What happens when principle is stronger than friendship?
|The two wizards stood, facing each other. Each had been alive for centuries. Each had honed his skills to the point of almost omnipotence. Few beings in the universe were as disciplined, as cunning, as powerful.
One was dressed all in black. A long, black coat, his dark beard neatly trimmed. His hair, the color of onyx, neatly cut to his brow, to his ears, and just above his collar. His piercing emerald eyes seemed to liquidize with his inner power, the iris seeming to flow around like a hurricane around the calm center pupil. He was a Warlock, using his mind and incantation to enact his spells.
The other could not have been more opposite. Long, blond hair, wild brown eyes, flowing cloths flapping in the wind. His clothes were bright, signifying his extravagant tastes. His hands were alight with power. He was a sorcerer. A hand wizard. He chose to focus his power through intricate hand gestures, instead of incantations. Provided more improvisation, at the expense of a large knowledge base.
The two faced each other, knowing this would be their last meeting. Each knowing that the other cannot survive. The “why”'s have no more meaning. Only the death of one, or both of them.
The warlock began to speak, his eyes flashing brilliant colors as the words triggered spells that had been bound to these words centuries ago. The sorcerer began to sway his hands back and forth, the glow intensifying, crystallizing the air as they passed through it. With one last syllable, the warlock aimed his hand at the blond, and a stream of fire flew from it. The sorcerer's hands whirled, and ice crystals formed a barrier in front of him. The flame hit it, and was absorbed. He countered with flashes of lightning, but with another word, the warlock surrounded himself with a small vacuum, providing insulation against the lighting.
The Warlock began to chant, and the ground began to quake with his every utterance. The sorcerer spun, his hands shaped and glowing. Wind piled underneath him, lifting him into the air, away from the quaking ground. The earth shook and cracked around the Warlock, though not the ground within three feet of himself. Great waves of earth crashed into the buildings surrounding them, while the Warlock stood amongst the quaking earth and the sorcerer hovered above it all.
With a final word, the earth stopped shaking, and the Warlock lifted his hands, uttered one more word, and his tie to the earth was cut, and he began to hover with the other wizard, floating as if he were weightless, using his very thoughts as propulsion. He drew his a sword, and the sorcerer, being lifted by the wind through various upside down pockets in his cloths designed to catch the air, drew his own.
They flew at each other, the Warlock's sword in flames and the sorcerer's crackling with lighting. When they connected, the sky lit with fire and light. Of course, they were a perfect match with the blade. Neither had been able to best the other in centuries, and they did not figure they would be able to now. But still they fought, hoping the other would slip up, or give up.
A small boy stood by, watching the battle, knowing he was the cause, but not knowing why. Tears streamed down his face, for though he was too small to understand why this had to be, he understood in his heart that neither of these two truly desired to hurt the other, but neither would they back down. There was nothing he could do to stop them, nothing but watch. Somewhere in the furthest recesses of his mind, he understood that whoever won, his life would change. The one was strict and disciplined, the other wild and untamed. Together they had been unstoppable. Now they were bitter enemies, torn apart by an occurrence that had not happened in their long lifetime. On occurrence that neither could just sit by and watch, but neither could they allow the other to succeed.
The boy could only watch as the wind crackled with fire and electricity, their respective weapons of choice. Thunder shook the ground almost as much as the Warlock's power had. Fires sprang up in every building, every light blew, wind coarsed everywhere.
Yet the boy was unharmed through it all. A duel shield protected him, powered by both wizards. He curled into a ball, and shut his eyes. He didn't understand. He would never understand.
The wizards fought with abandon, using spells each had thought the other had forgotten. They had trained, taught, and faught together, but this was something they could not compromise on. An issue that went to the very heart of their perspective beliefs. Clouds rolled. Fire, ice and every element in between flew in the raging storm. Such a storm had never been seen in this city, and if they were lucky, would never be seen again.
Then all was quiet. A lone figure fell from the sky, crashing at the boy's feet. He could not tell which one it was.
Down from the sky, the victor slowly descended. There was no triumph in his face. Only brokenness. Only pain. He walked to the boy, knelt down and put his hand on his shoulder.
“Come with me.” he said to the boy. It was all he could do to not look at the body of his old friend behind him. “There is much to be done.”