Chapter XXIV: The Butterfly and the Leech (11/11)Mature

You know that they'll use you against humans.

'They may not have to try,' she answered. Her voice was sad, and she sounded weak in spirit.

What do you mean?

'I do not know if they will be able to control me or not. I see glimpses of what happened to me all those years ago. I was just a girl, I remember running through empty, extravagant halls, playing in my room alone. Then I was running, royal guards were chasing after me, they cornered me...and I think they killed me.'

Royal guards? You don't mean the monarchies did this to you, do you?

'Maybe it was years ago, in different times, but yes. I think they had me killed so that they could control my soul...'

Will immediately remembered those months ago when he'd read from the Spirit book, stumbling upon much more than he'd bargained for. Power-Splitting. You think that's it?

'It would seem so. I do not think I was completely dead, because I remember waking up, seeing through somebody else's eyes. I remember them commanding me to use my powers for them, and having no choice.'

But the royal family is supposed to be against necromancy? It's a Forbidden Art -

'What people say, and what people do are rarely the same, Willow,' said Maga. 'That would leave you with a virtuous ruler, and an honest ruler is most often a dead one.' There was resentment within her, Will sensed it in her voice and in a shiver that jolted up his spine.

The emotion cooled, and she spoke again. 'There is another matter, Willow. The memory you experienced upon hearing of the Mastery, your mother let loose something in a blinding light. Though your memory may end there, mine begins.'

So...you were in what my mother destroyed?

'Yes...and I fear it destroyed her -'

'Will!' Laguna slapped his hand and he awoke from his daydream, 'are you still with me?'

'Oh, I -,' he stammered, Maga's presence becoming dormant once again,

'You zoned out, you looked like a...well, you looked like a halfling.'

Will shook his head, smiling at her assuredly, 'I'm not a halfling. And I don't plan on becoming one either.'

'Neither did Kaelin,' she grumbled, 'and now you're in his cell.'

Will's eyes widened, 'this was Kaelin's cell?' She nodded, and Will recalled Sapphire's conversation with the hooded guards. "His cell is next to the alchemist girl, to the Avaric princess..." 

Carmen.

Will broke his hold with Laguna and spun around, his feet scraping the ground. He crawled to the other side of his cell, pressing himself against the bars and staring intently. Two children slept on the ground with their backs to him, the taller of the two curled around the other, protective in slumber.

Will's throat felt tight, a sickening nervousness in the bowels of his stomach. 'C-Carmen?' he asked, his voice coming to his soft and terrified. There was no movement, and then a girl murmured, his address waking her. Slowly her limbs came to life, she leant up on her elbow and turned, looking past the body of whose arms she slept in to get a good look.

'Yes? Who said that?' her voice sent a chill through Will, yet he couldn't recognise it at all. Yet it was her voice, when he imagined his sister, she couldn't have any other voice than that.

'Carmen...' Will repeated, feeling like a fool, but he knew nothing else to say. She crawled forward, manouevring over her cell mate, in her journey past the slants of light, Will caught a glimpse of eyes like fresh moss and hair the colour of rich copper. She stopped, kneeling about a metre away, realising that she didn't recognise who she was speaking to.

But then she did.

'...brother?'

The End

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