It was a productive meeting if I did say so myself. The boy was hesitant, but he had a strong resolve. It would all depend on whether we could convince him to use that commitment for the greater good. I continued out of the meeting room, down the hallway, excited to see what Elder Grinter had whipped up for me; I was finally going to be able to create fire like I had seen Rayon do so many times before. I wasn’t entirely sure how I could use such a destructive force positively – I didn’t want to create another wall of flame, after all.
My thoughts trailed back to Hyde and the boy. We were fortunate to have such a capable individual fall into our laps. If those two succeeded in rescuing Anroma, I think the Night Shift’s revolution would really stand a chance in counteracting Rayon’s crimes. I smiled inwardly as I pondered the world without the Burning Sea or one that wasn’t filled with discrimination over animal forms. I was eager to get to North Settlement and help them out. I had considered changing my debriefing with Aga to a few days earlier so I could leave to join them sooner but I’d have to trust Hyde. I have duties to complete here; I’m the king now.
I arrived at Elder Ginter’s room. He turned and greeted me as I entered, his abundance of wrinkles stretching with his large smile. His lack of teeth reminded me of a baby’s face atop a 100 year-old man. I loved Elder Ginter anyway, he was beyond a kind man. He approached me and gave me a bear hug. I patted his back in return, asking how he had been.
“Good, good, Noah. But, look here,” he dragged me to his work bench. My scepter was laying there, freshly shined. The long handle was solid black, leading up to a bulb on the tip. It was polished enough that I could see my reflection in the black and white top, but I knew from observing Rayon that it would glow a fiery red when producing fire.
“Looks great, Gint,” I said. “All done?”
“Yes, sir! Why don’t you try it out?” I don’t think his grin ever faded. I picked up the scepter, trying to recall how Rayon used to use it – I hoped it would be intuitive. I flicked my wrist slightly and was surprised to find the bulb flash a bright green.
“Woah, woah!” Elder Ginter ran across his workshop to grab some papers that flew off his desk.
“You should close those windows,” I joked.
“Boy, you know I don’t have windows down in my workshop! Don’t flick that thing in here again!” he said, a stern look now on his face.
I looked around and sure enough, he didn’t have windows. Did I cause that small wind gust? I was tempted to flick the scepter again but I didn’t want to upset Ginter. I turned on my heels and jogged in the direction I came, yelling thanks from halfway down the hallway.
I made my way through the curves of the building, dodging individuals. I suppose I did fun things enough that they weren’t surprised at seeing me running. I bounded out of the door and into the city, picking up my pace as I made my way to the outskirts.
Once at the city’s edge, I was free to use the wind to my heart’s content; assuming it was my scepter that blew Ginter’s papers. I flicked my wrist once more and saw a slight rustle on a nearby tree’s branches. My heart skipped a beat – it worked! But why wasn’t it fire, like I had seen Rayon create so many times? When I used the scepter, it turned green. Why did it spew wind instead? I tried to shrug it off but I couldn’t shake the thought from my mind. What could I do with wind? The wind was less destructive – how would I protect myself? Would I be able to generate enough to get myself in the air? Would it be powerful enough to knock someone down with? It was a lot more subtle, that was for sure. I smiled; I could work with this.
I stood at the edge of a forest, just outside the walls of Ikalga experimenting with my newfound power with varying speeds of flicks and movements. I was learning to control direction, getting it to curve slightly. I attempted to test the extent of my powers, trying to make a floating platform several times but I was unable to figure out the right shape that would hold me. I walked around aimlessly, blowing the foliage around until I stumbled into a clearing where a young bear was sitting – it seemed to be lost. I cautiously stepped forward, wanting to help but also not wanting to encounter its mama. Where was its mother? A million thoughts were flowing through my head as my heart rate increased; the crunching of the leaves under my feet was almost enough to set me into a panic. I stopped about 15 feet from the cub and crossed my arms. What could I do here?
I hesitantly blasted the ground with the scepter, no idea how to approach the situation. I decided to test out a wind-aided jump before attempting to “fly” around in the clearing looking for the mother bear. Eventually, I was able to propel myself as high as the tree tops and, as long as I didn’t look down, I could control my direction without too much of a problem. When I became comfortable with the height I was getting, I pushed off once more with the bulb facing downward lightly pushing air to propel me up. I saw myself break the tops of the treetops. I began to turn, attempting to get a full view of the forest to locate the cub’s parent. My hands continued to sweat but I remained fairly steady, holding tight to my scepter.
I noticed my body was beginning to feel exhausted. I hadn’t been able to locate the mother bear, so I slowly let myself down, now painfully conscious of the deadweight my body was becoming. I reached the ground, suddenly filled with the urge to sleep. I didn’t realize the fear of maneuvering myself at such heights would drain my stamina so quickly. I turned toward the cub and froze – I might not have spotted the mother bear, but it had apparently spotted its cub while I was in the air – it was time to go. I turned and began to walk toward the city, being careful not to draw any more attention to myself. Of course, my feet crunched every leaf in the path too loudly; I didn’t need to turn around to feel the mother bear’s look in my direction. The hairs on my neck stood up and I began calculating my survival rate with an increasing deadweight forming in my limbs. Attempting to seem non-threatening, I continued to slowly walk away, taking discrete looks over my shoulder – it didn’t work. The mother bear began to walk toward me and I tried my best to match its pace. Naturally, the beast gained ground on me and it’s walk evolved into a trot. My walk turned into a stumbling jog as I was unable to put enough distance between us. I spied a thick tree branch up ahead and adjusted my path slightly so I was running toward it. Once upon it, I pointed the scepter at the ground, planning to use it to vault into the air. The gust came out uneven, however, and sent me rolling sideways into a tree trunk; I definitely wasn’t as accurate when tired.
I shook off the collision and instead tried a straight up burst. This time I managed to get high enough that I could almost grab the branch. The wind sputtered out and I felt my energy continue to drain – if I didn’t grab the branch soon, I’d come floating down right into the bear’s claws. The bear was almost upon me; I closed my eyes and gave one final push. The wind gathered beneath me, giving me a half sideway, half upward boost. I was able to reach upward enough to grab the branch. I hung onto the tree limb with one arm, the other dangling. I reached up, attempting to grab hold of the branch with my other hand but it was no use – I was still holding onto the scepter. I tossed it into what I hoped was a safe bush and reached up, finally able to grasp the branch with both hands and haul myself up. I sat in the tree and waited for the bear to get bored of hunting me. An hour later, it finally gave up. I climbed down, retrieved my scepter and trudged back to the castle before nightfall.