This whole thing is starting to get out of hand. Queen Nadia wants me to protect someone who’s never needed nor wanted protection. She’ll fight against me the whole time. Even with Theodore at my side, this mission is completely impossible.
If I’m not mistaken, this boy has Aszurya wrapped around his finger. She mentioned him, I’m sure of it, when I warped her away from Theodore in Facies. Fine, if you won’t tell me who this guy is then I won’t tell you who Aiden is. That’s what she told me. Aiden, that’s his name. That’s who I am looking for.
Theodore and I, we can’t do this on our own. We need a powerful alliance. Better than Nadia. There’s only one person I can think of off the top of my head that might be able to help us. But that is if he decides to assist me. And even then we might still need more power.
I grab a piece of paper and scribble down a note before folding it and magic-ing it to life. It morphs into a paper bird and flies out of the open window on its way to deliver my message. Within minutes, the bird reappears by the window sill cocking its head at me. The bird becomes inanimate so I can read the message written for me.
Come to me now so we can talk. In Vistosa by the little coffee shop by the Death-Rose mural.
Sighing, I magic myself out of the apartment and into the cafe mentioned in the note. The interior is modelled to look similar to that of a bar or club during the swing era minus the large stage. There are square tables set around for people to read novels or watch videos while drinking their beverages or eating their puff pastries.
Looking around, I search for a familiar face or feature. I try to find the haute and daunting man I’ve sent for. Finally, I catch sight of ginger hair and smile to myself. As I approach the ginger, a woman of blue skin wraps her arms around the man’s neck, stealing away the attention I had hoped to gain. Damn it, oh well.
The ginger warlock turns around in his seat and meets my gaze with his own icy eyes. A chill enters my body though it feels like the heat is on blast. He sends the blue woman away and gestures for me to have a seat next to him. The waiter slides me a glass of iced tea with burberries inside without even asking.
“Alaric… I was surprised when I received your message. So what seems to be the problem?” His voice rough and tantalizing. He seems huskier than I remember him to be but still professional as ever. I can’t help but feel that longing for him the same way I did when we first met.
“Well, you see, the clans are in danger and since they protect us I feel obligated to help them, especially since I am very close with the protector herself.”
“I see. So what exactly is going on? And why do you seek my help?”
“Nadia, the dream queen, sent me a message via a dream. Something horrible is going to happen to the Death-Rose clan,” As I continue to relay information to the warlock his facial expressions cease to change. His pale skin seems yellow in the lights of the cafe, and his normally blue eyes look green all of a sudden.
“You’ve told me your problems but I don’t understand why I should help you.”
I’m a bit taken aback by the dullness of his statement. He seemed to have been willing to help before. I wonder why his mind might have changed. Certainly, he doesn’t have a grudge against the two highest clans, does he?
“Protection. It’s as simple as that. You know Aszurya is a powerful Siethen. The most powerful of any Siethen with the Devil’s mark. So why not help her? She’d help you in return when you most need it. I think that’s fair. Don’t you?”
Kitoshy smirks and looks up into the lights bathing the both of us in yellow. His pointed teeth remind me of the young girl I met only a few years back. The way she watched me from her position in the corner of the room. Poised to attack. She sought me out for assistance just as I am doing now for her. How far we’ve come since that night.
“Well, we need to speak with the council about this before anything else can be done. They’ve been here the longest and know the most about half-breeds and how to deal with magical mishaps in a safe way.”
I smile and nod my head, finishing off my drink. We stand and pay for the beverages before walking out into the evening. I let Kitoshy have the honour of opening the portal to the council room, entering after him, before closing up the portal. I turn around to find the Elders all staring down at us from their positions above.
The Elders, the oldest and most powerful of all warlocks and witches, form a council of seven. They deal out punishments, titles, and rewards to the warlocks who deserve them. Their court is like that of the Fae queens, a pocket in the realm. The seven Elders all wear terribly old beige robes with hoods pulled down to cover their marred faces. Much like those of the archives.
“What is the meaning of this visit, Alaric and Kitoshy,” Adamus, the eldest of the elders, states aloud, his voice ricocheting off of the brick walls. Kitoshy and I drop to one knee and bow our heads before our superiors.
“Your excellency, I apologize for such abrupt entering-”
“You apologize?! I should take your powers for such disrespect!”
“Now, now, Swuaz. Let them finish.” Diane, the only female on the council, silences her comrade and gestures for Kitoshy to continue. “Go on, Kitoshy.
“Thank you, m’lady. You see the Death-Rose clan is in danger and the only one that can really set things right is a half-breed that is not in touch with his Siethen side. We were hoping that you would grant us some information and advice.”
Adamus nods his head and turns to the rest of the council members, communicating not verbally but within each other’s minds. Their faces stay the same, not leaking any type of information. A trait I find few people are capable of obtaining. I glance over at the ginger warlock beside me. His face emotionless, too.
“Unfortunately for you both, you are out of luck. There is only one person that may unlock the boy’s hidden abilities and that person is the one you seek to save. Alaric, you had plans to use the boy against his darker counterpart but this cannot happen unless you bring them together.”
They have to be together.
This mission just keeps getting harder and harder. We thank the council and portal our way back to my apartment on the outskirts of Vistosa. The council was right. I had every plan to use Theodore against Aszurya. But I see now that there won’t be a simple solution. No. This needs more thought and dedication. This task requires a scheming mind. Unfortunately, my scheming friend is not available for my use.
“Where is the boy?”
“He wanted to go home so I sent him home so I could plan a bit more on my own.”
“We need to see the girl before anything else can happen.”
I nod my head and turn away from my companion. “Yes, we will go to the Death-Rose manor tomorrow after some rest is obtained.”
The gates to the Death-Rose manor open immediately after Kitoshy and I step out of the large golden portal. Kitoshy follows me up to the steps, into the large manor, and down into the family room to find the majority of the clan sitting on large couches.
“Hello, Alaric… Kitoshy. What may we do for you?” Richard Death-Rose asks with a bland tone. I forget how much Aszurya is like her father in the way of personality.
“I was looking for your daughter, Aszurya?”
“Yes, she is with her trainer in the training room, I believe.”
I nod my head and beckon for Kitoshy to follow me through the many hallways of the extravagant manor. As we walk I notice the way the ginger headed warlock looks at the paintings around us.
“Who painted all of these?”
“Several of the Death-Rose members. They have hidden talents that most citizens don’t notice because of how dangerous their demeanour is. Not many want to get close to them.”
“Since you are so close to the next protector of the land, then you must know what her mysterious talent is.”
“Well, yes, I do. But, it wouldn’t be a secret if I told you, now would it?”
I smirk as the man beside me scoffs loudly. As soon as I push open the doors to the training room, I notice the air difference. I step back into the hallway and then into the training room once more just to make sure that I was right. There is a strong presence of both chakra and energy in the air of this room. It’s a dangerous amount. No one should be able to produce that much on their own.
“Do you feel that too, Alaric?”
“Yes, I do.”
I share a look with the red-haired man a step behind me before taking a step further into the strange atmosphere of the training room. Someone grunts, drawing my attention to the right side of the room where three bodies are. Two of the bodies are standing, one obviously female and one male. The female, Aszurya I presume, seems to be panting but I can’t tell from afar. I’m too nearsighted.
As for the third being on the floor, it doesn’t seem to be a legitimate species. Its build resembles that of the man standing close to Aszurya yet it isn’t him. A clone maybe. That seems to be the logical way to train someone with the skills and strength of Aszurya without being seriously injured or even killed from the impact.
“Aszurya, my love!” I call out cheerily to the crazy Siethen. She looks up at me with her head tilted to the side before appearing in front of me using her sonic speed. In all of my years being alive I’ve never met another with speed like hers. Yes, all Siethens have speed faster than wolves but Aszurya’s movements are sometimes untraceable. A hound wouldn’t even be able to notice her movement.
“Alaric… What are you doing here? And you, Kitoshy, I haven’t seen you in years. A decade maybe? But I suppose that it is nothing for you warlocks.”
I smile at the woman in front of me noticing the change in her eye colour. It’s something I didn’t notice the first time we saw each other after those two years of being apart. Her eyes seem dim, as though a lampshade was placed over a lightbulb. Must be part of the gyen that was placed over her.
“Oh don’t act so aloof with me, Aszurya. I’ve come to pay you a rightful visit with my friend Kitoshy whom you’ve met already. Why don’t we have a drink and catch up on what has happened to us in the past say… two years? And please do invite that scrumptious meal over there.”
Aszurya looks back at her trainer and I hold back my urge to gag. I’ve never had to fake such cheeriness in my life with Aszurya but I know she’ll get quite suspicious of why I might have brought Kitoshy along with me if we are to catch up. The truth is I didn’t have to bring Kitoshy. I just chose to do so we can save time and maybe he’ll pick up something I might’ve overlooked. Brilliant planning really.
“Ummm, I’m kind of in the middle of training right now.”
“You’ve spent the past 18 months training, little rose. You need to take a break from training and eat something. Really you’ve lost a lot of weight. You don’t even have that hourglass figure you had before. What did the guy do to you? Starve you?”
“I didn’t starve her, for your information. I put her on a strict diet that is helping her body recover.” The trainer appears next to Aszurya and slips his arm around her waist. His blonde hair is pushed back out of his light face as he stares into my eyes. He’s about the same height as me with stark blue eyes and fair skin. He has a slightly powerful aura to him but it’s dwarfed when he stands next to Aszurya. So this is the Aiden guy. A damn downgrade compared to what she had before. He probably doesn’t even treat her with the gentleness that Theodore did.
“Her body was fine the way it was before she met you.”
“Okay… let’s not argue about my body in front of me. I’m fine with the way I look so that’s that. Fine, I’ll take a break to converse with you two.”
I send a glare towards the trainer and gesture for them to follow me into a different, more comfortable room. Magicing up four chairs, I have a seat and acknowledge the seating. Kitoshy sits next to me and in front of us are Aszurya and Aiden, Aszurya in front of me and Aiden with Kitoshy.
“So please do tell me how you found this man here beside you, Aszurya.”
“Why are you making this seem like a couple’s counselling? I met him in a bar over a drink and a long conversation about training techniques.”
“Yes, because the best relationships start over drinks and long conversations about such things as training.”
I receive a glare from the two Siethens across from me but all I do is shrug my shoulders. I’ve started conversations over some weird topics and for those who are still alive, I am still great friends with the person.
“Anything else you want to share about this relationship?”
“What relationship? He’s my trainer and that’s about it.”
“It doesn’t seem that way,” Kitoshy interjects.
“Why are you questioning our relationship?”
I shrug my shoulders and cross my legs, evening my gaze on the man named Aiden. “How old are you?”
“I don’t need to tell you that.”
“What’s the most complex gyen you’ve ever completed?”
“Why do you care?”
“I want to know just how much you will be able to help Aszurya. She’s quite advanced and it would be a waste of time should you only be able to do a gyen-tow.”
“Don’t challenge my abilities, you piece of warlock scum.”
I stand up abruptly angered by the name I was just called. What a prejudiced asshole. We warlocks are such majestic beings. If anything he should be bowing to me.
“Alright, I’ve had enough of you two. Alaric go home, I’ll talk with you later on, just go before any more problems arise.”
I roll my eyes and signal for my warlock companion to follow me out of the manor. His eyes trailing my body as I lead him to fresher, less tainted air. I really don’t like this Aiden guy. Not only is he shady but very rude and obviously stuck up to treat me like that. I could easily turn the man into a cockroach and step on him.