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marybethgriggs > Otherworldly > 34 The Colour of Mud
Mel laid in bed, covered in her warm duvet blanket. The high-quality blanket was more expensive since it was custom-made and was even embroidered in her own design. It made her bedroom feel cosy and warm every time she looked at it. She clutched the blanket tight as she looked at the person beside her. Sebastian was sleeping soundly at her side. Even though he was facing away from her, his snoring reminded her that he was there and that he was in deep sleep.

With a sigh, she looked at the ceiling while lost in her thoughts. 'The worst heartache is suffering emotionally but being unable to show it.' With similar thoughts running through her mind the whole night, fatigue finally came over her and she fell asleep.


Sebastian woke to the bright sunlight streaming through the windows in the bedroom. He looked around to see that Mel was nowhere to be found. If it wasn't for the note on the table, there would have been no signs that they spent yet another night together. Reaching out for the note with a grunt, Sebastian read it through squinted eyes. 'Went for training, there's food in the kitchen.'

'She's been diligent with her training.' Sebastian thought to himself as he finally got out of bed. Looking outside, he saw the snow continue to fall, casting a gloomy expression all around. Using the sun's position, he estimated it to be midday already, which signified his usual waking time.

After having a hearty lunch, he made his way to the snow-covered courtyard. Even with the cold weather and the wet snow around him, Sebastian was still wearing a simple long-sleeved shirt and pants. To provide warmth, he was circulating the mana within his body. Although he wasn't doing any quests for the past few months, he still devoted to his secret training which he only did in his private moments like this.

'[Augment] Triple physical augment, maximum mana flow.'

Sebastian's eyes glowed a golden hue, before turning murky. Anyone who saw the transition would think that the result was the colour of mud.

'I need to continuously maintain my [Augment] steel mind and body skill all the time. I can't change my brain's physical composition, however, I can continuously augment it so I will get used to it. I need to process things fast all the time.'

He stood still in the courtyard while snow piled up around him. Closing his eyes and focusing his senses, he was able to feel the snow falling on his body, and sense his surroundings even with his eyes closed. Finally satisfied, he then opened his eyes and looked at the makeshift target standing a few meters in front of him, as if waiting for a command.

He pointed his hand towards it as he chanted in his mind, '[Ice Lance].'

There was no sound whatsoever even though he continued to focus his mana in his hands and as he tried to reinitiate the steps for the spell.

"Tch. [Ice Lance]!" Showing his frustration, he now resorted to shouting the spell name as he continued to try and cast the spell once more.

"[Fireball]! [Ice Lance]! [Lightning Strike]!" There was still no response.

In the stillness of the courtyard, a poorly-dressed adventurer could be heard shouting spell names towards a target, which appeared waiting for something to happen.

'I've lost it.' Sebastian continued to scream throughout the afternoon with no obvious results.


knock knock knock

"Please come in." Rivie looked up from her book as she waited for the door of her private study to open.

"It's me." Sebastian walked in without even greeting as he entered and stood in front of her.

Rivie placed her book down and gestured for him to sit down. "I heard you were coming, I wasn't sure if it was really you." She gazed into his eyes as she studied him in silence. "You've changed."

"I can't hide much from your mana probing. I'm still continuing with my studies and practice like before."

Rivie stood up and headed towards the small tea station within her study. "

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