Chapter 9

Avalon and I follow Amanda, walking in her step and going with her to where she is leading us. But, as she does this, I notice something strange. On her left hand is turquoise right with 'AMANDA' engraved on it. Putting my hand in my pocket, I feel the ring that I still have, the one that I didn't give to her, the one that Amanda shouldn't have.

I stop walking, "That's a nice ring you got there."

She pauses and turns to look at me, the same empty eyes staring at me. "Yes, thank you for getting it back for me."

I hold up the true turquoise ring, "Except, you don't have it."

The corners of her lip twitch with wrath as she disintegrates before my eyes. And just like at the village a horde of insects come crawling out of her cloak.

"No! Run!"

Avalon bends down and I jump onto her. I hold tightly on her neck as she gallops through the forest away from the insects. But it is to no avail; it seems that almost every insect in this part of the forest is following the fake Amanda's suit as many try to attack us. Feeling the rage within me, I force out my anger by creating fire around me. This effectively destroys the insects that are around us as Avalon gallops away.

I turn around to see a cloud of bugs following us still as I ignite a ball of fire from within their midst. I hear a thousand screams that are snuffed out in an instant as Avalon continues to run. Seeing the lake on our right I whisper to Avalon.

"Do you trust me?"

Avalon whinnies.

"Good, then run out toward the lake."

Hesitant at first, Avalon turns and runs straight for the lake. I feel ecstasy bubble inside me as I solidify the water, causing Avalon to gallop across it. And as we gain ground, I cause the water behind us to storm, causing great waves to crash upon the insects that fly.

When Avalon and I are across the lake, all the insects are dead. Satisfied, Avalon slows to a trot as she bows down, asking me to get off. I oblige and walk next to her as we attempt to go back to the camp.

"Matt? Avalon? Is that you?" The voice comes from the woods and in runs Amanda, with her familiar smile. I breathe a sigh of relief.

"Amanda, it's really you."

"What happened?"

"There was a person who looked like you made out of bugs. I noticed it was you because she had your ring on, even though I hadn't given it to you."

"A woman made out of bugs?" Amanda whispers to herself.

"Yeah, do you know what it might be?"

"Dark magic. Not only draken can use magic, there are many different types of people who can use and practice different magic."

"So, you think it was one of these other magicians?"

"Yes."

"Why might they be after me?"

"I suppose Karathas has heard about you and wants you dead before you pose any more of a threat."

I pause and look at the ground. "Alright, then we should get started teaching me the next element."

Amanda nods, taking Avalon and I back to the camp in silence. Then, she begins walking and I follow her. She takes me to a wide clearing in the forest where there is a single stump in the middle.

"This is your test; take that stump out of the ground."

I nod and sit cross-legged on the ground. I remember how emotions always seemed to have a connection the past two elements. And I begin to think, "What emotion would go with earth."

Then it hits me, the earth it stable, it is constant. "Let's try stability." I say to no one in particular.

I sit cross-legged on the ground as I reign in all emotions and become stable. I try to control the earth around me and am successful. I feel the familiar burst of power as the earth bends and moves to my will. I feel all the movement under and around me for about 100 feet.

As I sit, I go to complete the task given to me. I use the earth to push the stump up as it creaks and cracks. Summoning the power of the earth, I force the stump out of the ground. I open my eyes to see it fly out and land about 20 feet away.

"Good job, you're getting stronger and no longer need my help." Amanda says as she appears.

"What do you mean?" I say as I stand up and look at her.

"It was my job to teach you until you could teach yourself, I saw what you did with the earth, and you didn't require my help nor did you get angry. I am proud of you and your successes, now you must leave."

The End

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