ARCHWIZARD (TROY SANDERS BOOK 3)

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7: And He's Really Back... Or Is He Really?

“What is it that has gotten you all quiet?” asked Victoria and I snapped out of my thoughts. I looked around the table we were seating in the dining hall and noticed that everyone was caught up in their catching up conversation; a gunshot could sound next to them and they wouldn’t even notice.

“Nothing,” I replied and gave her my best ‘I’m okay’ smile.

Unfortunately, it didn’t serve its purpose as she returned me look of disbelief. “Right, ‘nothing’ got you moody throughout the day,” she said. “Why don’t you come clean with the real deal?”

I looked around and saw that everyone was still ‘engaged’. I really had to tell someone before I go crazy and I didn’t think there would be another person that could understand the situation like Vic. “Alright, you got me,” I admitted, “But can we go outside to talk instead?”

“Sure, just let me-” she never got to finish that sentence as I dragged her before she could get a hold of the chicken on her plate.

“Okay, that’s both rude and frightening. So, what’s up?”

“Do you know anything about power consequences?” I asked and hoped like hell she had something.

“Power consequences,” she repeated with a confused expression on her face. “Are we talking like in the English context or magic context?”

“Magic,” I replied and her face light up a bit; she definitely knew something about it.

“I’ve heard my father mention it before but only in passing,” she explained. “It’s like a kind of side effects of our magic powers.” Side effects, that sounded kinda serious.

“Can you explain further?” I pressed.

She gave me a ‘Where is this coming from?’ look but continued anyway. “Everything that a person does usually comes back to ‘haunt’ him later and magic is no different. A mage, for example, in his old age can have an hard time keeping all the knowledge he had acquired in order in his head and that might cause some glitches in his powers while wizards, when old, become weak and their power tend to weaken with them and become very unreliable. That’s why it’s termed a consequence.”

Now, it was my turn to look confused. You see, it didn’t sound so bad the way she explained it; it was absolutely natural even. But Oliver and Blake made it sound as if it was doomsday incoming- what exactly was I missing?

Troy, I suddenly heard a voice call out of nowhere and I turned to see a wisp of purple smoke and the end of black cloak dart around the corner.

Trichloris is back was the first thing that jumped into my mind and I ran after it; no way was I letting that man catch me unawares again. I turned the corner and ended up in another corridor. It was still the same one leading to the dining hall; that I was sure about. But something felt different about it. There were torches hung on the wall and burning with orange flames, making it looking kinda unreal.

Wait a frigging minute! There are no torches anywhere in Firewalt’s corridors, I suddenly realized. I was definitely somewhere unreal. But the question remained, how could I have gone from reality to there?- wherever there was- and while I was still awake too.

I turned back and saw that there was only pitch blackness behind me. What exactly is Trichloris playing at? I found myself asking again.

Come on, come on, wizard, I heard the voice say again and I saw the same purplish smoke at the end of corridor.

“You’re not going anywhere, Trichloris!” I shouted and ran after him again. I was almost upon him when I suddenly came up against a really large wall. I turned back and I saw that another wall had taken up space behind me. Everywhere I turned, there was a wall waiting for me.

He’s boxing me in, I finally realized in horror and immediately, all the walls started to close in at the same time. I could do nothing but turn around as my end came closer; but throughout it all, I kept hearing my name over and over again until my eyes suddenly focused and I saw Victoria shaking me vigorously and shouting my name.

“Troy,” she whispered to me as if shouting would make me loose lucidity again and I nodded in response; I was back to reality.

I finally realized that we were outside the training hall area; that was about four blocks away from the dining hall. How in the world I had gotten there so fast, I still didn’t understand. “What happened?” I asked.

“I was talking to you when you suddenly turned and ran away. You were moving so fast that it was hard for me to follow you. I’ve never seen any wizard move like that before in my life. It took me two teleportation spells and running like my pants are on fire to get to you,” replied Vic and I was even more amazed; I had never thought that I would ever be able to move like that, not even while I was still on the football team in high school.

But the only problem was that I had no memory of doing it. I could still remember the corridor I was running through vividly; but I also knew that it was just in my head.

“I thought I heard someone call my name and I went after him,” I explained but that only got Vic looking more worried.

“There was no one there, Troy,” she replied with a firm shaking of her head. “I felt the surroundings for magic but it was only yours that was in the area.”

That seemed quite impossible, somebody must have been there; I saw him. But truth be told, I hadn’t actually felt another person’s magic too. I had been so caught up with what I was seeing that I hadn’t bothered to consider what my other senses were telling me.

“Troy, you have to tell me what’s going on,” said Victoria and I saw something vivid on her face; fear, for me.

“I’m sorry Vic, but this is one secret you have to let me keep to myself. At least, until I’m sure of what I’m up against,” I said and she nodded affirmative in response. It was no secret she hated that I was keeping her out of it; but at least she knew that something was up and would be prepared for anything in the future.

I, on the other hand, had other things to worry about at the moment. I was starting to see things and perform magic unwilling again. But this time, there was no evidence of Trichloris. The magic Victoria told me I performed was strange too and deep down, my gut was telling me that it and that secret that Oliver was keeping were connected. And so, the pressing question became, how?

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