Chapter 15 - Stronger

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The following week was extremely difficult for Elyssa. The night of her talk with Dewdrop left her fraught and unable to sleep, and the next morning everyone was up and about early. Alicia had decided it would be best if she worked with Elyssa on her own. Annette and Dewdrop would work together too, along with Shannon. For Elyssa, this meant working on more difficult spells and learning to better control her powers and their potency.

Elyssa assumed Dewdrop and Annette were working on spells also, making themselves more powerful or at least attempting to. She still wasn’t quite sure how Shannon was included into that mix, although it did seem like she and Dewdrop hit it off instantly. It was almost like they were kindred spirits. In a way it annoyed Elyssa. First Dewdrop had taken Dantes from her, and now it seemed as if she was taking one of her best friends too. In many ways it didn’t seem fair.

That was the least of her worries though. Not only was her concentration almost nonexistent, but Annette and Alicia had become more demanding than ever. They had all begun taking trips out into the open areas surrounding San diego, not far from some of the sprawling vineyards. There they would spend hours working upon various spells, some for protection, some for attacking, and others that worked in ways to help control the flow of the natural energy in nature around them.

The first part of the day focused on Elyssa’s defensive magic. The spells would start small, with Elyssa casting what would basically be small shields of energy. Alicia would then throw anything she could at her, from rocks and pebbles, or casting a few spells of her own. Other times she’d infuse an object with energy, thus combining the two different attacks into one.

Elyssa’s job was to make sure nothing got through the shield. Sadly, with her concentration being in the state it was, she didn’t do too well. Often times she found herself getting stung by spells, or hit by rocks. She didn’t look forward to the newly formed bruises she continued to notice day after day. She was only thankful that, due to Alicia’s age, the rocks that were thrown at her were never that large or thrown at a high velocity.

The spells were a completely different story. Even then, attack spells weren’t Alicia’s forte, and she often warned Elyssa how much worse and more deadly a trained caster would be in a similar situation. Elyssa could tell that Alicia was getting frustrated with her by the day, and her inability to defend herself.

The defense practice would then move on to creating large domes of energy and trying to expand the area that Elyssa could protect. Sadly, those spells went even worse than the smaller defense spells as Alicia could practically walk through them without blinking. She didn’t even bother trying to penetrate them with spells or rocks as the protective dome was so weak.

After the morning session had ended they’d sit and grab a quick lunch, and then move on to practicing attack spells. Over and over Alicia would ask her to cast a spell, to focus it’s energy into smaller and smaller points of intense power and then direct it as precisely as possible. The targets were usually the same rocks that had been thrown at Elyssa earlier.

Even though Elyssa should have taken pleasure in destroying the objects that left her with so many bumps and bruises, she could barely muster the strength to leave more than a scratch upon them. It became more disheartening upon watching Alicia making them explode with ease, again using magic that she was not necessarily gifted in.

“...I don’t get it,” Elyssa sighed after another failed attempt.

“I don’t either. How you survived the attack at Dantes' house, let alone took on and killed a demon on your own, is lost on me. If this is the best you can do...,” Alicia’s words trailed off as she shook her head.

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry! Concentrate Elyssa!”

“I’m trying!”

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