Lera spent time training, figuring out her powers over the next week. Her friends had come home last week with grand smiles on their faces. She didn't feel bad that she didn't go with them. After all they had been treating her well and since they took care of her all this time, they needed a break from her.
For this past week, that was what she gave them. When they came home all four of them were together and when they left, she stayed behind to train her powers. Well she didn't really get them to work, but so far she knew what wasn't working. Or maybe she needed more time. Either way she wanted to find out those answers that had eluded her.
She had told them this past week what she was doing once a few days had passed. After all they said she could train herself if she rested, so she did, though not as much as she told them. The medicine that Ty'marr had given her worked wonders and once it ran out, she couldn't feel any pain after that. It put a smile on her face.
So that was all she did. She tried to feel mana, but even after asking the others, she still couldn't do it. Next she tried asking mana to work for her. She did that alone where no one was watching, because it was a little embarrassing for her.
Then she started trying to force a ball of water to appear in her hand. She strained her mind, more than she liked. Still nothing happened. She felt nothing.
'Nothing. Nothing…' She turned towards the ceiling. "Nothing!"
She was bummed out and slumped on the ground in the bedroom. She was thankful that she was allowed to sleep in the room. It provided her privacy when they were out and when they were still here. At least they wouldn't find her sneaking about.
Lera sat there thinking about it. The others said that trying to force it would never work, and even when she tried it didn't. They were right, but still she couldn't do it the normal way they had learned either. It was frustrating.
None of her memories had come back either. A puzzle that was missing pieces and didn't even fit together.
"Why won't it work?"
"Still trying to figure it out Lera?" Paroppe asked.
"Why don't you come with me today. I need a break after working all week and you do too. We can leave those boring guys behind. What do you say?"
"That sounds alright to me. Where do you want to go?"
"The Spa. With the absurd amount of money that you have, I thought there needed to be a place for you to spend it."
"That does sound like fine. I wouldn't mind being able to relax, but didn't just last week you say that you wanted to save your money?"
"It was just a suggestion from Jev. Why not when we have this much money?"
They were walking through the streets. Passed by a few food stalls, grabbing a snack along the way. There were many people out and about. Each side of the street barely had enough room to move around it.
"Let's cut through this alley. It won't be far from there."
So they slipped in the alley way and walked along. There was a T-intersection up ahead with left and right, Paroppe wanted her to take a right. However as they turned the corner they found themselves trapped.
Three people were behind them and two were in front. Neither of them had a weapon, though Lera never carried a weapon, so it wouldn't matter let alone being able to use it.
"All your money on the ground now!"
The woman in front of them yelled. She was human, at least at a glance. Two others were human, one was a lizard-kin and the last was a dwarf. They all had masks, so it was hard to tell most of their features.
Lera saw that Paroppe was looking between them all and at her. As a few of the people surrounding them closed in, she yelled.
Lera ducked as one of the humans flew over her into the lizard-kin. She used the momentum from the throw to go into a roll and headbutt the dwarf. She quickly stood, to stumble a bit, before turning around at the lady and another human. She grabbed Lera's hand and started running at them. She broke past them, but the woman had grabbed Lera's arm, bringing them both down. Paroppe stumbled almost being brought down herself.
Paroppe tried to get her up, but the woman was still holding her arm. Lera couldn't see it, but she did hear the others were already making their way over to them. Paroppe stomped her foot on the woman's arm before grabbing Lera's whole body up. Once she was standing they both started moving.
Only to be tackled by the lizard-kin and the human that went flying over her in the first place. They started hitting Paroppe as grunts and screams filled the alley way. Lera didn't understand why there wasn't anyone that heard them, but right now she only cared for Paroppe. She flailed around trying to get everyone off of her, but they were too strong. The others had pinned Paroppe down and started beating her.
"Get their money quickly!"
Lera heard the woman shout. She wanted everything to stop. It happened so fast that most of it felt like a blur to her. Lera looked back at Paroppe to find her getting beat as she fought back. One of them stabbed her in her side with a dagger. She was bleeding, but the others continued to hit her.
This couldn't be real. Paroppe was stabbed, she was going to die. No, it couldn't be. She wanted this to stop. It had to stop. I should stop. It was too much for her, everything that was happening. They should have ran away instead of fighting. If she just told Paroppe to stay home or go training with the others, this wouldn't have happened!
Lera didn't feel them hitting her. She just noticed that she closed her eyes and looked around. It was quite, too quiet. No one was moving. It was unnatural to see people like everyone else, like a picture, frozen in time.
Right! Ayanni said that she was able to freeze people in time. No one was moving, so that must be it. She pushed the woman and dwarf off of her, with a bit of effort. She squeezed out and stood up. She got a better look at the scene. The two humans and lizard-kin were holding Paroppe down, but there wasn't any blood coming out. Since she stopped them all in time, which she still didn't know how she did, it was at least helping keep Paroppe alive.
She pushed the others off of her and dragged her out from under them. She wanted to bring her out to the street where she could get help, so she carried her. Now Paroppe was heavy. She had been training and her muscles were dense, Lera on the other hand had not. So she ended up dragging Paroppe. She was still frozen, which looked creepy seeing her trying to fight off invisible enemies.
Once she got to the street she saw that no one else was moving. The world was still. That was why she didn't hear any sound, it wasn't just the people in the alley way, but the city, if not the world. Even a few birds were frozen in the air. Neither falling or gliding, just still.
It wasn't right.
Where should she go? It was hard to move Paroppe and leaving her here might not be the best idea. Maybe she could heal her? No, she didn't even know what she did to freeze everyone. Actually if everyone was frozen, then were could she go to get help?
She knelt down on the ground trying to think about what she did to stop time. She wanted to heal Paroppe. She didn't like what was going on, the people hurting her and Paroppe were bad. Hitting them. Stabbing Paroppe. She wanted it to stop. But that didn't stop them, it wouldn't. Her magic didn't work when she wanted either, so why would it now. It needed to end. The pain and the screams. This whole thing needed to end. She needed to heal Paroppe, but that didn't work either. So it should happen. Paroppe's stab wound should be healed. She would lose herself if that didn't happen.
But it did work this time. Like it should have from the beginning, her wound was gone. The blade disappeared, like dust in the wind. Like it should have been. Was that the way her magic, no, mimic magic worked? Something that should happen. Like the world revolved around her? It couldn't be, but right now it was. Shouldn't the world unfreeze Paroppe since she was better?
"Get off of her!"
Paroppe shot up as she found the freedom to move. She got in a battle stance, only to find there wasn't anyone around that was hurting her or Lera.
"Paroppe, you're okay!"
Lera jumped in her arms. They hugged.
"I'm so happy you're okay!"
"I'm fine and you are too. Look!"
Lera pointed to where the dagger used to be. All that was left was a small cut in her blouse that was stained with blood.
"What's going on Lera?"
She watched as she was confused, but was able to explain it.
"I somehow stopped time for them. I dragged you out of there and then I healed you."
"Okay… Then why is everyone else frozen?"
She saw the same scene of everyone one in the city. Different animals, like the birds, were frozen in time. She didn't understand it. She knew that Lera's not-magic magic was powerful, but this was the city. A whole city of people. That was extreme, even by the standards of the four heroes.
"That I… I think that was me. I mean it makes sense, I feel that is true, but it's just well… yea."
"What about the people who attacked us?"
She looked back at where Lera was pointing. She saw deep in the alley there were five people, all frozen.
"Um.. What do we do?"
She was confused by the whole situation that it was hard to understand the full situation. Paroppe was just fighting off a bunch of people, she was stabbed, and then she was healed and the city was frozen in time. The raw information was there, but did it really make any sense? She put her hand back down, above where she was stabbed. She felt the hole that the knife left in her shirt and a phantom pain from where it was inside her.
It was scary. Her hands started to shake. It was catching up with her. She trained for this, but it was real. She was attacked, she was stabbed. The pain was real, the world was real. This wasn't a dream, it was real and she understood that.
"Paroppe are you ok?"
She fell to the ground on her knees, she teared up, but she didn't cry. That was right, this was real and she was hurt, stabbed, but she wasn't the only one. She looked over to Lera who said she was fine, but there were scrapes and bruises already forming on her body. Small trickles of blood, covered her wounds.
"I'm fine, but you're not okay…"
"I'm fine, don't worry. Let's just go back to Ayanni's."
They walked through the crowds of people that were still unmoving. Paroppe stared at them, but didn't say anything. She didn't understand any bit of what was happening. She just wanted to sleep and when she looked at Lera, she was tired. Though the way she was holding her head, it looked like she had a headache. It must have scared her a lot, because she wasn't the only one.
Lera and Paroppe arrived in the house. As they walked in they saw Jev and Ayanni standing still near the door putting their boots on. They had their gear nearby them on the floor. They were getting ready to go to the training center, but like everything else were frozen.
The girls noticed them, but they didn't talk about it nor them and just walked past. Everything was wrong at the moment and they couldn't really process the whole thing. Lera sat in the chair in the living room, while Paroppe lied down. Paroppe fell asleep first, Lera soon after. Her headache hurt, but it wasn't as strong as before. The adrenalin had numbed it to a degree.
"Lera wake up!"
"Paroppe, what… where?" Lera looked around to see she was still at home. Paroppe was standing next to her, shaking her body to wake her up. "I…" She didn't know what to say. The nightmare she had wasn't pretty at all.
"Lera, how do you feel?"
Once she gained an awareness of her surroundings she noticed that it was too quiet.
"That was real wasn't it?"
"Yea, it was. Tell me how you are feeling?"
"I'm alright, my right arm hurts a bit, but overall fine."
She pointed to the bruised finger marks on her arm where that woman had grabbed her.
"Can you heal yourself?"
"Oh yea. I think I can."
She thought about how her body should be healed. Making it a fact of the world, of the universe, of reality. The next moment all her wounds disappeared. She moved her arm around to find that it moved like normal.
"That is really cool. How did you do it?"
"The way I think about it, is that I'm making it happen. My body should be normal and not broken."
"I don't really understand, but it works at least."
Lera stood up from the chair. Her clothing was full of sweat and blood. Paroppe was in a similar situation so she made it a fact that their clothes were clean and repaired. A few tears had fixed themselves and the blood was gone.
"I don't really know what to do… Oh I should unfreeze everyone…"
The next moment the hustle and bustle of the city was back in full force as well as a conversation between Jev and Ayanni.
"… think that it's time for me to beat you!"
"You wish Jev… Who's there!"
The two guys turn the corner to find the two girls standing there. They had their weapons at the ready, but lowered them at seeing who it was.
"Sis, Lera, what are you two doing back here? Actually how did you get back?"
Paroppe chuckled, before asking them to sit down so she and Lera could explain.
"What happened to the people that attacked you?" Jev had heard what they said and now that Lera's powers have shown him that it affects more than just individuals… Well he was freaked out.
"As I last saw they were still in the alley way." Paroppe responded.
"Nothing we can tell the guard about it now." Jev leaned back on the couch and pinched the bridge of his nose.
"In their defense, you attacked them first, Paroppe. Why didn't you just give them your money?"
"I had a hundred gold on me."
"That makes sense… At least you both are ok." Ayanni took a deep breath.
"So how long were we frozen for?" Jev was frustrated, no he was angry. He didn't show it, but if the others could hear it in his voice.
"I don't know?" Lera answered. She didn't know, but this was her fault.
"You don't know? You just walked past us to take a nap?" He jumped up walking over to Lera. "Who are you really? Did you think that you can play with us? Are we just toys to you?" Before anyone could say anything, he turned to look at his sister and Ayanni. Looking at them, back and forth switching between them.
"What are you talking about Jev?" Paroppe quickly got up and pointed her finger at her brother. "You can't talk to her like that!"
"Do you really think that she needs you to protect her? Paroppe, she has so much power, much more than I'm sure even that we can imagine. Do you really think she's innocent?"
"Seriously Jev! She hasn't hurt us or anyone else. You know that! Stop acting like she's the bad guy."
"Fine, I overreacted. but she is dangerous." He turned towards Lera. "Do you think you can control yourself?"
Lera was a bit confused by Jev's sudden outburst. She did stop time, but it wasn't on purpose. Now that she understands her powers, could she control herself? She looked at her hands. She wasn't sure about many things, but Jev pointed out a big flaw in her. She lost her memories, had to be taken care of, so then her previous self lost control. Lost herself. If she could control time of not just the city, but the world, then how long had these people been frozen before? How old was she really? She stepped back from Jev. He was right, and what he said made sense. She couldn't control herself, those feelings of guilt felt right with his words. She lost control before, that felt right.
"I can't… I'm sorry." She ran out of the living room, heading towards the door. Ayanni's hand caught her arm. She couldn't stay, she would hurt her friends. She couldn't stand that. She had to be alone. "Please…"
Jev jerked Ayanni's arm away before she broke down. Lera ran for the door once again, leaving behind the cries of her friends. She didn't know where to go, but a dark corner would be the right place. Somewhere she couldn't hurt anyone else. There was a place. Where they had climbed that hill. It was a safe place. She couldn't hurt anyone there.
She made her body appear there. The sight once again overlooked the city. It was still morning, even if she and Paroppe had fallen asleep and explained everything, time barely passed so far for the day. She fell on her butt and stared at the city.
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