Brier was now sitting on a chair that seemed to be made out of old wood, in what appeared to be an office like setting. Opposite of her was the man who she just bested in combat, Master Zatark. There were parchments of tinted yellow papers spread out across the table, and behind her scrolls rested on bookshelves or in this case scroll shelves. While Master Zatark was busy scribbling on parchments of paper with his quill feather, Brier rested her head on the table. She used both of her snow-white hands as cushions while tapping the table every couple of seconds.
She then stared at her master with puffed up cheeks and said,
"Ya done yet? The fight was finished like two hours ago. How long did Mikhail have to wait before he could leave?"
Mikhail was Master Zatark's other pupil, and even though he was Brier's junior, his skills were better than Brier's in any conceivable way. The only place that he couldn't beat Brier in was her spontaneity and creativity, but those traits were better off not being replicated. Mikhail, the seemingly perfect student, had passed the rite of passage around six months ago and was now in the other realm. Ever since he left, Brier stepped up her studies and training to catch up to him. As childish as she was, she was more prideful. She couldn't stand the fact that someone younger than her had bested her.
Master Zatark didn't even look up nor stopped the flow of his quill in response to her outburst. He already knew that he would just be greeted to the sight of a spoiled teenage girl. However, Zatark knew that if he didn't say something the paperwork he was doing would take even longer on account of Brier's distracting nature. Replying to Brier was the better of the two evils, and he nonchalantly said,
"Around 13 minutes."
Brier straightened out her back, banged her fist on the table and said,
"13 Minutes!, then why do I have to wait for two hours!"
"Well Mikhail didn't incinerate the entire testing grounds...nor did he create a mountain of paperwork for me to complete", Master Zatark said.
"Jeez, I already said sorry. How else was I supposed to beat you? You already know that I suck at support magic hehe."
Though she did say sorry earlier, Brier said it with a triumphant grin that held no hint of remorse what so ever.
Master Zatark would usually be fuming, but he knew that there were some sad truths in her words. He knew that Brier always joked around to hide her insecurities.
In the many years Master Zatark brought her up, Brier was only able to deflect one in every ten magical attacks. Though Brier was talentless in support magic, Brier was gifted with an unnatural affinity for four types of elemental magic. Typically it was only possible to command a max of two kinds of elemental magic, but Brier was able to control Fire, Wind, Water, and Earth magic on the levels of a master. In short, Brier was a magical and physical glass cannon. In physical combat, she was very talented, but that wasn't enough to guarantee safety away from Radina, the angel's realm.
The realm Bree was about to go to was called Earth and Angels descended there to protect the humans and keep the balance of magic in check.
Aside from her unusual affinity for four types of magic, Brier also had another talent. She was always drawn to earth studies, and despite her age, she probably knew about the earth more than anyone else. Earth studies were composed of many small subsections which were math, history, geography, and science. As unbelievable as it was, Brier specialized in every subsection.
That was how she managed to outsmart Master Zatark earlier. She used her understanding of how clouds worked on earth. She knew that when hot air meets with the cold air of a thunder cloud, it would already create a small vacuum. From there, Brier just needed to speed up the vacuum, and her wind magic was perfect for the job. She used her knowledge of the outside world and managed to pass the rite of passage.
Master Zatark as annoyed as he was, he was still proud of her. In the many millennia that he had administered the test, Brier was the only angel to ever solved the situation in such a unique manner. Though it was okay to be proud, Master Zatark also had to be reasonable. He knew that Brier's magic was too reckless and the proof of that was the never-shrinking pile of paperwork laying on his desk. Master Zatark grimaced at the paperwork and then said,
"Brier, Death watchers are supposed to be angels, guardian angels for that matter. Do you actually think you can get away with such destructive magic on earth?"
The key difference between the angels and humans was that angels held power that could upset the balance of the world if misused. It was because angels were abusing their powers that someone as young as Brier had to be dispatched. Master Zatark knew that the fights to come on earth would be perilous. He then looked at Brier with a sullen expression and said,
"If the objective of the exam were anything else besides beating my clouds, you would have failed in an instant. Countless of my students have already been slain on earth. I don't want you and Mikhail to be next."
Master Zatark said that with his eyes cast downwards. The ferocious speed of his quill pen slowed to a crawl. Too many of his students had already died. The total amount of deaths even exceeded the total amount of years he lived. Master Zatark was a person made up of his experiences. He showed pride as an educator, happiness as a father figure, and finally remorse for all of his students that he couldn't save.
"What's with the heavy mood? Did ya forget that you're supposed to send me off with a smile?"
Brier flashed a grin and tried to relieve the tension of the situation. After all, she knew that after she left for Earth, there was no telling when she would see her master again. She didn't want to leave on bitter terms.
"Don't worry master. It's not like I'm going to be alone. I'll find a super awesome and cool buddy, just like Mikhail probably did."
"Buddy" was the term used to described an angel's partner on earth. Angels were not permitted to use their full powers on earth unless they were partnered with a human or if they became evil fallen angels. Humans were essential towards the ongoing war between the angels and the fallen angels misusing their powers, known as the Overshadows. The Overshadows were beings, who rebelled against the creator of the angels and took the lives of humans to extend theirs. Their method of extracting lifespan usually involved possession and then an incubation period of lurking in the darkness of the human soul.
Master Zatark already knew that the Overshadows were dangerous, and the only way to save human lives is to find the Overshadows and kill them all. The history of the angels and the Overshadows wasn't a clean one, and Master Zatark could still recall the day that everything changed forever. Even if it was painful, he knew that Brier had to understand what she was getting herself into.
Master Zatark heaved a heavy sigh and then said,
"That's not the issue, Brier."
His hands started to tremble, and his breathing became coarse. He tried to piece together the fragments of memories that were better off left forgotten.
"D-Do you remember how many died. Do you remember learning about the day of the Arch Massacre?"
Brier's eyes didn't blink, as Master Zatark leaned forward on his desk and placed his index finger on Brier's forehead.
Brier's eyes glowed crimson in the crystal lit room. Her breathing became more rugged until her eyes closed. She then fell on to the table and laid there limpness.
Nothing was remaining of her, but faint breaths and a hint of life.