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- A Road Leads To... The Spanish Conquistadora! (Part One) -

April 14th, 2013

Somewhere between France and Spain

Three days of ride took Melchior from United Kingdom to Western Europe once more; from the windows of his wagon, he could see the wilderness of the British island and part of London and Newcastle's landscapes. He could also admire the Marche Channel and the beaches from northern France.

Hours before, Melchior saw himself passing through the streets of the capital of the France - Paris, one of the most famous cities on the world.

"Thalas' homeland..." He thought while making his way through Paris. "It is really beautiful at night, as most people describe it... I hope someday I'll have time to fully appreciate it. Right now... I have business to deal with."

That said, he close the curtains of his wagon and tried to get himself some sleep; before he could close his eyes, his phone rang. It was Balthazar; at that time, Melchior had crossed the border between France and Spain.

"Hello?" Melchior replied slightly sleepy.

"Olá meu amigo!" Balthazar said. "I mean, hello my friend! Well, Nathalie told me you have finished your training with her, congratulations!"

"Thanks, Balthazar..." Melchior replied.

"Well, I assume you are heading to Spain now, aren't you?" The Portuguese man asked.

"Yes, I am." Melchior replied. "I have already took the train, and I believe I have crossed the French border right now..."

"I see..." Balthazar replied. "Very well, I told miss Cynthia de Las Astúrias about you. She's eagerly waiting for your arrival at Málaga, Spain. I must say you should take care; she is a tough one."

"Well... I wouldn't expect less..." Melchior anxiously answered. "Anything else? I'd really love to have some hours of sleep."

"Oh, okay! Sorry!" Balthazar clumsily answered. "I just wanted to give you a hands up, though. Have a good night of sleep, Melchior!"

Balthazar hung off, and Melchior sighed of tiredness. Then, he let his head fall on his pillow, closed his eyes and slept.

***

Málaga, Spain - 10h a. m.

Melchior got out of the iron horse slightly tired, for he hasn't quite had a great night of sleep. Prior to his arrival in Malaga, he heard strange sounds coming from outside his wagon. He saw shadows on the corridor, yet there was none awaken and walking there, except the guard.

"I must have been my wicked mind playing tricks on me." Melchior thought.

He put his hood on his head and headed out of the station. Like in Ireland, he had nothing except a name and the certainty of finding this person, yet he had no idea of how Cynthia de Las Asturias physically was neither if she knew how or who he was.

"There I go again..." Melchior thought. "I just hope she doesn't bump on me or something..."

Malaga was very different from Edimbrock and Dublin - it had Arabic buildings, including really colorful Mosques and courts. Somehow, the city felt more like home for Melchior because of most of its historical buildings, which reminisced the historical parts of Guatemala City and San Salvador.

There was much more people on the streets than the previous cities, but some of them were beggars, for Spain was in a large economic and social crisis. Melchior tried not to stare at people that much, yet he was always gazing at large crowds in search of Cynthia.

Then, the strong scent of fresh tomatoes and the crescent sound of stomps caught his attention to one alley to his left.

"What the...?" He asked.

"Dia de Toros!" He heard a crowd scream. "Dia de Toros!"

Then, his eyes got wider; there were a lot of Spanish covered in tomato coming towards him, followed by more than a dozen strong and horned bulls, which were charging the mass of people.

"How wonderful..." He said with irony and disappointment in his voice.

Then, he started running for his life without an idea of where the people would be leading the bulls. Suddenly, he discovered the bulls were being guided towards the smallest alleys of the town, which made Melchior's life worse, for he was being forced to run towards that direction.

"I am hating this country already!" Melchior screamed, running.

Then, he looked upwards and saw a stick on a building. There were some boxes a few steps to his front, and he jumped on those in order to get impulse and reach the safest spot he had at disposal. As soon as he climbed on it, the raging flock of bulls destroyed the boxes and kept going.

"Phew..." He sighed.

Then, he saw a lady on one of the largest bulls; she was medium-sized to tall, thin, white-skinned and light red, almost orange-haired. Her eyes were light blue, her eyebrows were thin and beautifully designed; she was wearing red lipstick, strong eyeliners and mascara and a small tiara with a red rose. Her dress was black and tied on her torso to half of her tights, becoming a large, three-layered, dark-green skirt with light green details. She was wearing dark green heeled shoes and a small armor which covered her chest and her shoulders.

To Melchior's surprise, the woman was acting like nothing unusual was happening; as the bulls continued their stampede, she was putting more lipstick on her slightly thick lips. Melchior watched her doing this and, at the heat of the moment, jumped on the back of one bull.

"Crap! I hope I hadn't pissed him off!" Melchior thought.

Then, he looked at her again ; she was looking at him very surprised. He felt her gaze on the bottom of his eyes, and he slightly held back, hesitantly.

"Follow me, boy!" She screamed without doing much moves with her arms. "Don't worry about the bulls, they won't hurt you."

"How can you be so sure?" Melchior asked as he jumped from bull to bull.

"If I wasn't that confident, boy... I couldn't call myself Elemental Mistress of the Earth." She replied mischievously.

That was the answer Melchior needed! Suddenly, the bulls got faster, and Melchior was losing the sight of that woman.

"Cynthia De Las Asturias!" He whispered.

Nothing else mattered now, for he couldn't lose track of Cynthia. He jumped in every single back he saw until he came closer to the largest bull, in which Cynthia was sitting. He looked ahead and realized the alley was getting wider - they were near some sort of center or largest street, which meant he had no time to lose.

He jumped as farther as he could, finally reaching Cynthia's bull. She looked at him really surprised; then, she looked to her right, seeing the largest street. She then snapped her left hand's fingers and, before a surprised and tired Melchior, all the other bulls disappeared, becoming a thin, light green fog, which disappeared in a matter of seconds.

Her bull, however, kept riding East, leading them elsewhere, to an ancient part of the city, near a Medieval castle. When the bull reached a large manor just a few meters away from the castle, it stopped moving.

"Bienvenido a España, muchacho." She said in a serene, yet steady tone. "What brings you here?"

Melchior was still shocked to give her a straightforward answer. She bounced her shoulders and half closed her eyes.

"Well, I assume you already know who I am." She said. "My name is Cynthia De Las Astúrias, also known as The Elemental Mistress of Earth, Wood and Stone. To some people, my alias is The Spanish Conquistadora. And I assume you are Melchior Raven-Hayes, right?"

Melchior agreed with his head. Then she got out of the bull and helped him doing so.

"I hope you had plenty of time to rest while coming into my country, youngster." She said, snapping her fingers and making the large bull disappear. "Because I don't think I'll give you much rest; as a matter of fact, I intent to give you the best and fastest training I can in order to hand you properly to the next Elemental Lords - Fire and Ice and Water."

"Which are...?" Melchior asked hesitantly. "Christ, she sounds just like Thalas!" He thought.

"The Hungarian Lunia Kárdos Kárpatí and the Russian Vladimir Antoniev Karkaroff." Cynthia replied. "As soon as you leave my training, both of them will be notified. And the choice is yours to head either Hungary or Russia first."

"Nice..." Melchior commented.

"Very well..." Cynthia said. "Come inside, leave your luggage on your room - which has a green flower on its door -, find something more comfortable to dress and then come outside. I'll be here with two horses, waiting for you."

Melchior agreed with his head and obeyed Cynthia's command. About twenty minutes later, he was back, wearing a different pair of jeans, short-sleeved, white shirt and a pair of beige sandals. On top of all of it, there was his black hooded mantle to cover his body from the Sun.

"Well, everything is set." Cynthia said. "Jump on the black horse and we are ready to go."

Melchior obeyed, following Cynthia an her white horse in a ride to the southeast, outside the town. On the meantime, Cynthia decided to break the ice.

"I beg your pardon if I had been rude to you, Melchior." Cynthia said. "I am not used to have guests, not even disciples, on my home. Most people are not that interested on the art of mastering Earth-based spells, for they think we are weak Warlocks in search of protecting Nature only. That's far from the truth, I must tell you. Also, there's something about you which bothers me."

"What?" Melchior asked a bit frightened.

"Do you have some kind of weakness to Sunlight?" She asked. "I think you have, for you use long clothes during the day... Though we have could winters in Spain, our days are hot and our nights are dense. I find it very unusual, not to say incredibly strange that you do so. If you are... You know... A forbidden creature, so to speak, I'd like you to learn my gifts as soon and as fast as possible so that I won't get myself into any troubles. Got it?"

"Yes..." Melchior replied slightly upset.

"Great." Cynthia answered. "It'll just take us a few hours before we arrive at your training place.

***

Southeast of Malaga, Spain - 6h p. m.

Cynthia and Melchior arrived at a small villa a few kilometers away from Malaga; certainly, it was one of Cynthia's property.

"This will be your home for the next days." Cynthia said, dismounting her horse. "Now, let me tell you how it works - I assume you have mastered Air and its sub-classes, haven't you?"
Melchior agreed with his head.

"Excellent." Cynthia replied. "In order to see how much power you bear, I won't lock any Seal of yours. Which means you can attack me with any Element you desire."

"For real?" Melchior asked, surprised.

Cynthia agreed with her head, and Melchior's jaw dropped. Then, he concentrated energy in his hand and prepared to attack. The Elemental Mistress of Earth realized it and prepared herself to battle.

"Raging Starlight!" He screamed, throwing an intense beam of energy.

Cynthia smiled mischievously, raising her arms in front of her body, with her hand palms facing down. Suddenly, green energy formed on her palms and went straight into the soil.

"Nature's Defense!" She screamed.

The energy then opened holes on the soil and made dense, strong vines grow, protecting Cynthia from Melchior's assault, yet it caused some damages to the barrier.

"Seriously?" Cynthia asked. "You dare attacking an Earth Warlock with Lightning? Don't you know I can easily counter this Element, yet you are a master?!"

"Well..." Melchior replied, surprised. "That I did not know!"

Cynthia then created a green energy sphere, which she threw on Melchior; he tried to raise an energy barrier, but he saw it be completely destroyed by a stone shower, created by this green energy sphere. With no defenses, Melchior was hit four times by the magical stones.

"Now you know." Cynthia replied. "See, Elements have a counter cycle, so to speak. For example, my Element, which is Earth, is weak against Fire, but it counters Lightning. Your mastered Element, Lightning, counters Ice naturally, but loses most battles against Earth. Fire is strong against Earth, but weak against Ice. Finally, Ice is weak against Lightning, but strong against Fire. Understood?"

"Yes, I did..." Melchior said. "Ouch..." He complained when he stood up. "...That will leave a mark."

"This will be one out of many." Cynthia replied, crossing her arms. "Now, prepare yourself; these days of training will be the most intense of your life so far!"


To be Continued...

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