Chapter XXVII: To Safety and Beyond (9/14)Mature

Will's eyes widened - the royal family? His descendants, was it possible that they could do such a thing to a child?

'The precise method at which I became just a spirit is unclear to me, but I believe that necromancy is the key.' No, the Forbidden Art? That's not possible. But as Will thought, how else could a spirit be captured so easily? 'Magick connects to the soul in a way far too deep to ever split them apart,' she said. 'If they desired my power, controlling my spirit would have been the most plausible way.'

'So, if you are the Power,' Will said, trying to remember what Paradam had first said to him about the Power, 'then that means that people tried to control you, and they all died.'

'Perhaps the connection was as ours is, deep rooted within the mind, but I believe it was much more primitive. I remember being in a prison, a cage, able to see out through a door of glass, my power drained from me without permission. I suffered in agony for many years in this state. But none could control my power, and when so many died, I was locked away amongst artifacts and relics. I slept, for a long time, and then I saw light through the doors - and your father.'

'You remember him?' He wondered if Maga could conjure up a memory of him, if for the first time, Will could see his father's face.

'Just his kindness,' she answered. 'I remember how he made me feel. He carried out his duty, and yet did not treat me as a source of power as others had. We worked together, I taking control of him and writing out the knowledge of magick I had, the words of incantations that forever screamed in my head. Willow...do you understand what I am saying to you? It is my fault that your family is dead, and mine alone.' Her voice was low and woeful, as if she might cry, the Maga that Will had known to be so strong felt pain and sorrow just as he did, a piece of life that she likely hated.

'No...' Will said, shaking his head, she tensed in surprise. 'It's not your fault. How could it be? You didn't choose to have this power -,'

'Or did I? Maybe that is what I do not remember, perhaps I was a horrid child who wished to be the most powerful in the world, and who manipulated to -,' she stopped suddenly when Will reached behind him and found her hand. It felt real, he didn't care what she said about not being alive, he held her hand like he would his sister, squeezing it in comfort, feeling the pulse of blood and body heat. Slowly, her hand closed around his.

'My mother's dying wish was for you to look after me, wasn't it?' he asked quietly.

She nodded. 'To protect you with my eternal life, yes, and in return, you would care for me. You have done so, better than hundreds before you.'

'So stay with me,' he smiled, gripping her hand tighter. 'If you truly feel that you have to be forgiven, then we'll look after each other. Then I'll forgive you. And if I can...I'll find a way to release you. Maybe give you another body or - or let you ascend. You deserve peace, Maga, you're the one thing from my past that's been constant, in a way...you're a fragment of my mother. Her love.'

'Willow...' she whispered, her voice beginning to fade. Will looked up, the sunlight through the window was dying away, the hall becoming dark, telling him that he would soon wake up. He closed his eyes and prepared to return, hearing Maga's last words to him with her hand still wrapped in his, '...I love you.'  

The End

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