How far can Merlin go?
<Can you hear me boy?> Alan heard Merlin in his head.
<Yes, but why are you thought talking?> Alan asked a little curious.
<I thought I might let her sleep she was awake for quite a while tending and watching over you,> came Merlin’s reply.
<Ok, we’ll let her sleep for now, thank you for your consideration.> Alan told Merlin.
<I wanted to ask what you are planning on doing? There are only 30 of the dark mages left before you face the champion. I am quite sure they all have laid a trap for you at one point or another.> Merlin advised Alan.
<Yes, I am well aware of that; then again I am betting that they think I will just walk into them too. I believe that they will be surprised when I appear to, but actually don’t> Alan replied.
Merlin smiled as he nodded he’d seen this young man’s tactics, he was sure Alan had a few surprises up his sleeve. <I also wanted to tell you that I am as high as I can go in the mid-range. It is taking an untold amount of energy each time as you said. By the way I have felt a slight jump in your power as I said it is extremely slow. After the mid-range I am having a difficult time increasing.>
<Just remember it takes a little bit for your body to adjust before you should even think of trying to go further. What I did today was the largest I have ever done, the sleep helped greatly but I don’t think I want to push it like that again for a bit.> Alan explained.
<Yes I know, I have slowed trying to increase, the amount of energy as you said, is enormous. Please Alan be careful these last 30 are the worst of the lot.> Merlin warned.
Alan nodded then reached down and gently kissed Hopix sending shivers up his spine. Withdrawing his lips he could see that Hopix was feeling it as well. “Hello my love feeling better?” Alan asked when her eyes flew open.
Breathing hard Hopix could only nod as she clung to Alan as if her life depended on it.
“We need to get started; I feel it won’t take too many more before the light council will be able to appear on this world. You sure you feel like going with me?” Alan asked a smile on his face as a sudden look of anger crossed Hopix’s face.
“You wouldn’t dare think of leaving without me!” She told him as she playfully slapped his shoulder.
Alan nodded then arose with Hopix’s arms still around him. “I want to finish this as fast as possible but I think that the last 30 are counting on me being reckless.”
“I believe you are right, maybe a calming meditation,” Hopix asked, to which Alan could only stare at her. To him meditation with his wife was when she actually left him alone!
Taking a deep breath Alan sighed, and then shrugged hell it couldn’t hurt to try now could it. Concentrating on Hopix’s face Alan could actually feel the tension leave his body amazing! Then a new idea started to form, hmmm Alan thought a little devious but it might work.
Half an hour later, Alan and Hopix were leaving the sanctuary, Alan feeling for the next mage he was going after. Nodding to Hopix they started to head in that direction as fast as possible. Finally they arrived at a… tree? Shaking his head Alan knew they were weird guess he should expect it. Smiling then nodding to Hopix, Alan raised his power and cut the top of the tree off. As he expected there was a large amount of screaming before the mage appeared.
“You bastard how dare you destroy my home! I will use your bones in the construction of my next home!” Firing a (here Alan just shook his head) huge fireball at Alan the half bird shaped mage started to laugh. “I know you have a superior defense against fire but this is quite different!”
Alan just nodded he’d felt the more intense heat but it was really nothing to him. Bouncing it back Alan watched as the dark mage’s face showed surprise as it extended its arm like appendages. Suddenly the face twisted into fear and hate as the fire ball didn’t extinguish but built to a higher intensity. Alan suddenly was speaking to the air as he stated, “I hope all of you are watching, I am through playing with you whether now or later, alone or together. I am coming to end each of you do us all a favor and just give up! None of you have a chance, NONE of you!”
Turning away Alan smiled, ‘That ought to do it,’ he thought. Looking at the bird creature mage Alan pushed some more, feeling the other lose the fight. Finally amidst an increasing amount of screaming as it died, several more dark mages appeared and started to fire different attacks at Alan. Many of the new arrivals faces twisted into hate as they all tried to end Alan at the same time.
Smiling Alan had felt the approach of the ten that were now striking at his shields. Alan had depended on the fact that most of them were conceited about their power, good he thought as he slowly increased his shields and then started to push back. Hmmm Alan thought as he felt the familiar presence of the dark council’s champion. Turning his attention back to the new arrivals, Alan made several different cutting motions as four of the new mages fell bleeding from gashes on their throats and necks.
Several of those left started to push harder growling out their hatred of Alan. Increasing his power even more Alan was almost as high as he’d been before pushing back hard as another two screamed. Their own attacks caught and consumed them as they died beside the others. Ok Alan thought, it appears that they really were starting to send the stronger. ‘It was about time,’ he thought, ‘this would definitely be a challenge!’
Still the first that Alan had engaged was trying to escape, again waggling his finger at him Alan thought I ought to try something different. Concentrating Alan could feel the ground beneath him and the dark mages; smiling he reached down and a moment later three of the four left, screamed. Several roots erupted from the ground and ripped them apart, the last only smiled as he pointed a stubby finger like appendage at Alan.
“So mage Alan you can learn! Good it will make this victory over you that much sweeter!” With that the last mage faded to a mist that floated toward Alan, an evil cackling emitting from it. “You can stop most attacks but not this one! Remember how brave you thought you were when you feel your lungs on fire and you blood boiling out of your body!”
Alan could only smile he’d seen something like this before and awaited the approach of the dark mage. As it drew closer Alan’s grin got bigger making the mist falter a moment; that was all Alan needed as a freezing wave of cold erupted from Alan. Screaming the mist tried to avoid the cold and almost made it.
“I would say it had been a good fight but you were rather easy,” Alan told the half frozen mist. “It’s a shame you have been the most original yet, oh well.” Stepping forward Alan brought a foot down on the frozen section of the mist effectively shattering it into thousands of pieces. Screaming the dark mage cursed at Alan then stopped as it died.
Turning back to the first of the dark mages Alan got a curious grin on his face. The first of Alan’s assailants eyes got wide then it looked behind Alan and started to grin.
“I see that my true help is here!” Quite confident the first dark mage started to laugh at Alan. “Soon you will be dead and we all will profit handsomely!”
Behind Alan a now familiar voice broke the air, “I know you aren’t talking about me! You are a stupid and pathetic fool to think I would help a weak idiot like you in fact.” Suddenly there was a massive build up of power then a rushing release that shot out and engulfed the creature. Screaming it was gone quicker than Alan thought it would be. “I cannot stand the weak and sniveling fools the council has working for them. That though, is their business I could care less.”
“Huh and here I thought you had no honor.” Alan told the dark council’s champion.
“Oh rest assured I do not! Though when it comes to you who can know? You are mine to kill, the sooner these impossible wastes are gone, the sooner I can feast on your soul!” The powerful dark mage said. “I won’t kill them; that is your job as is dying at the appointed hour by my hand. So do us all a favor, kill them quickly I thirst for an actual battle against a real mage not here.” HE kicked what was left of the first dark mages body. “These wastes of space.” Laughing evilly the creature disappeared.
Alan shook his head then sat to rest a few minutes, he could already feel a huge multitude coming this way. There had to be a way to speed up the process. “Hopix, do you think there is an easier way to complete the clearing of these people?”
Sitting next to him her chin on her hand she also started to think, a few minutes later she looked at Alan excited. “Alan, do they have to be awake for you to actually do this? I have seen that the more they struggle before you actually stop working on them, the more energy you use. Perhaps it would be simpler to just put them asleep?”
Alan sat there mulling over what she’d said, maybe she was right it took a lot more energy to fight them trying to open them up awake then when they were asleep. The last group he’d worked on had been this way hell it was worth a shot! Wiping out the home of the first dark mage Alan set about making a major city comparable to one that he’d seen in the minds of many of the Lobrits. He’d just finished when he felt the overly large throng of Lobrits as they drew close.
“I know that most of you are confused, I have created a city for you, but first I need you to sleep.” At this all that were there dropped to the ground in slumber. Alan started on the first few thousand finding it three times easier than he thought it would have been. Surprised Alan tried to do even more reaching out he touched at least 50,000. Smiling he found it was a hell of a lot easier plus he hardly felt the strain that he had before.
An hour later, Alan could only guess that he’d had well over 200,000 there though this time he was surprised that only about 10,000 didn’t want to be free. Shaking his head he sent all that were free now into the city and set up all the protection. Sighing he still couldn’t believe that many chose to remain with their dark mage masters.
Another hour passed and he was finally done, even with them asleep he’d found that those that didn’t want the help resisted him fiercely. Then he thought about what the dark council champion had said, shaking his head he could almost sense the excitement that the other had about facing him. Was the man, (Alan guessed he had been at one time) really that much in love with fighting as Alan could feel? Alan had just turned to Hopix when he felt a familiar presence appear.
“I thought you were going to wait ’til your power had increased more.” Alan asked of Merlin.
“I’m not sure if you can tell,” Merlin replied. “I was practicing again when I felt something slip and I suddenly knew that I had increased into the higher range. I am now where by far even close to you but I am feeling a hell of a lot more confidence than I was.” Here Merlin waved his arm with a small flourish sending a small shower of sparks out from his arm. “I have never been able to do that before, neither have I been able to thought move as far as I have.” Leaning close Merlin told a now shocked Alan in a whisper, “I made it here in two moves.”
“What!? You’d have to moved into…,” Alan started to smile, so the old man had finally moved into the higher ranges. Well Alan thought now the man was in for it that was for sure, the last nineteen might think he WAS an easier target but now Ha! Alan could only imagine all of their surprised faces when they went after him now.
Merlin smiled when he could see that Alan had the same revelation that he’d had. Then he remembered the real reason he’d come there, “I came as fast as I could, the first small town you created is under attack from those that chose not to be freed. They had contacted me as you were gone, I have tried to add more protection to the outer walls, but I am afraid I haven’t near the power you do.”
Alan nodded he’d felt tremors from the protection he’d erected but nothing all that serious yet. Then again with the strongest left that might change quickly. “I’ll head there as soon as we are done here.” Alan told a worried Merlin.
Merlin could only nod, he wanted these people free they, reminded him of a few of the kinder races he’d met. He just hoped that Alan wasn’t too late, this attack had been different than most that he’d felt before, another shock to him that he was feeling more. Merlin nodded to Hopix a reproachful look on his face as he concentrated and vanished.
Alan checked all of the safeguards he’d put in place then gathered up Hopix and they both vanished. Appearing not far from the first place Alan had set up for the Lobrits, Alan quickly assessed the situation. Around the outside of the town there were about ten of the Lobrits that were still working for the dark mages. Each had their arms raised and were emitting various types of energy towards the shields that Alan had erected around the town.
Growling Alan could feel the presence of at least three of the stronger dark mages through the ten of the loyal Lobrits. Alan was approaching when he heard a voice, “Hold mage Alan! Under the rules of conquest those in this pathetic village are ours!”
Alan sneered yelling, “Then they are all mine! I defeated all of those before me, release them, and halt this attack! I suggest you do so before you truly piss me off!”
“As if there was anything you could do!” The voice yelled back as several of the servant Lobrits turned toward Alan and started firing.
Alan smirked and easily blocked the attack even as several more bolts shot toward him from behind. Hopix screamed a warning as all three of the bolts started to penetrate his shields. Damn it! Distracted only a moment Alan returned fire catching the first of the three mages igniting its skin. Amid the screams, the last two poured on more power finally breaking through, one barely grazing Alan’s arm. Grimacing Alan’s now almost useless arm fell at his side. Looking at Hopix’s furious face as she helped him to remain standing Alan concentrated and they vanished.
They only managed to go a few thousand yards, both of the dark mages decided to give chase. Again Alan tried to move them but the pain was starting to distract him, as again they only moved a few thousand yards. Finally clear of the town Alan and Hopix looked at his arm, though not as bad as the first time he’d been injured it was more painful. Alan was about to move again when Merlin appeared.
“I thought you were in trouble something had felt off when I felt your first move” Alan could barely nod as the pain racked his body almost to the point that he was fighting to stay conscious. “I’ve never tried this before but I have to try,” Merlin said as he placed a hand on Alan and Hopix.
More than half way to the sanctuary Merlin and his passengers appeared startled Merlin recognized where they were. Shaking his head he could suddenly feel both of the following mages but they were at an extreme distance, damn had they moved that far? Closing his eyes Merlin concentrated on the sanctuary and they vanished again appearing outside the front of the sanctuary. Again Merlin’s eyes grew large this was amazing! This was fantastic! This was, shit! Merlin could feel the drain on his body and power well he thought as he started to fall this sucks!
Hopix’s eyes were wide when had Merlin’s power increased that much? The whole time they had been here Merlin had never shown this much power! There was a sudden commotion as the Lobrits came pouring out of the sanctuary to carry not only Alan but a now unconscious Merlin inside.
The dark champion was shaking his head maybe he’d given this mage Alan far too much credit to be hurt by such a tactic. Then again it was really the first time such had been used against him, we’ll see he thought Alan learned a hell of a lot faster than he was used to, Maybe this was a ruse? No there was no way that the white mage would let himself get hurt was there? Obviously there was a lot more to this Alan than met the eye. Yes further study was required that was for sure before they faced off against each other. With a smug and extremely confident look the dark champion vanished, already forming plans of ways to defeat Alan.
They managed to get Alan inside without incident as well as Merlin; that was ’til they set Alan down and the pain shot through his body. Doing his best not to scream Alan lay there as several healers started to work on him. Damn, Alan thought he couldn’t even feel them at first then slowly very slowly he started to feel a tiny bit of the pain fade.
They had been at it for perhaps four hours when Alan heard Merlin stir with a groan. Hopix had added her power to the healing also but it appeared that even her power was far insufficient to do all that much to his injuries. Merlin’s eyes opened, ‘damn,’ he thought as the room spun, ‘I’m a little surprised I am awake.’ Looking over at Alan he could see that Alan’s arm was still in bad shape. Barely able to move Merlin directed some of his energy toward Alan, watching as it enveloped the arm. Alan’s eyes snapped open as he actually felt his arm healing. ‘Who the hell was that,’ he thought there was no one powerful enough…
Alan heard Merlin groan then the healing that had started a few minutes before faded. Alan tried to move his arm not great but it was by far better than it had been. Looking at Merlin the man smiled then promptly passed out, damn Alan thought the man really had advanced his power that far! Concentrating Alan could finally add to the healing as he felt the tender flesh become whole. Alan’s last thought as the healing had also drained him was he had to repay the man when they were both awake, well after the last seventeen mages, and the champion were gone.