The Light Changed
The boy’s hands had become weapons, stony things that moved faster than sight. He was muscle and bone and steel; he moved and bled through the patterns in the world. The old man had shaped him into something other.
He hadn’t tried for the staff in months, and didn’t need to. When it was time, he would take it.
When he first saw people again, he hardly recognized them, soft, fleshy things. The soldiers moved with the arrogance of armour, and the boy knew all the ways to break the caravan.
Then he saw the girl, and the light changed.