. Gabriel felt... something. He felt powerful. Controlling such a primal, unthinking force was entirely new to him. If he had been one to make jokes, he would have said that the experience was shocking. Using lightning was strange, but heady, he found.

Gabe was distracted as he felt the shapeshifter girl hug him briefly before pulling back. Instinctively he turned to look at her... and he froze in his tracks. The shapeshifter had taken on the appearance of none other than Fei Kyarra. She winked at him.

What? I... what? Why would... Oh. Of course. The Soulmate card. But... you went through all of those other girls before? Will you change again? She didn't seem to be. Gabriel suddenly realised he felt sick. The fact that a battle was going on had become unimportant. The armour he was wearing had become constrictive: he needed to get it off. And to find a bathroom before he threw up.

"That won't be necessary sir, I'm fine to walk on my own. It will be nice to get the opportunity to make sure the muscle doesn't weaken too much as I heal. As for the questions I don't mind. I understand it is all part of the process, and probably for my benefit just as much as yours. If this crystal is as unpredictable as you make it sound, it may be a good idea to have someone making sure something doesn't go horribly wrong." Alexander replied as he got ready to go.

"Though hopefully everything will go well and we can all learn something important. Feel free to lead the way, I don't exactly have my bearings yet." He joked somewhat.

"Let's just leave them alone." She said, keeping her voice down, but there were no one in the immediate vicinity other than them, so she didn't need to whisper. Phebe hung her bow back over her shoulder, and walked over to the closest tree. "One can never be too sure, so you might want to hide while they make their way away from us."

Phebe jumped for the lowest branch, grabbed it with her hands and pulled her body up onto the branch with relative ease. She didn't move like she once had in her youth, but she made it higher up in the tree and the foliage anyway, making sure to not make too much noise as she did so.

Maybe she would be able to get a better view if she climbed higher, but for now she seated herself on a branch, with her back against the trunk of the tree. It reminded her of a past life, when she had not known anything about the academy and other mages. Life had been tougher then, but it had had it's moments of happiness too.

She glanced down at the shadow. It couldn't be easy to climb with wings, but then it didn't really need too.

As the mages fought they few demons that they encountered in the canyon, the man spat once as he saw the displays. Muttering to himself how "...wish they'd just finish each other off...", he continued his walk until they came to a location where demons had apparently met resistance upon attempting to enter. Many demons were dead, some burned to barely recognizable flesh, others which had been frozen and shattered, and some which had been smashed against the walls. It was obvious that mages were here, and they were dealing with the demons as well.

"Finally....They are here." The man said, turning to the mages. "We need to find out and stop whatever these bastards are doing, and then we can get out of here, you can get paid, and that can be done with that. Do whatever the damn you need to do to get it done."

The man loaded his crossbow once more, and edged to the opening where there was a small amount of fighting still going on. He then took out a small box, lit his bolt, and fired it blindly into the area with the box attached. It was followed by a quick BANG which seemed to cause some stir with those in the area. The man then narrowed his gaze at the mages.

"You waiting for a goddamned invitation? Get your asses in there!"

Seth let his flames linger for a moment longer as he torched yet another demon who attempted to enter the area. He had expected to be fighting something with the mission and armed friends he was with, but demons was a bit of a surprise. Even more was he surprised when the other mages with him all seemed to be reasonably powerful, and armed much like himself. As a woman, airshifer he was certain, stepped towards him, he couldn't help but grin as she addressed him.

"Don't have too much fun, Mister Darius. You have someone to return to, don't you?" The woman said, checking her crossbow for a moment as it seemed the demons had stopped for a moment.

"So I'm some kind of open book now?" Seth replied, wiping off his blade on a nearby demon before a bolt flew into the small area, and a bang went off. "DAMN! Back up!"

Seth began making his way back a little more, largely because being peppered like that wasn't going to be very pleasant with explosives. Though reluctant, the other mages did the same for now, deciding that Seth knew somewhat what he was doing.

Hm. Blade must be some kind of higher rank or something in Least they listen for now....Hurry up Raven. I get the feeling this isn't going to get easier.

Seth paused as the others went back a little further in the canyon to get another line set up, bringing his flames to spin around himself. He could stand alone here, and perhaps buy time. Perhaps that was his end? Though, it did not seem to be the case as the airshifter he had spoken to before reached forward to grab him through his fire.

"Come, Seth. You are not going to be foolish today. I made a promise."

As Raven began her work towards what was likely the worst element to form the line with, it became more obvious as she got halfway through her steps, with the line of darkness she was drawing seemed to start to shake against the opposing element. With a quick glance, it seemed that all of the mages whom had been sent around the circle were now having trouble, all now reaching their opposing element. Specifically, the mage of fire and light were having the hardest time keeping their lines going through the elements.

Raven's line continued to shake as she attempted to even move, or focus more power into the line, and then the light master spoke. "May this light guide these souls instead of oppose them...."

"Yes yes...Of course! Come now, it isn't all that hard. First, we need to go this way...." As Joesph began mumbling to himself and walking onward, the Prime Minister stepped aside with Alexander with a small grin as he did so.

"Apologies for Joseph. He is, as you can see, quite.....well, most would say insane. However, it would be better to say that he is very gifted, but as with many gifts, they come at a price. Not many can understand his thought processes now, and how he comes up with what he does. Hope you do not mind, or feel forced into doing this. If so, I can have him...go do some of his other projects." The Prime Minister said, his voice obviously lowered so as to not attract Joseph's attention as they arrived at the Elevator and waited for it to arrive and take them downward.

"This is quite exciting though. I mean, I haven't really had any mages ACTUALLY want to be helpful. More often than not they dismiss the relics and things, but I don't think they are willing to see all the knowledge and advantages gained from them. I mean, what everyone does at the Academy is plenty of what I do, just in more....well, noticed ways. Like explosions."

The demon looked up at Phebe, and almost seemed to smirk as she made her way upwards climbing. With a quick jump, and use of the claws that were apparently attached to its arms. It settled onto another branch, taking the time to look around and see if there was anything coming for them, and upon not seeing anything leaned back much like Phebe did, only to nudge Phebe in a few moments and point towards the canyons some short distance away.

What could only be described as the embodiment of each element being further wrapped within one another slowly. Each had its own odd kind of form, but each seemed to be slowly being drawn closer to one another. What became obvious to Phebe as she looked at it is her powers seemed to be echoing by simply looking at the display. It pulsed, seeming to want to join, or be unleashed. Whatever the case, it was obvious that it caused her demon a great amount of concern, especially as some smoke seemed to rise nearby from some areas around the apparent gathering of energy.

Seeing Gabe and the other girl make lightning made Fei jealous. Like... really jealous. Even at the Academy there were only a few other mages that could do that apart from Fei and Drew could make it. They couldn't even use it very well. How come Gabriel, who couldn't even use water good, make lightning? They had been practicing for years! No way Gabriel could do it with a stranger in less than 5 seconds.

Fei attacked the dragons again, this time with scalding water and steam. She may not have been able to make ice yet, but she could make steam. And steam was 10 times worse. Because first it released all the heat until it was all boiling water, and then the boiling water had to cool to normal temperature. All that heat went right into whatever it touched. Like skin, or in this case, scales.

Between the three of them, the dragons soon disappeared. Then the earth disappeared. The ship just floated in midair. The wind stopped. They were just kinda sitting there. Slowly, slowly, the boat tipped forward. And then it fell forward, diving headfirst into the blank emptiness.

"And that is the basic law of water control! You can take a quick 10 minute break, and then we'll go into a few basic techniques."

Fei opened her eyes. They were in... a classroom? It was a classroom in the Academy, in the Waterfall Fortress. The classroom was mad of stone, with blue and gray mosaic tiles. There were a few inches of water on the ground underneath the desks. One of the teacher/Weavers, Alaina, was teaching. It was a basic class. It looked like they were in an Apprentice class... Gabriel was sitting to her right, looking just as confused as she was. Their shadows stood off to the side. Was the shapeshifter there? Well, there weren't two Feis, so either Gabriel was in his own trial by himself, the shapeshifter had changed her appearance again, or she had disappeared completely.

"I heard you the first time. No need to yell..." Silvana in response to the man, more to herself than to him due to the volume of her voice being low. The mages were scattering away after the little explosion the man had sent their way, and now there were just a lot of demons running around, ready to fall prey to her darkness magic. "Let the fun begin." A small grin came across her lips as she started to use her magic in various ways.

With good aim and precision, she shot a few of them with her darkness beams in their shoulders and chests, hitting some fatally, others just simply hurting from it. She tried to avoid as much damage as she could by avoiding their attacks in one way or another. When one of them tried to jump her, she created a wall of darkness between herself and the demon, causing it to hit the wall. From the wall, two more walls protruded from it and wrapped around the demon while it struggled to get loose, tightening around it as it dragged it off into the ground, into the surrounding darkness Silvana was spreading along the ground as a giant trap for the demons. Should they come near her, she would stop them and drag them into the darkness, never to return again. This was making her feel excited as her heart pounded and raced from fighting all those enemies.

Cale rushed in after the man commanded them to and so did a few mages. Adrenaline pumped through his veins as the rush of combat came to face him. The bang that came from the man's explosion sent a few demons in a daze. The tight quarters made him transform his whip into gloves around his fists. They hardened around his knuckles without hurting him and he threw a viscous punch into a stunned demon, staining the wall next to him with teeth and ichor. The demon next to him lunged at Cale, throwing him onto the ground. Cale kicked the demon in the stomach and launched his sand into the demon's mouth. The demon choked but soon fell as he manipulated the sand around its head. Cale withdrew the bloody sand from the demon's mouth, cringing at what he had done. Still, the battle had just started and he turned to meet a charging demon. Cale formed a sand wall at the last minute, cushioning the blast and dazing the demon. He took a rock from the wall and crushed its skull.

Phebe turned away from the sight of the gathering of power that was going on over there. She didn't want to join them. The temptation to use her magic would probably increase the closer she got, so she stayed where she was. If they dealt with some of the demons in the meantime she would appreciate it.

"I think we'd better stay put for now. How would we even get over there with all these demons, and possible enemies nearby? If there are other mages over there they might not be friends."

It could be her fellow mages from the academy, since they had entered the trials as well, She had said that she would be doing them alone though. It wasn't like she was alone at this point anyway. She glanced at the shadow, but knew that she would have lost already, if it hadn't been for the help it had provided. It made her feel weak, too weak.

She wondered if the trials needed to be completed within a certain time, as she made the decision to wait a bit longer.

While the fire orb had provided warmth, the light orb was causing feelings similar to freezer burn. There was no comfort from it's glow, it felt harsh and unforgiving. Raven had tried to prepare for contact with this much concentrated light but it was still proving difficult to maintain her composure. Even with her eyes shut as tight as she could, the shine found it's way through. She could feel the magic behind her starting to waver a bit, as her darkened spell fought to exist alongside the head Sun-sucker's giant orb. Fuck. This hurts. I can't see How am I supposed to do this?

"May this light guide these souls instead of oppose them...."

Not helping! The way you're going at it? How am I supposed to be guided by light. ... Definitely not your light anyway. ...Maybe ...maybe there is another light. Maybe that can help me. About time some light did something for me. Know what? I'll use that light. People need me to use that light.

Raven's eyes remained shut as she rounded what she though was the curve of the orb. The blinding white was starting to slowly fade.

Alexander turned to the prime minister.

"I do not feel forced sir, in fact I am happy to be of help. It would be something of a refreshing change from the events of last night. A chance to get out of my head if you will." He followed Joseph and listened to what the man was saying.

"Well some discovery is slow and hard learned, other times it is an explosion either literal or metaphorical. Though I myself know that there is plenty to be learned from a relic, since what is a book but a written relic of another time."

Nydia scarcely had time to take in her surroundings and react before the man who accompanied them fired what seemed to be an explosive into the area. Cale and the other mage moved in as they were ordered to do so and Nydia was close behind. What awaited them was more of the demons they had encountered earlier but met a gruesome end at the hands of Cale and the Nightshade. Nydia watched, quietly entranced by the brutal display. It repulsed her, yet she could not tear her eyes away.

So entranced was she that she did not even notice one of the demons making it's way over to her until it was nearly upon her. With a snarl the creature lunged towards her, slashing at her with it's claws and causing her to shriek in a mixture of surprise and fear. She managed to step out of the way but not soon enough. The claws shredded through the side of her robes and grazed her flesh sending searing pain through her body. Nydia gasped, taking several steps backward to safety and to regain her composure. She placed one hand on her wounded side to begin healing the wound while conjuring a ball of light in her other hand to keep the demon at bay.

The threat went ignored as the demon approached once more. The others were still engaged in battles of their own. She would be forced to protect herself, though killing the creature was disdainful to her. I've no choice though, do I? I can no longer cling to those peaceful days at the Academy. They are gone and I fear I must accept that and fight even though it sickens me. She was out of time to think about though as the demon and few others were closing in again.

Nydia took a deep breath and closed her eyes for a moment. In that moment the light in her hand exploded, blinding all the demons nearby. She opened her eyes and took aim just as she had done in her training every morning at the Academy. One by one she shot a laser at each demon, searing a hole straight through the head right between it's eyes. With a sigh of relief, she used her brief reprieve to finish healing her wound so she could rejoin the fray and aid Cale and the others. She had trained every day for a time such as this but it was truly saddening to her to have to put that training to use.

There was a bright light then suddenly the sounds of demons hitting the floor filled the strangely silent room. All who had looked in the direction of the light were silenced while the sounds of beams cutting through demons deafened Cale. He looked up from his hands that he covered once he saw the light and instead of demons, he saw Nydia. She looked saddened, dulled by her act of violence. Cale understood that feeling.

"Thank you, Nydia." Cale said to her beneath his huffs. "Come one, we need to end this."

Cale walked deeper into the area, arms at the ready.

Gabriel took a moment to look around... A classroom? Full of little kids? They were probably around the age of ten. He glanced over at the girl sitting next to him... she bore considerable resemblance to Fei. It was weird. Gabe raised a hand in front of his eyes to make sure he was seeing things properly... his hand was that of a child. The two Hydromancers had apparently been shifted into younger versions of themselves.

What the heck? Is this another one of Fei's memories?

"Alright, everyone. Now that you know the basics, we're going to divide you all up into groups of two or three. Each group is going to get a bowl of water, and you're going to try just moving it around in the bowl." Gabe recognised the words, thought they were familiar. He remembered doing this exercise in class: it was Apprentice-level stuff. The task confirmed his suspicions that they were in a class from back when they were younger, Gabriel mused as everyone around him scrambled to pair up with their friends.

That was to say, everyone except Fei and himself began to pair up. Gabe looked over at her and shrugged as if to say, We might as well.

The teacher, whom Gabriel recognised as Alaina, began to walk up and down the rows of desks, passing wooden bowls around and filling them from a jug. Another female mage older than the class, presumably an assistant, was also distributing bowls. The assistant set a bowl down in front of Gabriel and Fei and filled it... then she tipped Gabe a wink and her brown eyes changed colour to a familiar blue. The same colour as Fei's eyes.

"You two, play nice now. Remember to ask for help if you need it," the shapeshifter instructed, winking at Gabriel a second time before she moved on. What did she mean by that? Was it a jab at his inability to talk to Fei? Maybe. But he couldn't talk to her before... he'd tried. One time, he'd almost thrown up.

Although... hold on just one second, mister. Your problem is that you can't talk to girls who are around the same age as you. You're nineteen. The girl sitting next to you looks like a ten-year-old. She's out of your age group. You can talk to her.

But she's a teenager too... I can't do this.

Yes, you can, Gabriel Westmar, he argued against himself. Now do it. Invite her to go first: might as well use the class as a test run. Remember what the spirit said: 'Force the winds to move.' Don't just sit there like a moron. You can talk to her. Prove to yourself that you can.

Gabe took a breath, and then another. At first it was difficult just to look at the younger-looking Fei. But he managed it. Next came the challenge of actually saying something. It took a few moments before he caught himself staring rather than trying to speak.

"Do... do you want to try first, F-Fei?" Gabriel eventually managed to tentatively - and quietly - ask. Well, I did it. Satisfied? he asked himself.

No. You stammered. You can do better than that, was his answer. It's not like you're asking her out or anything. It's just a simple question.

"Alright!" Fei smiled in reply. She concentrated for a second, consulting their textbook, and then her notebook. She held her hand over the small bowl. Slowly, she started to make a spinning motion with her finger. The water shifted back and forth. Softly at first, but it began to spin. It spun faster and faster, round and round, much to Fei's excitement. "Look, look! It's spinning! It's spinning! EETS SPEEENNIIIINNG!" she squealed. The water erupted, splashing water everywhere.

"Now, Apprentice, remember to keep it under control..." Alaina came back around, putting a hand on Fei's shoulder. With a flip of her hand, Alaina took all the water out of Fei's hair and robe, placing it back in the bowl.
"WOW! That's so cool! I want to try that! How do you do that? Is it hard? I can't make water float yet, but I can make it jump a little sometimes! Watch!"
"No, no, no, no, Apprentice, calm down." Alaina smiled. "Let's let the other Apprentice try, okay?"
Fei crossed her arms with a humph, glaring. It wasn't fair. She had to sit here in Apprentice class with these other Apprentices, doing Apprentice things. She could do so much more! Water was easy-peasy, AND she could make lightning! She was WAY above this class.

Seth and his fellow Blades had fallen back as far as they could. The demons that were trying to swarm and kill had been trying to get to the ritual area as well, taking some of the "war mages", which Seth now considered them, back around the natural walls to keep the demons from becoming an issue. Seth and the two he was most familiar with, the outspoken earthshaper and odd airshifter, were at the entrance, dealing with any demons as they came in. However, it seems they had slowed, and as Seth pulled his blade out of his most recent killing, he turned to see.....Cale? It would seem that...Nydia was behind him? This was obviously a very...interesting trial.

"Well, to be honest you are the LAST people who I expected to see showing up." Seth said, cleaning his blade, the flames he had been using to torch his enemies left and right still spinning around himself. He kept his flames intense, standing alongside his two colleagues. The Earthshaper seemed to be sizing up Cale, rock armor covering his arms as he stood. The Airshaper placed another arrow in her bow, readying to fire once more as it seemed Cale and his had apparently been fighting the demons...Silvana, Drew, Nydia, Nat, and Nina....What exactly were they doing here?

The fighting could still be heard behind them though, so Seth figured that they had likely an army behind them. He could almost feel his flames burn brighter and the battle calling to him...

My fires cannot be quenched....I am the flames, and no amount of demons, mages, or humans will make me stop. If this is my ending...well, I'm sure Raven will appreciate it. Seth grimly readied his sword, not sure of the group's intentions, but sure that the humans behind them would not be any help.

Finally, the light slowly stopped invading Raven's sight, and she slowly made her way away from the orb towards the next. It seemed that slowly, the others pulled themselves together as well, and began to make their rounds once more. Very close to being done now. As she stepped towards the odd ball of light, which manifested only with a blank space in the middle, but with all the other elements circling it. As she began what was her final circle, the airmaster whispered things, much like all the other masters had been doing.

"May the winds help escape the monstrosity which must now be unleashed..."

The demons seemed to be of little problem to the surrounding mages, but the entrance which Seth now seemed to stand guard against....fellow mages at this point. Recognizable ones. Even Nat and Nina were along with the group, though further in the back, and looking particularly worse for wear.

As Phebe sat and waited, it was obvious that the odd lights and rituals seemed to be changing in the distance, even as she tried to ignore it. The very area around her seemed to pulse as energy seemed to being pulled in and then released as if breathing. Phebe's demonic shadow sighed, looking over itself and the new claws and wings which it now had. It glanced over at Phebe, seeming to have either given up, or simply was not sure which direction to take at this point. What was obvious was the storm and clouds overhead grew worse, and it accented the fighting which now seemed to be happening in many areas, shouting and growling and weapons clashing in many areas. Battle had obviously exploded around them, even as they sat up in the tree.

As Alexander, the Prime Minister, and Joseph made their way to the labs, it was obvious that things were once again in full swing, with the woman working on her crystal lights, the chemicals brewing and bubbling in others, and general work going on. As they walked a small ways, they finally got to a small area which seemed more made to store things than to work on them, with an armored fellow keeping watch and apparently taking notes. Joseph made his way past the man, and went to a specific glass box and collected what seemed to be an odd shifting crystal, which largely held the shape of a cube, then a diamond, then a circle. In Joseph's hands, it couldn't seem to decide the shape or color it would take. he then turned and offered the odd crystal to Alexander.

"And this is...well, what it usually does for me. It is your turn now to see what it really does. Perhaps it will be something more? Here...I will assist..." Joseph stepped over, neatly placing the odd...thing in Alexander's hand.

As soon as it went into his hand, the crystal seemed to send out an odd echo through him, and then seemed to answer in kind. The crystal reformed, becoming a perfect diamond, in color and shape. As it solidified, Alexander's shadow seemed to vibrate for a moment, seeming to phase out more than usual, or perhaps change would be the better term. Slowly, the reflection of Alexander was a reflection no more, shifting instead to an older individual, with many more adornments of the sun, armbands showing such allegiances to the Light, with the cloak now being more defined and what could only be considered a more royal cloak. The shadow even became somewhat taller, and even somewhat older appearing. To Alexander, it now seemed less like a reflection, and more of a different type of himself. Someone who had grown to be a master of the Light.

"....Alexander? Are you alright? What do you see?" The Prime Minister asked, as Alexander seemed to have been there for some amount of time silently changing as his shadow did. In Alexander himself, he could seemingly hear different thoughts, which could only be considered thoughts of his shadow. While at the moment they were mostly a jumbled mess, a few basic emotions ran through. Surprise, astonishment, confusion, and a small form of appreciation as well.

Alexander could hardly tell his own emotions from those of his shadow. He marveled at the power of the artifact, was surprised at what appeared to be an older version of himself standing before him, he wondered at how this was happening, and in no small part he was excited to see this development and curious to see what would come of it.

"Yes Prime Minister, no need to worry. I'm fine, though very much full of emotion and curiosity at what I am seeing. I don't know if the two of you see it as well or not, but it is an older version of me. More grand than I thought I would be at such an old age. Though I am glad to see I keep the suns my parents made if this is actually a glimpse of what will or may be. Hopefully I might live up to the visage before me, or make it come true. There are also thoughts and feelings in my head, not mine but similar to what I feel right now. I can't make out the thoughts yet, but I will see what I can figure out."

As he tried to mentally sort the thoughts he was getting so as to better understand what his shadow was thinking he decided to ask questions to his shadow, figuring it might help. Starting with the obvious was probably the best place to work from.

"I know you are my shadow, but can you speak to me and is it possible you may know more about what happened than I do? Also do you have any idea what specifically you represent? Most importantly though can you let me know if you are ok and how you are feeling?" Again probably obvious but it was for the best that he start with basics and from there possibly move his way up.

As Alexander's thoughts slowly began to rearrange themselves once more, the new thoughts continued to pour through, but were less of a disturbance than the initial shock of all the new ideas and thoughts coming to the young mage. The older looking mage stopped for a moment, gathered himself and then seemed to attempt to heal himself, causing himself and notably the room to brighten for a small period of time, causing all others in the room to look around. After a moment, the shadow stopped the attempts and seemed to sigh, giving up on the attempt at healing. As the thoughts continued to echo in Alexander's head, a message did come through.

"I...can't be Alexander, because that is you, is it not? Alexander Smith, of the Light? I am....somewhat sure that is you. And if that is you, I am not sure what that would make me. I do represent you though, of that I am certain. You are....better equipped with someone like me to watch over you." The thoughts came a bit more slowly than a normal conversation, but they came somewhat clearly.

"You are not well. Is there something that must be done? A darkness that needs to be cleansed?" While thinking, the shadow made no further attempts to move about now, or heal himself or others. He simply seemed to stand, watching and waiting, as well as it seemed trying to get his own thoughts under proper control.

Cale looked towards the familiar voice to see other mages here with the demons or most noticeably, Seth. Flames danced at his sides where a few feet from them were two other mages. One was an earthshaper like him while the other was an airshifter with a bow in the quiver.

"Seth, what are you doing here?" Cale questioned. If he was another part of the trial then it would a hard fight along with the two mages next to him but he hoped little for that of combat. The earthshaper was looking Cale up and down and seeing by the way he was forming his arms with rock he looked to be a fan of the Formed Fist technique. Cale knew of that technique but he stuck to his own sand. They gathered in his palm, what was left of it at least. "We're here for the demons and nothing else."

Drew had been cautiously sticking near the back, watching what had been going on when he noticed Seth in front of them. "Huh. So Seth decided to try his luck as well." he muttered. We all seem to be converging into the same trial. Maybe that means we'll run into Fei soon... He then took a moment to consider her in the current situation While being able to use lightning here would be nice... he shuddered at the thought of bringing her into a battle with other mages and demons. However, he shook his head to get rid of any hesitation he had. NO. This isn't real. These aren't actual demons. The mages are constructs for the sake of the trial. Don't worry about it.

Back to his normal self, he slowly drifted towards Cale and Seth. "So, you're here now. That's good. What exactly brought you here? Maybe a different perspective can give us a clue into how these trials actually work..."

Alexander decided to try thinking back to his shadow to see if maybe this was a two way system.

"Other than these wounds and a troubled mind I am alright. Both of which will heal in time. I would heal my body myself but for the moment I am a bit low on energy.

As for who I am, you are correct. But if you are my shadow it would stand to reason that you are an extension of myself. Which would make you me too, though a different kind of me. Though I can see this all becoming somewhat confusing.

Though I should ask how you are and what you think of all this." He didn't ask about being better equipped since his shadow had already saved his life once. He also wondered if he should tell his shadow that it was free to do as it felt best. He wondered if the others with shadows would see what he now saw or if they would see the old shadow. Or if at this point they would see it at all. For now though he would simply try to get to know what now thought and talked in most definite ways, perhaps even see what and if it could interact with.

"Let's let the other Apprentice try, okay?"

"Alright..." Gabriel hesitantly answered, turning his attention to the bowl of water. Just moving its contents around was easy stuff, well within his limited capacity to perform magical acts. However, when he reached forwards and tried to stir the water as Fei had done, it barely rippled under his command. "It's not working..."

"Stay calm, Apprentice. Go back over your notes if you have to," Alaina instructed.

Well, that's just not fair. Stunt my already average abilities as well as my age. Annoyed by this stage of the trial, Gabriel played along anyway. As he pretended to look over a page of notes on his desk, he began to question why this particular memory was revisited. Where was the challenge in reliving the past? Where was the... well, the trial, in this? He didn't understand.

He turned back to the water in front of him, and attempted to move it around again. This time, it didn't even budge.

Whatever demons that tried to attack Silvana were swiftly dealt with as she used the darkness to attack and counter them in various ways, stabbing through them with spikes made of darkness, grabbing them and "devouring" them by having them disappear into the darkness on the ground, shooting darkness beams at them and if she needed to, holding them down with darkness tentacles and draining them of life by putting her hand on them, leaving them a dried out corpse. All the while, she kept a sadistic grin on her face.

Once she reached the point where Cale and Nydia were, she noticed the Pyromancer she'd met before they had entered the Trials. Seth, as she believed she remembered his name to be. But he hadn't entered with them. Was this just a part of the trials? Was this the real Seth or a fake created by the trials? Whatever the case was, he didn't seem like he was about to fight them, but she felt it was better to keep her guard up. She took a good look at herself, what she could look at without a mirror, and saw that her robes showed some signs of combat, since some of the demons had managed to attack her. But thanks to her life draining ability, she didn't feel fatigued from the battles. Her heart still pounded in her chest, her mind still in battle mode, but for now, she just wondered why Seth was there with them.

As all the mages seemed to pause at the sight of Seth, the guard that had traveled with them growled in disgust. He clicked his crossbow, and then drew out his sword as well.

"Goddamned lazy bastards. THEY are the reason for the damned demons. LOOK AT THIS GODDAMNED MESS. KILL THEM." The guard shouted, pushing past Drew and Cale to fire a bolt at Seth. As he did this action, other humans arrived out of the canyon behind them, lightly armored but heavily armed, they were slightly bloodied but prepared for a fight, and upon seeing the gathering of mages and the ritual going on, wasted no time getting ready to charge at the three guardian mages while all the other fended the demons off around them.

Seth and the pair of mages wasted no time reacting to the aggression as the humans began arriving into the small opening that they had. Seth didn't even worry about the bolt as the woman beside him grabbed the bolt out of the air with the winds, and launched it back. Meanwhile, the Earthshaper wasted no time transferring the rocks in his fists and energies towards causing a quick earthquake, tossing all but Silvana into the air. It was a short quake, just enough to toss everyone off their feet, but it was all Seth needed as he stepped forward letting his flames consume the man who had fired first. The man shouted only once and was dead in a moment, and Seth spun his fiery blade as he grimly smiled.

"Seems we are not here with the same objectives...." Seth said, turning towards Silvana. "...If you dare, of course."

The pair that had stood with Seth assumed he could handle that, and stepped instead to take care of any additional humans coming in, as well as those who were already there, and not dead yet. The Airshifter began firing her arrows, being methodical about the shots as she did so, and the Earthshaker once again brought the stone to his arms, prepared to defend his arrow flinging companion.

Alexander's shadow tilted his head, somewhat concerned as Alexander spoke about being wounded in different ways, and thus needed some assistance. He approached Alexander and reached out, the suns on his sleeves giving off a glow.

"Your wounds are my concern as they were before....or is that now? No matter. Healing must be done. Remain.....calm...." The shadow's thoughts echoed once more as the glowing engulfed Alexander, and the Prime Minister and Joseph both stepped back, exchanging a glance as they did so. It was obvious a lot had happened. While the Prime Minister turned his gaze back to the other workers to see they went back to work...which they did as he looked.

Joseph, on the other hand quickly became fascinated, taking down as many notes as he could as he stared, hoping that he was getting every detail. He noted in particular that Alexander seemed less...burdened, if that was the correct word? Yes, less burdened. Perhaps it was a new type of healing that was happening? Or perhaps....a possession? Most fascinating.

After the few moments, the shadow stepped away. Alexander's wounds were gone, though the shadow seemed to be much more transparent as he stepped back. Looking Alexander over for a moment, he nodded in satisfaction.

"Good....Now, you are...correct that this is all odd. I would hope you to offer more answers for me than questions I have. But this is not the case....But I can tell you I am very grateful for you....doing whatever you attempted to do. It has given me....soul? Existence? Life? I lack the word to know what it should be. Or perhaps the emotional understanding."

Alexander immediately felt an easing of both his body and his troubled mind. But he also noticed the transparency of the shadow. That caused him some amount of worry.

'Thank you. You have done much for me already, but I'd like you to promise me something. That you try and avoid making your own situation worse as well. You seem to be fading out, and whatever you are or aren't can be figured out in due time, but as a healer I'd still appreciate you trying to minimize harm to yourself as you aid me.

Unfortunately I have few answers, the two other men in this room wanted to see an effect that the crystal I hold might have on someone already with a shadow. You are the result of my touching it. As for your feelings, I think given time and experience you will find the words or emotions. Even though you look older than me you are only mere minutes old. We can both feel the separation of our consciousness still. We will both have to explore what we can do and the effects it might have. Though tell me, you know my name, but do you perhaps know my past? Or perhaps more personal information about me?' He had held up the crystal to...himself he guessed as he mentioned it. He then turned and spoke to Joseph.

"My shadow has gained a kind of sentience. We can communicate through thought and it just healed me, physically and mentally. Though it became more translucent to me as it did so. Right now we are both trying to sort out our thoughts, feelings, et cetera. Neither one of us knows what happened specifically though, just that it happened."

Silvana didn't care much about the orders the man gave, as she wasn't about to let him tell her to fight someone she'd previously had a kind encounter with. But then the Earthshaper that was with Seth made the earth quake and Silvana was the only one who stood in front of the three mages as Seth seemed to challenge her while the other two mages started to take care of any other humans around them. Silvana chuckled as she held out her palms facing Seth with her arms down along her sides. "I may not like fire or its users, but it's still more manageable then those damned Light users. If it's a fight you want, then I'm sure as hell gonna give you one."

She started by spreading some darkness across her on the ground, covering enough ground so that she could keep a good distance away from Seth. She didn't know how well he could fight or how much control he had over fire, but any precaution was necessary against anyone who provided light in one way or another. For a moment or so, she just looked at him, measuring him and his blade. "A mage who uses physical weapons. An odd choice, certainly. It'll never be as good as magic though, I'm afraid." With that, she sent a blast of a darkness beam towards him, seeing how good his reactions were.

The shadow only shrugged as Alexander mentioned is lessened...existence. It looked itself over, and didn't bother to try and do anything about the situation, for it likely could do nothing about the current issue. An idea seemed to strike the shadow suddenly, and he waved an arm towards Alexander, and instead of touching him only passed through. The look quickly changed to one of realization as he realized his own existence seemed to dawn on himself.

"I can promise very little, Alexander. You know as a healer that the task is to ease the suffering of others, and save all those who we can. I will attempt to...not fade away, if there was a way for me to tell."The shadow's speech even seemed to be more faded, and their minds also seemed to crash much less with much less around.

"So then a crystal, and I am only ten minutes old? An...interesting dilemma. Though, now that you mention memories....I remember blades, trinkets, and other things of iron and bronze....Perhaps a smithy? Maybe an army, or a noble? It is all very....fuzzy. I am not sure if they are your thoughts or my own. A lady, perhaps? Dressed in white, with dark hair which went against her golden shine? Perhaps..." The shadow paused, obviously now lost in thought as it stood trying to sort out what it was.

Joseph, in the meantime, was writing faster than he had ever thought he could write before, taking down anything and anything he could about Alexander and what he said, how he said it, and how he would at times seem to just stand there and do....nothing. But it seemed to be directed? Pointed at some...thing in the direction he was facing?

The Prime Minister was much less inclined, and stepped to Alexander. Looking him over for a moment, he nodded.
"Seems that you are...better now, so I imagine that is...your shadow as well? I saw the light, but I do not believe I see his presence any more. Is there anything else? Do you need to go somewhere, or something needs to be done?" The Prime Minister turned again to look at the other creators, who seemed to be all heavily at work now, though sometimes some would stop to look over at them.

"Perhaps it would be best if we went elsewhere before you attempted anything else. To be honest, I trust these inventors but not that much."

As Silvana attempted to strike at him, a strange thought crossed Seth's mind as he watched the blast fly towards him. Perhaps he should allow himself to be hit, and see what happened. Was that how it should end? Perhaps he should let things just go? Maybe his own choice of death would be a fitting end.

......NO. Seth slid to the side in a single instant before the blast of darkness struck him, the thought still echoing in his head. He knew it was not his own, and glanced at his shadow which had gone in the other direction. The shadow seemed....Angry? There was something more to it now, and it brought its flames around itself as well. Seth grinned, and then began his steps towards Silvana, deciding to be a bit more diplomatic rather than warrior.

"You know, you could help me instead of working with these humans. Seems like they intend to do a good killing, and I would hate for this fight to lead to both of our deaths." Seth began to run, and let a few flames fly towards Silvana, much in the same way that Silvana tested him. Perhaps this would be a different way to bring about the end. He hoped that the ritual wouldn't be long now...holding off a gathering amount of humans as well as mages was a plate perhaps too full for himself and his current allies to handle.

Before Cale could speak out once more, an earthquake brought him to the ground along with the rest of the mages with the exception of a few. He rose to his feet as quick as he was brought down. This fight was going to become ugly with the rest of the humans quickly if they didn't resolve it. Cale needed to work fast.

Cale closed the distance before the Earthshaper could let loose another earthquake and whipped his sand whip to test his defenses. At this range, he would be telegraphing his attacks very clearly, leading Cale to read his moves confidently. The man blocked his attack, bringing a stone arm to cover his midsection. The sand crackled against his arm but then wrapped itself around it. In one quick motion, Cale pulled the arm towards him for a split second but it was enough. Cale put his momentum forward on top of the large man, leading with his rear shoulder and rolling off his back into the Air mage behind him. Cale made the earth sink beneath her feet, making her fall into the twin holes up to her knees before getting swatted aside by the Earthshaper. He was sent rolling a few feet back but recovered successfully. He wiped some blood from his bitten lip and formed an earth shield, anticipating another attack.

As the harsh glow faded into the background, Raven's recently-acquired confidence seemed to return to her. I got past it. I...I conquered it. Yes. Light's got nothing on me! I master my own light! She had to stop to remind herself that there were still a couple more orbs to go around. The air master was going on the monstrosity they were unleashing, and that made Raven a little leary as to what specifically this ceremony was about, but still everything was going well. Surely whatever emerged from this circle would be controlled by the masters present as this time. The Light master would be her presumed weak link, but this Air guy was sounding shaky as well.

She put the doubt out of her mind for the moment and moved onto the final orb, the Water orb. Seemed slightly out of sync not being across from the fire orb, but who was she to judge? It was beautiful though, the shimmering waves reminded her of the nicer part of her childhood. The ocean. There weren't many trips to it during the proper seasons due to the chores that had to be done on the farm, but the rare occasions that they did get to the beach were most enjoyable. She didn't even go out in the sun, but staying under the canvas tent and just watching the water move in and out, it was one of the few times she could remember being at peace.

"May the students be protected from the doom that is unleashed."

Wait, what?

The Water master's chant was just as dire, if not more so than the Air master's. Now Raven was worried. Now there were questions. What the...what are we doing here then? Why are we doing this? Are we ending the world? Should I be thrilled? How many times have I talked about ending the world and this could be it! I could have a direct part in it! This is..... do I want this though?

She looked over in the direction where Seth and the other battle mages were. There was a commotion, magic was flying, they were fighting. It looked like things were getting rough.

I don't know..... I just don't know anymore. This isn't even the unknown from before, it's not the how. It's the why. I... I don't think I want this.

As she came to this realization, it was at this time she came face to face with a pair of eyes looking just as worried as she was. Her shadow. Were... were those blue eyes always there? They were clearly visible now, darting from side to side, as if to try and find an escape to anywhere but here. It... she? Whatever, doesn't want to be doing this. Why am I doing this. I don't need to be doing this. I shouldn't be doing this. But the time for that revelation was not now. With Raven coming within a breath of her shadow, that meant that the circuit of magic was now complete.

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