Merlin's family ------------------ Merlin Gwendydd - sister Morgenau - brother Morial - brother Morien - brother Mordaf - brother - Naci's father ------------------------------------------- I was still going over our last action when Naci walked to me with a plate of food.
"Here husband, you need to keep up your strength if we are to succeed." Then with a wry smile she continued. "Besides if we are to start a family one day, you will need to be in your best shape." I was startled a moment as I stared at her. What in the hell was she on about. I looked closer into her eyes once again noticing that strange look deep in them that I had seen before. With a soft, almost shy laugh when moved off as she threw another strange smile over her shoulder.
Shaking my head I was no closer to figuring her out now than I was when I met her almost a year ago. Concentrating I started in on another mage's eye hoping to gain more insight. Within moments I nodded as I was outside the council chambers.
It wasn't that clear but I finally had zeroed in on it. I obviously was finally moving into a much higher level of power. As I remember Merlin was one of the few that could actually view the council hall like this.
Shuddering I remembered what Rigal had said about Merlin being dead. Shaking my head I most certainly hope it wasn't true or both Naci and I were as good as dead.
Looking in I saw that they had quickly added two new mages to keep the council active. Smiling I thought far be it from me to allow this to stand for long. I had to take another to really start eating away at Ukobach's full control. Anything I could do to weaken his position I needed to do. Then I also thought of Rigal. Knowing that little ass he had gotten free and was already on the look for Naci and me.
I was really going to have to deal with him permanently. Though he was more of an annoyance now I still had Naci to think of. Sitting there in deep concentration I didn't even notice that Naci had placed a blanket around me to ward off the cold that was starting. I knew that the council members were really going to be on their guard now. I needed a new way to get to them that no one had thought of yet.
Several hundred ideas later I think I might have hit upon an idea. Finally getting up I almost fell as my legs and feet were more numb than I thought they were. Holy shit! How long had I been sitting there? Then I noticed that it was almost completely dark, that and the fact that Naci was sitting beside me quietly with a more than worried look on her face.
Seeing that I was finally back to the here and now she helped me to stand.
"Toman husband, I know that you have a great deal on your mind. Though if you continue on like this I am afraid I will be burying you before we are truly anything like a family. Please husband you scare me so when you go away like this." I looked at her face seeing the worry and concern. Then I saw that look in her eyes again, a pained look and something else, something so deep that I had no inkling of an idea of what it was.
I hated to ask her as I was afraid that she would lose respect for me and no longer wish to help. The simple fact was she had been far more help than I ever thought she would have been. I wasn't about to give up on that. "I'm sorry Naci, for the moment I am trying to come up with something. We have weakened Ukobach's control, though that's all. We have to hit him and hit him hard. The thing is we both need to increase our power. I have you higher, though I have neglected to increase my own for some time.
I think we both need to work on this." I told Naci. Naci was nodding as I was telling her this. "I also believe that this is a course of action we need to take." Sighing I stood as I started to go through the exercises that Merlin had taught me to steadily increase my power's strength. I had been at it for almost two hours when I finally felt my power start to increase. I looked at Naci as her mouth was open.
"You have finally moved higher husband.
How much longer can you continue? I seem to remember Uncle saying that too much and you stand to strain your power." I nodded as I felt for what she was talking about. "As of yet I feel no strain though I am keeping an eye on it.
Merlin told me that if I strained too much, it would be painful.
Also that I might not be able to use my powers for a few days. I don't really want us that unprotected." Naci nodded with a small smile, "Again that would be wise husband." I was starting to turn away from Naci when I noticed that strange look on her face again. The pride she had in me I could easily recognize, though this other one I was completely baffled by. I could just ask her, then again would she tell me? Hell was I prepared for what she might say. Sighing I had to find out some way as this was driving me to distraction.
Finally four hours later I felt my power had finally moved up another level. Stopping I could feel the drain that Merlin had mentioned.
Though it wasn't painful as of yet, I could tell I would be in a whole new world of pain if I continued. I dropped into my chair like I weighed a hell of a lot more than I did. A moment later Naci placed a plate of food next to me. "I can feel your power is higher husband, I hope that I can still be of help to you. I feel that at one point you won't need me anymore." Naci said as she lowered her head, the glint of tears in her eyes.
Shocked a moment I gently pulled her chin up looking her squarely in the eyes. "I told you that you have been of great help to me. Don't forget the last council member's house. You saw danger that I didn't, I could have gotten us killed. No Naci, you are faring far better than I am. At times I wonder why I am doing this, as careless as I am." I had dropped my head this time almost ashamed to look at Naci.
It was true I could have gotten the both of us killed. "No husband, you did what you had to. You have far more on your shoulders than almost anyone that I have ever seen. Together we can prevail in this. Husband, I trust you more than anyone, I will do all I can to help.
You just have to allow me to help you." My head snapped up to stare at Naci, not sure if she was mocking me or telling the truth. From the sincere look she had on her face I could see she had said all this in earnest. Then I saw that look again, I could swear it was almost the same look I had seen in my mother's eyes.
By all that is holy! Was that a look of love? For me? I shook my head as I stared a few more moments before Naci turned away. "I need to strengthen you more Naci. You are becoming formidable with your power, though I am afraid that your defenses are still too low. You know who we are up against, I need to get you to a higher level before we meet him." Naci's eyes were wide a moment then she nodded as she sat before me concentrating.
"I am ready husband." She replied. Nodding I reached out to her then delved in. Going straight to her power center I saw that all I had done was still as strong.
Good I thought if she can keep them where they are or higher she had more than a good chance to survive. Reaching out to her defenses I gently touched all of them feeling Naci sigh. Drawing in from around me I started to add to the strands watching as they started to thicken very slowly. Now that they were as thick as they were it was taking far longer to increase them.
I was afraid to do more than an hour so I stopped scanning her. Ah! Good! She was past the three fourths point now. "Alright I am going to power up, the same as before I want you to block then what ever you feel is right." I told her as she was nodding.
Going to half my power, I let lose a blast toward her. Stopping it cold I smiled, a month ago she'd had nothing even near this for defenses.
Slowly I increased feeling her do the same. Finally I was at three fourths as I started to move even higher. Naci was still holding her own though I could see that she was just beginning to struggle.
That's when she surprised me by bouncing part of it back at me. Smiling hugely I nodded as I held the blast with one hand, and what she'd sent back with the other. She had learned this on her own, I couldn't be happier. Closing my hand the blast was gone in a moment. Applauding I stated, "Very good Naci!" Walking up to her I hugged her tightly to me then backed up suddenly as if I had been burned.
Naci had a look of pure joy on her face along with a highly infectious smile. "Thank you husband," she said as she suddenly launched herself at me hugging me back. This of course caught me off guard as I hit the ground with her on top of me. Then she started to kiss my face. Pulling back from her I stared at her questioningly, "Thank me? For what?" I asked still confused.
Naci slowly got off me, "That was the first time you have ever touched me like that husband. I was beginning to think that you really didn't like me." She smiled shyly then continued. "Now I know different. Plus this was the first time you praised me and my powers, so again thank you." I sat back and thought about it, then I nodded my head, she was right. "I'm sorry Naci, I hadn't realized that I had been so hard on you.
I will try harder ok?" Naci got a huge smile on her face as she vigorously nodded her head yes. "I will also try harder, husband Toman." "I know you will Naci, though I haven't given you the encouragement that I should.
I feel that I have failed you at almost every turn. I am surprised that you still wish to stay with me." I told her as I lowered my head. I was feeling pretty bad about all of it.
That is 'til I heard Naci gasp. "Toman Wilbey!" She shouted at me.
"If this is an attempt to get me to leave your side then you are gravely mistaken!" My eyes wide I turned to see Naci with an extremely mad expression on her face. Damn I thought, she was absolutely beautiful when she was mad. Shaking my head I had to wonder what in the hell was going on? Why was I suddenly noticing these small things about her? I lowered my head again as I almost whispered, "I don't want to send you away Naci.
I just feel I failed to prepare you like I should have. You should be far stronger and more powerful than you are. I'm sorry that I have become as distracted as I have." Not looking up I heard her move to me.
Then I felt her hand softly bring my head up to look into her eyes. "You did not fail me husband Toman, I am still alive because of you. This last that we did I remembered a great many things that you had showed me. Had you not? I feel that I would not have caught the few very few things you missed." Looking shyly away she continued. "I still wish to learn all that you can show and teach me." I suddenly blushed as I thought of the way she had just said that. Shaking my head I tried to get the images I remembered of her when she was bathing.
Was this what her and my mother had been talking about? I wasn't really sure though as I had thought before I was starting to feel something more for Naci. "We need to plan more for the third member we take.
I also need to have you far more ready. These last two we eliminated were easy compared to the rest of them. I feel that neither one of us is ready for them together. I intend to make sure we are far more." I told Naci with a new conviction.
A more determined look came over her face as she nodded. "I am ready husband Toman, remember whatever we face we do together. This is OUR family now, I will do all i can to protect it!" I nodded, "I forgot to tell you that I was past three fourths my power for the first time against you.
We need to try and raise a little each day. I hope that perhaps in a week I might have you far higher. As you are now I feel you might be able to take the next three we go after. Especially after today. I just hope we have long enough to accomplish this." Naci nodded with a look of surprise on her face, "I was at three fourths what your power was?" Again she blinked as she looked at her hands then concentrated feeling inside.
A few moments later her eyes went wide then she looked at me launching herself at me again. Again catching me off guard we both went down with her on top of me again. Hitting the ground with an umph I was momentarily stunned. Naci of course was kissing my entire face. Though I was in a bit of pain I had to admit I was actually enjoying the attention she was giving me.
Well I was 'til she started to wiggle a little in my lap causing me to grow in places that embarrassed me rather quick. I had thought after Naci got off me I had gotten away with her not noticing she had got a reaction.
As she walked to the cooking area I saw her look back at me with a little twinkle in her eyes. Then I saw her look lower on my pants then smile even larger as she seemed to float away from me.
Shaking my head I sighed exasperated, I was never going to figure Naci out.
Then I thought if I ever did it would probably take the next several hundred years. Hell I thought, seeing the extremely happy look on her face maybe even longer! For the next seven days I worked on my levels feeling them slowly going higher. I was at least eight and a half levels higher. I also kept my promise to Naci though I had to watch what I was doing as with higher levels I could hurt her easier. It was the seventh day I had been steadily raising both of our powers' I had been trying to show Naci a few tricks that I had picked up that I hoped would keep her safe 'til I could reach her.
I felt that her defenses were now at ninety percent, not as high as I hoped but a whole lot better than when we started. "Alright Naci, it's that time again. I just hope that you have moved up a little more. Ready?" I asked. Naci nodded as I opened up at three fourths power. I felt Naci's defenses snap up like I had shown her. I had to smile she was learning faster than I had hoped!
Slowly I increased to eighty percent. Good I thought she could now take a hell of a lot more. At eighty five percent I felt no strain as I had the day before.
Now I was really smiling, she had started to move into a higher range, excellent! Taking a deep breath I slowly started to go further eighty six, eighty seven, eighty eight!
Now I was really starting to get excited. She was starting into the really high defenses. I just hoped she could hold it. At eighty nine I felt she was barely feeling a strain.
I had just reached ninety percent the first time I had ever been this high with her. I suddenly felt my own power start to increase. What the hell? Even as I felt it go higher I felt Naci start to falter though she still continued to hold it. I was barely at ninety one, when I felt her falter again. Dropping my power I almost hit the ground with the effort to shut down.
Running to Naci I tried to make sure she was alright. Naci had a strange look on her face as she stared at me. "Husband Toman? Are you alright?" She asked as I reached her. "Why do you ask?" I said as I felt the weakness suddenly come over me. "Oh shit," I said my eyes wide as I tried to get to our sleeping area.
I almost made it to the mage bed when I felt my strength leave me and I was going down. "Toman!" I heard Naci say as she helped me into the bed. "Set the alarms," I said to her. Touching her head I put the knowledge in her how to make the portals.
With all the power increases she'd had, I knew she could do it at least twice perhaps three times in one day. "Remember," I said watching her eyes go wide nodding, as darkness claimed me.
When I awoke the next day I felt far weaker than I should have. looking within I saw that I had a slight tear in my magic.
Shit I thought, I had obviously pushed a little too hard. Nothing but simple spells for a few days. At least we could leave if we had too. I just hoped that Naci was ready, if not we were both dead that was for sure. I groaned as I got out of bed moving to a small table near the bed. Concentrating I made a simple healing potion that I hoped would speed the healing. Swallowing it in one gulp I almost choked as the horrid concoction slid down my throat.
Gasping I did everything I could to hold it down as long as possible. Laying on my stomach seemed to help, for an hour. Naci came in after that seeing me awake and turning several shades of green. Rushing toward me, I shook my head no as she stopped a look of worry on her face. For another hour I forced myself to hold it down, the longer the better. Finally I felt the brew start to heal the tear, problem was it was just starting. Shaking my head I slowly started to move slowly to different positions feeling the brew settle then start to roll my stomach again.
I just needed a few more hours, though I knew I'd be lucky if I made it another hour. I had almost made the fourth hour when I felt the brew start to try and force its way back up. My eyes large I knew I wasn't going to last much longer. I did feel part of the tear was healed though there was almost as much still torn. With all I had I tried to hold it longer though I knew I was losing rather quickly by the increased rumbling in my stomach.
Naci was standing a few feet away as I came flying out of our habitat emptying my stomach contents on the ground. Then I convulsed again as I lost more, over and over several times. Falling beside the puddle of green I had just lost I tried to smile at Naci as she nodded. Moving to me she wiped my sweating brow then helped me into a seat. Thanking her I explained that I had managed to repair part of the tear.
Smiling she was about to say something when she saw the look of worry on my face. "Are you still too injured to use your magic?" She asked. Nodding I told her, "I can now use some more complicated spells though if I don't use any then I should be alright in three days instead of a week." Dropping her head I saw that she was shedding tears, "I have doomed the both of us Toman." "No," I told her. "I put the knowledge in you to keep us safe.
I can still protect the camp. Those spells are simple, though the portal I am afraid will have to be you." I was pulling a few bags out walking around spreading out the few things in them.
I didn't know if he was alive or dead but after a week here I had a bad feeling. I had just finished with the fourth bag when I heard an ear splitting clap of thunder. Running for the camp I saw that Naci had already packed everything away. "I'm going to kill you slowly!" I heard Rigal screaming outside the bubble. I nodded to Naci as she started the portal.
As it started to grow open I felt Rigal at the farthest point of the bubble. Flexing a bit I felt my magic come up half. Smiling I knew if he escaped this time we might not see him for a while. Naci had the portal finally open when I heard Rigal scream.
Smiling I saw that he had been attacked by a rather nasty thorn bush. Grabbing Naci I was stepping into the portal when I saw a creeping vine heading my way at almost invisible speed. Diving in I slammed the portal closed catching the very tip of the vine. Cursing I sent it in the opposite direction even as it started to release a poisonous gas. Looking around I saw an exit as I directed us toward it. Cursing I saw that we were only a few years further ahead. Maybe we'd catch a break, then I shook my head we weren't that lucky.