Painful Reminder

Calm mind. Focus energy.

Do not be afraid.

Habitually, he spent the power of mind to raise and sustain a barrier; an armor of his own, of sorts. The figure in black began to advance at a frightening pace, sword still aimed at Merlin. At forty yards, he was close enough.

Uttering a few words, Merlin outstretched his right arm, launching a fireball from the palm. The forsaken blade made an adequate shield, and the flames exploded to no effect on the razor-edge.

Blast! That should have worked!

Focusing his mind again, he changed tactics. Choosing a different phrase, the ground that separated the two was overrun with thick, thorny vines. They, too, did little against the black blade. The figure cut through them with ease, losing very little speed.

The memory of the weapon still nagged at him. Why do I know that weapon? Who did it belong to? The distraction was almost too much, and the figure was in striking distance. Narrowly dodging a lethal strike, he was cut.

Of course. Now I remember…

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