Wrapping his hand in incandescent blue light, Marc throws the ball at his pursuer. Thomas managed to use his talent to catch the strike and throw it into the sky. As the ball rushed past the tops of the trees, it burst the resulting explosion threw concentric azure rings into the night sky. The detonation caught Thomas’s attention, and he took a step away from his quarry. Amplifying his voice, he said, “You’re talented, but you won’t escape me.”
Pausing his flight, Marc retorted, “Don’t get cocky, Thomas.” Turning around slowly, Marc wiped at the pooling blood on his cheek. Looking down at his hand, Marc’s initial comment died on his lips. Lifting his eyes, Marc saw the hunger behind Thomas’s eye. “Just because you’ve caught every rouge you’ve ever hunted, doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to catch me.”
Shaking his head, Thomas mourned, “That’s exactly what it means.”
Taking a step away from his relentless stalker, Marc needed a moment to fully recover. “Why won’t you leave us alone? We didn’t do anything to you!”
“You don’t belong with the rabble!” Thomas retorted as he continued to stalk towards his wounded prey.
“I won’t impose my will on the whole world!” Marc bellowed as he pulled his hands into himself and screamed, “Ni-Ta-Ra!” A blue sphere of force exploded into existence around him. The power of the explosion tore trees from the ground, flinging them in every direction.
Thomas cried out, “Hen-Fain! Des-Rin!” Thomas spread his feet and waited as the once living shrapnel tore through the small grove. The incoming trees passed right through him. As the devastation quieted down, Thomas strode towards Marc saying, “That was impressive for a rouge. Who taught you this level of control?”
“The arrogance of the council,” Marc muttered behind his shield of blue.
Striding through the devastated trees and other debris, Thomas reached out and touched the dome. The translucent barrier held like a brick wall. “This is an advanced spell, not something someone could think of on their own. Who has been sheltering you?”
“You know what,” Marc said as his head began searching the forest. “I think your arrogance even rivals that of the council.”
“I’ve never failed,” Thomas declared. “And I never will!”
“For everything, there is a first time,” Marc quipped as he took a defensive stance within his protective bubble.
Thomas’s hands flew into motion, and fear drained the color from Marc’s face. He recognized the runes the other wizard traced in the air. He knew the shape of the spell that the hunter was working. Marc crouched down to touch the earth and muttered “Ja-Rein.”
Once his barrier vanished, Marc leapt into the sky and started tracing his own series of runes. When he finished tracing the last one, Marc cried out, “Hein-keh-ri!” Instantly his cape billowed out, growing in size and gaining the definition that only bone could provide. In the blink of an eye, the cape completed its transformation and a massive set of wings pounded against the earth propelling Marc above the trees.
The sudden transition back to flight shocked Thomas, and he lost track of the spell he’d been working. The gathered energy dispersed back into the world as he howled in rage at the shrinking outline of the rogue wizard. With a shift in his focus, he threw three explosive spells after Marc. Sensing the incoming spells, Marc threw one of his own at the incoming spheres of destruction. As the two spells collided, an explosion ripped through the air causing Marc’s wings to falter. He managed to right himself in the fading colors.
“I told you that you couldn’t escape me,” Thomas yelled as he soared at me with his own set of wings flapping furiously.
Without thinking, Marc threw another sphere of blue light at the encroaching hunter. But the talented hunter deflected the strike upward within resulting in another explosion that lit the night’s sky. The blue from Marc’s spell mixed with the red of Thomas’s resulting in streaks of purple. The two flew away from each other and hovered in the air as they began summoning magical salvos. Within moments the night was colored by their waring spells.
“You can’t keep this up forever,” Thomas stated between gasps.
“Neither can you,” Marc retorted as he unleashed three spells in rapid succession. The moment he unleashed his third spell, he wrapped himself in darkness and folded his wings upon himself.
The incoming spells consumed all of Thomas’s attention, allowing the plummeting Marc to escape from the fight. Just as he came to the trees, Marc flung his wings wide and glided to the nearest village. Ditching the wings, Marc cast an illusion to alter his face for a time and wandered to the center of the small town, following the whispers.
Reaching one of the dispersing villagers, Marc asked, “What’s with all the commotion?”
“How could you have missed the fireworks?”
“Fireworks?” Marc asked as he absently looked to where he fought with Thomas. Returning his attention to the villager, he nodded his head towards her and blurted, “I’m a heavy sleeper. But now I wish that I’d been awake, events like that are rare.”
“They are,” the woman replied as she hurried back to her home.
Pulling his coat up around his neck, Marc hurried away from the village. Looking up at the stars, Marc oriented himself back towards his destination. With a deep breath of chilly air, Marc shuddered. Taking another first step towards safety, Marc took solace that for the moment he managed to escape the wrath of the council’s most feared hunter.