Chapter XXVI: The Power Within (4/18)Mature

The room was darker than it usually was, the cavern walls lit by ebbing firelight and potted candles in the concave shelves. A figure stood at the fireplace, shirtless and gazing down at the flames. Will noticed how lean he was, his arms long yet slightly muscled at the shoulders, one supporting him as his back arched away from the fire's heat. His soft strands of greying hair trembled as he turned very slightly to the sound of the curtain drawing open and footsteps in the room.

Will felt Sapphire standing behind him, straightening herself, but he kept his gaze locked on the man in front of him, trying to quell his nerves and feign confidence. After a moment of silence, the Master made a sound of amusement, a chuckle of satisfaction paired with a sly smile, his face still obscured by his veil of hair and the angle at which he stood.

'And so we are reunited,' he said, 'I never imagined I'd be seeing you again, dead or alive, Prince Avaric.' The way his name was spoken made Will tremble, there was a certain tone of desire. 

Will swallowed, his throat feeling dry as he gave his most confident voice. 'Am I talking to the Master?'

He turned his head, rolling on his neck in a serpentine motion, a white grin showing behind his screen of hair. 'One of them.' It took Will a moment to take in his face, the light wavering on it like a sweeping tide. He saw a thin, bird-like nose, eyes so dark they seemed nearly black, and a face that had once been strong and handsome, his youth slowly dissipating.

Then, Will saw a tattoo around his left eye, outlines and patterns forming so that when he closed it - it was the Evil Eye. It was this that Will remembered, in a deep, locked vault of his mind he recalled seeing the eye, the face glaring down at him, his legs tingled with the familiar sensation of running, and light flooded like ink across his sight, taking him unwillingly to another place of his past…

The End

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