“What are you talking about Ryan? That’s the first time I’ve ever done anything like that, and I pray to the three it’s the last time. I’m a healer, not a killer.” Yet he’d done the later not the former, and he didn’t entirely regret it.
Ryan looked up finnaly, a weak gleam of hope in his forcefully blank experssion.
“Taranta is so completely diffrent from here, I have no idea what you think my reasons were, but I know you’ve got something wrong.” Zephane said, his mind flickering to what little he knew of the darker more abusive side of magic, he knew how to do some, simply from reading about the counters, but it wasn’t a spell there had to be something more to it.
“I know I’m just a pawn sire, you don’t need to pretend otherwise. The jig is up.” Ryan said, his experssion hardening.
Zephane looked at him his face falling slack from shock, he shook his head slightly, speechless, until for the breifest momment Ryan face turned ot a smile and a wink.
“Your good,” Zephane said quitely.
The page dropped the act entirely grinned. "I know, "
Zephane chuckled, “You had me scared there,”
“Sorry about that, I just had to be sure. Sure you really weren’t just like them, you odn’t look like one of them, but your the only person I’ve ever seen that can do magic, but isn’t one of them.” Ryan explained, “And you should eat more of your breackfeast, it’s the only solid food you’ve had in a week.” He added in a tone that was entirely motherly.
“Yes nurse,” Zephane said makeing an effort to eat more, " But what you said if I were a black cloack what was it I would have wanted you for?" He asked after takeing a few bites of a cinnomin bun.
“From what I know, which isn’t much, mostly just bits that are whispered around, Black cloacks have three sources of power, one they earn in the acedemy, one is their own power, and the other is by haveing a surrogoute.” Ryan answered, “Only for the last to work they need someone who is completely devoted to them. So it’s unusal, and I’ve seen the elborate ploys Alten’s set up to get a favored Black cloack one. Ussaly the black cloack isnt’ looking like one when they pull the ploy, but I can tell, I don’t know how but I can tell what they are even without the lcoack.”
Zephane nodded slowly, “Then they get the surrogate to make a pact, and they can drain whatever they need out of them, and depending on the person they happened to catch it could double their power. I’ve heard of it, but never seen it done one way.” Zephane said, there had been deadly mage pairs, their power increaseing expontianionally as they played off each others magic and energy.
“Exactly.” Ryan said, “but your not like them, I know that, I knew that you don’t have the same screwy energy.”
Zephane’s eyes narrowed, “Can you see aura’s? The energy around people, sometimes it’s odd colors, or in black cloack’s case it’s just wrong, you don’t what’s wrong with it but you know it’s wrong.”
“Sometimes, I try not to, it’s distracteing.” Ryan said, “But if I concentrate, ussaly I can. but it makes everthing look wierd.”
“Almost like it’s falling or metling but hasn’t quitegotten there?” Zephane asked.
Ryan nodded, “Why are you asking all this?”
“Becuaes there signs of mage potential.” Zephane answered, “When we get back to Taranta someone who knows a whole lot more about it then me can say more.”
“So I could be a mage, like you? Not one of the black cloacks.” The boy shuddered slightly at the idea.
“No, nothing like them. I don’t know what happens to them, but they are all wrong, twisted. Tainted.” Zephane said. “How long until I have to have tea with Alten?”
“It’s high noon now,” Ryan answered, “So anytime you want.”
“Pity they’d never belive I was still asleep.” Zephane said slideing out the bed, “Kisen knows his medicen far to well for that.”
“Before I fell asleep from the tea he gave me, I saw his real face.” Ryan said, “you saw it to before, in the library?”
“Yes, but I’ve gotten used to running across nightmares.” Zephane said, walking over to his armiore, trying to figure out what whas approaite for tea time. “Where I’m from we call the place Hatch takes you to Dreamscape, people he can there without help are fairly common, a lot of people even end up there as part of normal dreams, I have from nightmares many times. If my teacher hadn’t found me when he did I likely would have died from one.” He puased at the orange robe, he knew it was as far as the court was concerned ridculous, but he liked it, it was comfortable, and he was very sure this comeing tea time woudl be anything but comfortable. Pulling it off the hanger with the thought that at least something woudl be while he was there.
“Is everything there like that?” Ryan asked.
“No, not at all, some parts are beutiful, beyond anything I can put into words, I’ll show you when we get back to Taranta.” Zephane promised. “It’d be to dangrous to wander from here. I’ve been wandering itno and out of Dreamscape far to much for how unstable it seems to be around here.” Something was disrupting it, a voice in the back of his mind spoke the words Dream eater. It was the only thing htatm ade sense.
“I look forward to that. " Ryan said, “I didn’t really think you were actully planning on takeing me with you before, it all just seemed ot good to be true.”
“Well we still need to get through this, and I need to make sure there is a city to go back to, which if Alten has his way there won’t be.” Zephane said, “There won’t be anything left at all.” That dream was far to clear in his mind, the voices, the eyes on the satute, and worst of all that never ending black that sucked everything into it.
“What do you need me to do?” Ryan asked, he looked so desperate.
" For now, we need to figure out just what our act will be for Alten, I don’t want to improvise that." Zephane said, “If you want to, I think it’d be fairly easy to convince him it worked.”
“That I now realize that the whole set of events was something he set up so you’d be completetly devoted, and that it worked.” Zephane said, and he almost thought it was possible.
“And if he concludes that I should make a pact like surrogates do?” Ryan asked.
“Do you trust me?” Zephane asked, “If you do, then we do it, and I can make it go both ways, or not at all.”
“Won’t they know?” Ryan asked.
“I’ll say I gave it a Tarantaian adjustment.” Zephane said, “The other option is that you bulk, and then it looks like it fialed, and there isn’t a reason I should really keep you as a page.” Zephane said, his voice trailing, he didn’t like this, he didn’t like how much his hand was being forced.
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