Chapter 18

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Seth woke to find his body reformed and surrounded by sand and blue sky. He could actually feel the heat from the blazing sun. His scythe lay far from him and he held his hand out to summon it to him.
Nothing.
He tried again.

"Your scythe lost faith in you," Thamz spoke from behind, sitting on a pillar.
Seth got up quickly, trying to flash away for some distance. But he felt really sluggish.
"Who-" Seth started to ask but Thamz explained.
"Kuro asked us to train you, in preparation for Dead Moon."
Seth's eyes widened.
"The guy who attacked me," Seth wondered.
"Syn, one of us."
"And who is us?"
Thamz pointed to a distant temple in the middle of the desert.
"We're set up there. Food, bed, heck there's even a television with Knicron's stash of series."
Knicron? Seth was still lost as to what was going on. But the fact that Kuro had something to do with it kind of made him happy - he was still looking out for him.

"I need you to figure this out for yourself, as Kuro instructed. But a bit of advice," Thamz said.
"You won't reach the temple if you move slowly. And one day here lasts an hour outside."
Thamz was silent after that and Seth was expecting more.
"May I ask a question?" Seth asked and Thamz nodded, "Who are you to Kuro?"
Thamz grinned, "We're Kuro's first and only disciples. Him sending us to train must mean we're going to gain a new brother. If you survive by reaching the temple, we'll begin making you as strong as us."
"And what I don't make it?"
"We will leave to assist in the Dead Moon if you don't make it there in two hundred and sixteen days, being two hundred and sixteen hours outside of this world which is nine days. But, if you die, well... That'll be rather disappointing."
"Die? Wait, what will kill me?"
"I've said enough. Good luck, Seth," He said and flashed away. Seth walked over to get his scythe and was immediately confused. It felt as light as a feather. Seth looked up towards the temple and began making his way, replaying what Thamz said.
Who was he? Who is Knicron? And what of Syn?
The more pressing question was him mentioning outside. Where in the world was Seth right now?

He did not have time to ponder about such, much less of what was possibly going on with the others of The Order. But if anything, this was set up by Kuro and that meant a lot to Seth - a chance to prove himself. 
He remembered what Thamz said about not reaching the temple if he moved slowly. Such an objective would be an easy accomplishment for Seth, he thought to himself with a grin on his face. He prepared himself and flashed forward but after just one step, he felt completely drained. The same feeling one would feel after 48 hours of no sleep. 
Seth fell to the ground and felt tired. He glanced at his arm and saw his essence particles seeping into the sand.
"What the fuck?" Seth whispered and quickly forced himself to his feet, yet still, his essence was being drained into the sand.
Is the sand the thing that could kill me?
If the sand was constantly draining his essence, this proved to be quite the challenge for Seth. If one simple flash step drained him to such an extent, it wouldn't be wise to use it in order to reach the temple. Seth looked back and could see his last footsteps about eight kilometres away. Good to know his vision was still working well.
He thought to himself and concluded, "I need to be able to cover more distance in one step. But that may take more energy," He looked towards the temple and could not see any of Thamz's footsteps, "But he was able to cover so much distance in one step."
Seth had to achieve the same feat. 
He summoned his scythe and siphoned more essence from it. He prepared himself in a running stance and flashed forward. Moving at the speed of a bullet he felt a large amount of his essence used in that one step and risked another, covering twenty-three kilometres. Yet still, the temple looked to be as far as the moon is no matter how high you climbed a mountain. 
Seth's scythe vanished and his body fell to the ground defeated. He wondered if the sands would consume his body by the time his body recuperated more essence from his core -  but only time would tell.

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Night fell upon the desert and the moon was the only source of light, swathing the sand dunes with a bluish white. Thamz stood on the roof of the temple and stared into the distance.
"Can you see anything?" Syn asked from within the temple, eating rice and mince from an ice cream tub. Knicron sat at a table, putting his scythe on the table which dispersed into several guns laid out. He assessed each, taking them apart and making upgrades. 
"No," Thamz replied, "I can sense his essence only slightly. He probably used a lot of it to try flash here."
"Well, are we going to get him?"
"We can't, Ku-"
"Kuro's orders, yeah yeah yeah. You know they're just guidelines, right?"
"For once in a lifetime, Syn is right, Thamz. We're simply to make Seth as good as us." Knicron said.
"Yes, but who better to train Seth other than Kuro? If we follow his ways, then it's as if he's training Seth himself." Thamz replied and hopped off of the roof, "Besides, Kuro knew how to hold back yet still made us stronger than any of the others in The Order. If we hold back and show him kindness, he won't progress."
Syn and Knicron remained silent, seeing the point there.

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Seth woke up in the dead of night sensing killing intent and flashed away as a giant morning star crashed where his core would have been.
Seth appeared a few metres away from a ten-foot golem wielding a morning star and shield. He did a quick at how much essence he had just used when he flashed away but the golem swung again and the weapon was blocked by Seth's daggers. But the golem put its shield forward and charged at Seth. Knowing to simply take the hit than to waste essence, Seth was knocked away senselessly. He could feel the essence strands in his body fall apart, like bones becoming water. His body struggled to keep its form and he was losing grip on his daggers. The golem charged again and it was like an instinct that Seth leapt into the sky, kicking the air and creating a repelling force allowing him to shoot towards the golem which looked up at him.
Thinking he had an aerial advantage aimed to stab his daggers into its neck and remove the head. Being made out of stone, there was surely a limit to the angles it could face its shield and weapon.
In the blink of an eye, the golem flashed away and appeared behind Seth in the air, putting its shield forward and charging him into the sands which created a massive hole. 
Seth had flashed away at the last second but still got hit by the impact. He was almost forty kilometres from the golem but the impact had ruined him essence fibres that held him together. He summoned more essence from his scythe and reformed. The golem looked at him and as it flashed, Seth heightened his focus and waited for the split second that it would reappear, which it did right before him, about to swing its weapon. This was the only moment Seth had.

In an instant, Seth leapt up and thrust his one dagger into it's underarm. The golem spun around in the opposite direction, not giving Seth a chance to take the dagger out or strike that same arm again, and faced its shield towards Seth. It charged forwards and smacked Seth who poofed into a dagger, which confused the golem. Seth appeared behind the golem, gripping the dagger in its arm, and drove all of his essence into the dagger and created an explosion.
There was a bright light and after it cleared, Seth stood with both daggers in a defensive stance in case the golem was still standing. But to his avail, the golem was in two pieces. It began to crawl to its bottom half to reform, but Seth finished it off by smashing it to pieces. 
Just when he thought he had exhausted all of the essence he had saved up, the golem evaporated into essence and swirled around Seth, his dagger absorbing it all and sent it to his body. 

Seth looked at the temple and stood up straight and flashed.
Thamz stood with his arms folded as Seth appeared right before him.
"Well done," he said, "Are you ready for your training to start?"
Seth grinned.

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