"Drenna's son?" I heard the mage suddenly whisper. Then he looked at me harder as if to see something that he'd missed. "My god!" He suddenly said. "I remember you when you were just a little one." Lowering his head I heard him say. "I'm so sorry about you mother and father. I only heard about it a month after they were gone. Had I known I might have been able to have done something."
I stared at the mage with an opened mouth though I wasn't about to drop my defense, no I knew better. I had done that with the only friend I'd had in school when he tried to take what he could from me. This of course seriously pissed me off. The end results being that he was dead I was alive and the entire council was now after me and Pops.
I looked hard at the mage before me, I could actually feel his power damn how in the hell was I keeping him at bay. Shit this one had serious power compared to almost any I had gone against or felt.
"You can release Toman I know him, he's ok." I heard Pops say behind me.
"That's all well and good Pops but I don't. Hell he might be a shifter wanting to do a power siphon on me. No I think I'll keep it up 'til he proves who he is." I told Pops.
"You're very strong, stronger than I remember your father being at your age. If I wanted to though I could have easily reached you young man. You can trust me." The mage said as he moved forward to the edge of my shield.
"No I don't think you can or you would have already!" I almost shouted at him.
The mage's eyes narrowed as he started forward waving his whole arm, then with a smile he moved forward past my shield! Growling I gestured toward him watching as he was pushed back a few steps. The astonished look on his face made me fell smug for a moment, just a moment then he was moving forward again though as if he was in slow motion.
Growling I felt as if something within me opened like a door then he was flying backward. Then he was pinned to a tree struggling to get free. With a growl of his own he not only broke free but was flying toward me again. Ok now I was pissed as I felt almost everything within me open up as the mage's eyes went wide and he took to the ground.
<"TOMAN! STOP! PLEASE!"> I heard in my head rather forcefully. Turning I could only stare at the other end of the bubble. Naci was standing there tears falling from her eyes. <"Please Toman, don't hurt father. I can feel he is pushing now, if he goes much more he will be hurt!">
With a sigh I turned back to Naci's father nodding I suddenly shut everything off. Falling to the ground I could feel the almost endless power within me as I was trying to close the same door I had felt opening. I was breathing hard this was far harder to close than to open. A moment later I felt a soft hand on my back, "concentrate Toman feel it, feel the border, feel it shrink."
Nodding I looked within feeling the opening closing at a faster rate. Turning toward Naci I thanked her then my mouth hung open as I could feel that her power was almost as high as mine!. "You're a wild magic user also?" I asked.
Naci looked at her father who was getting off the ground not all that happy. When he just shrugged she looked back at me and nodded. "I am two hundred and fifty years old. I know I am a little young but I would still be honored to be your wife Toman." Looking at the ground she refused to look up waiting for me to answer.
"Before I can answer that Naci, tell me. Just how old do you think I am?" I asked as I was trying to see her face.
"As strong as you are I thought you were at least four, four hundred fifty years old." Naci told me with all honesty.
I looked at her shocked trying oh so hard to hold it back. Finally unable to any longer I started to laugh then mistakenly I looked at her again. The serious look on her face really got me laughing as I was falling on the ground.
Reaching out she socked me in the arm, "I fail to see what's so damned funny Toman!" She shouted. Looking around I saw that Tall Bear had a confused look on his face, though Pops was smiling from ear to ear.
Rubbing my arm I finally stopped looking her in the eyes, "Naci I am only two hundred years old!"
Looking first at me, then Pops who was nodding yes, then her father whose mouth was also hanging open. "One so young with that kind of power. Only my brother Merlin has ever been able to do what you did today! By all that is holy! No wonder the council is after you! You could decimate over half of them before they got to you. Given the chance you could take them all with more training!"
Naci was also nodding then just as suddenly she reached out and laid into my arm again. "Ow! Damn it! What in the hell are you doing!" I shouted.
"That's for nearly killing my father!" Then she punched me again," that's for not telling me! I know you can see my power even with all the dampening I have." Then she punched me a third time! Though this time it wasn't hard at all. "That's for making me fall in love with you after you saved my life! ARGH! I hate you!" With a growl she turned and marched out of the bubble at a determined gait.
Pops was smiling as if he'd been given permission to do anything he wanted to do. Tall Bear was rolling his eyes as he was starting to chuckle. I just stood there watching her recede into the distance. I just shook my head, great, she hated me, I had almost killed her father. She thought I was always looking for the power of others no matter what. Plus she started loving me after I saved her. What in the hell was I... I stopped, shaking my head she WHAT!?
Tall Bear was helping Pops up as they both had huge grins on their faces. Then Pops nudged Tall Bear in the side pointing to me. "Look Mordaf, I think he's just starting to realize what she said."
"Indeed ah to be young again, knowing so little that one is almost an idiot." Then they were both were starting to laugh as the mage helped Pops to stand. "It appears Reg that your healing power has increased."
Pops shook his head pointing to me, "it was Toman. He only has to see once then he can do it also." Pops said a hint of pride in his voice. "He has shown level learning for a few days now. I suggest you be careful Mordaf he learns through watching."
Mordaf's mouth dropped open, "he has the third sight? Extraordinary! I know of only two others and one of them takes far longer to learn watching than it appears Toman does. I assume you know of my oldest brother Merlin?" When Pops nodded Mordaf only nodded, "I figured you knew of him." When Pops shook his head no Mordaf's mouth dropped open. "Y... you actually know my brother?"
"Know? Please! He's the best friend I have ever had. He was the one to help me through the death of my daughter and her husband.' Pops said, a tear escaping his eye.
"So Reg, you still don't recognize me?" Mordaf said. When Pops shook his head no, the mage suddenly started to change shape. As he started to regress in age Pops mouth suddenly dropped open as he grabbed the other mage in a bear hug.
"MORDY!" Pops was yelling. "By the great power! I haven't seen you in over a thousand years!" Mordaf nodded then shifted quickly back to his original age. Looking over at me he sighed. "So you can see power, Merlin could do that. I take it you can also shut them off?"
"Yes I can. Though I don't find it as pleasurable as others might." Here I looked at the blubbering idiot that was behind us. "I also find it distasteful wiping a mind." I told the both of them with a look of disgust. "In his case though I feel I have done both worlds a huge favor."
Mordaf was nodding when Pops said, "ha, that's nothing. Look at me can you tell anything different?"
Mordaf extended his hand passing it over Pops, then HIS mouth was hanging open. "When in the hell did you develop the ability to feel the power levels of others." He asked.
"I didn't," Pops said. "Toman did it."
Mordaf's mouth dropped open as he looked at me. Then even harder. "Good god son, tell me, how much of my power am I at presently able to use?"
I looked at Pops this didn't feel like a good idea to me. <I'll leave it up to you Toman. I trust him with my life, we went to school together though back then things were a lot different.> Came his thoughts.
"I don't know you as well as Pops does, and the last time I told someone of an ability that I had they tried to power siphon me. I pushed back feeling their heart stop then explode. I just want to be left alone unfortunately after today I am afraid they are going to be after me even more. I'm not strong enough yet, almost but not yet. So please forgive me if I am afraid that you might try to siphon me also." I told Mordaf honestly awaiting his answer to determine just how far I could go.
Mordaf was in thought a moment then nodded, "I see your point forgive me I won't ask again. I just remember that brother could do something like I asked."
I nodded as I felt every word that he'd said. I felt no malice, hate or desire for power. Mordaf was just about to turn to Pops when I said, "you are barely past three fourths open. You have more abilities than any I have ever seen any other mage. Almost I see in you I can also do, I only see three that I can't do yet."
Mordaf's mouth dropped open as he could only stare at me. Then he was nodding, "wait! You said barely three fourths. I was further once." With a sigh he nodded. Smiling I reached out without moving flicking at the spot that I saw had once been open. Suddenly his eyes flew wide as he fell to his knees. "By the great power! You are a total user!" Turning to Pops he stated. "You have to get him to my brother! He is the only other total user that I have ever heard or seen!"
Pops mouth dropped open then he shook his head no. "Your brother is on an island one that I've only been to once. Even if I could find it again I'd be dead long before I reached it. Even with the extra levels Toman gave me I'd have no chance. He's been trying to rest for the last century, last I saw him he was fed up with the noise and idiot elite users as he said."
"I could always call him," Mordaf said. "I am not as powerful as him but I am still his brother I'm bound to get through."
Pops looked at Mordaf his eyes going wide then he shook his head. "You've got power I'll grant you that but even you'd get your ass handed to you with the things I saw that Merlin put there."
Mordaf leaned forward whispering, "By the great power is he still playing with lizards and insects?" Pops just nodded then chuckled a moment.
"He always said they were his best friends, I remember the spider he grew at his house. Scared the crap out of everyone around him. Neighbors damn near rioted 'til he got rid of it. That was a bad mess.”
Mordaf was nodding then smiled, "That sounds like Merl. Still I could try especially after Toman reopened me some."
"Not sure if that is such a good idea, I think they might be listening for anyone trying to contact him. Besides he said he was going to look me up in a few decades. Won't be long, I'm sure he's about sick of the quiet by now."
"I have to get back to the tribe," here Mordaf snapped his fingers suddenly taking on the appearance of Tall Bear.
Both of us watched him walk away pops turning toward me. "I think it's about time I started teaching you a few spells. I..." Pops stopped looking at me then he smiled. "Just watch son, then I want you to repeat it. Afterward we need to do something about the drooling idiot there." Pops said pointing to the ex-mage who was trying to lick the grass.
It was a few hours later that Pops had been through almost every spell he knew. Then with what I had opened in him did a few more that he hadn't known a few days ago. I sat when we'd finished my head pounding my temples throbbing. "I'm sorry Toman I know it hurts it should stop in a few hours. That's about all I have, though I know you did learn what Mordaf tried to do. That I have no idea how to do. Perhaps we should get him to teach you some."
"That sounds like a good idea Pops though when? He seems so busy with the tribe would he have time?" I asked Pops thinking about it.
"Why don't we ask him?" Pops replied. "I'm sure he is far more accomplished at thought talk than I ever was."
I thought about it a moment then nodded. ["Tall Bear?]
A moment later his thoughts came to both of us. [Is all well with you two? Neither of you have reappeared I was starting to worry as is your bride. She is a tough one but I know that..]
[It's rude to talk about me when I am right here Father!] Came Naci's angry thoughts. [Perhaps you'd like to try your hand at cooking again? If I remember right the last time you nearly burned the Tepee down!]
There was a groan that we both assumed was Tall Bear's. Then we heard a giggling afterward.
[So what's wrong?] Tall Bear asked.
[I have shown Toman all that I can. I am glad that I learned as much as I did. Plus I have a few things that I can do now thanks to him. We need you to show him more; I am afraid that you are the only one that can. That is after we get rid of the gibbering idiot here.] Pops said taking over.
[I'd be glad to, though I am afraid it might be another two days before I can.] Came Tall Bear's answer.
[We will try to get back as soon as we can.] Pops told them.
[You both had better!] I heard Naci thoughts yell at us. [I may hate you but I still don't want anything to happen to you. You're the only one I can practice on and with!] I swallowed hard when those thoughts came through. [You males always thinking about sex! I might to use my magic! I haven't used it a very long time.]
I laughed sheepishly, then I got mad. [You have obviously forgot that I am a virgin like YOU ARE!] I thought forcefully feeling her yell as she was knocked off her feet.]
Growling she said, [I owe you one now. You just wait 'til you get back!]
Chuckling I watched as Pops concentrated then opened a portal. Stepping through I saw that we were further into the future. Looking around it felt like another two hundred years. "We have to take care Toman, though they have no magic, they do have powerful weapons. Any magic we use here will bring not only the council but the humans also. You remember the spell?"
"Yes Pops," I said deadly seriously. "As quickly as I can." Pops nodded as I open about half my power. Concentrating on the mage council chambers I opened a portal literally throwing the now idiot ex-mage through then snapping it shut.
"Now quickly!" Pops said even as I was starting the portal. Suddenly a bolt hit my shield. Damn it! They had agents here also!
"Ah! There you are you bastard! What you surprised to see me?" Shooting another bolt he was shocked when it reflected back and knocked him out of the air. "Ha lucky shot! Aw! You got you pitiful grampy to help you!" Laughing harder the idiot didn't even feel me when I wrenched half his power out. Screaming at the top of his lungs He gave me a murderous look.
"What a lame ass!" I said as I started to laugh. “You might notice you can't teleport, can't fly and most definitely call for help."
"What is this? There is no way you have that much power!" The mage was shouting.
Walking up to him I passed a hand over him. Hmmm another weak council lackey. Passing my hand again I stopped in front of his face. Closing my fist I pulled it toward me feeling the rest of his powers as they ripped loose, non too soft or slowly. Screaming louder this time I waited a moment then froze him.
"Like the last they sent," I reached in sealing where all his power was coming from. "You are now a human, no will, no power, no chance. As I told the last one I am going to send you back to the council so you can experience their special brand of mercy!" Passing over him again I got what little he'd heard of the council's plans. Then with a grimace I wiped his mind clean.
I looked back at Pops who was almost white as a sheet. "You sure you aren't enjoying this a little?" He asked.
"No Pops I am not, I feel dirty as can be being in their minds. Both of them were nothing but killers, having done many horrible things. Though I know I had to, I still regret it. Unfortunately this is a war now. Especially when I send this one back. He's the cousin of the council leader." Reaching out I opened the portal again throwing the ex-mage through slamming it shut in a hurry.
"Time to go," Pops advised me. I nodded as I felt the humans rapidly approaching. Looking in front of me a different portal opened stepping through I was closing it as we were headed back.
Inside the Council Chambers there were several gasps as the first body came flying through. Reaching out their hands most of the members hissed when they felt the human in front of them.
"A human I should..." The leader looked at the human recognizing him. "This is one our hunters, a minor council member! What in the hell has happened?"
"Get rid of it!" Several of the other members were hissing. "It's foul presence is destabilizing the very air!"
Nodding the Leader passed a hand over the human as it ignited then was ash within seconds. All of the members breathed a sigh 'til the leader called attention to the fact that the hunter had been after the bastard seed. "I know it wasn't the grandfather he was well below this one. We have to assume that the bastard is starting to gain control. This is bad very bad! Total control and we'll never end its life! We have..."
About that time another portal opened as another body came flying through. This time most of the members recognized the cousin of the leader. Quickly hissing falling back to behind the leader.
The leader was about to read his cousin when the man's mouth opened. "Hello you assholes. As you guessed or perhaps feared I have a hell of a lot of control."
"You are an abomination you will be destroyed we..." The leader started.
"You'll do nothing! I gain more each day. I am no longer the little boy that you tried to frame with the pitiful son of one of you." The body said.
"He was just emerging you had no right to..." Another member was shouting.
"NO RIGHT! Your illegitimate spawn tried to power siphon me! By all rights I should have done more than kill him. Ah but that's coming soon. Seeing is believing, as is hearing." Suddenly the council heard themselves discussing the deaths of his family, his mother, his father, his grandfather then finally himself the bastard seed. "Know this! By the time you find me I will have total control. Oh you might want to hurry! Merlin is due back at any time. He is a very close friend of the family!"
As the voice of Toman faded several of the lower council members were shaking. Taking out the bastard and his family was one thing but Merlin.
"Don't worry," the leader stated. "He'll be dead long before that happens. Who's the strongest hunter?"
"I believe that would be your son sir." A lower mage told him.
Nodding his head the leader said, send for him then send him out to where the humans came from." Passing his hand over his cousin the leader whispered. "Sorry cousin tough break," as the body flared then was ash.