"So what are we going to do with him?" Kiandra asked the next morning.
"About Soren? There's nothing to do but give him space. I've already sent Vand's body back to the sea like he requested. We should probably keep him company for a while, though." Derrick whispered back.
"Yeah, not that I'm concerned for Soren, but I meant the Lords' twisted pet." Kinadra snapped. "They must have used a brainwashing spell on him or something-"
"Not possible." Derrick interrupted. "Using such an extensive spell, and keeping him the way he is indefinitely, is not something that the Magisters are capable of."
A low moan sounded nearby, and Soren leaned over to inspect their would-be shadow assassin.
"He's still asleep. You two can keep talking."
"Thank you." Kiandra nodded to Soren, her Magistra upbringing kicking in. "Who says that the current Magisters put that spell on him? It could have been someone else, you know. An ancestor or something."
"Kiandra, did your existence consist of the Magister palace, a few trips to the city now and then and learning as little about magic as possible before you decided to run away?"
"That has absolutely nothing to do with this-"
"Because if that's true, then you don't know anything about magic, or the real world. Your people should never have ruled this place."
"Ah, Keane, don't you think you're taking this a little too far?"
"Soren, you know that it's the truth. Magister is the old word for teacher, which is not what they are anymore. They're stupid politicians who are afraid to die."
"Enough!" Kiandra flew at him in a rage. "You know even less then I do." She screamed between punches. "Don't you realize that they're just as much your people as they are mine? Where's your honor? Where's your dignity?"
Derrick swiftly dodged her blows, knowing that she would eventually run out of whatever stamina she had left.
To his surprise, however, Kiandra jumped back and forced a wind attack in his direction.
"Whoa!" Derrick ducked, and stared at her in surprise.
Wind Sword, and without recitation?
Another Wind Sword flew at him, and slashed a nearby tree after he dodged it.
"Soren! Do something!" Derrick yelled as he dodged Kiandra's wind attacks. "She's not in control of herself!"
Another Wind Sword flew at him, narrowly missing the side of his head.
"Lady Kiandra, stop!" Soren ran forward and restrained her.
"Let me go immediately!" Kiandra yelled and struggled against Soren.
"Wow." Derrick murmured mostly to himself. "You've got a real head for magic, Princess."
"Keane, can you help me out-" Soren was cut off in mid-sentance by Kiandra's struggles. "She's kind of-"
Derrick sighed, cast a small water spell above Kiandra, which soaked her and Soren.
"Are you crazy?" he yelled. "You shouldn't be attacking me, you should be helping Soren and I question the assassin. You know the most about him. Are you unable to keep your head, or something?"
"You're the one who's insulting his own people." Kiandra returned, half-hearted.
"I quit being a part of them when I signed up at the Mage Academy." Derrick informed her. "I decided that I'd rather be doing what I love rather then being a mindless sheep under the control of an arrogant would-be king."
"So Lord Keane told you not to come home." Kiandra finished. "I know your story, Derrick. Everyone does." she fingered the pendant around her neck."
Derrick nodded, and glanced at her pedant curiously. "Where'd you get the necklace?" he asked almost casually.
Soren retreated to look after the shadow assassin.
"I was supposedly engaged." Kiandra murmured. "I think it was to one of your brothers. It was a few years ago. But I thought the necklace was really pretty, so I kept it." she shrugged. "A memento of why I escaped my former life."
"Hmm." Derrick shrugged. "How sentimental."
"Keane!" Soren called. "Before we get rid of this guy, you need to see the branding he was given."
"Can you read it?" "What does it say?" Derrick and Kiandra were instantly beside him.
"It's a brand with a spell woven in the letters." He glanced at Derrick. "Someone really powerful must have done this to him."
"What does it say?" Kiandra repeated softly.
Soren's voice was hollow and almost chantlike, but filled with fear as he translated the brand.
"Fallen thief, forever serve."