What sugar-lined hell did those thought spew from? Damn the Darkness, listening to Vayle and Niah bicker was making him overly sentimental. When he relaxed, those senseless thoughts snuck up on him again.
Niah leapt over the back of the couch. What was that about?
Fingers dug into Divine’s collar, dragging him to his feet.
“Have you lost your mind?”
Vayle pulled Divine towards the kitchen.
“What are you doing?”
Divine dug in his heels. It didn’t do anything. He tried prying Vayle’s fingers off of him. Vayle’s hand felt like iron bars. What was this male made of? Why weren’t Niah and Bel saying anything? They followed.
Vayle kicked open the hatch leading to Bel’s underground cavern. He dropped Divine down the hole.
Damn the Darkness.
Divine landed on his feet. Vayle, Bel and Niah followed. Yellow balls of light sat on the torches perched on the wall.
Who did they think he was? He was not someone to be dragged around no matter how powerful Vayle was. If Vayle wanted something from him, he should learn to ask for it.
Divine jump back. People needed to stop pushing his around. He finally found some semblance of control over his life. This beast arrived and attempted to shatter it. Divine would not allow things to go Vayle’s way.
Bel and Niah headed for the far side of the cavern. Vayle stayed put.
“You have too much power to not know how to control it. Your Lifeblood leaks out. It makes my skin itch. You need to get control over it.”
Vayle was not his superior. Divine would put him in his place.
“I can’t practice with my power. Josephine and Aliceanna have been taking most of it.”
“I know. That’s no excuse to let it run wild. You have no idea how to control all that power your body can store. Bel is the only reason you haven’t killed any humans.”
The air burned the back of Divine’s throat.
Was there something wrong with everyone’s voice? He had been living with Bel for almost a year, why didn’t he said anything. Besides, he grew up with humans and never had any problems.
“Defend yourself if you don’t want to die,” Vayle said.
Divine’s skin tingled. He felt Vayle’s power in his teeth.
Biting pain spread from his wrist. It clawed up his arm. Damn the Darkness, it felt like he was being eaten. He ground his teeth. He wouldn’t give Vayle the satisfaction. He shot power of his arm. The biting stopped.
Divine created a glowing blue orb in his hand. Vayle had no right to bully him.
The orb vanished.
He created it. Hadn’t he?
He conjuring it again.
“That’s not your Nanta,” Vayle said.
Sharp pain slashed through Divine’s chest. He was on his back. How did he get on the floor? His head throbbed. Divine rubbed his chest. No hole. Why did it feel like Vayle cut out his heart?
He needed to move.
Vayle stood over him.
Damn the Darkness, why couldn’t he get his body to move?
Vayle’s fist slammed into his stomach. His punch felt like knives.
He need to beat the blood out of Vayle.
Divine rolled over and jumped to his feet. He put some distance between himself and Vayle. The older male didn’t follow.
Divine’s orbs wouldn’t work. He couldn’t use weapons or bombs the way Josephine and Blae did. Divine was miserable at creating swords with his Lifeblood. His weapons always shattered when hit. He couldn’t transform his body like Aliceanna. What good was he?
Not the time to think about such useless things.
He charged. Vayle’s power was invisible. Divine opened his senses. The world become nothing but colors. He saw only auras, now. Vayle was a flaring mass of colors on the other side of the cavern. Reds and oranges exploded across his aura.
A swarm of moving black sand hurled towards him.
It flew at blinding speed. Divine jerked right. It nearly took off his head. He lost his balance. His feet wouldn’t find solid ground. The swarm was coming back. He threw out his back leg and ducked. The swarm missed his head.
Divine charged again. Vayle didn’t like close combat. That was the only reason Vayle didn’t following him even though he was faster. Divine kept dodging. He needed to get closer.
A despicable laugh filled the cavern. What an insidious sound. He needed to make Vayle scream.
“You think I don’t know my own weakness…child.”
Divine wanted to grab the last word and stuff it down Vayle’s throat.
He rushed forward. He needed to be faster. The swarm dove around him. At each attach, Divine got better at staying his feet.
He could go faster.
Divine was closing the distance. Vayle’s swarm couldn’t keep up with him. So close.
Another swarm erupted. Divine stopped and jumped back. The bastard could create another swarm. Why did he assume Vayle could only control one?
“Yes, why did you?”
Divine wanted to strangle Vayle with his own arrogance.
Now there were three flesh eating swarms. Then four. Vayle was just showing off now.
They shredded Divine’s leg, his arm. Blood poled around his feet. He couldn’t dodge as fast.
Enough. Divine blinked away his enhance vision. The world returned to normal.
Divine jumped. He commanded the shadows to build a platform in mid-air. When they lived in Silhouette, Bel always commented on how Divine and Aliceanna had unusual control over physical darkness. All Lifeblood beings could pry open Darkness to gather Bria, the energy inside.
Every Lifeblood being could mold the energy. They used their bodies to bend the Darkness to their will. But, all Aliceanna and Divine needed to do was ask. Like the new masters, Divine could control Darkness just by asking. Bel said it must be a gift from their father.
Divine never saw any use for his gift. He wasn’t like Aliceanna. He couldn’t make a body of Darkness.
Divine lost sight of Vayle’s swarm once his turned off his enhanced vision. His body knew the feel of it. The power smelled like Divine was inhaling fire. The smell became worse the closer the swarm got. Vayle’s attacks parted the air like a heat wave.
Divine’s platform shattered, dropping him into Vayle’s swarm. Divine created another one. He landed. The platform shattered. He called for another one. The swarm was on him. He needed to change directions.
He held up his hand to the invisible mass. Divine released a burst of raw power. The sward parted. He needed a solid platform. This time he would make it.
The platform held. The swarm rushed towards him. Divine jumped. Creating more floors of Darkness as he raced around the room to avoid Vayle’s attach.
Damn the Darkness, this was the worst position he could be in.
The hoard shot straight up. It crashed into the ceiling. Rocks as big as his hand rained down on Divine. He dodged. Another stream of biting power chased Divine around the room. Rocks shattered on his head and arms. They crashed through his platforms- sending him tumbling down. Vayle’s power tried to eat through Divine’s skin.
Vayle snorted. “Lafeyette said you were born from one of the first Sciell. I’m not impressed.”
Divine stopped in mid-air. This beast just insulted his father.
The wave ignited his skin. The swarm charge from all sides. Divine held up his palm. Lifeblood was connected to the person’s inner Darkness. Could Divine control someone else’s Lifeblood?
He would control it. No more running.
He erected an invisible bubble shield over him. It stopped the falling rocks from breaking his concentration. His vision kept going dark. Divine’s limbs felt like empty bags. With Josephine and Aliceanna taking his power, Divine didn’t have enough to deal with Vayle.
Divine focused. He didn’t care what he had to do. He was not losing to this beast.
Find that monster’s Darkness. He would make it submit. Divine felt his power struggle. Vayle conquered his Darkness.
This male abandoned his sister.
Found it. The wave stopped. Divine bent his arms, pulling his palm closer to his body. The swarm moved with him. He threw his palm forward. The sward hurled towards Vayle.
Vayle caught the power and threw it back.
Bel’s light created shadows. One sat behind Vayle. Divine held one palm up to stop the hurling attack. He held up his other hand. The shadow behind Vayle shivered. Divine pictured a sword. The shadow became a black blade. It lurched forward. Vayle dodge.
He wouldn’t get away. The shadows belonged to Divine.
He threw Vayle’s power at him. Divine raced around the room creating more platforms as he did. He needed a better vantage point. He needed to see every shadow.
“Good,” Vayle said.
Vayle’s hair freed itself from his tie. His teeth were so sharp and long Vayle couldn’t close his mouth. His green eyes were silver.
Divine roared. He would kill this animal.
His power leaked out of him. It smashed into the ceiling, raining boulder sized rocks down on Vayle. The swarm disappeared.
Vayle jumped. Divine’s power attacked without being ordered to. Vayle collapsed into Darkness.
Fool. Divine owned the shadows.
He couldn’t sense Vayle. He didn’t need to. His power would find him.
Blinding pain ripped through Divine’s center.
His platform shattered. He fell.
He used too much power.
He couldn’t move.
He sped towards the ground.
His lungs where shrinking. Divine needed to do something. If he hit the ground at this speed, he be out for at least a week.
He stopped. It felt like he was sitting on sand though he couldn’t see anything under him. The sand put him down. Divine’s legs wouldn’t hold him up. He needed to stay on his feet. Vayle was still alive.
Vayle appeared before him. He looked normal again only he was smiling.
“You can rest now.”
Why did those word sooth his resistance? Divine dropped to the ground. Vayle wasn’t even out of breath. He crouched in front of Divine.
“I see why your power always leeks out.” Vayle said. “It wants to be used. As Sciell, we have relationships with our power. Your bond with your Lifeblood seems unusually strong. Interesting. Bleak would’ve love to study you.”
A warmth spread across Divine’s chest. He liked Vayle being kind to him. Divine shouldn’t care so much. Vayle had been nothing but mean to him. He wasn’t supposed to care.
“You remind me of myself when I was younger. Only you’re far more logical than I was. I’m not saying it’s a good thing.”
Vayle was being nice to him. Divine didn’t know Vayle was capable of being nice.
Niah pulled Vayle’s hair turning his face up. She kissed his forehead.
“You should see him around Shade. He turns to cotton.”
Vayle dragged his hand across his forehead. He scowled. “Don’t contaminate me with your diseased lips.”
Niah kissed his again.
“The sight of you makes my soul itch.” She released his hair.
They were insane. You should never talk like that to family.
Bel walked over. “What do you think? I can’t figure out his Nanta. I barely understand his power.”
“I think his Lifeblood is his Nanta,” Vayle said.
Divine was too tired to ask Vayle to explain. Divine always assumed his, Nanta, his special ability, was the orbs he tried creating. Bel was the only who ever destroyed those orbs so easily.
“What do you mean?” Bel asked.
“The way we thought the Nanta worked was that our Fykas, those pulsing gate inside our bodies, molded our power a certain way. We pass Lifeblood through those gates to form our Nanta. Divine’s Lifeblood didn’t move. I think It talked to the Darkness. He can temporarily own Darkness without being attached by It. He’s similar to the new masters of Darkness,” Vayle said.
Niah shook her head. “There is a good chance the way we defined Nanta is wrong. As far as I know, Bel, Kaige and Bleak are the only ones who studied our power extensively and only in the past fifty years. We still don’t know so much. We can only speculate why we can now see auras and hear others thoughts.”
Bel looked at his feet, biting his lip. His aura became agitated. Divine didn’t like how meek Bel acted around Vayle and Niah.
Niah turned to him. “What?”
Bel wouldn’t meet her eyes. This wasn’t like him.
Vayle stood. “Speak or I’ll drag it out of you.”
That male had too many personalities. Which one was the real Vayle?
“Pernicious Vanguard, my dad, did research Lifeblood beings, Sciell and Miners, without resorting to kidnapping and torture the way the Prysns did.”
Niah’s eyes narrowed. “How could you possibly know that?”
“I told you I found Divine and Aliceanna with their human guardians after they disappeared from Silhouette,” Bel said. “Only one guardian is human. The other is Bria-touched. They have Lifeblood in them but they can’t do anything with the energy. They age slower and are physically stronger like the rest of us. They’re good friends with Pernicious. I talked to them about my dad.”
“I’m about to say something and it will hurt,” Vayle said.
Bel bowed his head. “Our parents are probably dead.”
Bel’s aura turned black. Divine didn’t believe it. He wouldn’t believe it until he saw his parents’ bodies.
“Your parents are powerful. It is impossible for them to hide from us,” Vayle said.
This was nonsense. Bel was giving up. Divine didn’t need to stay here and listen to this. He stood. A hand dragged him down.
“Don’t be a brat,” Vayle stood over him. “If you disagree, speak your mind. Don’t go running off like some child.”
Vayle had no right to talk to him like that. Divine would enjoy breaking Vayle’s baseless logic.
“How long have you been traveling across Jael?” Divine asked.
Vayle rolled his eyes. “What in the name of Darkness does that have to do with anything?”
“Over forty years,” Niah answered.
“Have you ever crossed the Aldric Abyss?”
Vayle’s mouth opened. He closed it into a smile. That wasn’t the reaction Divine wanted.
This wasn’t fun anymore.
“We…well, four Sciell and two Miners, lived in a town hidden in the middle of the Abyss and you never sensed us. Our parents could be trapped under a similar barrier.”
Vayle slapped Divine’s back. “You’re fun. You say trapped as if you know only prison would keep them from you.”
Divine didn’t like how much Vayle’s compliments meant to him. He was supposed to hate Vayle.
Niah draped her arm around Divine shoulder. He was getting used to them touching him. Took no time at all. His skin burned. He didn’t feel a violent desire to cut her arm off.
“Vayle doesn’t say nice things, ever. You should save that and use it on him later. He’ll hate it.”
Vayle threw her off Divine.
“Why don’t you take a nice long bath in a tub of poisonous spiders?”
“See, what I tell you.” Niah winked.
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