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Phantom Wars Chapter 22

Ethan's potential starts to reveal itself to him.

Chapter Twenty-two: Mind Games

Marry didn’t know what happened to Ethan while he was gone, but when he returned to her room for more training he was more determined than she ever saw to become stronger. In the following weeks he became incredibly adept at anticipating Marry’s next attacks and avoiding it. But he made no real progress on his illusionary skills, until two months time when he made a breakthrough. It was during a routine training session, this time they were both fighting hand to hand combat without the use of either of their powers.

Ethan was becoming frustrated as the fight went on because Mary kept just getting the upper hand on him. He had no idea that she was so skilled in hand to hand combat and he was paying for his overconfidence. As Marry knocked Ethan to the ground once more without even realizing it himself Ethan used his illusionary magic against her. But this magic was different from his previous kind, this one was all in Mary’s head, he was manipulating her thoughts to give him an opening.

Whatever he did worked because Marry stopped coming after him and started walking away from him holding her side and glaring at Ethan. Ethan quickly leaped to his feet and went to attack her when she said, “I thought I told you no weapons, you’re cheating!”

Ethan thought this was a new ploy so he didn’t stop as he ran up to Marry and kicked her in the stomach. She screamed in pain as she flew back. When she got up she snarled at Ethan and blasted him with a massive ball of fire; incinerating him entirely. Only when Ethan was gone Marry finally realized what had really happened.

Her wound on her stomach stopped hurting immediately and she lifted up her shirt to check it. But when she did she found it was gone, there was no cut there like she had believed, only a bruise in her abdominal from when Ethan kicked her. It was all in her head, Ethan had gotten stronger but he might not realize it himself. She quickly rushed back to her living room to confront Ethan when he arrived.

Ethan was mad when he showed up back in her room but Marry expected as much. “Talk about hypocritical you told me no magic or weapons and you burn me with a fireball!” Ethan said.

Marry wasted no time getting straight to the point as she said, “You have gotten stronger. How did you do that new magic?”

Ethan glared at Marry suspiciously and asked, “What new magic?”

“You made me think that you pulled out your knife and cut me in the side, but it wasn’t real. How did you do that?”

Ethan shook his head and said, “I don’t know what you are talking about I didn’t use any magic that I know of.”

Marry’s eyes widened a little and she said, “Are you sure?”

“I’m positive, hell I didn’t even bring my knives to combat training today.”

Marry folded her left arm over her chest and rested the right arms elbow on top and touched her chin with her right hand. She took that pose whenever something greatly interested her. “I think I know what’s happened to you. You’re finally reaching that potential I saw in you, you’re becoming stronger.”

“So what are you saying that what happened to you was my doing?”

“Exactly that yes,” Marry said. “You just demonstrated mind alteration magic. If you can get the balance of it you would be able to use that magic on almost anyone and make them see, hear, or feel whatever you wanted them to without being the wiser.

“I think from now on we can practice that with small things here in the study. Anyways go back to your room take the day off and return here tomorrow, we will try your new abilities then.”

Ethan did as Marry told him and returned to his room to calm down, and gather himself. He was feeling tired so he took a nap. His dreams were haunted with the nightmare of his death. When the car hit him this time he woke up in sweat and was burning up. He went to the waterfall and rinsed himself off then went back to the bedroom changed clothes and headed to Marry’s.

Marry wasted no time when Ethan returned she had him sit down across from her and began instructing him on what to do next. First she had him do a simple illusion of a book on the table that both of them could see but not touch. Next she made Ethan concentrate on persuading Marry mentally that there was in fact a book there that she could pick up and read.

The task took him hours and hours just to do but he finally did. When Marry picked up the imaginary book its texture was indescribable because she couldn’t really tell what it was made out of. She then tried opening it, but it wouldn’t open so she told Ethan to try harder and to make her think the book is absolutely real, with a texture and pages. Ethan put much more concentration into the book, what it was made of and how it would feel, as well as what would be inside and how it opened up.

When Marry grabbed the illusionary book again it felt no different but this time she could open it up and flip through the pages. They were very thick and had absolutely no words on them. She sighed and told him to take a break while she made some tea.

Over tea they discussed Ethan’s magic and how he uses it. “For the basic illusionary I simply imagine stuff that I have seen before coming to life within my field of vision,” Ethan said. “But for this new one, I don’t know it’s the same way in the basics but now I have to try and recreate what these things would feel like.”

Marry listened carefully to what Ethan said and continued drinking her tea in silence while she thought. After she emptied her cup and refilled it she got up and grabbed a book from her shelf then handed it to Ethan. He took the book and looked it over while Marry sat back down. “Study that books texture and the words in the first page there for as long as you need, then we will try again. Afterwards if you pass or fail we will try something new.”

Ethan finished his tea then started concentrating on the book and how its texture felt. It was smooth yet sturdy; leather binding. The first page was only a few sentences long and it wasn’t hard to remember at all. Ethan took some more time studying the pages how thin they were and how crisp they felt. It felt like this book had just come off the press a minute ago.

When Ethan was ready he put the book down and tried again. Marry reached out for a fake copy of the book, picked it up and moved her hand around it before opening it and flipping through the pages. Satisfied she went back to the first page and read it to herself. After she finished she let the book drop down to the floor and said, “Good job, exactly as I remember that book. Now then I have a plan and we are going to need Picario for it.”

Ethan released his spell on Marry’s mind as the book disappeared out of her sights entirely and he asked, “Alright what is it?”

After Marry told Ethan her plan he returned to his room to look for Picario. He found him flying around in the sky with Nessie. He had to shout to him for him to come down. It took a little convincing but Ethan managed to get Picario to join him at Marry’s.

When the two got to her room, Picario took a seat and Marry came out from another room and asked him if he would help her try the hot chocolate she made. Ethan said it tasted just like the kind at Tilly’s. When he said yes Marry nodded to Ethan then left the room.

As soon as she was out of sight Ethan began concentrating on his mental magic. Marry returned a moment later with a steaming cup of coco and she placed it on the table in front of Picario. Picario picked it up blew on it with some cold frost in his breath then started drinking it. Marry and Ethan starred at him waiting for him to speak. Picario eventually put the coco down and said, “Yeah you’re right this is just like Tilly’s how did you do it?”

Marry leaned her head to one side and said, “Oh just like this.” Then she put her hand, out palm facing Picario, and sent a small gust of wind to knock the cup over into his lap.

Picario jumped to his feet and started wiping the hot coco off his crotch and thighs. He danced around a little as Marry and Ethan burst into laughter. Picario grew really angry for a moment when the coco suddenly disappeared from off him. The pain from its heat was gone too, not a single trace was left behind of it. He picked up the cup looked into it, it was clean, and empty.

Picario looked to Marry and Ethan who were finally calming down from their laughter fit and asked, “Alright what’s going on?

Marry took in a deep breath, let it out then said, “There was never any hot chocolate it was all an illusion orchestrated by Ethan. We needed to use you as an unknowing participant to test my theory. I am sorry. You see Ethan has learned a new magic; mental suggestion. He can now suggest to you anything and you will think it’s as real as you and me, it’s like the illusions he conjures but you ultimately make them real.

“We were testing it with me but because I was prepared for it, so the illusions were harder to create. I believed that we needed to use someone who didn’t know about this, simply suggest to them that something was real and they would do the rest. And well I was right.”

“Glad I could be the lab rat,” Picario said sarcastically.

“Sorry,” Ethan said.

“Well then, I suppose this just about concludes my training for both of you.” Marry said. “Ethan you simply need to practice that more and I suggest doing so in the games when you get the chance as well as tournaments. And Picario, you long since surpassed my power and abilities, so congratulations to you both. I believe we are ready to start taking on the tournaments together.”

“That’s great and all Marry, but perhaps we could hold off on the tournaments until after all the holidays. I mean it is October, and Halloween is in less than a week.” Picario said.

“Wow it’s already almost Halloween again?” Ethan asked.

“I did warn you long ago that time will become irrelevant here so you better watch out. Fortunately I keep track of major events such as this. Anyways Marry, would that be alright with you if I don’t start entering the tournaments until after new years?”

“Yes I suppose there is no real rush. And what of you Ethan?” Marry asked.

“I think I will enter the grand tournament a couple times to help practice my new ability and go into games as well but otherwise I am with Picario on this,” Ethan said.

“Very well then I shall see all of you once more on Christmas. I don’t celebrate the upcoming all hallows eve and will be elsewhere during its celebration.”

The boys were saddened by the news of Marry not joining them on Halloween but they got over it fast enough. On Halloween itself Kelly and the boys went to the party and this time they stayed together until all the festivities were done. Through November Ethan entered numerous battle games and started practicing his mind magic on the other contenders.

Gradually Ethan was becoming much more adept at his new magic and started feeling he was ready to take on harder challenges now. Before he even realized it though, it was Christmas once more. Picario was rushing off to Tilly’s to meet Marry and Kelly, Ethan would be there shortly.

When Ethan thought Picario was gone he pulled out the two keys he had hidden in a small box inside his dresser. One was a simple designed old style key, and the other was purple with a skull at the end of it. Ethan picked up the key his father gave him and thought back to last year.

The more Ethan thought about his father the more his mood started to worsen so he put the keys back in their box, then put the box back in his dresser, and left to go to Tilly’s.

The four friends enjoyed a great time at Tilly’s before they left to go ice skating. Marry was having a lot of trouble standing up and Ethan helped her figure things out. Half the time he carried her around the ice, but eventually she started getting the hang of it. After they finished ice skating someone shouted, “Massive free for all snowball fight in room eighty-eight on floor ninety-seven!”

Ethan and Picario rushed off to it but the girls decided to take their time getting there.

On new years the four friends went around the floors enjoying the festivities. They danced, they laughed, and they accidentally hit a bunch of people with fireworks. It was a new years to remember for them all.

Finally in January Ethan, Marry, and Picario were ready to start working together in the tournaments. Determined to make their way to the top, believing that up there they might find answers to their many questions. But unknown to Marry and Picario, Ethan had mastered his powers in secret and would soon become a force to be reckoned with himself.

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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