Note from Author: I did not make the cover. SimplyFictional on Wattpad made the cover for me! Also, WaffleWriter is my Wattpad Username, which is why it is on the cover. This chapter is much longer than the last one!
Outside of the bar, Jasper drew in a deep breath of fresh, clean air. The air inside the bar had been muggy, and smelled of ale and beer, clogging his senses with the heavy smell. Here, it was free and crisp, though the crescent moon was the only source of light.
“Thank you,” Jasper said formally. “You can leave now.” Meetings between sorcerers were generally not public affairs.
The bars maid sniffed. “And not a penny in return,” She complained snootily. Jasper watched as she left, complaining under her breath quietly, shaken out of her solemn mood.
“Yaku?” Jasper called softly, searching the night for his former mentor.
There was a slight shimmering in the air, and Yaku appeared as if out of thin air. “I see you’ve found me,” He said, a careless smile on his face.
Jasper couldn’t but grin as his old mentor appeared. “Did you really think I wouldn’t?”
“Of course not. I never doubted you for a moment,” a sly smile played at his lips. “Your mentor trained you well, after all.”
“Indeed you did,” Jasper said. For a second, he let himself bask in the memories of the older, fonder times. “What did you call me here for? Couldn’t we have met somewhere else?”
Yaku shook his head. “No, we had to meet here, I’m afraid. Any other place is too occupied.”
Jasper glanced down the deserted street. Not a soul was in sight. “I don’t know,” He said doubtfully. “From what I can see, you chose the most occupied place in the area.”
His mentor’s smile faltered. “Let’s walk,” He said.
Yaku led the way as the pair walked briskly away from the Pig’s Snout Bar. From behind, Jasper could have sworn he heard movement in the shadows, but he didn’t mention it to the elder sorcerer. “What did you call me here for?” He pressed again.
“A sorcerer’s meeting is a very important matter, Jasper.” Yaku said quietly, his robes fluttering about him as he walked. After waiting to see if he was going to continue, Jasper pulled down his hood. It had been getting rather stuffy, and bothersome.
“I know that,” he said. “You wouldn’t have summoned me if something had not been the matter.”
“You’ve always been a smart lad.”
“It’s only common sense.”
“The matter I summoned you for is a grave one indeed,” Yaku confirmed. “One, I’m afraid, has to do with your own village.”
“My village?” Jasper’s hand instantly went to his chest, where he fingered the golden locket resting there. His voice had an edge of protectiveness to it.
Yaku gave a solemn nod. “I’m sorry to say it, but I’m only telling you the truth.”
“I don’t doubt your word. What happened?”
“It is an incident to do with another sorcerer,”
“So not my village after all,” Relieved, Jasper’s hand fell back to his side. Each village held only one sorcerer. And the village of Mar held Jasper.
“Were you aware that last night, Kilan paid a visit?”
Frowning, Jasper said, “No, he didn’t warn me.”
“He didn’t tell me either. I only know because this afternoon, he contacted me. Pirates in the town, in your town, had mugged him, and stolen his item.”
Jasper’s breath caught in his throat, and instantly his hand darted up to the locket again. “No—No, that isn’t true!”
“You yourself said that my word is not a word to doubt. I’m telling you the truth, Jasper.”
“But—his item!—stolen by pirates? You don’t think they…” his words caught in his throat, and Jasper forced himself to throw them up. “They couldn’t have destroyed it, could they?”
“Obviously not,” Yaku scolded, turning to his old apprentice. Both of them halted in their steps. “But your town is becoming a problem; pirates running wild, all over the place.”
“I’m sorry,” Jasper whispered. “This is all my fault… did he get his item back?”
Jasper’s face fell. “Then there’s still a chance that it could be destroyed.”
“That’s right. You were assigned the town of Mar for a reason, Jasper. You show potential, in fact, that potential has already been proven, both to me and to the other sorcerers. You’re strong, and your magic is strong.”
Jasper, flattered by his mentor’s praise, made no move to interrupt him.
“But you have to continue to show your strength. If Kilan’s item is destroyed, then…” Yaku trailed off, but Jasper knew how to finish his sentence.
“…then it’s all my fault,” He said again, face stricken and pale with anxiety. “Is there anything else I can do?”
“Other than keeping your village in control?”
Jasper said nothing.
Yaku took that as a confirmative, and continued. “You could give me your item.”
“What?” Jasper looked sharply at his mentor, appalled. “You can’t be serious!”
“I can draw on the power from your item and my item to overcome the pirates and save Kilan.” Yaku insisted. “You must give it to me.”
Vile suspicion arose within Jasper. “You know that isn’t true. Only I can work my item, and only you can work yours.”
“Jasper,” Yaku said soothingly. “You don’t know all of the secrets of the sorcery world. You may be smart, but I am smarter. I know how to do these things.”
“No you don’t!” Jasper insisted. Suddenly, he distrusted his old mentor. Everyone knew that each sorcerer could only control one item. It was this item that sorcerer’s got their power from. Even if a sorcerer was killed, their item would not work for anyone else. And if the item was destroyed, the sorcerer was destroyed along with it.
“Give me the item, Jasper,” Yaku said. Whatever friendliness he had shown before was gone, probably forever, and replaced with dark, foreboding power.
“I can’t!” Before, Jasper had had trouble deciding why he didn’t trust his old mentor, but now it was obvious. He had changed; he was different than he had been when Jasper had last met up with him.
The shadows behind Jasper seemed to move again, but Jasper stayed steady, refusing to run as Yaku’s steely eyes bore into him. “Jasper,” Yaku hissed; his cry between pleading and angry.
Jasper’s eyes flicked to the corners of his eye sockets, and Yaku’s unintentionally did the same. The younger took the distraction as a getaway. Without a thought beforehand, he ran. His legs pushed and pedaled against the cobblestone pathway in his escape. Already, he was riding on the edge of exhaustion. His breaths came out in hollow pants.
Reaching for his locket, he drew upon the strength and magic it hid within. Silently, he whispered. And the locket replied with power. It bolted through his arms, and his legs, and the entirety of his body before the effects began to take place. His body began to ripple, and then shimmer, before it slowly dissolved into millions of particles.
“Transportation,” Yaku cursed under his breath. He lashed out his hand, and Jasper’s eyes widened as he saw the danger. The older sorcerer grabbed Jasper’s cloak, and tugged at it as it deteriorated. Desperately, Jasper struggled, but to no avail. He hesitated, but knew he had no choice. If he continued to struggle, Yaku would pull him back. Already, the magic from Yaku’s own item was contradicting Jasper’s own. The cloak’s pixels fit together again, and Jasper’s arms solidified.
Sorrowful, Jasper stared at his old mentor. “I trusted you.”
“And we can build on that trust,” Yaku said calmly. “If you hand over your item. I won’t hurt it, you have my word.”
“I can’t trust your word anymore.”
Yaku dipped his head solemnly, as if signaling this was the end of an infamous friendship. “So be it.” He snapped his fingers once, lighting the tips with orange flames. “You may come out now,”
Confused, Jasper took a step backward. He took another frantic step backward, his heart thumping, when the shadow he had spotted earlier emerged from the bushes. And it was any ordinary shadow, either. It was a pirate.
“How could you?” Jasper asked his voice dull with hurt. “Betraying me is one thing, but the entirety of our kind?”
“I do what I have to, Jasper,” Yaku said, his genuine smile was replaced with an expression of malice. “Desperate measures need to be taken.”
“Desperate measures need to be taken for what? What needs to be accomplished?”
Yaku’s eyes narrowed. “I’d think you would know. The sorcerers, such as you, are being led astray. Separate powers just aren’t enough anymore. Remember what happened with Kilan. Do you want more incidents as such to happen?”
“You’ve been planning it for longer than just one night.”
Ignoring him, Yaku continued, “We need one sorcerer to rule over the others. Or better yet, only one sorcerer.”
Appalled and horrified were understatements of Jasper’s inner turmoil. Yaku, his friendly, easygoing mentor, planned on killing off the entire magic population? That was madness! “It won’t work.”
“It will if you give me your item.”
Jasper shook his head.
“Then I’ll have to force it from you.”
Before Jasper could react, Yaku’s hand was racing towards the chain around his neck. His slender fingers caught it, and pulled. Jasper fought back then, his fist grabbing onto Yaku’s fingers and prying them off, one by one.
That, of course, didn’t stop Yaku, or his pirate friend, who raced forward as back up. He was tanned, with a black leather eye patch over his left eye, and yellow teeth that had never seen a toothbrush or toothpaste. Although he was slim in build, his fists were strong. One of the pirate’s fists whipped across Jasper’s face, forcing a loud ringing into Jasper’s ears.
Pain blossomed in his cheek, where the hand had hit, and he instinctively let go of his grip on Yaku’s fingers. Yaku pulled again, but the chain refused to break. He had no time to react before Jasper re-claimed his senses, and pried the fingers off of the chain once and for all.
Frowning upon him, Yaku snapped his fingers, and identical flames rose from them. With a small motion of Yaku’s index finger, the fire raced towards Jasper. Instinctively, Jasper retaliated with a sharp motion, and ice was formed from the water molecules cloaking the air. The two elements met in air, and sizzled out with a final pop.
Growling, Yaku called once again to his item, and darkness emerged from the nail of his finger, as if the smog were melting from it. It blanketed the air, and crept ever so slowly towards Jasper, who looked desperately for an escape. Of course, there was none. And even if there had been, it would have been temporary. The darkness would have met it’s mark every way.
Jasper coughed as the smoke reached his lungs, and pulled his hood up over him. His item, at his command, sent up a shield of clean air as a bubble around Jasper. For now, Jasper was safe.
Of course, danger in the end always outlasts safety. Yaku had another trick up his sleeve. With a few suppressed words, the bubble, beginning at the top and falling until the bottom, turned into black dust and fell to the stones.
Jasper had avoided the darkness, but he hadn’t avoided Yaku. “Don’t try to avoid me,” Yaku’s eyes were lit with rage. “You can’t avoid me. No one can. You will have to submit eventually.”
“You can’t force me to do anything!” Jasper said. His eyes narrowed to paper thin slits. He gathered magical energy, and the shoved the air with both his hands. The still air rippled, then flew, reaching Yaku, and pushed him backwards until he lay on the ground, not unconscious, but dangerously close.
Jasper, panting, turned to walk away. He had escaped, but he would not be an escapee for long. As soon as Yaku came to, he would overtake Jasper with ease. This time, Jasper had won out of pure luck. There had once been a time when Yaku had told Jasper he was strong, and showed potential. He said it often enough and there was no denying amongst the sorcerers that Yaku was very proud of his apprentice. Or he used to be, anyway. Every time Yaku praised him in such a manner, Jasper often replied with, “I’m not strong, I’m just lucky.” Fortunately, today that stuck true. Luck had been on Jasper’s side and he had temporarily disabled Yaku.
A low growl interrupted Jasper’s thoughts, and he looked up. The pirate towered over him, like one of the alleyway’s buildings, a glower plastered on his face. “Care to hand me the locket?”
“I don’t care to hand anything to a pirate,” Jasper muttered, stumbling backwards.
The pirate swung out with his fist, and Jasper ducked. Marching forward, the pirate continued to throw blows at Jasper, who was frantically back-pedaling. Jasper dodged every one of them. Finally, one of the blows made their mark. Jasper cried out, and his hands flew to where he had been struck, while his feet halted mid-step.
In the split second that he had stopped, a hand darted up from the ground. Fingers wrapped around his ankle, and Jasper had barely enough time to look down and see the scowling, but triumphant, face of Yaku before he went tumbling down towards the pavement.
Kicking out with his feet, Jasper tried desperately to cause some damage, any damage at all, but it seemed impossible to do against Yaku’s iron grip. He twisted and turned to try to pry his fingers off of his ankle like he had done before with the chain, but they held fast. The pirate swooped down and held Jasper’s arms and upper body to the ground, constricting his movement. Yaku rose up from the ground, and reached for the chain of the locket. Jasper talked frantically to his item, his thoughts coming out in a swift jumble. His item sputtered a flurry of angry sparks, sharp and hot, at the approaching hand.
Yaku drew back, but soon tried again, this time with a thin glove of magic around his hand to protect him. No matter how hard Jasper tried, Yaku was always better, and always had been. Jasper’s attacks fell short as the hands reached around his neck and removed what Jasper had tried so hard to protect.
A great, powerful presence was removed along with the necklace. Already, the power was retreating from his body, from his heart, and from his soul. The magic was replaced by a choking sob, threatening to spill over. His limbs suddenly felt weak, and his heart was heavier than it had been when he had arrived at The Pig Snout Bar earlier that evening.
“And you showed so much potential,” Yaku shook his head in disappointment. “I won’t lie to you; you really were a fine young apprentice. But now,” A scowl formed on his face, “Too rash, mush too rash.”
Jasper’s vision began to leave him, and it was replaced with violent black spots. The deprivation of magic was too much to sudden, and the exhaustion was wearing him out.
“But then again, you always have been.” Yaku said.
The black spots in Jasper’s vision grew bigger and bigger, before they filled his eyes entirely.