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Xander dove for the ground just as a fireball flew over his head. He had learned not to question Sandra when she told him to do something or it could mean a lot of pain for him. They had been fighting some low level demons when one had thrown a dagger at him. Sandra had told him to duck then too, but instead of listening he turned around instead. The dagger had dug into his right shoulder cutting right to the bone. Thank God for White Lighters especially Sandra. She had killed the demons then healed his shoulder. Unfortunately he had to sit through a lecture on listening to her while in a battle situation while she healed him.
Xander jumped up from his crouch and launched a stream of fire at the Scavenger Demon that had thrown the fireball. He nailed it right in the just and paused just long enough to make sure it burst into flames before moving on to the next target.
That’s another thing that had changed. He had managed to control his fire power over the last couple of weeks.
“Come on Alex focus channel the power from your heart into the palm of your hand,” Sandra told him.
Xander sat in the middle of another abandoned warehouse with his legs folded in a lotus position with his eyes closed and beads of sweat rolling down his face. As he sat there he could feel the heat just behind his heart flickering back and forth like a candle flame, but slowly he coaxed it down his arm towards his palm.
“Alex look you did it,” Sandra shouted.
When Xander looked down at his hand there was a ball of orange and red flame about the size of one of his stress balls. He looked up at Sandra with a wide grin and lobbed the ball towards a pile of wood were it exploded sending wood shards in every direction. When Xander and Sandra looked at each other they both had maniacal grins on their faces and started laughing.
“Demons better watch out cause with this kind of fire power they don’t stand a chance,” Xander said while smirking until a hand wacked him on the back of the head.
“Don’t get cocky,” Sandra told him. “Some demons are fireproof or need a vanquishing spell to kill. While your power is strong you shouldn’t rely on it that leads to laziness and death.”
Xander gave her a somber look before nodding his head.
“Now that took you way too long try again only faster,” she told him. Xander let out a groan before getting back into position to try again.
With the training Sandra was putting Xander through he quickly got a better handle on his powers. While not fully mastered his witch studies had progressed extremely well. He now knew various potions to vanquish demons, cure injuries, and other helpful brews. While he would never be a master he could still create some effective spells given enough time. Sandra had him create and memorize some helpful spells and generic vanquishing spells to use in a pinch. The physical aspect of his training was where he excelled. He was in top physical condition now and had studied basics in various forms of martial arts, but while he excelled in that his power was still slightly unstable. Sure he could use it and use it effectively, but it would still get away from him sometimes and still occasionally popped up when he was angry. His firepower was really awesome though he could make it into a stream of fire or into a compact fireball, or as he liked to call them firebombs because when they hit anything they blew up in a small explosion proportional to the size of the ball.
When Sandra finally deemed Xander ready she gave him his families Book of Shadows.
Xander was in the living room of their apartment with the furniture pushed to the side doing some basic katas when Sandra walked in. She sat down on the couch placing a brown sack beside her.
“Alex sit down for a minute please,” she asked.
When Xander was finally sitting in front of her she paused for a moment before taking a deep breath.
“Alex you have been training extremely hard these past few weeks. Honestly you’re the most driven and hard working student I’ve ever had. You’ve shown me that you can listen and take direction but you also know how to think on your feet and use all of your resources to make sure you come home at the end of the day alive and relatively unharmed. It’s because of this that I’m finally convinced that you’re ready to go out and fight the demons that are corrupting this world.”
Xander had a smile on his face and was almost bouncing with excitement. Sandra knew how hard it was on him to sit at home training knowing that there were demons out there killing innocents and he wasn’t there to save them. It had taken a lot of fast talking to convince him that he was useless to anyone if he was killed because he lacked the necessary training.
She smiled at him before picking up the sack and started to pull something out of it.
“Now Alex what I am about to give you is a very dangerous weapon and a demon magnet.” She pulled out a black leather bound book. It was a little scuffed up and the pages were a sort of yellowish color that only really old books had. The back cover had three slashes on it from what could only be claws. On the front cover was an all seeing eye. Xander could feel the power coming off of this book and it resonated with his powers. Xander found his hand start to reach out for the book without him being aware of it.
Sandra had a little smirk on her face before she said, “Take it Alex it’s yours. This is the Aiken families Book of Shadows. In it is information on hundreds of demons various vanquishing potions and spells and other magical knowledge that your family had gathered over the years.”
When Xander finally touched the book the pages started glowing and he heard a rushing sound in his ears. A sharp pain in his finger touching the book snapped him out of it and when he looked down he saw the carved eye looked real and was staring right at him. Its pupil glowed silver for a moment and seemed to look right through him before going back to a simple metal decoration.
Xander looked up at Sandra and asked, “What just happened?”
“Book of Shadows have so much magic that they become almost sentient. The book simply tested you to see if you were really an Aiken witch,” Sandra said. “And if I wasn’t,” he asked?
“Then it would have tried to kill you. Unlike the Halliwell’s Book of Shadows evil can touch it so it has other fail-safe’s to keep it out of evil hands and the blood and intent tests are two of those.”
“Intent tests,” Xander questioned? Sandra let out a long suffering sigh. Sometimes Alex’s inquisitive nature was more of a curse than a blessing at least for her.
“When the eye looked at you read your mind or at least skimmed it to learn your intentions. Will you use the book for good or evil that sort of thing,” Sandra answered.
“Two more questions, what’s with the eye and why is this a demon magnet,” Xander asked?
“The all seeing eye is a symbol of your family. In the past your family has tended to produce some of the strongest seers and prophets. Other than that the most common magic in your family was mind magic’s reading minds, empaths, and hypnosis. The reason it’s a demon magic is because knowledge is power. If a demon got its hands on this book it would know how to vanquish any of its opponents and could learn how to counter potions and other magic that can be used on it.”
Xander took the book and started looking through it. Sandra left him there but when she got up in the morning and he was still reading he got an earful about the reason a body needs sleep and rest.
Xander doged another fireball before twisting and stabbing his daggers into another demons neck. When he looked up he saw Sandra twist the neck of the last demon turning it into a pile of blue goo.
“Well that was invigorating,” she said.
Xander just smiled and wiped the sweat off his face with the bottom of his shirt.
“Let’s go home and clean up before heading out for dinner. Oh we can try that new Japanese steak house,” she said before grabbing his arm and orbing away.
AUTHORS NOTE: Sorry for the delay but I honestly forgot I was writing a story. School has a way of sneaking up on you and taking up all of your time. I hope you like the chapter and let me know should Xander meet up with the sisters during a battle, need to save them, or need to be saved by them.