Darkest Star, Brightest Shadow

There are some times in life where even the brightest of stars can become so dark and corrupt, that they are unstoppable. It is at this time of peril that a nobody, an insignificant little shadow, must step up to face the enemy. Umbra. Umbra must step up, and become the brightest of all shadows...

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24. City of dwarves

The dwarven prophet stood before them, her loose-fitting garments all coloured brown and dun, her eyes a rusty colour. She never mentioned a real name, just said to call her 'Prophet'. She seemed friendly, and knew Carnelian well. Her short, boyish hair was dark brown.

"So then," she asked Carnelian. "You wish for me to find you the earth lord?"

"Yes please." Carnelian replied. She nodded, then dissapeared through her own front door without another word. Jet stood by the window, looking out at the dwarves. Everyone had been suspicious of him. He was a dark angel. Not to be trusted. Aquila walked up to Umbra, putting a hand on his friend's shoulder.

"Hey... You realise that after we recruit the earth lord, we're going to have to fight the goblins, brother?" he reminded Umbra. His friend closed his eyes, sighing.

"You don't have to keep reminding me." Umbra begged. Aquila nodded, seeing the exhaustion on his friend's face. Lazarus interrupted them before Aquila could make another comment.

"Sorry I didn't tell you all this earlier, but... I'm the fire lord." he said, his eyes lowered and guilty. Umbra gasped in shock.

"You...?"

"Yeah. I'm sorry, guys. But it took me a while to get used to it, and I didn't really believe it myself. I haven't been able to control it very well until yesterday, when I trained in the feary woods." Lazarus apologised. His expression was clear: guilt.

"Nobody kill the guy." Tide muttered as everyone stared at the prince in surprise. "His choice; feel lucky that he told you." Carnelian's open mouth was turning to a grin.

"No, I'm not angry at you. That's not it. I just... Can't really believe it." his elven friend said, golden eyes glowing happily. Prophet suddenly walked in with an older dwarf following her. This one looked around forty in age, with pale brown hair and clothing simalar to Prophet's. He was extremely muscled and bulked up, with bare arms and thick legs.

"Name's Marcus." he told them, looking at each in turn. "And... Until the Protector shows me his skills, I'm not joining you." the dwarf said firmly, his descision set firm.

"Deal." Umbra replied instantly, knowing that nothing else would change the old dwarf's mind. Carnelian looked at him with queerying eyes.

"You sure?" he asked. Umbra nodded confidently. What was this test compared to the goblins?

 

Hard. The test was extremely hard. Within the day, Umbra had to learn how to use every one of the five elements. Air, he had already learnt. But now, he had to learn four new skills. Great. Just great. First, Tide tried to teach Umbra the skills of water. He was a strict but firm teacher, making sure that Umbra did not slack or take any breaks. Thorn, Umbra decided, was definately nicer. Finally, after most of the entire morning was spent, Umbra mastered it.He could make shapes from water, and smash it against enemies, or, in this case, target dolls.

Second was Petal, trying to teach the element of nature. She was a kinder teacher, making sure that Umbra was happy training. This time, it took Umbra lesstime than before. He could soon wield the power of trees, although not able to talk to them as Petal had done. Finally, Lazarus had taught him how to use fire. It seemed that the prince was still learning too, though. But Umbra, by the time of evening, had mastered fire as well. Then came the last element.

Earth.

Compared to Marcus, Tide had been a lovely teacher. Marcus was stricter than Tide, pushing Umbra to the point of exhaustion. It seemed like an age before Marcus finally spoke the heavenly words,

"Training's over. I'm coming with you." At this, Umbra let himself just drop to the floor, panting and laughing. He'd done it. He'd mastered the elements...

 

I am shocked at Umbra's learning speed. It should take a week to learn each element. And, although Umbra WAS taught, he's extremely talented. We fly back to Elteras now. The battle will come soon, and with it, deaths. I fear the coming battle. I fear it with all my heart. Prophet warned me quickly, just before we left when nobody else was around, that there would be deaths from Carnelian's team. There WOULD be deaths. There was no 'might' about it. I just hope that Umbra survives...

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