The boy signed the spell and cast it upon the wall of fire before him. A wave of water materialized around him; droplets momentarily suspended in the air. They hung for only a heartbeat and crashed into the wall, tearing holes into the flames.

Within a second, the gaps of the fire wall were filled in once more. The boy’s shoulders dropped, his Implement nearly falling from his hand.

“A reasonable attack. Everyone always thinks in elemental opposites, and sometimes that is the correct strategy,” his teacher said, approaching the young man. “But sometimes, the solution requires a bit more thought.”

The boy looked up at his teacher. “You’re saying there is another way?”

“Think about your opponent. In this case, a fire made of magic. Tell me, what does a magic fire lack that a normal fire has?”

The boy thought a moment, turning his gaze towards the fire wall. “It doesn’t use any wood?”

“Correct. There is no fuel source. If you have no fuel to eliminate, you will only be buying yourself a few seconds before it replenishes itself.” The teacher picked up the boy’s grimoire, skimmed through it and nodded. She placed the book down and tapped on the page. The boy looked at it and his eyes grew wide.

“Really?” the boy questioned.

The teacher nodded. “But please cast it towards the wall, or it will be very uncomfortable for us.”

The boy cast the spell with his Implement and he could feel the air pressure in the room oscillate with incredible force. The once formidable fire sputtered out of existence with little in the way of protest.

“Buy how?” the boy asked.

“We couldn’t take out the fuel source, so we took its oxygen instead. Every challenge you face is riddle, and the best solution is not always the obvious one. If there is one thing you learn from me, let it be this: not all battles are won sword-on-sword.”

Material: Maple Burl

Copyright © Encoded Press