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- Turn of Offense -

June 7th, 2013

"Damn it!"

Melchior complaint. It was the fifth time he burnt his hands trying to come up with a new spell. He looked at his notes - the mechanism was simple, yet, it was failing. Why?

"Well..." Melchior sighed, frustrated. "I think it ain't work..."

"Why do you think that?"

Melchior looked up - it was Lunia talking from behind. As usual, his countenance was serene, with a smile in his face. Melchior then looked down, upset.

"I don't know why it isn't working." Melchior replied. "The mechanism is so simple... I don't know where I am failing."

"Then... Try taking a look back to your notes again." Lunia gently answered. "May I?"

He reached out for Melchior's notebook with his right hand. Hesitantly, Melchior gave it to his current master. Lunia read the notes and smiled; then, he snapped his fingers and a black inked pen appeared. He sat on the ground near Melchior, with his legs crossed, like an Indian.

"Well... I see a small problem here." Lunia commented, black-penciling a line. "Overall, it is a well-functioning spell, but you seem to have overdone it. Take a bit easier on yourself. See... The most impressive spells aren't those which can do tons of things at the same time - the secret is a solid, well-built spell, which can be used for multiple occasions and look completely different in a snap of a fingertip. Got it?"

Then, he gave it back to Melchior, who looked amazed.

"Here you are. I think I might have solved your problem. Remember... Even in Science, fail proceeds triumph. Take your time, rest a bit and think more carefully. Your arms seem pretty injured... Take care of them first. Then, you can go back to your practice."

Lunia made a discrete reverence and left, going upstairs. Melchior then looked at his notebook. At first, his eyes widened. He was shocked.

"Was it so simple?!" He shouted. "How couldn't I have seen it?!"

Then, a grateful smile came to his face.

"Yeah..." He sighed serenely. "I have long ways to go... And Lunia is right, after all..." He gave a look to his arms, which were deeply injured. "I have to rest... Sometimes, running before you can walk doesn't bring solutions..."

That said, he slowly stood up and went upstairs to get some sleep.

***

June 14th, 2013

"Eureka!"

Melchior, at last, overcame his difficulties. He was thrilled as he had ever been.

"Finally! I got a feeling today I was going to accomplish more! I already have Fire Servant spell ready, and now I managed to make this one as well - Berserk Storm. Maaan... I rock!"

He stood up and started dancing in the middle of the living room, celebrating his success. He only stopped when Lunia's laughter could be heard.

"Oh my, oh mine!" Lunia said, slowly clapping his hands. "I sense progress here! Keep your hard work, Melchior. I think you may finish your task earlier than thought..."

Melchior smiled, pleased.

"Hey, do you want to go sightseeing?" Lunia asked. "See, there are some nice places to visit here... Also, I think you should try our Goulash Soup*... It is quite an unique, delicious Hungarian delicacy! Would you like to join me?"

"Of... Of course!" Melchior replied. "A change of scenery from time to time is healthy!"

"Then... Let's go!" Lunia said, walking to the front door.

Lunia opened the door, and Melchior followed him through. It was a cloudy day on Balatonfüred, but it didn't seem to matter that much - Melchior even preferred it, for the sunlight beams wouldn't hurt his vampiric skin.

Never in his life he felt so happy; since he found his biological parents and got accepted by them, he found himself in an uprising wave of happiness. Would it still last as long as he wanted it to be?

***

June 16th, 2013

"Maaan, I am rock and rolling now!" Melchior said, thrilled. "My third spell has been completed! I am awesome! This time... Another defensive barrier - Protective Firefly! I am the top-notch at this, ha ha!"

He heard a few footsteps coming from behind. He looked back and saw Lunia walking from a hallway to another.

"Keep up your hard work, Melchior." He said. "Listen... I am planning on taking us to the fields, so that you can get more used to the weather and get ready to face me. So... According to what I've heard, you are just missing one spell, right?"

"Yes... Master." Melchior replied.

"Very well then." Lunia said. "Tomorrow, we'll head to the fields. I hope you enjoy camping..."

***

June 23rd, 2013

"God damn it! God damn it!"

Melchior, that time, was furious. He scattered through his notes rampageously; this time, his spell didn't seem to be working. In addition, he couldn't figure out what was failing in its mechanics.  Unlike his previous spells, that one seemed too tricky for him to create.

"I can figure it out... I can't!" Melchior growled. "What's wrong with me?! I have to succeed..."

***

June 25th, 2013 - 2. a. m

It was a cold Summer night in Balatonfüred; Melchior was exhausted. His hands and arms were slightly burned, and he found it harder to breathe. He was sleeping on open field, covered in a thick, furry blanket.
In his mind, there was a forest, much darker and scarier than the Carpathian Mountains*; the wind was blowing mercilessly in his face, howling in his ears. The temperature which once was cold suddenly went higher and higher.

He tried to scream, but no sound came out of his chords; he opened his eyes, scared. All he could see was fire - he was surrounded by it! He looked up and saw a large shadow getting closer and closer. Its eyes were golden with a sinister glow. It opened up a sinister smile, showing him its sharp teeth. Melchior felt paralyzed - he couldn't move a single muscle.

Unable to scream or run, Melchior could just witness the creature's face approaching - it was a familiar face, yet it looked far more sinister than he remembered. It was...

"Lunia!" Melchior screamed, waking up.

Suddenly, it all felt slower for Melchior - the air was hotter and hotter; he was trapped in a fire circle just like he dreamt. And the wicked creature was staring at him - its skin was dark and tainted, and it smile was just as wicked and perverse as Melchior saw in his dreams. Elemental Alchemist was finding it increasingly harder to breathe, and he had no doubt it was Lunia in front of him.

The wicked man, who was Lunia, stepped away from Melchior and raised his hand up, preparing himself to cast a spell. Melchior's eyes widened. End was near.

"No..." He whispered. "No!"

He took a deep breath and gathered all strength he had left on his body, trying to stand up and run. Lunia threw the fireball and Melchior was able to crawl away from it on the last second. Then, he slowly stood up, feeling increasingly weaker.

"Prepare yourself..." Lunia hissed, wicked. "Fight or die!"

Elemental Alchemist hesitated; how could he fight against Lunia?

"I... I can't!" Melchior sadly thought. "I don't want to... What should I do?"

"Magyar Harag**!" Lunia screamed, casting a furious fire spell against Melchior.

The entire fire circle answered Lunia's command, gathering together and flying towards Elemental Alchemist as one, large fire pillar. He flew a few meters away from Lunia, falling roughly on the ground.

"Looks like... There's no choice then!" Melchior growled, spitting blood on the grassy ground.

Lunia slowly walked towards him, and Elemental Alchemist stood up, giving him a fierce look.

"Very well." Melchior said, breathless. "I'll fight you, Lunia."

Melchior closed his eyes and a dark red light shone upon him; the light took the shape of a large Quetzal, involving Melchior and giving him his completely revamped Elemental Alchemist suit - instead of clothes, he was now wearing a black armor with dark red and red trims, which protected his torso, chest, which had the Blue Moon Knights symbol engraved, waist, legs and his left arm, protected by a gauntlet, which had the astrological symbol of Aquarius engraved. It also featured a large black cape and a pair of dark red leather gloves.

"It will be fire against fire, then!" Melchior shouted. "Fire Servant!"

Melchior clapped his hand strongly and pointed it fast to the ground, making a Fire Elemental appear, then, he pointed both hands ahead and the Servant became a large fireball, which hit Lunia.

The Elemental Lord leaned his back due to the impact. He seemed injured, but he wasn't. Instead, he smiled got more wicked.

"Very good." He hissed. "...But not good enough!"

He violently leaned his back ahead and two fire spheres appeared in his hand.

"Démoni Tüz***!" Lunia shouted.

He pointed his arms upwards and a fire dome was casted. Then, it took the shape of a demon and came after Melchior, who had to think quickly on his feet.

"Protective Firefly!" Melchior shouted.

A small firefly appeared and it suddenly became a large fire  barrier, which blocked Lunia's first wave.

"I won't be beaten so easily!" Melchior replied. "I don't know what's wrong with you, Lunia, but I will heal you! Berserker Storm!"

Melchior pointed his hands to the fire in front of him, including Lunia's demon; surprisingly, Melchior was able not only to dissolve it, but to reuse it to his own benefit, creating a large amount of swords, which he threw against Lunia.

"Kijárat****." Lunia slowly and gravely said, pointing his right hand ahead.
The swords stopped at Lunia's command. Then, he sinisterly smiled at Melchior.

"Child... Run away." He hissed. "You will perish here. Katonák a tüz*****!"

The sword were converted in soldiers, which ran towards Melchior. He took a deep breath and looked at them furiously.

"I won't." Melchior replied, pointing his hands ahead. "I hope this works... Everblazing Raven!"

Finally, Elemental Alchemist conjured his masterpiece - a large raven, which had two purposes. The first was to surround Melchior in a protective circle; then, it exploded, repelling the swords and reaching a large area, willing to hurt Lunia and take that possession out.

The fire rapidly disappeared; Melchior looked ahead and saw... Nothing.

"What?!" He shouted, shocked. "Where is he?! Lunia! Lunia, where are you?!

"Hahahahahaha!" Melchior heard a grave laughter. "Look above!"

Melchior looked up and saw nothing but flames; he could hear nothing more than his painful screams and Lunia's laughter. He felt nothing but pain. Still... He didn't want to give up.

"I... I am not done." Elemental Alchemist said, gnashing his teeth. "I have to come back to Guatemala as Master of the four elements!"

He stood up, ready to face the Hungarian Hellhound.

"Everblazing Raven!" Melchior shouted.

"Hahahahaha... Hellhound's Core!" Lunia shouted.

Melchior's spell wouldn't be able to protect him against Lunia's masterpiece. Melchior witnessed the four largest fiery hounds he had ever seen in his life engulfing his flames and surrounding him. He casted a few fireballs, but it was of no use; the four hounds jumped on him and exploded, making Elemental Alchemist fly upwards really injured at the verge of losing consciousness.

The time felt slower for him, as if he'd never stop going upwards. He suddenly felt a colder breeze in his face.

"Is that... Cold?" Melchior thought. "Could it be... Kimi? Would he have come... To rescue me?"

A third person appeared on the scene; the grass froze, and an ice rink was being conjured. A man appeared, skating on ice as fast as he could. Melchior was falling faster and faster, and the man got him in his arms.

"Ouf! Got you!" He said. Then, he turned his attention to Lunia. "What the hell?! What are you doing?! Are you trying to murder a fellow Warlock?!"

Lunia's breath was heavier than usual.

"Leave us." He hissed. "I have been assigned to this task."

"By who?!" Melchior's savior asked. "I know this witch craft and I tell you - you are stronger than it, Lunia Kárdos Kárpatí! Fight your way out of this nightmare!"

Lunia replied with a fireball, which was repelled by the mysterious conjurer's ice barrier.

"If you want me to use violence to defend this kid... You bet I will!"

That said, the man dropped Melchior on the ice rink and created two large ice shards, which he threw against Lunia repeatedly. The sound of ice breaking slowly woke Melchior up.

"W-What?" He whispered in pain. "W-where..."

 Melchior looked ahead. He saw Lunia deeply injured, with his entire body covered in shadows, except his face.

"I... I am sorry... Melchior!" Lunia screamed clearly in pain. "I... I didn't want to... It was... It was the... The Danish Demon! She did this to me! Argh!"

He put his hands in his head, screaming in pain.

"Hang on, Lunia!" The mysterious man said. "Let me help you! I am sure my brother and I..."

"Leave it! He won't make it! You won't as well!" Lunia growled painfully.

"How... How did this happen?" Melchior asked sadly.

Lunia looked at Melchior with sorrow flowing through his eyes. His countenance, yet full of pain, was full of sadness and regret.

"I... It was... That night... When she came after you." Lunia said. "I protected you, remember? You fainted... 
She tried to murder you with her Elementals... she almost did it, but I... I conjured my Core and jumped in front of you to receive... The rest of the damage... I weakened myself by accident and... She tainted me! Argh!"

Lunia started screaming like an injured wild boar. Melchior and the other man witnessed the taint taking control of Lunia's mind again.

"She said!... She said!... 'Your time... Has come...' Argh!... 'Your mind.... Your mind belongs to me! Will it... Will it be worth it?! Will it?!' "

"Resist, Lunia!" Melchior was desperately screaming. "Resist, damn it!"

He stood up, closing his eyes. Tears came out of them, falling in his Apprentice Bracelet; the mysterious man looked at him, shocked. The tears reacted to the bracelet's powers and the Fire Seal began to glow intensively.

"I will set you free of your curse!" Melchior shouted. "Berserker Storm!"

Melchior conjured one large spear, which he threw against Lunia. He fell on his knees right afterwards, and his blurred sight only allowed him to see multiple ice shards coming along with his spell, hitting Lunia, which was engulfed in a dense steam cloud.

After that, he saw nothing more. He fainted.

***
June 25th, 2013 - 4h a. m.

Melchior opened his eyes  slowly and painfully. He was on the ground, feeling the grass tickle his body. He was breathing slowly, with effort.

"Hey... Are you okay?" It was the mysterious man's voice once more.

Melchior moved his eyes to the right, looking to a man around his mid 20's, white skinned, rounded-faced, with big, rounded, gentle dark-green eyes, slightly wide nose and lips, dark-blond stubble, short, straight, dark blond hair, which featured a small topknot. He was wearing a large, dark blue leather mantle, which was covering his body almost completely, except for his gloves, which were dark blue as well.

"You were quite brave..." He gently said to Melchior. "You seem to be very fund of Lunia. Kak tebya zovut******?"

That phrase... Melchior had heard it before, a long, long time ago. Yet, he knew which phrase was, and in which language is was been asked - the man was speaking Russian, and asking for his name.

"Menya... Menya zovut... Melchior." Elemental Alchemist replied. He kept looking to the man, waiting for an answer.

"Menya zovut Stanislaus Soloyev Karkaroff. You can call me Stanislaus or Soloyev. " The mysterious man said. "Wish I had met you under other circumstances, but I am afraid fate has brought me here sooner."
Melchior slowly moved his head to the left, looking for Lunia. His eyes widened in both shock and sadness as he found the Elemental Lord of Fire, Ignition and Power lying on the ground unconscious and severely hurt.

"Don't worry about him..." Stanislaus said. "He will be fine. The Danish Demon is really dangerous... I believe you are the child of Mirabelle and Ushuriel, right?"

Melchior slowly nodded his head.

"Yes." Melchior slowly said.

"So... You must be the apprentice my brother is awaiting for." Stanislaus said. "The only reason you met me first was because I happened to be here. Truth is, I was just waiting for your training to be completed to take you to Russia..."

Stanislaus stopped talking when he saw Melchior's eyes full of tears.

"Is... Is Lunia dead?" Melchior sadly asked. "Are you lying to me so that I won't feel guilty in case he dies?"

"That was not your fault - the Danish Demon did it." Stanislaus said. "Come one... I'll help you get up..."
Stanislaus helped Melchior to stay on his feet; he then looked at his Bracelet, surprised.

"Looks like you have made it!" Stanislaus' voice drove Melchior's attention to his artifact. "See? The Fire Seal is glowing - you have finished your training on Fire Mastery, even if Lunia hasn't done the oath..."

At the time Stanislaus said his last word, Lunia was standing up in front of him. For the first time in his life, he opened his eyes to Melchior - they were brown-colored with a tone closer to red. He was immensely hurt, but he wanted to do what was right.

I... Lunia Kárdos Kárpatí, Elemental... Elemental Lord of Fire...of my age, give thee,... Melchior Raven-Hayes,... the certitude of Mastery of... Fire Element and... And its sub-classes, Ignition... and Power. May the bearer of this Elemental Gift.... Does good deeds... And good actions... With the power... Fully given."

He finished his sentence and gave a gentle smile to Melchior before losing consciousness once more; Stanislaus ran towards him, holding him tight and preventing his fall.

"Both of you are extremely hurt." Stanislaus said. "I'll take you to Budapest so that you can be given proper medical care. Don't worry about your Seals, Melchior - I'll unlock them as soon as you are feeling better. My brother lent me the Key in case I ever needed it."


To Be Continued...

***

Glossary:

(*): Traditional Hungarian dish.
(**): "Fire Wrath" in Hungarian
(***): "Demonic Fire" in Hungarian
(****): "Exit" in Hungarian
(*****): "Soldiers of Fire" in Hungarian
(******): "What's your name?" in Russian

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