41 Elemental Tendencies
"Hein, are you even listening to me?" A middle aged man wearing worn green robes rubbed his face in exasperation. Sitting across from him was his red haired son, who was staring into the fire cooking their freshly caught rabbit.
"...Beautiful," Hein couldn't but speak his admiration. "Fire is truly the most magnificent of all the elements!"
Reaching out, Hein suddenly stuck his hand into the fire, letting the flames lick over his arm. To someone else, this would have been a sign of insanity, but the father who was sitting across merely watched without much reaction.
Common sense would dictate that the young man's arm would at the very least be horribly burned from such a stupid stunt. However, instead of consuming his arm, the flames slowly melded around it, crawling up his skin without damaging it.
A red film of energy grew on Hein's body, and like throwing oil onto a fire, the flames seemed attracted to this energy, completely consuming the young man in moments.
Instead of screaming in pain, Hein simply sat cross legged and worked to absorb the heat, as tongues of fire flickered off his skin and clothes. Surprisingly, he was not suffering at all. Even his clothes seemed unaffected by the inferno.
Unperturbed by the fact that his son was literally on fire, the middle aged man stood up, showcasing a rather large ox like build, with bronze skin and brown hair. Hein, from his position in the flames, looked up at his father, a smirk on his face.
"Dad, this feeling is amazing. It feels as if I have the power to... burn everything. Yes! I WILL SET THE WORLD ABLAZE! AHAHAHAHA-OW! The boy's father smacked him on top of his head, breaking his concentration, and extinguishing the fire that had been swelling around his body.
"Ow ow ow, dad! Why did you hit me! Hein yelped, feeling aggrieved. He was simply enjoying the feeling of power the flames provided him.
The father sighed once again. His son had similar episodes on their way back to their village. He knew it was due to his rapid and forced advancement, but it was necessary to defeat that vicious fire drake.
"Son, we have already talked about this. You need to learn to control yourself..." Sitting back down, the man once again tried explaining to his son.
"Hein, reaching the elemental stage is different than the three steps of assimilation. Before, you were simply training your body to become accustomed to your affinity of fire, but now it's different..." Seeing as how he had his son's attention, he continued.
"Look son, as you grow more in tune with your element, your element's natural... inclinations start to affect you. It gets worse the stronger you become if you do not take measures to control it. You have to master self discipline. How many times do I have to explain this to you?"
Frowning at his dad's lack of trust, he argued back, "Alright then old man, then what about you? What about your element? What "sinister" inclinations do you have to control yourself from?"
Instead of getting offended, the father laughed. "Boy, at our stage of strength, those with a fire affinity tend to become reckless, impulsive, generally hot headed. However, for those with my affinity, it's very different..." A green glow grew over the father's body.
"When someone with an earth affinity like me reaches the elemental stage, they tend to become... lazy. For me, I have to control urges to be stationary, immovable, and stubborn. I have to ignore the will of my element to meld with the earth."
Hein gave his father a look. "That's weird and doesn't make much sense. What do you mean meld with the earth?"
The father smiled down at his boy. "It has to due with the nature of each element. Fire is destructive and powerful, making those who harness it wild and impulsive."
"Earth is unmoving, rigid, and unyielding, making those who harness it stubborn and lazy."
"At our level, those with wind affinities become distant, ethereal, wanting nothing more than to move from place to place."
The father paused for a moment before admitting, "I'm honestly not sure about those with water affinities or abberants, but I could make guesses."
Looking back to his son, he found him scratching his head, confused. "This is important for you to know, boy! As one grows stronger, they need to be aware of the effect their elements have on them. Many legends have lost their lives when advancing into the avatar stage due to being consumed by their elements."
"I got it! I got it! Stop nagging!" Hein waved his arms, trying to stop another lecture from continuing. Quickly changing the subject, he mentioned something that had been bothering him.
"It's a shame about your spear though, how you are going to have to give it up." Hein felt quite guilty about this fact.
Reaching behind him, the father grabbed a beautiful two meter long spear adorned in detailed engravings. On the tip, there was a bluish white shard cut into the shape of a spearhead. If one looked closely, they could see tongues of electricity bouncing around it.
It was a magic artifact! The head was carved from a magic stone of a defeated abberant rank five magical beast, a lightning serpent!
Having won it in a competition at the main village many years ago, it was his prized weapon.
Although it took more energy to activate because of clashing elements, he could use it to shoot lightning from its tip, among other amazing effects.
Sadly, it was the price he had to pay to help his son advance. After he and his son defeated the fire drake, he would need to return to the main village and surrender it as payment.
"It was a necessary choice Hein, don't feel ashamed about it. If you want to make it up to me, you need to focus and stabilize your energy before we return home, so we can finally defeat that creature."
Nodding, Hein reached into the fire once again, pulling out a piece of rabbit while simultaneously setting himself on fire. As he chewed on his food, he worked on absorbing the energy from the flames. This time, he did not have any manic episodes.
Finn dreamed of his family, both from his old life and this one, only it was strange. In his dream, somehow his two different families were all together, but the scenery kept changing. One minute they were at Bryn's farmhouse, the next they were at his old home.
Even stranger was that he kept swapping between being a person and being a lizard. Who was he really? Was he a human in the mind of a magical lizard, or a magical lizard with the mind of a human. Was there even a difference?
Eventually, the surrealness of the dream overtook everything, and the surroundings melted away like wax before he felt himself falling into an abyss.
Finn's eyes snapped open when something tickled his senses, a different smell. Lifting his head off the ground, he scanned the surroundings and found the source.
There was a little brown haired girl hiding behind a tree, peeking her head out and watching him with curiosity. She couldn't have been more than five, and she was carrying a hand woven basket holding what Finn could smell as berries.
Finn wondered where her parents were, as if he was a regular magical beast, this would have been a very dangerous situation for her.
She was likely scavenging from the forest and had stumbled onto him. Only, she wasn't looking at him so much as she was looking at what was snuggled against him.
Finn looked down, noticing that his little companions were sound asleep, nestled in the crook of his curled body. These light foxes looked quite cute, all bundled up together, and Finn was certain the girl wanted to pet them but was too afraid to approach him.
Smirking to himself, Finn concentrated and created a ball of light that floated around his body. Using his power he made it float to the little girl and zip around her. Naturally, this immediately grabbed her attention as she gazed at it with wonder.
As if by instinct, she reached out to touch it, only for Finn to move it just out of her reach.
"Hey!" Her cry of indignace was easily translatable. The chase was on.
Finn guided the ball of light all around the girl, who tried hopelessly to catch it. Finn laughed internally, seeing how it was like using a laser beam with a cat. Kids were so easy to entertain.
Eventually, he guided it closer and closer to himself, the girl being too lost in the chase to notice. When she finally got close enough, Finn stopped controlling the ball of light and it vanished, leaving the girl stunned as she now realized how close she was to such a large creature.
She froze up, gazing up at him in awe and fear unsure whether or not to scream or run. Moving slowly as not to spook her, Finn reached down with his claw and carefully scooped up Shrimp, who was on top of the pile.
Shrimp jolted awake, but didn't attempt to escape Finn's grasp. It unknowingly had full trust in the much larger light affinity magical beast that had been protecting him.
After scooping up the tiny light fox, Finn held him out to the girl, whose face flushed pink with what Finn could only interpret as glee. Shrimp unsurprisingly didn't turn invisible. He was the most fearless of the lot.
Tentatively, the girl's desire to pet the cute little creature overcame her fear of Finn. She reached out and scooped up Shrimp right from Finn's claw and began cooing at him, hugging it close.
At first, Shrimp struggled against the touch, but once she started rubbing his head, he melted into her embrace.
How cute... As heartwarming as this was to watch for Finn, he had important matters to attend to. He still had not forgotten his original goal in coming here.
Standing up, the girl who had been holding and petting Shrimp jumped slightly. Seeing Finn tower over her, she held Shrimp up towards him, as if she was returning a toy now that her time was done.
It was too precious. Finn walked over and lowered his body. He decided he would take her back, as it wouldn't be very kind to leave a small girl all on her own in these woods.
The little girl was unsure what to do, that was until Shrimp jumped out of her arms and onto Finn's back.
Shrimp called out to the girl, who was now wringing her hands in indecision, as if the choice to get on Finn's back was the most important one she would ever make.
It didn't take long at all, Shrimp was just that convincing.
"HAHA" The girl's wild laughter rang through the woods as Finn carried her back to the village. From up as high as she was, she could see everything. Shrimp was sitting snugly on her lap, enjoying the petting she was providing.
When he finally got back to the entrance, he was met with a lot of incredulous gazes . Most of the villagers never expected
the drake would be back. The rumours about him had multiplied since he had left.
Lowering his body, the girl leapt off his back and ran off with a bright smile on her face, not forgetting to bow in return for taking her home before she sped off. Those that were watching the scene were stumped.
The rumors weren't doing the drake justice. It really was friendly!
New spread fast that the drake had returned, all the while Finn waited at the entrance for a certain young girl to arrive who could hopefully help him.
A small crowd had gathered around him, watching him with interest. Finn found it curious at how quickly they became unafraid of him once they learned he was friendly.
A morbid and unwelcome thought of how easy it would be to kill all of them flew into and out of his mind.
Before he could reflect on that more, he heard a commotion in the crowd. Someone was pushing their way through.
Finn perked up when he saw who it was. That girl's father who attacked me? Figuring that he had come to attack him again, Finn was quite surprised when the man instead bowed before him, saying something he couldn't quite understand.
Only after bowing Finn could now see that directly behind him stood a small bald girl with an odd patch of blond hair, looking quite healthy and nervous.
Finn smiled internally. He didn't need to know the language to understand the intent in his words.