Floor 2Seteta stood with sand pooled over and around her feet, closer to the edge of the room.
Every grain of sand in the room was under her control, whether on the ground or still falling through the air, each piece of it linked to each other through magic. Sand was the most difficult form of earth to master, but if you mastered it, you could control anything. As an Abtati, Seteta had been working with primarily sand since her magic manifested as a child, and as she'd built up her capacity over the years, the magic and the sand now responded merely to her thought and whim.
Gale and Rheinhard were near the center, in the deepest part of the sand. Diedrick stood nearer one of the doors, and even as she spoke to Gale, her eyes had never left the boy. She could feel Gale's struggle against her own magic, and against Rheinhard. She could feel every step that Rheinhard took, every motion he made.
As Rheinhard's knife flew through the air toward Diedrick, she felt the strange shifting of his weight. By the time he was pulling the knife out of his stomach, she'd already made up her mind what to do.
Because with pain, she would have access to yet another kind of magic.
Diedrick turned his disgusting grin on her and tossed the knife, but she answered with a smirk of her own as she simply stepped to one side to let Rheinhard's knife--grateful that it was sharp--graze her side. A tendril of sand caught the knife as it fell behind her, and settled it gently in her palm.
"That was a mistake," she hissed as pain and blood blossomed across her skin, but her smirk didn't falter. She felt Gale cease struggling and Rheinhard step away from the other geomancer to assess the situation.
Seteta flicked her wrist. Every grain of sand in the room exploded into the air, and engulfed the room in darkness.
It was not darkness caused by blocking the light.
This was an illusion. With magic fed through the pain Seteta endured, she bound the illusion to the sand itself, and made the darkness thick and cloying. It didn't matter how well one might be able to see, they would not be able see through this darkness, because there was no light to aid them. Even Seteta could not see through it, only sensing where things were by their movement through the sand-cloud.
She bound a tendril of her magic to Rheinhard himself, so she would not mistakenly attack him.
And then, sucking in a breath as the room began to shift and spin as more competitors entered the area--many of them entering the very room itself, and crying out with fear as the darkness suddenly engulfed them--Seteta sprinted to Rheinhard's side, calling some of the sand to make a steady path for her to trod, even through the very air itself.
"It's me," she muttered, grasping Rheinhard's wrist and pressing his knife back into his hand. She knew the significance of those weapons, and would not use them herself if she did not have to.
"I think we'll need Nestor's help before long," she said as she held onto Rheinhard and pulled the sand from her pathway into a sturdy platform beneath their feet. The room moved around them now, but they were stationary. With the added benefit of more bodies, though, Diedrick would find it nearly impossible to locate either one of them through the darkness.