Time flowed by fluently, like water, as we played and practiced the day away. Deirdre did some things as well, trying to weaken things I'd made. But it was never strong enough to really break the focus. On the other hand though, when she focused on me, making me weak, I almost drowned for a few moments. I had never felt myself being weakened by Dark Magic before and, I must say, it was quite a unique experience.
I'll try and describe.
With Light, you feel like something fills you up, supports you. It flows with you on every move as if everything just wanted to move the same direction you do and help you. It wasn't electric or forceful unless you really overdid it. Mostly it felt like you were filled with air and everything around you as well. Lighter, easier, faster.
Darkness did almost completely the opposite, but it still felt unexpected. Suddenly it wasn't air around you, but syrup. Movements slowing down, everything becoming heavy. And it reflected immediately on your mind. You didn't want to move anymore, didn't want to do anything. But not in a relaxing way, the feeling, the thought it reflected was; 'I don't want to do this anymore.'
And it surprised me how much it lingers.
Light had a tendency to fade fast as well. But Dark, it felt as if it lingered, stayed in your body for minutes after the focus was gone. But it made me think, could I focus it on myself.
It was a try best forgotten.
Making yourself weaker while you're trying to focus is an unusual and very impractical exercise. As soon as it takes hold, it fades away. I suppose it was fun and challenging to try. But it felt about as useful as being taught knitting just before battle.
Or something like that.
It was getting late. "We should get back into town to eat something before the meeting."
Deirdre nodded and headed for our clothes.
While she got dressed, I heard something at the edge of the forest. But, knowing I was still naked, I decided to get dressed quickly before I really tried to find out what made the sound.
"Did you hear something?" I whispered to Deirdre while I walked towards her.
She pulled her shirt over her head and spoke back, softly. "No."
We both continued getting dressed but we both started getting jumpy. It really did sound like someone was there. Deirdre was done dressing before me, but she couldn't quite get where it was coming from, or what was causing it. Even when I was done we were both sure that there was something there. Just not what, who or where exactly.
"Can you hear where it's coming from."
Deirdre whispered back. "I think it's more than one person."
Then she added. "Sneaking."
But where they looking for us?
A man stepped out of the forest a little bit away from us. He was dressed vaguely as a twilight cultist, without the hood or robe but with a sort of fabric layer over his armor. A sort of darkish grey. If it wasn't so obviously meant to be boring it might even go unnoticed. But most people wore brown or coloured cloth. Very few would color their clothes grey on purpose.
"What do you want from us?" I spoke up with mostly curiosity and some annoyance.
"We've been hearing bad things about you." The man walked closer and drew his sword. "Apparently you're not as good at following orders as the Masters thought."
Well, I had my sword with me and Deirdre had her knife. But that was hardly enough to defend us against multiple assailants. The others were still a bit further away though. And the water should prove enough cover for our backs. I glanced at Deirdre who already looked tensed, ready to defend herself. Her eyes flickered briefly to acknowledge my presence before I looked back at him again.
The man grinned. "Time for a lesson."