Light Seekers #17 – Llum

There isn’t much conversation. Mask and the sorcerer are locked in a staring contest. I can tell that they both have the urge to start a fight. I’m just wondering when it’ll start. There wasn’t much discussion after the story.

“Why don’t you take off your mask,” The sorcerer asks Mask.

“Why don’t you put one on, and cover that face.”

“If I put my mask on, could you handle what would come next?”

“So what kind of fur is that,” I ask trying to ease the tension.

“It’s chimera fur, he made the chimera in the cave,” Mask responds.

“Excellent deductive reasoning,” the sorcerer responds.

“Can we all just take a moment to enjoy the warmth of this fire?”

“He’s going to try killing us,” Mask responds.

“What? Why would he do that?”

“Part of the reason there aren’t many pilgrimages here anymore is sorcerers killing those who wish to reach their level,” Mask flexes his fingers in his gloves.

“How about you accompany back to the temple.”

“You have better chances of me accompanying me to Hell,” Mask stands up.

“I’ve heard rumors that you never could make things easy,” the sorcerer sighs, placing his hands on his knees. “I suppose we’re going to do this,” the sorcerer stands.

I watch as the sorcerer stands and reaches beneath the furs draping his body. He retrieves a mask; it looks almost repletion with various colors of diamond patterns across the white mask, a single crooked horn extends from the left side and more fur hangs from the back. The most striking piece is the mouth. It’s held open by some kind of metal bars with all kinds of odd and dark sharp teeth poking out.

Mask rushes in as the sorcerer drops the furs covering his body. Before Mask can reach him, the sorcerer spits a ball of fire directly at him. Mask dives out of the way. That’s something I didn’t expect, but hardly the world ending magic I had come to expect from sorcerers. Mask doesn’t make another move, almost as if they’re in a stale mate. The sorcerer attacks next, an seemingly endless barrage of small fire balls spit at Mask. As he dodges them I can’t help but wonder if should help him out. I just don’t understand why they’re fighting. I can’t go any further without Mask, but he started this. I find myself staring at the spots of green grass popping through as the snow gets burned away. Mask can’t seem to get close enough to touch him. If I interfere will he be upset that I didn’t let him finish.

“Hey, let’s just talk this out,” I find myself yelling as Mask bare dodges another fireball.

Mask is gaining ground, but he’s not doing it without taking some huge risks. I’m not sure if the sorcerer lacks the ability to fight, or just knows Mask is a better fighter. As Mask makes a dash the sorcerer lets out a massive blast of flames from his mouth, larger than anything else. Mask mages to hid behind a stone but his jacket catches fire. He flings it to the side revealing his strange leather shirt beneath. It’s what I’ve come to expect from him, pieces of metal along the forearms and various zippers across the torso of the shirt. Seemingly angry, the sorcerer spits flame into the air. They come down in a ring of fire surrounding the two. He’s trying to limit Mask’s ability to dodge him.

Like a wounded animal Mask rushes directly at the sorcerer who takes the opportunity to shrink the field again. When the next blast of fire comes Mask shields his head and rushes through the flame. Still burning, he tackles the sorcerer to the ground. He jams the metal covered forearm into the mouth of the sorcerer and uses his free hand to hold the sorcerer’s head.

I recognize the fight is over when the sorcerer cries out in pain the same way I had. Mask has won on a suicide play. But was it worth it. I make my way over to help him up from the ground. He hesitates, but takes my hand as I help him from the ground. He struggles to gather his things, but insists we head for the infinite stairway right away.

I spot the sorcerer rising from the now, before Mask does. The inhaling motion he made with every burst of flame was too familiar. He’s going to burn us both up. I fling a throwing knife at him, but I close my eyes before it hits my target. A soft thud in the snow lets me know I hit my target; forehead, dead center.