I stared curiously at the summoning pool, almost leaning into my reflection before Daniel pulled me back.
“Careful Salvos, it might be dangerous.”
Edithe shook her head.
“These summoning pools are designed to only allow Spirits through. No mortal, monster, or Demon should be able to pass through it.”
I glanced between the two, before a shimmer of light caught my eye. I looked back at the water as a glow overcame it; lines and shapes started to form inside the summoning pool, weaving into each other and changing the surface into something more.
My eyes widened as suddenly, an image appeared where my reflection on the water had been. It was no longer just a picture of me, or even another person. Instead, I saw a location on the other side. There was a green sky, colorful trees, and…
The Spirits came rushing through the summoning circle. I nearly backed up, thinking they were charging in to attack us. Were they wild Spirits? I had been told Spirits and Demons were similar. If these were wild Spirits—
But they were not.
Two Spirits came through the portal, bursting out of the water and sending a small wave in my direction. I shielded my eyes and body with my cloak, before lowering it and looking up at the two floating creatures hovering above the summoning pool.
[Elemental - Lvl. 34]
[Elemental - lvl. 31]
They were both just staring at us, surveying the room as the image in the water changed again. Their bodies took the shape almost of a Human, except without a lower body to support them. The first was made out of ice— hands, face, chest, every part of her body was frozen solid— with a dozen long pointed shards sticking out of her body below where the legs should be, and wisps of ethereal smoke coming off her. The second was made out of ash and fire— his arms blazing with heat as a trail of flames shot out below his torso, while his upper body was made completely out of hardened ash.
“An [Ice Elemental] and [Fire Elemental], huh? Interesting. What’s next?”
The [Priests] poured more mana into the summoning pool as the pool glowed with the new image. This time, the water did not splash out. Instead it slowly rippled as a lumbering creature pulled itself out of the summoning pool. His body was made entirely out of wood, although he did not look like a tree.
He looked rather Human, again. Except for the four arms sticking out of his body. He towered over anyone I had seen barring Lucerna, standing a head taller than even Haec. He was not alone, however.
On his shoulder, a little creature poked its head out. She ran down the side of one of his arms, running on all fours until she reached the palm of his hand. She cocked her head at us as he slowly lowered her down.
[Yaksha - Lvl. 30]
[Sprite - Lvl. 38]
“Is that all?”
Edithe looked over at the [Priests] as they focused all their magic into the stone tablets. There was a grunt, then a sigh as they shook their heads. The [Sprite] laughed.
“That is all, lady of wisdom. No others thought it desirable to offer themselves to the task of someone at the level of you. And the [Beastkin] will not impinge on the territory of one of their own. So if you think it worth the cost, you shall have to make do with us.”
The Human woman was taken aback.
“No— I mean not offense, Spirit of magic. I just thought…”
“Spare us the titles. Pick your partners and be done with it. But be aware, we all have our stipulations.”
She narrowed her eyes. The [Sprite] nodded, standing now on only two legs as she folded her leg-like arms together.
“The [Yaksha] has none. He will go with you if you choose him, for he is the lowest leveled of us all. The [Elementals] will not partner. Only one goes, not the other. And as for me?”
The blue skinned Spirit pointed to herself.
“I shall go alone or not go at all. So be quick and take your pick.”
Edithe blinked, glancing between them. She tried to protest.
“Wait, can’t you at least tell me your Skills? Your specializations?”
“We will, only if you choose us. That is how the contract always works, no?”
“Yes... but I never usually have this few to choose from!”
The [Sprite] shook her head, turning back to the other Spirits.
“Hurry it up, lady of wisdom. Else I grow bored and resign myself from this queue.”
Edithe bit her lower lip.
“...fine. I pick the [Yaksha] and the [Ice Elemental].”
“So you choose them. Very well. Then it is settled.”
The two Spirits she had chosen stepped forward as the other two turned back to the summoning pool. The [Fire Elemental] slowly descended back in, but the [Sprite] simply hopped off the arm of the [Yaksha], disappearing into the Spirit Plane without so much of a word.
The Human woman watched them go, almost longingly. However she shook her head, focusing on the Spirits that came forward to her. The [Mage] held a hand out, a magic circle forming on the palm of her hands. A symbol marked on the bodies of both Spirits glowed as she began to speak.
“Spirits, sign this temporary contract. Let us once again form this bond which has tied Humanity with you and your Lord for the last thousand years. Fight alongside me, Edithe Phyros, and we shall reap the rewards of battle together. This I promise you as your new master.”
The [Yaksha] bent to one knee while the [Elemental] bowed her head. Only she spoke, but she spoke for the both of them.
“We accept this contract, master.”
“Then for the next six months, we shall be allies on the battlefield. What are your names?”
“His name is Druma. Mine is Mistshard.”
Edithe nodded, a smile drawing itself on her face. She lowered a hand as the symbols on the Spirits’ bodies stopped glowing, now filled in with another mark.
“It’s good to meet you both.”
They exchanged a glance, almost uncertain. But Edithe proffered a hand this time, not just holding it up to cast magic. Slowly, they both took it. I watched as the Human woman flinched when the icy cold hand of the [Elemental] touched her, before getting engulfed by the large hand of the [Yaksha].
We left the temple shortly after she acquired her two new Spirits. They did not follow her. Instead, returning to the summoning pool and disappearing back to the Spirit Plane.
I stared at Edithe, confused.
“Wait, why did they go back? Didn’t you come here for them?”
“I formed a contract with them, Salvos. Now, I can call them whenever I want. Well, I can only really call one of them whenever I want with [Quick Summon]. [Summon Partner] takes longer to cast— it requires preparation before a battle. But I don’t just have them with me when I’m, say, walking around the inside of a city.”
“Why can’t you just have them with you at all times?”
“Because then I’d be spending mana to keep them with me. I can probably counteract the passive drain on my mana with an hour of [Rest], but it’s still tiring to just feel your mana be sucked out of you.”
The three of us were now walking through the streets of Hazelbury, having bade farewell to the [Priests] who did the summoning ritual. Daniel frowned, turning to the Human woman.
“Edithe, I know you’re the [Mage] and [Summoner] here, but why did you not choose the [Sprite]. She was the highest leveled— if we really want to fight Lucerna, she’d be more help than the other two combined.”
“You’re right. The [Sprite] was the highest leveled. She could have helped us the most against the [Djinn]... Lucerna. But she was just one. And she would level far too slowly. These two? We can still train them. Get them to level up.”
He gave her a dubious look.
“And how exactly are we going to do that in a few days?”
“Perhaps not a few days. But we’re going to train as much as we can. Level up quickly.”
I turned to her excitedly.
“You know how to level quickly?”
“How? Tell me!”
“We’re going to a Dungeon.”