Essence let out an annoyed and tired sigh pushing the large books away from her. She’s been reading everything they’ve put in front of her and some of it was so dense, she had a hard time focusing. At the orphanage they went to school but this was different, learning magical history, spells, potions, all in the short amount of time she had… was hard. The young woman never had a hard time in school, she was pretty intelligent, but this… ARGH! She leaned back against her pillows and stretched out her limbs.
Tess had to force her way into Bastien’s lessons in order to teach her how to physically fight. She enjoyed that part the most. Essence saw how Aldric and Cassandra fought that day in that rocky realm. It was primal, full of power and anger (mostly on Cassandra’s end), and the way they used magic… she needed to know how to do that and Tess was cooperative. Alongside all the book reading, there was training and she felt more comfortable fighting because it was muscle memory. Tess said she was a natural and good.
Essence laid on her bed, her eyes staring at the intricate ceiling of the room she was given. It was large, spacious, something she never had before having to share with at least fifteen other girls. Her eyes closed, she allowed her mind to slip into a meditative state, she did enjoy doing that. Bastien told her it would help calm her mind and the large quantity of magic she had pulsing through her. She laid there for a while before falling into a light sleep. She didn’t feel the pull of magic of someone appearing on the balcony just outside the two doors. She didn’t hear them enter the room, but she did feel the shadow of a hand ghost over her forehead. Essence slowly became aware but she didn’t open her eyes. Making sure her body stayed relaxed, she willed summoning magic to her fingers, she could feel the pull of the metal knife Tess gave her.
With quick movements, she snatched the wrist of the hand above her and closed her fist around the hilt of her knife. Essence surged up, knocking the other body to the floor, her own frame on top of theirs. “Who are you!?” She whispered harshly.
“You’re quick.” Came the smooth reply. Her emerald eyes widened seeing deep brown ones under her. He smirked and just as smoothly as his reply, flipped their positions. She attempted to swing her hand down to stab him in the shoulder but he grabbed her wrist this time, locking it back against her head. “I see Tess has been teaching you. That’s good. But you’re not attentive enough.”
“I was sleep!” She snapped trying to throw his body off. He only pressed down harder.
“So? The best warriors can sense intruders in their sleep. The best witches can react magically while sleep. You have to be both so you need to work harder.”
“Get off me Antonio.” He could feel the air around them grow heavy, he glanced down to her, he could see those unique emerald eyes burn with fire, with magic, and he knew she was about to attack him magically. When a being is extremely powerful, the air around them had the possibility of charging, to suffocate their opponent’s lesser magic but that was rare. Essence was a rarity, he knew that. Probably why he was so intrigued and drawn to her. He felt her attack and he tried to move before she did but he was thrown back against the wall, he could feel the expensive plaster crack behind his back and he tumbled to the ground.
Essence sat up, pushing herself back scrambling to her feet seeing him fly. She wasn’t actually afraid of the immortal but his loyalties were confusing to her so she couldn’t trust him no matter how much he may randomly appear to give her tips. Emerald eyes watched as he groaned and stood to his feet, brushing something she couldn’t see from the shoulder of his dark maroon colored coat. She made a mental note to ask him about that ridiculous Matrix-like coat.
“That was a strong hit.” He muttered. She shrugged.
“That’s what happens when you just come into my room.”
“Do it again.” Her eyebrows shot up in surprise. What? He wanted her to attack him again? Considering how that attack just looked, she was sure it would hurt much more this time. He smirked again, so smug. Fine. He wanted her magic to knock him on his ass again, then fine. She would happily oblige. Essence tried to do what Bastien taught her when channeling her magic but something was wrong. It felt like it was locked behind a door she couldn’t access. Her distress must have shown on her face because Antonio chuckled and walked over to the window grasping the soft lavender colored curtains.
“What are you laughing about?”
“They must not have told you, about the lunar eclipse.” He pulled the curtains apart, allowing for her to see the muted moon. Essence frowned seeing the red tones in the full moon. She didn’t know it was going to be a lunar eclipse tonight. Seeing her confusion, Antonio leaned against the window to explain. “In some forms, magic is connected to the moon, some beings prefer to cast magic according to the cycles of the moon, it could strengthen the magic depending on what it’s being used for. Example, those who are desperate can cast love spells, or use love potions during the New Moon cycle.”
Essence glanced at the moon again as he spoke. She remembered reading this in one of those many books on her bed. Bastien hadn’t gotten to this part yet but she made another mental note to ask him. “So what do my magic have to do with a lunar eclipse?”
“Well full moons are always great for magic. You know the mortal stories about werewolves and full moons, and how evil always comes out at night during a full moon?”
The young woman nodded, “Of course” Antonio ventured on, his own eyes never leaving the girl.
“While mortals are foolish, in our world, it’s partially true. The full moon can help increase magic, especially to those who are deserving. The moon is fickle like a woman. Not all magical beings benefit. Young witches, such as yourself, especially those who aren’t negatively inclined have a chance of their magic being increased. Now the lunar eclipse blocks the moon due to it being in the earth’s shadow, meaning the magic normally gained from the moon, is unsteady and unpredictable. It can be too strong, with the possibility of killing the being and others around them, or it can wane. You’ve experienced both tonight.”
Essence looked back to him, he always knew so much. While their encounters haven’t always started off pleasant, they always turned into something like this, where he taught her things Tess and Bastien haven’t gotten around to yet. She appreciated that, though she couldn’t help but to wonder why he did that. They weren’t on the same side. He was sent after her to kill her and yet, they’ve been in each other’s presence a few times now and she’s still alive.
“So, if I tried to do magic while the eclipse is happening-“
“You have the chance of not being able to do anything, or harming everyone in this house.” He tilted his head as she turned back to the dark red moon, she was curious, he could tell. Antonio was becoming very attuned to the young witch and it made him nervous. However, he couldn’t stay away. He reached out tentatively, allowed just the barest of touches against her cheek, she turned towards him, but he snatched away just as quickly. Her emerald eyes widened in surprise as he moved away from her.
“I must go. I shouldn’t have come, especially with everything going on. Lunar eclipses usually last about three hours, don’t do any magic for next two hours and fifteen minutes and you should be fine.”
“But-” she moved towards him but he shook his head and in a burst of smoke, he was gone. Essence blew out a frustrated breath, with one more glance at the eclipse she went back to her books.