When he heard the knock on the door, Void's eyes flew open. Even though Void was dead, we still had a human body, and required sleep. Void got out of his bed, and went to the door. Since he slept in his clothes, all he needed to do was put his trench coat back on.
Gabriel was at the door waiting for him,
"Are you ready to go?" asked Gabriel in a cheery voice.
"Yeah," muttered Void in response. Today he was scheduled to begin his training, but he didn't see why he needed it at all. Gabriel started to lead him down through the crowds and into a square building. Inside was a circular field, with a dome of lights on the ceiling. Around the circle, there were a few benches for people to sit. It was like an indoor practice field. Void could see why this was where Gabriel wanted to have him trained.
"So, this is it, huh?" asked Void in a small state of awe.
"Indeed. This is a safe environment where you can learn to better control the Hellfire in peace," almost as soon as Gabriel said this, there was a loud sound of a door opening and then closing behind them. Void and Gabriel turned to see Raven and Annabelle walking into the arena. Without saying a word, both girls strode over to one of the benches and sat down. They were staring at Void and Gabriel, as if they were expecting a show of some kind. Void's eyes widened at the sight of them, and he felt his cheeks go pale.
He turned away from them so that they couldn't read his lips.
"What are they doing here?" he asked Gabriel in a hoarse whisper.
"It appears that they want to watch," said Gabriel, equally confused.
"I thought you said we would train in private," retorted Void.
"As did I. We told everyone that you would be training here. Usually that would be enough to keep everyone away, they both fear and hate you," Void snorted at that, Gabriel continued on as if he didn't notice. "But I can't tell then to leave. Is it a problem?"
"I'm not sure yet…" muttered Void. He looked over at Raven. She looked cheerful as ever. Not a sign of anger or sadness played across her face, she even smiled at him. It was as if their conversation from last night had never happened. He didn't get it, and that made him feel awkward. He didn't like the feeling at all. He wanted to get it out of his mind, so he turned back to Gabriel.
"Let's just get started," he said. Gabriel nodded.
"Well, the first thing we are going to work on is sustaining a stream of Hellfire,"
"Sustaining?" questioned Void.
"Yes, every time you've used it, it has been is quick bursts. Now tell me, where does the source of Hellfire come from?"
"My willpower, I guess?" said Void.
"Exactly!" exclaimed Gabriel. "But for you, that means an extreme sense of emotion. You feel some kind of emotion, and you latch onto it. Then you throw it all out at once in one burst, and usually that takes care of the job. However that wont cut it this time, you have to find a new source of power, one that you can control,"
Void nodded. Gabriel was actually making a lot of sense. Whenever he was on a mission, he did normally feel a great sense of emotion. But to think that that was the source of his power all this time was hard to take in.
"I'll give you time to meditate, and come up with a new source. When you think you can sustain the flame, hold it in your hand," said Gabriel. So Void sat on the ground and held out his hand in front of him. He had no idea what he could use as a new power source. His powers had always just come to him. He just willed it to happen, and it did. Then again, looking back, only teleportation came to him that easily. Any other time he used the Hellfire, he relied on his emotions, that much he had come to understand.
He tried simply thinking the word "fire" but that didn't work either.
Void sat like that for about ten minutes. He had grown impatient with himself, and grunted in frustration. His hand ignited with his grunt, and then faded away.
"What was that?" asked Gabriel, his voice full of hope.
"Me, getting angry," replied Void in a monotone.
"Oh…" said Gabriel in a downcast sort of way. "Perhaps you should take a break?" he suggested. "Just a small one, to clear your head," Void nodded, and stood up. He looked over and saw that Raven and Annabelle were still sitting where they were before, so he walked over to them.
"Didn't expect to see you here," he said when he reached them. When he spoke Annabelle began to snicker and hang on Raven's shoulder. "Are you really gonna act like this every time I talk to you?" he asked.
"Probably not, but you're still awesome,' she replied. Void groaned. The last thing he wanted was fans.
"I figured you two were mad at me," he said.
"Why would you think that?" asked Raven.
"Um… Last night?" he said. Did she really not remember?
"Oh right, that," she said. "No I'm not mad, it was an honest question,"
"I'm not mad either," chimed in Annabelle. "Anyway, what is it you're trying to do?" she asked.
"Find a new source of power to draw my Hellfire from," said Void.
"I don't understand," said Raven. So Void explained it to them. About his emotions, and how they were his fuel, and about how only the teleportation was different.
"Well, what do you do when you teleport?" asked Raven.
"I dunno, I just kind of…give in," Void responded.
"Then try it here," she replied. "It's worth a shot,"
It seemed as good a plan as any, the problem was, Void wasn't exactly sure how to get the fire to work that way. When using teleportation it was so much easier because he had something to focus on. A destination. But just setting his hand on fire…would that be enough?
Void held out his hand in front of him.
"Fire. In my hand," he thought. He closed his eyes, and focused on the image of his hand, and let his mind go empty save for that image, the same way he did when he teleported. When he opened his eyes, his hand showed a flicker of a flame, and then died out.
Void gasped. It had actually worked. Granted, he hadn't been able to sustain it, but it was a step forward! He was so eager to tell Gabriel, he didn't even want to walk over to him. So he said thanks to Raven, and Teleported back over to his teacher.
Gabriel was startled when Void appeared so suddenly, but the shock did not last long when Void told him the news.
"It took a lot of concentration just to get a spark, but I'm getting closer, I think with some more practice I can really get the hang of it," said Void.
"Excellent! Let's see you try it again," said Gabriel.
It took Void several minutes before he made any progress. He found that widening the focus to having fire in his hand, to holding, and keeping it in his hand allowed him to hold the fire. It seemed that he had to get specific to the very last detail of what he wanted to do before he could do it. That made things complicated because in a battle situation he would not have as much concentration as he had at his disposal now.
What was weird to Void was that the more he used the technique, the easier his concentration seemed to come to him, as if it were a muscle and he was working it out.
He worked like this for a few more hours before Gabriel spoke.
"That's enough, you can go for today, but be ready to work twice as hard tomorrow. We're a bit ahead of schedule, so we're going straight to the next exercise," he said.
"Perfect," said Void. He was happy that he was ahead, but less happy that it was going to get harder.
As he was walking out, Raven and Annabelle caught up to him.
"Done already?" asked Raven.
"We've been here almost all day," replied Void. "By the way, thanks for that idea,"
"Anything to help," she said with a smile.
Void decided to go home for the night, and Raven followed him. Annabelle wanted to go to the park area again, and Raven said she would meet her there. Walking back, Void was silent for a minute, but then finally broke the ice.
"Why did you want to follow me?" he asked.
"There's been something I wanted to ask you," she replied in a somber voice.
"Ok then. Shoot," he said. Raven was quiet for a moment before speaking.
"Was it worth it?" He didn't need to think to understand what she meant.
"Yes," he said. She was quiet again after that. But she continued to follow Void. Nothing else was said for the rest of the walk. When they reached Void's home he wasn't sure exactly how to say goodbye. He was sure he'd see her again tomorrow, but a simple 'see you next time' didn't seem to cut it. So he awkwardly held out his hand. She took it and they shook.
"Until next time," she said. Her hand lingered in his, as if both were unsure of when to let go. But finally their grasp lessened and their hands fell to their respective sides.
"See you," said Void as he walked through the door. He closed it behind him, and leaned his back against the wood of the door, listening to her walk away.
"What the hell?" he muttered to himself before throwing off his trench coat, and flopping face first onto his bed.