Chapter 50: The start of a plan

Both Amara and Claissa jump backwards and start their Incantation. They both take five seconds to complete it, but their magic is completely different from each other. Amara’s magic let’s her manipulate an object she creates from earth all around. Claissa’s magic however lets her manipulate solid earth into different shapes.

The ground under Amara’s feet begins to change, she quickly jumps away is the ground beneath her feet disappears into a big hole. ‘That was close’ Amara thinks as she jumps away. She has already formed her own sphere to manipulate. She launches it as Claissa, hoping to take her out in one shot. Claissa however, sees the attack coming and easily dodges out of the way. Amara’s attack leaves a small crater on the ground.

Amara lands on the ground again, this time earthen spikes rise up, cutting small incisions into her legs. Blood starts gathering at the wounds, slowly dripping out. She quickly jumps further back, but every time she lands, Claissa has something waiting for her. Amara has much less battle experience and it’s costing her, she can’t seem to find a good angle to attack with.

She has to keep dodging Claissa’s attacks and finally ends up near the edges of the arena. She is panting heavily from all the running and her body shows cuts and bruises all over. ‘I have to get at least one attack in, but it’s hard to even concentrate on the match if I have to keep running’ Amara thinks to herself.

Claissa is running low on mana, but she takes the time to recover hers as soon as Amara reaches the edge of the arena. Amara starts her Incantation again, but this time puts a lot more mana into it, to the point she almost runs out. Dust and earth gathers around her in a swirling vortex, all being drawn in to a single point, which slowly form a solid sphere. She compresses it as much as possible, a loud crunching and banging noise can be heard coming from it.

As soon as she’s finishes she launches it at Claissa, it reaches her in less than a second. Claissa is surprised at the speed and barely manages to dodge to the side. The sphere takes out several trees and rocks speeding past Claissa. Claissa looks stunned at the destruction behind her, realizing she needs to finish this fast.

Instead of waiting at a distance she rushes towards Amara while chanting her Incantation, Amara is commanding the sphere to follow her. Claissa tries dodging again, but it hits her upper arm leaving a trail of blood behind and a broken shoulder. She doesn’t stop her assault and continues to run towards Amara, who is now slightly panicking, Amara tries to get the sphere back under control as it’s mass requires it to stop first before going in a different direction.

Amara is too late, Claissa is within 10 meters of her now and releases her spell, spikes from every direction aimed at Amara come forth from the ground and rocks around her. Amara has no time to even escape and her body is stuck between them. She tries one last effort and directs the sphere at herself trying to break free, but her mana depletes and it falls to the ground and leaves a small crater with a heavy thump.

“Claissa has won by technical knock-out! Amara is no longer able to fight as her mana is depleted and her body is disabled from moving!” sounds through the arena as applause erupts from the stands. “Amara put up a good fight, but in the end she lost due to inexperience and casting speed. However that attack is really strong, I wonder what she’ll be able to do when she has full control over it” a member of the audience tells his friends.

Amara spends a longer time inside the dressing room as medics fix her up. She eventually joins up with her friends again. “Good job Amara, your control has gotten better, but you still lack experience” Cleamon says patting her on the head. “Thanks, but I don’t deserve your praise. I got cocky and messed up, I should’ve researched my opponent better” she says while utterly disappointed in herself. “Don’t worry about it, this is all a learning experience anyway. They do this tournament early on in the year to show how much experience makes a difference. Since Lilia, Cecily and me actually have sparred together we have a bit of an advantage over you. After the tournament I will make sure to train you all at real fighting as well” Cleamon says comforting Amara.

“Let’s go back to the castle, I want to start your training” Cleamon says to his friends. He scans the school with his aura and notices the girl that came up to him earlier that day close by. “Hold on I’ll go get Metztli” Cleamon says and walks of in the direction of Idalia.

Idalia is sitting and eating something by herself, she looks rather displeased. Between chewing and swallowing she seems to be sighing heavily. Metztli sees Cleamon and move towards him “is my job done?” she asks quietly. “We’re going home, did you find out anything from her in the mean time?” he asks. “I don’t think she has any friends, during the time I was with her most of the other students didn’t even notice she exists. Attempts to talk to someone ended up by them walking away or just ignoring her. It’s actually kind of sad, I feel sorry for her” Metztli says with a sad voice.

“So nothing suspicious?” he asks “I couldn’t find anything” Metztli responds. ‘I wonder why she came to me earlier’ Cleamon thinks to himself. “Could you follow her a bit more today? Let’s meet up at 8pm in front of the castle so I can let you in. I’ll rewards you for this tonight” Cleamon whispers to Metztli.

“Okay, I will do my best” she says and grabs Cleamon’s hand for a second and then leaves. ‘What was that about?’ he wonders. He joins back with his friends “let’s move out, Metztli will come later”. As they move out some stares of the Gambrill and Myrtics family follow them. Cleamon notices them, but pays them no attention and feigns ignorance.

The day before at the Gambrill residence.

“Jaycobe, Sylas, your next matches are very important, we have to win them in order to claim the bets we made. Besides that, this Cleamon is being a thorn in our side. We sent some family members to follow them a few days ago, but they haven’t returned yet. We have to assume they either got killed or are kept captive by an enemy” an old looking man says.

He is sitting at a table which is formed like a crescent, many other prominent figures are present at the table. “Yes, why are we having such troubles with just a youngster? The guys we sent after him were at least a 1000ms, they shouldn’t have any problems! Also didn’t we hire that demon assassin, where the hell did she go? Are you telling me that little kid killed them?” a very buff guy angrily says while slamming the table.

“We don’t know, we only found the dagger we gave her to be able to locate her position, but after we tracked it down, it just led to a cellar with nothing inside. We haven’t been able to locate her aura as well these past days, so whatever happened she disappeared the night she had to capture Cleamon” the head of the table says.

“It will be hard to win the next matches, since the headmaster is such a strong magician we can’t just cheat our way in. Did you acquire the potions and pills for cultivating?” he asks a servant standing next to him. “Yes master, we acquired 20 of each over the past days” he says politely.

“Good, Jaycobe, Sylas come here. Take one pill every 3 hours until you fight them, you should be able to win your other matches if you take a pill just before it. Just make sure to end it quickly and do as much damage as you can to any of Cleamon’s friends! If you lose there will be a severe punishment waiting for you both, we can’t let our plan go to waste because of a little runt!” the head figure says in a stern tone to the both of them.

“Yes master!” they both reply in unison.

Present time at the castle’s training room, Cleamon paired everyone up to train their battle experience.

Lilia vs Resyana

Cecily vs Amara

Cleamon vs Homian

They spend their time just practicing dodging while doing their Incantation, so far only Lilia managed to complete hers under pressure. While the others are still struggling Cleamon easily casts spells without even having to use Incantations. Making Homian’s life miserable by easily dodging and countering attacks.

They spend two hours training in this matter and everyone except Cleamon is exhausted by the end of it. “Good job everyone, we will do this kind of training every day from now on, I will provide you all with more potions which will speed up your recovery and cultivation. After every training session you will spend three hours cultivating. Later this evening I will also teach you all a new spell, or rather let you discover your own. Think hard about what kind of spell you would want to have to help you win battles” Cleamon says.

‘I should move outside, Metztli should be here soon’ Cleamon thinks while cleaning his face.

He moves towards the gates and waits outside. About five minutes later Metztli shows up. “You might need to help this girl” she says panting. She looked as if she’d ran a marathon and was sweating profusely. “Why? What happened?” Cleamon asks worryingly.

“It seems she was threatened by those two families to get more information from you, they showed up near her house and threatened her that if she doesn’t succeed her family will be killed. She is supposed to be Sylas’ fiance against her will. He heard about her actions in the cafeteria and was outraged she tried to seduce you instead of just entering your circle, telling her she’s a whore and should just die. If her family wouldn’t have had the best miners of rare ore in the city she wouldn’t even be a candidate for him” Metztli says with tears in her eyes. She knows what it’s like to be chewed out by others and threatened with death.

“Where is she now?” Cleamon asks. “She is at home, I followed Sylas and another guy for a while when I ran out of time and had to run here”.

“This is a problem, if we act now they know something is wrong. Did you overhear anything about him telling it to his family?”.

“Yes he said to the other guy to keep this a secret from his family as he was supposed to do this himself” Metztli answers.

“Good then we still have a chance! Show me where she lives right away we have to hurry else this might turn out for the worse” Cleamon says and turns around and runs quickly to the training ground.

“Guys I’ll be back as soon as possible something came up I have to deal with right away, you go ahead and start cultivating. Here are some potions” he says hastily and throws the potions in their general direction. He spears off again.

“Okay, let’s move as fast as possible. Where is Sylas currently?” he asks as they begin to run.

“He should be at a diner with the other guy about 15 minutes from here” she answers.

“How strong is the other one?” he asks.

“I’d say about 3000ms, but I can’t tell for sure. He’s a lot weaker than me at least” she says a bit proud in herself.

“Okay that shouldn’t be an issue then when we eventually have to deal with him. I will take care of Sylas on Saturday, I will tell Resyana to forfeit the match. I have a bad feeling about it, I’d rather not involve them in this yet” he says to Metztli.

They reach Idalia’s house, Metztli is still hidden when Cleamon knocks on the door.

A women opens the door slightly while peeking outside “who are you?” she asks

“Good evening, I’m a friend of your sister. I came here because she wanted to meet today to discuss some school work” Cleamon says trying to flatter the women behind the door.

“I’m her mother, wait here one moment, I will call her to the door” she says, her voice sounding a bit happy.

“Idalia! You have a friend waiting for you at the door” Cleamon hears he call.

She open the door again “Sorry, but she’s asking your name”.

“My apologies, my name is Cleamon” he answers politely.

She goes back inside and tells his name, a lot of stumbling can be heard from upstairs and footsteps rushing down the stair. “Calm down you might hurt yourself!” he hears her mother say.

“Metztli you stay here outside and stay guard, if anything comes up, knock on the window over there” Cleamon whispers. “Okay, I’ll wait here. Good luck” she whispers as she grabs his hand.

Idalia opens the door “C-come in” she says with her voice trembling. “Mom me and my friend will be upstairs doing our homework” she says hiding her trembling voice. “Okay, make sure you take some drinks with you for your guest” she answers.

Idalia rushes and grabs drinks and motions Cleamon to come upstairs. They enter her room.

“How do you know I live here and why are you here?” her tone changes drastically, it sounds frightened.

“Let’s just say I have my own ways. I know of your situation and I’m here to help you out” Cleamon says in a serious tone. Idalia is shocked, she was already found out.

“Don’t worry I won’t hurt you, I’m here to tell you I will take care of your problem. However it will require you to trust in me, you will have to tell Sylas what I’m about to tell you. He can not find out however, you know the consequences of this. The problem will be fixed on Saturday morning if you play your part correctly” Cleamon continues.

“And why should I trust you? So far you are the most mysterious person in all of this” she asks.

“I’ve thought of a solution on the way here” he says grabbing a crystal from his bracelet, leaving Idalia stunned and slightly moving backwards. “I will make a lie detector out of this crystal” he says while already inscribing it with many symbols. The patterns become more and more complex by the second. Idalia looks on in awe and horror as she doesn’t know what will happen.

“Okay done, ask me any question. The crystal will change color based on if it’s a lie or not” he says.

Coming to her senses she asks “I-is your name Cleamon?”. “Yes” and the crystal turns green. “Try another question, I will answer truthfully again”. Most of her doubts are fading as the crystal seems harmless.

“Then, do you think I’m cute?” she decides to ask. “Yes” Cleamon immediately answers and the crystal turns green again. “Now ask something and I will lie”.

“Have you ever slept in the same bed with a girl before?” she says as her face shows hints of excitement. “No” Cleamon answers and the crystal turns red. For some reason Idalia becomes slightly more excited at this answer. “Then, would you mind if I kissed you?” she finally decides to ask after thinking about it. ‘This girl has a weird personality, it seems how she acted at the cafeteria was really her and not because she had to get close to me’ Cleamon thinks.

“Yes” he answers and the crystal turns red. Idalia’s eyes sparkle at this revelation. “Although I said yes, it doesn’t mean it would be at this moment” Cleamon adds to it to be safe.

“Do you trust the crystal works? I can ask you some questions as well so you can be sure that it really works” Cleamon says.

“Okay” she says as she quickly grabs the crystal from his hands. Her eyes are now filled with excitement and expectation. ‘Sigh, I should just play a long for now’ Cleamon thinks.

“Okay I will ask you two questions, answer one truthfully and the other with a lie”

“First, are you really interested in me?” he asks. Not quite ready for the question Idalia hesitates to answer. “Uhmm, yes. Actually I have been following you around since the start of the school” she admits. The crystal turns green, while Idalia turns red.

“Second question, do you like girls as much as guys?” Cleamon asks bluntly without any embarrassment, catching her off-guard again.

“N-no” she answers and the crystal turns red. Cleamon grabs the crystal again.

“Now, let me say this. I will promise to help you if you follow my instructions. You and your family will be safe from them. In the extreme event something will happen, I’ll be willing to take you with me and protect you some place where they can’t find you. However I won’t be able to do the same for your parents” Cleamon says while the crystal stays a clear green.

“I know about your forced engagement with Sylas. I can make sure that won’t ever happen. I might be able to get a guard for your family, but that’s something we’ll have to see” he further explains.

Idalia’s eyes start to tear up “why are you doing this for me?” she says.

“My friend saw your situation and instantly asked me for help, you’ll have to thank her eventually. After today I was suspicious of you and had her follow you, if she is telling me to help, I will” he answers.

“Thank you so much, I don’t even know how I can ever repay you” she says wiping tears from her eyes.

“Don’t worry, if this is over just become one of my friends for real. I can use someone who is loyal and willing as a friend. You were also the only one brave enough to come that close to us, while the others just glared from a distance” he says comforting her.

Her tears stop and her expression changes, from sad and scared to loving and happy. “Okay I will be a good friend! Maybe I’ll be more than that! Can you give me a hug?” she says in a more happy voice.

“Sure come here” Cleamon says as he opens his arms. She hastily scoots over and hugs him sighing deeply. “I also told you I would teach you something, although I actually have no experience. Sorry about that, I lied” she says as she moves her face slightly back again. “But this might as well be a good time to learn” she says as she kisses Cleamon on his mouth and holding his head. She doesn’t release him for a good 20 seconds while she puts her tongue inside.

She finally lets go, looks at Cleamon with a mischievous smile and wipes her lips dry “That was lesson one” she says.

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