72 Days Until Brilliance And the Uncertain End (part 3)
Zeydar stood with his arms crossed and impressed. Kony was toying with the three. It had taken a moment for him to get into the rhythm but once he realized he held the upper hand, he slipped into his fight cadence. He moved in a way that made it seem like he was struggling, or at least that was what Zeydar hoped. He hoped he had not put too much faith in Kony. He reminded himself of his practices with Kony and the times Kony had fought Aralax. The movements were no the same, as those had been actual threats. However the cadence was. Kony was better than he was showing off. Zeydar wondered if Kony was trying to predict his timing to their attacks, searching for their openings, using as little magic as he could so that he could be ready. He seemed focused, intense. His lips did not move, but Zeydar knew Kony was watching.
“Why isn’t he attacking?” Superior Jasper asked Zeydar.
“Why would I know?” Zeydar watched Kony who was being battered by the spells, with only his wind defense to protect him. He had let some of the attacks get through. The match was until a yield and Kony was trying to make it so that they believed they were winning. Just how much better was Kony than them? Zeydar knew Kony was good, he had full faith in that, but watching the match made Zeydar double guess his own student. It was then that the first attack by Kony occurred. He redirected the fire aimed at him, towards another student. Kony backed up, and at once Zeydar understood what Kony was doing. It made him laugh a bit.
“Elake’s theory.” Zeydar answered. Kony was bidding his time. Zeydar began speaking as he saw Kony begin to speak on the field. Kony’s lecture on the history of magic began to frustrate the opponents before him. Kony was giving them the history of Jeremiah Elake. Unlike Kony, however, Zeydar was going to be more direct. “When magic first began to become more wide spread, before the campus system and Superiors, Elake wrote the theory that changed the way that people used magic. Elake’s theory led to the establishment of the Superior Order. Elake said that mages will bend down when broken down by will, not because a person is stronger. The mage who knows magic and theory better is the better mage, and will always win. It was the first theory that suggested strength wasn’t everything, and that theory was more important.”
“And what does that have to do with—“
The crowd went wild as Kony knocked down Kris with his wind. There was no injury. She had been twisted about and fell on her own with his assistance. Kony had baited them into being sloppy until he could use their own momentum against them. Kony knew his weaknesses in magic attacks made it so that he expended more magic than necessary for the spell, so he was using the simple spells. He was going to win not because he had more powerful spells or because he had better stamina. Kony was going to win because he knew how to fight. When Kony darted forward across the stage, crowd cheering, magic defense raised high, Zeydar asked those around him, “Question for you. Who is the best at theory in our order?”
They were silent for the seconds as Kony exploded in controlled power, using his wind both defensively and offensively, taking out the team’s healer. He spun around, moving low and with quick unpredictable steps. Kony got into the mage’s personal space, and used their lack of practice against them. Kony was not allowed to directly attack them with his fists, but he could get into their faces. He could make them lose balance by moving around them. Magic duels were often fought with little moment and strong stances. Kony demolished them. Then he ruined their momentum by wrecking their timing with each other. He was using his powers and magic sparingly. The first part had been about finding their weaknesses and timing, making them feel cocky so he could slip under their defenses. Kony was the better mage, the better fighter, and the strongest one on stage.
Sliding across the ground, Kony used his leg to kick and send air flying knocking Kris back, as he spun to throw a wind blade in the direction of Gravse. He hopped from foot to foot, calculating, listening, and feeling the magic in the air. Zeydar could feel it. Kony was resonating with the magic the way that Zeydar wanted him too. Kony could sense it, could see it, and understood where the magic was coming from before the spell was finished.
“And who is that person’s student?” Zeydar went on.
Kony was magnetic on the field redirecting their attacks, fighting back and defending when he had to. He was attacking quick and without care for proper technique. No rules or etiquette had officially been broken. He was cutting spells off before they could be complete, opting for incomplete and impractical spells with weak or detrimental effects. It made him faster, and deadly as they attacked him with spells that were not meant for a sparring match. They were trying to kill him and he was about to finish the entire fight.
“He doesn’t have the stamina.” Marjorie hissed.
“Of course not. Why do you think I told him to fight them all at once?” Zeydar laughed as the first student, Kenna, yielded. “Its not because I want him to get the experience. He can be more threatened by my practices.” Zeydar did not bother to look to the Superiors when he said that, instead his eyes were trained to Kony. The boy had not even known he had magic less than a year ago, and now he was fighting on equal ground with three Class Ones. If only his stamina was not at risk. He would have beautifully destroyed them by this point, but alas he was struggling to even do that much.
Zeydar could see it in the way that Kony hesitated, and fell a bit slower into the next move. Not only magic stamina, but physical stamina. Kony wasn’t prepared for a true magic battle, even after the intensive training that Zeydar had given him in the last few weeks. However, Kony was going to win; the battle was to yield. But it did not have to be the students who yielded. And because Kony knew theory better than most of them there, Kony knew what would happen when a mage was pressured into submission. Elake’s theory said that mages would bend to knowledge above strength. In all circumstances.
“Stop!” Superior Jasper cried out and Kony stopped his attack from hitting Kris. The stadium went silent.
“Is that a yield?” The referee asked. Kony glared at Superior Jasper.
Superior Jasper turned back to Zeydar who starred at him. Zeydar tilted his head at the man as if asking him to continue. He wanted to see these Superiors grovel.
“What have you told your student?” Superior Jasper demanded.
“Why would that matter? I’m not assisting him in the fight. What he does is on him.” Zeydar answered. They knew he hadn’t used his magic to help. Zeydar wove his hand. “Con–“
“Yes, it’s a yield.” Superior Tisha called out for Gravse. Superior Roland was rushing over to Kenna to check on her as Superior Jasper agreed to the yield. The audience went wild and Kony breathed out in relief as the referee declared him the winner. Kony smiled at Zeydar and then collapsed to his knees breathing heavily. Zeydar started towards him slowly. He did not rush. He let the other Superiors relish in their failure. Kony had done well holding out for that long.
“You fools!” Marjorie snapped behind him. “It was a faint.”
But it was too late because Kony was the winner. And Elake’s Theory had been proven. Because Zeydar held more knowledge than the other Superiors, they had been too scared to go on. Because Kony held more knowledge than those on the stage, he had been able to pressure them. They Superiors had been afraid of what it meant if Kony won by his own strength. The students had been afraid because Kony was too strong. Kony had fought as the underdog to begin with, to make them think that he had something under his sleeve. They had all believed Zeydar and Kony had something more to hide than just air magic.
“Did I do well?” Kony asked struggling to stand as Zeydar got to him. Zeydar starred at him, arms still crossed. He knew that the whole of the audience was watching to him and listening to him.
“You were far from peak efficiency.” Zeydar scolded him. “Your initial movements for reading their movements took too long. Your control was flimsy and your expenditure was approaching dangerous rates towards the end.” Kony nodded as Zeydar scolded him. He sat on the ground huffing and trying to grab air. “What are you doing? Don’t waste this moment.” Zeydar demanded of him, making a show of this lesson. When Kony looked at him there was a look of confusion before he sat properly and straightened his back. He closed his eyes and breathed as to control himself. Then he started pulling in copious amounts of magic around them, causing a breeze to spiral about them.
As Kony linked and listened to the magic, Zeydar turned back to the other Superiors. He leveled out his staff and cast healing magic on those who needed it. Kony whispered. “I got it.”
“Excellent. Focus on it and contemplate it. You will tell me your discoveries tonight.” Zeydar was not going to make Kony lecture him. He would test Kony at the Igilistal house to see if Kony could slip in and out more easily. Zeydar, however, did not want them to know that. He wanted them to know that Kony and Zeydar did know something about magic different than they did. “Superiors.”
Zeydar nodded to them as he walked Kony off, to a cheerless crowd. It was as if they were all in confusion and contemplation. Zeydar had used healing magic. He had lectured Kony for winning, improperly. There were tens of things they’d have to examine and Zeydar knew that all eyes were on him. Once they were far enough away, Zeydar cast a silencing charm.
“I doubt that anyone will question you for a long time.” Zeydar poured his magic into Kony’s body, healing him. “Good use maximizing what you had, but you really weren’t able to deal with the magic output. We are going to have to work on that.”
“No one likes to see a thirty minute battle. Inefficiency is a much better show.” Kony laughed. “You know that. That’s why you scolded me at the end. I won, but I wasn’t good enough in your eyes. I toyed with them, but I was still bad. You made yourself the villain in the end.”
“I added to my mystery and charm. Your act made it so that they won’t threaten you again.” Zeydar then sighed. “They’re going to be annoying, however, if they begin to idolize you.”
“As an EverDanger member, the show is everything.” Kony reminded him. He then apologized. “I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to lecture them in history the whole time. I never got to the point of the lecture.”
“It’s okay. They’ll show up to class.” Because the Superiors would want them to watch him. Students would want to ask the end of the lesson. Those who knew would be curious how to apply the theory. Kony had given them enough to make them want more. “Maybe they’ll learn something. Now let’s go. Your sister was making dinner tonight.”
Kony gasped and nodded, walking with Zeydar away from the arena and from the eyes that would scrutinize them.