CHAPTER 31 - Of Training

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"I told you, Eleni, you need to eat more. Why do you look like crap?"

I drank some water and continued to ignore meeting Una's eyes. The training sessions were wearing me down, not because of the physical exertion but the mental - I was always scared of my second power just springing out.

"Let's try something else. Listen carefully," Una said in a sharp tone, handing me a dagger, "aim this on the hardest branch of the tree and make the twigs of the tree fly off in all the four directions. Imagine your dart-flutes."

My eyebrows perched up, face breaking into grin. That seemed easy enough.

I did just as she had expected. My magic flew through the dagger and commanded the spot where it hit the tree. The section of the bark broke free and sharp twigs flew everywhere.

"Well done. This is useful when there are many people around you and you have only one weapon. Very basic. You need to command the twigs to hit the people."

I looked around the arena, now scattered with the twigs and felt ecstatic at having achieved the feat. Small, yes but at least it didn't affect me much.

"You don't faint anymore, do you?"

"I don't." I grinned at Una, "All thanks to you." She grinned back.

Truth be told, since the moment I had found that there was fire within me, my Earth magic slightly tingled with a haze of warmth. It was itching to be let out, to be allowed to burn something, or someone. But for the time being, it only watched me denying its existence.

"Your magic seems stabler somehow. I think you are finally getting the concept of 'you control your magic rather than having the magic control you.' I am much relieved. Always be in control, Eleni." Una practically fixed me with a dead stare and I raised my brows, nodding.

She added, "Let's try the boulder-break again."

My excitement leveling down a bit, I looked at the heavy black boulder placed beside the tree. Focusing hard, breathing even, I curled both my palms into tight fists. In a heartbeat, the wisps of my earth magic were penetrating the hard stony exterior of the boulder and reached its core. With a jerk, I opened my fists and the boulder sported instant cracks on its exterior. With a noise that resembled stones cascading down a hilltop, it came crumbling down, forming a heap of small stones.

I turned to look at Una with a smirk and she snorted at me, "Even a five-year-old can do this, stop being so smug."

"Whatever." I shrugged, self-pleased.

Una walked towards the heap of stones and asked, "Do you still not feel your usual fatigue?" I watched her bend down to the heap of the stones that I had reduced the boulder to.

"Not a bit," I answered to myself more than to her. It was a welcome change.

"Umm, Eleni, this is hot." Una said juggling the stones in her hand.

I walked over to where she was crouched, my heart hammering slightly. "I-It is?" I stammered.

She extended her hand and put a few stones in my open palm.

"They are not that hot," I said frowning. They were really not.

"What are you talking about, they are burning hot!" Una stood up; her forehead furrowed.

I held a stone in a pinch and shrugged. "Not really."

And I realized my folly. I was a Fire Elemental. The heat won't matter to me. It was warm to me but to Una it must be scorching.

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