Monstroth rose from his bed in a jolt, a strange feeling passing through him. The room was dark, but he could make out his master and Arch - or, as he liked to be called, Zero - standing and looking out of the window.
"I suppose you felt that too, boy," Monstroth's master said, his voice quiet and devoid of emotion.
In response, Monstroth simply nodded then stood to look out of the window. It was a strange feeling welling up in his chest that seemed to scream out a peculiar, though not unfamiliar, feeling. He remembered feeling like this when his uncle would start a sparring session. It meant something bad was coming.
But... there was another feeling he had. Well, less of a feeling and more of a connection. It was similar to how he bonded with minerals in the rocks he controlled, but this was... eleven?.. connections. Two were his master and Zero, while one more was somewhere close. The rest seemed too distant, though some more than others.
"It means it's going to happen again," the former bandit turned Sovereign said.
Zero turned to the man. "What is?"
For the first time since he had known the man, Monstroth saw his master sigh with a truly regretful expression. "Well, it looks like I was thrown into a corner. Filth! I didn't want you two to learn this yet."
Monstotha walked over to where the other two stood, towering over them easily. "What do you mean?"
"Remember all the things I've taught you?"
"All life is important, never take sides, and so on?" Monstroth asked. "I have all the lessons written down for going over later, too, and I can go into detail if you-"
"Yes, yes, I got it." The bald man growled and walked over to the window. "Those are just fancy philosophies I picked up, nothing more."
"What!?" Anger. Was this man toying with him? "You mean all this time I've been learning philosophies?" His anger had always been calm, but this was building for some time. This man had beaten, degraded, and, now, lied to him since they left Faerein!
His master shot him a glare. "Quit getting pissed over stupid things, boy!" he snapped, making Zero take a steady step back. "I taught you those so you wouldn't be just another fool with sand for brains and thinking they can use this power to strong arm their way through everything!"
Monstroth was taken aback slightly, but his anger didn't subside. But, rather than letting it control him, Monstroth took a deep breath. "Then what is it we need to learn?"
The man looked at Zero, who seemed to want to hid in the darkness of the room. "Sovereigns are meant to be weapons against the Great Lizards during the Wars."
Wars? "You mean the Great War fifty years ago? We beat the Great Lizards and drove them over the mountains. They won't attack again, knowing our strength."
"Fool. You think that will stop them?" The bald man walked over to the window. "They grow in numbers as we fight among ourselves, waiting until it's time. That feeling you had was proof that they are coming. Scarred Father, they might have already started."
"Is that why I feel the other Sovereigns?"
Both Zero and his master stared at the Monstroth. Zero had a look of confusion, whereas his master seemed half surprised and half annoyed. Could it be possible they could not feel it? His master hadn't been Sovereign in the last War and Zero was only just trained, so maybe they didn't know about it?
"Boy, are you messing with me?" The former bandit leader looked like he could cut a boulder with his eyes. Sands, did he think Monstroth the type to think up lies?
The shorter man continued to stare up at Monstroth, unwavering in his search for something in his apprentices eyes. "I'll need to talk with Leader about this."
"Leader? He's with you?" Zero seemed excited by the prospect of meeting his master once more.
When they met up with the boy the day before, he had been separated from the elderly Sovereign of Air while escaping a building. Zero claimed they had forced both of them into a cell and kept them locked up tight.
The part that Monstroth found unbelievable was that Leader had instantly made Zero into his apprentice and taught him... well, according to Monstroth's own master, everything the old Sovereign knew. To top it off, Zero was talented with over half of the nine mystics, too!
Seikren had been hiding Zero's talent from the royal family, most likely in fear they would use the boy. While Monstoth's own father would never do such a thing to a child, his Uncle Saeron would do without a second thought. The man had been efficient where he lacked compassion.
The boy now claimed he was Zero, one of the new Herost, since he was now Sovereign of Air. Grand ideals...
They had to escape after meeting up with Zero, of course, as men were after the boy. Luckily, Mar was a massive city and there were plenty of taverns and inns to hide in. Their current location was the High Ground Inn, a large building used for middle class citizens. They were almost turned away when they saw Monstroth's massive frame, but the Sovereign robes of his master had persuaded them.
Monstroth sighed and looked at his bed. He would have to pay for breaking the stands with his weight. "So, we need to rescue Leader next?"
"I do." The Sovereign grabbed his brown cloak and a sack of rocks he had gotten from only the Unscarred Creator knew and started for the door. "You're on babysitting duty, boy."
Without waiting for an answer, Monstroth was quickly left behind with Zero. Before he could respond in any way, he noticed Zero smiling mischievously.