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Giggles and hushed gossip flittered with the wind, making the bells hanging outside the shops chime. It was the peak of spring in eastern Erimoor, and the small town of Esterdell was bustling with activity. The Spring Festival was only a few days away, and the offering to the Guardians after that. Everyone was working steadily to be ready for both of these events.

Everyone except one Wind Elementalist in training; Albion had shirked his normal duties for the afternoon for an afternoon of lounging and watching the pretty young ladies walk by in their new spring dresses. His leg swung lazily from atop the store sign that had become his perch. It was high enough that most of the passing villagers didn’t notice him but low enough that he could enjoy the view. His biggest advantage was that it was in the air, his element, and put his master at a disadvantage.

The old hag was probably bubbling with rage by now. His eyes lit up with amusement at his own joke. She hated when he used any terminology that related to her moods and her element. Swinging his leg lazily, he leaned forward as a particularly pretty group of girls walked by. He didn’t get a chance to enjoy the blossoming beauties of his own village what with that hag Noira keeping him busy all the time.

His lips quirked deviously as the girls walked right under his perch, unknowingly giving him a nice aerial view. With so few Elementalists born into the town, the majority would forget that they were even there. Albion was one of two with Air as an element, the others were Water and Earth elementalists but their numbers never surged above twelve at a time. A tiny portion in a village of this size and never treated any better than another villager.

Feeling mischievous, he whistled innocently and leaned back as his current amusement continued to walk. A small flick of his hand and a sudden breeze blew the skirts of those new dresses high enough for him to get a nice view of their underthings before screams deafened his ears. While the girls scrambled to cover themselves, he looked to the sky and tried to keep his laughter to himself. Would do him no good if they realized who caused the wind. No doubt they would go running straight to the hag to complain as well and he still had plans to be lazy for the afternoon.

It was his distraction that literally had him falling. Seconds later, Albion found himself breathless in the dirt with a stinging sensation in his side. Struggling for air, he cracked open his eye to glare at the evil creature that had knocked him so cruelly from his perch.

“Abusing your power to satisfy your hormones is so low, Albion.”

“Using your power to knock your apprentice to the ground from thirty feet in the air is low, you old hag.” He croaked once he managed to get enough air. For a minute, he reveled in the dark look in his Master’s eyes before her foot landed in his gut and a whip of water smacked at his cheek.

“Do not test me Albion. With the Spring Festival upon us, don’t think I can’t get more creative with your punishments. Maybe you’ll play the part of Yeven in the Guardian dance. I hear Lana has made his costume very appropriate this year.”

“He doesn’t wear clothes in the stories.”

“Exactly.”

“You’re cruel, Noira. Just plain cruel.” It took effort but he kept from calling her a hag this time. Luckily, it seemed to be enough of an improvement for she moved her foot. Not using ‘Master’ in front of her name earned him a smack on the back of his head and new chores added to his list of duties for the day.

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