The Meeting ended on that note and as Lucifer teleported both Matt and I back to Hell, I saw Liseira give me a thoughtful look. Too thoughtful, in my opinion. I may have been looking into it too much, but it wouldn't hurt to be cautious around her. The Fay are wise, and quite troublesome, the faerie queen even more so.
I went to the dorm after Lucifer congratulated me on making Sylvia speechless and Matt kept repeating all the amazing things he saw. I let Lucifer suffer through that. It was endearing really though, Matt was just so human. It was refreshing after you looked past the immediate annoyance.
Sheila was quick to assign one of her clan members as a spy. He was lean, tall and pale like all vamps and had a slightly brooding aura but was playing the role of a teacher-in-training. His mentor was my English teacher and even though he tried, he could never spend more than 10 minutes with Mr. Bertham.
They have also immediately begun searching for Ronald Fenry, but with only a name and human age to go by, the search will be difficult. Lucifer promised to keep contact with me, unlike the last time he sent me back to the school and I have been itching for my phone whenever it was not in my immediate reach. Such as now during PE, for example.
"Nyx! Pay attention!" Mrs. Crawley bellowed as I narrowly dodged a magicked dodge ball. The orange rubber sphere flew past me only to reverse its direction mid-air and I had to duck down to avoid it again.
"Sorry, ma'am," I answered back as was expected of me. It was more of a mumble but she heard me anyways due to her vampiric hearing.
Looking around I realized that my team was losing, badly. Other than me, there were five others still 'alive'. The other team had more than half of their players, five of which were a combination of vamps and weres. Their Fay and physically weaker witches and warlocks were at the back casting enchantments and spells such as the simple boomerang enchantment on the dodge balls as well as minor reflective shields on their best players.
My side? Complete crap. I analyzed the situation and the only way we could possibly win or lose with some sort of meager pride was if I didn't hold back so much and if the others would stop arguing with one another and listen for once. We also needed a plan to catch 'live' balls since breaking the shields would require more effort and precise timing that none of my teammates had.
"Tigerlily!" I called out in warning as a were-cat threw another 'boomerang' dodge ball at her. She flew out of the way just in time for me to dive in and catch the ball before it bounced, enabling me to bring back someone from my team and the thrower was out.
Eyeing the suddenly eager line-up of 'dead' I pointed at the one person who was still slumped in his seat. I didn't know his name so I just yelled, "Hey, you! The demon-elf."
He looked up in surprise and pointed to himself to be certain that I had called him back in. I restrained from rolling my eyes and saying, "Are there any other demon-elves? Oh course I meant you, you idiot!" Instead I nodded and he got up.
He was stunned that I would pick him to come back over the weres and vamps, especially since he was quite useless and one of the first out. He wasn't paying attention to his surroundings and would have gotten another ball to the face had I not thrown the one I caught to make them both go in separate directions.
I ran up to him, dodging more rubber balls of doom, most magicked, and rapidly ordered, "You've got good levitation magic with a wide spread, right? Think you can stop a group of balls from hitting the ground just until someone from our side picks them up and brings back more of our players?"
He nodded hesitantly and I smiled at him in encouragement before turning away to tell the plan to the others who were still in.
My plan worked perfectly in the end and we actually won. The demon-elf, after gaining more confidence, was able to stop five balls from hitting the ground at a time, which was pretty impressive considering how spread out they were and the speed. Coupled by a witch to help with levitation, we were able to bring back the entire team and slaughtered the opposition. It was quite invigorating in a slightly merciless way.
When PE was over and we all headed to the locker room to change for lunch, I saw the demon-elf getting praises. He was blushing bright from embarrassment but was searching for someone. I slipped away and quickly changed before he, or anyone else, could find me.
'They should be praising you, dear Nyx,' the Voice quietly entered my mind.
I'd rather they didn't. Besides, I didn't do anything.
'I think your new friends would disagree with you,' the Voice answered cryptically before going dormant again. I swear, she would just pop up and leave without any notice. I should have been worried or suspicious, but I wasn't.
"Nyx! Wait up!" a high-pitched jingle called.
I stopped at the sound and turned to see Tigerlily fluttering towards me with Daniel in tow. She must have wanted to really catch up to me since Tigerlily was always one of the last people out of the locker room.
She caught up, breathing a little heavily, "They should be praising you, not the hybrid."
"I'm a hybrid too, ya know," I responded, feeling a twinge of hurt at her tone. I have to admit, despite my crabby moods and coldness, Tigerlily has still not given up trying to be my friend and she's actually grown on me. I actually sort of enjoy our lunches together or when she sits with me during classes we share.
She realized her slip and profusely apologized, "Oh my Liseira, I am so sorry, Nyx! I didn't mean it that way! Honestly, I don't know what I was saying, I really—"
I waved her off, "No it's fine, Tigerlily. I get it, it's okay, really. And I didn't do anything. The demon-elf is the one who saved the day."
"Yeah, but you were the one to come up with the plan. If it weren't for you, we would have lost horribly and you also saved us from a bet," Tigerlily insisted.
"A bet?" I repeated, only mildly intrigued.
"Yeah, the vamps and weres made a bet and the losing team has to put on a performance during the next assembly. When I left the locker room, I heard them discussing what kind of performance. It's going to be the funniest thing of the year," Daniel answered after being so quiet for so long. I guess he wasn't going mute. Pity.
I shrugged seeing as I didn't really care. It was just a game, not like anyone's life was in danger. An embarrassing bet, though pride destroying, wasn't much of a big deal.
Tigerlily was not satisfied with my vague response, "But really, how did you come up with a plan like that so quickly?"
"Yeah," Daniel added, teaming up with the stubborn pixie. "How did you know that Gravin was good at levitation magic and that he was a demon-elf hybrid? You've never said two words to the guy until today but you knew exactly what his strongpoints were."
Damn. This is why I wanted to be a recluse. No one would ask me questions.
'You draw people to you though, dear Nyx. You have been a mystery since the day you were left in that basket in front of the small magic store, Grellies'.'
I stopped suddenly, eyes wide and Tigerlily almost crashed into my shoulder blade.
"Why'd you stop?" she frowned. She flew in front to see what had blocked path but only saw an empty hallway as all the other students had already headed to the cafeteria.
How...? How do you know that?
The Voice laughed but I detected a saddened undertone, 'I know quite a bit about you, my dear child. I do wish I could explain everything to you, but it is too early and I cannot.'
Can't or won't? I thought back bitterly.
'Cannot. I do honestly wish I could tell you everything, but I cannot. I may be powerful, but even I am not allowed to tempt fate. I have been forced to stay away for so long...'
"Nyx? Nyx are you okay?"
I blinked and Tigerlily came into focus right at my nose, a frown decorating her lips and worry reflecting in her large eyes.
I shook my head and smiled slightly, "Yeah, I'm alright. Just tired and thinking. You guys go on ahead, I have to go talk to Mr. Gelner about the last lesson."
I didn't wait for either of them to respond before running off in the direction of the history department. When I was certain I was out of their line of sight I made a sharp turn towards the alchemy classrooms. If I was right, then Mr. Bertham would be at the cafeteria or the teachers' lounge for lunch, meaning his room was unguarded and mine for the snooping.
I checked the hallways, sensing for any living or non-living being before trying the door. As expected it was locked. Not like that would stop me. I closed my eyes and folded my hand over the doorknob and imagined the mechanisms of the ordinary lock.
I imagined the pins in the lock cylinder being pulled up against the springs in the knob. I pictured them lining up perfectly as if the correct key had been inserted and made the lock cylinder move to the right as if I were turning the real key to unlock the door. I kept imagining it turning and turning until I heard a click and opened my eyes. I turned the doorknob and it swung open freely.
I couldn't help the victorious smile that made its way across my face.
"—'ll kill both of us!"
I whipped around, arms slightly raised in fists to see the slumped back of a certain dark brown haired human.
"Matt? What in Hell's name are you doing here?" I unclenched my hands and used one to massage my head. I could already tell that I was not going to be happy. Unlocking the door, though simple, did put a strain on my mind, as it required complete concentration.
Matt turned around, forest green eyes wide in surprise and I could detect a twinge of fear. He wrung his hands and refused to look at my face while answering, "Uh, heheh...well you see...lucifersentmehereforyoutokee paneyeonmeIdidn'tdonothin'Iswear! Don'thurtmeplease."
I groaned slightly and rechecked the hallways to make sure we were alone. Reluctantly, I relocked the door, and dragged Matt to the girls' bathroom after I was certain that no one was there.
I crossed my arms over my chest and stared him down. There was something off, though I couldn't place it at the moment. "Explain, and slower so I actually understand what you're saying," I ordered.
Matt gulped visibly, his Adam's apple bobbing, "Erm, well Lucifer sent me here and he told me to tell you to keep an eye on me until the end of the day. I swear I didn't do nothin'! I didn't wanna come here, but he teleported me before I could stop him. Please don't hurt me!" He cowered slightly, folding in on himself but his hands were tightened into white, shaky fists.
I closed my eyes, releasing a deep breath and leaned back against the sinks. I rubbed my temple grumbling, "On top of investigating I have to babysit? I don't have time to babysit Prophecy Boy."
I could hear Matt shuffled uncomfortably on his feet, looking around the bathroom. He was most likely dreading the moment someone came in and saw him in the 'forbidden zone'.
My eyes flew open and I circled Matt in a manner much like he had done to me the day I accidentally got teleported to his room at Lucifer's.
I knew there was something off.
"Lucifer didn't just teleport you, he put up a shade and a really strong one at that. I can't tell that you're actually human even though I know. Now we just need a cover story for you," I began to pace along the three sinks, trying to come up with a believable story for the sudden, unannounced appearance of a full blood demon.
When I looked up, Matt was frantically twisting around himself and the image of a little dog chasing his tail popped into my mind. It was too much of a perfect analogy.
I grinned, "What's the score? Invisible tail 5, Matt 0?"
He stopped while he was still halfway twisted at his waist and set himself right before replying, "You said Lucifer did somethin' to me. I wanted to see what."
Checking the clock above the bathroom door, I pulled Matt back out and answered, "A shade. He made an aura shade to make you seem like a full blood demon so you can walk around without suspicion. Not many people can tell if someone is human or not, but some can and it would cause problems if a human were traipsing along the campus amid a few hundred supernaturals. Don't do anything that'll attract attention and let me do the talking unless it's necessary for you to speak, understood?"
He nodded and we made it outside with just around 10 minutes before classes started again. After lunch were the specialty classes and I had my general magic class first. It was in another building, next to the cafeteria and I could already see students exiting to rush to their respective classes.
Matt and I were more or less unnoticed, but those who did see and register us blabbered more gossip that I was sure would spread by the time I got to my classroom.
"Uh, Nyx, why do I feel like people're starin' at us?" Matt asked, looking over his shoulder more than once though he was immensely fascinated by all the different supernaturals.
"Just ignore them," I said mindlessly. "Like I told you in the garden, I am not very well liked. Remember, keep your mouth shut and let me do the talking."
We reached my classroom with a few minutes before the bell and I headed straight to Mrs. Galvineer, an earth witch, with Matt acting as my shadow.
She was just setting up for today's lesson and momentarily stopped sorting through the handouts to listen to me.
"Good afternoon, Mrs. Galvineer," I greeted politely with a slight bow of my head. I stepped to the side to reveal Matt who stood to attention under scrutiny. "This is Matthew. My Master has put him in my care for a few days so he will be joining the class, if that is okay with you, ma'am."
Matt's eyes had widened slightly at my sudden change in character but he schooled his features and smiled pleasantly at Mrs. Galvineer. He went as far as taking her right hand to kiss it and elegantly greet, "It is a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Galvineer. I apologize for the inconvenience."
It was my turn to stare in astonishment. I had no idea he could act so...gentlemanly. It must be killing him. I wonder how long he can keep it up...
Mrs. Galvineer's cheeks flushed as she giggled, actually giggled, "Oh no, the pleasure is all mine Matthew. No need to apologize, it's really no inconvenience at all. If you need anything, just ask me."
Matt smiled and I led him to my seat in the back left. The tables were aligned in pairs but seating was free choice. Daniel has been sitting next to me, though I believe the main reason is Tigerlily and her stubbornness to be friends or he just wants to annoy me. Well, for as long as I'm Matt's babysitter, Daniel will have to find another seat, which won't be too hard.
Matt seated himself and looked around the classroom with disappointment.
"What?" I asked. "Not magicky enough for you?"
He rolled his eyes, "I thought it wouldn't look so much like a normal classroom. It's kind of borin', like regular school. But I haven't been to school in awhile, didn't have the money to continue goin'."
I molded my back into my chair, watching the other students filing in and chattering away, "School is school, no matter where. It sounded like a pain from the books I read and it is just as boring. I'd rather be back in Hell."
Before we could talk some more, the bell rang and latecomers were given the traditional "how dare you be a millisecond tardy to my class" look. Daniel was one of them and when he saw that his seat was taken, instead of finding another seat like a regular person, he marched up to Matt and dropped his bags on the desk.
"Out of my seat, kid," Daniel sternly ordered.
Matt shrank back almost unnoticeably, but put on a brave front and raised his chin, "No, and I am not a kid."
Daniel was taken aback that someone actually refused him and it took him a moment to regain his bravado, "No? Do you know who I am?"
"Daniel stop," I said, standing up to prevent too much of a commotion. Already the rest of the class and a few stranglers by the door were being drawn in from their curiosity. "Matthew is under my Master's care and I have been ordered to help him for an undetermined length of time. I would not harm him if I were you."
Daniel stared at me for a moment, and I waited to see how he would react. He switched his gaze to Matt and I saw his jaw tick right before he grudgingly looked away, "Fine. Just know that if you weren't Lord Lucifer's charge, I'd have sliced you to pieces with wind and then burned you to a crisp. I don't like people messing with my stuff."
He picked his bags up again and took a seat in the front of the room next to a timid air-witch. The lesson started soon after and I began planning how to get to Mr. Bertham's classroom and have enough time to snoop without getting caught.
I am going to kill Lucifer for interrupting. The vampire spy is useless! The way he is going, Draheim or Bertham or whoever the Lunaria creator is will have achieved whatever his plan is.
'Patience, dear Nyx. You cannot do this all alone, my child, you will need the assistance of your friends.' The Voice had returned to depart minor, cryptic knowledge and more questions. Great.
I was about to answer her when Matt leaned over to whisper, "Who was the jackass?"
Luckily, there were no vampires or weres in the class so no one heard Matt's whisper. Normal humans would not have heard, but some supernaturals could. The other demons in the class heard a hushed mumble but couldn't decipher the words.
I picked up a pen and scribbled a response on the blank notebook where my notes should have been.
Remember the warlock at the meeting yesterday? The one who asked the stupid question about what you had to do with the prophecy? That was his dad.
Matt's lips morphed into an 'O' and he gave Daniel a quick examination. Daniel must have felt someone staring at him since he turned back with a frown to see Matt looking directly at him. Daniel scowled and Matt moved his fingers in a wavy motion with a half smile.
During the rest of the lesson, Mrs. Galvineer explained the basics of most shield spells and left us to our own devices to practice. I already knew shield spells like the back of my hand, so I spent my time talking with Matt though I did purposely fub a spell just to keep eyes off me.
"Do you have any other messages?" I asked, carefully. I noticed the occasional eavesdropper from surrounding tables and made sure Matt didn't spill anything important while being as vague as possible.
Matt scratched his head before shaking it, "Nope. Just said you have to watch me." He mumbled under his breath as an afterword, "...I don't need a babysitter though."
"Matt, you need to remember that not matter how quiet you think you are, I have much better hearing than you do. When in the company of supernaturals, whispering is almost always pointless."
There was only 15 minutes of class left when Daniel decided to come back to our table and plop himself down on a stolen chair from the table in front. It wouldn't have been missed as the owners had gone to mingle with other friends in the room.
He completely ignored Matt and spoke solely to me, "So Nyx, I have to tell you something. Tigerlily already knows since she was with me, and we want you to be part of it. Well we actually need you to think of a plan for us."
I furrowed my brow, "Um, okay? What's up?"
Before he answered, I felt the air around us change; it was being manipulated with magic. I eyed Daniel and noticed he was making motions with his hands. When he finished and the air settled he explained puffing his chest out, "There, now no one can hear us. I just put up a wind sphere so only we can hear this conversation. Pretty cool right?"
I kicked Matt under the table to stop him from commenting and stroking Daniel's already inflamed ego. "What do you want, Daniel?" I asked, feigning boredom to make him spit it out. With people like Daniel, if someone doesn't show an interest, they will either A) get pissy B) boast about something that they think will regain attention or C) stop wasting time and get to the point.
Daniel picked option C and hurriedly said, "Tiger and I overheard my dad talking about Mr. Bertham being involved with the drug case that's been going on for awhile. We decided we were going to help to show our parents we aren't little kids. This is where you come in. We need a plan to get old Bertham out of his room and do some snooping. Apparently he has some sort of list that needs to be found."
I am so going to kill Gordon when I see him again. Council Meeting topics can't be discussed so freely, especially to their nosy children!
'Remember what I said, Nyx. You will need the aid of your friends if you wish to succeed,' the voice spoke again.
Can you at least give me some kind of warning whenever you decide to pop up and eavesdrop on conversations? I asked, slightly irritated.
She didn't respond, but I could feel her lurking in my head. I ignored her for now and answered Daniel, "So you want me to come up with a plan to buy you time to check out Mr. Bertham's room."
"Exactly, I knew we could count on you," Daniel grinned.
"Nuh-uh-uh-uh-uh, hold it," I said, raising my index finger. I held a smirk at Daniel's confusion and leaned forward so my back was no longer molded to the chair. If there is one thing I learned from the Devil, it's making deals. "I never said I'd do it. What do I get?"
I leaned forward further on the table, clasping my hands in a business-like manner, "I won't come up with some sort of scheme for free. What do I get out of all of this?"
Daniel floundered for a few moments and I caught Matt smirking a little at Daniel's fallen control and confidence.
I watched him falter and struggle for a bit, secretly enjoying his flustering state (hey! He needed to be kicked down a few notches) before saving him from further embarrassment, "Here's the deal. I'll provide the plan, but only if I can do the snooping."
Daniel was ready to argue immediately but I held up my hand to stop him, "You and Tigerlily can take all the credit, in fact I don't want my name mentioned at all. I've already thought up a simple but more or less effective plan. So, do we have a deal?"
Daniel thought it over and I could see that he was just on the edge of agreeing though there was still that tiny drop of doubt and reluctance. For the final tug I added with a wicked smirk, "This was supposed to remain a secret, right? What will my Master think when he finds out that your father has been carelessly discussing Council matters?"
I held my hand out, waiting for him to shake it to finalize the deal. My minor, underlying threat worked its charm and he resignedly agreed, "Fine. When can we do it?"
I smiled briefly, "As soon as this class is over. I have a 30-minute break between this and my next class, which is plenty of time. Mr. Bertham only has morning classes today, and from what I've noticed, he is rarely ever in his room when he doesn't have to be. Most likely he is in the teachers' lounge or the library. This is where you and Tigerlily come in. If he is not in his room, I'll go in while you and Tigerlily guard both ends of the hallway. If you see him coming, stop him and buy me time. I only need those twenty minutes, twenty-five would be preferable if possible. You and Tigerlily can be as late as you want to most classes because of who you are, so don't bother arguing that you'll get in trouble for ditching or being late to class. Just keep him occupied and if you fail, Matthew will be on guard at the door and he can warn me to get out."
Daniel tapped his chin and asked, "How will you get in? What if we can't buy you time?"
I shrugged, "Leave entering the room to me. The less you know the better and if I do happen to get caught, I can prevent you and Tigerlily from getting in trouble. If worst comes to worst, I can make up something. I had a message to deliver, question to ask, something to do with Matthew. Don't worry about it, just buy me time."
He nodded but then eyed Matt, "Okay, but why does he have to come."
"He's my Master's charge and I have the responsibility to look after him. He goes where I go," I stated, leaving no room for discussion.
Daniel turned to check the clock and pulled down the wind sphere before standing up, "Meet me and Tiger by the water fountain near Mr. Bertham's room when you're done." He went back to his seat and grabbed his bags right before the bell rang and we were dismissed.
I followed the others; packing my bag and having Matt trail me. He was ridiculously polite as he left the room, thanking Mrs. Galvineer and whatnot. I had to hold my laughter at his totally reversed character.
"So we're gonna be detectives?" he asked, eyes glistening with excitement.
"I'm doing the snooping. You are tagging along. When you appeared, I was just about to check myself, this is just giving me another chance," I answered as we turned the corner towards the alchemy department once again.
The building with the alchemy classrooms was relatively empty since there were no classes held there at the current time, so we kept quiet, sneaking to Mr. Bertham's room.
Well at least Matt and I tried to be quiet. As we turned the corner into the hallway with Mr. Bertham's class, I prepared to face a certain pixie.
"Nyx!" Tigerlily called out, flying over to us.
"If this is going to work, you might want to stay quiet, Tigerlily," I stated, but smiled slightly.
"Oh, right. Sorry. Daniel told me the plan. Good luck and don't worry, I've got your back," she puffed her chest out and grinned.
I nodded and she said a quick hello to Matt who smiled in return before Matt and I hurried to the classroom.
As expected, it was still locked. I told Matt to cover me and brought up the same images as the first time I unlocked the door. For some reason, it came easier and quicker the second time around and I didn't feel as light headed. Must have been because I had unlocked the same door in a short span of time.
Matt's eyes were wide with surprise and admiration, "How did you do that? It was locked."
"Magic," I said simply. It was one of my many abnormalities, unlocking doors by simply imagining the mechanism and how it works.
'You are special, not abnormal. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise, dear Nyx. You have many talents and gifts still left to be uncovered,' the Voice finally decided to be heard again. She had been in my head, quiet, but still there as the nudging feeling in the back of my mind.
I ignored her and entered the room, Matt closing the door behind us. I took a length of spare rope (you never know when you'll need to scale a wall or tie up targets) from my 'drawer' and tied his wrist to my bag, like a disobedient puppy on a chain.
"In case Bertham is coming I need to be able to teleport the both of us out of here. I can only do so if I am touching you in some way so, if you're tied to my bag while it's on me I can, in theory, get us out easily," I explained.
"But I thought I was look-out?" he questioned, but followed me to the desk.
"I can sense it. Right now, there is only one warlock in the area, which would be Daniel. As soon as I sense a second one we are leaving," I answered as I sifted through the papers. I tried to make it not look like someone had gone through them, but if I found what I was looking for, Bertham would know anyway.
Bertham had moved his files since the last time I saw them so I began checking the ones already laid out on his desk. They were just school files, but I flipped through just in case. I did the same with the other four files, but all they contained were test corrections, homework, lesson plans, a pop quiz for tomorrow and faculty meeting notes. Nothing of use or importance.
Matt checked Bertham's computer, which was stupidly left on with no password request after waking up, and I began examining the desk drawers, starting with the left. I guess it was fortunate that he was a very organized warlock. I tapped the bottom of the drawer after noting it had pencils and other stationary equipment. No false bottom.
I still had about 10 more minutes and I went to the other drawer. This one was filled with pamphlets and small notebooks at abou inches. I flipped through the notebooks, skimming the text and stopping at pages that had torn pieces of paper in them. The fourth notebook, pale grey in color, caught my attention though. It was completely blank.
I flipped through it completely just to make sure, but it was empty save for a blank piece of paper wedged between two pages near the middle.
I remembered a book I had read and studied in Hell about disguise or concealment magic for when I was perfecting Slayer's shade. I had briefly looked over a chapter that was focused on hiding text or images using spells and alchemy but didn't study it too deeply since I was unable to cast spells and such. It was a more water warlock/witch type of magic anyway.
"...Damn...what was the reversal?" I muttered to myself, scratching the back of my head.
"Hn?" Matt maneuvered himself to take a look and I handed him the paper along with the notebook. As soon as the paper touched his fingertips, I felt heat and a burning pain race through my nerve endings and yelped. I jumped back, crashing against the wall and dropped the items.
"What was that?" we both questioned simultaneously. Matt too was holding his fingers and was rubbing them to relieve the pain.
I ignored the numbed stinging and bent down to study the paper and notebook. They had fallen so the notebook was covering the loose sheet and as I tentatively reached out to pick them up, I tensed.
Matt frowned, worry reflecting in his eyes, "Who?"
"Bertham." I snatched the paper and notebook quickly, the burning sensation fortunately not following, and stuffed them in my 'drawer'. Matt stuffed the other notebooks back in their proper place and slammed the drawer shut.
I closed my eyes, pulling up the image of my dorm room in my mind and drawing up my inborn magic. I felt the first tingles and just when I felt us leave the current area, they stopped. I tried again and again, but the signs of teleportation stopped earlier each time until they never even came.
"Fuck," I cursed, trying to curb my slowly rising panic.
Matt glanced worriedly at the door and I could sense two warlocks getting closer and closer to our location. "It's not working. My magic isn't working. I can't teleport us out!"
What the hell happened?
'Do not underestimate the one you call Bertham,' the Voice warned before I felt her depart the premises of my mind. She stays when I would rather she left and just when I was close to desperate for help; she leaves some stupid message and disappears.
"What're we gonna do?" Matt's voice rose a few octaves. He began to pace, his hands running through his hair and the rope gaining tension from the distance he made.
I racked my brain and bit my lip, close to drawing blood, trying to think but coming up with blanks, "I don't—"
"What do you think you are doing here?" an angry voice boomed.
I looked to the opened door to see Mr. Bertham red faced with his hands clenched into a tight fist.
Matt was pale, scared stiff and I moved away from the desk, thinking on my feet, "Oh, Mr. Bertham. I was looking for you to—"
He cut me off again, his eyes narrowed into slits seeping fury, "Do not bother lying. I knew there was a reason Lucifer's servant was sent to this school. Seems the Council isn't as stupid as they used to be. Did you find the evidence you were looking for?" He began to laugh coldly, the low tone grating my ears and sending an unwanted shiver down my back.
I felt two more beings come to the room, rushing. A pixie and a warlock.
Daniel and Tigerlily. Wait, but how did Bertham get here before them? I had sensed him with Daniel and they were walking together, so how did he suddenly jump to the room?
The two soon appeared at the door, right behind Bertham, looking surprised and anxious.
Temporarily ignoring their presence I held my stance up and removed all traces of emotion from my face. "So you admit to being responsible for creating Lunaria," I accused, leaving no room for argument.
"That is an unfair question, Nyx," Bertham tsked. "Either way I answer would be confessing."
I tugged at the rope to get Matt closer to me as Bertham leisurely stepped towards us, a glint in his harsh eyes. Once Matt was close enough, I stepped in front of him, acting as a barrier between the dangerous warlock.
Bertham noticed my protectiveness of Matt and eyed him with interest, "So who are you really? Old Lucifer is not one to make his slave watch over another. Nor does he try to hide the real identity of the person."
I was thoroughly surprised that Bertham realized Matt was different. Lucifer's shade should have been close to impossible to detect. Bertham was no ordinary warlock.
Bertham sneered, "Now you're wondering how I can see Lucifer's little shade. Do not underestimate me."
Voice, if you're there, a little helpful advice would be much appreciated. Out loud, I said, "Who are you? I doubt your real name is Darius Bertham."
He relaxed his fists and raised one of his hands, palm facing me as he replied, "I think you already know who I am, hybrid. And for that, I shall have to kill you."
As soon as he finished saying the clichéd line, a collection of dark colored magic gathered around his hand and he fired a beam. It headed straight for me, a ball of pure dark magical energy, and I could do nothing to stop or dodge it without Matt getting hit instead.
I braced myself, standing my ground with my arms raised, crossing them at my wrists to form a defensive X. I closed my eyes, anticipating the impact but felt nothing. When I opened them, I first noticed that Matt was standing in front of me and everyone had their own version of an astonished expression.
The second thing I realized was that Matt's shade was gone. He was visibly human. The attack must have been nullified by Lucifer's shade at the cost of the shade being destroyed.
Bertham was the first to speak, "You're human. A human who can see." I could see his mind working until his eyes widened in realization. "You are the boy. One whose eyes are free from cloth and grime. I finally found you."
How...how does he know the Prophecy? He can't be...
"Matt," I began, lowly. "Stay behind me. Now."
He did as I ordered and I kept my gaze on Bertham, narrowed and calculating. "You're Bartus Draheim, aren't you." I phrased it in a statement form, rather than a question.
He clapped slowly, mockingly, "It seems that even a hybrid mistake like you can actually think. I didn't even bother trying to create a better temporary name. It should have been easy to figure out if someone had just bothered to rearrange the letters of my name."
Bertham, I mean Draheim, eyed Matt who trembled under the inquisitive gaze and directed the next bit of speech to him. "Long ago, I searched for you but now my plans are about to come to fruition. I don't need you anymore, so you can die with the rest of them. I'll let you have the honor of greeting death with my creations."
Getting ready for a battle, I quickly brought Scythe out in front of me as Draheim began to recite a spell of some sort in a language that sounded faintly familiar. When I felt my body being weighed down, I realized he was speaking the Ancient Language. Matt felt the crushing weight of raw power as I did and I sensed him slowly sinking to the ground.
I have to get us out of here. Matt cannot die.
Thinking hard, I desperately drew out as much magic as I could, reaching deep into my very being. C'mon, just a little bit more. I have to. I can't let us die here.
I faintly heard Draheim continue to recite the seemingly long spell. I would have tried to disrupt him, but the consequences could end up destroying the school and every creature. Normal strong spells caused immense destruction, I can't even begin to imagine the backlash of a spell spoken in the Ancient Language.
I concentrated on myself, ignoring my surroundings and felt for the pool of power I knew was inside of me. I felt tendrils, slowly licking their way through my body. They heated my blood, simmering it until I could hear it boil and roar in my ears. The tendrils turned into flames, bright, powerful and soaring fire that licked its way around my body and hissed with energy. The feeling was both empowering and terrifying. That had never happened before, not even when I created Scythe.
'Do not fear it. It is part of you. Embrace it. Use it. Mold it. Feed it. Harness the power, my little Night,' the melodious sound of the Voice's voice faintly drifted over the tumbling rumble of my blood.
I swallowed my fear and continued to feel for the energy. I let the fire from my mind sway and lap at my skin. Each lick sending my nerves in a jumble with pleasant pricks. I focused on a person rather than a place, Lucifer's image shining with clarity in my mind's eye. I just had to go to Lucifer. He was the only one I could think of when I thought of safety.
He'd keep Matt safe.
He'd know what to do.
I felt the telltale tingles to my relief and as I opened my eyes, I saw Draheim had finished his incantation. He had a wicked smirk and I barely heard his parting words, "It has begun. My army, my little addicts, shall follow me as I rid the world of useless beings. Both human and hybrid filth."
The last thing I saw before completely teleporting was a dark, tangible aura envelop Draheim and I swear I saw the dark matter shoot out in various directions. Spikes of deep purple shot out, flying out the room and through the ceiling, walls and floor. He laughed maniacally, "HAHAHAHAHA! COME TO ME MY ADDICTS! AFTER 300 YEARS..."
I saw and heard no more as the classroom faded into the main assembly hall of Lucifer's palace with Lucifer sitting at his throne, one knee crossed over the other in a bored manner. His eyes widened in surprise as he abruptly got to his feet. I saw his mouth move, saying something, but my ears were still filled with the echoes of Draheim's laughter and the red fires. I tried to step forward but I fell to my knees, fatigue giving me the abilities of a ragdoll.
My mind was barely functioning. I felt like I was slowly departing my body, like my soul or spirit was being detached from my physical self. I had no control over what I did or said. I don't know if I even did anything. All I know is that a black sheet covered my eyes and I sank right into it without a drop of energy to fight.