The New Job
Chapter 6 Part 1
Happy Friday, fantasy readers! Here’s Chapter 6 Part 1 of Saving ForeverLand.
If you didn’t get a chance to read the previous chapters, remember to check those out. This week I decided to include links to all the previous chapters:
The estimated reading time for this part of Chapter 6 is 7 minutes.
Training began for the day as usual - Josh tested Sarah with multiple obstacles that she would need to avoid by bending time. Throwing rocks, charging towards her, slicing the air above her with a sword - Josh went through the gambit of exercises and Sarah aced each one. Now, she could bend time in the way Josh instructed.
“Slow!” he yelled as he threw a few rocks, and Sarah would slow down time and move out of the way.
“Reverse!” he screamed seconds later, running at her at full speed. Sarah made him go backward. In fact, she backed him up all the way to the other side of the arena in the blink of an eye.
“Very good,” Josh praised her, smiling comfortably like he was talking to a long-lost friend. They were growing quite close as a trainer and student. Sarah spent most of her time with Josh training, but even at the end of the day, she would talk to him for hours back in cave #13. She didn’t connect as much with Peter and Ava, though not for a lack of trying. She always struck up a conversation after training, but the other two didn’t seem very interested in what Sarah had to say.
“Do anything interesting today?” Sarah would ask each evening.
“Work,” Ava replied sulkily.
“Same,” Peter added. Then they walked away to their corner of the cave and continued with their game of Drive - the timebending game that they all played in ForeverLand. They never invited Sarah to play, but she figured out the rules the other day after watching them play a few times.
Basically, it was a car race. They each built their cars from materials in the cave or otherwise around ForeverLand, and then they would push their car to get it started. After they started moving, each bender would try to speed up time, targeting their vehicle, to make it to the finish line first. Sarah didn’t really see the appeal, considering she was training all day - but Ava and Peter seemed to find this great fun after a day of guarding The Edge.
That’s what Sarah was looking forward to - her real job after all this training was complete. She, like the other benders, would spend her shifts during the day or night guarding The Edge of ForeverLand. It took her a little bit of time to learn the specifics, but Elozar had explained it in greater detail after her first day of training.
“You’re advancing with your TimeBending quickly, Sarah. I feel that I must prepare you for what is to come when you pass your proficiency exam.”
“Oh?” Sarah asked, ready to hear more about what her future would hold in ForeverLand.
“Typically, it takes three months to complete all the TimeBending training necessary to be a strong asset for fighting Hadoo, but according to Josh, you may be ready sooner than that. I know we told you about bending to stop Hadoo from destroying ForeverLand, but it’s time you know the specifics…”
And then he told her about how Hadoo is actually between worlds, constantly bending space and time to avoid being captured by the protectors of ForeverLand. Therefore, all the citizens take their shifts at The Edge, the area of broken space that separates ForeverLand from neighboring worlds - a partly formed portal of sorts. The SpaceBenders and the Timebenders work together to guard The Edge and ensure that Hadoo does not come back. If she remains outside of ForeverLand, he cannot destroy it, due to the immense power that we as a society exude into the universe. But, if he were to enter through The Edge, all hell would break loose.
“But what exactly do I do at The Edge?” Sarah asked, genuinely curious. She liked to know specifics. She wanted to be able to plan out her tasks and make her goals in accordance with what needed to be accomplished.
“You will literally guard ForeverLand,” Elozar replied. “You and fifty other TimeBenders, will stand along The Edge and be prepared to bend time if anything appears. All the while, the SpaceBenders will be working together to keep the portal-like space closed. Hadoo created The Edge when he left ForeverLand. He wanted to leave a trace of his power and also give himself a way of coming back for his revenge.”
That was enough for Sarah. She knew guarding The Edge was something she wanted to do, so she had to continue to advance with her training so that she could be placed. However, looking at Ava and Peter, it didn’t seem like there was too much excitement at The Edge. But they must not take this mission seriously, she thought. Maybe they just don’t value this world as much as she does. In fact, Josh did mention that some of the TimeBenders in ForeverLand came from other worlds, besides Leisata - other worlds that accepted magic. Not all of them were so keen to join the society in ForeverLand and put themselves at risk to fight Hadoo.
But Sarah knew better. Coming from Leisata, there was no way she could return there now that she knew about her powers, now that the Chiefs were aware of her abilities. No, she had to stay and protect ForeverLand - this was her home now, where she belonged.
“Faster!” Josh yelled, wrenching Sarah back to the present moment, training in the arena.
Sarah wasn’t sure how many times Josh had called out the command, but she didn’t hesitate once she heard it.
With all her concentration, Sarah managed to target herself and allow herself to move even faster than Josh had when he was practicing with her. She was like the wind, blowing by her trainer around the arena, moving too fast for Josh to make out her shape or any of her features.
She whizzed around a few laps until Josh began to chuckle. “Ok, ok, you can stop now!”
Sarah knew she was showing off, but she couldn’t help it - she finally had something she was good at. Caught up in the excitement, she almost failed to stop herself before hitting the far wall.
Just in time, she realized her mistake, and out of instinct, she imagined herself somewhere else. She didn’t know exactly why, but Sarah suddenly thought of home, her old home, and her family in Leisata.
She thought she was concentrating on slowing down her body, but in fact, focusing on another location seemed to do something else with her bending.
Josh watched across the arena in awe as a portal appeared on the wall that Sarah was about to hit.
“This is impossible…” he whispered to himself.
But before he could rationalize what was happening, Sarah was gone and the portal was closed up, not a trace of his student left in ForeverLand.
Josh was rooted to his spot as if his legs were weighted down with anchors. She can’t be, he thought. But she must be! There’s no other explanation.
He looked around frantically, for any sign of a SpaceBender nearby, anyone who would have caused this to happen, but there was no one. It was only him and Sarah on the training grounds and Josh was the only witness to this momentous event. He was the only one who knew - Sarah was a DualBender. He had to tell Elozar, but wait, first, he had to figure out where Sarah portaled to. She could be anywhere by now - he didn’t even know where to start looking. But then, he remembered the story of Hadoo, how he had discovered his SpaceBending ability, and the first place he tried to escape to, was his old home - Leisata.
Josh knew that Sarah and Hadoo were similar in some ways - their innate power, their intelligence, their understanding - but he never thought they would be this closely tied.
As everyone in ForeverLand knew, there had only ever been two DualBenders - Anna, the founder, and Hadoo. Now there was a third. Josh wondered if this was why Elozar paired Sarah with Josh. Did Elozar already know about Sarah’s ability? Was this part of his plan?
Josh shook his head to clear his thoughts. There was no time to wonder about the details. He had to get to Elozar and then they had to find Sarah. If she did indeed follow the same path as Hadoo, she could be in real danger back in Leisata. By now, the Chiefs would be on the lookout for her, ready to capture her, and inevitably, like what had happened in the past to magical beings in Leisata, they would kill her.
Josh didn’t realize how attached he had already grown to Sarah until he thought about the possibility of her not returning to ForeverLand. If she was really a DualBender, they couldn’t lose her now. She had to get back here and help them fight Hadoo. She might be their only chance of defeating him for good.
They could stand guard on The Edge day in and day out, but eventually, Josh knew Hadoo would return, and he wasn’t so sure they could stop them with their normal powers. They needed a competitive edge, and Sarah could be the key.
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