Chapter five: Training
So thus, my training started. At first, it was merely to see what spells I knew. I could cast Bolt3, Ice3 and Fire3 somewhat easily, after I figured out the trick, but learning the spells below it took a little effort. I actually had learn my spells backwards, so I made my way down to the second-level spells and then to the first-level ones. I also had another spell that I named "rasp", because of the rasping sound it made. What this spell did was drain the magic energy from the target, reducing how many times they could cast a spell, or sometimes even stopping them from having enough energy to cast a spell at all. Goddess also taught me the spell "Mute", since it was useful to stop enemies from casting magic on you. I wasn't too worried about getting harmed by another's magic, however. I could absorb the three main elements, and there weren't too many elemental magics, aside from Earth, Wind and Holy. Apprently Shadow was an element, but I soon learned that the combination of the three main elements that I possesed cast Shadow magic. However, Shadow magic is only truly powerful when the caster has a dark soul, which I did not have...so my magic was tri-elemental instead of fully Shadow.
Goddess also had me study books on magic: what magics caused what, what certain elementals were weak against, what they were strong against, and what they were immune to. I also learned about the various status-causing magics, such as "Mute" or "Blind". Simple medicines that grew in Goddess' atrium cured these effects easily, if properly used. I soon learned that I was particularily weak to wind magic, since my now-large wings would easily catch any gust of wind and send me flying out of control. I also learned that I was immune to the Berzerk status effect for some reason. I would find out why later.
I spent another two years training with magic. I learned how to cast magic on groups of targets, or simply on one, or even on parts of a target. For instance, I was having fun casting ice spells on Harsghalt's mustache. For some reason, he didn't enjoy it too much, and would counter by casting Slow or Stop on me. Turnabout is fair play, I guess...but sitting there and not being able to move is irritating.
Towards the end of my magic training, Goddess stopped shoving magic books in my face, and instead had me read books on weaponry. "Study well." she would say. "For this knowledge shalt be valueable one day." So I read about wars and weapons...some legends, some not. I learned how weapons were made, what they were made of, the names of the weapons, where each kind of weapon originated from, and most importantly, how to use the weapons. However, I learned all of this from books and illustrations, not from experience. It wasn't until I turned eighteen that Goddess introduced me to what looked to be yet another Esper. He was tall, pale, and bordering on being male or female, or both. He had long brown hair, eyes colored to match, and angelic white wings protruding from his back.
"This is mine servant." Goddess said when she brought me to meet him. At least I assumed it was a him. "His name is Gorangiath Gonoth'arr, and he is the last Angel warrior I have in my service." I had read about the Arch Angels, but I thought they were just a legend. Gorangiath Gonoth'arr, who greeted me politely, proved me wrong simply by existing.
I bowed slightly to him, even though it didn't lower my height below his by doing so. I was at my full twenty-two feet and three inch height, and that didn't count for my tail, only my "standing" position. "Nice to meet you Goranthgu Gonnarr...Go....er.."
He smiled a bit. "Many have trouble with my name. Just GoGo will do." His voice was soft, and could of easily passed for either a woman's or a man's. That's the problem with Angels. Normally we like to label people as either "he" or "she", but Angels don't have a gender. Still, I always referred to GoGo as a "he".
GoGo looked at me critically. "Hm, you're quite an unusual one, aren't you?"
"Trust me, it wasn't my idea to be unusual."
"Understood. Hold out your arms, please." I did as he asked. "Hm, a fairly good range. Not only that, but you have four of them. Tell me, are you interested in ambedextrous fighting?"
"I can't say that I am. I'm right-handed, and the only thing I use my left hands for is eating. Sorry."
"Don't apologize. You can always learn how to use all four arms later. As for now, let's just concentrate on a weapon for your upper right arm. I start all out with a sword, so let me fetch you one." He went to a rack of weapons behind him and selected a simple, unadorned hand-and-a-half-grip broadsword. It was nearly as tall as he was. "Here, try that on for size."
I took the sword from him, and despite the fact that it was almost six feet of solid steel, it wasn't overly heavy for my well-muscled arms, and I hefted it with ease. "Seems all right. Although the hilt and pommel aren't long enough....I can barely hold it with one hand."
"We can make one specilized for you later. As of now, you'll be training with that sword in Esper form. Later, you'll try it in human form."
I looked at him like he was crazy. "Human form? Excuse me?"
GoGo sighed. "Goddess, didn't you tell him?"
"Nay." She said. "He was not yet ready, although he hath found out now."
"You mean, I can turn back into a human?"
"Yes," she said.
"And you've kept it from me? Goddess, no offense, but that was a cruel thing to do."
"Do not be so harsh, Tritoch. I did keep it from thee, since thou could not do it as a child or even as an adolecent. An Esper cannot assume their human form until they have gone through puberty."
"I didn't know that Wyverns went through puberty."
"Oh? Then why is it that thine voice hath deepened? And thou did grow in size? And what of thy thoughts on both Shiva and Siren?"
I blushed. "I guess I did grow up. So I can turn into a human now?"
"Most likely, yes. But wait for only a while. When today's training is complete, I shall show thee how." She stood. "I have things to attend to. Train well, Tritoch."
"Thank you, Goddess."
I learned the basics that day, intent on not only doing a good job, but getting through the training. I couldn't wait to be human again, and the thought of being so made me want to break into a dance of joy. GoGo said that he was impressed at how quickly I picked up on things, and at my strength and stamina.
"Many Espers barely have more strength or endurance than a normal human does." he said. "It's good to see that there are at least some with nearly godlike bodies."
"Godlike? I'd hardley call a snakey bird "godlike"."
He leaned against the wall, the white wings on his back giving off a faint glow. "Yes, Goddess did mention that you aren't too fond of your form."
I lowered my eagle-like head down to his level, to look straight into his eyes. "If you looked like this, would you be happy?"
He chuckled. "I see your point. I was blessed with a form that is beautiful, so I take how others feel about their appearances for granted." GoGo looked into my eyes, and laughed.
"Come on now, I can't be that funny-looking." I had the distinct feeling he was making fun of me.
"No, I'm just laughing because I can see my reflection in your huge black eyes. Those eyes are so dark, I can't even see your pupils, but I can see my own face."
I raised my head back up to its normal level. "Sorry to seem a bit testy, but can we get on with this? I want to get done with training today."
We trained for a few more hours, and at that time I at least felt somewhat comfortable with holding and swinging a sword. GoGo had actually glanced me with his own sword, but the armored plates on my neck and belly easily deflected the blows. It was way after dinnertime when we stopped. I was starting to tire, not to mention I was extremely hungry. GoGo didn't show any signs of weariness or hunger (damn Angel).
"I think that's enough for today. I can go on for several days straight, but I know you haven't eaten or rested since this morning. I think I'll arrange to get some armor fashioned for you."
I put my sword back on the rack carefully. "Armor? What do I need armor for when I have this?" I rapped my knuckes on the hard plates covering my chest."
"I'm talking about armor for your head and back. You don't turn around quickly, so you're fairly vunerable if attacked from behind. Don't worry about it now...go back to your room and take a rest. You've earned it."
I thanked GoGo, and left the training area to go into the atrium. It was nighttime, and paper lanterns lit up the white marble pathways. I felt good for some reason, like I actually accomplished something. I smiled in spite of myself, and continued down the pathway to the housing wing. As soon as I reached the doorway, I found Siren standing there.
I hadn't seen Siren in nearly two years, since her own strange and mysterious training with Goddess herself had taken up all her time. She was nineteen now, and more than just a skinny little girl with wings on her head. She had her wings resting lightly against her back as she stood in the doorway. One of the more noticible things about her is that she only wore a green short-sleeved shirt that tied at the waist. Most of her body that was visible was covered in feathers, so she at least had some sense of modesty to her. Her hair was now blonde and brown with purple streaks, and the wings poking out of it were covered in feathers that were no longer plain yellow, but golden.
"Hello, Tri." Even her voice had seriously changed. She now sounded like a woman, not a girl.
"Hello Siren." I smiled at her. "Good to see you. Where have you been?"
She sighed almost wearily. "Busy, very busy. I've been isolated somewhere to train my abilities. And please don't ask what Tri...I can't even tell you." She held up her arms. "Aren't you gonna hug me hello?"
I laughed and hugged her with all four arms. "A kiss hello would be appropriate too, but I don't have lips."
She laughed, her laugh sounding rich and vibrant like Goddess'. "Not at the moment. Goddess sent me to show you how to be human."
I let her go and set her down. "You know how?"
"I not only know how, but I've done it before. C'mon, you'll want to go up to your room for this, since it can be a bit of a shock at first."
"Uh, okay. Let's go." I glide-drag-shuffled my way up the stairs and down the hall to my room, with her keeping pace alongside me. I had plenty of questions I wanted to ask her, but I couldn't think of where to start. Not only that, but I figured that most of them wouldn't get a straight answer. Siren always had been secretive about what Goddess was teaching her, and I was positive that she wouldn't share anything with me. I went into my room, ducking down to get inside. She followed me in and closed the door.
"Why are you going to show me, though? Goddess said that she would."
Siren sat down at one of the normal chairs in the room, since it was now intermixed with normal human chairs and large couches that could hold my snakelike frame. "She wanted to, but she had to rescue an Esper boy. So she sent me, since I know how fairly well."
I rubbed my hands together eagerly. "I can't wait to be human again."
"Well, it's not exactly human, Tri. You're still an Esper, it's just that Espers have two forms: their beast form, and then their humanoid form." She sighed. "Let's get started. First, you need to concentrate. Look at your Esper self in the mirror to get a picture of how you look now in your mind.
I lowered myself down to look into the bathroom mirror, and saw the face that I was all-too familiar with. The black eyes stared back at me from under feathery brows, and the horns and head crest of the fierce-looking wyvern in the mirror glinted slightly in the light. I formed how the rest of me looked: multicolor feathers on my back, armored plates on the front, four emerald-scaled arms, and a set of colorful wings on my back. "Okay, I think I got it." I held the image in my mind.
"Now think of the kind of person you are....your personality, how you talk, how you think, and incorporate that with the wyvern form into a human body."
I frowned, almost losing the image of myself. "That's sort of hard to do."
"It is the first time, but you'll get the hang of it. Try closing your eyes, it might help you concentrate."
I shut my eyes, forming the picture of the Wyvern again, along with my personality to go with it, and then directed that thought at the rough image of a human in the vaults of my mind. It was quite possibly the hardest thing I've ever done. I gritted my, teeth, setting my beak on edge. "Okay, now what?"
"Now all of that should of been directed to that human form, just how you target a spell at somebody or something. And it's the same way...just you're directing this all at yourself. So release the spell."
It was much simpler once I realized it was a spell. I released it within my mind, without any release words or gestures. Suddenly I felt strange, as if I was shrinking in size. My flesh seemed to writhe and slide about in a strange but not uncomfortable sensation. I felt my tail disappear, and my bottom arms contort to legs, and the lack of sensation on my back indicated my wings were gone as well. After a few seconds, it stopped. I could feel my bare feet on the floor. It was a sensation I had almost forgotten.
"Open your eyes." she commanded. I did so, and saw not a wyvern in the mirror, but a man instead. My eyes weren't black as I thought they would be, but they were a deep scarlet color. My skin had settled into a golden tan, which completely set off my golden-blond eyebrows. My hair was the most interesting, since it was blue and green with a streak of gold down the center of it. It fell to just below my ears, and was swept back to some degree. My face itself wasn't the exceedingly handsome one I always wanted, but it wasn't ugly, although my nose was a bit large for my taste. All in all, I was a normal-looking man. I then looked down at my body, and at my hands. My hands and feet were somewhat large, but I didn't mind. I was actually somewhat well-built and muscular, which I didn't expect.
I also realized at that instant that I was completely naked.
I heared Siren giggle behind me. "Nice ass."
I grumbled and felt my face turn red as the tan-skinned man in the mirror's face took on a pinkish cast. I darted to my bed and whipped the top blanket off of it, drawing it around my waist. "That's not funny, Siren. You could of at least warned me."
"What, and spoil the fun? I won't comment about any other body parts if you don't want me to, although I can say that some parts of the male anatomy have never been pretty."
I blushed again, and she giggled at me. "Well, naked or not, at least I'm human." I waggled my long fingers. "And I'm liking it a whoooole lot."
She stood up and took a few steps towards me. "You've got a cute smile, too. All in all, you turned out pretty nice...although you keep blushing."
"I actually get red in the face a lot, it's just that the feathers kept it hidden." She continued to walk towards me, making me feel just slightly uncomfortable. "Uh...what are you doing?"
"I just want to check you out." She grabbed my arm and gave it a squeeze. "Hm, good muscle tone, well-proportoned. Were you this well-built when you were a kid?"
"No, I was skinny and had different-colored hair and eyes. Why, is this how I would of looked if I was always human?"
"You've got it." She gave a little smile. "Want to see my human form?"
"Sure. Fair's fair. Uh...will you be naked?"
Siren laughed. "Why, would it make you feel uncomfortable?"
"Yes and no. Damn.....I feel funny."
"All that testosterone that was being used for different things in the wyvern body is kicking in for your human one. You're a man, honey."
I sat down on the bed, blanket still around my waist, and rubbed at my eyes. "Dear lord, I hope I don't feel like this every time I'm human."
"You won't, unless you wind up naked around a pretty girl again."
"Yeah, you are pretty attractive, Siren." I looked up at her, and my jaw dropped. Siren was no longer in her Esper form, but her human one now. She looked very similar, with purple eyes and light brown hair, and she was the same size and build. She was also only wearing the shirt. I felt another wave of testosterone whack me like a mallet.
Please, I'm trying to get through this part as delicately as possible. Do you want me to say I got a....er, never mind.
I blinked. "Wow."
She spun a little like a model on a runway. "That's what they all say. Y'know, I've been waiting for you to be human. Do you know that I like you, Tri?"
"I like you too, Siren. We've been friends for a long time now, right?"
"That's not what I meant. I'm seeing that this is sailing right over your frooty-colored head. Here, let me make things more clear to you." She sat next to me on the bed, wrapped her arms around my neck, and kissed me. "Now do you understand?"
I smiled, perhaps a bit goofily. Her methods were direct, and yet very effective. It wasn't as if I minded. "Sure, I understand. But could you explain it to me in more detail?"
I'm going to just stop here and move on to the next chapter. I think we all know what happened, don't we? Although I will say that I did a lot of smiling afterwards.
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