Grandles point of view from the day of the attack.

I should have seen this one coming.

I knew that there was a war going on in Sleepy Wood between the Assassins and the Archers, but I wouldn't have imagined that the Assassins would want to take us out so soon. Sadly, I was wrong, they did want to take us out so soon, and by the time I found out they were invading we were bound to lose. The best thing we could do was retreat...

I teleported to the West of Elenia, where all the Assassins were coming in, in a flash.

"Grandle!" I heard someone yell behind me. I turned as fast as my old body would let me.

"Asher?" I asked.

"Don't worry," the man said, "I'm on your side."

"But you're an assassin." I said.

"But my son is a magician." he told me. Ah, yes. This is the boys father. I had forgotten.

"Oh, yes. I remember."

"Well, we have time to remember things later. For now, I think we should get the kids out of here."

"I agree." I said. "But first..."

I turned to where all the Assassins were entering into Elenia. I shouldn't use this attack around other magicians... but right now, lives are in danger.

I focused as much mana into my hands as I could manage, and began to release it, the air becoming foggy with a large amount of mana power.

I closed my eyes and began to concentrate all that mana into a thick, compacted shield. I could feel all the mana around me rush into one space, spreading out as far as I could see. Once I thought it was compacted enough, I stopped concentrating and opened my eyes. In front of me was a very visible blue wall. On the other side was assassins, hundreds of them, blocked from entering into Elenia.

"Okay, that's helpful." Asher said, "But now we gotta take care of the ones inside before they take care of us."

"Yes." I said.

Asher began to run into the thick woods of Elenia at a pace that my eyes had trouble following. I was, indeed, getting very old.

I teleported into the houses of Elenia, taking out the Assassins threatening the citizens with a flick of my wrist. They all couldn't have been over rank fifty. They were east enough for me to take out.

I had to hurry. I knew that the wall wasn't invincible. I was limited on time.

Sometime nearing the fiftieth house I ran into Asher again.

"Asher?" I asked, "What are you doing in here? I wouldn't have expected you to check the houses..."

I heard struggling coming from inside a closet.

"What...?" I asked.

"Seal." I heard Asher say. But... that didn't sound like Asher.

The man turned around, and like I had guessed, it was not Asher.

"The Black Magician." I heaved under my breath.

"Why hello, brother." He said. You could see the back of him beginning to turn into a black robe as the mana disguising him began to flow off.

"You tricked me." I stated smoothly.

"Why, yes." he said.

"Asher is in the closet, correct?"

"Why, yes, again." he answered, "Be my guest to take him out."

I nodded and walked over to the closet and opened one of the two doors that sealed the opening shut. Inside, indeed, was Asher, passed out on the floor.

"You knocked him out?" I asked.

"Yes." he answered simply.

My mouth shut into a tight line as I slowly bent over and place a hand on his shoulder. I focused my mana into a teleport that would bring us far away from my brother, but instead nothing happened. My mouth opened up a little.

"Can't use your magic?" he asked, "How sad."

I then remembered, when he was pretending to be Asher...

"Asher?" I asked, "What are you doing in here? I wouldn't have expected you to check the houses..."

I heard struggling coming from inside a closet.

"What...?" I asked.

"Seal." I heard Asher say. But... that didn't sound like Asher.

The man turned around, and like I had guessed, it was not Asher...

"Ah." I said, realization dawning inside of me, "You sealed away my mana power."

"Yes." he answered.

"So what do you plan on doing to me?" I asked him.

"Oh, you'll decide that." he said to me.

"Excuse me?" I asked, wondering if I heard him correctly.

"One of you dies." he said, "You choose."

"So is this a sick game or does it have meaning?" I asked. I was curious as to what he was pulling. Only one of us? Why isn't he just killing us both?

"Grandle..." I heard Asher whisper on the floor, "He inflicted a lot of damage on me... I think I'm poisoned..." he said. I understood immediately.

"You want to go instead of me?" I asked. He nodded weakly in response.

"Black Magician." I said. He nodded his head.

"Your decision is made?" he asked.

"Yes." I answered. The magician smiled, and I turned from his eyes when I saw light out of the corner of my vision. Asher was glowing, his entire body lit with golden rays, purer than the sun. I watched for a few moments before the light exploded, in one fast moment, and Asher was gone. I see death on a daily basis, that's why I was able to go through this experience with so much as a second thought... but I had never seen that before.

"I'll let you go this time." the Dark Magician told me, "But there are only so many lives that you will sacrifice for your own."

At the end of that thought, he teleported in a flash of black magic. He was gone, but his message was still there, ringing in my head.

He's going to keep killing others until I take their place. But why does he want me dead... maybe he plans on taking over Elenia? That's the only reason I can muster up... Maybe he chose this way because it's the easiest: it could take out all of the four leaders...

I looked at the place Asher had disappeared from. His son was already so broken up inside... what would this do to him?

Same time, but the Dark Magicians' point of view.

I would have Grandle dead soon enough. But I didn't put Grandle and Asher in that situation for no reason...

His son was the most talented boy I had ever seen: even more talented than me. That was troublesome, having someone who could become stronger than me in time. So I planned on making him mine. No need to let that raw talent and youth go to waste.

I had just left Grandle alone, and teleported to Kerning City: more specifically, to that little ball of talents' house. I would be leaving something there to... help him along my path.

Inside no one was home, which was good, that meant I didn't have to kill anyone. I slowly walked into the boys room: which was rather small, but his room, nonetheless. There was but a closet, a bed, and a bookshelf, which was loaded with tons of books. On the top of the bookshelf I placed an owl statue. The owls painted on eyes turned toward me and stared.

"What are you doing?" it asked.

"Leaving you here." I told it. "If you put the boy who lives here on the path to darkness, I'll give you your body back, limbs and all." I watched as its eye widened slightly, the dried pain spreading out.

"You will?" it asked.

"Yes. But if you fail, you will remain that statue forever. No makeups." I told it. It kept on staring at me.

"So you want this boy as your new little servant?"

"I want this boy as my new apprentice." I said, "And you're going to help me if you ever want to live again."

It paused, thinking about my offer. "You've got a deal." it said.

"Good."

I then teleported out of my house. Making this war spread was not easy, but I was going to make it happen. And beside me would be the most powerful magician on this planet, otherwise me, of course.

Finally back to the Present

I began to walk down the hallway, closing the door to the two dead bodies behind me and headed to my room. There was something there that was needed before I continued with my plan.

I was at my room soon enough, it being only a few turns away. I opened the door to the mostly empty room that my life had been revolving around ever since Grandle had made me join the military. Every plan that crossed my mind, every thought that brought me closer to my goal had been made here. Once I had taken a step in, the door shut behind me. My head turned to look at the top of the old wooden bookshelf, the owl statue still siting there. Perfect...

Sighing, I walked up to the shelf and grabbed it.

"What's the rush?" it asked.

"My plans are falling into place." I told him, "The old man finally began to trust me. I'll be able to get into his room now, and when that happens I'm going to pretend to confirm that he trusts me. In reality, I'll just be waiting for someone to come in and tell Grandle about the bodies that they found lying in the hall or somewhere: the ones that, in the near future, will be pawns for my getting to the one hundred and eightieth rank, and once I've gotten there it will be easy to steal Grandles fifth book. I'll go with Grandle to cheek out the bodies, I'll say that I'm going to go get more help, then I'll take the book and leave this place and become the best magician who ever lived. Than I'll kill Grandle."

"You thought this threw more than I had imagined you would." it commented, "I knew you were keeping your plans to yourself, but... they're so... dark."

"You never thought it." I said, "But you were expecting it."

"Yes, I was. You've always been good at reading me." it said, "Is that another one of your special talents?"

"Anyone can do it if you look close enough."

"Well I'm lucky I can see at all."

I chuckled. "You haven't seemed to notice that I wasn't talking about-" I paused listening to something that my ears had faintly picked up. "Wait..."

Quickly slipping the owl into my pocket, I opened the door to see someone making a right turn onto another hallway. Someone had heard something they weren't supposed to. I teleported over to the end of the long hall only to see a girl, a Warrior by the looks of it, running away from me. Probably going to go tell someone...

With a wave of my staff she was quickly disposed of- and I left the corpse a bloody mess in the hall. I only needed to kill a few more people before the one hundred and eightieth rank would be mine.

Figuring I needed to kill some people and rank up before anyone found the body, I opened the door that was closest to me and counted the heads of the surprised people. Ten of them... that would be easy enough. I waved my staff and began to close the door to muffle the sounds of the peoples screams as my Genesis killed everyone in that room. I walked down to the next door and killed everyone in that room, too, the same way.

"Hey... did you hear a scream?" a voice from down some hallway asked.

"Yeah I did... it came from over here..." a different voice answered, followed by the sound of some heavy footsteps. That meant that they were possibly wearing metal shoes... Warriors, perhaps?

"Wait, dude, should we go tell someone, call for backup, maybe?" the one who had spoken first asked. Backup? That meant they were guards. No Warrior would ever even think of calling backup to help them out. They'd rather die.

"Don't be a sissy! Someone was probably just pulling a prank on someone..."

Use where their voices came from, I was able to find out which hallway they were in, and I silently slipped into the corner of the wall, right at the turning point of the hallways. A plan on how to use these guys to my advantage bounced around inside my head as I crouched down onto my knees, placing my hands on the ground.

These guards would take a left turn into this hallway, walking towards me: where they heard the scream come from. Before they turned left, I would expel some of my mana through my palms and direct it through the floor and onto the other side of the hallway, and by using it I could speed up the particles in the floor and cause it to explode in one blindingly fast movement. This would cause them to turn to the right instead of to the left so they could quickly investigate the explosion, leaving me unnoticed. In the time it takes them to come to some sort of conclusion as the what happened and turn around, I'll have already slipped into the hallway they came from, and into a hopefully empty room. If there's someone in there... I'll just have to use mana to rearrange the particles in their throats into some strange combination that left them unable the speak. Maybe form both of their vocal chords together. Quick, easy and effective. Whatever makes it so that they can't scream, I'm fine with.

"You know what, I'm calling backup. There's no way that the scream I heard was a prank scream. That was a 'I'm choking and dieing' kind of scream. I have a feeling..."

"You always have a feeling." the other interrupted him, "And you always are wrong. Don't worry about it."

They were close enough by then, about five feet from taking the turn. I pushed a rather large amount of mana through my palms and focused on directing it quickly through the floor, and out the other end of the hallway. I let the mana charge the floor, making it hot, and in a flash of white light there was nothing but smoke coming from that direction.

"What was that?" One asked, stepping to the right, but taking no further movement towards the smoke. Wait... aren't you going to go cheek it out?

He took a step forwards, and then another, his second friend trailing closely behind him. Not what I was expecting... but the smoke will clear soon, and then they'll find out it was nothing quickly. I have to get moving while they don't know... no matter how close they are...

I got up and began to slowly walk towards the hallway in which these people came. But then something happened.

My foot nudged a pebble.

Yes, out of all the ways for them to find out I was there, it was from the small 'click' of a pebble being overturned. They both flung themselves around a whipped out a gun.

"Hold still!" They both yelled. I froze. Dammit.

"Code red, we've got a murderer on our hands. Hall sixty seven. Requesting backup." The one that had been sure that no one was here said.

I needed a new plan. He was calling for backup, which meant I had more people to kill. I could run and lessen the chances of getting killed... but then again, I could stay here, kill these two people, wait for more people to come, kill them, and depending on how many people are there... I could rank up, and then go on with my plan. I liked the second plan one better.

"Okay." I said, putting my hands in the air, "You've got me. I kill quite a few people in this hallway."

The one who had been scared of going down here shoved his gun farther in my direction, fear written on his face, unlike the calm friend of his who stood nice and cool next to him, and asked, "Why? Why did you kill those people?"

"Oh, dear, you found me but a minute ago and now the interrogation starts. A tad bit early don't you think?" I asked mockingly. I had to make them angry... make them put their defenses down but trying to raise their attack. In the end, I would kill them.

"Why?" he asked, louder.

"Well, because it was fun." I said.

I watched as his back erected, his eyes widened, and his gun slightly lowered for a second. "What do you mean?" he asked.

"You can clearly see that I'm young. I'm fourteen. I've seen enough death in my life to witness a fellow human get shot down and not give a second glance to them, not feel anything towards them, not even blink when they crumble down, everything for them ending." I need to sound like a monster... someone who should die right here, right now... I need them both dead before the backup gets here. I'm running out of time.

"And eventually, I got used to seeing people die right in front of me. And then, after some time, I began to like it. I began to grow an affection towards the death of others. And then, after all of that, I began to crave it. I craved the death and suffering of all my surrounding friends. I wanted to see them scream, rolling on the floor in agony. And today, I got what I wanted."

I bowed, my speech over. It was all a lie, of course, there was only one person on Victoria who was quite that sick. But they seemed to be falling for it: the cool and collected ones face going red and the smaller boy trembling.

"You monster!" the smaller one yelled, charging towards me. Perfect.

I turned out of the way, and then right when he passed me by, I put a quick hand on his shoulder and then pulled away and faced the taller one. I didn't want to see the younger boys body just give out. It was the way my mother had died, and I never had to see it again.

I had put a very, very small amount of mana into the boys shoulder, which traveled to his brain, and stopped all thought process, making the boy go brain dead. His heart stopped, no longer receiving the messages your brain would normally send your heart without your knowledge, and his digestive system would slow to a halt. He would shut down, painlessly.

"Leon!" the taller one shouted running over to his friends side, ignoring me momentarily. "Leon!"

"This 'Leon' is dead." I pointed out, looking straight at the man while he had a mental break down, "Stop calling his name."

"You monster!" he called out, holding up his gun. He fired.

I smiled at his action. Way to fall right into my trap.

Mana surrounded my body as I summoned Magic Armor. Magic Armor is a simple technique that's existed for... hundreds of years. You focus the mana around your body and continually add more, forcing it into the same place around until it compacts and hardens. It limits your movement at first, but as you practice you can layer the mana into strong sheets surrounding your body, as normal metal Warrior armor would wear, so that you can move more freely. But as you stop focusing on compressing the mana, it'll begin to flow away, making your shield weaker until it's nonexistent. In the time that the mana is compressed, it's sort of like plexiglass. Strong, but it will crack. As time goes by, it turns into regular glass. Weaker, and offers little protection. After that, it's like paper.

The bullet ricocheted off of the thick, blue shield, a large crack forming in the solid mana. I watched as the bullet hit the one who fired it in the neck, closer to the right, causing the body to fall to the floor. I stood and stared for a few seconds, making sure that there was no life left in either of them. They didn't move.

Well, it's safe to say that they're taken care of.

It didn't go exactly how I wanted it to go, but now all I have to do is wait for the backup. I'm so close to leveling...five guards should be enough. I'll let the rest live so that they can get the news spread to Grandle.

I walked down the hallway, and placed a mana bomb on the floor. That should take care of any guards who came around. Walking back, I hid in the hallway I wanted to hide in a while ago, but never ended up doing so as my plan failed. I opened the door to the nearest room and went in so that I wasn't in plain sight. Sighing, I took the owl out of my pocket.

"I heard your little speech back there." it said.

"Well I heard it, too, believe it or not." I said back.

"Your sarcasm hurts."

"Well so does yours."

It was silent after that for a while. I thought it was going to go on until I heard someone through my door, the guards, hopefully blowing up, that anyone made an action, but the owl decided otherwise.

"So." it asked, "What are you going to do after you get your book?"

I looked down at it. "What do you mean? I'm going to read it of course. Become stronger."

"That's it?"

"What do you mean?" I asked again.

"You're just going to get stronger. But you still won't be the strongest."

I sighed, having already thought this threw. I had decided that I would need more than myself to take down the master. But I was interested with where this was going... "And what do you think I should do about this problem?"

The beak of the white fiberglass owl curved up into what could possibly be a smirk. "You'd do anything to kill the old man?"

"Yes."

"No matter how unspeakably evil it may be?"

"Depends on how many people end up dieing." I answered smoothly.

"No one." It said.

"You sure?"

"Maybe a few."

"I'm listening."

It chuckled, pleased that I was listening to what it had to say. "The Dark Magician."

"Excuse me?" I asked.

"Become the apprentice of the Black Magician, and you'll never have to worry about dieing, losing a battle, or anything like that." the smirk widened, "You'll be invincible."

I opened my mouth to speak, but then I heard footsteps and voices outside of the door. And then...

Bam.

"Holly shit!" one called.

"Oh my god!" called another.

"Call for back up!"

But I wasn't listening. I was paying attention to the power folwing into my body, and the misty words flowing around my head. Level up.

"Wait are those more bodies?"

"Are these the people who sent out the message for backup?"

"Yes they are. The call was from number eighty nine. These people are number eighty nine and ninety. The murderer they spoke of is no where in sight. He could be anywhere by now, and they also didn't give us a single detail as to what he looked like."

Well, the conversation I was having would have to wait til later. Right now, I had something far more important to do.

I walked to the door, slipping the owl into my pocket, and slowly opened it, stopping when I had just enough room to slip out. I could have teleported, but teleporting gives off a small flash of light. With these people alert, they would, without a doubt, catch me. More like kill me.

I walked into the hall, and put on a show.

"What?" I asked nobody, looking down at the bodies. The guards spun around, holding up their guns immediately, fingers on the trigger. "Who did this?"

They looked at one another before lowering their guns slightly. "Number and ranking." one asked.

"Number: Six hundred and sixty six. Ranking: One seventy nine." I answered, lying about my ranking, summoning my staff in the process, my voice rising in false anger, "Now answer my question! All I hear is a loud boom, I come out here... and there's bodies everywhere! Who did this?"

"Relax kid, we don't know." he said. "They called for backup. Whoever they needed backup for made sure that they were taken care of before the backup got here."

I lowered my staff, and looked at the bodies, my forehead creasing. "This... I can only think of two possibilities right now." I explained, "One: There's a traitor here. Two: Someone from the other side's here."

"You're right kid." he said. "Better keep your guard up."

"Right."

"Look, I'll go get master Grandle, and then we'll sort this all out." he said, turning to leave.

"No." I said, causing him to stop in his tracks. "I'll teleport there, it'll be faster. You keep an eye out for this killer."

He did a quick one eighty, looked to his troops who nodded to him, and then nodded to me. "Sure thing, kid, whatever gets this situation cleared out faster."

I nodded back to him and then, in one quick flash, I was gone.

A/n- a longer chapter. You're all leaping for joy! Well, enjoy, point out mistakes, all that good stuff. Review. REVIEW. You must. Point out mistakes...