Reckless Magic (Page 36)

“Sure, sure,” Avalon mumbled, shoving more rice mixed with Mongolian Beef into his mouth.

“Well, at least for the last sixteen years. You kids have been quite time consuming,” he grinned again. I was a little taken aback by his casual appearance. His black hair seemed a little looser; and instead of the double breasted suits I was used to seeing him in, he donned a pair of jeans and navy blue polo.

“What?” I asked, my disbelief growing.

“That has been my task since you were born: to make sure you both survived. So far, so good, but I think Eden here is bent on destruction,” I gave him an acerbic squint of the eyes, but half wondered if he was right. “In truth however, it has been the greatest task I’ve ever been given,” his expression turned serious, and something in his eyes gave me a foreboding anxiety that I couldn’t explain.

“Why is that?” I choked out.

“Well, let’s just say that you two are very important to the survival of our species,” I opened my mouth to ask him to explain further, but he continued quickly. “Back to your question concerning the King, or Lucan. He’s the same as his father and his father’s father, and the King before that. They are all tyrants. They care only for the survival of their bloodline and have been chasing Immortality since the day they lost it.”

“So we really can’t live forever anymore? Kiran could have died last night?” I asked quietly, afraid of the answer.

“Anything is possible. Some of us have definitely lived longer than others,” he smiled almost humbly as if he were embarrassed of something.

“And we all live longer than them,” Avalon said “them” with such disgust that I had no doubt he was referring to the Kendricks.

“You haven’t lived longer than anyone yet, Avalon,” Principal Saint addressed him with authority and I saw Avalon look down at his food with a half-smile on his face; as if he didn’t quite take Principal Saint seriously. “But it would have taken a lot more than a long fall to kill Kiran Kendrick. He’s just fine Eden, you’ll see him at school tomorrow, I’m sure.”

“So what can kill us?” I asked, once again afraid of the answer.

“Only another Immortal can kill us and in very dire circumstances,” Principal Saint shook his head as if refusing to say more. “And then there is something we call the King’s Curse; but so far it seems to only affect a person after a long life. It is much like dying of old age, only a little more gruesome than that I suppose.”

“Why is it called the King’s Curse?” I asked reaching for an egg roll.

“Because that is exactly what it is,” Principal Saint’s voice hardened. “It is a curse brought on our people by the first King, Derrick Kendrick, and grows stronger after every consecutive Kendrick that rules,” when I gave him a curious expression, he continued. “You see before we had a King our people had never experienced death. For a couple thousands of years we had walked the earth without death. Nothing could be done to us that we could not heal from, and no sickness or plague affected us. We simply lived, our powers growing stronger every year longer we survived. Finally, however, there were too many of us, we outnumbered the humans, and we were spread across the globe. Instead of thanking God for our blessings, the people grew complacent and cried out for a King. The Immortals wanted to live like the humans; even though we lived with abilities the humans couldn’t even comprehend; even though the humans lived in war and hunger and under oppression, still our people called for a King. So they elected one. One of the strongest Immortals to ever walk the earth; and how did he thank them? By destroying them. First order of business, he hunted the Oracles down and executed them.”

“Not all of them,” Avalon interrupted.

“All of them died that day,” Principal Saint growled back.

“Avalon has mentioned the Oracles before, but I guess I still don’t get it. And how did he execute them if no one had died?” I asked naively and confused.

“The Oracles were elders who guided the people before the King. They acted as a referee for disputes, and other issues that arose. They were one of the first and strongest of our species. But at that time, every kind married each other; there was no distinction between races. Because of that, the magic was much stronger than it is today. You see a Witch could marry a Titan and together they could have a Medium for a child. The magic was mixed; but each individual would display certain attributes defining what they were capable of. Derrick killed them by first draining their magic and then they were easily murdered just like any normal human being would have been," I thought for a moment Amory was going to be sick. A look of pure nausea passed across his face, but then it was gone and he continued, "The second thing Derrick did was to cut off the magic from mingling. Each race, by King’s edict, was henceforth forbidden to intermarry. This singled the magic out, not only weakening its power, but cursing us for generations to come. The King’s Curse spread wildly, destroying most of the older generations first, and then working its way down, cutting our numbers by millions. It hit the King’s household the hardest however. And to this day every King we have dies young comparatively, and worst of all they are only gifted with one male heir. It has been like this for King after King after King. Yet, they continue to oppress us, enforcing the rules even more harshly these days.”

“So that is why Kiran has to marry a Psychic? Because he’s a Psychic?” I asked, thinking very selfishly of my own problems.

“Well, in order to prolong their lives and strengthen their powers the royal family is both Witch and Psychic. They alternate what type of wife they take. Lucan took a Witch, and now Kiran must take a Psychic in order to ensure the equality of magic,” Principal Saint explained this as if it made perfect sense, but I found this entire history lesson a bit confusing.

“So if the royal family is responsible for all of this, how come the Resistance has to be a secret? Why don’t we all just rise up against them and take over peacefully?” I asked, hoping for a better solution than murdering Kiran.

“Because of the f-ing Guard,” Avalon shouted out impatiently.

“What Avalon means, is in our weakened state, most Immortals wouldn’t stand a chance against the Titan Guard. They are too skilled in battle; the community as a whole understands that we would all die. Their combat skill is what sets them apart, what defines them as Immortals.”

“And the Titan Guard is Ok with how things are being run?” I asked thinking of Talbott and his utter loyalty to Kiran.

“Well, if they aren’t there’s nothing they can do about it,” Avalon interrupted again.

“When Derrick was first crowned King, the Guard gave a blood oath to protect the royal family as long as there was any living heir. If the Guard breaks their oath they will also all die. They have no choice,” Principal Saint looked grim and tired. The lines in his face had become more pronounced, making him look ancient.

“But they definitely are the bad guys? I mean the royal family?” I didn’t really need to ask the question, I knew the answer; but I was having a hard time accepting it.

“Of course they are!” Avalon nearly exploded. “They are the reason we are dying, they are the reason we live in fear, and they are the reason your friend Lilly is in jail!”

“Lilly?” I asked in a small voice.

“Yes, Lilly.” Principal Saint replied with more control than Avalon. “When Derrick took the throne, he exiled all Shape-Shifters. He made their very existence illegal. If they were found in hiding, they were lucky to only get a prison sentence. After Lucan took the throne, their circumstances worsened extremely. They can barely call their existence living. Lilly was not hiding; she was very much out in the open. And to add circumstance to conviction she was not only attending the same school as the Crown Prince, but happened to be nearly alone with him in the middle of the forest, isolated. Thankfully for Avalon, the King currently blames her for the attack on Kiran’s life. They have not even tried to look further for more details. In his mind, she was the traitor and the orchestrator of the attack.”

“Thankfully for Avalon, but what about her?” it was my turn to get fired up and I stood up out of my stool, knocking it over behind me. My face flushed red and I turned humbly to retrieve it before sitting back down to listen to the answer.

“I don’t know, my dear. I have been called to testify, but I’m sure my testimony will only feed the jury more evidence of her crimes, since I genuinely had no idea of her true identity either,” Principal Saint looked truly distraught.

“But why? She fought against Avalon, she tried to help Kiran! It doesn’t make sense that they would blame the attack on her. Kiran and Talbott were both there, I was there, can’t we testify?” I struggled to understand what was so difficult about this. Lilly hadn’t done anything wrong.

“I know that and you know that. But my standing in the community is very precarious; I have to be careful of the battles I choose. And you Eden, are absolutely forbidden to go anywhere near that trial. You’re very fortunate Lucan hasn’t discovered you yet. I can’t say much for Kiran, but he seems to want to keep you a secret just as much as we do. I am afraid of his motives however,” Principal Saint looked down at the counter he was leaning up against and said his last few sentences quietly, as if he were talking to himself and not to us.

“Why? Why can’t I go?” I asked stubbornly.

“The simple answer,” Principal Saint looked up from the counter straight into my eyes and said simply, “They would kill you without hesitation,” I swallowed loudly, afraid to ask his reasons. By the look on Principal Saint’s face, and the tone of his voice, I understood without any doubt that he was serious.

“Amory….” Aunt Syl rejoined the conversation and gave him a concerned glare. “She’s just a child. There’s no need to frighten her,” as soon as she finished her sentence, Aunt Syl’s cell phone buzzed and she flipped it open to read a text message. I watch her expression turn from concerned to disappointed. “They need me at the hospital. Avalon, make yourself comfortable, there are clean linens on the bed and I laid out fresh towels in the bathroom. Keep her safe,” she winked in Avalon’s direction and gave Principal Saint a kiss on the cheek before exiting the kitchen. I cringed a little at the familiarity between Aunt Syl and Principal Saint, not only because he was my principal and she was my aunt, but there had to be like a huge age difference.

“Well Ok, but what about Kiran and Talbott?” I stood up and began to put the leftover Chinese food back into their respective containers.

“Talbott is not allowed to testify because of his position in the Royal Guard. By law, Titans must remain loyal to the Crown under every circumstance. Since Lucan already has charged Lilly, Talbott’s testimony would be in direct opposition to Lucan’s charges, therefore making Talbott a traitor to the Crown. And Kiran has no backbone, no sense of responsibility; the last thing he would do, is to stand up to his father,” Principal Saint accused Kiran like he was heartless and foolish. I flinched a little, refusing to believe the accusations were true.