I thought that when Dean Ryans was gone, I would have at least another year to prepare myself for the next…event. Somehow, in my naivety, I thought I could catch a break and probably even train and rank up before the next major thing.
The next major thing came before I was even awarded my new rank. Of course, eventually, I was given—not awarded but given—the badge of the Adept.
“I kept this for you since you were preoccupied during the ceremony,” Tristan said, handing me the badge with a wolf on it. Cute. “Congratulations, you’ve earned it.”
And that was it. I felt robbed of my moment.
“So about this Necromancer,” Wynona said, interrupting my thoughts. “You said you ran into a similar problem before, right?”
Vicky nodded slowly, “Some hundred years ago. It took more than ten of us to plot against him and get him killed. Only three of us survived—Lord Voltaire, me and another elite Vampire.”
“Hold on,” I said, holding up my palm, “Necromancer? That’s a thing?”
“Necromancers are human,” Vicky explained, red eyes flickering to me. “They’re actually Spellcasters who have learned to master a particular spell to summon the dead.”
“The Necrocall,” Tristan finally spoke, voice low and grim. “It’s an Untamed magic spell.”
I stared at him. “You mean…it’s a you thing? Not a…Synto thing?”
“It’s a me thing that I don’t use. No Spellcaster is permitted to use this spell. Only the Sages are taught it but somewhere down the line, one of my ancestors went wayward and passed his wisdom to a group of Spellcasters to form a cult that served the Fallen One. One by one they are killed by Lord Voltaire and his elites, but not before they’re able to spread the knowledge.”
Wynona rubbed her temples, “Okay, how do we stop this spell? Is there a way to reverse it?”
I turned to him questioningly. “You’ve tried this spell before?”
“Of course. I am the Sage of its magic type after all. I have to learn it in order to understand it,” Tristan replied before proceeding to explain. “To even cast the spell, the Spellcaster must summon half his energy and put forth onto the deceased subject. It could be an animal or a person—anything that was once alive. I cast this spell once, on a pet bird, but what was summoned was…something else. It was the carcass, an undead thing, with no mind or soul—just a physical shell of what once was.”
I couldn’t stifle my grimace.
Vicky spoke, “But Eleanor and Mary-Anne—or Renee— were fully functioning. They could converse and think and fight. How is that possible?”
“Dark energy,” Wynona blurted.
Tristan nodded. “My theory is that Synto feeds them with itself. There are not many who are successful in casting this spell. The amount of energy that I have personally used cost me half my energy on a small house pet, and even that is with the help of the Sage’s ruby. More is needed on anything bigger. It would be near impossible for a normal Spellcaster without extra help.”
“There must be a connection somewhere,” Jesse said from the corner of his office, “between this and Synto wanting his energy back from Heidi.”
“I agree,” Wynona said.
“And as to answer your question, Wynona,” Tristan spoke, “the spell is irreversible. To end them, you must sever the head of the summoned being.”
“Now we have another question,” Jesse leaned against his desk, blue eyes floating across the room at every one of us. “What did that Vampire mean when she said she is coming? Who is she?”
“That I cannot tell you,” Vicky replied, shrugging, “because I don’t know. The last necromancer was killed and we thought he was the last one.”
Jesse’s office phone rang, startling me a little. He strode to his desk to pick it up. Vicky rubbed her shoulders, eyes on the floor. Wynona shifted her weight as she folded her arms, her purple coat swaying. Tristan took a seat and shut his eyes as he went into deep thought. Jesse was nodding and responding with the occasional okays and eventually thanked the person on the other line.
“Well,” he said, “this is a sullen moment for us all but I just got off the phone with Lady Bernadette. She said she is already in town for the brunch at Wynona’s.”
All eyes fell on Wynona. She raised her eyebrows and shrugged, “Don’t look at me, my husband invited her.”
Vicky’s lips curled slightly. Tristan remained silent while Jesse sighed.
“Looks like we’ll need to put this discussion on hold and make a move now before she arrives at your new mansion.”
“I’ll get a rain check on the housewarming brunch. Lord Voltaire might still be interrogating Renee and he might need me,” Vicky said as she summoned the portal to the Underworld.
Wynona nodded, “Good luck. Update us quickly if you have anything.”
Vicky nodded before disappearing through the portal. I was about to leave when Tristan stopped me. His ruby eyes bore on me, darting back and forth.
“Are you busy today?” He asked in his sultry voice.
“Schedule’s open,” I said. Then I lowered my voice so the other two Sages wouldn’t hear me. “You’re not inviting me to the brunch, are you?”
A small grin crept on his lips. “No, but I do need your help to keep an eye on my parents’ house while they’re away. I thought Robert could use your help, just in case.”
“Sure,” I shrugged and stole a quick kiss on his lips. “Have fun at Wynona’s fancy party.”