Realm Wars
Part I
Chapter Six

The days flew past as White raced against time to learn all the skills. Somehow, he had felt that he knew them all, somewhere in the back of his head, were the shadows of these memories, yet it was impossible to summon them. Day by day, he marveled at this new world of magic blooming in front of him. He shook with glee as he accomplished each step, casting each spell perfectly, and each time entering a higher level of magic.

And it was during this time, that he had grown to like Kuro. She would stand at one side whenever she was free, watching him practicing spells and then clap happily when he had succeeded. And when he failed the attempt, she would be there to console him. Sometimes, he was too tired to even lift himself from the bed and Kuro would feed him in bed. White felt like a baby, but there was nothing he could do.

When White was injured during the many duels with Omsil, Kuro would rush forward to bandadge him. The healing spells could not possibly patch up the wounds caused by a fellow powerful mage. Yet, he would recover fast. And all the time while Kuro was bandadging him, White would blush constantly.

White would sometimes sit by the cliff and wonder at the trickling stream below. He wondered what Kevin was doing now. How much had he changed during the two years? How much had the world changed? He urgently wanted to know, but he knew he had a more urgent responsibility here. If he failed the attempt to ward off the invaders, there would be no way he could visit them again. They would die.

Finally, the crucial day arrived. White turned in his bed, awaking and stretched his arms. He yawned tiredly and sat up. White positioned himself cross-legged and started his meditation. A powerful mage requires a very strong will and meditation was to way to increase and push the boundary further. He calmly closed his eyes and willed himself into his body, forcing his essence to shrink into his mortal shell. He then constructed a mental plane for the final battle.

"The final stage, the most important one is to destroy yourself. To do that, you must enter your mind and destroy the evil in you. By accomplishing it, you will not only have the entire power source to your own, increasing your strength but also have a stronger will for you are cleaned of all mortal undesirable thoughts."

White muttered under his breath, and his imaginary body in the mental plane shook and trembled strongly. Then it split and broke into two, the blast sending them in opposite directions.

White rubbed his eyes and stood up. He was dressed in a white cloak. Not only that. All of him was white. And the other part of him was black. They stood apart, fists clenched, eyes locked on each other.

It was a significant battle. If White died and Black won, Lord Sather would awake an evil mage. There would be no hope for the world left. Omsil took precautions not to tell Kuro about this. He had noticed the increasingly close relationship between the two and did not want his daughter to be worried.

"Hullo, Whitie."

White nodded his head, his eyes never leaving the enemy.

"Good to talk to myself. My other self. I feel so good, you know. Truly and purely evil. It makes me so strong. All this evil compressed inside." Black tried his neck and fists, though he knew the fight was not going to be physical.

White did not bother to answer and lunged his first attack. Black, naturally linked in telepathy with White, felt it instantly and brought his will forward to block the blow. The air sizzled around them. There was a blue aura around White and a green one encasing Black within.

"Man, this gonna be fun. You know what? I am going to win. And when I do so, the next thing I gonna do is to bed Kuro. She wouldn't even resist me. Ever."

White did not felt anger. He was incapable of it and he knew Black was making use of that fact.

He brought his fists together and concentrated his aura around them. The blue aura shrank to a bright pulsating glow around the fists. White look up and stared into the opponent's eyes. Black was doing the same, and returned a menacing look.

The blue light flared strongly and White felt Black preparing to strike. He leapt up and forward, plunging both fists towards the opponent. Black thrust his feet apart and prepared to return the blows. Their fists came into contact.

Blue and green lights shone and clashed as the two mages met. Their fists were now fused to the other's and both had no intention of parting. In between the two fists, were the shells of the two aura. They both knew it was the crucial moment and gathered their will. White concentrated all his strength into his mind and then sent them rushing into his fists. Black did the same and the auras shone brighter than before.

It was a tug of war. The two auras pushed at each other, moving forward and backwards. The stronger aura would push into the enemy's body only to weaken and be pushed back to the fists by the opposing aura. White was sweating heavily now. He dared not relax. A slight mistake would sent the enemy aura blasting into him and destroying his existence. He closed his eyes and bit his lips, pushing his aura further.

The battle was ending soon and both mages knew it. They could not last any longer. Their vital energies were both running out and the capable one, the lucky one would have a little portion more than his enemy. And this little bit of magic would destroy the enemy.

White shivered of fatigue as he saw the end of the battle drawing nearer. He mentally checked his energy level and saw it draining to the bottom. He went to check on Black's energy and he knew he was going to lose. If he was not wrong, if it was not a trick of the eye, Black seemed to have a little bit more than him.

And of this fact, Black knew it. He was grinning, smirking, even when he himself was shivering too. The two auras were faltering and shimmering. White felt empty inside. What would happen to Kuro and Omsil? They would not know of the victory of the enemy. Would Black kill them?

"White… you … should know that … I would never kill them. Not … not until I have a go with Ku … Kuro."

His words struck White deeply and it was this mistake, this falter that shut down his aura. The green aura burst forth with finally no obstruction and gushed through White. The searing pain struck him as he burnt away under the green magic. White fell to his knees before Black, clutching his chest as he coughed and sputtered. Black stood by laughing.

Already, White's arms were vanishing. Slowly, bit by bit, White was losing more of his essence. He wondered dreamily whether there was an afterlife when he died. Would there be somewhere to accommodate his wandering soul? Black crutched beside him, resting, replenishing his lost energy. He was the winner.

As White gradually grew weaker, Black became stronger. Whatever was lost from White went to Black. They were an equation. White stared at this towering enemy and grew aware that his vision was blurring. Black stood up and bent forward, whispering into White's ears.

"Your mistake, your weakness my friend, is love. Do you know that you could have won me? You don't think so? No? If you had resisted me a little further, I would be the one seeing my own destruction, not you. Not you … Love is a fatal weakness. Remember that. And no, there is no place for a dead soul. Not even one for a dead mage."

White clenched his teeth as he slumped to the ground. His feet were vanishing now. He had a last resort now. But he could not let Black discover it. He had to cover it. White began to think of Kuro. All of her, masking his secret plan underneath.

"Still thinking of her? Even when you are dying? Well, do not fret. I will help you look after her. That is, until I finish with her."

White winced as he struggled to stay calm.

"Don't be mad. Comeon. You are me. I am you. We are both one. Why can't we share right? What are brothers for?"

White continued watching as the last of him disappeared into thin air. Then he struck, dealing his final blow. He summoned his remaining energy and the energy that was transferred into Black. He tugged at the lost energy with his entire will. Black was shocked and immediately scanned White's mind for his motive. Yet, there was nothing he could do even if he would to know what would befall upon him.

Black felt himself expanding, the energy he had absorbed from White was struggling to escape from his body. White on the other hand was busy pouring his entire will and strength into the job. Finally, Black saw his chest burst open as the energy stored inside him tore and shot back into White. He felt all his power flow away, draining fast as he crumpled to the ground. White had won after all.