Trilkin Mar 20th, 2017 (edited) 76 Never
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- Walking on water was much like walking on thin glass: a misstep could crack the pane beneath; a bad footfall could send him plunging into the gulf. Still, it was his only logical means of escape; one that practically required him to bleed his supply of lead flakes dry. The once heavy bag of it was in one hand while pinches of the material were dropped by the other to keep the ground beneath him as solid as he could. He, unfortunately, simply could not afford the luxury of the oils his pursuer used to keep afloat.
- It didn't matter anyway. Once he crossed the gulf's median, the waves around him came up like earthen upheaval to toss him violently through the water. He was submerged briefly then his face cracked against something solid that briefly blinded him with pain. Moments later, he was rejected from the depths; spilled out onto whatever was conjured around him.
- Ice. He felt it before he saw it. His pursuer called the tide and froze it around him, cutting off his escape. His pursuer had no doubt waited until they were deeper in water to disturb the shoreline as little as possible. Prudent. Perhaps they were learning. Imprisoned on this small glacier island, Lionel pushed himself up shakily, blinking the stars from his eyes and waking to the taste of iron-rich blood on his tongue. He'd broken his nose. He was lucky that was all that was broken.
- The robed figure stepped forward, now more leisurely with his quarry trapped. They'd changed their uniforms; Lionel didn't remember them having circlets and bathing themselves in the colors of royals. So much for that prudence.
- "I... have no quarrel with you, Jens."
- It was awkward to talk with the blood occasionally welling in his throat, but he managed. The voice that responded to him might as well have been mechanical for how lifeless and passionless it sounded.
- "You made quarrel with us. You stole our master's legacy. We only seek to return it to its rightful place. Once we retrieve it, you are free to go."
- Lionel's satchel, while waterlogged, was blessedly still with him. The small pouches at his hips were as well. Even damp, the metals could be used as reagents if he were particularly clever. He'd hoped he hadn't needed to, but he was seeing himself running out of options quickly. He responded in the vain hope of talking sense into the Magister.
- "Jens... There's a reason it was given to me, don't you think? You have no idea what's in it. I don't even know what's in it. He didn't want anyone finding out."
- He was violently rebuked, his body thrown against the wall of ice behind him by a summoned squall. So much for sense.
- "Master Tarrazi was ill with age, Lionel. He had no comprehension of what he was doing when he made that decision, thus, we have convened and decided it was made in delirium. Giving you such a prized piece of his research was a mistake; a misjudgment on the part of a man on his deathbed who barely remembered his own name."
- That was the official story now. A rare fit of rage seared through Lionel's heart to hear it. It was more than disrespect of their founder that they practiced; it was a complete abandonment of his principles. Mageo Tarrazi was an insane man without a doubt, but he was insane in the same way that a man with an impossible dream was insane.
- Jens continued to speak, though he stopped his steps some feet away from the glacier in caution.
- "I will say to you one last time: give us his Will, and I will let you go peacefully. If you do not, I will kill you and take it from your corpse."
- Lionel's response was as bold a 'no' as any man could give. Sleight of hand brought iron pellets to his gloved fingers, the snap of his wrist sending them forward with a silent incantation. Another squall directed the wind, buffeting the Magister with a painful razor gust. The wounds were superficial, even if they were incredibly painful.
- Jens' reaction was as predicted, the ice behind Lionel suddenly jutting out in an attempt to impale him. Too slow, though. The wind that carried the iron grew more violent to throw Lionel forward, another handful of material spraying Jens again. Lodestone. Why? A green hue quickly took Lionel's eyes, and Jens' question was fatally answered before he had the time to cast something else.
- Mana flowed invisibly around the previously pursued man's fingers, electricity arcing from it with a natural attraction to the flecks of iron and lodestone that his hunter was now covered in. The brief shock paralyzed him; the surge of current shattered his Graft, killing him. The contraction of his muscles continued even as he fell into the depths of the gulf, disturbing the water only briefly before he disappeared beneath it.
- The ice began to recede, leaving Lionel with precious little time before the water would crash down on him again. Sprinting away, he used what little lead he had left to make a path to the other side of the gulf; laboring in his breath as his own blood threatened to drown him. Not today, though. He'd ponder his own sins later.
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