Failyne bit into the dirt, trying not to scream. The brown grass crackled as Khanakh knelt beside her.
“Look at me, sorceress.” His tenor voice oozed venom. “It can all be over. Your power will be mine, and there is nothing you can do about it. The sooner you admit it, the better for both of us.”
She couldn’t have turned over to look if she wanted. Yes, she had power, and she had planned to use it against her enemy. But he had discovered her plan, and sought now to bring it to ruin. Catching up with her moments before she could work her summoning, his first action had been to break all her limbs.
With strong arms he lifted her, ripping dying roots from her clenched jaws. She shut her eyes, scrunching her face.
Gently, as though she were a fragile bubble, he laid her on her back. “Look at me.”
For all her power and skill, Failyne could not perform a banishing with broken arms and closed eyes. Yet Khanakh’s glimmering form enthralled everyone who beheld it. Chased across the world to this lonely mountain, the strongest natural focal point she knew, Failyne had but one chance. “Water,” she croaked.
Khanakh chuckled hoarsely. “You don’t need water. Look at me.”
“I cannot make it blow. Look at me.”
“Look at me.”
“Stop it!” He struck her bleeding temple. “Look at me!”
She opened her eyes, but did not focus on him. Following her gaze, he saw, hanging translucent amongst the clouds, the triple elemental worlds she had summoned from the ether.
“Heal me!” she commanded fiercely. The worlds shimmered, faded, and then slid solidly, opaquely, fully into her reality. Her bones cracked and limbs straightened.
“So you are healed,” Khanakh said with a tone of icy arrogance. “It will do you no good. You cannot work your magic against me without turning your eyes towards me. Once you do that, you will have no time to summon even an ounce of energy from the elementals. You have succeeded only in delivering their power to me, which I will command once I command you. Admit that you have no hope, and turn your face to mine.”
She ignored him, hoping he in his overconfidence would allow her to utter but one more simple command. She formed the first word carefully with her lips and tongue, so there would be no mistaking as to her desire. “Blind me.”
“No!” Khanakh shouted.
Failyne sprang to her feet and targeted his voice with white, unseeing eyeballs. Spreading her arms to the sky and the triple worlds, she drew down the magic powerful enough to banish the entity who had enslaved or killed everyone else on her planet.