80 Days Until Tactics And the Uncertain End
Zeydar stood with his black hood over his head, peering past it to gaze at the individual who had challenged Kony to a fight. Kris was a few years older than Kony, and a few younger than Zeydar. She was one of the few Class Ones in the same generation as Kony and Zeydar. She was tall and had her hair swept back into a ponytail as she talked to her Superior. Kony wore his practice duel clothes. He looked sharp, clean cut, and well put together. He belonged in the Stars more than any of them wanted to admit.
“Go all out.” Zeydar instructed Kony. “Not just attacks.”
“They are threatening us.” Zeydar nodded. “Knock her down and destroy immediately.”
Kony nodded, flexing his body, as he stretched. Zeydar stood over him, checking the way that the magic fluctuated about Kony. Kony had a bit better control over the two. His offensive magic was back up to control after learning to use the defensive magic. They had not had much time to get Kony’s defensive magic perfect, but they had gotten it well enough to use in public once. Kony’s stamina was Zeydar’s fear. Kony had used magic out in the wilderness. He used broken staffs and knew how to channel it for assisting Zeydar. Kony had a large pool of stamina that he could pull from, but he was misfiring on his attack magic more than usual due to his split attention on offensive and defensive. He was using too much effort and wasting too much magic too quick. The split was more difficult than Zeydar had initially believed it would be easy for Kony to adapt, but reality proved different.
“Your theory is strong, even if your current practical ability is not. Remember her weaknesses as a Fire Mage.”
Zeydar was relying on what he knew that Kony already knew. The battle was called to begin. “I know. I know.“ Kony stood facing Kris as the crowds around them began to get rowdy as Kris’ Superior spoke to her. Kony could not be bothered to remember who it was, but it was clear that the Superior was telling her the same thing that Zeydar had told Kony. They were going to target his weaknesses as an air mage. “She’s an attack mage.”
“Correct.” And Kony knew what to do to corner her with that knowledge. Zeydar knew that as long as Kony struck fast, the battle would be over before it began. “You’re more angry.”
“In class she all but insinuated that you are a drug addict failure.”
“Where is the lie with that?” Had she not said that before? Was that not what spurred on the duel to begin with?
“You aren’t a failure.” Kony scoffed.
Zeydar blinked and then laughed. “No?”
“You have the best grades for the Stars in a decade, as well as the best scores in everything, all while you were on Dreams?” Kony turned back to him. “Can you imagine what you might have accomplished?” Something in Kony’s pride told Zeydar that Kony had been doing background checks on Zeydar. Kony had been using Zeydar’s exams to study, but had he gone into all the records to check. Had he seen Zeydar’s old battles and all the recordings the school had on him in the file? Zeydar felt pride himself knowing that Kony had researched and knew the weight of what he found out.
“They put me as the history teacher for a reason.” Zeydar smiled.
“Because you are the best teacher for it in the world.” Kony smiled brightly back. “And I have real world battle experience. This sheltered child has none.” Kony turned back turning the wind about him to make their clothes flutter in the wind. His staff was lit in color as he whispered the spell quickly, and perfectly. “One day I’ll be able to do wordless casting.”
Zeydar chuckled at the thought of it, pushing Kony forward a bit and standing back as the referee called the rules. The rule was to fight until one person yielded. First blood would have been good for Kony, but it rarely showed off what the two students could do. This was a test of Zeydar as much as it was for Kony. They were going to see what an X raised Star could do. They were the problematic duo and being put into their place because of what Zeydar had done. Zeydar had threatened their very way of life and with Kony, he was going even further, which frustrated many of the Stars.
Unfortunately, Kony would not fall here.
“Go ahead.” The referee called out. Zeydar moved to the sides and Kony got to the stage. Zeydar stood with the other Superiors and did not greet them. All at once the wind lines of attacks were drawn before Kony, strong winds roared around them to create the nearly visibly solid blades of wind. Zeydar watched impassively, knowing that Kony had not shown off his skills in classes. Zeydar had told him to focus on doing well, rather than showing off. To focus on the words, on the spells and how theory interacted with them, to learn the proper cast, and what the proper style was. It was only after one had a solid foundation that they would be able to bend the rules. And the rules were only meant to be bent in a fight where winning was everything.
Zeydar doubted that Kony came across as anything special in his classes. He was behind by years for others who knew how to control their magic and knew the language. However they had not seen Kony studying for months to try to catch up. They were not taught by Zeydar in magic theory, history, and control. Kony knew his magic better than almost everyone else, even if he wasn’t always able to use it, because of what Zeydar had done. Because of what Kony had to do to keep Zeydar alive.
Kris was caught off guard by the ferocity of Kony’s move, and then Kony threw the blades out to stop Kris from being able to retreat back. He opened up the space between them. The wind ravaged the world as it was forced to move. Kris raced towards Kony with her fire only for him to raise a wind wall and deflect her attack and in seconds Kony had ten air blades flying out towards Kris who was not prepared. Flames were delayed. She fell to the ground as her Superior rushed out from Zeydar’s side. Zeydar took off running as well. It not even fifteen seconds into the fight and the Superior had stepped in to block the attack from Kris.
The Superior shot back magic at Kony, and Zeydar raised his hand, no words said, shattering the spell before it hit Kony. Kony’s hair was doused in the sparkling water. Sliding his hand through his hair, Kony shifted his weight and glared at the Superior. Zeydar stepped up before Kony, standing between them. “Your student is forfeit, you aren’t allowed to intervene.”
“How dare you!” The Superior yelled at Zeydar. “You cast that spell for your student.”
“What are you talking about? Superior Zeydar’s speciality is ice not wind.” Which was to say that was the official report. All Superiors would know that Zeydar could use all types, but to say so would put them in a situation they did not want. They could not reveal that he knew more, not if they wanted to maintain control. Zeydar having more would undermine the Star system and authority.
“Its impossible. His magic is air offense!”
“Offense and defense are the same coin.” Zeydar tossed out and then pointed to Kony. Saying the words clearly, Kony cast both one after another. “If you paid attention in theory, you would know that. Just because Kony was the first to do it, doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do. It just means that you don’t know magic well enough to be teaching it.” Zeydar stood next to Kony. “I declare this your loss.” He looked to the referee. “Correct?”
“It—“ The referee stated. His hesitation told Zeydar all he needed to know. The Referee was not going to side with him, which Zeydar should have figured. The whole system was rigged against him. “Is a forfeit on both sides. Kony declared his magic air offense.”
“Well enough. I challenge you to another fight then.” Kony demanded before he glared at Kris who was less shaken than before.
“Not today.” Zeydar spoke for everyone there. “Say a week from now, or so.” Zeydar could feel the eyes of Kony bearing down at him. “Do you accept?”
“Yes.” The Superior stated quickly, and Zeydar turned Kony from the fight. He pushed Kony away.
“Why?” Kony asked as they left.
“They’ll think it’ll give them enough time to prepare for both defense and offense. It will give us enough time to really get your fight skills up to par. Your stamina is great, but you are shaky at using magic for long periods of time in a fighting setting.”
“You think I’ll lose?”
“No. I want you to annihilate them just like today. We are going to fight every day from this day until then.” To get Kony’s stamina up for using both magics at once. He had the basic capabilities, and the supply within himself, but he needed to know how to utilize it properly. He had to get used to using his magic in a fight up to skill. When he was ready, he’d prove to them all what sort of magic could be cast by a skilled fighter. The next time that Kony fought, he’d possibly be thrown into Superiorship so Zeydar was going to make a statement.
They’d rue the day they agreed.