Shadow Academy, chapter 21
The Nyght Tales, book 1
Trekking the Academy proved more straining than I imagined. These zyllahs did not make it easy for us to find them. I sensed their general presence, but no specific locale, so they knew how to hide their shadows from us.
Kade led us around, chin lifted high and body relaxed, yet with expression of concentration lacing his face. I sensed another, non-shadow, energy radiating off him, but I couldn't identify it.
He was the only relaxed one.
Elys and Wren were one wrong move from attacking somebody, inhaling every few steps. Good luck to them. Our magic masked any natural scent we had.
Despite his usually calm demeanor, Gabe kept glancing behind us as if we were being followed.
Shadows swirled around Tarek despite the dampeners, rubbing my magic the wrong way. I didn't like this side of him. It seemed volatile and unstable. Something he never was.
Other students made perplexed looks as we passed them up, me shrugging at them. Yeah, we were an odd team up.
Out of nowhere, Kade bolted through our group, yanking someone into view. "Why are you following us?"
Taryn glared at him, brushing her arm. "I listened to your conversation in the arena and want to help."
I felt the blood drain from my face.
She eyed me. "Nyght, I have no interest in exploiting your secrets."
Tarek narrowed his gaze at her.
"She's telling the truth," Elys sized her up. "Besides, we could use someone like her."
"You realize my powers are mostly nulled here." Taryn tapped her chin. "However, I do know where those zealots are hiding."
"Overheard their thoughts now?" Kade mocked.
"Well dreamwalkers are telepaths, but I only got bits."
"In the Mess Hall the other day, I overheard a few of them conversing about some big plan, but didn't catch a lot, just enough to give me a bad vibe."
"Where are they?" Gabe pushed forward.
"In the woods, Underwood."
Kade made an odd face, discreetly pointing at them. I shook my head, not blaming him for jumping to that conclusion.
"No," Wren rested both hands on her hips. "Shifters have control of the woods since the dampeners don't work that far from the Academy, allowing us to shift and blow off some steam."
"Not all the woods is shifter claimed." Elys sighed. "Even with the different shifter types having their sections, there's no way we can claim all of it."
I relaxed slightly.
"Do you know where, Valentyne?" Kade glared at the dreamwalker.
"No, I didn't follow them." Taryn crossed her arms. "Your kind is particularly difficult to track without being caught."
"But now we can narrow it down," Wren paced a little, "How many areas are unclaimed?"
"About ten, and they're large areas."
"We'll have to divide and conquer," Gabe rolled his shoulders, "unfortunately."
Taryn snapped her fingers and a strange popping happened.
I moved my jaw around, "What was that?"
"I just established a mind-link channel between us so we can communicate while split up." She tilted her head, grinning. "All of us."
Ry'anne appeared from I figured was the shadow realm, arms crossed.
"Why do people keep showing up?" Wren growled.
"Because your group looks quite suspicious and it's my job to keep an eye on you."
Tarek frowned, "You're a rep, not an investigator, and I have everything under control."
"And yet I hid from you." she smirked
"Although you're doing a lousy job."
Ry'anne glowered at me, "I've been trying to nab that group for years now, but never had any evidence or resources to use against them until now, thank you, Nyght."
I rolled my eyes. "Are you gonna help us or not?"
"Well yes, I'm just having some fun."
Kade smiled, "Always with the spunk."
Ry'anne winked at him.
I shook my head, "Into the woods we go now."