I jerked awake as the sounds of the village were starting to die down. Again a little disorientated I looked around for a moment wondering where in the world I was.
Then everything came rushing back as I was suddenly feeling depressed. Even all the skills I had learned watching the man hadn't been enough.
Malak's father had been very close to killing me. Sitting there a few more moments I started to get out of bed when the room started to slightly spin. Catching the wall I slowly sank to the ground with a groan.
A moment later Atohi's head popped in the opening of the teepee. "I thought it would be far longer before you would be up." Atohi said as he came and sat beside me. "I was going to wait 'til you were awake, feeling better. Malak's father cut you pretty bad." I nodded as it appeared that Atohi was a little nervous about something. "What's going on?" I asked him as I watched him fidget a bit.
"You didn't hear this from me. Please, if anyone finds out I could get a beating from father." Atohi asked still looking around to make sure no one heard him. When I nodded yes to him he breathed a sigh of relief. "The chief, many of the elder warriors has banished Malak's family from the tribe." I looked at Atohi in shock as I took in what he said. "When?" I asked with a look of no concern on my face.
"They were going to wait to talk to you and your grandfather. The simple fact was that not only his father but Malak himself attacked you. The chief and the elders thought it better for them to be gone before they might attack others." Atohi related to me. I stood and started to head out; Atohi still wore a look of worry on his face.
"I haven't forgotten my friend," I told him.
This seemed to relieve him as I started for where I felt Pops was. <Pops?
They are going to drive them out? Much like I was?> I asked Pops. <No.> Came Pops quick reply. <This is being done for the good of the tribe. The man is quick tempered they are afraid he might attack other young men or even children.> <So I am not to be consulted at all?
I thought I had grown much in the last month.> I asked. I heard Pops take a mental sigh. <You have started to grow it is true. You are still young Toman there are still things you need to learn. True you are finally developing skills of an adult. The thing is you are JUST starting to.> <So I am the one that he tries to kill. I am the one he injures, I am the one who had to fight and defeat him. Here you are saying I have no say in what is to be done!> I could feel the anger starting to swell inside of me.
I could feel the binding that Pops had put on me start to stretch then bend, then it felt as if it was being shredded. <TOMAN!> I heard Pops thoughts loudly in my head. <Calm or they will find you! You have barely been able to maintain the different signature. You lose it now before you are ready they could easily overcome you!> Shocked I felt my anger evaporate.
I could still feel the binding though a little of my power was leaking out. Suddenly I was standing in the bubble with Pops. "I told you to watch what you did!" Pops said as he hit me with his magic hand, thing was I hardly felt it!
Sighing Pops nodded then waved a hand over me, "sleep Toman sleep" The next thing I knew I was waking up and it was a day later. I could now feel the binding back in place slightly stronger. Shaking my head I got up and headed out. I walked about the village again trying to decide what to do 'til time for another lesson. Not really heading anywhere I was suddenly stopped the same warriors from the day before.
"Ah! Young Toman! So it appears that you are up again, this is good.
It also appears that you are again trying to see your bride to be again." The warrior said with a sly smile. I looked around suddenly realizing that I was only a few feet from Tall Bear's Tepee! Oh shit! I thought as I started to back away. The warrior's eyes gleamed with mischief as two others pushed me forward to a small opening in the Tepee. "You are nearly a man young Toman, it is within your right to peak!" One of the warriors pushing me said.
"Look as I said I don't want a jhatakedaar chhadee used on me." I replied. This time they all looked at me strangely. "You used that name before still we don't know it" The first warrior said. I thought about it a moment then felt something in my head shift. "Ah! It's a adatlosgá ganáhida talugisgi!" All of the warriors eyes went wide then they all started to smile. "As a soon to be husband they wouldn't take that much anger out on you.
Especially finally taming that wild cat of a daughter of the chief!" Pushing my face to the opening I got a view of the inside of the chief's tepee. Then I drew in a deep breath as Naci walked into my line of vision! By all my magic it had only been a few weeks but she appeared to be different.
By all that was holy!
She was ten times lovelier! I shook my head lovely? Was I losing my mind? Backing away unable to speak I kept backing up 'til I hit a wall! At least I thought it was a wall as I stumbled falling to the ground at the feet of Tall Bear! Scuttling back from him I quickly gained my feet. A small smile was on his lips as he stared at me then with a wink he spoke.
"I realize you know not of our customs young Toman but this is still forbidden." I nodded as he was quiet a moment as he was in thought. "As I have been here most of the time I do not see as any harm was done, though young Toman speak with me first!" My eyes flew wide as I suddenly realized that he wasn't going to have me beaten! Ok now I was confused, I never had luck this good it always ended in disaster. "So no adatlosgá ganáhida talugisgi to be used on me?" I asked a little afraid that I might upset what little luck I had.
Tall Bear's eyes widened a moment then he just shook his head. "No young Toman, though if this happens again, and I am not present. Then I may not be able to stop that." I nodded to Tall Bear as I heard a sound behind me. Turning I was shocked to see Naci standing there staring at me and her father. "So father making plans behind my back are you?" For the first time since me and pops had arrived I saw actual fear in Tall Bear's eyes!
I didn't understand, and was just about to ask when I was stopped short as Naci turned toward me looking me dead in the eyes! "I was not making plans for you I was." "Please father," Naci said effectively quieting Tall Bear. "Toman has saved me from becoming a mahila ka upayog, bekaar I think." "Naci," I said stopping her she returning her gaze toward me. "Please say that again I am having trouble with those terms." Naci nodded then started to open her mouth but stopped when I held up my hand.
Concentrating, I felt something of a block in what pops had touched me with that day. Shaking my head I then nodded to Naci as I felt the block slip. "I was saying to father that you saved me from becoming a agehyáa gátanáhi usoná winigatsihihá iga!
I think he should have made more time for us to see each other. Fleeting glances at rare times won't do." Naci stated. I was nodding as suddenly my eyes went wide. I held up my hand to Naci again as I felt rather than heard Pops gasp out. Looking at Tall Bear I asked, "where did you see my grandfather last? I can feel he is in trouble!" Tall Bear pointed toward the bubble area.
"Please keep everyone here; I am afraid that our enemies may have found us. Plus I am afraid it might be my fault!" Naci was staring at me with a worried look as I took off as fast as I could. I didn't see a thing 'til I was finally inside the bubble. An older version of Atohi was leaning over Pops, Pops didn't look that well.
Then again Atohi wasn't in that great of shape either. I looked at Pops hard then nodded when I opened that ability up it had increased his offenses a bit. The older looking Atohi was trying to force pops to talk but at the moment pops was holding him off, though I was afraid he wouldn't last much longer. "Where is that little bastard demon seed you pathetic old fool!" The older version of Atohi was snarling at Pops.
I tried so hard I tried not to lose it but this ass was seriously pissing me off. I felt the power in me build then double, then triple. That's when I felt the new binding pops put in me start to shred like paper. Shaking with the extreme power I felt coursing through me I shouted at mage. "Hey asshole! I take it you are looking for me?" I heard the mage laugh telling pops he'd be right back to end his traitorous life. This of course made me even angrier as the last of the binding shredded to nothing!
Turning the mage fired a fire ball at me then watched horrified as it hit me then fizzled in mere seconds. "That's impossible! There hasn't been enough time for you to teach him that much control! You are dead old man!" The mage said as he turned to Pops. Outraged I reached in as I started to rip everything of magic the mage had. Smiling at the screams of pain that escaped his lips. I kept at it 'til there was only an empty hole.
The look of shock on his face was that of abject horror. "NO! What have you done?" Waving his hand he started to scream. I walked up to him as he was screaming, punching him in the gut. With a satisfied smile I watched him sink to the ground. The only sound that of his labored breathing and vomiting. "I should kill you for what you have done to Pops. I think I have a much better idea though." Waving a hand over him I took everything about a plan the council had to destroy our family.
"No! You are an abomination! You have to be destroyed!" I just grunted as I went further into the now ex-mage's mind. So the council didn't know where he was.
That was good then there was the fact that this was also a minor council member. I started to raise my hand with it glowing as I prepared to deliver a death blow to the ex-mage. I felt a hand on my shoulder, "Don't become the monster that they think you are son." I nodded as I started to power down.
"Aw! What a good little lap dog!" The ex-mage said with a sneer. I only smiled at the ass as I reached in sealing the hole with the same energy I had used to sever them. Then I got down and into the man's face. "Unless you know of someone else who can open powers, you are now human.
I made damn sure of that, you are now a useless piece of filth as I heard all of the council call humans. I should wipe your mind and send you to the council, let them show you their unique brand of mercy." This of course had the man laughing at me.
"They wouldn't kill me they need me they." "You really are as stupid as I thought you were. It won't matter after I show the entire magic world all you have seen and heard." I told the man.
Laughing again the man stated, "I am a minor council member easily replaced. No one will believe what you broadcast." "Wanna bet?" I sneered in his face. "There are more than a few mages in your mind that they have done this to. I am SURE their families would be more than happy to investigate.
Also as I remember many of them are as strong if not more so than most of the council. Just how long do you think the council would last if ALL of them banded together against them?" The ex-mage started to laugh at me, "They wouldn't dare!
Without the council we would be little more than beasts. Much like these pitiful humans you are hiding among!" I pulled my fist back smashing into the man's face effectively breaking his jaw.
Even as the man howled in pain I smiled, I was tired of listening to his load of crap anyway. Pulling him up I snarled into his face, "These pitiful humans as you call them have a hundred times more honor than you ever will!" Waving a hand over the man I felt his mind fight a moment then quiet as everything started to go blank.
I felt Pops tense up when he felt the man's mind shrink to nothing. Looking at Pops I saw that he was severely weakened, though what I had done to him earlier in the month had probably saved his life. What was left of the man was sitting on the ground a near slobbering, idiot in an adult body.
I stood there in silence as I started to pull up everything, every nasty little thing this council had done in the last two hundred years. With a sigh I looked at Pops. "I need to broadcast this Pops. I don't want them to know that we are here.
I don't want these people to get hurt." Pops nodded with a huge smile on his face. "I was hoping that bringing you here would force you to grow up." "Here pops," I said as I raised a hand to his chest and arm. Almost immediately I felt them start, and then finish healing.
Pops got a huge shocked look on his face as he took a deep breath then started to cough up blood! Waving my hand again I felt the three broken ribs, plus the other five cracked ribs.
Then I felt the bruises all over him. Within two minutes Pops was as good as new. Again Pops' eyes went wide then I reached in, starting to purposely strengthen his defenses. I had raised then at least two levels when Pops asked me to stop. "Don't forget for higher defenses I also need higher energy." Nodding I opened up and increased his energy a few moments Pops was panting holding up his hand.
"Enough Toman! I am old; I don't have even half as much as you younger mages!" "Sorry Pops," I told him. "You are the last of any family that I have. I intend to keep you alive at all costs!" Then I smiled at him as I finally realized what he'd been doing all this time. "Thanks Pops, had you not been as you are I doubt I would be alive now. I---" I suddenly realized something else.
"Wait you called me a mage?" I stated incredulously. Pops smirked a moment then just as quickly it was gone. "You know I don't lie, you took out someone who up 'til today you had no hope of going against. Let alone defeating like you did. No son, you don't need me any longer." Pops said as he sadly shook his head.
I was suddenly in Pops face angry as I said, "Like an older, wiser, and very surly mage once said to me.
I am never to hear that crap out of your mouth again do you hear me?! You disrespect our entire family doing it! You are training me; therefore you are more than needed." Here I pointed a finger at Pops as I continued, "I didn't increase you just to have you give the hell up!" Pops was standing there with his mouth open, "Hell son I should have brought you here sooner!
Your father was a lot like you though I didn't get to train him much. Now I wish I had brought him here all those centuries ago. He might still be alive, plus the family might still be whole." With that Pops sat as the tears started to fall from his eyes. "Your father was a good mage. You mother, my daughter loved him fiercely. Please forgive me Tollan, forgive me my sweet little Drenna." I was shocked as I watched Pops break down in tears.
Why was he talking to the air as if they were both still here? "Pops?" I asked a few moments later when I moved closer. "Pops!?" I said louder gaining his attention. "Who are you talking to?" Shaking his head he whispered, "If I tell you, you might re-think your decision for me to keep training you." Then Pops seemed to be listening to something else.
Nodding his head he looked me directly in the eyes. "I was told that I should tell you.
What has accrued has indeed forced you to grow far more than I thought. Well that's what I am being told." I was really staring at Pops now, had all of this snapped his hold on reality? Then I did a double take as I saw what I thought was a shadow move past and around Pops then it was gone. What in the hell was going on? "Told by who Pops? Start making a little more sense. What are you supposed to--" I suddenly stopped as I again saw a shadow, then another that almost looked like a cloud as they drifted past Pops.
Pops head snapped up then he looked at the cloud shadow. Nodding his head he finally turned toward me with a smile. "So," He said with a sly smile. "It appears that I may not have to tell you after all.
Tell me Toman?
Just what are you seeing?" I started to open my mouth to talk then snapped it shut. "I don't know what you are doing Pops but I'm not going to fall for it! Everyone knows that what I am seeing doesn't exist! It's a trick I know it!" Narrowing my eyes I watched as one of the shadows floated toward me. Waving my hand in front of me the shadow advanced then stopped unable to advance.
Pops mouth dropped open as he tilted his head toward the shadow. "No!" I heard him whisper. "No he'll never believe me!" Pops seemed to be in an argument for a few moments then turned more toward me. "I was told---" He started. "So it appears that there is far more going on with you two than I at first thought." A familiar voice stated behind me. I turned around erecting a strong shield as the voice started to chuckle.
"Here I thought you both were just a simple mages. Glad I was wrong!" Finally turned around my mouth dropped open as I am sure Pops did. There standing in full mage regalia was Tall Bear!
Pops shook his head then started to smile, "I should have known that you were a mage. You were far more accepting of us into the tribe to not have been. Release Toman it's ok." I looked at the mage then Pops shaking my head no. "I don't think so Pops Tall Bear I know, this mage I don't." Tall Bear or whoever he was smiled, "No need to have him release sir." Then he walked toward us as I felt a pinprick of fear then felt my power flare more.
The mage waved his hand with a smile and ran into a wall! The smile disappeared a moment then was back as he waved his hand again with more effort. Stepping forward he was again stopped an astonished look on his face. I looked back at Pops as he had a small smile on his face. "I suggest that you gain his trust or you're never going to get through." With a sigh the mage nodded as he bowed first to Pops then me.
"I am sorry I was rude, I have to protect my family as well as the rest of the tribe. My mage name was Mordaf Wyllt." The mage stated. Pops eyes were wide as he stared hard at the mage before him.
"Wyllt of the Welsh?" Then Pops eyes narrowed. "I remember that there was a Wyllt that was the betrayer of his family." Still staring at the mage, "You're one of the five Wyllt sons!" Then Pops closed his mouth afraid that he'd said far too much.
"Yes," The mage said confused then he looked at Pops hard, then real hard. "Reginald?" Then the mage smirked, "Regg, I should have known you survived. What are you doing with a wild magic user?" "He's not just any wild magic user, he's Drenna's son, my grandson." Pops said with pride as the other mage's mouth dropped open as he started to stare at me again.