"Good. Keep that concentration." Lucas droned on, his eyes fixed on the fireball floating in front of me. It was bigger than my head and smaller than one of my, now enormous, globular breasts. The heat it radiated felt lethal even from a distance. Like a tiny sun hovering a few feet away from my face. I struggled to maintain it, to force its continued existence, the difficulty of it compounded by my dislike of all things hot.
Then came the next part; imbuing it with a command. It was simple in theory and much harder in practice. I had to give meaning to the ball of fire in way of a command. It was more than just telling it what to do I had to give a purpose that accomplished my own goals. The art of doing so, however, was one of the most difficult aspects of magic.
Orders were orders though.
With a thought that split my focus between keeping the ball of fire alive and directing it, I began. The first thing I attempted to imbue the fire with was a will to live. It eased the burden of maintaining it immediately. Next I tried directing it to chase my target - a wooden dummy across the courtyard. Lastly I told it to burn my target.
Then I found myself on the ground, the air around me an inferno. I could hear Lucas saying something to me, but not what. Everything sounded muted to my ears, like I was underwater. Until they didn't. All at once I could hear the crackling flames of my failed spell. Feel the fire burning the grass around me, and barely see Lucas putting it out.
My familiar chose, then, to tell me that living fire was hard to control. Doubly so for someone so attuned to ice as I was. It was why it exploded in my face and why I was laying on the ground without the strength to move. My strength returned to me minutes later, though, and I got up just as Lucas put out the last of the fires.
He shot me a look that I could only describe as one 'full of disappointment'.
"Concentrate." He said, slowly. "And never try to give fire life. It's dangerous if you don't know what you're doing."
I got up after that, reluctantly. There was an imprint in the dirt behind me of where I fell. Two moon like craters that represented my butt. I only gave it the briefest of looks before getting back to work on creating another fireball. This time making it smaller and remembering not to give it life.
The end result wasn't all that different. It exploded, Lucas cleaned it up, and then he told me to do it again. And again. And again.
By the end of the day I only managed to cast it correctly once. By the end of the week I'd managed to do it four times.
Fire and I didn't agree. Couldn't and wouldn't. We repulsed each other like the polar opposites we were. Despite that Lucas refused to let me practice anything else. It was annoying on a different kind of level than he'd been before. Like he was intentionally trying to keep me from getting any stronger, a cell made not of metal and stone but one of stagnation.
The only thing that kept me from losing my temper and speaking up about it was my familiar. Every time it sensed that I was about to blow my top it would tell me something to cool me off. To keep me from getting myself killed.
Today was no different.
With arms crossed beneath my pumpkin surpassing bust, I glared at Lucas. He had a fireball floating above his hand, and a smug look written on his face. That alone would have been enough to tempt me into trying to rip his arms off. And I could do it if I got close enough. My continuously growing body had rendered me ferociously strong. Strong enough to earn a nickname.
The white bear of Coldbaer kingdom.
What really had me angry, though, were his orders. They were simple and easy enough to understand, I just didn't want to do them.
"You want me to stand here and let you throw a fireball at me?" I growled, both literally and figuratively.
"Yeah. Now be a good teddy bear and don't move."
Before I could go through with my intentions of tearing him limb from limb, my familiar stopped me with a whisper. 'Don't be foolish' it said without really saying. I listened to it and stayed my hand, remaining rooted in place as Lucas prepared himself. He kept his gaze set on me as he got ready, as the fireball burned brighter in his hand. At the last moment, right before he flung it at me, I let out a surprisingly beast like roar.
New Instinct kicked in and I released a wave of ice around myself. The fireball, now diminished, went through it and hit me square on the chest. Under the cover of the ensuing explosion I charged forward and grabbed Lucas, easily lifting him up to my face by the face.
We stared for a moment, his eyes meeting mine.
"Why?" I asked him, after a tense silence.
He laughed in my face. "We've both heard the stories, Chosen."
I dropped him, wondering if I would do the same in his position. If I deserved to be treated the way he was treating me by virtue of being Chosen. My familiar answered before I could come up with one of my own.
'No.' It said. The, not, word packed with so much more than a simple answer. It was explanation and truth. Revelation coming from a snakes mouth.
'I didn't do anything. I didn't plan on doing anything. I was innocent as far as it was concerned.' It was sound logic, and open for change if my intentions ever shifted to something dark and reprehensible. Which, again, made me wonder if other Chosen had simply been bad people. The famous ones at least.
Holgar, the black knight. Dei'adin, the shadow stabber. Reluc, Kings bane. We're they all like me at some point. Young, clueless, and at someone else's mercy? The answer didn't matter in the end, regardless of what it was, because I wouldn't end up like them.
"What now?" I asked, not really wanting an answer.
He gave me one anyway. "Something different." Without any further elaboration he gestured for me to follow after him.
Over on the left side of the courtyard there was a shack, clearly worn. Up until now it had been off limits to me, as was most of the palace. Lucas led me straight to it and ordered me inside, where I came face to face with a short and muscular man.
It was obvious from his beard, thick arms, and hammer that he was a dwarf. I had to bend over just to see him, and he was smiling ear to ear at me, clearly unfazed by my size and status as Chosen. If he even knew I was Chosen that is.
"Ello' Lass, name's Berqweckin and I'm at ye' service." He stuck out his gloved hand to shake and I politely returned the favor. As we shook he squoze my hand, clearly daring me to squeeze back. A favor I, again, returned.
"Ooh, you're the White bear alright. A pleasure to meet Ya'."
"The pleasures all mine sir." I said with a smile and he smiled back.
That was when I felt Lucas wrap his knuckles on my butt like it was a door. I bolted upright and shot a glare his way. Only for my glare to meet the acres of my plump rump completely blocking the doorway. Before the mage could "knock" again, I shuffled out of the way. Practically stuffing myself into the tiny room's corner.
As I sat there, silently staring, Lucas spoke with the dwarf in a language I couldn't understand. My only company in the suddenly lonely room was my familiar. The serpent slithered around my neck and started to cool me off, the small blizzard of snow flakes and ice I naturally produced failing to keep me cool for the first time in days. Even so, I found my clothes wet with sweat and melted ice as I stood there petting my familiar.
Then, after what felt like forever in the volcano that was this room, they finished their conversation. Lucas turned back around towards me, looking up past my breasts and straight into my eyes.
"Your new armor, White bear."
From behind him, the dwarf pulled out a set of blue and white plate armor, designed to look like a bear. It was, more importantly, massive. Too big for anyone other than me to wear.
"Your gonna want to put that on. We've got orders from the crown."