40 Spar and Supernatural

The rest of the trip was silent. Dred seemed like someone who preferred the silence, so although he looked awkward, he kept his mouth shut. Savine's attention was more on her surroundings, so she was silent as well.

Eventually, they arrived at the empty warehouse. Savine definitely expected something run down and barely standing, but the building she saw was anything but.

It was newly built and well-maintained, with a few rows of logs and planks and some furniture lying around.

"Since we don't have much stuff, there's really nothing to keep here," Dred said. "Hence - empty."

"Alright. I'd hate to ruin your effort so I'll be careful with my spells."

Savine picked up two random planks and stacked them against each other, making a triangle.

"As for you, you're gonna start over there and you're going to rush this plank. Topple it over however you can."

"Aight," Dred said, getting ready.

"Don't hold back."

Dred nodded and assumed a low pose – at ease, pondering.

Savine stood a few steps behind the two planks and stared.

Dred dashed in immediately, traveling five steps in a matter of seconds.

Savine got to casting, but she made sure to add a one or two second delay before every one of her spells.

A sword materialized in the air and thrust towards Dred's chest. The latter was surprised, but he didn't panic for much and quickly held his shield up. The sword was blocked, but it instantly separated into two and attacked Dred from both sides.

To avoid getting hit, Dred needed to swing both his shield and axe outwards. With his chest wide open, Savine dashed in, as if she was going to tackle him. Dred saw that, and lifted his feet to kick Savine away, but Savine stopped and simply waved her Vasa at her.

Dred's eyes panicked at what Savine was doing, but before he could put his hands before his chest, a mass of air that she was gathering slammed into him at the speed of a tropical storm. Dred floated in the air for a few seconds before falling on the ground with a thud.

"Could you see the spell I was going for?" Savine asked, surprised at what she just witnessed.

"What are you talking about, young lady?"

"Before I hit you with that mass of air, you held your hand in front of you, as if you could see what was coming. But air is invisible."

Dred got up to his feet and sighed.

"Seeing your wand, I just felt like some attack was coming at me."

Either Dred was a very good liar or maybe he was just telling the truth. But Savine felt like she needed to dig deeper.

"Really? An experienced veteran like you, not knowing that just by raising my Vasa, I cannot simply spew out a spell at you. There's always a delay."

This was true, but for Savine who could construct a spell in milliseconds, it wasn't even worth calling it a delay.

"Young lady, I've never fought mages, but I've seen them fight plenty of times in camps. They don't cast spells half as fast as you. It's just, my body was screaming at me that there was something coming."

Savine hummed. She picked up the two pieces of metal on the ground and merged it together.

"Alright, let's continue," she said, sword hanging from her hand. "Whenever you're ready."

Dred assumed a low pose once again – this time more serious and more focuses. He was thinking hard, and Savine allowed that.

Once again, he dashed in, and once again, Savine met him with a sword to his chest. But this time, Dred parried the sword's attack and before it could bounce back at him, he jump-dived forward, attempting to crash into the planks.

A mass of air materialized at his side, ready to slam him away from the plank. Once again, Dred seemed to know it was coming, but since he was airborne, it was impossible for him to avoid the attack.

However, he was still close enough to take a swing at it so that's what he did. He was grabbing the axe from its very tip and he swung at the perfect timing. Savine looked at it and realized that it would reach one of the planks by the tightest margin. It was truly a miracle situation.

Savine grabbed one plank and pulled it a toe towards herself. Dred's swing missed, and his large body flew past Savine crashing onto the warehouse's floor. It seemed to be a pretty bad fall.

"Aurgh! Fuck!"

Though the triangle was a bit uneven now, it was still standing.

"Close one. Let's do one more try."

Grumbling, Dred walked 10 steps away from the triangle.

He was getting ready to dash in, but this time, Savine took the initiative.

She gathered mass of air to Dred's side and sent it towards him. But this time, she gestured her Vasa at a different spot. She was acting as if she was trying to attack him from the left, but the mass of air was coming from the right.

But as always, Dred knew where the gathered air was. He dodged appropriately and glared at where the next spell was coming. Savine continued bombarding him with spells. Never once, Dred was hit by them. The only reason Savine managed to hit him on the first try was because he was taking her too lightly, and on the second try, because he had nowhere to dodge.

But with his feet firmly on the ground and with his mind working on full alert, it was impossible to hit Dred with spells like these. It did keep him away from the triangle, but he was definitely trying something soon.

'Let's increase the difficulty a bit.'

She stopped trying to hit him with air and took control over the sword. It hovered in the air, the same way a knight would hold it and it performed a downward swing. Dred blocked it and struck at it with his axe. He seemed to be searching for where the other spell was coming, since Savine could use two spells at a time.

However, Savine had no intention to use two spells. Her attention was fully on the sword.

The sword flew low and swung at his leg. Dred jumped backwards, but the sword stopped mid-swing and thrust forward. Dred held up his shield to block, but once again, the sword ignored the laws on momentum and swung at Dred from the back.

This time, there was no way for him to dodge it. The sword reached his neck, but just before it made contact, it stopped completely. This was the reason why Savine could do practice matches, despite Jibril's seal. She had zero intention of hurting Dred in the slightest.

"Young lady…" Dred groaned. "That's… not fair."

Of course it was unfair. All of Dred's life, he believed that if a sword was swinging at him at full speed, it needed to complete its movement. It could never stop and switch directions like Savine's sword did. He never dealt with anything that broke the fundamental laws of the world.

"A decent mage will always be unpredictable," Savine shrugged. "And besides, you're the same, as a mage yourself."


Dred looked genuinely confused. Savine could only assume he didn't know himself.

"What do you mean?"

"You can sense mana, right? Little wisps of power moving and gathering in the air, forming a spell. Well, of course you know that. You've known your whole life, probably. I assume you never became a proper mage since the mana you could absorb was too little. Hence, it was never a threat to your life and all."


"Though… I am confused. You acted as if you wanted to keep it a secret from me, but you didn't want to take my spells head on so you can deceive me."

"I… never tried to hide anything from you, young lady," Dred said. "And I don't know if I can sense mana, or whatever you say I'm doing."

Savine cocked her head.

"Then what can you do?"

Dred hesitated. 


"I just… I can feel where danger comes from. Not just mages, even a sword coming from behind my head, I can sense it as if I have an eye on my back. All these lightning tattoos," Dred said, showing his hand. "I wouldn't have gotten any of them without this sense of mine."

Savine was surprised.

"And it never fails you?"

"Only when the danger's too big," Dred said. "My senses become overflooded with danger if maybe a mage's about to torch the whole place I'm standing in. Usually I run as far away as possible until my senses become normal, but back when something similar happened, I couldn't sense an arrow coming towards my shoulder."

Dred then showed the star shaped scar on his left shoulder.

The more Savine heard, the more it sounded like a supernatural power. But that was supposed to be not possible, since this world already had mages. There was no world where the two coexisted. It was because the thing that allowed supernatural powers to exist and mana, the two were like oil and water.

Savine fell in thought.

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