The Adept

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All-Out War

TRISTAN

I shoved some bricks away from my face with my fingers. My arm was fortunately free from the rubble and I could move it. I pulled myself out from under more bricks. My head was throbbing.

I coughed out some dirt and ashes. Fine dust particles hung in the still air of the aftermath. I coughed some more and felt a sharp pain in my back. I winched and stumbled through the fallen debris to look for the others. I found Wynona first. Her violet hair caught my attention in the midst of the settling dust.

“Wynona?” My voice was hoarse from the dry throat.

Wynona was pinned underneath a full-height cabinet. I stepped onto fallen bricks and large chunks of cement with broken rebars jutting out of them.

“Tristan!” Her voice was frantic and muffled, “Get this thing off!”

I dug my boots between the bricks to find my footing. I bent my knees and slid my fingers around the wooden cabinet for a good grip. I heaved it and Wynona crawled out. I dropped it as soon as she was free.

“You all right?” I asked, checking her head for any contusions.

“I’m okay, what about the others?”

We looked around. The mansion has fully caved in except for a pillar by the staircase that seemed to be the only part of the building that stood. I stepped on the debris and found an unmoving body, facing downwards. I bent over to turn him around; the butler. I placed my fingers on his wrist—no pulse.

“Oh, Bertie,” Wynona said, her voice choking when she saw him.

I closed his eyelids and carried him. I laid him somewhere that did not have too much rubble.

“Tristan! Over here!” I turned to see Wynona and Dr. Nicole about to lift a large chunk of cement. I rushed over and we hoisted it. Dr. Nicole quickly pulled the person out from underneath and I almost lost my balance when I saw who it was.

“Mother!”

“She’s been impaled by the rebar. She’ll bleed out if we don’t get her to the hospital now,” Dr. Nicole demanded in her surgeon voice.

She tore out a piece of her silk frock and covered the wound to apply pressure. I knelt beside her and hovered my hands over the wound. Dr. Nicole reached out to grab my shoulders but Wynona stopped her. I shut my eyes and centred my energy. The blood stopped spilling but the wound was still exposed. I turned to the doctor.

“You can take her to the hospital now. I can’t heal it completely, the wound is too deep,” I said and opened a portal to the hospital.

Dr. Nicole carried my mother and turned around with one leg through the portal, “Are you not coming, sir?”

“Not yet. I need to find the others first.”

She disappeared through the portal with my mother. I closed it and turned to the debris around me and pointed my fingers to them.

Scrubbiro!

Most of the rubble was cleared within a large radius but the rest of the house was still buried. I managed to clear up the drawing room and yet there were no other bodies.

“I don’t see them,” Wynona said, walking around and looking through the rubble. There was a trace of panic in her voice. “Tristan, I don’t see any of them!”

“Do you think they were…taken?”

Wynona whirled around to me, violet eyes bright. “I’m afraid so.”

“This must be the work of the Necromancer. Somehow Renee is set free and she’s here to kill us.”

Wynona nodded, “This is the beginning of something really, really bad.”

Heidi.

“I have to leave,” I said before turning to her. “Wynona, I need you to go to the hospital. Make sure my mother is okay.”

“If Heidi is in danger, I want to be there.”

I placed my hand on her shoulder. “Please, Wynona. I need your help.”

Her eyes darted back and forth before nodding. She then teleported herself to the hospital while I teleported to my parents’ new home in the suburbs of Orchidville.

* * *

As I arrived at the front yard, rain poured down my face, cold and prickly. I strode past the lawn and noticed the neighbour’s body lying in a stream of blood that was being washed away by the heavy rain. His wand lay next to him. I moved closer to see it engraved with a symbol of the Northern star on it— a Virtuoso. Must have been a Scout.

I moved his body next to a bed of flowers and closed his eyes. I hopped over the fence and called out for Robert and Heidi. I entered the house through the front door. It was unlocked.

A pool of blood flowed from the kitchen. I raced to it and found Robert’s body lay cold on the linoleum. In his throat was a Vampire dagger, stuck up right and rigid. My heart sank at the sight of like that. Within the silence with the muffled sound of rain, someone was shivering in staccato breaths.

I moved around the kitchen island and at the corner, leaning against the counter, she sat with her legs outstretched, her tan skin was so much paler than I had ever seen her. Beads of perspiration formed on her forehead where a deep cut split the skin near her hairline.

“Heidi!” I held her face in my hand, one side drenched in dried blood. “What—what happened?”

Heidi tired to speak but no sound came forth of her pale lips.

“Shh, I’m here,” I looked down and noticed two stab wounds. “Let me heal you, okay?”

I hovered my hands over the wound on her thigh. Whatever the weapon was, it was blunt and the puncture was forced. I shut my eyes and gathered my energy to heal the bleeding wound. I did the same for the one on her head. Once the blood stopped flowing, I moved my hands to the side of her waist. Heidi was still fighting, gasping for air with her eyes following my every move.

“P-poison.” Was what she managed to whisper.

I shut my eyes again and felt my energy flow. She gripped my arm and squeezed it.

“I know you’re hurting, just a little more.”

I could feel the heat from the poison and moved it with all my energy and eventually withdrew it from her system. She clenched her teeth and took one long and sharp breath. I pulled out a dark liquid and wiped it away.

“Hey, you’re safe now,” I said, cupping her face in my hands.

Colour returned to her cheeks, the usual golden tan. I pulled her into me and I felt her catch her breath in the shoulder of my coat. We embraced for a moment before pulling away, her heart rate slowing down as she nodded.

“Do you still feel any heat in you?”

She shook her head. I had never seen her terrified.

I took a look at the wound on her waist. I recognised it but only saw it in old Sage books. I never thought I would be up-close with it, especially on Heidi. I attempted to heal her wound but it was not effective, as the books said as well.

“Can you heal that?” Her voice was sore but it had finally returned.

“I can’t. We’ll need to take you to the hospital to get it stitched up. This is a wound from the blade of a dark Spellcaster which has anti-magic capabilities. It’s stopping my magic from healing you.”

I held her up and wrapped her arm around my shoulders. She nodded for an okay and I teleported us to the hospital where my mother was being treated at that very moment.

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