The wind was fierce cutting through her naked skin, Inshallah wished for warmer days of summer but she was constantly reminded that it was the season of death and cold the unforgiving winter. Her long hair was the only shelter from the frigid temperatures she had been stripped of all clothing by a would be attacker she was taken by surprise as she slept his inhuman strength and speed somehow not even Teacher could overcome or so the warrior had said before Inshallah took flight into the winter storm out of the warm protection of the cave. She was only able to grab her bat nothing more. She had been wakened by a soft touch on her leg realizing that she was naked and a man was crouched beside her concealed in black clothing equipped with a mask to conceal his identity. There was blood where Teacher slept and no sign of Leo, had they both been killed? Inshallah had to assume the worst. She fought her way out of the cave discovering that the assailant had supernatural strength it could only mean that he was one of Law’s soldiers, or one of the gifted. She was exhausted and hungry, it was early morning the altercation happened just an hour ago. She tried calling out telepathically to Teacher and then to Leo many times there was no answer. She could always feel Leo, she was apart of him now but she felt nothing from him which gave her the thought that the worst had happened. Her feet felt as if they were burning and throbbing, she rubbed her numb skin to try and stay warm, the aggressive wind coupled with the snow always reminded her that she was naked and unprotected from the climate. She started to feel desperate she fought down the emotions that would only cause her to fail. Closing her eyes she took in slow deep breaths she had to focus Teachers words reflected in her mind. “When times are at their worst, when lesser ones would fail you will not! The heat can not scorch you, the cold will not touch you! Call forth your power that you’ve been blessed with and you will prevail!”
She felt heat swirling within her lower stomach slowly reaching outward making its way to her arms and face then flowing through her legs ending at her feet, she felt instant gratification as her body warmed. This was a trick that Teacher taught her over a year ago when she first started learning from him. She no longer felt hungry but that would change in a short time, she had to end this situation and that started with going back to the cave and killing whoever has infiltrated it while she slept. She started at a slow jog conserving her strength, keeping her bat close to her holding it at its center to minimize swing as she ran also helped. She trekked for about ten minutes until she saw below her in a small cavern hidden by the trees and snow was the entrance of the cave she had called home for the past year. The snow storm had increased but did not cover her tracks from when she fled the cave earlier, upon inspection from afar she didn’t see any other set of footprints coming out of the cave which meant that the assailant was still inside. She crouched as her hair fluidly fell forward over her shoulders she thought about tying her long hair up but she knew that it would just unravel without something to keep it in place. She felt Leo’s presence instantly as if a radio had been turned off then back on. “Leo…?” She said cautiously reaching out telepathically, she paused waiting for an answer her heart fluttering with anticipation.
“Glad to see that you’re alive Inshallah!” Leo’s voice boomed, he was happy that she was well. They both laughed a moment reveling in the good news that both had survived.
“So you are well?” She asked.
“Yes, well not at first. As I slept I was scooped into a bag then knocked unconscious, I only woke from the freezing waters as I was tossed into a lake. I desperately clawed my way out of the bag and swam to the surface only to find that once I made it to land I was freezing and soaking wet, that did me no favors in this horrid weather. I’ve been running now for a good twenty minutes back towards our camp, and thanks to you my body is now warm and rejuvenated. It’s a fortunate thing sometimes to share a telepathic link”
“Yes it is” she tilted her head smiling.
“I see you are close to the cave, any signs of Teacher?”
“No but that doesn’t mean anything, I Thought you had been killed Teacher is a skillful warrior maybe he is alive as well!”
“But you only saw one set of footprints leaving the cave entrance?” Leo asked.
“Yea” she sighed.
“Wait for me we can attack together. Whoever this guy is he’s a skilled warrior as well maybe better than Teacher if he’s bested him”
Inshallah nodded her head. “True, I will wait for you” she quickly glanced around her. “How long before you get here?” She asked.
“I’m in familiar territory now I wasn’t before so I’m guessing about five minutes or so”
Before Inshallah spoke she felt motion behind her, she instinctively rolled to her side as the blade of a sword cut past her. Coming to her feet staying low to the ground she brought her bat in front of her defensively. The masked warrior stood before her the one who attacked her in the cave, she noticed the sword in his hand appeared to have blood already on the edges of the blade. It was Teachers butterfly sword. The realization that Teacher was dead started to mount upon seeing his sword in the hands of the enemy.
“Who are you?” She yelled out. “What have you done with Teacher!” She cried out. Her only response was the warrior sprinting forward thrusting the sword at her, she slightly side stepped tapping it away with her bat. Teacher had taught her how to use her bat much like a sword save for not having a blade it had its effective uses to be sure. The warrior advanced again slashing and cutting Inshallah parried blocking all attacks, rushing forward at a slight angle she struck the warriors thigh then rolled as the sword sliced where her head was at, she avoided what would have been and attack that would have ended her. Coming to her feet she spun raising her bat both hands were firmly bolding each side, she pushed the bat upward as the sword came down striking it causing a clanging sound of metal striking metal that was swallowed up in the wind. The masked warrior kicked Inshallah in the chest knocking her back she didn’t have time to think about the pain she quickly moved to her right once her back struck the ground, the sword cut into the snow where the imprint of her body had been. He advanced with a barrage of chops and slashes inches from Inshallah, her feet kept moving she kept dodging. Tossing snow into her attackers face it momentarily blinded him she took full advantage thrusting her bat into his midsection causing him to grunt stepping back, she swung the bat at his hand disarming him the sword fell into the snow. He caught his breath making slight adjustments to avoid Inshallah’s bat, a roar came from behind him the warrior took a quick glance long enough to see Leo leaping at him. Inshallah struck him in the arm as Leo made contact bringing him to the ground. The warrior rolled pushing Leo off of him then stood up quickly back peddling bringing his hands out in front of him waving them.
“Ok, ok, not bad Inshallah!” The warrior said, but it was spoken telepathically and his voice was familiar. Inshallah lowered her bat her head cocked slightly and her eyes squinted staring at the masked man. “Teacher?” She said her voice sounding confused.
“Yes” he said pulling off the mask to reveal his face.
“I don’t understand” she said.
“I do, this was another bloody test wasn’t it?” Leo said.
Teacher smiled nodding his head. “Yes the final one, a worst case scenario. I needed to see how you both would fare and you did quite well”
“But you…” Inshallah said still confused.
“Hush let’s get inside and eat breakfast by the fire I will explain everything”

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