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|A New Master|
April 23, 2013
Chapter 2: A New Master
Beaten. Beaten and humiliated, the red-haired assassin walked as a young Avatar held her at sword point. The attempt on his life had not only failed, but he now had her captive. Leading her to his home on the outskirts of the forrest, she had no chance to beat him there, a Fire Sage was waiting for him.Reaching the small cottage, they stepped up and entered the door where an old man had his back to them. He spoke as he turned around, "About time you got here. I-" upon noticing the situation, he readied his hands, "what happened?"
"She ambushed me on the path," he directed his attention back to her, "sit."
She turned around to face him as she sat down on the floor on her knees. He gave the sword to the elder man, "She had this on her."
The man's eyes bulged with recognition as he held the sword. Looking at her with astonishment, "How did you come by this weapon?"
She looked at them coldly with her blue eyes. Tiros was curious as to why that was so important to his old master, "Uzusim, what does that matter?"
"Tiros, this is a Ghost Sword. An old weapon from a forgotten era, these weapons have great powers."
Tiros looked on her with renewed interest. That explained how she had deflected his lightning at least. It still had yet to explain her other traits. "Okay, I am going to ask the questions and you are going to answer them, is that clear?"
She scowled before answering, "yes."
"Who and what are you?"
"I am Melasa, a half-witch." She finished begrudgingly, but aware that she had no choice, the abilities she had already presented were too bizarre to explain away as bending.
Tiros eyes opened wide. A witch? He thought they were extinct, their kind was hunted down by past Avatars generations ago. But a detail caught him, "What do you mean half?"
"My mother was human."
Tiros was interested in that story but knew he should stay on track.
"Why did you attack me?"
"Survival," the same curt response she had given him before. She was really starting to piss him off.
"Would you care to elaborate?" He pressed the tip of the sword closer to her neck.
"Avatars hunt witches. If you master the four elements, you will kill me. I needed to buy time and kill the current Avatar until I was ready to truly hide."
"You thought that I was coming after you? I didn't even know you existed until you attacked me."
"You would have eventually heard of me or someone like me. I could not risk facing a fully realized Avatar."
That answered Tiros' immediate questions. He looked to Uzusim for guidance, "She is too dangerous to let live. Witches are foul monsters with dangerous powers that we don't understand. End it now so we don't have to worry later."
Melasa clenched her fist, expecting it to end soon. The Avatar held the sword at her neck, she distinctly noticed that his hand was shaking. He pulled back an inch, with that sword, that was all that was needed. But rather than take the swing he lowered the deadly weapon.
His hand shook, it had been a long time since he had killed and time amongst the monks had not eased his tensions. All he remembered now was the blood and the guilt from that day. A day so horrible he felt like ending it all.
"No, I won't kill someone in cold blood because they fear me."
"Tiros, she is a witch!"
"She is a person who deserves a chance!" Tiros didn't know how much he believed that, but he wasn't going to change his mind.
Uzusim rolled his eyes, "This is not the time for your mercy, you can't afford to have an enemy like this."
Tiros mulled that thought, reconsidering. Looking down at her, "Melasa, can I have your word that you will not try to kill me again?"
"If I can be guaranteed that you won't hunt after me when you become a fully realized Avatar, then yes."
The Fire Sage had a look of shock and disappointment. "I'm afraid that's not enough. Elis Arshun lur, Tiros!"
Her eyes opened wide in shock and confusion. Then a look of rage as she charged after the frail old man, cursing in Nifrin. Tiros leapt forward, ready to stop her when the next sight surprised him. She stopped as if unwilling to harm him.
A look of bewilderment possessed her as she continued yelling at Uzusim. Tiros looked back at her, "What did you do?"
He answered calmly despite the sweat on his face, "I bound her to you. She will serve you and follow your command, she will bring no harm to you."
"Sorry, but I'm not in the market for a servant!"
"I'm afraid that you have no choice in this Avatar Tiros," Uzusim looked on him seriously.
"What?" Tiros turned to his old teacher with confusion.
"Tiros, I bound her to you for all her life with that spell. She is your servant now."
A look of disbelief took him, "Well what am I supposed to do with that?"
"Command her as you decide."
"You're telling me to do this?! Just a minute ago, you were saying off with her head! Now you're saying that she's my servant?"
"That is a spell, Tiros, she will not harm you by any action or inaction."
Tiros grunted in exasperation, "You've got to be kidding me!"
"DAMN YOU! I would have honored my word! Unlike the Avatars, I am not interested in wanton death, I was just trying to prevent myself from becoming the next victim!"
"Will you shut up!?" Tiros was still arguing with Uzusim and was not interested with what the witch had to say.
"Yes," she said the word submissively and followed it with a word full of venom and hate, "Master."
Accepting the Spell
Melasa sat there still while still bowing, her sword laying before her. Tiros paced. This was some fine mess he was in. First, an assassin attacked him. Beating her, which wasn't easy, he finds out she is a witch. He chose to spare her life. That itself was no big problem, but his old master wasn't satisfied, instead, he used this old "magic" and bound the bloody witch to him. She was now his slave to command.
"Isn't there something I can do to undo this?"
"Unless you know how to counter the spell? No."
He looked back at Melasa, "I guess you're stuck with me."
She sat up, "Yes, master." The last word still stung with hatred but respect.
Tiros rolled his amber eyes, "Just call me Tiros, the master thing is going to get real old real quick."
Melasa sat in the same place where she had been bound to serve him. He sat on the other end of the cottage looking at the cold woman who hadn't moved. He returned his attention back to his firebending teacher, "So what were we going to talk about before I got hitched to an assassin?"
"Discussing what you were going to do now that you have mastered airbending."
"You need to go to the North Pole to learn waterbending."
"After I settle this call from the Great Forest," Tiros referred to an urgent letter that had come from a village plagued by attacks from a malicious spirit. Tiros had responded that he would be on his way.
"Tiros, if anything, this attack has proven that you are vulnerable. Until you master all four elements, others will think the same way as she did."
"I made a promise, I intend to keep my word. Even if it backfired an hour ago."
"Then you'll need some help," Uzusim was undoubtedly referring to himself.
"Uh-nh," the young Avatar shook his head, "You're too old to travel like that, no offense. You need to be heading back anyways to train your replacement, remember?"
"I will protect him." Melasa stood at the end of the table scaring the two. "That is after all my duty now." The look in her eyes spoke of the murder she would have committed if not restrained by the spell.
Tiros noticed she was holding her hands, he looked back at the floor and noticed the sword was gone. She had no sheath on her, "Hey, where did your-?"
Melasa interrupted him, "We can travel faster than you can and my abilities will not be expected by anyone. No one will expect a witch's power protecting the Avatar."
"Half-witch," the sage corrected her, which gave a flare of red to her face, "but still, you're right. I am too old to travel like you will. I still think this detour south is foolish, especially when the Water Tribe is so close now, but that is your choice, not mine."
"I guess that I should wish you two luck."
"Thanks, old friend." Tiros had a peeved look as he sarcastically answered.
Uzusim patted Tiros' back before looking at Melasa. He didn't trust her, but knew that things could be worse. He walked over to his bag, which was packed and ready for the trip. Tiros began to stand up, "Don't worry about me, you'll need rest if you're heading to the Great Forest. I'll have a monk fly me back home. Good luck."
Now it was just the two of them. Tiros couldn't believe this. If he had read this in a story, he would have thrown the book away, calling it poor plot but yet she had been bound in a spell from Uzusim.
"Melasa, are you hungry?"
"No, master," the word still had anger behind it, but she had cooled down since.
Tiros rolled his eyes. He stood up, facing the two bedrooms. He opened the door to one, "Well, here is your room for the night. We leave first thing in the morning."
"As you say, master."
She entered the room and sat down on the edge of the bed. Tiros looked at her awkwardly, "Good night, I guess."
As he walked to his bed and laid down, he couldn't help but laugh. He now had a servant, and given her attitude, she might go get him tea in the morning for all he knew. Of course, the other possibility was that this was some absurd joke and that Uzusim lied about.
He really didn't want to deal with this, an assassin next to him at all times. He could foresee a lot of trouble in his future. This girl might be the death of him.
- Tiros is not pleased with the outcome of sparing Melasa, to say the least.
- Melasa made such a big choice because she takes the mercy of being spared serious, no one has ever shown her such kind treatment before.
- Melasa's disappearing sword will be addressed in the next chapter.
- Later chapters will explain the source of these special swords.
For the collective works of the author, go here.
Storms of the Future Cycle
|The Journey of Tala|
|Book 1 - Sand and Steel|
|- - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
|Book 2 - Blood and Swamps|
|- - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
|Book 3 - Pyres and Storms|
|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
|Fates and Vows|
|- - - - - - Ilera - Solace Fade - Scions - Sovereign|
|The Rise of Lirin|
|- In the Morrow - The White Dragon - Faith in Blood - The Great Gates - Lord Avatar - A Red Sun - Faceless - Faction - Tempest - Rally of Crows - Rally of Eagles - Dragons and Serpents - Kings and Men - Storms of a Spirit - Princes - A Battered Land - Seas of Ichor - Arbiter - Return to a Grave - Declination - Disaffection - Epilogue|
|Myths of the Empire|
|Pacification - Assassins - Empire - Red Sun Under The Empire - White Snow - Heirs|
|The Reclamation of Arein|
|Book 1 - Chaos|
|Refugee - Rogue - Ghosts - Dark Roses - Doyen - Divulgence - The Plan - Abscond - Mists of Illusion - Madonna - Syndicate - Playing the Stakes - Purge - Brothers|
|Book 2 - War|
|Alliance - Temple - Tensions - The Fall - Hunters and Prey - Lussuria - Shades of Relevance - Broken Star - Defiler - Strikeforce - Secrets of the Lair - Eminence - Swarm - Wanderer|
|Dreams of Melasa|
|Book 1 - Servant|
| - - - - - - - - - - - - -
|Book 2 - Shadow World|
|Faint but Clear - Ghost in the Steel - Kurotama - Loyalties - Servants of Shadow - Game of Fate - Shadows and Reflections - Tomb of Blood - Broken Blades - Hill of Shadow - Souls and Swords - Home|