Gunned Down (6-7-2018)

[WP] Even the strongest magicians are scared of you. Why? Because you are the “Gunmancer”. [Link to post.]

“He sounds amazing; but, what’s a gun?” Faelys asked her friend Kerrin. The two sorceress in training sat in a courtyard at a grey stone table, sitting on grey stone seats. Dozens of other students sat around them for the lunch hour in their own color coordinated cliques. Faelys wore the white and black robes of healers, while Kerrin’s dark purple robes promised her a career as a battlemage. 

“They’re blunt like clubs or maces I guess, only smaller. But, he can use them from a distance too! And he’s so handsome,” Kerrin continued her report of the new Battle Arts instructor, Colt Ironsights.

“So, like arrows or this?” Faelys gestured two fingers away from her, as if she were flinging a playing card. A small, weak, yellow ball of fire glided towards Kerrin; but, it fizzled out before it reached her. 

“FAE!” Kerrin reprimanded her best friend. “You obviously haven’t been practicing; why am I even tutoring you on the weekends?” she asked with slight annoyance polishing her every word. Faelys shrugged with a smile.

“‘Cause free food and we’re best friends?” Kerrin giggled, and Faelys knew she was off the hook. “So that’s it? I don’t see why the headmaster was so proud to have him start teaching here this year. Everyone talks about how powerful Colt is, but his magic doesn’t sound all that impressive,” Faelyss said, but Kerrin began shaking her head halfway through her sentence. 

“No, I can’t explain it, but you have to see it! Stay here after lunch, he said someone challenged him to a duel.”

“Who challenged him?” Faelyss asked, no longer picking at the pile of red mush on her plate. Kerrin’s eyes sparkled. “Maelstrom.” Faelyss’ jaw dropped, her eyes went wide. 

“No way…” she said. “Really?” she added, in a whisper. Kerrin nodded hear head eagerly. 

“It’s true. In fact look, Maelstrom’s here already.” Kerrin pointed to a corner of the lush green courtyard. A tall, lean man wearing gold and silver robes stood in the shade of a giant oak tree with a look of complete patience on his face. He stared at nothing, while standing still as a statue. 

As far as most students, including Faelys, were concerned Maelstrom was the true head of the academy. He defeated several powerful dark wizards single-handedly over the years, but declined the posting at the academy each time it was offered to him. Every year. He spent his days wandering the school grounds occasionally dispensing advice to the students he happened by. Faelys crushed on him hard when he showed her how to be more efficient with her healing spells the previous year. Several gongs sounded around the courtyard to mark the end of the lunch, and a majority of the students moved on to their next class. Faelys remained on her stone seat along with Kerrin and about 12 other students; Faelys assumed it was the rest of Colt’s Battle Arts class. 

“Look it’s Colt!” Kerrin pointed to a short man dressed rather oddly for a sorcerer. Instead of elegant purple battle robes like Kerrin’s, Colt wore blue canvas pants and pointy black leather boots. A royal purple blanket covered his upper half, hiding his arms and hands entirely. Faelys stared at the brown stubble shading Colts’ handsome face. 

“Yeah, he’s definitely handsome,” she admitted to Kerrin. Colt walked across the yard and stood in the center of it to wait for Maelstrom. The taller sorcerer walked out of the shade and met Colt in the middle. 

“Colt told the class what rules they’re going to use.” Kerrin said. “Standard mock battle, but killing magic is allowed.” Faelyss checked the rest of the students left in the courtyard, but all of them wore purple robes. 

The two men nodded at each other then turned and walked several paces away before facing each other again. A bolt of lightning struck the ground next to Maelstrom, but neither of the men flinched. The sky darkened above the tall man, and wind began to whip around him.

“See? He’s even letting Maelstrom get warmed up first! That’s how great he is!” Kerrin cheered for her teacher. The storm around the wizard darkened and grew in intensity, lightning struck the ground around him several times with a small dust-devil swirling and growing behind him.

“So, your teacher is stupid?” Faelys teased, and both girls giggled, but a loud crack of thunder silenced them. A single lightning bolt struck the ground between the two men and served as a starting signal. The instant the lightning hit the ground both men dashed towards each other. Colt’s arms retreated under his purple flowing blanket. Lightning struck Maelstrom on the back, and both his hands began to crackle with electricity. Colt’s arms reappeared as the men neared each other, holding a small, black, weird shaped, metal club in each hand.

“Those are guns,” Kerrin whispered. All the students remained focused on the battle. The two men reached each other, and Maelstrom threw the first punch. Faelys noted Colt’s dark hair standing as he dodged Maelstrom’s charged fist. Colt moved out of the way and brought a gun up, aiming to strike Maelstrom’s chin with the butt. The action drew everyone’s attention from the growing tornado that followed Maelstrom at a turtle’s pace. The close quarters battle between the two masters carried on with magic and guns flying.

Lightning bolts assaulted the ground at Colt’s feet to keep him off balance while Maelstrom continued to throw charged punches. Colt’s fighting style was unlike anything Faelys ever saw before. She watched him materialize and disintegrate guns with ease. Every moment was calculated. She watched him try to slam Maelstrom’s temple with the butt of a gun, but Maelstrom blocked the attack. Colt halted his attack, disintegrated the gun he swung with, then twisted his body and came around with his other hand materializing a gun midway to strike Maelstrom from the other side. Even when he landed a blow on Maelstrom he dissolved the gun to make his hands that much lighter. Soon Colt began to copy Maelstrom’s strategy. He created guns in his opponent’s way and under his feet, but he was able to manifest more guns faster than Maelstrom could strike with his lightning.

After exchanging more attacks, Maelstrom found himself stumbling around the pile of guns trying to keep his balance. He took his attention off of Colt for a second to find his footing. In that second Cold ducked low and reached under his blanket with both hands. He pulled out a long black and brown gun different from the ones he used before. In a single move he swung it around to sweep Maelstrom legs out from under him, the older mage landed on a pile of guns laughing.

“HE WON!” Kerrin leapt from her seat with a cheer and ran towards Colt with the rest of the students following her, though Faelys ran straight for Maelstrom. The pile of guns disappeared as the crowd of students arrived and surrounded the two men. Colt extended a hand to help Maelstrom up as the students applauded around them.

“That was so amazing!” Kerrin said. She stood as close as she could to Colt.

“Yes, you’re very talented. It’s an honor to have you teaching here,” Maelstrom added. “I wish I could say I took it easy on you, but your mastery of your own abilities is amazing.” Colt smiled, and blushed slightly. Everyone, good and evil, in the magical community respected Maelstrom. Earning a compliment from him was like getting praise from a king. He began handing out guns to each of the students.

“Thank you. I’ve been able to summon them as long as I can remember,” Colt said, though his eyes softened. “Though that memory only goes as far back as 12 years old, nothing before that.”

“*CLICK CLICK*” Faelys pulled the trigger on the gun several times.

“What’s this for?” she asked Colt. He shrugged.

“I don’t know. No matter what guns I summon they all have those pullers, but I can’t figure them out.” Colt said.

“Have you tried putting magic through?” Faelys asked as she squeezed the puller again while lending the gun some of her magic.


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