If you can’t beat them

The mercenary army appeared in the village at sunrise. The butchery didn’t take long, well-armed veteran troops against helpless peasants. In less than an hour, the last scream died away.

Magister Ho shook the sole survivor in his gauntleted fist.

“Where is my former apprentice, Tuan Ti?”

The terrified peasant indicated a monastic outbuilding. The Magister nodded briefly with gratitude, and then his hand erupted into flame and plunged through the peasant’s chest.

Ho’s boot kicked the door open on the North side of the building, just in time to see a familiar face disappearing from the far doorway on the southern end of the monastery.

“So, Tuan Ti,” Magister Ho bellowed, stalking into the simple chamber where she kept her sleeping pallet. Hundreds of recently lit candles lined the long, narrow hall on both sides. “I see that you’ve been practicing. There was a time when your childish magic could not light even a single candlewick. So many at once, I am impressed.”

Tuan Ti sprinted for the boulder just behind the south door and dove behind it.

“Those aren’t candles,” she shouted back.

Everything on the north side of the boulder vanished instantly in a massive explosion.

“They’re bombs,” she whispered, removing her fingertips from her ears.

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209 words. Inspired by this week’s Picture It & Write prompt:

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