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Elementals Chapter 3

Noah's Apprenticeship concludes and he sets out on his journey.

Chapter Three

Outside the rain was pouring but Bran had taken Noah out there to practice magic spells anyways. He put up a stone arch with a wide ceiling over their heads so they didn’t get soaked while Noah practiced. Just ten yards in front of him was a stone statue that Bran had Noah practice trying to destroy with whatever spell he could think of.

Naturally Noah used Lightning spells but he always missed the statue each time he threw a bolt out at it. The one time he did hit, the statue remained standing with no visible damage. Noah grew frustrated but managed to calm himself down right away before trying again. Unfortunately Bran was of little help when it came to lightning spells because he only knew fire and rock based spells.

It wasn’t until the end of winter when Noah was finally able to destroy the statue with a lightning spell. Bran moved right on to teaching Noah some rock spells since he had a talent for multiple elements. It was nothing fancy only how to harden dirt into a rough stone or how to launch small hand sized rocks like he did in his demonstration.

Next he taught Noah basic fire spells, only enough to help him dry himself off quickly by gathering in heat energy and how to start a fire from even moist logs. After that Bran bought Noah a small mirror and taught him how to use a light cutting wind spell to shave his face. He scratched himself up a lot, but Bran only told him just like all his other spells it took time and practice. Fortunately Noah’s facial hair didn’t grow fast so his wounds had plenty of time to heal before he had to shave again.

When Noah was sixteen he had managed to master a few lightning, and wind spells that came naturally to him. As well as the couple rock spells Bran had taught him, now it was time for the final part of his training combat.

It was early summer outside and Bran and Noah stood ten yards apart facing off. The goal was to either knock your opponent out or get them to surrender.

Noah made the first move by throwing his hand out as an arc of lightning raced towards Bran. Bran simply stepped to his side avoiding it and countered by hurling a small blunt rock at Noah, which nailed him in the abdomen hard. He bent over in pain and as he recovered Bran called out, “Remember always keep your eyes on your enemy, elemental or human, watch their eyes to see what they will do next and let your instincts guide you.”

Noah followed Bran’s advice and though it helped a little that time he still only lasted a few minutes in the fight that day. Noah got the rest of the day to recover but the two were right back at it again the next day. Bran won again without a single scratch or breaking a sweat and they were training in combat on a daily routine for five out of seven days as Noah had the two days to let his wounds recover more.

As the weeks of training passed by Noah’s injuries worsened because Bran had to hold back less and less. Whenever Noah broke a bone or something Bran would rub a terrible smelling salve over the area twice a day until it was fully healed. It was a nature element medicine, very powerful.

Over the course of the months Noah got stronger and more skilled, he gave Bran a good fight each day but still lost. They were outside almost every day, regardless of the weather, training more and more. Until the day finally came when Noah, now twenty years old, was able to efficiently beat Bran. It was a good fight and Bran gave it his all, sometimes using sharp end rocks instead of blunt ends like he taught Noah when facing a real opponent. But in the End Noah defeated him, and not with luck, but with skill and tactics.

Bran woke up in his bed feeling like he had been through a landslide. Noah was by his side with some bandages wrapped around him as well, though not as much. Bran got out of bed slowly and grabbed Noah’s hand firmly shaking it and saying, “Congratulations Noah, I have taught you all I possibly can. You are ready to go out into the world and make whatever it is of yourself you want. But first I ask you take a few days to fully rest up here before moving on.”

Noah smiled and agreed to rest up before moving on. When he felt like he was fully healed and ready Bran gave him a pack filled with a week’s worth of provisions and a sleeping bag tied up neatly on the top. “So where shall you go first?” Bran asked.

“I think to the thunder a plain, that’s my natural element it only makes sense I start my journey with capturing Thunder Elementals.”

Bran smirked and said, “I thought you would say that, hold on a second.” He left and went to his study and came back holding a small box and a rolled up parchment. He handed Noah the parchment first and as he unrolled it Bran explained, “It’s an amateur cartographer map of the Thunder plains. I don’t know how accurate it is, but it should help you somewhat and if you get lost try navigating by the stars like I taught you all those years ago.”

Noah rolled the map back up and placed in the bag. Then he took the small box Bran offered him and slid open the case. Inside were thirty blank white cards, Noah pulled one out and could sense a strange hollow power inside it from first touch. He also noticed the card was very strong and wouldn’t bend, but was thin and light. He couldn’t make head or tails of the material it was made from either.

After studying the card Noah slid the box closed again and placed it in his bag. He thanked Bran greatly for the gifts but Bran had one last thing to give him. It was another parchment with a long list of numbers on it and a date by these that ended with a sum of: 52,463 crystals.

“What is this,” Noah asked.

“It is a bill. The money you paid me with for my tutorship ran out years ago.”

“If that’s true than why did you keep me on sir, why not kick me out until I could come back with more money for more lessons or put me to work to make up the difference?”

Bran smirked a little and said, “The thought crossed my mind. But I know that one day you will pay me back for it all after you have made it big; much further than I ever could at least.

And more importantly because I like you, I don’t know what it is but we seem to get along well, besides it would have been lonely with you gone, it’s going to be lonely when you leave to.”

Noah was on the verge of tears he didn’t know what to say right than so he wrapped his arms around Bran in a hug. Finally he found his speech and said, “Thank you sir, for everything.”

Bran laughed a little and hugged him back. When the broke off the hug Bran said to him in a more serious tone, “You be careful out there you hear me? And not just in the arena or when hunting Elementals, the world can be a dangerous place anywhere. And don’t you forget to come visit old Bran once in a while you hear?”

Noah rolled up his bill tucked it safely away in his bag and said his last farewells to Bran before heading out to the Thunder Plains.

After a full day of walking Noah was close enough to see the endless storm always shifting around in the thunder plains. Half way through the third day of walking Noah reached a wide ravine at least a mile long and appearing to extend far past what his eyes could see.

He pulled out his map of the thunder plains and studied it. He noted that according to the map the ravine went all the way around, encompassing the thunder plains and there were only four bridges across. Noah walked by the side of the ravine for an hour until spotting the nearest bridge, but it was still a two hours walk away.

When he got to the bridge he saw it was a little old and worn, slowly he stepped on it testing its durability. After seven steps he took in a deep breath let it out and continued on at a normal pace with his hands on the ropes in case a board broke under him. He made it all the way across without a single accident, only the wailing of an occasional board as he put his weight on it.

Past the bridge Noah saw lightning strike miles away one second and then just a couple hundred feet from him another. The roar of thunder blasted his ears but he pressed on regardless.

Noah could hear and feel and constant hymn of power no matter where he was. It was both unsettling and somehow exciting. Noah pulled out his map to consult it as to where to go next when he felt an unmistakable sense of danger coming his way. He had no time to think and dropped the map as he dived to his side. Lightning struck an instant later and the loud roar of thunder made his ears ring.

He looked behind him to see the ground glow a soft blue for a moment then fade away, he saw the ashes of something drift away in the wind; his map. Noah sighed and looked back to see the dark blue glowing outline of a tiger with illuminating blue and purple veins making up the rest of its body, a lighting tiger, just a few feet away from his face starring at him.

Noah almost panicked but quickly got hold of himself as he starred off with the Elemental, and he slowly got on his hands and knees and crawled back never leaving his eyes from it. When he was at least ten feet away he got into a crouch, and started gathering energy and pulled up minerals from the ground gathering them into a solid rock the size of his head.

The Elemental seemed to sense something and bared its fangs at him but didn’t move just yet. Noah took full advantage of the tiger’s inaction and turned his body sideways quickly while tossing his arm out and launching the rock with great force. It hit the tiger in the face hard and blue plasma leaked out from its wound but it was far from defeated yet.

It shook its head, roared and charged at Noah. It was too fast for Noah to attack again, so he fell back and lifted his legs in the air just in time as the tiger leaped at him. The bottom of his feet caught its belly and he used momentum to toss it further behind him. He rolled back forward right away and could feel the energy from the tigers touch numbing his feet, he quickly dispelled the energy as the tiger rushed at him again.

Noah dived to the side in a roll, avoiding the tiger and coming out on his feet. He summoned the rock he formed to his hand just as the tiger spun around to face him. Now waited for it to charge but instead it opened its mouth and shot out a bolt of lightning at him.

Acting off instinct Noah crossed his arms and quickly gathered as much electrical energy from around as possible converting it into a shield around his arms. The tigers lightning smacked him and pushed him back but his shield held and he remained uninjured. The tiger seemed a little weak after that attack but recovered soon enough and charged at Noah again.

This time Noah hurled the rock once more but aimed for the tiger’s front leg just as it put its weight on it. The force caused the tiger to fumble forward in a roll and yelp in pain. Noah took this opportunity to draw in more energy and minerals and make several more rocks and just as the tiger managed to get back to its feet he hammered the tiger from all sides with them.

The tiger could do nothing more at that point but flop to the ground to weak too even try standing. Noah had the sense this was the perfect time to seal it. He pulled out one of the cards from his bag and focused on drawing the Elemental inside it.

Noah didn’t know if it would work or not because Bran never taught him how to seal the Elementals. Fortunately for Noah the card seemed to respond to his will and the Lightning tiger was sucked into it as the card radiated a brilliant blue and purple tinted light. When it stopped glowing he looked at the card and saw that one side was still blank white but the other had an image of the lightning tiger on it. He put the card away and went to continue on when he heard a low pitched growling from multiple sources.

Turning to his side Noah saw four more lightning tigers, a little bigger than the one he just captured, starring him down all baring their sharp electrical teeth. Noah wasn’t even out of breath from his previous encounter, he had Bran’s training to thank for that, but he knew he couldn’t fight these tigers that same way he did that one.

He decided the best way to go about this was to get them all at once. Noah didn’t move but gathered in energy as fast as he could; the lightning tigers sensed this and charged. They were a fair distance away but Noah knew this would be a close one as he continued drawing in more energy. Then before it was too late he summoned up a twister that caught all four tigers in it and spun them around several times before holding them suspended in the air.

Noah made sure they were facing up with their abdomens facing him so they could neither shoot lighting at him from their mouths, and would be more vulnerable to his next attack. He gathered the rocks he formed earlier and hammered the tigers with them until they were weak enough to capture.

He pulled out four more blank cards and sealed the Elementals. After putting the sealed off Elementals in his bag, Noah wiped some of the sweat from his brow. Even when drawing in natural energies some of your own is used to control it; and the exercise of it all caused him to sweat. He continued ahead through the plains keeping a sharper eye out for Elementals, he saw none right away but still had to worry about the lightning which could strike anywhere at any time.

Noah knew what he was getting into when he was going to the thunder plains but he hadn’t fully realized it until now, no matter how skilled he was, luck would truly have a large role in navigating and hunting in these baron lands. But he believed in his destiny and pushed on regardless. After some time he took a break to eat, it was then he realized it was impossible to tell if it was day or night here.

When Noah finished his meal and he headed for a cave he spotted and could hear the loud sounds of a massive flock of thunder birds before he ever saw them. He carefully advanced towards the birds when he got in good sight of them and had gathered numerous sharp edged rocks with him.

As soon as he got close enough, he ambushed the birds firing two rocks each into seven of the closest ones. It was a hard hit and he knew thunder birds had far less stamina than the tigers, as they went right away. Noah then quickly pulled out the seven cards he had tucked into his pocket and began sealing the injured birds as more came from the caverns heading towards him.

He managed to get the birds all sealed and the cards back in his pocket before turning around to run. He got what he came for, no need to fight them all.

Using the wind to propel him faster Noah went at great speed, but even that wasn’t enough as the birds combined a screech attack that threw him off his feet, and he tumbled forward uncontrollably. He got back to his feet as quick as he could, ignoring his small scratches and bruises, but the birds caught up to him now and used their sonic powers to batter him around.

Noah got only a moment between being thrown around by the birds and he used it to summon a powerful gust to throw the birds off and then make a run for it again. This time he threw out a gust of wind every ten of seconds to throw the birds off so they couldn’t knock him off his feet again.

After a few minutes of straight running the birds left him alone but Noah was exhausted. He took several minutes to rest before setting up camp. He untied his sleeping bag from his bag, folded it out then set up a small square fort made purple of stone with numerous holes in it to let in light and air. Then he crawled under his bad and slowly let himself relax and drift into sleep.

He dreamed about a structure in the lightning plains, a tall unnatural jagged rock reaching high into the sky. It was very wide with an orange luminescence hue. The booming sound of thunder woke Noah from his dream. He reached out to the ceiling of his small stone fort and felt it was cracked and on the verge of breaking. A lightning bolt slammed it hard, if it wasn’t there he would have been hit instead; and he would have not survived that.

After eating Noah set out again, heading off in an unknown direction. He went for hours, lighting struck far and near, but never directly at him again. He saw many Elementals throughout the thunder plains but he was aiming for specific ones. And there was something else, something pulling him to another direction; it wasn’t until he saw the orange glow in the distance he began to realize he was being led to the strange structure in his dream.

It was one more full rest before Noah reached the orange glowing rock. It was a pretty sight but that aside it seemed nothing special to Noah, aside from it being a glowing orange rock that reached into the sky. He studied the rock, wondering why he was drawn to it when he heard the nearby sounds of heavy footsteps.

To his left was an electric unicorn, white mane, spiraled dark blue horn, it seemed nothing more than a horse with a horn but Noah knew better, he read about this Elemental it was strong, but rare. He starred off at it wondering what he should do next when lightning struck the Elemental. First once, then eight more times in rapid succession until it fell to its knees. Noah stepped back in fear of this phenomenon when a voice whispered inside his head, “Seal it away before it gets up and touches the everlife stone…”

Noah barley gave the voice a second thought when he went into his bag and pulled out a card; sealing the Elemental away in it. Noah put the card away then felt a powerful presence directly behind him. He turned around and lost his breath not knowing what to do.

For just a few feet in front of him stood a humanoid creature with a body made of pure plasma energy, colored with shades of blue and white that moved around it at random in no obvious pattern. A lightning Ethereal, Noah realized just as the creature put both its hands on the side of his head and Noah’s eyes went white as he collapsed to the ground.

The ethereal kneeled down and started rubbing Noah’s head sending small electrical signals throughout his brain. Noah, still unconscious but eyes wide open and white started to shake uncontrollably and soon blood began trickling out of his nose. But despite this the Ethereal continued sending signals into Noah’s brain until he was on the brink of death, then he grabbed his hand pressed it against the orange stone and kept it there for a minute before pulling it back and continuing the process of sending signals to Noah’s brain.

Noah woke up an unknown amount of time later; he was on his back starring up at the stormy skies of the thunder plains, the world spun endlessly and his head felt like it would explode. He couldn’t feel his body, couldn’t move at all, only blink once or twice a minute. He just lay there unknowingly processing a great deal of new knowledge. At some point sleep came by but he woke up in the same state although feeling just a little better.

This process of falling asleep at some point then waking up feeling a little better went on for a while until Noah felt good enough turn on his side and try getting up. He got to his hands and knees before vomiting, but nothing came out, it was like he hadn’t ate in weeks but still he heaved, so he lay back down turned to his back and waited some more.

Eventually he felt good enough to get up slowly without vomiting and that’s when he saw the Ethereal standing there before him staring at him. He knew he was too weak to fight it but still he tried to take a defense position.

“I have seen you in my dreams…” a familiar voice said inside his head.

“I have seen this encounter of ours at this exact place, but this was such a long time ago and I have been waiting here for so very long, only leaving when absolutely necessary.”

It took Noah a while to think of it then he asked out loud, “You? Are you the one talking inside my head?”

The ethereal nodded and the voice spoke in his head some more, “I have no vocal cords so I must communicate telepathically. The channel goes both ways, you can speak to me without talking as well, just think your thoughts and I shall hear them.”

Thinking gave Noah a headache, or worsened the one he already had so he continued speaking out loud. “What the hell do you want from me?” He asked.

“I have seen the end, and you are going to help me journey to it.”

“What does that mean, what are you talking about?”

“I have also seen a new beginning and you are going to start it.”

Noah shouted in frustration and went to hit the ethereal but after a single step he fell to his hands and knees, still too weak to do anything.

“I have a deal to make with you Noah,” the ethereal said.

Struggling to get back to his feet Noah asked only partially interested, “And what’s that?”

“When the time comes, I need you to help me with something. Something I can’t accomplish on my own. When the time is near I will tell you precisely what this is. Agree to this and I will help you in your quest as well, in more ways than one.”

Noah scoffed and asked, “What if I refuse?”

The ethereal was silent for a moment then said in a much harsher voice, “Then I will leave you here to die!”

Noah was going to tell him to leave but then reconsidered it. He was in such a weakened state that he could take weeks to recover and even if he managed to make his supplies last that long he had no actual idea where he was in the thunder plains. He could be just a few miles away from the ravine or he could be a hundred miles, the place was huge and without his map to navigate or the stars, making it out without a good amount of supplies would be impossible.

Reluctantly Noah said, “Alright, alright it’s a deal.”

“Good, now it’s time for you to rest some more, when you wake up things will start making more sense.”

Strangely enough Noah found himself settling back down on the ground closing his eyes trying to sleep. Before he did he managed to ask, “What do I call you anyways?”

“My name is Primordious.”

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © © Jake Pendragon all rights reserved 2015

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