She came to in a bed. The same bed she’d used since her arrival at the palace. She tried to sit up but couldn’t.
She turned to the man in whose power she was. Lord Kraken sat by the bed; he seemed to have been lost in thought and was trying to bring himself back to the present. How ironic! She’d felt the same thing last night before meeting him.
“Why?” She asked.
“You’re hurt. Badly. You’ve been bleeding inside. It’s taken most of my power and 3 healers to keep you alive.”
“Why do you care?”
He ignored her question.
“But if you move, you might die yet.”
She snorted. But she didn’t struggle against the magic that held her down.
“Wasn’t it the point my Lord?”
Anger flashed in his eyes.
“My death you mean?”
“No. Mine. It was always mine.” She whispered.
“You’re lying Ezariah. Again.”
“What for? You know who I am, what I am. Nobody will prevent you from killing me.”
“They wouldn’t. But if that’s what I wanted I wouldn’t have spent most of my energy to save you. I don’t intend you to die Ezariah.”
“You’re a clever young woman Ezariah. Think.”
She suddenly was back in her bed with her father. She couldn’t breathe. She tried to move. But his hands were on her shoulders before she could. Of course she knew why; she’d rather die.
“No. Let me go.”
“I won’t. I can’t. Don’t you understand?”
“I won’t do it.”
“You don’t even know…”
“I won’t help you achieve immortality.”
Shock was painted all over his face. Of course she knew; everyone knew that was why he’d destroyed the temple, opened the gate. To tap into the magic of the worlds and extend his own life. But he needed a blue magician and she was the last. He had magicians serving him from all nations: and he was the last bearer of white blood magic.
“Is that what they told you? The Guardians?”
Anger rang in his tone. His hands fisted against her shoulders. Pain coursed through her body, like fire. She whimpered.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t intend to… answer me Ezariah. Did they tell you I was seeking immortality?”
“Conquer the worlds. Immortality. Destroy magic. Whatever your reason; it doesn’t matter.”
“Of course it does. They’re all lies. Lies they repeated to ensure the person meant to destroy me wouldn’t hesitate.”
“I wasn’t sent to destroy you.”
“Then why? Tell me the truth.”
She sighed. What was the point? He would never trust her again anyway.
“To close the gates.”
“You jest. You would die.”
“I know. I told you. It was always about my death.”
He seemed to hesitate.
“I’m not seeking immortality Ezariah. Nor do I intend to control the worlds. Why ever for?”
“I opened the gates… because I thought it would allow people to travel through the worlds again. And if they did, there would be people of white blood returning to Givry. Blue blood. Magic would be strengthened, renewed. Except it didn’t happen. I’m still the last of the white blood. Not even pure line. And you’re still the last of the pure blue blooded Givran.”
“Not pure blood. My mother was Gold.”
“Of course not. Ezariah. When a Gold skin and a Blue blood have a child, golden traits always take over. The blue lines have diminished where the gold strengthened. Your mother was a Blue blood. Don’t you even know? She died in childbirth. Your father remarried.”
“You’re the one lying now.” She breathed.
She was tired. Why wouldn’t he leave her alone?
“I don’t lie Ezariah. The records of your birth are in the archives here. Didn’t the Guardians tell you? They were the only ones also keeping tracks of the lines. That’s how I discovered my mother was the last of the Featherwinds, the former royal family.”
“That justifies your taking power?”
“No. That’s not the point. They lied. To you, me, to everybody. I need you. To bear my children. To bring back the white skins, the blue blood to Givry.”
The shock made her start; even his hold couldn’t prevent it. Pain slashed through her entire body. She screamed. And fainted.