Day 8-1, 022 words (2, 989 total)
As remained locked in battle with the warlock for days, never leaving the plateau about them. What little vegetation existed nearby was fried during the progress of the battle, scorched and disintegrating quickly into ashes. Neither magician faltered, and neither surrendered. It seemed for a moment that the war would run on forever.
That is, until the warlock had decided to play dirty.
“Look! A flying toad, behind you!”
As had foolishly fallen for the bait, glancing back momentarily, gaze snapping back only to see a ball of fire hurtling towards her. She narrowly escaped the inferno, jumping madly aside as she called up a gust of air. The warlock used the moment to shoot another burst of magic, a beam of light that hit As square in the chest. She dropped onto her back, groaning as soreness spread through her body.
“Now,” she heard the warlock’s deep voice saying, “Let’s see the face of the man who so boldly challenged the greatest mage alive.”
As squirmed slightly, eager to hop to her feet, but felt her hood pulled roughly back before she could do anything to stop the action. Sunlight streamed into her eyes, along with the shocked face of a certain wizard. As took the opportunity to sit up, letting her dark curls spill from the cloak.
“What is it, Kryptos? Surprised that a witch rivalled your powers?”
As stood, enjoying the wizard’s surprise. Kryptos looked at her thoughtfully a moment, before giving her a surprisingly suave reply.
“Only surprised that a witch could be so beautiful.”
As felt an odd buzzing along her cheeks at the man’s forward compliment, forcing herself to look from his enchanting green eyes. He was rather handsome, well-built with a bright, clear face boasting of youth and a head of silky black hair. Expensive leathers and a fur cape adorned him, the markings of a long-standing fortune. One that As had known of for decades.
“Do not be so bold yourself, wizard. Sweet words are not enough to woo one like me.”
Kryptos took the words as a challenge, stepping towards her and, without warning, hooked his arms around her waist and pulled her to him, grinning mischievously.
“Is this enough?”
As only stared, much too shocked to move, but quickly regained her bitter expression and shoved him off, secretly wishing that she hadn’t. As much as she hated to admit it, the man was unimaginably charismatic and attractive. It was no wonder he had village girls swooning after him and dropping unconscious at his feet.
“Leave me be. Is it not enough to live a false victory?”
She felt a satisfactory smirk rise to her lips and, turning presumptuously on a heel, did her best to stomp off.
As turned, a nonchalant expression on her face, cursed heart starting to speed up.
“What is it?”
Kryptos jogged over to her, holding out her cloak.
“You dropped it.”
As snatched it from him, scowling, and continued her furious retreat, trying her best to ignore him as he walked alongside her.
“Are you angry with me, witch?”
She turned at the question, lips twitching irritably.
“You tricked me, buffoon. Would I not be angered?”
Kryptos chuckled at her anger, matching her increased speed as she started walking again.
“Are you sure that is the reason for your actions?”
As sighed loudly, stopping in her tracks, and turned to Kryptos again, eyes narrowed to the size of slits.
“What other reason do I hold then, All-Knowing Seer?”
He paused, looking up a moment, but met her gaze again a moment later, almost startling her with his piercing gaze.
“I believe you fancy me, but, unsure of how to handle it all, resort to hiding behind a curtain of ignorance.”
As couldn’t stop from gawking at him a moment, more from surprise than annoyance.
“Have you lost what little of a mind you had, Kryptos?” she shot back, voice icy.
It was almost disturbing how easily the warlock was reading her emotions-looking at him made her stomach tie itself in knots, and looking away from him made her other senses detect him. His low voice made her jumpy and nervous each time she heard it, making her inch away and grow acutely aware of just how nice he smelled; a cross between the forest and rich spices. It was hard to meet his eyes but, at the same time, much harder not to.
“Why do you treat me with such spite?”
As kept walking as he spoke, a mask of indifference hiding how he had startled her again.
“Why should I not? You-”
“Tricked to win? How long will you dote on that?”
As let her expression turn to one of fury, seething as she walked, steps moving faster.
“I have the right to dote on whatever I wish, as long as I wish! You are nobody to command me!”
She heard Kryptos laugh behind her, even as he ran to keep up.
“You look adorable as you rage, my darling.” he whispered much too closely, making As flinch away in surprise, his breath tickling her ear.
“That is all fine and well,” she said, anger still lacing her tone and pale cheeks flushing, “But that gives you no cause to trail me so.”
A hand on her wrist stopped her, immune to her attempts at wrenching free. As turned, bothered, but let her hand stay in the grip of the wizard. Kryptos’ eyes were glinting, though, with an odd excitement.
“I have been searching for a magician of your calibre for many years now, to aid me in the casting of an ancient, unknown spell.”
As pursed her lips, wanting to argue, but found herself too interested to maintain an angry expression.
“What of this spell, then?”
Kryptos let go of her hand, much to As’ disappointment, and pulled a scroll from his sleeve.
“It is complex and lengthy, not to mention dangerous beyond belief.”
As let another annoyed sigh escape her throat.
Kryptos waved the parchment about tantalizingly, making it disappear into a puff of smoke.
“It holds the promise of eternal life.”