The Kolarin Cycle, Book One: Wildfire

(Haven't edited yet, there may be a few mistakes)
I came up with the idea for Wildfire a while ago but i was busy at the time and i never got around to it, but now i've finally started so here it goes. Wildfire is about a boy named Castir who was abandoned by his mother when he was little, she had given him into the care of a travelling circus of thieves, he quickly learns the skills of an acrobat and starts being sent on more dangerous missions, but the death of a loved one followed by the biggest heist of his life could ruin his.

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17. Chapter 16 Traps and Tricks

The smell of fresh baked bread washed over Emelra and Glacieus as they sat down on a squishy blue sofa, Emelra placed her spear on the ground at her feet as she did so.  The cottage the woman lived in, was cosy and warm. It reminded Glacieus of home, Emelra had grown up in a circus, so she didn't feel comfortable in the small house the old woman called home.

The woman lived by herself, she grew her own food, only travelling to Calor when she needed things she couldn't grow, like clothes. She had just gotten back from a trip to Calor a few hours ago, along with the wheat she was using to bake the bread that Emelra and Glacieus were smelling.

The woman came back in and sat down in a blue armchair. She had a tray with a teapot and three teacups.

'Tea?' She asked them. Glacieus nodded eagerly.

'I haven't had tea before…' Emelra mumbled.

'What was that dear?' The woman questioned, she leaned forward in her chair, with her tilted to the side.

'I said, that I haven't had tea before.' Emelra said more confidently.

'Then you haven't lived dear, tea calms the mind, relaxes the body and my own special recipe sharpens the senses.' The woman explained pouring some of the black liquid into all three of the tea cups.

Glacieus blew over his lightly, tiny ice crystals swelled from his mouth, settling on the tea. Cooling it instantly.

'I normally have my tea cold.' He whispered, after taking a sip.

Emelra took a cautious sip of the foreign liquid. She gagged as the scolding liquid ran down her throat.

'Blow on it,' the woman instructed, Emelra did as she was told before taking another sip. It was still hot, but not as much as before, Emelra smiled.

'It is good.' She whispered after taking another sip.

Immediately she could feel the effects the woman had promised, she felt her body loosen, her mind slow allowing her senses to sharpen. The smell of the bread went from pleasant, to intoxicating, the taste of the tea increased. Emelra could pick out every detail on the hand-made rug on the ground. She could hear the calls of the birds outside, and the snapping of twigs as someone walked closer.

'Someone's outside.' She whispered, the woman nodded in response and pressed her index finger to her lips.

Glacieus moved over to the window, and peered over the sill.

Five figures in black cloaks were drawing closer.

Glacieus held up one of his hands, all five fingers opened.

Emelra picked her spear up off the ground, holding it ready.

'Deary, do you have the mask?' The old woman asked. Emelra looked at her in confusion.

'How do you know about the mask?' She asked.

'No time, put it on and think of my son, use the picture over there.' She said pointing to an old photo of an man with curly black hair.

'You, come over here and hide.' She said gesturing to Glacieus.

Emelra took the mask out from her bag.

She put it on with a clear image of the strange woman's son.

She felt herself getting taller and her hips narrowing. She looked in the reflection of a mirror.

Her hair had shortened and was now black and curly. Her brown eyes now blue and her face more angular.

She touched her face. Soft, warm skin met her touch.

There was a sharp rap on the door, which the old woman bustled to answer.

'What do you want?' She asked rudely, Emelra sat in the living room, trying to act like a man, she slouched and spread her legs and she lowered her eye lids to make it look like she was bored, in this position she felt uncomfortable and awkward.

'I would like to know if you have seen two people, male and female. One extremely cold and pale the other with a spear strapped to her back?' an unfamiliar voice asked.

'I have not, it is just me and my son.' The woman lied, she was doing pretty good too.

'My sources tell me your son is dead.' A calm, female voice explained.

'Preposterous, he sits in the living room drinking tea right now.' She argued.

'May we see him?' A gruff, male voice asked.

'Very well, KAIN COME HERE!' The woman called to the living room, where Emelra was sitting.

Emelra stood, still clutching her spear, and shuffled towards the door.

'Here he is, are you satisfied? I have bread in the oven and I don't want to burn it.' The old woman complained.

'Thank you for your co-operation.' The same gruff voice said, before the five figures stalked off into the trees.

Once they had gone, the old woman shut the door and walked back to the living room, she sat down and let out a long sigh.

'That was close, you can take off the mask now Deary, it causes me pain to see my son's face again.' Sadness filled the woman's eyes as she spoke, not looking directly at Emelra, who did as she was told and peeled off the mask. Instantly a burning sensation erupted in her wrist. Immense pain surged through her body, immersing itself at a small point on her wrist.

The flesh around her wrist began to darken, lines ran their way across the skin, leaving a pink mark behind. Her skin returned to it's normal colour and the pink lines slowly faded to a black outline of Emelra's mask.

'How did you know about the mask?' Glacieus asked, emerging from his hiding place, oblivious to the pain Emelra just went through.

'Unfortunately, I cannot tell you, but know this. I am on your side.' She whispered before disappearing into the kitchen.

'It is not safe for us too remain, if those five return, I don't believe the same trick will fool them twice.' Emelra whispered, as she tucked the mask back into her sack.

The woman returned a minute later with a tray covered in fresh bread, cheese and fruit.

'Drink your tea.' The woman ordered. Glacieus obeyed and downed the entire cup in one gulp. Emelra took another sip, and immediately felt the remainder of the pain fade away completely. She sighed and took a slice of bread, heaped it with cheese and fruit then took a bite. The fruit's juices running down her chin, the flavour was intense, probably because of the tea.

'We are very grateful for your hospitality, but we must leave, so we can return to our friends.' Glacieus explained, the woman sighed then nodded.

'Yes, I wish you luck on return to your friends.' She said sadly.

All three of them stood up and walked to the door. Emelra fiddled with the strap on her spear, the woman stepped forward, onto the soft grass, five blades were slightly longer then the rest. The woman's heavy foot planted in the centre of the five blades. As soon as her foot touched the ground, the grass around her feet sprang up, winding around her legs and body, trapping her. She struggled against the grass, but it began to thicken, forming strong vines, no blade could cut through, only her head was exposed.

'Go, get out of here. Before they-' But she was cut off by a high pitched laugh.

'Look who we caught, a little old lady.' A voice yelled joyfully, the five figures appeared in the clearing once again, except their hoods were thrown back, revealing four drastically different faces.

'What do you want?' Emelra yelled, the one on the far left cackled evilly.

'We're here to pick a fight, we can't kill you just yet. Master made us wait, it's not fair.' The girl whined. Her face was olive, with brown hair and pale green eyes, her nose was short and turned up, and her mouth in a permanent grin.

'But he didn't say anything about this old lady.' A tall man with flat brown hair and ivory skin explained. The wild looking girl cackled again then lunged forward with lightning speed, towards the old woman.

In a flash Glacieus was standing in front of her his arms crossed in front of him, long icicles formed up his forearms, covering his hands.

The girl fell back, she recovered in the air, then safely floated down to her companions.

She snarled, but the other woman put her hand out, signalling her to stop.

'Now now, there isn't any need for you to protect her, you don't even know her.' She argued.

'I don't care, but I'm going to protect her with my life. You will never get your hands on her Seah.' Glacieus yelled back.

'Very well, it's a shame your element is weak to mine.' Seah replied.

She held out her hand, an a small orb of blue fire appeared in her palm.

'Blue fire causes explosions.' She whispered before tossing it into the middle of the clearing.

A huge explosion rocked the trees, sending Emelra flying into the wall of the little house. Glacieus slammed his hand down on the ground, and the moisture in the grass seemed to freeze and stab up, into the sky, protecting both him and the old woman from the explosion. Her ears still ringing, Emelra stood up and pulled her spear off her back. A huge black mark now lay where the lush green grass once grew.

Seah growled then pointed to Glacieus, a short fat man stepped forward.

'Wendol.' Glacieus growled, then stepped  protectively in front of the woman, holding his hands up in a fighting stance.

Without moving, Wendol sent a huge jet of water, hurtling towards Glacieus's face.

In response, Glacieus placed both his palms together, the finger tips pointing down, and the water stopped in mid air, it froze into ice, then smashed into little pieces on the ground.

'It seems you have improved since last we met.' Wendol rasped.

Glacieus didn't reply with words, but with all the ice rising off the ground, and flying into the air, only to impale themselves in a small circle around Wendol's body.

He struggled to free himself, but was unsuccessful

'RELEASE ME!' Wendol screamed, still struggling to free himself, from his icy prison.

'Never.' Glacieus replied, then he closed his eyes, lowered his head and began to chant.

'O' Glaciea goddess of ice, lend me your power!' He yelled. An icy blue symbol formed at his feet spewing blue light that engulfed Glacieus.

Two dark blue circles appeared in the light, which began to die down. Glacieus stood in the centre of the symbol, looking at the ground, the dark blue circles were his eyes, long claws made of ice. With lightning speed, Glacieus charged forward, long icy claws extended from his fingers.

He slashed through Wendol, three long gashes appeared in his side. Blood began to flow, and stained the ice that had shattered seconds before Glacieus's attack.

Wendol collapsed to the ground, gasping for air. The grass at his feet began to stretch around the wound, encircling his body. He stood up straight, seeming to recover enough air to breathe properly.

He nodded to the tall man standing next to Seah, then took his own place next to the wild girl, who was now sitting on the ground, playing with grass.

'I'm bored.' She complained, then stood up and began to play around with the breeze, sending it different ways, her eyes widened in shock, her mouth gaping, which then spread into a grin.

'Seah, two new victims are coming, and one of them is Wendol's counterpart!' She explained gleefully.

* * *

Wela sat in Thyme's arms as she sped towards the huge tree. Her powerful wings only beating occasionally. Wela wondered about where the others could be, she hoped they were at Calor already, she was going to kill Castir as soon as she stepped on the ground for stuffing this up. She thought happily about different ways to kill him, when something exploded a little to the tree's right. Thyme slowed to a stop, squinting in the direction of the blue explosion. Shards of ice then shot into the sky, falling back to earth wit speed that could impale a rock. Shouting warned Wela of an explosion of dazzling, pale blue light spewing into the darker sky. Disrupting the few clouds in the blue expanse. The light died down a few seconds later.

Wela looked up at Thyme, who nodded then flew off in the direction of the light.

* * *

Glacieus collapsed to the ground, his body shaking from the effort of casting such a massive spell.

'Aww, is little Glacieus all tuckered out?' Merrin cackled.

Glacieus slowly got up from the ground, his body shaking from exhaustion, beads of sweat developing on his brow.

'Now even close.' He answered, he slapped both his palms together with his fingers pointing down.

'Hastam Glácies.' He whispered, Glacieus's arms became a blur for a split second, and a light blue magic circle appeared in front of him. For so long Emelra had thought the circle had formed by itself, but it had to be drawn, Glacieus had to know exactly what the circle had to look like, otherwise who knows what might have happened, it seemed as though he had drawn it right as the grin spread across Glacieus's face in response to the thin spikes of ice that sped out of the circle, shooting towards Merrin's slim figure.

She simply cackled again and leaped into the air, dodging the ice with ease.

'Oh no you aren't the one to kill me.' She chided with another cackle. 'Wendol, get ready she's almost here!' She added with glee, and he stepped forward just as a dark shape sped down from the sky, crashing into the ground without stopping, causing dust to surround the figure.

Emelra squinted into the dust to try and see the newcomers but to no avail. The dust settled back to the ground and in it's place stood two figures, Wela and a tall creature with huge bat like wings, white hair stood up on end and held a wicked whip in her left hand.

'Glacieus stand back and look after the old woman, we'll take care of this.' Wela ordered, Emelra had almost forgotten about the old woman who had sheltered two strangers, and seemed to know a lot about the mask in Emelra's pocket. Glacieus obeyed and, nursing his stomach, he stepped back in front of the kind woman who was now unconscious. 'Are you ok Emelra?' The unknown demon asked, Emelra didn't answer, something about the way the demon stood and spoke sparked a thought about who the demon could be.

A though formed in Emelra's mind and burned on her tongue, trying to escape and let everyone know who she thought the demon might be.

'Thyme?' She asked, finally giving control to her instinct. The demon smiled slightly then turned and faced Wela.

'No matter what happens, Wendol and me cannot engage in battle it isn't time yet.' Wela instructed interrupting Emelra's thoughts. The demon nodded, and dived at Merrin, who cackled wildly then spiralled into the air. A pillar of water erupted at Wendol's feet and he floated up too where Merrin was flying around laughing evilly with the demon chasing along behind her.

Seah and the tall man stepped towards Wela.

'How are you Birce, Seah?' She asked, holding up her hands in preparation. 'I'm doing fine, and you?' Seah responded, as she pulled the strings of her cloak and it fell to the ground gathering about her feet. She wore a simple, white one piece suit decorated with yellow, blue and brown patterns and tall black boots.

'I've been better, it seems as though young Castir isn't to blame at our separation.' Wela replied. The tall man stepped forward and pulled off his own cloak.

He wore long black pants and roughly made tunic with the sleeves torn off. He folded his powerful arms in front of his chest and said, 'Ah yes, our apologies but we had to separate you somehow, although one thing we didn't count on was you and the Halfling joining forces. Now it will be a bit harder to kill her, but no matter.'

'Shall we begin this pointless fight?' Wela questioned.

Seah sighed then nodded, she held out her palm and a green flame sparked to life and crackled merrily, 'green flames to cause fear. The flame seemed to develop eyes and a mouth, then was thrown straight at Wela's face.

Wela tried to jump out of the way, but found her feet restrained to the ground by thick vines. The flame collided with Wela's chest, exploding in a mass of green fire and smoke.

The smoke cleared and Wela had fallen to the ground, her body was shaking all over and her eyes were squeezed shut. She started to move pull herself away from Seah who smiled then said, 'we can't kill you unfortunately but we can do something, that might keep you out of our hair for a while.' She signalled to Birce who nodded and held out his arms and closed his eyes.

His mouth started to move and his fingers became a blur for a split second. Confirming that they drew the magic circle that appears whenever they cast their magic.

The grass around Wela's legs began to shake, only slightly at first but then it began to shake more violently, it creeped up around Wela's legs. Wrapping around them tightly.

Wanting to help, Emelra began to attack the grass around Wela with her spear, but how could she fight the very thing she stood upon. She turned too look at Birce, who was smiling now and held his arms out too cast another spell.

He murmured the enchantment and his fingers blurred, and without thinking Emelra hurled her weapon at Birce. She prayed to the god of accuracy that her aim was true, as the spear cut through the air like an arrow.

For a moment it seemed like it was going to hit but Seah intervened.

'Purple flames to create an impenetrable barrier.' She whispered before tossing a circle of fire in front of Birce.

A wall of purple flame erupted between the spear and it's target, the spear collided with the fire, bouncing off it and skidding along the ground back to Emelra.

'Tsk tsk, naughty girl.' Seah berated waggling her finger, before another ball of blue fire appeared in her other palm. She tossed it right at Emelra but, like Emelra's spear, it was stopped, but rather then being stopped by fire, it fizzled out in a wall of water.

'Did you think that fire would work against water? And Birce, you should've known better grass needs water to live. Once deprived of that, it dies quickly.' Wela mocked, standing up off the ground and brushing the dirt off her.

Birce bared his teeth in response to Wela's goading.

Meanwhile Merrin and Wendol were taking a more direct approach in taking care of Thyme. Admittedly it wasn't working, no matter how many orbs of water or blasts of air they threw at her, she managed to dodge with ease.

'I will not let you make a fool out of me, in my own domain!' Merrin screeched, before mumbling a few words she drew a small magic circle, and smashed it between both palms. An arc of air hurtled towards Thyme wings, a curved blade of pure air attempting to slice Thyme's wings to shreds.

Thyme seemed to realise this, and her wings disappeared, with nothing keeping her airborne she fell to the ground and her weight spider-webbed the earth itself.

Merrin cackled and floated down to the ground, Wendol close behind, Thyme growled when she realised she won't be able to get her wings back as long as Merrin still stood, when she was in the air, Merrin had control. On the ground it was an even playing field. Wendol didn't seem to move as much as Merrin did, leaving her to attack the front while he attacked from the sides. Merrin wouldn't be able to move as freely as she did in the air but Wendol however was just as dangerous on the ground as she was in the air.

Wendol held out his hands to the side and his fingers drew a quick magic circle. The water from the plants raised at his will and collected in two orbs at his sides.

Merrin grinned evilly and jumped into the air, floating right above Wendol.

Thyme prepared herself for the attack by creating a long reptilian tail which sprouted from her body, her hands became long claws, the armour on her arms changed into reptilian scales and the rest of her armour disappeared, making her even faster then she already was. Her white hair became tinged with green and spiked out behind her like she was running. The whip in her hand had disappeared so she only had her claws as a weapon. But that was no matter.

Wendol appeared to be unfazed by her change in appearance, and neither did Merrin, in fact she seemed to get even more excited.

'Hurry up Wendol.' She snapped, and Wendol threw both the orbs up at her in response, though he didn't seem angry at, Thyme wondered what he was doing, and whether he had changed his mind about whose side he was on.

Unfortunately, Merrin seemed relieved that he was finally taking action and conjured a blast of air, sending the orbs at Thyme with far more speed then Wendol could have achieved by throwing them.

The orbs fell towards an unprepared Thyme and would've exploded if they hadn't changed direction just in time, flying above Thyme's head and acting as a cover for Emelra to escape the blue fire that had been thrown at her.

What Wela had done was extremely risky, that could have been considered as engaging in combat, but thankfully nothing happened except for the anger of Seah from someone interfering with her kill, one of her allies nether the less.

While Wendol and Merrin were distracted, Thyme threw a ball of black energy up at Merrin, and tackled Wendol to the ground, her longs claws ripping his grass bandage to shreds.

The energy ball exploded on contact with Merrin and she fell unconscious to the ground. Her limbs sprayed out in an awkward position, her head lolling in the dirt.

Wendol had almost drifted into unconsciousness, but instead was hovering on the border, his eyes flickered and a swift punch right on the nose, stopped that. Blood was gushing from his fat nose and chubby side.

Thyme stood up off the ground and looked over to where Wela, Seah and Birce were fighting. Wela had two orbs of water floating by her sides. Long whips protruded from the orbs and were fending off Seah's fire and Birce's vines, while attacking at the same time.

She was doing well but was tiring, she wouldn't be able to fight two for much longer, the final person stood off to the side, not really doing anything, his cloak was still on, and his face was hidden by shadows. He didn't do anything to help Merrin or Wendol, and he doesn't seem to eager to help Seah and Birce.

At that moment Thyme made a decision,  it was time that Wela was eased of the pressure of fighting two adversaries at once.

'Malum Creptius.' She yelled, holding out one of her palms, an orb of black and purple energy appeared and sped off to fly past a wary Seah, who had dodged the orb just in time.

She turned to face her new opponent and readied herself.

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