The Adept

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Reclamation

HEIDI

The first drop of rain fell from the grey sky and eventually showered the suburbs of Orchidville with heavy rainfall. I stood in the middle of the front yard, water pelting on my cheeks and my hair plastered onto my face.

“Miss Danielson! Get inside! There’s a storm coming!” Robert yelled from the living area through the windows.

Trees swayed and bent as the wind picked up. On the other side of the pocket fence, a man in a cloak stood by his window from the second storey. We locked eyes for a few seconds. They glowed like slow-burning embers, his whole presence unmoving. The noise of the storm fell away as low whispers took over me.

“Miss Danielson!”

The figure disappeared and instead, a crash from another bedroom window. A body was hurled out of it and fell onto their front porch. I snapped out of the trance.

I jumped over the wooden fence. I heard Robert call my name. I knelt beside the Spellcaster but his pulse was gone. Blood splattered onto the beige-painted door and brick walls. It formed a pool of red that leaked through the gaps between the wooden slats.

“Heidi!” Robert’s voice was faint. The rain was crashing around me.

I looked up to the neighbour’s bedroom window to see the cloaked man dematerialising. I headed back into the house where Robert was.

“I think we need to leave,” I said, my voice high and frantic as I burst through the front door. “I think we shouldn’t be here.”

Silence.

“Robert?”

I headed into the kitchen but no sign of Robert. Then a voice from behind interrupted my search.

“You must be Heidi.”

I whirled on my heels. Her golden eyes were the first things I noticed. They levelled my gaze as she stood at the entrance of the living area. I stood behind the kitchen island where Robert beheaded the summoned corpse of my father just moments earlier.

The girl had pale skin, almost the colour of ivory. Her ginger hair was long, down to her waist. She wore a long black cloak, the same one I saw earlier.

“And you who might you be? Captain Black Cloak?” I asked sarcastically.

Her pink lips curled into a smile, golden eyes narrowed. I had never seen anyone so cold to look at.

She raised an eyebrow, “Someone’s got a sense of humour.”

“So I’ve been told. What do you want?”

She shifted her weight and pulled out a thin, black wand. It had a crooked end, a type I had never seen before. She took a few steps forward.

“What I want is what you have. And I can’t get to it unless I take it by force.”

I gently wrapped my fingers around my wand in my back pocket. “I’m good, thanks.”

She nodded at my hand with her chin, closing the distance between us, “What are you going to do with that, Acolyte? Shoot me with a flame spell?”

“It’s Adept, and no,” I released my grasp from my wand. “I just want to know what you want with…whatever that I have.”

She rolled her eyes, “Your dark energy, woman. You don’t deserve it.”

I don’t even want it,” I retorted. “But you’re still not getting it.”

I picked up a porcelain plate from the dish rack and threw at her like a frisbee. She cast a spell that zapped the plate into pieces. I hopped over the counter and swung my boot to her face. She flinched and stumbled back before casting another spell. I dropped onto the linoleum as the spell flew above me. It landed right onto the in-built oven behind me and dispersed.

Arsonion!” Robert cried from the door.

The girl was too quick—she held out a palm towards him and countered his spell with some kind of force shield that swallowed the blue flames. As Robert fought back with more spells at her every with arsenal he had, she dodged and absorbed every single spell. Well, I thought, seems like magic was out of the question.

I ran and swept her feet from under her with a baseball slide. She fell to the floor and I pulled out my Vampire dagger from my boot. Just as I was about to stab her, she held out a fist at us and caught us in a magic grip, the way Dean Ryans always did.

“You’re too easy,” she scoffed, standing up. Then she looked at Robert and her golden eyes glowed. “I have no use for you.”

She balled her fist and Robert started choking and gagging, his body fighting desperately.

“Stop!” I tried my best to wriggle out of her grasp.

His fair skin turned blue, veins popping on his forehead and neck. His grey eyes wide and wild as he stared at her as if he could fight her back with them. After three minutes of grappling with an unseen force, his body gave up the fight. Robert slowly shut his eyelids, the light in his grey eyes went out before falling into unconsciousness. When his body went limp, she tossed him across the living area and returned her attention to me. My throat was closing up. I could feel her fingers around my windpipe, crushing it slowly.

“You have no idea how powerful you are, Heidi. With the amount of dark energy in you, I’m surprised you have not wiped out all three realms with your fist.”

I concentrated on my energy. I let myself feel it inside me and centred it. Like an inner force of balance, I garnered enough strength and broke free from her magic bind. I fell back and caught myself. Her face paled, more than it already was, as I pushed myself off the ground. She shut her eyes and summoned her dark aura. Her eyes turned a solid black as she held up a palm. A small, bright ball of fire formed in her hand like she had brought it to life from thin air. She raised her palm and as she swung her arm, I cast a protective shield. Her spell crashed into it, weakening as its layers began to peel away.

That’s a first.

She repeated it until my shield was at its thinnest. I felt an energy inside me churning, cold and subtle. It eventually expanded within as she continued the barrage of fireballs. When my shield broke, I held up my palm and channeled the unusual energy outwards.

A fireball came hurtling towards me but as it neared, it broke down into a form of dark mass and got absorbed into my palm. I froze and so did she.

“No,” she blurted and cast another spell that sent out an arcane orb of light.

I had seen that spell used against Vicky and nearly cost her life. I channeled the same unusual energy and the same thing happened.

A sneer on her lips. “You are tapping into your dark energy, Heidi. At long last.”

Somewhere in the back of my head, I heard myself scream.

She continued, “Maybe it’s time to find another way.”

She shut her eyes and chanted something. The veins under her marble skin turned black for a short second before she pointed her wand to Robert’s body from across the room.

Aro ekri ini-o, tala ekro nekro-o!

Slowly, Robert got up and stood sluggishly, eyes black before turning grey. He stood straight, bones cracking as he moved and pulled out his wand. His face was blank as he stared directly into me.

I think I found the Necromancer. Or she found me.

“Robert?” I couldn’t hide the fear in my voice. I pulled out my wand but the Necromancer knocked it out of me with an unseen force. Then she sent another and I flung back before crashing into the floor.

“Know me yet?” The Necromancer asked, her voice filled with elation and mischief.

I pushed myself off the floor with my palms. Blood dripped onto the linoleum—my forehead was split open. I could hear Robert’s footsteps move closer. I extended a leg to kick him in the shin but he stabbed my thigh with his wand first. I yelped, and in exchange, thrusted the Vampire dagger up his throat. His face was inches away from mine when I did it, with him hovering over me while I lay on the kitchen floor. He fell to the side as the Necromancer grabbed my jacket collar.

“I’ll come back for you,” she said as she barred her fangs. Was she a Vampire? “I know someone else who will give me their dark energy. And once I get that one, I will come back for you, stronger than you ever will be.”

In one swift motion, she pulled out a short blade and stabbed it into the side of my waist. I screamed in agony as she twisted it and left the weapon there. It dissolved soon after and a burning sensation coursed through me.

“What did…you do?” I asked, my body twitching from the heat inside my bloodstream.

“I injected my special poison. It will fight with your energy and it’s anti-magic so not even the Sage of Practical magic can heal it.”

“You…bitch.”

“Whoa, careful now,” she tut-tutted with her tongue. Then she brought her lips to my ear, “And unlike my lousy brother, I can still claim your dark energy even after you’re dead.”

She disappeared through a cloud of black mist, leaving me writhing in pain with Robert’s body not too far from me. I felt the tears in my eyes; I wasn’t sure if it was from the pain or the fact that my knife was still in his throat.

“I’m sorry, Robert.”

My cell phone. It had fallen out of my pocket during the fight. I tried to move but the pain was unbearable. I clutched my waist as the poison moved about inside me. The agony was overwhelming, I thought I would burst into flames. As the pain reached its peak, my body couldn’t handle it any longer. I eventually gave in to unconsciousness.

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