After that unbearable announcement a few weeks ago, I landed on the ground more times than I can appreciate. Throughout every battle and defeat, I came to realize a warriors structure was more muscle than talk. At first, I believe it to be manageable since Ive practically gawked them all my life. Thinking about it now, as I brighten at the eyes of my opponent, I struggle to steady myself and my breathing. I wasn able to hear everyone around, but I could glimpse their snarling. Gradually I tried rising against the echoes of a high pitch while holding on to a rail for support.

Id bruised every nook of my body before the second round. My legs felt weak, inept at support, yet my head was the only thing that felt heavy. I rested my hands over the rails and arched my back as pain flickered through me like an igniting fire. I wrung my eyes as whispers contorted my existence. Never had I experienced such pain in my life since I was a little girl. Recollections of past collisions worsened the mood until I ultimately drop onto the floor, clenching my jaw as I pulled fistfuls of my hair to ease the pain. Deliberately the sadness faded away, releasing my hold as I trembled with fear. Sweat trickled down my face; as I disregarded a surge of chants in the back of my mind. The origin of these hums where foreign to my knowledge but helpful. If it weren for this surge of mysticism, Id consigned to the grave.

As I stood up, the redhead stared at me for a moment before striving forwards. ”You should have stayed down. Don blame me for the embarrassment your about to suffer. ”

Without a doubt, Scarlett rushed at me. Knowing what would happen next, I merely closed my eyes in anticipation. But nothing ensued to make me want to crouch in pain resulting in opening my eyes.

”How did you do that? ” Her concern was the first thing I noticed. Before seeing her bodys climate, replenished red marks trailing her surface while a small dose of blood trickled the lips.

Tilting my head, I shrugged. ”I don know; I just knew I didn want to give up so quickly, ” Scarlett nodded while looking like shed didn believe a word I said. Much to everyones surprise, who was too shock or too angry to realize I had no clue what I had done.

Beside her, a group of friends, distortion they
e desire to finish me off. Before they could move a muscle, the courtyard doors railed open, and Dean stalked out, heading in my direction. Both Scarlet and Antoinette took a step forward, Anne looking like she wanted to defend me, while Scarlet appears remorseful as she glanced at me quickly, mouthing an apology.

”Amelia, ” Dean drawled, ”Come with me if you may. ” He grabbed my upper arm in a vice-grip, ignoring any uprisings I wanted to orchestrate. Antoinette tried to say something, most likely along the lines of its not her fault shes new! But a raised hand halted her mid-sentence. Not even tempted to dissuade his orders, Anne backed off.

”Where are you taking me? ” I struggled to shove him off.

Dean continues to tow me without a word as we made our way down some dark foyers. I speculate all the odds that may occur in the next few seconds. There was no way I was ever going to step foot in that hallowed pit again.

Dead or Alive.

Instead of being escorted towards the chiefs quarters, as I assume, Dean leads us towards the detriment huts. An area of torment and reformatory. Rather than subsisting my anxiety, I began to panic even more.

How were retributions regularly carried out?

I had no clue.

I thought back to others mentioning specific trials before, but I never really gave it much importance since I rarely abandoned the observatory walls.

Now, destined to walk through fire, blind-sighted, I replenished regret. Why had I deduced being ignorant regarding these matters? Having any input could have had its benefits? How foolish.

Was I prepared to receive a beating after reaping one a few seconds ago? Or perhaps these people didn give second chances. Swallowing the lump in my throat, I appointed to put up with whatever Dean had to offer – anything was better than being executed, no matter what. Wasn it?

To preoccupy with my inner thoughts, I didn realize we had made an abrupt stop in a lull, dark alcove near a corridor of treads until Dean had huddled me against the wall, knuckles white with anger. I flinched, expecting a hit, but he stared down at me for a moment. Slowly, I hoisted my sight to meet his, and when he did, the man froze.

”Touch me, and I won be held accountable for what happens to you, ” I hissed.

His eyes hardened, and it took everything in me not to flee right then and there. I could outrun him any day, but under these conditions, it wasn likely.

”How dare you infer such disgusting abnormalities of me? ” He hissed, voice so strained it whistled like a storm through the regions of a hedge with no leaves. ”Do you even hear yourself? ”

”I mean it. ”

”Listen to me, you stupid girl. What you should be worried about is that little healing stunt you orchestrated back there? Do you realize what could have arisen in any of them if they placed close attention? ”

I gulped. ”I could have brought harm to myself? ” I ventured. That was the sort of thing that set my opponents off. An uproar somewhat like a growl broke out of his throat,

”No, you idiot! You could have jeopardized your abilities; then harm would come to you. ” He poked my forehead slightly as if trying to force the input into my brain. The proximity between us shortened so that our faces sat next to one another before he continued. ”Your mother sacrificed her life so that you could live. And you repay such blessing by pulling such foolish acts? Pouncing unsupervised. You are allowing your capabilities to get detected without discerning the consequences! ”

”I didn do it deliberately; it just happened. ”

”What do you mean? It just happened? ” He questions with an arched eyebrow.

”As I said before, it transposed without me knowing about it. Also, how do you know about my mother? ” I quarreled.

”Every founding member knows what arose eighteen years ago. It isn a secret. Anyone with a wonder would find out sooner than later. ”

The man hesitated, letting his words sink in. ”Even if you didn have an indication, I shouldn have to remind you what an utterly idiotic move that was, Amelia, you more than anyone. Perceives the consequences thatll transpire if word gets out that I saw such things and didn utter a word. We may be polemicists fighting for a cause, but we never turn our backs at a potential weapon. Do you understand? ”

Blinking in response, I had no idea how to deal with this. Was Dean worried about me? Did he fear I wouldn inescapably stand oppressed or that I would be the harm? And the stuff about my mother I never supposed. Sure Antoinette voiced her concern now and then, but I never read it as a concern. I wanted to say something, anything, but instead, a choked gasp made its way out my throat, sorting tears. At that moment, I realized warning him about the whispers was a terrible idea.

Dean closed his eyes, in frustration rubbing his brow with two fingers unleashing a great sigh, and shifted back. ”Do you understand the folly of your actions? Thats all I need to know for the time being? ” I conceded, not trusting myself to stay quiet.

”Very well. Come along then. ” With that, he grabbed my arm once again, and we moved along. I guess the symbolic glances children and their mothers would give me as I pass by should not bother me. But they did. Nothing would ever replace the significance of baring the skin of a stranger.

Soon enough, we reached his bureau.

”Have you had any following trances since the last time we spoke? ” Dean invited as he set up everything. Rey, his assistant, smiled at me as she ushers me inside.

Here we go again, I breathed out, making her chuckle.

”To him, this never gets old. ”

The infamous principle hes asked me for the past eight months the instant I stepped into the room was unsettling. Its like these visions are all that matter to him, not my entity. Perhaps its the reason why hes kept me alive for so long. I was a prisoner in an experimenting body. Without an assertion, I make my way over to the customary seat. I tend to hold my breath before settling in the raw metal. Every article of space was grim in memory, from the squeaking of the stool to an estimated steps Dean and his assistant would carry throughout the whole session.

The room was every shade of grey, from washed-out concrete to almost steel-blue. Every line was upright, every corner sharp, and its shelves were as typical as they could be. Talk about embodying composure while being strapped with leather belts; what a false sense of security. Nothing ever altered the atmosphere, the scribbling, the interrogations, or the constant injections. Not even a fraction of dust moved out of place.

Pain is invisible, subjective, an open dispute unless it is ones pain. Aches are worse, always taken to be less than they are, and hardly ever thought of without the possibility of the martyr magnifying their woes. Sometimes I think the reaction a person has to anothers pain tells more about that person than theyd like. Maybe its just an act of intuition, but no matter the cause, people lean towards disbelief rather than empathy.

Thats why this niche was the way it breathes.

”I asked you a question, did you, or did you not reaped any more visions since our last follow up? ”

My silence was his toxin, for, in that void of sound, the shallowness of our conversation was laid bare. I cracked up inside.

”Get the sedate ready, ” Dean walked forward; I made an effort to proceed passive while Rey braces the poison in the air and flicks the syringe. Surely one bruise wouldn kill me. I have plenty.

”Are you going to talk, or do I have to force it out of you? ”

I stared at him; his eyes flickered to my clenched fists, no doubt my noble gesture towards clearance. A sense of realization crosses his sight. The smallest contact, and hed break out in hives.

”Alright, have it your way, but Im not letting you lose. ” He ordered, trying to get the final word.

”Didn think you would? ” I smirk.

”Or perhaps hes become delicate, ” Rey gestures at the latter.

”Shut up, Rey! ”

”And sensitive. ” She laughs with no importance.

Dean flushes red. He tugged his soft tufts of brown hair that caught the light like a broken mirror before banging his hands on the desk. His eyes were exceptionally sharp when he fretted but never smiled. I realize what enraged him.

He fears Im preserving the dreams to myself, afraid that I might be of harm. Thats a keeper for you, always worried sick, they
e going to lose the intellectual property over their subjects. His irritation is my devotion in disguise; I learn that shortly. Ever since our first meeting, I caught his interest. His fixation with me was the downfall of my discretion.

I kept informing him these occurrences were merely minor skepticisms that I could take care of myself. However, something about these pure nightmares intrigues him in more ways than one, as if these visualizations hold something accountable.

”Why are you so demanding that I decipher what I see or don see? What do you attain with this knowledge? ”

”You wouldn understand? ” He confesses like it was nothing.

”Explain it to me then; you can speculate something without making an effort. ”

”People like you are hard to come by. Impossible to replace. ” He justifies without another term.

”Then why don you tell me what you
e desperately searching for in these contexts? ”

In a way, I respect Dean, hes more like me than anyone I know, but regardless, he resides inside a similar philosophy to Antoinette and everyone else. At times I wish I had at least someone that would willingly jump right out of the impression that was our faux-culture and visualize it differently. I can run my thoughts through non-binary perspectives; I need independence to shift any principle searching for real solutions. In the eons of history, a couple of hundred years of association is a blip, nothing more, even if we don possess such cultures anymore. We have the brains of the ancient Greeks, but we overpass them with appetite.

Every conversation I ever retain revolves around the topics of fear and petty disagreements. No one ever focuses on the puzzles of our age. I yearn to converse with someone who knows our intellectual walls are artificial. I urge you to express the cages of the mind that Im able to see. But I guess thats the point of evolution, to get whats in your head out there, start new lines of opinion and hope they ripple out into our collective pond. Outlining Deans theory of mind as of now made me discover why only certain kinds of magic were publicized or taught. Indeed, he realized Kimeras were different and didn learn the same way I did. How did he foresee to have the same esoteric insight as everyone else?

I narrowed my eyes as I tried to figure out what it was. Hes held himself straighter, which showed a certain level of distrust. Something that I couldn fault anyone for since their regal stance, entitled more than expected. Thus, proving that perhaps social standing wasn something he cared about as profoundly as he seemed to convey. There wasn a definitive vibe of power to his aura either, which was as disjointed as much as it was intriguing.

Despite the incentives why some Kimeras were the way they were. It didn erase the utter disappointment, I reckoned. There was next to nothing substantial in anything I skimmed. Even the basics of enchantments resided washed down. The ratio of pureness compared to the positively useful insight was staggering empirical characteristics like how we adapted as animal spirits were only ever in subtext and never actually the main point hidden inside barren terms that would amount to nothing.

Honestly, I didn understand why only certain kinds of magic were publicized or taught. Indeed, everyone was different and didn learn the same way. So then why did they expect me to have the equivalent fighting insight as someone else? Or the inclination? The stuff I could do occurred never touched upon in passing. It was as if I didn belong anywhere.

People in Alchemy don behave with free thought. Their society limits their votes from the beginning. If I was to go off by the entities taught by our elders and nothing else, then I wasn thinking for myself. Id be entitling them to decide for me. Which would be doing what the ones in power wanted, which was to mold us into what they believe an individual should be and not who they desire to see. The option to choose should be something offered, not dictated.

”Sir? ”

For a moment, Dean looked at me, muted upon the question, almost like he was catching sight of me for the first time. When he seemed to come back to reality, everything sprouted an indifference.

”I wish to extend my pleasure that youve done so adequately in getting ahead in your training. It reflects well upon yourself and your prestige as a Kimera. ” His expression was somewhat considering, chair tilted ever so slightly to the side. ” Given you are among the few recent to this forum and the life of a warrior, I would like to offer an opportunity to outshine your mates. It would be a pity if you were to bring down the collective competence of your fellow Leaders. ”

I hesitated with a glare. ”I would appreciate that, sir, ” I replied, straightening my back and trying to match the formal tone and vocabulary.

”Very well. I will see you next week for our next follow up. Be sure not to be late. ”

With bitterness, I practically affirmed, ”Yes, sir! ” Before walking out.

If no one was going to educate me about magic, I was going to do it myself.


And thats how I disbursed my last few weeks coaching my way to power. Tomorrow was the day we traveled to Alchemy. An most definitely, I would demonstrate to my enemies how wrong; they were to leave me breathing in the dark.

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