The instant he left the protection of the wards he’d placed around his house, he felt the prickling on his skin that meant magic was being worked against him. He reached for the gravitational strings to make it harder for the spells to land. Plucking them, massaging them, and shifting them around as he had practiced, he was happy to feel his flesh return to normal. His counter spells seemed to work. Smiling, Richard stepped further away from the safety of his home. He didn’t relax, though. He expected the onslaught to intensify. He wasn’t disappointed.
Before he could reach the sidewalk in front of his house, his skin puckered in goose flesh and the hairs rose on the back of his neck. He didn’t react immediately. He wanted to see if the changes he’d made, the spells he had cast, would hold against this new attack before he cast further protective spells.
He made it to the sidewalk and turned to his right to stroll towards the little market a block up. He wasn’t going for anything in particular. It was just a trip to test his new spells and see if he could draw his attackers out. He hoped that his first set of gravitational spells would keep him safe until he reached the market. There he hoped to grab a latte and find a place to sit where he could pretend to read a book while actually looking for those attacking him.
His flesh crawled but his wards held. Richard made it to the end of his block and started to cross the street. Two-thirds of the way across, his vision began to dim. He didn’t run, didn’t panic, but he did speed up so he wouldn’t be blinded while still out in the open. Safely on the other side, his vision little more than tiny circles of morning light, he stopped and focused on the magic again. He was pretty sure he knew what spell this was and for a moment he was shocked that someone thought he was worth spilling so much blood over. Who was after him? And why? But, as his world went completely dark, he pushed the questions away and plucked at the strings of gravity around him, shifting things just so. Light filled his world again and he looked around, satisfied, and then he carried on towards that market, almost as if nothing had happened.
Richard glanced around, though, hoping to catch a glimpse of someone he didn’t recognize, someone who might be actively trying to staunch the heavy bleeding that would have gone with the spell he had just thwarted. At the same time, his own magical exertions had weakened him and he slowed his pace so he could focus on his breathing and not waste any power energy rushing to the market. He would get a break there. His coffee and a bite to eat, along with the rest while sitting, and that would be enough to get him home even if he had to use more magic to do so.
Still, this was becoming problematic. How could he ever get anything done if he was constantly under attack. He desperately needed to find who was behind it and put a stop to it. Whoever it was. Whatever was needed.