The End of the Grieving (Part 1)Mature

Craetor embraced his Mineral Mystic. 

The feeling of embracing was always the same, of course, but somehow he noticed it more on this day. The dryness of the body, as if being cooked without heat. The desire to grab at the surrounding sand. Even the excitement at wielding what many called the very symbol of Faerein. Mineral was truly the greatest of Mystics in Craetor's mind.

"Begin."

The man across from Craetor nodded, pulling his black hood up and growing calm. Craetor himself had to force his mind to stay calm. He could not use Void, so it was a feat. Especially since he had been out here for hours already to no avail. He would get this, though. He needed to to capture that man...

A swirling mass of darkness appeared beside the man in an instant, almost like it had always been there hiding. Craetor reacted as fast as he could, pulling sand from around his opponents feet in an attempt to pull him away. His training had payed off, apparently, because the sand latched on and ripped the Void user away. 

Craetor started to feel excited, but those feelings were quickly banished when the man created another Voidgate and managed to touch it, sending himself into what the Void users call 'the Darkness.' Sands! That had happened in a blink of the eye! How was he supposed to counter something like that?

"Scarred Father!" Craetor cursed, releasing his Mineral Mystic and sitting down on a nearby bench. The training ground was good for this sort of practice, but sands he was getting tired of the place. Last day of grieving as the new king and he had spent it training. To no avail, either. 

The man in black, whom was named Sylvester, appeared before him. There was no other way Craetor could really describe what he saw. It was similar to how the Voidgates just came into being, but somehow more normal. Well, that wasn't important.

"I didn't think you would use a second Voidgate once caught, Sylvester," Craetor said to the smaller man. Well, average sized really. Craetor was just massive like all Frae men. "Clever."

Sylvester pulled his hood off, revealing his youthful face and neat black hair that had been slick back like all Void users did. "My lord, you told me to be as clever as I could. Plus, if my lord is facing off against Master, then I will need to be even more clever." 

Craetor smiled grimly. "You've kept up your end, Sylvester. I thank you for that." The massive man stood and prepared himself for another round. "Would you mind telling me of the abilities your master uses?"

"Of course, my lord." Sylvester bowed. It had been surprising to find another apprentice of that nameless Void master Craetor had been preparing to catch. When he had, he expected the boy to be against him, but he hadn't been. In fact, he seemed excited that someone was putting his master in place. 

"The first ability Master uses, as you know, is the Voidgates. His production speed of the gates is faster than mine, but not by much." Well, Craetor barely had been able to catch Sylvester, so that was always reassuring. "His Voidgates can also send him halfway across the world, though he wouldn't move more than a mile."

Odd. "Why not?"

Sylvester looked reluctant to talk about it, but he did anyway. "The more Void you use, the more you risk losing control of your emotions," the small man explained, "And even Master knows he is at risk using that much. It's like when you use your Storm Mystic too much, only worse."

Craetor nodded. Using Storm too much can knock out the user due to the constant strain the electrical charges put on the body. Due to the Frae men's immense size, it didn't affect Craetor as much as it would others, but it was still an issue for long periods of use.

"Master also has the ability to alter the amount of space that is in an area," Sylvester continued. "Of course, there is no way for me to practice with me, as I can only do this to a little extent."

That had explained the way that master had hid himself. By using that ability to alter space, he had made himself too far away to be seem despite being located right near Craetor. According to Sylvester, if the master hadn't wanted to be seen, he could have kept himself hidden. He most likely revealed himself because the warping of space made the river too loud and gave him away anyway. 

Sands, these things were confusing! 

"I don't know of his other abilities that could be used offensively, but I will warn you my lord; Master can use Air very skillfully. He also has some measure of talent with Plasma." Sylvester looked thoughtful for a moment. Maybe the man had an idea how to beat the nameless master of his because Craetor didn't have any. "My lord?"

"Yes, Sylvester?"

"How good are you with your Storm Mystic?"

Storm? "Not very good, to be honest," Craetor said regretfully, "I focused on practicing my Mineral Mystics, so Storm was neglected."

The man looked thoughtful once more, then walked over and grabbed one of the spears sitting in a barrel. Sylvester stabbed it directly in the ground at Craetor's feet. What was he thinking? "If you don't mind, my lord, I would like to try something. I fear it might cause you pain, but I promise it will be insightful."

Odd. Craetor nodded. "I can handle anything you send at me, Sylvester." Hopefully.

"Thank you, my lord. Now, try to touch the spear as fast as possible, if you please. I am going to let that represent a Voidgate."

Craetor nodded. Simple enough. He was considered fast with reflexes, due to his training as a child and the few skirmishes with bandits in the desert. That was when he was a general years ago, but the reflexes never left. Did Sylvester plan to prevent Craetor from touching the spear? 

Now! Craetor swung his fist at the spear's shaft. 

Then, Craetor felt a jolt and his body went stiff. Pain spread through his body in an instant. Sands! It didn't hurt as bad as some injuries he had received, but Scarred Father it hurt! Had Sylvester used Storm to...

Halt his movements!

The shock eased and Craetor smiled at his opponent. "That," he said, "was insightful."

"Thank you, my lord," Sylvester replied, bowing deeply. "I do apologize for causing you pain, though."

Craetor waved his words away. "No need, just train me in Storm." The smaller man's face went from it's calm look to an uneasy one in an instant. Void users really couldn't keep control of their emotions without embracing Void could they? 

"M-my lord, shouldn't you ask a Master of Storm to teach you?" he said, stumbling over the words. It was an odd sight, really, since Craetor had been used to the perfect calm up until now. "Surely I am unworthy. I have yet to master the Mystic..."

A sigh escaped Craetor's mouth. "I need you because you know what I'm up against. The others would find this to be an excuse to prolong my grieving period. I already have a massive amount of political work to do when tomorrow comes, I don't need it to pile up more."

The End

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