Stories Hub / Mind Control / Tristan's Tale Pt. 05 / Page 2

Tristan's Tale Pt. 05

by IncomingPornDuck 04/29/16

Jules smiled. "Outside's scary as a motherfuck, sure. I don't like the idea of trying my hand against the world. It's a miracle I don't have a mental breakdown, you know? It's nuts, we just got zapped here, and now we're training like it's just the thing to do. Doesn't seem too scary, we're all people here. But stone giants?" He shook his head. "Thinkin' of the outside sends shivers down my spine. But, now, with Jade, see, that's some real power there. And beautiful too, I bet you she charmed the wits right off those creatures. You're a lucky man, Tristan."

Fred nodded sagely. "If there's one thing you and me won't ever fight on, Jules, it's women. Jade is smokin'."

Jules noticed my cheeks burning red and laughed. "Aw, lighten up. We're just poking fun at you and your girlfriend."

I looked around. "Well, what do you know, there's Jet," I said, eager to avoid talking about Jade to these guys. Things weren't settled between us - not really. And if I said anything, knowing Moleh, it would get around to everyone in under a day - probably even Jade. I wasn't looking to have that happen. Not that I knew what I wanted. Just not that.

But nonetheless, the thought of Jade brought a smile to my lips. Sometimes, you can tell where you're at in the broader context of your life. It's hard to pin it down, but there's that feeling, right? That subtle little tug, that small nudge that lets you know how you're doing.

For me, it was a lightness in my step as I'd returned from the Arch. It was the quiet, sparkling internal smile that never went away. It was the feeling whenever I felt air on my skin, as if I could really feel every moment I was in, and each one was pointing me in the same direction. Jade and I had done something amazing, and we'd done it together. Something beautiful was starting. Something so beautiful it terrified me.

But, it's strange, it was like my fear didn't even matter, that what the future held was unavoidable. I could be afraid all I wanted - afraid of things going wrong, of me making a mess of it all or of being rejected. It didn't matter. Something was happening. It was electric. I didn't want to talk about it, and definitely not to these guys. It was my little secret, one I was sharing with only one other person. The kind of secret that didn't need to be told, because it had already been said without words, shared between our eyes as we'd walked away from the stone giant grove. I wondered when I'd see her next.

I almost missed Jet as he passed by. He was dressed to the nines, as usual, in an extravagant white suit more appropriate for a regal ball than an eating commons. His slim glasses were placed primly on his nose. His black hair was pulled back in his usual short ponytail, and his long, thin sword, slightly curved at the end, hung at his side in a black leather scabbard. It was his Chi -- and although he could make it appear and disappear at will, I'd never seen the master swordsman of Caer'Aton without it.

Well - maybe not of the whole of Caer'Aton. I still hadn't met the other peoples yet, or seen the other parts. I was just in Moleh - Caer'Aton'Moleh, to be specific. Caer'Aton was a word in Shae's tongue -- Caer meant "we have fled". Aton meant "to sit". Combined, Caer'Aton meant something like "sanctuary." And Moleh was the word for human.

A distinction she needed because apparently there were entirely different buildings than the semi-crescent I'd been abducted to, housing other sentient beings. The stone giants and the half-metal birds were one thing. But other living, breathing, talking peoples? It was so crazy I couldn't even begin to wrap my mind around it.

I cleared my thoughts. "Jet!" I called out as he stepped past me.

"Yes?" he replied without stopping.

"I wanted to-"

I paused once I realized he wasn't going to turn around. I looked at him, then at my food. I'd only eaten a little since I'd spent so much time answering questions. Stifling a sigh, I wolfed down a few big bites, shoveling the food into my mouth. I downed some water, and then nodded goodbye to Fred and Jules before running to catch up with Jet. He was always the first one out, despite sitting the farthest from the door. That meant he got his food first, but still. That can't be good for your digestive system.

He'd already made it out the doors and was walking up the stairs.

"Hey, so-"

"Yes?" He cut me off, though his tone remained neutral. I grimaced inwardly. I forgot that he wasn't like most people. You had to be all efficient with him. To him, I was just another student. One he'd nearly had his class pelt with what I suspected were beanbags, earlier today, all because I was late to breakfast. Excessive? Maybe. But then again, I had the scar on my side to remind me what lengths they went to here to train you.

"I found my Chi," I said. "And brought it out." I was breathing deeply from the short run to catch up to him. The Course, I suspected, would fix that soon enough. At this point, I was still only just starting most of my classes in earnest. This was my fourth day or so of having a regular, normal schedule here.

Not that it was in any way regular or normal - it was absolutely, profoundly insane. Just, you know, consistently so.

He stopped in the hallway, and turned to face me, his face expressionless. A little tired, maybe?

"Show me," he said, pushing up his glasses. I'd mentioned it earlier to him in class. He'd told me to talk to him after class, but we'd been interrupted by a giant freaking dragon -- sorry, wyvern, according to Dante. Not that I knew what the difference was.

I looked nervously around at the empty hallway. "I'm not going to be attacked by Jasper, am I?" I remembered what had happened the last time someone took their Chi out. Granted, it had been Jade attempting to murder Derrik (which was both terrifying, and pretty hot) but I wasn't going to take any chances.

"I have given you the necessary permission," replied Jet. His hands were clasped behind his back.

Alright then. "Uh, stand back a little," I said. I didn't know how it would come out - this was all pretty new to me - and didn't want to accidentally stab him.

"Why?" he asked, raising a severe eyebrow.

"Because I might cut you on accident," I said, taking a few steps back since he didn't appear to be inclined to move.

"I am in no danger from your dagger," he replied. "I do, however, have many other more important things to do. There is a wall in my office that needs staring at, for instance. So please, show me."

I grinned. If he was expecting a dagger, he'd underestimated me. I put my attention on my Chi, that familiar part of me that I'd trained with and then finally wielded. It wasn't a place in my head, or even a familiar sensation that I had to pin down. It's hard to describe - it was just, me. I was it, but it was me being this particular thing. It was so strange to me, that in the Chi room, I'd spent all this time talking to it as if it was anything else than me. I'd been talking to myself the whole time. I'd known it, but not like how I did now, once I'd taken it out and felt how easy and fluid it was to wield.

I willed it into being, expecting to find the huge, blue-green greatsword in my hand as easily as I had in the stone giant grove.

Nothing happened.

Jet eyed me critically as my eyebrows shot up in shock. "What." he asked, making it sound like a statement, somehow.

"I-I don't know," I stammered. What was going on? I pushed my will into my Chi, but it didn't budge. It was there. It was right there, in me. As me. "I don't understand, it worked so easily before." What was happening? I concentrated again, then a third time.

Frustrated, I looked up, like a stumped student taking a test, and saw a cluster of unfamiliar stars, clumped too close together, like the Seven Sisters but brighter. The mural on the ceiling shimmered slightly, as if in the midst of a gentle breeze. The strange, waving paint gave the stars the appearance of twinkling, and I got the sense that they were mocking me. That there was a presence to the wall and it was laughing at my expense. At my inability to access my Chi.

I gritted my teeth and furiously clenched my hand open and closed, open and closed. "Come on," I muttered. "Come on."

Students were starting to file out of the meal room. Jet wasn't going to wait for me forever. Smooth as a river, he grabbed one by the shoulder, a deeply tanned older man wearing a saffron cloth wrapped around his body.

"You are a Seer, correct?" Jet asked the man, whose eyes were wide with surprise and fear at having been so directly addressed by Jet. Say what you will about Jet's excessive formalities - the guy commanded respect. Some of the people in the hallway sketched hurried bows to him as they passed.

"Y-Yes," stammered the man.

"Look at Tristan and tell me if he has found his Chi." Jet's flat tone implied that doing anything else simply wasn't an option.

The man straightened his posture, and fixed me in his gaze. "Child, have you ever had this done to you?" His voice was rich and creamy and wavered a little. Jet's presence will do that to you -- I couldn't describe it, but it was like he just imposed himself on the space around him. He held you in it.

"Yeah, once," I replied, thinking of the time Jade had Seen me. She'd recoiled, apparently overwhelmed by how much my attention was focused on her. You can't blame me, though. Jade is a warm fire in a cold and endless night. You can't help but stare, and move closer, hands outstretched toward the heat.

The older man composed himself, and then without warning, his posture stiffened. His pupils dilated.

I felt a tingling warmth spread across my body, diffusing through my skin and into me. I blinked, momentarily startled - it was the same feeling I'd felt when Jade had Seen me.

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