For me, the world paused. Focussing on channelling energy always did this to me, but with so many of the others doing it, I could feel their energy. Everything seemed to slow.
In the back of my mind, my thoughts clammered for attention. I gave them the floor while I concentrated.
So, he really is going to do this. He's going to put himself in danger, for the sake of all of us. For Candravar, my eyes flicked to the father like figure who crouched, almost finished on the floor. For them, I looked at all the others channelling their energy. For me? I flinched at the thought. The back of my thoughts had always been better at sensing everything around me. Now, as I payed them more heed, I noticed their sense. Aldrest's strong arm was flung protectively in front of me, and I was gripping it, sending my energy to him. My fingers tingled slightly.
You know you like him. You've always known. Ever since that day he arrived and you watched him practice from the tree. You saw all that pain, all that anger, and you were impressed. You're never impressed. Something about him changed you that day. You used to be so strong, you never opened up to anyone. And then you met him, and you realised you weren't the only one with problems. You realised he was in more pain than you. And you realised that what had been eating you up could have destroyed you, so you stopped it. And you tried to stop him too. You were the only person he would talk to. What did he see in you?
A memory flashed in to my head.
"Who are you?" A younger Aldrest asked, staring in to the tree, anger in his eyes. "Why are you watching me?" Shizuma slipped down from the tree and stared at him, then slowly began to back away. He followed intrigued. She turned and flitted away between the pillars, and he followed again, with more determination. They arrived in the candle lit room Shizuma frequented. "Hey, you! STOP!" Aldrest's anger appeared, and Shizuma turned, her eyes narrowed as he drew his weapon. "Why did you lead me here?"
"You chose to follow." He seemed to relax at the sound of her voice. Intrigue passed across his face, replacing the anger that had raged there.
"Who are you?"
"A friend." He glanced down and she took that oppertunity to hide herself and slip silently away. By the time he looked up, all he would see was the empty space and the candles.
I pushed the memory away as Aldrest glanced back at me now, a look on his face that told me he was ready. I focussed on my energy, finding new pools of it I never knew I had a pushing them too him. He gasped a little a stared, then welcomed them in.
Then he turned to do battle.