Tension hummed in the air. I stared at my father, and he glared back. Steven stood to one side, amused. None of us looked ready to break.
Power pulsed, gathering at my fingertips. Flows of magic brought me awareness of Steven and Besedie. I shared every nervous tic with them, every twitch of muscle, every need to get this done.
I would love for this to be over with. Fighting my father wasn't exactly the catharsis and closure I'd been looking for. He shifted, trying to reestablish his shields, giving me little choice. I didn't want to, but this fight would be the end.
Besedie kept feeding magic into his shields, and I started draining it. My nervous system swelled with the influx, making me restless. Somehow, I kept still, giving my father no sign of what I was doing.
~Give me some of that,~ Steven whispered, grinning and twitching, drawing Besedie's attention his way. ~I'll try and keep him distracted.~
We forged a link, the Chaos Lord greedily taking energy from me. I gasped, staggering briefly, and Besedie stared at me. Steven laughed, pulling new creatures from the aether, giving them form with the magic he took from me.
The creations were unable to move, touched by Besedie's magic. He held them still, making them choose one form, and I was unable to keep the magic away from him. Four stone dogs surrounded Besedie, staring at Steven.
The battle was about to start over.
Steven yelled, darting back, waves of color washing over the dogs, mutating them. Stone became flesh, each element attacking the other, the dogs fighting their own bodies. More Chaos beasts were summoned, and Steven cackled in joy.
I trembled, caught between the two. Steven still drew on me, and Besedie had managed to reverse my pull. Now, he took energy from me. Natural energy filled me, attempting to top me off, but it wasn't coming fast enough.
Between the two of them, they were going to drain me dry.
Ignoring their skirmish, I focused on breaking free. How unfortunate that what I'd done as an attempt to step them had turned against me. They were at each other's throats again, with me fueling it.
I became like rock, stable and solid. I became like water, flowing and free. I was air, light, dark, heat, cold. I was everything and nothing.
The fighters didn't care about me. They hardly noticed as I pulled away. Magic flew as they fought, but it no longer came from me. Both drew from their environment, and each other's attacks. They'd keep fighting on, even if I left the area.
But not if I stopped things properly.