TS37: Copy Testing
â€œTan, wait up.â€ Jove ran after the jaguar as class let out. â€œPlease.â€
The jaguar paused a moment. He turned, and red eyes looked at Jove.
â€œNo,â€ the fox ordered, â€œI need to speak to Tan. I need someone who knows magic.â€
Tan blinked, and glared at Jove with blue eyes. â€œAre you sure you donâ€™t want to ask Chris or Julius?â€
â€œIâ€™m sure.â€ He took a breath, â€œItâ€™s about what I might have done to you, and you are the only one I can talk to about that. Plus I owe you an apology.â€
â€œHow are you getting away from Julius?â€
Jove wasnâ€™t sure. As if to respond, Chris walked past. He had a hand on Juliusâ€™ shoulder and was prodding the bear past Jove. Chris was saying, â€œYouâ€™re not getting out of this. If youâ€™re going to protect Jove, Iâ€™m going to make sure youâ€™re worthy.â€
Jove stared for a few seconds, then swallowed. â€œSomehow that doesnâ€™t make me feel any better.â€
â€œHow does he know?â€ Tan asked, â€œHow can I compete with that?â€
â€œItâ€™s not a competition.â€ Jove sighed. â€œWeâ€™re friends. At least, I hope we can be. After this week, I would be surprised anyone wants to talk to me.â€
â€œWhy wouldnâ€™t I want to talk to you? Sure, youâ€™re dangerous, but you havenâ€™t met my parents.â€
â€œI canâ€¦â€ Jove looked around, â€œCan we talk somewhere else? Iâ€™m not sure I want to say this in public.â€
â€œWhat are you talking about? What did you talk to South and Azarias about?â€
Jove pulled Tan into a nearby open classroom. He closed the door. â€œTan, I can affect peopleâ€™s magic directly. Something Merlin did caused Southâ€™s magic to freak out and I calmed it down.â€
â€œYou used Calm the Wounded Mage?â€ His eyes went wide. â€œYou used that to force Rai or myself to the surface.â€
â€œI donâ€™t know.â€ Jove felt a rush of embarrassment and shame. â€œI might have. I didnâ€™t realize thatâ€™s what was happening.â€
â€œThatâ€™s why I like you so much. Youâ€™ve made me feel weak.â€
â€œTan, Iâ€™m sorry.â€ Jove wished he could get rid of the tears in Tanâ€™s eyes. He made a conscious effort not to boost Tanâ€™s magic though. â€œI will learn to stop.â€
Tan looked at Jove. â€œHow many have you done that to?â€
â€œI really donâ€™t know. I thought you might be more aware of how your magic was supposed to be. I mean, Aden canâ€™t really tell if Iâ€™m doing it or not. Chris couldnâ€™t tell me, and Julius…â€
â€œIf you are controlling his magic, heâ€™s confused it with his own sense of honor.â€ Tan slowly nodded. â€œI am the only one who can really help you with this. Except maybe South or Azarias.â€
â€œThey have other things on their minds. Apparently a council mage will be coming to evaluate me. Probably just wants an excuse to dissect me.â€ Jove shuddered. â€œThereâ€™s something else. Something from Ericksonâ€™s class, and I donâ€™t want to ask anyone else. I need someone I can trust who can cast a very simple spell.â€
Tan nodded. â€œJove, weâ€™ve only known each other for a week. What makes you think you can trust me?â€
Jove blushed. He knew he could trust Tan because Rai had said Tan liked him. He took a breath. â€œAgain, Julius might freak out. Aden canâ€™t control his own magic like you can control yours. Chris, Iâ€™m not sure, maybe he could help me, but his being hobbled might cause problems. And while I like the teachers, Iâ€™d rather not bother them with a hunch. Plus,â€ Jove took a breath, â€œplus, I want you to know that youâ€™ve been helpful. Youâ€™re not â€˜just another friendâ€™. Youâ€™re Hevothotan, a friend I can rely on and I trust you.â€ He looked down, â€œItâ€™s myself that I donâ€™t trust.â€
Tan let the moment hang in the air, awkward and confused. Eventually he asked, â€œWhat kind of spell?
â€œSomething easy. The kind youâ€™d show someone for their first spell.â€ He thought a moment, â€œAlthough, if itâ€™s something you could sustain, like a light spell.â€
â€œWhy would you need that?â€
Jove blushed, â€œIâ€™m going to try to borrow it.â€ He looked to the side, avoiding looking at Tan. â€œI might be able to use spells other people cast. I thought an easy one would be best and one that lasts would give me a few tries.â€
â€œIâ€™m not sure what you mean.â€
â€œJust cast it like you were showing me how to cast it myself.â€
Tan took a long look at Jove. â€œOkay. The speech part is to generate the energy of the spell. It provides the spark of creation. The gesture sculpts the energy. Itâ€™s fairly simple.â€ Tan took a breath and said in a slight, sing-song voice, â€œDrip.â€ As he did, he cupped his right hand upward. Joe watched as simple water energy flowed down Tanâ€™s arm and puddled into water in the palm of his hand. â€œMost new water mages can cast this after a few tries. Itâ€™s the first spell I actually learned.â€
Jove cupped his hand as Tan did. â€œDrip,â€ he said. Nothing happened.
Tan started to say something but Jove cut him off, â€œJust maintain the spell.â€
Jove closed his eyes a moment and willed himself to feel the spell Tan was using. He focussed on the way Tanâ€™s energy flowed. Jove let his body follow the motion on its own. â€œDrip.â€ The gesture felt practiced, Tan had spent hours making sure he knew this spell before moving onto another. He was meticulous about the basics, and for a moment, Jove felt all of that inside his motion.
â€œYou did it!â€ Tan let his spell go and leaned forward to look at the water in Joveâ€™s hand.
With the spell no longer there, the confidence Jove felt faded. His hand shivered the strain of the spell suddenly very heavy in his hand and all down his arm. The spell broke, dropping the handful of water on the floor.
Tan looked at Jove. â€œI donâ€™t understand, maintaining that spell is the easy part.â€
Joveâ€™s head hurt like heâ€™d been up to late. â€œIt wasnâ€™t my spell. It was yours. It couldnâ€™t exist without the original.â€
Tan steadied Jove. â€œMy spell? You copied my magic.â€ He shivered, â€œYou can do what I can do?â€
â€œI suppose.â€ Joveâ€™s headache faded almost as quick as it started. He realized he was relying on Tanâ€™s strength, the way Tan wasnâ€™t drained after casting. â€œI donâ€™t know how it works. I didnâ€™t mean to upset you.â€
Tan shivered and pulled away. â€œAny spell I learn, you can copy. Youâ€™ll be able to copy all of my magic.â€ He was fighting to keep himself still. â€œYou can control my magic. Iâ€™ll be the copy.â€
Jove reached for his friend, â€œTan, itâ€™s okay.â€
â€œDonâ€™t touch me!â€ Tan shrieked and backed away. He forced himself to calm down, â€œJust, I need time.â€ He was still shaking, â€œIâ€™m sorry.â€
â€œTan, I didnâ€™t mean to upset you.â€ Tanâ€™s panic was infectious. Joveâ€™s heart was racing, pounding in his ears.
â€œIâ€™ll be okay,â€ Tan headed for the door. â€œIâ€™m going back to the room. I need some time to myself. This will pass.â€
Jove didnâ€™t want to let his friend leave without being certain. â€œAre you sure?â€
â€œYes. We can talk about this tonight.â€ He paused at the door, â€œAnd no talking to Rai about this!â€
Jove watched his friend go, then it hit him. Heâ€™d used elemental magic. He was more than a null and more than a revoker. In any other circumstance, that would have been a major relief. Jove sighed. Heâ€™d feel better once he knew Tan was okay.<< TS36: Magic Questions || TS38: Another Monster >>