Saint Magic Test (Start)
It was an hour later that they departed. They made their way towards a remote location. Leading in front was Sumara riding on a house while Lakshman and Ondine brought up the rear as they shared the horse.
“Miss Sumara, where are we going?” he asked as he brought their horse to ride beside hers.
“Just a little further away from town,” Sumara said.
She raised her hand to her eyes and squinted ahead. Then she made a satisfied nod with her head.
“What is it?” Ondine asked from behind him.
“It’s just over that hill,” Sumara said and pointed.
Lakshman and Ondine looked ahead and saw the ground rising up. A few minutes later, they reached the part where the climbed upward. They urged their horses forward and climbed the land.
Once they reached the top, they saw clear grassland stretching as far as the eye could see.
“Wow!” Lakshman said in awe at the sight.
“That’s a lot of empty space,” Ondine commented.
“Not empty,” Sumara said and she looked at her with raised eyebrow. “A land filled with greenery and grasslands!”
“Yes, that’s true,” Ondine said and nodded.
They clapped their horses at the side and they galloped down the road. After some time, Sumara brought her horse to a slow trot until she completely stopped. Lakshman stopped his horse while she jumped off.
“Here’s the place,” she told them as she grabbed the reins and walked the horse towards the trees.
Lakshman and Ondine quickly jumped off their horse and joined her while walking their horse. They tied up their horse to the trees tightly.
“We don’t want them running away from what we’re going to do,” Sumara said as she checked the tightness of the rope.
“I see,” Lakshman said and he copied her in tightening the rope around a tree and his horse.
Ondine, however, looked puzzled as she asked “What is master going to, Sumara?”
Sumara did not answer her question. Instead, she said “This way.”
Lakshman and Ondine looked at her and then at each other. Shrugging their shoulders, they followed her into the open grassland. There were some trees, but not like the wall of tress lined behind them.
“Once again… we’re the only ones alive,” Ondine muttered after a while of silent trudging through grass.
“Don’t say that. Feels like a bad omen,” Lakshman said with a small smile on his face.
“Sorry, master,” Ondine said apologetically.
“Okay! We’re here!” Sumara finally said and stopped walking.
They stopped and looked around. They were several kilometres away from the tress and all other things. Looking back down their trail, they saw the tiny specs which were their horses in the distance.
“Wow… We’re in the middle of nowhere,” Ondine said with a chuckle.
“In a sense, we are, but that’s good,” Sumara agreed.
“This way, on one will get hurt from Lakshman taking the test. After all, history has proven over and over how dangerous he can be.”
Then they looked at each other before giving him an exasperated look.
Looking flustered, he said “What? Why are you looking at me like that?”
“It’s nothing,” Ondine said and shrugged with her shoulders. Then she turned to Ondine and said “There’s a high chance we’ll get hurt if your test is as dangerous as it sounds!”
“No need to worry. Lakshman can just heal us,” Sumara said confidently.
Looking more worried, Ondine asked “What if we’re unbelievably hurt? Currently, master is just an Advanced Healing Magician, right?”
“Actually, he’s now Healing Saint Magician,” Sumara informed and Ondine widened her eyes. “He rose to that rank a few weeks ago. Didn’t you know?”
When Ondine shook her head, Sumara turned and looked sternly at Lakshman.
“Why didn’t you tell at at least?” she demanded. “Where’s the communication between a master and servant?”
“Sorry,” Lakshman said unhappily. “I was busily trying to get used to these weighted training gear and completely forgot to tell her.”
Sumara made a displeased noise with her mouth and turned away. They remained silent for a few seconds like that. Then she sighed and turned back to speak to them.
“Anyway, let’s get the test underway.”
“What’ll I be doing, Miss Sumara?” he asked curiously.
“First, I want to test you in your Earth Magic control.”
“Yes. More precisely, I want to see you perform the Earth Guard and Earth Strike magic spells.”
“Earth Guard and Earth Strike?”
“Yes. You do remember their incantations or do you want me to tell you?”
“Yes, Miss Sumara,” Lakshman said and nodded confidently. “So, should I start now?”
“You can anytime from now and the next second- Of-course, right now!” she suddenly said irritably.
He flinched a little at her suddenly irritated voice. Then he breathed a sigh and relaxed his body. Then he took a few steps away from them just to keep clear.
“Energy Charge… now!” he said and began to charge up his energy.
The energy flowed around him as the air became tense and the wind blew quickly. A few seconds later, he safely ended his energy charged and breathed once more, this time in relief.
“Good,” Sumara said approvingly. Then she said “Although… you didn’t need to charge when you’ve been constantly training these past few days, Lucky.”
“Oh…” he said, surprised. Then he said “I thought I should since I’m uncertain, Miss Sumara.”
“Ah well. There’s no harm in doing it anyway. Alright, now use the Earth Guard magic spell.”
He closed his eyes and became silent for a moment. Then he flashed his eyes open and extended his right hand forward and began incantation for the spell.
“Spirits of the Earth, heed my call and form a barrier of strength and power. Earth Guard!”
As he finished, the ground began to tremble. Then a wall of earth rose up until it was as tall as him. Then the centre of the wall began to extend forward. Very soon, the wall of earth took on a concave shape as the outward shell extended towards them.
“It’s done, Miss Sumara,” he said from behind it.
“Alright,” she said as she examined it. “It looks good so far. Let me try breaking it with an energy attack.”
“Sorry? Did you say you will try to break it?” he asked uncertainly.
“Yes!” she replied and there was a hint of maliciousness in her voice.
“Wha?!” he suddenly exclaimed in shock. “Hold on a second. I’m still here!”
His shouts were unheard. At that very moment, Sumara was gathering large quantities of energy at the top of her staff. Ondine watched, with wide eyes, as Sumara aimed her staff and the energy at the wall.
“Star Drive Cannon! Fire!”
As she shouted, the energy suddenly erupted into a beam and travelled directly at the wall. Hearing the sound and the surge of energy, Lakshman realised impact was imminent.
He desperately moved away to keep a large distance between himself and the wall. The one thing he feared might happen is the wall might break and him getting hit by the beam. Lucky for him, that was not to be the case.
The beam of energy collided with the Earth Guard. There was a few seconds of struggle as the Earth Guard held off the attack while the beam tried to push its way through. Then a loud bang followed by an explosion took place.
Dust and debris flew everywhere. Lakshman, Ondine and Sumara covered themselves the best they could against this close range explosive wind. A moment later, the dust began to settle and clear their visions.
Lakshman was standing and, mercifully, unhurt. Unlike the other two, he was really close to the explosion and he should have gotten hurt. So, he was silently relieved he was fine and safe. Then he suddenly became worried about the safety of his comrades.
“Hey! Is everyone okay!” he shouted over the still ringing noise of the explosion.
For a moment, he could hear nothing properly. The noise from the explosion deafened him a little and he feared he might not hear their pleas for help. Suddenly, a loud voice, belonging to Ondine, replied back firmly.
He breathed a sigh of relief. Then he looked in front and saw the still standing form of the Earth Guard he had created moments ago. He was amazed that it had withstood the assault of the beam attack.
He walked out from behind the Earth Guard to see the dust cloaked form of the ladies. Then the dust cleared and they came into better focus. Both Ondine and Sumara looked unhurt, but a little shaken.
“Phew…,” Sumara sighed in relief as she dusted herself. “Perhaps firing at such close range might not have been a good idea.”
“You think?! That was a close call!” Ondine said in exasperation as she attempted to clear away the dust clinging to her clothes. “It was almost like you were trying to get us injured!”
“No, I wasn’t!” Sumara said and she sounded irritated.
Lakshman could only laugh half-heartedly as they bickered. The test barely started and already a violent beginning. Now he doubted whether the rest of the test will proceed smoothly and peacefully.