Sweat ran in rivulets down his back.
“Hotter!” the mage said.
“Any hotter and we’re all going to burn too,” he grumbled but still cranked up the heat. The mage leaned forward in anticipation. Not for the first time, he pulled the mage back before she did something stupid, like try to touch the glowing hot ore with her bare hands.
A crack split the surface of the ore. It pulsed. Once. Twice.
The mage stepped forward. He pulled her back again.
“It’s fine. It’s ready for the next step.”
She brushed his hand off and stepped towards the ore into the heat. She positioned her fingertips over the glowing ore, took a steadying breath, and touched it.
Like a chef pulling dough, the mage pulled the ore into a long rod. With just her fingers, she prodded the rod into her desired form as if it was just clay.
He watched from a distance, sweat still running in rivulets down his back.
Magic was crazy.