'You're clearly confused, it is to be expected,' said Sapphire, slouching slightly as if settling in for a long duration. 'But you are our prince. You deserve to know the truth and our wishes. In these dark times, what have we but you, our gods?'
'I'm not what you think I am,' he said quietly, being called a prince and a god never lost its uncomfortable effect on him.
'You're right, you're more,' Sapphire replied. She leant forward and said, 'Will, I know you know who we are, and I have to say -,'
'Of course I know who you are,' Will snapped, 'you're murderers, you've probably murdered thousands of innocent people. You murdered my family,'
'Ah, I see,' she said musingly, 'bitter resentment -,'
'You destroyed my life, you took my family from me, you kill innocent people for fun, you tried to steal Tayna away, and you use the symbol of the Evil Eye so that you can watch us and make sure we don't escape, and now you want me to trust you. So yes, I am resentful. Was any of that wrong?'
'No,' she shook her head, 'you are correct bar one fact - those that we kill are not innocent.' Sapphire's expression changed to malice, her bright eyes narrowed and her smooth jaw clenched, 'they were human.' She saw Will's surprise and cocked her head fascinatedly, 'the whole reason that your life is in such ruin is because of the humans, Willow. All of our lives are in ruin, we are forced to cower in the dust and the filth, your families - the greatest of us all - must live in exile, and why? Because they sit and squander our world for their own. Maybe they destroyed their own world and now wish to destroy ours, they are vermin.' Will was reminded of Elena, they had the same hateful passion which chilled and worried him to the core.
'So you only kill humans, am I supposed to be happy about that?'
'We are your supporters,' she exclaimed. 'We work to raise the royal family back to their former glory and restore the thrones that rightfully belong to them!'
'By kidnapping children and using them as slaves in your armies?'
Sapphire fell back in the chair, kneading the leather arms. 'I see that is another issue between us...'
Will launched from his seat and stood over her, thankful that he could walk on his leg perfectly again. 'Where are they? Laguna, Carmen, Karn'el, you have them all, tell me where they are!'
'For one supposedly adept in manners, you are quite good at abusing my hospitality. SIT DOWN.' Her gaze bore into him and her words made him tremble, trepidly he sat back down. Sapphire stood and walked over to her shelf of books, taking one bound in red leather and flipping to a page she seemed to know by heart. She scanned the text for a moment or two then clapped it shut.
'You will see them again, Willow, fear not, but first, I want you to listen to what I have to say. Can you do so without blowing a fuse?' She waited for an answer, watching him like a chastising mother. Will ground his teeth together and nodded.
Sapphire returned to her seat. 'You are wrong in thinking that we desire an army, Willow. Young magi are the future, sacrificing them as consequences of war would be a terrible waste. My superiors desire something of a much grander scale.' So Sapphire isn't the leader, I knew she couldn't be. 'This objective has existed for many years, this plan is many years in the making, but some have tried to stand in our way. The deaths of the Avaric family were a consequence to this.' Sapphire looked down, genuinely saddened - but why would they kill my family if they loved them?
'In this new plan, we remained in the shadows. We placed markers of the Evil Eye across points in Anamae, watching the people so that we would always know what was happening without being there. If anybody saw the symbol and reacted, the foot soldiers acted vengefully to eliminate any escapees, something that I was not satisfied with, it made too many questions that I had to answer for.
'We searched for what we desired, and realised that a prime location for it would be the Sanctuary, a hub of magick and potential, so we placed our eyes there. At the same time, we kept an eye on the royal families to make sure any chance that the Sanctuary was discovered by humans was eradicated.'
Will looked at her, disbelieving. 'You...protected us?'