A/N: Lyra and Draco have a long conversation. Hope this satisfies you. Lyra will be there for another couple of chapters or something before she leaves.
I could only stare at the male who said that. That I had not been hallucinating. That they were a part of memory.
“Is,” I started. “The memories belong to?”
“Draco,” Taurus said. “It... I don’t know. But, I had been so sure that I never knew Eltanin or Thuban, but after seeing your memories, something says that I have fought alongside them. This is getting deeper than any of us.”
I was heaving and my head was starting to spin. I think I could stay in the hospital for another day. No, for the rest of my life.
“I think Aries will have some answers,” he said. “There are a lot of changes in him after he Soul-Bonded. Not to mention, he did say that Cosmos meddled with our memories. I have to find him.”
“Now?” I asked.
He shook his head. “After you are discharged.”
I rolled my eyes. “If one day I find myself wrapped in a thick blanket like a burrito, I will not be surprised.”
“Shall I?” he asked.
I snorted. “I am a hitman. An assassin. I kill people. That’s my job. People hire me for their protection.”
“Is it so?” he asked, stroking his imaginary beard.
“Yes,” I smiled. “Don’t you remember? I was sent to kill you.”
“Ah!” he exclaimed softly. “But you ended up taking those bullets for me. Does saving me equals killing me? Did the language we are using change over the span of time and I was not informed?”
“Don’t you know that?” I asked in the same tone. “It changed when I said so.”
“Never knew you invented this language.”
I sighed and laid back on my bed. “You may be a Warrior, but you don’t know everything I did.”
He snorted. “I might-”
The doors opened and Kessa and Mali rushed in. I groaned. If Taurus was being dramatic, what adjective would I use for my mother?
“Draco!” she cried. “What is-”
“I am not dead, mom,” I said. “I just passed out.”
“Y-you are in the hospital!” she fired. “Werewolves rarely are admitted here!”
“Really,” Taurus said. “The doctor just checked on him. She said there was nothing wrong with him.”
Mali sighed. “Thank you, Second Warrior. I think we can take it from here. We don’t want to be a bother-”
“It is not,” he said.
“Let him be here,” I said at the same time.
It was not that I feared to be alone, but I felt a sense of security when he was around. Could it be because he was a star and he was powerful? Whatever it was, I felt safe with him around than I ever felt it with Rune or Zeke.
Mali’s face flushed. “I did not mean anything wrong.”
But there was another reason. Ever since what Ant told me about Harriet and that it had some link with Mali, I was sceptical of her.
“I know,” Taurus said. “You were just concerned that I am here and wasting my time?”
Mali stayed silent. It was my mother who cleared her throat. “We did not mean that-”
“It’s okay,” he said. “I will stay here. Draco, after all, saved me.”
With that, he sat on the seat where Lyra had been sitting and picked the magazine and began to read it, ignoring the heavy tension that was stifling the room. It was obvious that Mali wanted Taurus to go out with the way she was looking at him. But why? Taurus was a good friend of mine now. As good as Zeke, Zyon and Rune. Mali had no right to tell who should be there visiting me. She was no longer my Omicron.
“What is it, Mali?” I asked.
She nervously looked at Taurus. But my eyes did not miss the mark on her neck. A new mark.
“Marked by Omicron Riley?” I asked.
Was she giving her mate, her Soul-Bound a chance?
Mali just nodded. “He is my mate.”
Anyone would be happy after being marked. Mali was, but her happiness was turned to fear when she kept staring at Taurus.
“Pretend he is not here,” I said, looking into her eyes that held so much irrational fear.
Why was she jumpy? What was wrong with her? Did something happen when I was out cold?
“H-he is the Second Warrior, Draco,” she finally managed to tell. “I can’t ignore him.”
“I am doing it, aren’t I?” I asked. “What is stopping you?”
“Draco!” She almost pulled her hair out. “You have no idea what he is capable of!”
I looked at him and all I could think of was that smug face when he paid for the food back at the diner and the embarrassed face when Lyra called him a doctor. This guy was capable of killing me? I did not think so.
“Then you do know what I am capable of,” he said, without raising his head from the pages. “Good.”
“W-what does that mean, Second Warrior?” Kessa asked, her fingers trembling.
I sighed. I did want to comfort my mother that Taurus was harmless, but the dark aura he was emitting would make my attempts futile.
“She knows that I am talking about,” he said curtly. “That’s enough for now.”
“I-I don’t understand,” Mali said.
“Mali,” I called. There must have been something in my voice that made her look at me like a deer caught on headlights. “What happened the night when Harriet and Tressa died? What actually happened, Mali?”
Mali’s lips trembled. “You should know, Draco,” she began, her voice soft like she was explaining a child. “Everything I did, it was for your good.”
“Don’t test my patience now, Mali,” I snarled lowly as I sat up. “Tell me. What have you done?”
“I did not do anything-” she began.
“The truth, Mali,” I pressed. “The truth.”
Kessa looked between us before she came towards me. “Draco! She is Mali Bidaya. She was there to help you. She even found the ones who killed Harriet.”
“Listen to your mother, Draco,” she started. “Listen to her. I never harmed you. I never did.”
I laughed without humour. “You know? When Antlia told me that the bond I had with Harriet was fake and that I should ask you about it, I thought the princess was bluffing. I thought you of all people would not have any connection to what happened that day. But your words and actions today is making me think otherwise.”
“Of course,” she muttered in spite. “You would believe your new friends over me.”
“New friends?” I scoffed. “If you had never lied to me from the beginning, why would I need to believe my new friends, Mali? Swear to me that you have never lied to me. Swear that you have never used your powers over me apart from tampering with my targets. Swear it, Mali.”
She gulped. “I-I-”
“I believe that was a yes or no question,” Taurus quipped helpfully. “Monosyllabic answer.”
With a sharp cry, she heaved. “I-I will tell you when you are discharged out.”
She just ran out after that. For the first time, my heart did not ache to see her cry. Who knew what she was capable of?
“Draco?” my mother whispered. “What did you mean by that, son?”
I closed my eyes and laid down. “I wish to rest now, mom. I am tired.”
“Draco!” she called in that voice that had me to open my eyes. “You are telling me what is wrong. I will not have you in pain.”
“It’s nothing,” I said. “When Mali decides to tell the truth, I will tell you.”
She gave me a long hard look before relenting. “Whatever. You will tell me one day.”
I nodded. “Fine.”
She saw the saline bottle and sighed. “With Mali gone, I will go see Aiko. If I am not bothering you, Second Warrior, would you be kind enough to watch over my son?”
Taurus blinked at my mother and then he nodded. “Don’t worry.”
She smiled at him and left the room.
“Draco,” he called my name quietly after he switched off the lights and closed the window blinds. “Do you want me to probe her mind and get the truth out?”
I shook my head. “No. I will give her a chance. I will listen to what she had done to keep me safe. If she refuses to tell me the truth even then...”
“Got it,” he said. “Now rest.”
As soon as I was discharged, Taurus went looking for Aries, while I roamed aimlessly in the street. Kicking a stone along my path, I saw that Lyra was talking with Zyon.
My initial plan had been to find Mali, but upon seeing her, I changed it and went towards the deserted park where the two were.
“-know who you are,” Lyra said. “May I ask, where your sister is?”
“Somewhere near the Winter Coven,” he muttered. “Says she is living her life making ice sculptors.”
Lyra chuckled. “Interesting. I have to meet her.”
“Lyra,” I called. When two sets of eyes fell on me, I gulped. “Is it okay if I call you Lyra? Or do you prefer-”
She smiled. “Even Aries asked you to call him by his name. Why should I differ?”
I nodded and sat on the ground before the two. “You said, you would answer a few questions I had.”
“I did say that,” she said. “And I will. But... don’t expect me to be completely transparent with you. There are a few things, Draco, that you have to go through to understand. I can’t help you with that. But with the other things? Yes.”
“Can’t answer?” I whispered.
“Think this as a book, Draco,” she said. “Better yet, poetry. Everyone has their own interpretations. What I interpret may not be the same as what you did. Need not be the same. The difference is what makes life so interesting. I read a poem and I deduced the meaning to my understanding. You might read the same poem and may understand it differently. If I say you my meaning, you will forever never find yours.”
I just stared at her. I had no words. But it was that time, I felt a spark race my body. There was a flash. Just one.
In that, a female similar to the one before me was crying, “Aries” repeatedly. When I tried to comfort her, she shoved me away.
I snapped from it when Zyon snapped his fingers before me.
“Alright, bro?” he asked.
I nodded. While confusion was etched on his face, a smirk lit hers, like she knew something that none of us here did.
“As I was saying, Zyon,” she said, ignoring me. “We might have an idea of your race.”
I frowned. “What race?”
She hummed. “Zyon... you are not a werewolf, vampire, warlock nor a human. Ever wondered what you are?”
Zyon gulped. “I believe my sister.”
“And what did she say?” Lyra asked.
“She never did tell me anything fully. Said that I was a star,” Zyon said. “Something along the lines of protecting me. Something like the truth will destruct me or something.”
Seeing my blank look, he said. “I am not exaggerating.”
I inhaled sharply. Those were the exact words Mali said. She was protecting me. Would she really be innocent in this? Could I hope that she did not have blood staining her hands?
“That’s why I have to meet your sister,” Lyra said. “I need to know why she kept the truth from us.”
“What truth?” Zyon asked.
“I understand why she hid you,” Lyra said. “Why they hid both of you. Aries would have broken the bond he had with Cosmos for your parents. If you are who I suspect you to be, then I knew your parents, Zyon. I would have done anything to help them. I need to know the basics of this decision.”
Was that making sense? One look at Zyon and I knew I was not the only one to feel this.
“Who are they?” Zyon asked.
“I have to confirm with your sister,” Lyra said. “I just know your race. I am not sure. I can’t give you two names without any proof.”
“What am I, then?” Zyon asked.
Lyra sighed. “Your sister should have told this to you.”
“She hid a lot from me,” Zyon said. “I knew she wanted me to be safe, but that was not right. I need to know who I am. I can’t frolic without knowing about me. What if, someone else, say the one my sister is protecting me from tells me who I am and asks me to work for them or something? Would that not be ironical? They were doing all this to prevent me from doing something but hiding the truth itself is like sealing my fate to do it.”
Lyra inhaled deeply. “During the battle with West Pack, I met someone. Her name was Megrez. She is the daughter of Polaris and Seren.”
“Polaris as in the northern star,” he said. “Xylah made sure that I knew about the stars here.”
“She is a half-star and a half-pulsar,” Lyra said. “One of the strongest creature there.”
My jaw dropped. “Y-you are trying to say...”
“What I am trying to say is that,” Lyra said. “After knowing her, you, Zyon have sort of similar scent and vibrations. I think you are half-star and half-pulsar.”
Zyon stared at her then he burst into laughter. “Y-you are kidding me.”
“I am not,” Lyra said. “You can Aries if you don’t believe me. If you want, I can even get Megrez to meet you. She can help you understand yourself a bit. But before all of that, I have to meet your sister. I need to understand why she is doing this.”
Zyon’s laugh died, but he was still not willing to buy what she was telling. “I am not half and half. Trust me on that one.”
“I know you will find it difficult to understand it now,” Lyra said. “Perhaps when your sister tells you, you might believe me. Have you done something that no one could have done?”
Zyon frowned. “I... I sleep a lot?”
Lyra gave him a long look.
I cleared my throat. “Trust me. He does sleep a lot. More so after his visit to West Pack.”
At the mention of West pack, Lyra stiffened. “What do you mean?”
Zyon grunted. “A hunter named Cain took me there. Said he the Dungeons was planning to release four prisoners. But it would take time. He took me there to speed it up.”
Lyra coughed. “C-cain?”
“You know him?” I asked.
Lyra’s eyes widened. “He is my brother.”
Zyon blinked. “He is your brother?”
Lyra took a minute to compose herself. “If from what you say is true. He took you there to release me, Miguel, Cathara and Alioth. So, it was you who released us.”
As much as her eyes were light, she was calculating something. She had a million thoughts at the same time yet she found the subtle art of being in the present as well as in the deepest corner of her mind.
“Does it have to do anything with why he was feeling so tired?” I asked.
Lyra laughed. “The strongest stars have died from trying to open the dungeons. Unless you are a First-generation star, a quasar, or and Ecthos, you can’t open it.” Then she looked at Zyon. “Do you now know how powerful you are?”
“I am none of the races you mentioned,” Zyon said, narrowing his eyes. “I am not first-generation star, nor am I a quasar or an Ecthos. How did I open the Dungeon?”
“This is why I have to meet your sister,” she said. “Why at least you have to.”
“Can’t you like call her?” I asked. “Phone. Internet. Brings people close.”
Lyra laughed at that. “I understand where you come from, Draco. But stars and pulsars, they have a way of cutting the phone calls. If... someone I don’t want to talk to calls me, I can interfere in the rays and cut the call. What the naked eyes fail to see, I can see the waves and the rays that you have read in physics. I just tune my eyes to see the normal spectrum. If I wanted, I can see the entire spectrum of light and that includes the high and the low ends of the light. The electromagnetic spectrum.”
“What are you?” I blinked at her. “A walking spectrometer? A light detector?”
“That’s how our genetic material is coded,” she shrugged. “I remember asking Aries if he was a walking EEG machine when he said he could detect the brain waves when I did not remember who I was.”
I shook my head. “So, are you?”
“A what?” she asked with an amused smile playing on her lips. “A light detector?”
I nodded seriously. “I need to know.”
“Yes,” she said. “I am.”
“Th-then,” I began. “You can see the ultraviolet rays from the sun?”
She nodded. “I can. Being a celestial creature, I can control it as well.”
“Fuck,” I softly swore. “What am I talking to?”
“A pulsar,” she supplied.
“Helpful,” I said.
“Honestly,” she said. “As soon as I learnt who I was, I was thrust into a war. I did not have any time to find out what I could really do. After the war subsided, I slowly rediscovered what I could do in this human form.”
“I will try to call my sister,” Zyon said. “But as you said, if she did not want me to find her, she can’t be found.”
Lyra nodded. “I understand.” Then she looked at me. “Draco, I believe you have some questions.”
I cleared my throat and then looked at the evening sky, refusing to look into her curious golden eyes. For some reason, her eyes reminded me of a lazy dragon, just guarding its treasures with a lethargy that none could posses.
“Taurus,” I began. “He said I was a shifter. Am I?”
Lyra hummed. “Depends. Have you ever felt the need to shift? The burning ache to break the skin you have?”
I frowned at the mellow orange sky. “Once. When my ma- Harriet and Tressa died.”
“Mate?” Lyra asked in a soft voice, matching the silenced whispers of the breeze. “You have a mate?”
“Had,” I corrected, looking at her. “Or so I thought. Antlia did tell me that the mate bond I had with Harriet was a fake one. So, I am not sure.”
“Tressa?” she asked.
The biggest weight of my heart. “My daughter.”
I could still see that girl smile and laugh. She had been sunshine in my life. Coming to my house after a long day in the office and seeing her smile was everything. It was her death that weighed me down the most.
“I thought I had a mate too,” Lyra chuckled humourlessly. “Ethan. Son of the previous Alpha of West Pack had been my mate. But who knew? It was all a play of Melantha.”
“Huh?” Zyon blinked at her. “Fake mate bonds?”
“Ever since Luna was kidnapped,” she said. “Melantha and her mother, Rionach tried to mess with the bonds she gave. We are lucky that they were able to mess only with the mate-bonds Luna gave and not the family and the friendships she gave. Not to mention, Luna was also responsible for the love you have for yourself. Imagine if they took that too.”
“So,” Zyon breathed. “There are fake bonds.”
Lyra nodded. “There are. While most are easy to detect, some are very difficult to find.”
“Mine is?” I asked.
Lyra pursed her lips. “I never loved Ethan and he mistreated me and insulted me. I was able to tell that the bond I had with him was fake. But with your tone, I think you did love Harriet. And you even had a child with her. I can’t tell this. But if Antlia said, it would be right. After all, she is the descendant of Luna and she can tell these stuff.”
“You are saying that she might not be?” I asked.
Lyra nodded. “Yes. And you say that when they died, you had the urge to shift. Did you?”
I shook my head. “I did not. I don’t even remember what I did. Dave knocked me out cold and tried to kill me. But then he was stopped by my friend Sean. Dave then killed Sean but befor ehe could kill me, my friends came in time and saved me. Dave then forced me to work for him as a hitman threatening me with my mother and Aiko.”
“So,” she said. “Your shift was not determined. Should another situation present itself, we would know. But if Taurus says you might be a shifter, you might be.”
“Another situation?” I shuddered. “Hope it does not come to that.”
“And Aiko?” she asked. “The one who is in the hospital?”
I nodded. “She... is the daughter of the male who saved me. Sean. I owe him too much.”
She stayed silent for a minute. “I really wonder how she is surviving.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
Lyra sighed. “Everyone knows here about Aiko, Silver and Mina.”
I inhaled deeply. “Yeah. Taurus says us all to keep out of it. That they would find a way for themselves.”
“That’s the only thing we can do,” she said. “We can’t interfere.”
“But it’s killing me,” I said.
“I know,” Lyra whispered. “Mina’s mate, Nash was a part of my pack. He... he died due to a bastard betraying me. I knew that Silver Marking her would save her for then, but in the long run, they would hurt.”
Silence prevailed over us as the sun began to sink away, yielding his throne to the half-moon that took over. A few stars blinked in the otherwise still sky. At a distance, an owl hooted to the song battle announced by the mynahs.
“It’s their life,” she said finally. “Their choice. Their happiness. No matter what, we can’t just interfere. Who knows what bond is true and what is fake?”
“Another question,” I said, remembering a name Lyra said in this conversation. “Who is Rionach?”
Lyra blinked. “She is the one who kidnapped Luna. She had hidden all these years by cloaking her presence. Just a few weeks back, a star nearly sacrificed herself for releasing the name.”
“Eltanin?” I asked.
Lyra stared at me for a long time. “Her name is Kendra.”
“Eltanin?” Zyon asked, frowning. “Who is this now?”
“How could you know Elta, Draco?” she asked.
“Why should I not know her?”
“I am just wondering this because,” Lyra said. “Apart from being born in the Kelp Confusion and learning to navigate that place without being a navigator, she fell in a deep coma while battling the poison when the bind fell.”
From the conversation I heard in my dream, the two males had been worried about the bind falling. “The bind fell?”
Lyra looked at me with a strange look. “It did. About three thousand years ago. It was a long battle to fight against the poison. It had not been for the Immunes, we would have lost. Finally, my brother was the one who secured it himself.”
“Immunes?” I whispered. “The ones who can survive against any poison?”
Lyra nodded again. “There are some of us born with some powers that have no origin. Like Riley’s father, Rigel is a navigator. There are Immunes. How do you know about this?”
I gulped. “I... I sort of had flashes. Scenes that played out in my mind when I was in the hospital.”
“Flashes?” she echoed. “What did you see or hear?”
“I heard a conversation between two people,” I said after a minute of pondering. “Between a male named Cathan and Draco.”
Lyra gave me a blank look. “Is that all?”
“And,” I said, somehow my voice small. “I saw three people converse. There was a guy named Thuban who was playing chess with Eltanin and then Draco came and said Elta to go somewhere.”
Lyra gasped dramatically. “You saw a guy named Draco? How did he look?”
“Exactly like me,” I said. “It was terrifying. I just want to know who he is.”
Lyra slumped and sighed. “I really can’t answer that question. Any Quasar or Polaris or Seren can answer that question. Or rather, they will be the one to clear your mind. Ask this question to them.”
“Is...” I began. “Is it a big thing?”
She nodded. “It is.”
Zyon then frowned. “What do you mean by ‘the bind fell?’”
Lyra glanced at the sky. “The bind was like a protection woven around the universe. Outside the bind was poison, waiting to swallow the life. The one who succeeds the throne, they have to prove that they can keep the poison from killing life. While a space bender could create worlds, they are not poison-free. One has to repel the poison. There are very few who can manage to do so. The Immunes are the ones who can control the poison. No poison can kill them. And what more? They can create any poison from the simple water you drink.”
“So,” Zyon started. “A few years ago, that bind which held the life in the universe fell apart?”
Lyra nodded. “It did. But the pulsars and the Warriors rebuilt the bind all over again. It won’t fall for many, many years to come. The last time it fell apart, it was due to-”
“-Rionach breaking it,” I interrupted. “Isn’t it?”
Lyra saw me for a long time before she closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. “Yes. Rionach just broke from Cosmos that time. She was unstable and she broke the bind.”
“Is she still alive?” Zyon asked.
Lyra nodded. “She is. Had she been killed, life would be so much simpler.”
“Why was she not killed?” I asked incredulously. “She broke the bind! If it is anything as serious as it sounds, she should have been executed!”
Lyra gave a wry smile. “That’s a tale for another time.”
“So you know,” I said.
She shrugged. “I may, I may not.”
“Right now,” I said. “You are not making any sense.”
She chuckled. “I recently found that talking in riddle and making myself mysterious is cool. Like in all those movies you see that one character who knows everything but talk in cryptic language. I used to wonder why those characters spoke in riddles. They could just say what it was and be done with it. But now I understand why they speak like that.” She paused. “Cause... it’s pure fun! I am enjoying making you figure things on your own.”
“You know.” I gave her a withering glare. “If I approached Aries, he might help me.”
Lyra gave me a wicked grin. “Is it so? You think he is not any worse than me?”
I perspired. What had I gotten myself into?
I stood up and dusted my pants. “I am leaving.”
Lyra nodded. “Mali is waiting for you, anyways.”
I blinked. “How do you-”
“She had actually been groaning how to face you all day,” Lyra said. “At least ever since she came from the hospital. I figured you might want to meet her, but you had a few questions for me. That’s why I stalled you a bit. Mali is in Riley’s office as of now, moaning to him how she would answer to you. And yes, I can hear wide and far. Go to her now. She is making her mind to answer you. Now would be a good choice.”
A/N: Next chapter will have a rollercoaster of emotions. I will update that shortly.
So, what do you think of this chapter?
What do you think Lyra will do? Draco will do?
What do think about the secret Mali has?
Until next update,