Behind the floating rock

Lucia sighed, frustrated. First, she was delusional and now it was by accident! "Can you at least show me what's keeping you in the air? I need to know that I'm not going crazy!"

The rock immediately began to move. First, three meters away from her, then two meters away from that towards a huge tree. Even more confused then before, Lucia followed it towards the tree and was surprised with what she saw.

A dark-skinned man crouched behind the tree, his broad shoulders barely concealed behind the wide trunk. "About time!" He said with a grin.

Was he the one making the rock float? Lucia wondered as the man stood up, revealing that he was not not only broad-shouldered, but tall and fit.

As she started at the man, he chuckled at her expression and held out his hand. "How do you do? Nixon Ore, currently in the process of mastering all things earth. Ground, clay, sand, rock, metal, you name it. My friends call me Nick. Am I intruding? I didn't think that there would be any other students in this part of the forest."

"Students?" Lucia asked. "What do you mean, students?"

"Well, you see, at the Vastrom Academy, some students take a year of self-study as part of their chosen cirriculum and go off on different parts of the continent, living by their wits and increasing their magical ability. Most go in pairs, you see, but I chose to go alone." Nixon told her proudly. "So you're not from the Academy?"

"I don't even know what you're talking about. I don't know anything." Lucia replied casually. "I got lost the other day and some woman somehow transported me here from this mountain, and-" she stopped.

"And then you stumbled upon me while I was training?" Nixon grinned.

"Yes." Lucia ran a hand through her shoulder-length hair. "Something like that. It's all I know."

"All you know?" Nixon asked. "What, did you lose your memories? That's terrible! I wonder how. . . .maybe there's a way to tell if we. . .No, that wouldn't work. Maybe we could- it's so terrible!"

"Tell me something I don't know!" Lucia snapped. "Look, the woman who helped me said that there's a city about twenty minutes from here. Can you tell me which way to go so that I can find some answers, please?"

"Um. . .well. . .you see," Nixon stuttered, wounded. "Part of the reason I chose this area is because it's deserted, so. . if you're going to Yggdrasil, you won't have much luck even if you were trying to sight a dragon. They appear rarely now, and most intruders come back with wounds."

"Well, I was told to go there. I never said that you have to come." Lucia said simply.

"But what if you find directions to somewhere else, and you need a guide?" Nixon asked. "You don't know this place, so you won't know your way around. I have to go with you, or dishonor everything I know."

The End

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