Shadow Academy, chapter 22
The Nyght Tales, book 1
Having split into several groups of two, I was somehow stuck with our temperamental weapons instructor, walking a little ways behind him.
No one else had been willing to deal with him and Elys made the point we could call upon one another if required while we searched for the zyllahs.
The farther we got from the Academy, the more his magic flooded our surroundings. Not that I could enjoy the freedom from the dampeners.
I clenched my hands and jaws, my magic fighting back a bit. I didn't want to confront him about it until after this was done, but his behavior definitely presented issues none of us needed to deal with.
My gaze swept through the trees, finding nothing besides plants and the occasional animal. My shadows came up empty handed too, one of Elys' growls rumbling through me.
Looking back at me, Tarek raised a quick brow, which I replied with a shrug, then continued forward.
Dammit! This was getting frustrating, and I was a patient person.
I felt Elys growl through me. 'No, although Ry'anne isn't helping my concentration.'
'Right back at you,' Ry'anne snarked back. 'Your animal noises are distracting.'
'I can't help it.'
'Sure you can, you have some control over your animal half.'
'Kids,' Kade sighed, 'behave.'
'I'm older than you, jackass.' Gabe grumbled.
I rolled my eyes, ending my connection with that conversation. Both Ry'anne and Tarek were older than us, even if it wasn't by much. And much of my ba said should be ignored.
"Now you know how I feel when students bicker amongst themselves instead of paying attention to what I'm trying to teach them."
I lifted my head. "Doesn't mean I want to punch one in the face because they're annoying me."
Tarek sighed, not facing me. "I know."
"And now you know why I was hesitate about this." I gestured to us.
"Yes I do."
I sighed, making sure no one nefarious watched us. "I'm tougher than people assume."
"I know, I see it all the time."
"Then why are you upset?"
"Because I should have sensed them!" He balled his hands. "I've trained all my life to sense danger, and the one time I needed to, I didn't."
"There's no reason to beat yourself or jerk students over it," I stepped forward, "it's clear they'd been planning to attack me once I was alone, no matter what."
"Because of me."
"Oh probably." There was no point denying our strange relationship put a target on my back.
"That doesn't make me feel better."
"To be fair, you don't treat me any different from the others."
I went to reply, but a shriek sliced through the mind-link, making me hold my head, 'What's wrong?'
The pitch of Taryn's angry scream made my head swim again.
Tarek and I shared a look, shadow-jumping to her location.
Several shadows pinned Taryn to the ground, thrashing her arms and legs around, trying to escape. Like that would do her any good.
She spotted us. "Wanna help?"
Tarek instantly pushed his magic out, combatting her restraints. Taryn continued fighting to break free, purple dust seeping from her hands.
I took flight, avoiding the sleep magic, 'We need some help over here!'
Elys growled, 'We have our own problems'
'He's right,' Gabe grunted, 'They're everywhere!'
Multiple scenes of battle flickered through my mind, each of my friends fighting angry zyllahs. No one was hurt, which I supposed was good, but no one could break away to assist us.
So we were on our own, although the shadows loosened their hold as Tarek fought them and Taryn used her sleep dust on them.
I reached my senses outward, sensing where the source of Taryn's restraints radiated from, which felt familiar.
'I'm going for an attack.'
Tarek glanced up at me. 'Go.'
Flying over, I slammed my body into the unsuspecting zyllah, knocking them off their branch.
We tumbled through the trees, branches snapping and birds chirping at us. I didn't release my hold around the obviously female waist until we crashed to the ground, dirt flying everywhere.
I contracted my wings as I flipped several times, my opponent hitting a tree by the sound of it. I eventually stopped rolling, groaning as I crawled to my feet, checking out the zyllah.
My jaw dropped.
Shaking her head as she climbed to a standing state, Lyra looked at me. "Alright, now you know my secret."
My mind blanked.
She rubbed her arms. "I'm sorry."
I stumbled, my mind spinning. No, this had to be some cruel nightmare. Why would Lyra go against us? It didn't make any sense.
"What, you pretending to be my friend?" I choked out the last bit, throat closing a little. "Pretending to be weak? All to..."
Lyra lowered her gaze. "I wasn't pretending to be your friend."
"I don't believe you." I backed away, heart racing, "Why? Why would you do this?"
"Complicated? You sold me out!"
Lyra lowered her head, other zyllahs, including the female leader, surrounding her and me.
My sheut energy roared to life, ready for me to use. I couldn't believe she'd betray me like that, betray all of us. And I'd fell for her pathetic act, we all had.
Oh Gabe, what would he do? He really liked her and I was positive he wouldn't to lay one ounce of magic on her. But this would wound him deeply.
The others would take revenge on her, me shivering as I pictured the various methods.
Me and my magic were at war with each other.
Hurting people outside of defense or training repulsed me, but my shadows craved for me to unleash them in order to kill her and the others, who continued to close in around me.
What was I gonna do?