"Where's Ramona?" he asked. "She poofed away." she answered. "Good" "Now I recognize this place. It's the road to Bandi." Crispin said proud of himself. It had stopped raining and the sun shone bright in the morning sky. "Well let's get moving. I'm tired of nature." Troy said and started down the road. The horses followed him. Crispin had gotten his joking mood back. "You can't escape nature, my friend!" he yelled and ran to catch up with him. Cleo followed everyone else like a little duckling following its mother. They wind blew on their faces as they walked. Cleo looked at Troy. She admired him. He was truly amazing. He was strong even though he had a great disadvantage. Her attention was turned to Crispin when he said "You know I wonder what kind of fighting style you have, Cleo." Cleo was sort of confused by the comment. Crispin noticed and explained. "Your fighting style is what kind of fighting you specialize in. My specialty is speed. Troy's is strength." "My only specialties are getting kicked around and letting someone else protect me." she answered. "You just haven't had enough time to prove yourself." he said with a smile on his face. "I wonder if you can use magic." Troy cut in. "Magic?" "Yeah. Crispin and I can sort of use magic. Our swords are full of it. You know how I specialize in strength? Generally, fire symbolizes strength. So I can use fire magic with my sword. Crispin's strong point is speed. Wind symbolizes speed." "And rivers. Don't forget rivers." Crispin cut in "So he can use wind magic with his sword and control some water, but not very much." Troy said sounding like an expert. "Is that how the fire was put out before? Did one of you do that?" Cleo asked, remembering the time when she met Haman. "That was kind of a group effort. I blew it away and Troy stored it in his sword. He used it later to get Haman." Crispin answered. Cleo smiled. She was so amazed. Magic! To think, she might be able to use it too if she learned how. She was walking with two experts on swordsmanship and magic. She was a little overly excited, but she kept a calm face. Troy could sense her silent mirth. Crispin was as clueless as he always was. "So how about we find that specialty of yours?" Crispin said happily. Cleo nodded excitedly. She was dragged into an open glade. "What are we doing exactly?" she asked. "We're going to do a little sparring." Troy answered. Cleo wasn't quite so sure about this. She wasn't nearly as experienced as either of her teammates. Not even the horses. But she trusted that none of them would hurt her in any way. "You and I will go first." Troy said to Cleo. They faced each other and drew their swords. The ground was wet from the rain. "Ladies first." Cleo didn't want to go first. "No you" she said sounding like a frightened little child. He shrugged and rushed forward. He swung his gleaming sword at her legs. She blocked. But she felt so much force that she just fell back in surprise. She had no idea how strong he was. And he wasn't really trying his best. That was only a small fraction of his power. Cleo felt like a tiny little ant that was trying to defeat a mighty lion. Troy was the king of the jungle and she was a mere ant. He attacked again, this time kicking the sword out of her hand. Cleo watched in horror as her beautiful sword fell onto the muddy ground. She was sure it was over. Soon Troy would call "dead" and it would be finished. But he didn't. He was waiting for her next move. But she didn't have a weapon. What was she supposed to do?
She knew one thing for sure. She wasn't going to surrender. She wasn't going to call "I'm dead" and end it all. She wanted to fight. She wanted to prove herself. But how? Troy grew tired of waiting on her and lunged forward. She jumped back again. She saw that he wasn't going to hold back too much. He swung again. She dodged. They did this several times until Cleo saw a thick tree limb on the ground. She dodged Troy one more time and ran toward it. She picked it up. She used it to block his next few moves. After a while they were both breathing heavily. Cleo again watched in horror as Troy's sword cut it in half in one swift movement. She was tired and defenseless. What was she going to do? She wasn't going to give up. She was going to win. He came at her once again. She didn't know what else to do. She lifted. There was power coming from her. Everything seemed to go in slow motion. The power grew until she felt like she was going to explode. She felt it all leave her in an instant. It was going out of her raised hand. She whispered something in a foreign language she didn't know. Out of her hand came dark shards of magic. They were whizzing everywhere. Cleo had no idea what she was doing. She felt like she was in a dream. When she saw the shards hit Troy, she snapped out of it. She was extremely out of it. She was dizzy. She dropped to her knees. The world was spinning in circles.