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TS48: Break Point

If you could meet me in the Warrens, I will explain what I have discovered this first day of observation. Magus Azarias and Julius will be there. Please bring your three roommates.
- Inquisitor Edward

P.S.: Since Aden is reading this over your shoulder,
you might as well invite him. But no one else!
P.P.S.: That goes for you, Duane. Send me a message,
we can talk later.

Jove shook his head as he walked to the door of the Warrens. “I know how he knew, but I can’t believe he actually wrote that.”

“It was worth it to see the look on Duane’s face.” Aden smiled. “I wonder why edward said I was okay.”

Chris said, “Because you were going to sneak in anyway.” Aden did not disagree.

The Warrens had been reconfigured. Today, there was a single huge landing with a set of bleachers on one side. It reminded Jove of the running track at his high school, only inside the track was a stone obstacle course. The Warren entrance led them to the team entrace that stuck out of the bottom of the bleachers.

Edward was in his mythic form again. He approached the group. Silently, the elephant gestured towards where Azarias was sitting with two of his hands. The other two directed Jove towards where Julius sat.

Jove sighed. This was another test. Quietly, he walked over to the bear. Julius’ magic felt sick, a mixture of attraction and revulsion. It hit Jove like a wave when he got close.

Julius turned towards Jove as the fox approached. The bear forced a smile, “Hey Jove. How are you?”

“Are you okay?” The words came out. Jove couldn’t think of anything else.

Julius shook his head. “No. I want to hate you for what you did, but it’s hard.” The bear slumped as Jove walked in front of him. “When I first started here, I was roommates with an air mage. He helped me learn things by poking my head with a few spells. Except, he didn’t have the control not to push other things. When we realized what he was doing, I started training to resist mind magic. I learned to trust my magic when my mind disagreed with it. What you did, my magic wants you to do again. The thought of it makes me sick.”

Jove ran the incident with Elsa through his mind again. He remembered borrowing Julius’ Lava Channel. The memory was fuzzy. “What did I do?”

“I never cast my spell.” Julius’ voice got a little louder. “You pulled it from me and there’s a hole where the spell used to be.” Tears welled in the bears eyes, this trails winding down his cheeks. “And I want you to do it again.”

The sickness of the situation got stronger. Only this time, Jove was sure it was his conscience and not sharing Julius’ pain. “Julius, I’m sorry.” He walked in front of the bear and knelt on the seat, legs underneath, like he did in meditation class. Julius started to say something, but Jove held up his hand.

Jove closed his eyes and concentrated on his magic. Perhaps the fox from class could help him. Nothing responded though, Archanist Erickson’s spell was not close enough. Jove took a breath. Azarias was near, perhaps that spell was active. Jove thought to himself, “Okay magic. You need me to be an adult. Here we go.” He hoped he though that. It would have sounded silly if he said it out loud.

Jove willed his magic senses to open. It took a minute, but the damage Julius talked about started to come into focus. Jove could only describe it as a scoop that was taken out of Julius’ magic. Not enough to cause too much harm, but definitely enough to be painful. As Jove looked closer, he saw the edges of the empty part slowly filling in. It was definitely healing.

Jove looked within himself. His magic had not held onto the spell. At least, not that he could feel. He said to Julius, “I think your magic will heal. I’m not going to try to fix it myself. I don’t want to make things worse.” That left whatever lingering effects Jove’s magic had on Julius. Jove refocussed his attention on the space between the bear and himself. “Julius, whatever this feels like, please let me finish before you react.”

The threads of magic became visible. Two, no, three of them ran between Julius and him. Jove thought about the white strands. They represented effort his magic was putting into maintaining effects on Julius. His magic needed to know what Jove wanted to do with them. He took another deep breath and thought, “Let all spells we have… I have on Julius fade. Stop giving them energy.” The threads grew lighter and finer as they faded one by one. “All of them.” Jove thought he said that out loud.

He double-checked the threads were gone, then opened his eyes. Julius looked back at Jove with wide, fearful eyes.

Jove started to apologize, but Julius chose to express his feelings instead. “Concussion!”

Jove had told his magic senses not to listen to Julius. There was no sense of the spell building and no sense of danger from the spell. If you asked Jove, he might have said he deserved it. Regardless, the palm strike ended in a miniature explosion that sent Jove flying backwards.

The ground came up fast. Four arms caught Jove and two legs skidded back along the ground. Inquisitor Edward placed him on the ground. “Are you okay?”

The air refused to return to Jove’s lungs. He looked up to see Azarias restraining Julius. That gave Jove the strength to breathe. “Don’t hurt him.”

Edward stated, “He just tried to kill you. For the third time in ten days. Are you sure he’s the one you’re worried about?”

“It’s my fault.” Jove forced himself to stop struggling. Panic was not going to help him now. “He’s hurt because of me.”

“Yes, he was.” Edward spun Jove around and looked in the fox’s eyes. “You took responsibility and you avoided making things worse. Very admirable for a teenager. You also are concerned more with your friend than yourself. Also important. Last, you experienced the weakness that comes from not having your magic activate on its own.” He laughed, “You are dangerous, but no more than anyone awakening to your powers. Maybe less dangerous.”

Jove stared in amazement at the inquisitor. For a moment, he forgot that Edward only looked to be the same age as him. He started to object, but his lungs refused to take a second breath. His ribs hurt and Jove realized his shirt was charred and burned into his fur.

Edward called to Azarias. “Why don’t you get Julius back to the infirmary? We’ll wait for your return.” He smiled and offered Jove a shoulder of support. “Let’s get you back to your friends and bind your wound before we continue.”

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