CHAPTER 14 - MAGES (4)
“Ceciliana, what are you saying?!”
The king’s face was losing all of its color, and he looked more like a ghost than a flesh and blood human. She turned to him with no remorse in her stance or voice.
“I have seen it, Father. He will return to Earth. And if he can return to Earth, he can come back here. I witnessed the wonders of his home. Suppose that I could learn anything about his world. In that case, I can scarcely imagine the advancements I’d be able to bring back to Arcadia.”
“But to make such a preposterous offer? Send a trusted advisor. Why do you believe yourself capable of accompanying him?”
The two continued to argue as a wave of emotion washed over Alex. She saw that he’d return to Earth? Relief filled him after the stress of the last few hours. He was afraid it would have been like many of the books where the protagonist was forever trapped in their new world.
Thoughts floated into memories as he tried to recall the circle that had brought him here. He must have written it wrong. So if he perfected it, he could go back. Right?
‘Rule #9, Fenrir.’
‘One step at a time, but three steps ahead.’
‘I’m not a dog, ALICE.’
He could hear the smirk in her voice.
‘You’re my wolf.’
As if on cue, Alex’s concentration was broken by Celia taking his chin in her fingers. He focused his gaze on meeting hers, and those glittering blue eyes seemed to be water poured on the fire that was his red irises.
“Well, Master Jaeger?”
Behind her, the king was looking at his feet, and the first princess looked incensed. Whatever he hadn’t paid attention to seemed to be serious. This woman, in a matter of seconds, might have saved his life and given up her own.
She’d make a powerful ally.
“I give the orders. I say jump; you say ‘how high?’”
She stepped back, releasing his chin, and gave a coy smile as she curtsied.
“As you wish, Master Jaeger.”
She once again stressed the word ‘Master.’ The hair stood up on the back of his neck.
‘I still say we kill her. But now I’m leaning more towards torture.’
‘Easy, ALICE. Her gift is strong. We can use her.’
‘If we aren’t careful, she’ll be the one using us.’
‘Then we just need to be careful. Rule #7.’
‘Really? That one? If it can be controlled, control it. You know that’s about the environment.’
‘The golden rule. Adapt.’
‘… It’s your funeral.’
ALICE went silent, and Alex held out his hand towards the princess.
“Welcome to the team, Celia.”
She smiled, a more warm and genuine expression than previously. She took his hand, then a third hand joined the shake, making it awkward. Both of them looked up as the diminutive figure of an elf appeared.
Treya wore a cross between a frown of annoyance and a pout.
“You do understand that, even if she saw it, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, yes?”
Alex nodded. He never thought it would be.
She nodded and cast her gaze in Celia’s direction next.
“Something to say, my dear Treya?”
Celia was practically vibrating with excitement as she awaited Treya’s words.
“Just let the record show, Celia.”
Treya’s eyes narrowed, and Alex swore that he saw sparks of lightning passing between the women’s eyes.
“I saw him first.”