Previous: Chapter 1
Chapter 2 (Still a hammer)
“Psychic?” I ground my teeth then punch the couch beneath me. “Worthless!”
“Why would you think that?” Barges asked inside my head from atop the fireplace’s mantel. “Also, you don’t actually have to voice your words to me.”
“I don’t need you telling me what to do.” If I shattered the crystal, no one would have to know how worthless my soul was.
Psychic … What kind of shit is that? No famous warriors, craftsmen or duelists had ever had psychic soul crystals. They were just so worthless in battle.
“I am far from worthless in battle,” Barges said, his voice—it sounded like a man at least—carrying a hint of amusement. “And yes, I am supposed to tell you what to do. Or else you will never be able to harness my power. And believe me, it is a rather considerable power.”
“Can’t you use your own power?”
“I can levitate myself and make whatever object I inhabit lighter, but I only give you access to my power. When you link to me through physical contact, as long as you are not starving, you can draw on my power and use psychic abilities.”
“What kind of abilities do you have?”
“They take practice to use, but I would rather you keep this between us. No need to give our advantage away.”
It was all I could do not to laugh in the crystal’s face. Well, its presence at least. Maybe the front side of it. Fine. We’ll talk like this. You happy?
“Very. I’ll start by suggesting that you craft me into something small like a ring or necklace. It would—”
“But, Tima, with such a small object, I could stay close to you at all times and move extremely fast to reach you when we have been separated.”
Nope. I rose from the couch and made my way back over to the couch. Just the presence of a soul crystal makes an object lighter and move as if commanded by thought.
Barges vibrated in his glass container. “Are you ignorant of what a psychic soul crystal can do? As long as we are in contact, I could make any object lighter. Any object move as your mind wishes.”
Is that what psychic soul crystals do? That gives me an idea, but it still doesn’t change what you’re going to be crafted in to. A grin spread across my face as I picked up the glass container. Even with the barrier between us, I could feel Barges’s power sinking into me. Moving objects with my mind may not be ideal, but I guess it’s an okay power. Certainly not fire, but—”
“Fool!” Barges’s deep, baritone voice rang against the inside of my skull. “You think that’s all a fragment of the great cleanser is capable of?”
The great cleanser? I shook my head. No, that wasn’t important. Yes? I mean how am I supposed to know what the weakest of the soul crystals is capable of?
“Weakest? Don’t make me laugh. Not fire, earth, water or wind even compare to my power.”
Using combustion to increase your speed and give you the power of flight is pretty amazing. Not to mention being able to just blow everything up with a burst of fire. And the physical strength it gives you.
“Even without ingesting our link for a burst of power, with me at your side, no one will stand against us. How could fire compare to our powers? Creating illusions to disorient an opponent. Calling lesser, unintelligent beings to fight for you. Being able to shove on your opponents’ non-living matter to knock them off balance. Mind control. These are lesser—”
Mind control is illegal.
“Not if you don’t get caught.”
I opened my mouth to voice how stupid it would be to even practice such an illegal use of power when footsteps echoed down the hallway.
Aiga stepped into the living room area and arched an eyebrow. “I figured an ox like yourself would need several more hours of sleep.”
Enough from you for now. My mind is still made up. You’ll be worked into my war hammer that I’ve been saving up for. I forced a smile, squinting as I did to make it seem genuine. Though, if Aiga had been wearing her soul gauntlet, she’d easily figure out the truth. Figure out how shaken I was by the audacity of my soul crystal. “Aiga …” I let her name rest on my tongue. “We both know you only wanted me unconscious so that you could take advantage of my now adult body.”
Aiga rolled her eyes. “You wish.”
After taking a deep breath, Aiga gestured for him to follow. “Today’s rite of passage went wrong for some reason.”
Barges buzzed again. “Liar.”
Shut up. I moved towards the hallway where Aiga stood, my hands trembling. “What do you mean?”
Aiga placed her hand over her mouth as if to contain a yawn. “They. The other four, to some degree or another, managed to get off their Rite’s Tables. All are in stable condition—”
I started to sigh. My friends …
Aiga tugged on the collar of her long healer’s cloak. “—except Igu.”
Next: Chapter 3