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- A Road Leads to... The Blood Brothers: Russian Style! (Part Two) -

July 13th, 2013

Omsk, Siberia – Russia — 5:00 a. m.


Finally, Melchior could lie on bed; his arms and legs were pretty injured, and he struggled to remove all ice shards in it. While he tried to cleanse his wounds, the images of that first day of training were still ruining wild in his mind. Three hours had passed since Antoniev dismissed him and still Melchior found it too difficult to rest.

He recalled the pain he felt when he last Seal was blocked; he also remembered how hard it was to stand on his feet and breathe; his body felt extremely cold when exposed to the harsh conditions of the Siberian tundra; the piercing gave given by Antoniev didn’t make things easier as well.

Soloyev built an ice dome at Antoniev’s command, and Melchior realized something at that moment. He realized that Antoniev’s methods were certainly going to be far more unusual than those he had come across so far. Also, it certainly meant those methods would be harsher and more painful than ever.

Unfortunately, he was right — Antoniev didn’t make things easier, and struck him many times with his fierce ice spells; Melchior tried to force himself to create something with ice, but he failed multiple times, and it had taken Soloyev’s intervention for Melchior not end up reduced to ashes.

“Do you think I am going to teach you spells or something of that kind? Nyet!” Antoniev’s voice echoed in Melchior’s mind along with his piercing stare. “When it comes to master Ice, you have to feel it! Spells are just shallow statements regarding the manipulation of an Element! Get this straight and I won’t be hitting you so hard in the next weeks!”

Finally, he finished taking all ice shards off his body. He was breathing rougher than usual, and it seemed as each and every breath he took was like attempting to move a thick wall of concrete with the move of his lungs. He closed his eyes and tried to rest.

He got only half hour of sleep before Antoniev entered his room and conjured cold water straight to his face, rudely waking him up.

“You can sleep when you die, Melchior.” Antoniev said. “Get up and get dressed properly; it’s time for you to face Siberia — and me once again.”



***

July 18th, 2013

As the days passed by, Melchior finally got used to the cold wind and icy grounds of Siberia; also, he was finally able to stand and breathe normally. Still, he was having the hardest time attempting to conjure a single thing with Ice.

Antoniev was staring at him at the top of a big ice shard, which he conjured prior to Melchior’s arrival. The Russian gave him a cold stare as Elemental Alchemist tried to do something about his current situation. Frustrated, he kept looking at the ground, trying to feel the cold instead of simply command it.

“Do you want to know why you’re having that amount of trouble with Ice?” Antoniev asked coldly. “It’s because of your nature, Melchior.”

“What do you mean with that?” He asked. “I am doing the best I can!”

“Yes and no, my rebellious apprentice.” Antoniev replied, sitting on an existing depression slightly above the top of his ice shard. “You think you are doing the best you can. Frankly, you are not. What I meant with your nature is the fact you are half-Vampire. Vampires are not only weak towards sunlight — reason which made me bring you here.  Vampires also have a hard time with Ice, and you know why?”

“No, I don’t.” Melchior angrily replied. “Tell me why, then! So that I don’t feel this quest is being in vain!”

Antoniev’s countenance suddenly changed from cold to angry; his eyes revealed a sinister white glow which made Melchior shut his mouth at the same moment. The Russian Elemental Lord slid down his ice shard and stood in front of it, staring at Melchior as he slowly walked towards him.

“Magical Ice is not like the regular thing.” Antoniev explained. “It cannot be melted by regular sources of heat neither can be broken by means of regular strength or common weaponry. So, you can imagine that something that can be converted from liquid to solid with ease and pierce multiple foes is quite terrifying for a kind which gets paralyzed if those shards get into their hearts, can’t you?”

“Well… Now I get it.” Melchior replied. “The reason I am having difficulties with Ice is that my instincts are telling me to do otherwise.”

“Exactly, Melchior; Camazotz’s curse within you takes over the control when you see Ice, for it is like you are manipulating something which can kill you more times than save your life.” Antoniev said, stopping his walking exactly on Melchior’s left. “If you want to balance your Vampire and Warlock natures, you better learn how to manipulate Ice and Water properly, or you’ll be turned in a full-fledged Vampire in a matter of years. I have only one more thing…”

This time, he leaned close to Melchior’s ear.

“This quest will only be in vain if you make this choice. Quit complaining and start working for real or else you’ll be wasting my time.”

That said he walked some steps past Melchior and turned around, facing the Elemental Alchemist again.

“As I once said to you, you have to feel the Ice.” Antoniev said. “Try again, Melchior. And this time, try harder than before.”

Antoniev removed one of his gloves – a chain-mailed gauntlet with snowflake details attached to his wrist area – exposing his bare hand to the cold climate of Siberia. Then, he grabbed a handful of snow near his feet and held it away from his body.

“Usually, Ice and Water are related to our feelings, to our emotions.” The Ice Elemental Lord said.
He then modified the snow in his hands — it started to melt magically and became water, which danced in the air as Antoniev commanded it.

“Water is ever-changing, ever-flowing, mutable… It brings life, joy, hope and peace. Water is connected to cleansing and purifying everything it touches, hence it can be used as a weapon despite its gentle nature.”

He commanded the water flow to come back to his hand, and he closed it. A few seconds after, he showed Melchior a perfect ice crystal in the middle of his bare hand.

“Ice, on the other hand, comes from the fear, the concealment, the hatred and other emotions which make us feel trapped and sometimes hopeless. Ice comes from our desire to free ourselves from the sadness within and prevail, even if life is being hard on us. That’s why I keep telling you to feel instead of think. Sometimes, that’s all our spells need — to come truly from what we feel, not from what we might have learned in books.  Experience does matter, and feeling this experience is another way to become a better Warlock each day. Now, considering everything I said and done, can you try harder this time?”

Melchior nodded, agreeing with Antoniev. Then, he removed one of his woolen gloves and took a small handful of snow with it. He closed his eyes and reflected on what Antoniev has said; Melchior closed his hand and focused on his memories, in a time when he lived a life of oppression and abuse, not being able to be free to use his powers at his own will. A time when his foster mother controlled his life and he always felt depressed and hopeless.

He then felt his energy flowing to his bare hand and reaching his palm, and it began to lose temperature as the thoughts became stronger and clearer in his mind. Then, he opened his eyes and his bare hand just to see that he was able to create a perfect Ice crystal.

He then looked at Antoniev and spotted a smile in the Russian’s face.

“Now you get it.” Antoniev said. “I can see some light in the end of the tunnel for you, Melchior, but don’t rest on that — it is time for you to learn how to do more with this power given to you.”

As he finished his sentence, he focused part of his energy into the ice crystal in his hand; then, he threw it to the snowy ground and a large, dragon-esque cryo-elemental appeared right in front of Melchior’s eyes. He gasped as he saw the icy creature appear, and got even more scared when he saw Antoniev’s grim smile at the scene.

“Don’t be shy, Melchior. It is just an ice golem. You can handle it!” The Ice Lord said with a smile.

Melchior took a deep breath and touched the snowy ground; he then focused his Mana System’s energy to his palms and lifted a large amount of snow, which he converted to icy spikes, preparing himself for another battle round…


***

August 3rd, 2013

“Argh!”

Melchior screamed in pain as his body was harshly thrown on the icy ground; he was severely wounded by an icy shard, which pierced him below his ribs on the right side of his body. The impact and depth of the wound made it even harder to breathe, and Melchior was almost on the edge of his capacities.

“Stand up and fight!” Antoniev commanded with his arms crossed. “This quest will only be lost if you choose it to be this way!”

Melchior slowly and painfully began to stand up. He grabbed the shard and used all the strength he had to remove it in a single move. He stood on his knees with blood leaking from his wounds and dripping from his mouth.

He finally stood up and gave Antoniev an angry gaze straight into the bottom of his eyes; Elemental Alchemist closed his eyes, focused and conjured a large ice shard, which he threw on Antoniev. The Russian rapidly evaded it and looked back at Melchior with a smile in his face.

“You made your choice — and it was a wise one. Let’s see if you can keep it up, Melchior Raven-Hayes…”


To Be Continued…

- A Road Leads to... The Blood Brothers: Russian Style! (Part One) -

July 4th, 2013

Moscow, Russia - 2 p. m.

"Hey, Maya... It seems your cell is off, but I am going to leave this message anyways. Happy birthday, soul sister. I wish you the best things in the world - unfortunately, I can't wish you myself, for you already have Thalas, hehe... Well, I wish I can finish this training fast, so that I can see you guys. Enjoy your birthday party tomorrow and send me picture, right? Bye!"

Melchior turned his cellphone off with a serene, yet sad countenance; he missed another friend's birthday because of his intensive training. The next birthdays would be Altagracia's and Anael's; yet those dates were too far, Elemental Alchemist was still concerned - would his training be finished by at that time?

Then, someone knocked on his door.

"Melchior, are you ready?" It was Antoniev talking. "The train will leave in one hour."

"I am going, Antoniev! Sorry for the delay!" Melchior apologized.

Before leaving his room, he conjured several more winter clothes, which he put in his bag. Then, he opened the door; Antoniev was there, waiting for him.

"Let's go." The Russian said. 


Melchior nodded, grabbing his belongings and following Antoniev all the way out of his home. Soloyev was already outside, waiting for them. As he left the place alongside the Russian brothers, Melchior noticed the skies above Moscow slightly paler, cloudier and wintry than the day before. He also noticed that both brothers were wearing the same woolen overcoats, certainly hiding their Elemental Masters outfits. He took a deep breath and kept moving.

They walked just a few steps outside the house, leading Melchior towards a back alley, where the darkness could hide the trio — and allow them to perform some magic. The Russian brothers, as they felt they were hidden enough, conjured an icy dimensional port and asked Melchior to get inside. He obeyed the brothers and got inside.

It took him three steps to go from Antoniev’s apartment to Moscow’s main station; he heard the steps of both Antoniev and Soloyev shortly after, and the portal closed in a light shiver breeze as if it had never existed there.

Soloyev pointed at an empty bench where they could seat and wait for the Trans-Siberian train to arrive, and so they did. Melchior then looked at the biggest clock near him — it was around 2:15 p.m., meaning that they still had 45 minutes spare. Melchior was sitting on the middle of the bench, with Soloyev to his right and Antoniev to his left.

“Very well… We are in time, just as I like.” Antoniev commented seeming pleased. “I just hope this journey don’t last longer than needed.”

He then gave a look to his brother Soloyev.

“Brother, is the Key at hand?” He asked coldly. “I think it’s going to be better if Melchior gets used to his Ice Seal blocked while we travel.”

That comment made Melchior gasp. He rapidly remembered Nathalie’s speech back when he was in Ireland.

“…Last but not least, the Water and Ice Seal is located on our palms. When locked, people may overheat, for we stop sweating and our sensibility is diminished. When overcharged, some of us may become blind, and our bones freeze, which makes them easier to break, yet the flesh which covers it has become quite a powerful shield…”

Antoniev then looked at Melchior, noticing a change in his countenance; his gaze crossed Melchior’s, and that gave the Russian enough reason to smile mischievously at him.

“Don’t worry.” Antoniev said. “I won’t block them all… Yet.”

With that said, Soloyev handed Antoniev his Elemental Key Seal.

“…After all, you need at least one Element to defend yourself.” Antoniev kept talking while examining the Key’s condition. “I am just going to lock the other Seals and see what you can do about that. Though my methods seem… Unusual, I am not sadistic. Well, at least I do not see myself as such.”

Melchior kept looking at Antoniev; for him, seemed that something was bothering the Russian more than he’d admit, as if he was hiding something for him. What could it be? What could be so disturbing that’d keep Vladmir Antoniev Karkaroff looking so gloom?



***

July 6th, 2013

Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia — 7:30 p. m.


“Wake up, Melchior.”

Melchior’s eyes slowly began opening as the sun set on the wintry forest scenario around the train. Elemental Alchemist sat on the bed, in which he was formerly sleeping, responding to the voice’s command. As his eyes got used to the dim light, he realized Antoniev was staring directly at the bottom of his eyes. As the light on the walls glew dim and warm, the light in Antoniev’s eyes seemed colder and paler than ever, giving Melchior a chill into his spine.

“I see that you are a night creature… I should have guessed.” He said with a serious, yet fascinated countenance. “Fascinating. You live on the blood of others, so Ushuriel and Mirabelle told me, yet you can eat regular food. But it seems to be changing, right? Your feeding habits, so to speak…”

“Yes… It seems to be changing.” Melchior replied, surprised. “It seems that my vampiric nature is growing stronger each day, and I might not be able to feed on regular food sometime in the future… I just hope this future doesn’t come faster than planned.”

“Well… It is something else I’ll have to worry while we are out there.” Antoniev commented, still giving Melchior a contemplative gaze. “Fortunately, my brother got some blood packs for you to keep going. However, given your hybrid nature, it may be unwise to block all your Seals at once. So, here is my proposal…”

Antoniev held Melchior’s wrist, showing the Elemental Seals at it. At that point, three out of four were glowing bright and colorful — the Air, Earth and Fire Seals. The Ice Elemental Lord was holding the Elemental Key Seal in his other hand, pointing at the Ice Seal.

“I am glad you didn’t seek for me before Lunia.” Antoniev said, looking at the Bracelet. “Actually, I am glad you left me as your last pick. You see, had you learnt how to master Ice before all other Elements, you surely might have ended up killed. As you know, the Ice Seal, when blocked, overheats your body, and that can be quite deadly for Warlocks and even worse for those who are Vampires, because your blood would start boiling and you’d be close to death, considering that you wouldn’t end up killed. With that given, I’ll gradually lock your Elemental seals, so that you get used to not having these Elements at hand. I’ll block one today and the next one will be locked three days from now and so on to the next one. Understood?”

“Well… Yes. It seems the best option.” Melchior uneasily replied. “I just hope your method work.”

“It has to. I’ve got no other options. Those are the drawbacks of being unique — sometimes, you got to be creative to bypass the disadvantages.”

With that said, Antoniev positioned his Key right above the Lightning Seal; before Melchior could say anything, Antoniev locked it down, shutting off Melchior’s ability to use any kind of Lightning-base spell. He felt his mind slowing down a bit, and his sight became slightly blurry.

“Damn!” Melchior protested, speaking slower than usual. “This hurts…”

“Certainly…” Antoniev said, stepping back. “You better get some rest, Melchior. Try not to do something that might give you a hard time to your sight and to your mind. I’ll go after Soloyev — he’s been out of our cabinet for quite some time. Stay here and call me if you need.”


Antoniev opened the cabinet’s door and went to the left, seeking for his brother. Melchior then reached out for his cell phone. Slowly, he texted a message — another message addressed to Maya, giving his best wishes and resenting the fact he couldn’t be there to celebrate her birthday. When he finished, he closed his eyes and tried to rest a bit more…

***

July 9th, 2013

Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia — 7:00 a. m.


The forests seemed scarcer and scarcer as the train advanced further to the East; were once lied trees, there was snow and glimpses of mountains and enormous ice shards on the horizon. Melchior was still asleep, and his cabinet was protected from daylight thanks to the thick tapestry covering the windows. Antoniev was also asleep, using his overcoat as a blanket. This time, the only person awaken in the cabinet was Soloyev, and he chose to block Melchior’s Fire Seal.

As he turned the key in the locking direction, he felt a change in Melchior’s pulse. His heartbeat decreased, and the youngest Blood Brother felt uneasy as Melchior’s breath also changed, as it tried to compensate the lockdown. However, it took almost half hour for Melchior’s breath become regular again, calming Soloyev down. The green-eyed Russian sat back in his place and used his overcoat as a blanket to himself, trying to rest just like Melchior and Antoniev…



***

July 12th, 2013

Omsk, Siberia – Russia — 6:45 p. m.


Melchior screamed out in pain as he tried to breathe; he woke up feeling his Earth Seal being locked up at the same time the train stopped moving;  the trio had finally arrived in the Siberian town of Omsk. Before they could go outside, the Blood Brothers did what they could to calm Melchior down and ease his breath.

“Calm down, Melchior, calm down!” Soloyev said. “I know it is painful, but I’ll have to haste your training, so this pain is a necessary one. Please, just hear me out and try to ease your breath, alright?”

Antoniev kept himself in silence, watching as his young brother tried to comfort and calm the Elemental Alchemist down. The Ice Elemental Lord crossed his arms near his chest and watched. Melchior was getting calmer and calmer, until he could finally stand up without troubles. Elemental Alchemist, at that rate, felt weaker than usual, wobbling and trembling as he tried to walk towards the train’s exit. Elemental Alchemist, for the first time since he started the whole trip, began to question whether he was going to be able to learn everything Antoniev had to teach or if Siberia was meant to be his last stop…


To Be Continued…

Hello Everyone!


Well, it's been quite a long time since I've posted here... A little more than a year, it seems.

I confess I lost a bit of interest in this story, plus I didn't have the time I needed to write and prepare the Chapters. However, I noticed that this Blog still received visits and I had some activity in my Facebook page -- therefore, I am moving to continue The Blue Moon Knights' saga.

Since it stopped on Season 8, I am planning to finish it and post the remaining chapters as soon as I can. Regarding 2015's Summer Summit, it is going to be postponed to July-August (North Hemisphere Summertime), so that this year is also regarded with one.

Also, I am planning on doing all the missing covers of the Chapters posted so far, along with other arts related to the series. I hope you guys like it, and I'll keep the Blog active as much as I can. The Journals will be back sometime around August-September, but there won't as many posts as it used to. 

Stay tuned for more!

Sincerely,
Iridium Blade

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