Master

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Chapter 48

Kalem’s P.O.V

I peek into the last row of the library and grin when I find it empty.

I’d popped over so that nobody would see what I was doing on my top-secret mission but it was still hard tiptoeing my way around everyone’s frozen bodies sometimes.

I never ever touched people when I popped, that was like a big bad.
I knew I could, but my head told me it was wrong so I didn’t. Plus, I didn’t want to risk hurting anyone.

So I’d been extra careful as I tiptoed through the library, but I didn’t have to be careful in this row because nobody was here! That made my top-secret, super important mission even easier.

I had a plan, a very good plan if I was letting myself feel proud of myself, which I was.

To be the strongest Kalem I could be, I had to go to the other nyphilim and find out everything they knew, but before we went, I had to figure out exactly where they were.

It was weird but in my heart, I could feel the nyphilim so strongly that I knew I could pop over and I’d be right where they were, wherever that was. It was like when I felt Aias’ magic buzz sometimes in the castle and followed it to find him.

I knew that if I did the same thing with the nyphilim, I’d find them.

But knowing where the nyphilim was in my heart wouldn’t be very helpful to Master when I told him about all the amazing things I’d done all on my own.

Master liked plans, very detailed and perfect plans, and he would want to make one just like that before we went, to make sure we were all safe so that absolutely nothing could go wrong.

It was one of the many things that made Master so perfect!

So today, I was going to find the exact location of where the nyphilim was, and then I would tell Master everything!

I hated keeping this all a secret from him in the first place.
Lincoln and I always shared everything so it was hard not sharing every detail right away, but I knew it would be better to wait until I had everything worked out so that Master wouldn’t have to worry about the little things.

But I knew once I did, he’d be so so proud of me for working so hard, and Aias would be impressed with all the magic I did on my own for sure. Mr.W would probably call me sexy brains - I think that was a compliment - and Malcolm would give me nice sweet hugs!

Everyone would be so happy, and proud of me, and then we’d all go together so that I wouldn’t have to face the other nyphilim alone.

Knowing that made it easier to do this and think of seeing them. I didn’t really want to go, after all, they had left me in the slave house and that was a really horrible thing to do. If this wasn’t important, I think I would never have sent my magic out in the first place.

But I needed to get stronger, for Master and the clan, so I can help them take down the meanie Diablos and whatever nasty plan he was making.

So, I would face the nyphilim with Master by my side, get strong and big, and then we’d win, together! And then, everything would be right again. Lincoln and I would be able to spend all our time together like we used to.

See? It’s a very good plan!

As I move down the library row, I squint my eyes the way Lincoln did when he was looking for something important, and search carefully for the books that had all the maps in them, the one called an atlas.

It only takes me a few minutes before I spot the letters written on the side of a few of the biggest books on the shelves. I squeal my excitement before I cover my mouth to keep it in.

Secret mission Kalem, you have to be covert!

When I’ve got myself back under control, I carefully take the books out one by one until they’re a heavy stack in my arms that made me feel like I was about to fall over. But just before I could, I pop myself back to my room and dump them all on my crowded bed.

I flop down beside them and all my other papers with a tired huff as my sleepy brain starts to spin.

Since I felt the other nymphilim’s presence, I hadn’t been sleeping very well. I didn’t know if it was because of my nerves or because I wasn’t getting Master’s nightly cuddles, but I just couldn’t sleep.

Okay, it was definitely because I wasn’t getting Lincoln’s cuddles, but it wasn’t my fault, cuddles were a Kalem Must!

Without Master’s arms holding me against him, I spent the whole night rolling from side to side trying to get my busy brain to be quiet so my tired body could fall asleep.

It never worked. But that was okay, I was okay, I had work to do anyway so staying up helped me do it faster. I would sleep after Lincoln saw all the work I’d done on my own and hugged me super tight.

I could almost feel the way Master would kiss my head while he told me how proud of me he was.

I squeal again, covering my face to keep my happy sounds private and my big smile secret, but my legs were still kicking out beneath me at the thought.

I couldn’t wait!

Sitting up, I tuck my legs under me and drag the first atlas towards me. It was the one Lincoln had made himself a long long time ago and it showed the world’s lands as big sections only.

I smile at Master’s pretty handwriting, tracing the words and letters with my fingers as I flip through all the pages for the big one with the whole world.

I find it tucked in the back, folded up very neatly in a way that makes me be extra careful opening it so I don’t tear it. When it’s all stretched out in front of me, I pick up the small glass of water and dip my fingers in.

“Please work,” I whisper to myself and my magic.

One of the first things Aias had taught me was how to find my way home with just a little bit of water if I was ever lost or taken away. You just had to drop the water a little bit of water on any page and ask it to show you the path to where you felt safest.

It was very easy and I was hoping that the spell would work if I was trying to find a person instead of a place.

“Please, please, please work,” I beg again, “it would make you the nicest water in the world if you worked.”

Raising my fingers out of the cup, I let them drip down over the top of the paper while I call on my magic to show me the way to the cold feeling in my chest.

It had been there since the night I felt the other nyphilim, that cold chill had settled somewhere inside of me and it hadn’t left. It was like if I’d somehow taken a piece of them and now it was nuzzled inside of my heart, making me feel cold whenever I thought of it.

If I did take a piece of them, I hoped they weren’t upset with me.
I really didn’t mean to and they could have it back when we met, I didn’t like it very much.

But I wouldn’t tell them that, you couldn’t tell someone you didn’t like a piece of them, that would be so mean!

Secretly not liking that piece, I focus on that cold part now as I watch the water slowly move down the paper. It trickles down on its own, making a thin path that I worry wasn’t going anywhere but when it took a sharp right, my eyes went wide.

It was working! It was actually working!!!!

“I am so amazing!” I sing to myself as I watch the water move down over lots of land and water to a big section of land in the middle of the map.

I give myself a high-five and a pat on my back too. Aias said it was important to praise yourself when you achieved something great, so I did and it felt great!

But my praises quiet a little as I watch the water go away from where I knew home was. Master had made sure that I knew where home was, and I knew for sure-sure that the castle was in the place with the Americas, in a ‘state’ but the water wasn’t anywhere near those.

I frown as I watch the water move down through one place called ‘Russia’ and then another called ‘Mongolia’.

It kept going all through places I’d never heard of until it finally stopped in one place called ‘Thailand’.

I stare at the water, watching it slowly seep into the page as the magic that carried it fluttered away leaving me lost and confused.

“Thailand,” I read out very slowly.

The nyphilim was in a place called Thailand.

I’d never popped there before. I’d never popped anywhere that far before!

I don’t think I’d ever left the ‘state’ where Master and I were and I didn’t know how my popping would do when I had to go somewhere so far away.

That sure feeling in my chest that made me feel like I could just pop over suddenly felt tiny and quiet now as I looked at where I’d have to pop over to.

“Thailand,” I say again, wondering why the Nyphilim would go all the way over there.

Maybe it was super pretty with amazing people who were like pixies, I would go there too if it was like that. But the other nyphilim was probably horrible and evil and hated pixies, so maybe it was full of horrible people and that’s why the nyphilim fit right in!

I hoped not, Thailand was a pretty word and it deserved nice, pretty people to be there.

My shoulders drop as I blink at the wet spot on the page.

In my head, I thought that finding where we’d have to go would be the easy part, but that plan seemed so much harder when we were going somewhere on the other side of the world. Which was like super crazy when I barely even knew this side of it!

Whining to myself, I close my eyes and wipe my hands over my face.

What was I supposed to do now?
Normally when I felt lost, I could turn to Master and he would clear it all up for me, but Lincoln wasn’t here right now... he was never here anymore.

Spreading my fingers, I peek through and look around my old room where I’d been spending all my time lately. When Lincoln and I started sharing his room, I’d moved most of my stuff over there so now, it wasn’t nearly as yellow and full as it used to be.

It just felt a little empty and lonely now since I was the only thing in it.

I was only here because it was the best place to do my nyphilim-research without Master seeing it until it was all ready. At first, I’d go back to our room to sleep, but I hadn’t left it very much in days since it didn’t make sense to go to our room when I couldn’t sleep.

I thought Master might notice and find me hidden away, but he hadn’t because Lincoln was always busy now, too busy to even talk to me.

“No,” I shake my head and squeeze my cheeks, “No sad thoughts, you are on a mission!”

Once I got this done, everything would go back to normal and all these sad times would go away.

Forcing my eyes back down, I look at the map with new determination.

Just because Thailand was super far away didn’t mean we couldn’t go. If I couldn’t pop then maybe Aias or Master would know a super fast way for us to go. Aias was good with that kind of thing so maybe he could take us if I could tell him where.

Worse case, we’d go in those big metal things in the sky that I’d seen once. I was scared of ever being that high up in a cage but I’d do it for the mission!

“Yeah,” I say to myself as I try to build my confidence up.

However we went, I think Master would be proud of me for everything I did so far, and if I couldn’t pop us over then he’d tell me he was proud of me for trying like he always did and that would be enough.

Smiling, I fold the map back up carefully before I look through the other atlas’ for a map with a closer look at Thailand.

I giggle as I whisper the word to myself again, it was such a pretty word.

I keep singing Thailand while I search through the pages, only stopping when I find two that showed all the little details of the faraway land. There were lines all over the inside and one big bold black one that marked the border of the country.

Master had tried to explain how countries worked to me but I still didn’t really get it.

I just didn’t understand why you couldn’t go over from one side to the next if you didn’t have enough money or the right papers, just because one person said that you couldn’t.

That was silly to me, and the way I saw it, everyone was stopping themselves from making friends all over the world which was really sad when making friends was so much fun!

Once the page is open and flat, I repeat the process of letting the water show the nyphilim’s location. It settles in the top corner of the land, near the line that marked the land between one country and another.

Once the water seeps into the page, I get my favourite yellow marker and circle its position so I could show it to Master.

Closing the book, I get my special notebook or notes and plans and jump to my feet.

It was time.

I can’t stop myself from popping around my room before I go as my happiness gets the best of me.

I’d tried to be strong about doing this all on my own, but now that I didn’t have to be anymore, I could admit to myself that keeping this secret had been super hard and I didn’t like it at all.

So popping had to happen because now I could finally share it all.

I grin to myself as I leave my room and skip down my flower hall with a happiness that I share with all my flowers.

They were still really upset with me after I’d used their power to find the Nyphilim, but once I’d said sorry over and over again and stayed with them all night after, they’d forgiven me.

It may have worked but I wouldn’t do that again, I didn’t like how it felt when my flowers were upset with me.

As I pass them now, they reach out to me like always, happy to see that I was happy too and it just made me smile even bigger because I really was super happy.

I’d found the other nyphilim all on my own and I knew exactly where they were!

“I am awesome!” I remind myself as I head for Lincoln’s war room.

Gently humming to myself, I smile at everyone I pass in the hallways and get a few smiles back, most people were too busy dashing around though.

I frown as I watch them a little closer, everyone was in their colours, and has serious looks on their faces that made worry spike inside of me.

What was going on?

I move as quickly as I can to get to the war room, stumbling in hurriedly once I do, but when I find it empty, I freeze with surprise.

Master spent almost all his time there now, so if he wasn’t here now then where was he?

The next best place was his office, so I turn quickly and head there next, hoping and praying to all the nice things in the world that nothing was wrong.

It turns out that Master was in his office, he just wasn’t doing anything I expected him to.

When I stumble inside the familiar room, four pairs of eyes snap my way while I try to hide my quickly growing naughty parts behind my books.

Lincoln was standing on a small stool, like a lift, with his arms spread out and his legs slightly parted that let Mr.W work around him while he prodded at the black suit Master was wearing.

I gulp as I take him in. I’d seen Master’s suits before, but I’d never seen him in one of them.

A big mistake I realised because Lincoln looked amazing in the deep black suit that was dark all over, except for the deep red shirt on the inside that peeked out through the black jacket and behind the black tie.

It was a little bit of the clan’s colour that stood out when Master looked up at me and made his eyes glow red as he smiled.

I pull my books tighter against me, suddenly forgetting what was inside of them.

“How does he look?” Wequie asks with a grin as he glances at me from behind Master’s hip.

I swallow, blink a few times and manage, “G-Good.”

Wequie snickers but doesn’t tease me as I step closer into the room to where Aias and his Malcolm sat on the couch in their own suits.

“What’s going on?” I ask with a slight tilt of my head.

“The Amaris Clan liaison is almost here,” Wequie answers with a giddy smile that I try to return.

Wequie had told me the day they got the news, he’d come running over with so much excitement that I couldn’t helo but being giddy too.

I knew it was an important goal Master was working towards and I was happy, but I hadn’t known they were coming today.

Nobody had told me...

“It should be a quick, boring affair,” Master comments as if seeing the way my smile dipped, “lots of negotiations.”

I nod quickly, my smile perking back up quickly.

“We’re only dressed up like this because Wequie insisted,” Master adds when he catches me eyeing his suit again.

“Looking the part, helps gets you the role,” he singsongs from behind Master who rolls his eyes secretly.

As my naughty part nudges my book, I take the silent reminder of why I was here and hold my books up with excitement that threatened to pop out of me, I beam, “I have news.”

“News?” Master asks as he tilts his head a little.

“Uhhuh,” I answer grinning, “top-secret kind of news.”

“What kind of top-secret news?” Aias’ Malcolm asks as he presses himself closer to Aias who was quietly fixing gemmed pins into Malcolm’s hair.

“The type of top-secret news that will make Wequie call me sexy brains!” I answer which gets excited little noises from everyone but Lincoln.

“Oooo!” Wequie’s eyes glow as he claps his hands with excitement. “Now I’m really intrigued.”

Looking back to Master with a giggle, I sway a little in my place when I find him smiling lovingly at me, but then his smile wavers a little.

“I would love to hear what your news is,” he starts, “but do you think it can wait until after we conclude negotiations, love?”

My smile slips a little.

“They’ll be here any moment and I don’t want to cut your important news short,” Master explains quickly but even though he sounded pained, my heart was hurting on the inside.

“But this is important,” I whisper quietly as I slowly lower my books. “I can be fast.”

I didn’t want to rush through my important news, but I would if I had to and I’d wait so long to share it that I just wanted to get it out. But when I looked at Master’s face, I noticed how tired he looked.

Tired and stressed too, like he was worried about the meeting coming up. I didn’t want to add to his stress, but maybe coming here like this was only going to make it worse for him.

My happiness from a few seconds ago starts falling away quickly.

“Lincoln,” Aias’ Malcolm says before Master can speak again, “I’m sure we can stall for as long as need be, if they arrive while Kalem is sharing his news.”

I smile at Malcolm with a grateful smile that only grows when he winks at me.

“You can stay if you want, this is news for all of us.”

“Yes!” Mr.W cheers happily as he circles his way around Master to give him one last look over. “I am a genius, you’re welcome.”

Master rolls his eyes while Wequie plops himself down on a free chair. When Lincoln’s eyes meet mine again, he still looked a little unsure but after a moment he nods his head and gestures for me to come closer.

It took everything inside of me not to jump in Master’s lap for cuddles and hugs and special kisses too, but I knew that if I did, I probably wouldn’t stop and that wouldn’t be good with our friends close.

Plus, I wanted to give my plan like how everyone else did so they could see how hard I worked on this.

So I stay on my feet when I reach the side of Lincoln’s table, close enough to feel his strong comforting presence to keep me steady.

I set my books down, opening them on their right pages to make sure everything was perfect before I look back up. I find everyone smiling at me, waiting patiently, for me to take the lead and share my news.

They were all paying attention to me, which made not screaming become so so hard when I felt this happy inside.

“Okay,” I say as I pick up my notebook and glance at my notes about Magical Kalem. “I am a nyphilim,” I start and everyone’s smiles grow as they nod, “I have an angel side and a demon side, but I haven’t been able to unlock my true form yet.”

“You will,” Aias says encouragingly, “you just have to be patient with yourself.”

“I know but I’ve been trying to be patient with myself for a long time and it’s not working. So I started thinking, what if I can’t do it because I only know one side of myself,” I say with open palms just like how Aias’ Malcolm did when he was teaching people, “what if I have to use my demon side and my angel side to be the nyphilim I really am.”

Aias doesn’t say anything to that but with the way his eyes narrowed, I knew he was curious and listening.

“That may be possible,” Master replies with a little nod, “are you saying you want to access more of your demon side?”

“Yes,” I say quickly.

“I can teach you a few tricks, flower,” Mr.W says as he licks his lips, “bring it all out of you.”

I giggle while Master scowls at Wequie who just sticks his tongue out playfully.

I grin from ear to ear at my special name. Wequie started calling me flower after my birthday and it was the best name in the whole world because it made me feel so pretty and special - just like a flower!

“You will be bringing nothing out of him,” Lincoln scolds quickly, “his magic isn’t like yours.”

Mr.W pouts but he doesn’t say anything as he twirls his finger around his tail.

“I know Aias said that it has to do with my sad or angry emotions, but I’ve been that plenty times and I don’t feel any more demon. The only time I felt different was when Aias and I fought, and he told me what I was.”

Lincoln frowns at that, he was still angry that Aias had fought me while he was gone but Master also didn’t like anything Aias did so I couldn’t try to make him forget that.

“You’re not doing that again if that’s what you mean,” Master says firmly and I shake my head.

“I don’t want to, I just-” I glance down at my notes. Right. Magical Kalem, Aias wrong. “I wasn’t angry when that happened or sad, just confused and a little scared but I still reached that part of me. So I thought, what if Aias was wrong about how my emotions affected my magic?

“I know it sounds super crazy, but what if he is?!” I make a brain exploding motion with my hands.

“It wouldn’t be the craziest idea in the world,” Master mumbles which gets him a golden glare from Aias.

“I haven’t been wrong about your idiocy once, trout,” he snaps back which makes Master’s anger flare.

"Kalem,” Malcolm says loudly before they can argue, “has the floor. Let’s all pay attention and give him the respect he deserves.”

“Thank you, Aias’ Malcolm,” I say kindly but for some reason, it makes Malcolm frown and Wequie snicker. “What?”

“Nothing,” Aias replies smiling, “continue along the line of me being wrong.”

I was worried that Aias might be hurt that I thought he was wrong about something, but Aias was smiling and he still seemed interested so I knew it was okay.

“So I started to wonder, if Aias is wrong then who would teach me how to unlock that side of myself so I can be a proper nyphilim?” I drop my notebook and quickly pick up my map with the yellow circle to show to them, “the other nyphilim!”

Everything goes quiet.

The playful smiles all drop, the interested eyes turn to something else as everyone’s bodies stiffen a little in their places.

It was like the happiness was sucked out of the room, leaving nothing but a tension behind that made it hard to keep my smile up.

Slowly, very slowly, Master straightens in his chair before he raises his narrowed black eyes from the circled spot to me.

“The other nyphilim,” he repeats into the quiet room.

I nod a little before I glance at Aias and his Malcolm who looked just as serious now, even Wequie wasn’t smiling like normal which made me feel worried.

Frowning, I curl my fingers around the edges of the map so that I had something to hold onto.

I didn’t get why everything had changed, but maybe it was because I mentioned the other nyphilim and they were worried about me, or maybe they were just shocked.

I was super shocked too when I found the nyphilim so it made sense.

Master turns to Aias with fire in his eyes, “I thought you said there was no other nyphilim.”

“There isn’t,” Aias bites back, but his eyes were focused on the circled paper and they weren’t moving. “I scoured this entire planet and realm ten times over, there is no other nyphilim but Kalem.”

Maybe Aias didn’t like being wrong after all.

“Um,” I say carefully, I didn’t want to make him more upset but I wanted to make sure they all understood, “there is another nyphilim and they’re here on Earth. They’re in Thailand.” I say tapping the circle with a little smile.

That name just got prettier and prettier.

“I thought that maybe they were hiding themself like they hid me, and maybe you couldn’t find them because you aren’t a nyphilim,” I explain as I put my map down and glance at my notes. “So I tried finding them myself and when I popped and sent my magic out, I felt this super cold rush all over me and now I know where they are! They’re right there in Thailand!”

My smile is full of the pride Master promised I’d feel for myself when I worked hard and he was right!

I was so so proud of myself and now Master would see how strong I was and how hard I was working by myself and he’d be proud of me too.

At least, that’s what I thought. But when I look at Lincoln, I don’t find his kind eyes or his proud smile, I just find wide ones and a look in his eyes that I’d never seen before.

“What do you mean you sent your magic out?” He asks tightly, with a tone I quickly realised I didn’t like very much because it sounded like I did something bad.

“How did you send your magic out?” Aias adds sharply, his curious look was nowhere to be found now, he looked just like he did that night when he told me I was a nyphilim. “I have not taught you how to do that.”

I falter a little, feeling uncomfortable with everyone’s serious eyes on me.

“Flower,” Mr W says sweetly as he slides to his feet and comes closer, “it’s okay, just tell us what you did.”

Feeling a little calmer, I nod as I swallow and force the words out.

“I-I,” I take hold of the ends of my shirt as I look around, “I did it myself, I asked my magic to find them and I felt something come back like... it was like a signal or a really strong wave, and now I know where they are.”

“Oh Kalem, what have you done?” Malcolm mumbles under his breath as he runs his hand over his face.

When he looks back at me with a horrified look in his eyes, something drops inside of me.

“I...” I didn’t mean to do anything bad. “This is a good thing.”

“A good thing?” Lincolns asks as he pushes to his feet, his tone making me flinch as I take a step back.

“Y-Yes,” I reply with a tiny frown. I thought it was. “Now we know that there’s another nyphilim for sure, a-and I know exactly where they are.”

That was a good thing. It meant that we could go to them and find out everything we’d ever wanted to know, everything I wanted to know.

Like why did they lock away my real form forever?
Why did they save me if they were just going to leave me in the slave house?
Why did they save only me?

I had a lot of questions, but beyond that, I thought that I was doing the right thing and that they would be pr-

“Kalem did you stop to think that just as you now know where they are, that they now know where you are,” Master asks his voice shaking with anger I’d never had aimed at me, “where we are?”

“I...” I hadn’t.

I hadn’t thought about that at all, but, “Aias and I have barriers up and we can make them stronger, we’ll be safe.”

Lincoln laughs, but not in the gentle way he did for only me while he nuzzled my neck, it was like if he tasted something really really bad that he hated.

“We’ll be safe,” he repeats and my frown deepens.

“Yes,” I promise as I glance to Aias, “I am s-strong and so is Aias, we can protect the castle but I don’t think we will have to.”

The small spot of cold I could feel from far away hadn’t moved at all since I’d felt it, the nyphilim wasn’t coming here, I could feel it.

In a strange way I tried not to think about, it felt like they were waiting for me to come to them.

“Perhaps he’s mistaken,” Aias starts before I could say that, “Perhaps it is something else you felt, something powerful that is not a nyphilim. It can not be a-”

Silence follows like Aias knew that he was wrong, that he was actually wrong and that it wasn’t just a maybe anymore.

He takes in a shuddering breath, “Dear Ythene...”

“We need to secure this castle,” Aias says suddenly as he gets to his feet with Malcolm, “if there is even a chance that the nyphilim knows where Kalem is and is coming this way, then we need to protect this castle.”

For the first time ever, Aias looked a little scared which made my body squirm inside uncomfortably. I didn’t want to make anyone scared or worried, especially not Aias who always made sure I was happy and safe.

“They’re not coming,” I say desperately, wanting them to all hear me, “they’re still in this spot,” I tap against the circle, “they’re not coming here, we’re safe. Everyone is safe.”

“For now, perhaps,” Lincoln replies in a bite, “but if they’re anything like you, they could pop right over and then what will we do?”

My eyebrows pull together tightly and my fingers curl at my sides, “T-Then,” I take in a breath, “then I will protect us.”

I didn’t know if I actually could protect everyone from the other nyphilim, but I did know that I loved Lincoln and my friends, and everyone in this clan, and that I would do anything I had to to keep them all safe.

Master looks away with a curse as he leans against the table on his hands, staring down blankly at it while tension kept building in the room.

“We’ll need to call everyone back,” Master says as he turns to Malcolm whose grey eyes were bright with worry, “everyone needs to man this castle and the lands around it.”

“Wait, no,” I try to say but Malcolm disappears before I can. “We don’t-”

“You need to put everything you can into strengthening these barriers,” Lincoln says to Aias, completely ignoring me as he passes out instructions, “not a crack.”

Aias takes in a deep breath before he nods and gets up.

“Aias,” I try but when he glances at me, with disappointment and fear in his eyes, I wish I’d just kept quiet.

Aias leaves without another word my way and my heart crumples inside of my chest as sadness and confusion begin to mix inside of me.

This wasn’t anything like I thought it would be. Nobody was proud of me, or happy, they were all worried and upset, and disappointed in me.

“I’ll head beyond borders now,” Wequie says softly as he frowns at the floor, “perhaps I’ll be able to meet the liaison and buy us some time.”

Just as he said the words, someone came knocking on the door with a small smile, “The Amaris Liason is here.”

“Fuck,” Master curses as he paces in front of his desk, his eyes wide and manic.

“I’ll deal with them, you,” Mr.W’s words falter as he glances at me, “take a moment.”

When Wequie leaves, the door shutting behind him feels like a lock on a cage, as his absencee leaves Master and me alone with all his anger and my confusion spreading between us.

Master stops his pacing and leans against the table again, his entire body slumping as if he were about to fall over from exhaustion.

My heart squeezes itself as I stammer for the right thing to say.

The last thing I wanted to do was to add more stress and trouble to Lincoln’s plate. I’d done all this so that he would have less so why was it all going the other way.

Why was I making everything worse?

“Y-You don’t have to worry about the nyphilim, they aren’t coming here.” I manage, but my words were mostly stammers, “everyone is going to be okay, they aren’t co-”

“Kalem,” Master snaps, his entire body tensing with the strength of it, “please,” he whispers before he lets out a heavy sigh that felt like a whip’s lash.

It was just like the frustrated tired sighs the trainers would make after I did something wrong again and again, even after I’d tried my best.

His shoulders fall and he shakes his head, ”please...not now.”

Master sounded like them, like he was tired of me... like I exhausted him, which was the worst thing in the world to think of when I loved him so much.

“L-Lincoln,” I try, taking a step forward, wanting to make it right, “I thoug-”

“Kalem!” He yells as he looks up at me with red eyes burning with anger. “Not now!”

I stumble back, the ground under my feet suddenly feeling shaky with Lincoln’s anger focused entirely on me.

I’d never made Master mad before, never.

Even when I made tons of mistakes or did things that should’ve made him angry, he’d never been angry with me.

But he was now, panting heavily, with eyes blazing with rage, he was angry with me and I hated how it felt.
Like some horrible and heavy thing that made me feel like I was sick, like something nasty was growing inside of me that I couldn’t fix.

Clutching at his hair, Master wipes a hand down his face before they shift again, as if he was trying to find something to hold on to.

“In the height of the war,” he mutters under his breath, and when he sighs again I flinch, “why would you do this Kalem?”

“I-I wanted to help,” I stutter out as I blink back my tears.

“This is not helping, Kalem!” Lincoln’s loud voice makes me whimper as I shrink into myself, trying to hide from his anger and my pain but they were all around me. “What you’ve done is not only put yourself at risk, but every single vampire in this clan, every single one I promised to protect, is not at risk because of you!”

The words cut, deeply, like a nasty knife that wouldn’t stop driving itself deeper and deeper into my heart, so that it could tear it apart in the most painful way.

I didn’t want to hurt anyone, especially not the people in this clan and I wasn’t trying to.

I just wanted to help. I just wanted to be a better Kalem.

“Now, to protect everyone, we’ll be leaving all the lands we claimed empty and perfectly free for Diablos to reclaim.”

I wanted to say something, anything to make it better again, to make Lincoln’s pained tone go away, but my lips were shaking and it was hard to think with the pain flaring through me.

Looking down at the floor, I bite my lip and cling to the ends of my shirt to keep myself from trembling but it wasn’t working.

Nothing was working as I tried to breathe around the sudden sadness that made me feel like I was back in the slave cells, alone and cold.

I didn’t want to feel that way here when Master was near but I did because I’d done something bad and I couldn’t hide from it.

“I-I’m sorry, I only wanted to h-help, to be str-”

“This is not helping, Kalem!” Lincoln yells again, his voice cracking with pain that quieted me to small sobs I couldn’t break. “This is the furthest thing from helping!”

I wanted to fall on my knees and beg for forgiveness but I didn’t want to do anything to make Master angrier at me and I knew that would.

I’d been stupid and wrong and bad and now Lincoln was mad at me, he was so mad at me and it wasn’t better. It wasn’t any better because before at least when we didn’t see each other he didn’t hate me.

Master sounded like he hated me.

“What you’ve done a very stupid, dangerous thing, Kalem,” Master bites out through strangled breaths, “when you should’ve been doing nothing at all!”

Sadness takes over me entirely, pushing down every bit of happiness, pride or hope I’d had earlier as it forces itself into my heart and body. I could feel it covering me like a cold blanket I wanted to take off but I could ’t undo this, I couldn’t undo what I did.

Everything felt so dark now, like the light in the room was forced out to make room for this dull shade that took its place.

I felt that way inside, dull and sad, and lonely and it was worse than anything I’d ever felt before.

I only wanted to help, to prove that I could help and be strong so that Master didn’t do everything on his own for me.

Ever since Lincoln met me, all he’d done was fight day and night to win this war that had all started because of me and I just wanted to do my part. I wanted to fight for myself too and to protect him like he always protected me.

Instead, I’d made things worse, so so worse.

“I-I’m s-sorry,” I whimper, biting my lip hard to stop it from shaking. “I-I’m so sorry, Lincoln.”

When Master doesn’t say anything and the room remains painfully quiet, I force myself to look at him, hoping and praying to everything nice that even though he was mad, he’d forgive me and know that I didn’t mean to make it all bad.

Maybe he’d see that I had done this for him, for the clan, not to hurt them, but to make us stronger.

I’d done this for us...

But when I look at Lincoln, into his black eyes, I only find disappointment that hurt more than anything else in the whole world.

Something breaks inside of me, like a loud crack that I felt in every part of me.

“I have to go,” Lincoln breathes out as he tears his eyes from mine, “I can’t deal with this right now.”

I watch as Master moves to the door, my sadness mixing with anger, confusion and so much hurt that only grew as I watched him go to leave me alone, again.

“Y-You always have to go.”

I spit the words out before I can stop myself.

Lincoln stops in his place, his entire body going rigid as he stands with his back facing me before he turns and faces me again.

“What?”

I clench my fists at my side, knowing I shouldn’t go on but I couldn’t stop.

“You can n-never deal with me,” I push back shakily, “you’re always busy!”

Master’s eyes flash red again, “I’m busy because I’m trying to secure this clan for us! I’m trying to secure our future, for the both of us! That is why I am busy!”

“So busy that you don’t even talk to me!” I shout back, feeling so strange with all the anger and sadness bubbling inside of me. “Y-You don’t come to bed, you never c-come see how I am, y-you don’t read with me or eat with me. I-I come and see you and you barely know I’m there!”

Lincoln’s gaze softens, his eyes growing weak even as his jaw clenches, “That’s not fair.”

“It’s not fair t-that I’m always alone!” My legs tremble beneath me, feeling like they’d give out any second if I kept on, but I couldn’t stop.

I’d been holding all the pain inside for so long and now that it was finally tumbling out, I couldn’t stop.

“Everyone comes back a-and they spend time together. A-Aias and Malcolm are a-always together, but y-you never come for me,” a harsh sob tears from me as I speak the words out loud and face them. “You forgot all about me!”

“I did no-”

“Yes, you did!” I press, wrapping my arms around myself tightly, “You d-did and when I tried to make myself s-stronger so we could do e-everything together, you don’t even see it.”

Lincoln’s black eyes turn with pain, guilt and regret that felt just as good to see as it felt bad.

It all felt bad.

“You just blame me and didn’t even listen... I worked so hard a-and you...”

My shoulders slump as the fight in me simmers down, leaving only sadness and pain.

“You don’t even care,”

Master takes a step forward, coming to me, but stops as a knock resounds against the door and someone calls for him again. He looks at the door before he looks back at me, still torn even after all I’d said.

A weak smile pulls at my lips as I shake my head, “go, you’re busy...”

“Kal-”

I pop away, taking myself away from Master and his excuses, and all the pain that was tearing through every part of me. I steel in the furthest corner of my garden, sinking down to the dirt on my knees as I tuck my knees into my chest and cry.

I cry harder than I ever had before as everything came tumbling down on me, making me feel like I was being buried under its weight.

I’d ruined everything.

I’d left but I still kept seeing Master’s disappointed face and tired eyes, his angry voice and his hurt one too. But I was angry too! Hurt too! And still, it didn’t make me feel any better when I knew that everyone was so mad at me.

Everything hurt so much and even being surrounded by my favourite plants couldn’t make it better.

This would never get better.

Master would never forgive me for this, neither would Aias, or Wequie, or his Malcolm. They’d all hate me forever.

They all hated me.

“Kalem?”

I look up shakily from my knees and spot Thén and Gazium coming towards me with confused looks that turned to worry when they saw my face.

“Kalem, what’s wrong?” Gazium asks as he comes running over first.

Only broken sobs come out when I open my mouth and they don’t stop, even when Gazium pulls me into his arms, hugging me so tight it almost hurt. But I hold on anyway, needing someone to just hold me after all this time.

Thén settles beside us, sinking to his knees with mournful eyes while he rubs my back with his warm hand and a weak smile.

“Whatever it is, it’ll be okay,” Gazium promises as he rocks me against him, holding my head to his chest. “I promise it’ll be okay.”

I didn’t think it would be.

It didn’t feel like it would ever be okay again.

“We’ll go find the Pylen,” Gazium says which makes my heart jump with fear.

“No,” I beg, pulling back to wipe at my eyes. “H-He...we...”

I couldn’t get the words out, it hurt too much.

“Whatever it is, I’m sure he’ll make it better,” Gazium promises as he hands me to Thén who holds me against this chest.

I try to say no again, but Gazium already disappeared, leaving me alone with Thén who kept rocking me like Gazium did while he hugged me.

“It’ll be okay, Kalem,” he promises in his gentle low voice. “It might not feel like it right now, but it’ll be okay.”

I shake my head, because it wasn’t just a feeling, it was worst than anything that ever happened before because Lincoln and I had fought and I didn’t know how to make it better.

All I did was make things worse.

I pull back to tell him that, but the second I do, Thén bows something in my face.

It was like glitter, silver and green glitter that covered my face, making my eyes sting and everything around me spin.

“Thén,” I whimper, confused and hurting as I try to claw away from him but his arms were tightly wound around me, keeping me to him as he got to his feet. “Thén!” I push against him, trying to use all my strength but for some reason, my arms were feeling weak and my eyes heavy,

“Shhh,” he whispers, his voice colder now as he presses me so hard to him I couldn’t breathe.

I try, pushing and fighting to move as Master taught me, but my thoughts were quickly shifting from sadness to fear and I couldn’t breathe. He wasn’t letting me breathe and the thing in my eyes was hurting so bad now.

Things were growing darker, heavier, slower. Soon, I couldn’t even raise my hand to push against him, my calls were muffled and small... I couldn’t even scream.

“Sleep now,” he urges and my heart rattles against my chest as my mind starts to get dizzy.

As the darkness weighs in, I try to pop away, try with all my strength to go but I couldn’t. Couldn’t doa anything, so I try to call for Master, I scream his name as loud as I can, but he doesn’t come.

He doesn’t come for me...

------------------------

Damn, what a fucking chapter

Thoughts????

Thoughts on the fight?
THe gang’s reaction?
Lincoln’s reaction??????

OOOOOOOO, and Thén kidnapping our baby??!?!?!?!?

I STRUGGLED with this chapter. Like big time struggled. At first, I wanted Kalem, yelling and screaming at Lincoln but I couldn’t do it. It just felt really strange and forced. So I tried him sad which was good but not enough. Finally, I got to this half sad, half mad produce and I’m happy with it. I really hope you guys are too!

It was about time for some conflict though and now that it’s here, I’m not ready loool.

Vote and comment if you enjoyed it, please leave all your thoughts if you have any.

I can’t wait to continue from here!! AHH shit’s about to get intense.

Until next time,
Byeeeeeeeeee humanssssssssssssssss

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