The same thing that had happened to my father had happened to me. I could no longer use magic no matter how hard I tried to gather magic power.
“How does it feel to be powerless Reia?” My uncle shouted at me from fifteen yards away while smiling wickedly.
“Now you are just like your father!”
I stood, regaining my balance and looked at my uncle with disdain.
“You are unworthy to lead our tribe. You can only win with petty tricks. I will soon wipe that smile off your face.” My words were calm which only seemed to enrage him.
“Unworthy!? Hah! You and your father are nothing but fools and there is no way I am handing over leadership of this tribe to a HUMAN!”
He didn’t realize yet, but my uncle had gravely miscalculated. The Khan had fallen right into our hands.
Khan Liran began chanting his next spell, hoping to finish the battle quickly with a barrage of magic attacks. Closing my eyes for a brief moment and taking a deep breath, I readied myself.
(The previous evening) (Fayde’s P.O.V.)
“Looks like mostly everyone is asleep. Reia, I want to talk to you about something.” The tent was quiet and I whispered so as not to wake anyone.
We were still sharing the tent with the old chief and his family.
With the tribe’s warriors on full alert guarding and patrolling outside, no one was going to disturb us. This was the best time to talk without worrying about anyone listening. Foxkin did have good hearing, but there was a way to get around that.
“Fayde, aren’t you tired? I should sleep, I need to be ready for tomorrow.”
Reia was yawning up a storm so I felt a little bad.
“This is important, come over here so we can talk away from everyone else.”
I led her over to a quiet corner that no one was using for sleeping.
“First, put up a sound barrier.”
Sound barriers could be created by those proficient in wind magic. It would stop pretty much anyone from being able to hear our conversation from a distance.
“I think we can expect something to happen tomorrow. If what you say about your uncle is true, then he is going to do to you, what he did to your father. We don’t know how he’s going to do it though, and that’s the problem.”
“We already know this Fayde, I don’t see the point of stating the obvious?”
I leaned in closer to her, my face almost close enough to kiss her. “The point is, we don’t bother trying to figure out what he’s going to do, we just let him do it.”
Reia thought that she must have misheard him because of her tiredness. He couldn’t possibly be telling me to just let myself be poisoned or whatever it was? She thought to herself.
“Reia, it’s simple. We know he is going to make a move some time before the battle tomorrow, it isn’t going to happen tonight. Instead of going crazy trying to figure out what he plans to do, we let him succeed. With that, he will think he has the upper hand and he will grow careless. It’s better than the alternative. If we stop his plans, he may get desperate and who knows what he might do.”
“But if I lose my ability to use magic….”
“I thought about that too. Do you trust me?” I looked into her eyes when I said that and she stared right back at me.
“Yes.” Her answer was without hesitation.
“My power reconstitutes entirely both the body and spirit. Your father and I kept this a secret from everyone, but I confirmed that my power can in fact return your magic ability. I used a good deal of my energy to confirm this. I had to give your father the ‘Mark of the Void’ and then heal him with ‘Molecular reconstitution’ but it turned out well and I even confirmed I can remove the ‘Mark.’ I have enough power to heal you, so don’t worry. Also, you have your sword and with that, magic shouldn’t be a problem. Believe in me, okay?” My words were no more than a whisper and I already knew what her response would be.
“I will always believe in you Fayde. Wait, are you saying my father can use magic again?” Reia responded in shock.
She finally fully realized what I had said and she gasped and put her hand to her mouth in pleasant surprise.
“Don’t tell anyone! At least for now.”
Reia nodded her understanding but her joy was overflowing at the news.
“Then tomorrow, let us pretend to play along with your uncle’s game and when he least expects it, we will snatch everything from him. We will also might be able to see if there are any rats among us.”
I smiled warmly at Reia.
“Rats?” She asked inquisitively.
“It might be nothing, but something has been bothering me lately, let’s just wait and see..”
She didn’t ask anything further embracing me in gratitude for what I had done, and then quickly let go. We returned to our cots and slept holding each other close.
I opened my eyes just as my uncle finished chanting his next attack. Several ‘Flame Arrows’ appeared from his outthrust hands and sped towards me. It would be impossible for me to avoid the attack without my speed enhancement, but that was no longer necessary.
My uncle wore a victorious look on his face, he thought that the match had been decided when my magic had been sealed. Perhaps it would have been, if not for the fact that I had in my possession a magic sword.
From my sheathe I quickly wrenched the sword out just in time to parry the ‘Flame Arrows’ that moments before had been speeding towards me. A dim yellowish glow emanated from the magic sword which was imbued with lightning magic.
The advantage was now in my favor, and I sprung to action. With the lightning sword held at my side, I sprinted with all my strength straight towards my uncle.
“AHHH! I can’t believe this, die already!” He roared in anger, regaining his composure quickly and began chanting again while readying his axe.
I said nothing, I focused all my energy and strength on closing the distance. My uncle summoned walls of earth to slow my advance but my sword cut cleanly through them. They were nothing more than a minor inconvenience.
The gales that had thrown me back prior, were now pierced through, and my sword finally met my uncle’s axe.
While my uncle was not as skilled as me, he was no novice with an axe. The sound of metal on metal rang through the battlefield.
However, the difference in our weapons soon became apparent. With each strike of my blade, his axe came closer to breaking.
“Uncle, you seem to be tiring. Surrender now and I will spare you.”
I wanted to give him the chance, even if I knew he would refuse.
The proud Khan spit blood on the floor near my feet, “there’s your answer.”
“I guess the punch to the face wasn’t enough? This is your last chance to surrender peacefully, Khan.”
The battle didn’t need to end in death, but it seemed that this battle would not end without one of us dead on the ground.
“How is it that you are able to block all my attacks?! You shouldn’t be able to use magic! What the hell is going on!?”
Khan Liran was furious and was putting all his rage into his attacks, hoping to knock Reia off guard.
“So you admit to what you have done? Trying to use your own daughter in your plot to obtain victory? Have you no shame? Did you really believe we would fall for it?” Reia continued to parry and strike while chiding her uncle on.
My plan from the beginning had been to whittle down my uncle’s magic power by forcing him to use as much of it up as possible before I lost my own magic. Without magic, my uncle was no match for me, especially with my magic sword. At this point, I was just toying with him.
“Enough of this! Die!”
My uncle poured all of his magic power into one final attack and he began chanting.
We were only feet apart, but I didn’t bother to stop his chant. I wanted this victory to be an overwhelming one so that all present could see.
I looked down at the lightning sword in my hand, It’s charged. I ran my hand along the surface of the blade, the magical energy in the sword began to crackle with electricity.
“Fire Storm!” My uncle’s magic blossomed out from his raised arms and the heat from the spell was overwhelming. The tornado of fire spun wildly as it grew but I stood there unconcerned holding my sword in a striking position.
No magical power or chant was necessary to use the magic in a magic sword. The only downside being that it took time to charge and could only be used once per day.
I swung the blade in a wide arc, “Lightning Slash!” I put all my strength behind the swing and yelled in defiance towards my uncle.
A bright flash lit the battlefield as my sword swung with the force of a lightning bolt, blowing away the firestorm and flinging my uncle backwards a dozen yards.
Smoke rose from his charred body, did he survive?
I walked over to his body cautiously in case he still lived. As I drew nearer, I could hear gasping sounds coming from his body. He was still alive but I could tell he was on the verge of death. There was no way he could recover from those injuries, at least not without powerful magic.
I stood over his body, my sword at the ready and I looked down at him with pity.
“It didn’t have to be this way uncle.”
“Kill…. me….” He could barely speak with his body severely burned.
“NO! STOP!” Someone called out to me from behind but I paid it no mind.
I ended my uncle’s life. Having finally achieved my revenge, I had a troubled heart. The moment I had spent my life preparing for had come to an end. With victory, there was fleeting joy, but there was also a sense of loss.
After all that, another failure. I can’t believe it.
Tris had been watching the battle from the crowd even though she was supposed to be watching the crowd in case anything suspicious happened. Of course, since she knew that Khan Liran had already poisoned Reia, she had no need to be on guard.
She had difficulty convincing the Khan to trust her, but she had offered him a way to get into Fayde’s camp and he had greedily accepted. She was forced to accept a spell placed on her which would allow the Khan to spy on her. The spell would last for a full day and wouldn’t disappear until the battle was over. It was the only way to convince him to let her in on the plan.
She was hoping to discover what it was that the Khan had used to seal the old chief’s magic power, but she wasn’t able to obtain that information. It was discouraging, but it was enough if Reia lost her magic power and the battle. This way, Fayde wouldn’t be able to take over the clan and he would lose one of his most powerful companions.
That was the plan anyway, but Reia had dashed those hopes completely with her victory. I can’t believe she kept that magic sword hidden from everyone all this time. I wondered why she never drew that sword from her sheathe, instead using her short swords to fight. To think that she had a weapon like that hidden. Hmm, her magic power has been sealed at least, maybe this isn’t a total loss.
“No! Stop!” She suddenly heard a voice she recognized.
Damn, it’s that wretches daughter. I think her name was Felis. Can’t let her live, since she knows of my involvement.
Felis ran out into the battlefield from the crowd screaming at Reia who had killed her father. She looked like she was about to attack.
This is a good opportunity for me.
I drew my bow and notched an arrow to it. The crowd was too absorbed with what was going on to notice quickly enough to stop me.
No matter what, she can’t be allowed to live, need to go for a quick kill.
I let the arrow loose, aiming for Felis’ neck. The arrow penetrated her neck from behind and she dropped to the ground, dead.
A surprise attack from the rear for triple damage. Took her out in one hit.
Once the victory was assured, I heaved a sigh of relief. I didn’t think Reia would lose, but it was still a relief. At that moment, a young Foxkin woman suddenly yelled out and ran towards Reia.
“Reia, watch out!” I called out to her but I was too far away for her to hear me with the crowd.
They were mostly in shock that their Khan had lost and our tribe was ecstatic.
I ran out to the battlefield along with Allein and Nes, prepared to defend Reia, but it wasn’t necessary. The young Foxkin woman was dropped by an arrow from behind. I followed the trajectory and saw that it had been Tris that had shot the arrow. So that’s how it is, I thought.
Some Fox-kin warriors noticed what Tris had done and took her captive. They didn’t attack her, she surrendered peacefully. I’ll deal with that later.
I told Allein and Nes to wait for me there and I ran towards Reia, swooping her up and spinning her around. She laughed playfully despite the fact that she had just killed her uncle.
“You did it!” I laughed along with her.
“Yeah, now hurry up and heal me!” She said grunting in pain.
I put my hand to her head and began summoning the ‘Dark Matter’ energy within my body and used my ability ‘Molecular reconstitution.’ Energy was drained from my body. Using this ability really drained me of VP.
Reia concentrated for a moment, “It’s back! I can feel my magical power returning!”
“Good, man I’m tired.”
Reia looked at me with concern, “are you okay?”
“Don’t worry, just an after effect of having so much of my energy drained. I will be fine.”
While we were talking, the chieftains along with Reia’s father approached us.
“With this, victory is yours. You are now our new Khan.” Reia’s father was happily congratulating us.
“The ceremony must come first! You are not the Khan just yet, there is still much to do in preparation, but…. the victory is yours this day.”
The other chieftains accepted the outcome of the battle and in their own way congratulated us as well. They didn’t seem fully happy about the results, but they weren’t denying our victory.
“It’s a shame about Felis…” The chieftains seemed to be expressing their regret for what happened to Felis, but it couldn’t be helped.
She definitely would have attacked Reia and that was a grave offense.
“While we are on that topic, can you make sure to release Tris? I will be sure to handle her.”
The chieftains nodded at my request and promised to release her.
“We have a lot to do in order to get ready for the ceremony. Fayde, please rest in your tent until evening. We will send someone for you when it’s time. We also have to see to Liran and Felis.”
Giving my regards to the chieftains, we made our way back to our tent happily discussing the day’s events. None of us felt any guilt or regret that the old Khan and his daughter had died.
The other Foxkin were beginning to disperse and for many of them, their minds were in turmoil. They had difficulty coming to grips with the reality they now faced. Their Khan was dead and their new Khan would be a Human. They could only wonder at a future which seemed doubtful to them.