Part 9 of my UT/AA Crossover

Read Part 8 first: Part 8 of my UT/AA Crossover
Aaron had gone to train with Torren, leaving the others to rebuild the Headquarters.
Every day, he was shaken awake violently very, very early in the morning—it was still dark—to run around the woods, which was an obstacle course in itself.
So for a week or so, he ran, battled, climbed, jumped, and went back to Perinto or the headquarters to see everyone else.
One day, Torren guided him to the “magical power outlets.”
He was told to cast a spell at each one, at the same time Torren did, with no explanation. As their spells met the monuments, a wave of power rippled out.
Energy enveloped the area around them.
Torren suddenly lunged at Aaron, catapulting into the air, firing a beam.
Aaron rolled out of the way, flew up, and cast a fireball—which was instantly demolished by Torren’s explosion. Aaron was slammed into the glowing ground.
He grimaced, summoned his naginata, and charged into the air.
He whirled it and cut at Torren, only to have it blocked.
Then a point-blank fireball slammed into him, burning him, crushing him.
He flopped onto the ground, lifeless, wondering why Torren had killed him, wondering what had just happened.
His eyes opened to find himself on the ground, next to Torren. He cautiously got up, looking at himself—there were no wounds.
Torren got up as well.
“Wh-what was that?” Aaron asked.
“That was a way for me to show you just how big the gap in power between the two of us is—and how deadly the lack of control you have can be. Without actually killing you. Those monuments…act in strange ways. That is one of them.”
“Um…okay. What do you mean by my lack of control?”
“It would have been far safer for you to continue attacking me from afar, but instead you decided to attack close up, giving me an opening.”
He thought back to the “battle.” “That’s true.”
“Well, you recognizing it is a start. Now you need to focus on using that knowledge.”
He nodded.
“Now we will do it again—but you can only use your magic. I am free to use any form of combat I wish.”
They once again cast spells at the monuments and returned to the strange world.
A fireball hurtled towards Aaron, who deflected it with his Gravity Magic and followed up with a pillar of fire.
He jumped up, almost flew at Torren, remembered what he had been told, and instead fired massive balls of fire from where he was.
Torren lunged, shortsword flicking in front. And now Aaron faced a problem—he had no way of blocking the blows. But he could use the fact that Torren was close to him to his advantage, just as Torren had done.
He gathered a blast of Gravity Magic and fired it as soon as Torren was close enough.
They both went flying, propelled by the shockwave from the blast.
Aaron and Torren fired a single massive blast at each other, Torren’s easily piercing Aaron’s. His eyes widened, and he quickly formed a shield of Inferno-flame and flew higher.
Beneath him, the fireball met his shield, and both exploded.
Then a barrage of blasts from above slammed him onto the ground, and a shortsword swing ended the battle.
Once again, the strange world disappeared.
“Better. But you need to be far more aware of where your opponent is.” Torren told him.
Aaron nodded.
For a few more hours, they continued training in that strange world summoned by the monuments, using only his magic. Then Torren changed tack and told him that he would only be allowed to use his weapons, and he couldn’t use magic in any form.
Aaron blinked. “Then how am I supposed to block your massive fireballs? Or anything, for that matter? How am I supposed to hit you? You’re a Curse user!”
“You must find a way. As for my being a Curse user, I will stay in my human form. I should probably teach you to do that at some point…”
Aaron sighed, and the two once again entered the strange world.
Almost immediately, a fireball flew at him. Summoning his naginata, he spun it in one hand and swung at the fireball, then backflipped out of the explosion radius.
Torren lunged at him, shortsword flashing. Aaron parried the blows, but was caught by surprise by a sudden fireball, which knocked him back some ways.
He spun the naginata like a baton and, still spinning it around him, charged at Torren. A fireball flew at him, which he destroyed as he leapt out of the explosion.
Now Torren was parrying his blows skillfully, as Aaron continued to whirl and slice.
He was thrown back by an explosion of Darkflame. Digging his blade into the warped ground, he leapt back up and charged again.
Slashing, slashing—then he quickly stabbed forwards, wounding Torren. Taking advantage of that, he continued his attack, but was badly injured by a swirling beam of fire, and was “killed” by an energy slash from Torren.
They did that for another few hours. Then Torren decided that Aaron had trained enough for the day and allowed him to leave, telling him that the next session, he’d be taught to “become” his curse.

The repairs went fairly smoothly until they came to the bunker room. Steel door smashed in, and most of all, tongues of flame.
It was Chara who came up with the idea. “Why not build a retractable bridge or something, and make it like a moat of fire?”
Engineer Welkins considered the idea. He turned to the group. “Anyone know what those flames are?”
Arsen grimaced. “Promethean Inferno Curse. Good luck finding something that’ll stand up to it.”
“I mean…it doesn’t feel too hot from here…” Welkins said. He was standing about four feet from the flames.
“Mm.” Arsen stepped closer, around three inches away. He blinked, puzzled. Tentatively, he held out a hand, putting it directly in the flames. It was about as hot as hot water from a faucet, and he said as much. He withdrew his hand.
“Just normal steel should cut it. Keep in mind, though, that these flames aren’t eternal. They’re going to go out, and by the temperature they’re going to go out soon.”
“Well then, never mind.” Chara said, discouraged.
But the engineer smiled. “But your idea was a good one, and it’s given me my own.” He looked at Valencia. “What would you say to a constant current running through the floor—and there’s a retractable second floor, so we can use that and enemies won’t know there’s a current until it’s too late.”
“That would be nice—but wouldn’t there be a sheer drop?”
“We can just make the top floor out of an enhanced insulator, and then it can be as thin as we want. No one will notice.”
Valencia smiled. “If you think you can do it, then I’m all for it!”
The flames on the floor suddenly swirled away. Everyone looked to see where they had gone, to see them condensing into a fireball in Aaron’s hand, before vanishing.
“Hi, Aaron! How’d your training go?” Chara asked.
Aaron let out a breath. “Torren killed me a couple hundred times.”
Freedrock blinked. “Oh, you mean in the monuments’ arena?”
“Oh, you know it?” Aaron asked, surprised.
“Of course I do. Torren and I used to train there!” he responded.
“Nice!” Aaron looked around. “Uh…sorry about wrecking this place.”
“Hey, you defeated the big bad guy, right, kiddo? Betcha they’d have done a lot worse than this if you hadn’t stopped them.” Sans told him.
“Well…yeah, I guess.” After a moment of silence, Aaron changed the subject. “So, uh…anything I can help with?”
Valencia considered for a moment. “You know the layout of this place pretty well; can you go check out the rest of the base and see what needs to be fixed?” She handed Aaron a map and pencil. “Just mark off the places here.”
Aaron nodded and began scouting. He came across a few places that were a bit scorched, and others where the whole place was burning and caved in.
After marking them down and being sure he’d gotten the whole base, he headed back to the bunker room. Handing the sheet to Valencia, he asked if there was anything else for him to help with.
“Well, you could always help with repairs, I guess…but…do you really want to? Go explore with Chara and Asriel, let them get to know this world a bit!” she told him.
He looked over at the two, then back at Valencia. “How will they get around? I don’t think I can trust myself with a ship…” he said, recalling an accident some years prior in which he had somehow managed to take the sail clean off the mast.
She considered this for a moment. “Have you heard of elementals?”
“Yeah. What about them?”
“Do you know how to summon and control them?”
“No and no. If you’re thinking what I think you’re thinking, absolutely not.”
A smile tugged at the corners of her lips. “So do you trust yourself more with an elemental or a ship? And which do you think will have a better view: a ship, or a bird?”
Aaron sighed. “And you really think this is going to be safe?”
“It’s quite simple once you get the hang of it.”
“I don’t have the hang of it!”
“Yes, you do. You know how to summon flame into a fireball, a beam, an explosion. Now imagine it as a bird, or whatever you want it to be.”
Aaron closed his eyes, concentrating on summoning the creature.
“Kreeaargh!” The cry echoed throughout the halls of the headquarters.
In front of Aaron was a bird of flame, like a phoenix.

Aaron stared in wonder at the beast before him. Turning to Valencia, he asked, “So…now what?”
“Well, now there are a few things you need to know. First, treat the elemental as a friend, a companion, not as a servant or something you can command. You summoned it, but it has a mind of its own. And…well, with normal elementals, when they’re defeated in combat, they’re a part of your Mind, so their defeat will affect you too. But as a Curse user, you don’t need to worry about that. The last thing is to make sure you land if you’re feeling weak; your elemental won’t last forever. The last thing you want is to go tumbling into the sea, especially as a Curse user!”
Aaron nodded. “Alright…”
“Now go and have fun!”
Aaron turned to Chara and Asriel. “Well, looks like it’s my turn to show you two around!”
Eyeing the elemental warily, Asriel asked, “So we just…hop on?”
“I guess…?” Aaron turned to Valencia.
She nodded encouragingly.
Aaron gingerly swung a leg over the creature. Asriel and Chara followed suit.
He turned to Valencia. “How do you get the elemental to…y’know…go places?”
“Just tell it where you want to go. And when to stop.”
“Um…okay…hey…uh, do you have a name?” he asked the creature.
It nodded its fiery head.
“What is it?”
Valencia looked on with amusement. “I remember this the first time I summoned my elemental. You just have to throw out random names and hope it likes one of them.”
He looked at the elemental, and then at Asriel and Chara. All of them seemed to be laughing at him. He sighed.
The creature shuddered.
“No? How about….”
This went on for a while.
“…Phoenix? …no? Ugh…how about…Akuma? Y’know, what with the Devil and all…YAAAGH!”
The elemental very much disliked that name, apparently, for it had blasted a jet of fire at Aaron, who dodged it and sighed.
“… Infernus?”
Finally, finally, after over ten minutes, the creature nodded and puffed a bit of flame, more happily this time, not in a scorch-your-face-off way.
Aaron, Asriel, and Chara got on.
“Alright, Infernus,” Aaron said. “Ready to go?”
With a screech, it took off through the narrow halls and shot out of the open doors of the Headquarters.
From high up in the sky, Aaron gestured beneath them.
“This is the Fifth Sea.”
Asriel and Chara, used to the mountain’s small space, were amazed at the endless expanse of the sea.
They flew towards the Fourth Sea. As they neared, Aaron caught sight of a crumbling, burnt lighthouse, rising above a once-grand city that was now in ruins.
He stared in horror at the scene, realizing what it was—Genisi. Chara and Asriel had also noticed it, but they, not knowing what it was, asked Aaron why he seemed so disturbed by the scene.
“Those ruins…well, I’d heard of what Durza had done to the Seas, but this—I can’t even…”
Chara gasped. “Durza…did this?” she asked, gesturing at the ruins below.
Grimly, Aaron nodded.
After flying over the rest of the Sea, Aaron guided the elemental towards the Sixth Sea.
He had been filled with such pain from seeing Genisi in ruins—he wasn’t going to fly anywhere near the three Seas that Durza had destroyed.
Still, for the rest of the time he was showing Chara and Asriel around, he couldn’t help being reminded of the destruction he’d seen.