There was something unsettling about Charlie, his presence reminded me of myself during the time I was under Lord Phobos sovereignty. He was talking about architectural diggings and sightings but there was more to it than just artifacts. I did not share this thoughts with Ember, though, fearing of her disapproval for my suspicions toward a lost traveler. Although Ember seem a bit reticent and uneasy when around him.
We reached the bustling city of the Kingdom of Oamaru, our destination was just some metres away. I prayed that Charlie would leave us continue with our path uninterrupted by his presence.
"This place is amazing!" Katherine shrieked with excitement, "look at the stands, how strange yet fabulous they look!"
Indeed, the stands in the marketplace were ornamented with many glittering and attention seeking objects. Those objects were not only interesting, but also very pretty, they irradiated beauty of its own. Ember's eyes were shining like stars, their brightness was comparable to any diamond. Lucus head arched in very different ways and manners, trying to catch a better glimpse at everything.
Despite my attempts to remain serene and impassive it was an impossible feat, this was my first time in the Kingdom of Oamaru and the idea of spending it sulking away was dreadful. I joined the rest of the mirth displayed by my traveling mates, I even dismissed the disquiet feeling that Charlie evoked on me.
Ember was pulling on my sleeves, constantly telling me to see this way and that way. I also joined in her pointing out action and showed her some major architectural discrepancies.
"A thief, a thief!" we heard somebody yell. Our surroundings were thrown in panic as everybody was taking a staff or scimitars to wield off the thief. We saw a person running in our direction, he was being followed by the imperial guards of the kingdom. The thief was thrashing everything in its way to slow down the guards, which was effective. He was no ordinary thief, he possessed magic, more than once he threw sand in front of him and when the sand entered in contact with the ground an explosion was created.
"We must stop him," Ember said.
I took a step in front of the group, blocking the thief from his escape course, he had a heavy bag hanging from his shoulder, golden coins were my guess. I clenched my fist, dark fumes surrounded my fist as electric charges ran through my arm. Charlie's eyes were bright with interest and recognition.
Even though I left Lord Phobos his dark magic and teachings stayed with me, after all, that was the only magic I knew. His fate ring was still in my pant's pocket. The thief threw a handful of sand in the air, directly above us, I shot a dark lightning at the sand, consuming the menacing magic.
Before I could strike again, dark ropes were seizing the thief, impending it from movement.
"Way to go, Caleb!" Ember said enthusiastically.
I gave the situation a puzzled look, "but I did nothing."
All of us turned to Charlie, his hand was outstretched, the same dark energy radiated from his hand. My eyes show fear and contempt, I discover what was so unsettling about him, he used dark magic as well.
The imperial guard seized the thief, thanking us for our good deeds.
"You use dark magic!" I accused.
"You use it too," Charlie replied casually.
"Where did you learned it?" I knew the answer, Lord Phobos.
"My uncle taught me, he is a white sorcerer well educated in the dark arts," Charlie said.
"Liar!" I snarled, "dark magic is banned by the kingdom, no white sorcerer is going to teach or even know of it!"
"Where did you learn then?" he asked, his eyes daring me to answer. He seem to know the answer for my teachings already.
I gave him a look of disdain and contempt, "it is none of you business."
"Then the source of my knowledge is no business of yours,"
"Okay guys, break it," Katherine budged in between us. "Whoever cares where did you learn dark magic! The important thing is what you decide to use it for."
"She's got a point," Lucus said.
"Fine," I muttered, "we are going to the Hall of Season now and you are not coming with us." My words were solely for Charlie.
Charlie shrugged, but Katherine was taken aback.
"Whoever said you are the leader," she said. "Charlie did nothing wrong!"
"Its okay if Charlie comes with us," Ember said.
"No," I said loud and clear. "Let's go Ember." I took her wrist and pulled her along with me, Lucus took uncertain steps toward us.
"Fine then!" Katherine said, "I am going with Charlie."
Guilt flashed on my face, but it was quickly smothered when I saw the towers of the castle in view. Nothing else mattered, not even Ember's nags and pleads to reconsider my decision, my mission will be completed soon.