It’s been a long road, but Sasha has finally claimed her role as the least knowledge mage in history. She’s also acquired a new, incredibly grumpy bodyguard, and a spunky new BFF. With her team by her side, she learns the ropes of this new profession.
Her experience level is about to be fast-tracked, however.
On a routine trip to check out a perimeter breach, she encounters a hideous demon called by an experienced magic worker. It is this terrifying discovery that unlocks a deeper problem: Stefan’s troubled past and the reason he gravely mistrusts the Mata.
While Sasha struggles to fight the physical demons, Stefan struggles to fight the demons of his past. If he fails, his future in Sasha will be lost.
space, a vulgar feeling began to crawl up my skin like tiny insects scrabbling
under my clothes. The sickly-sweet smell of rotting flesh tickled my nose.
before,” I said quietly, passing my hands through the air. “Although, granted,
I haven’t had a lot of experience.”
toward the back wall the closer I got. On the right, near the corner of the
building, lay a pile of grayish sticks, charred and blackened by fire. Scorched
fabric was glued to the various elements of the pile.
sucking in a huge breath.
they were bones coated in masticated skin!
of agony, lay on the backside of his calves. One arm had been ripped out of the
socket and lay flat under his back. One leg, obviously broken at the thigh, lay
over the other. He was broken and twisted, as if he’d been made of match-sticks
and sporadically snapped and tossed to the ground.
whispered. “His back was broken in half.”
echoed around the crouching walls.
retorted into the hush.
another fire site, only this time, there was a large black pot overturned
against the wall. A round camping stove, smudged with soot, half lay under it.
Jonas growled. “You’re here to feel for magic. We have experienced clan that’ll
go over this site and give us more conclusive findings.”
that more clear before I looked at the body.”
spells and pitfalls within the area. This was something I practiced every day
per Toa’s instruction. A large part of my job was sensing other magic and
possible dangers. I still had trouble doing this on the fly, but here, in the
quiet settings, the building almost feeling as if it was holding its breath, I
had nothing else to do but concentrate.
discernable in the gloom of the warehouse, drifted over the overturned pot.
Like a match to kerosene, a circular fire lit up, climbing into the sky like
fairy lights. Sparkles danced and played in a shimmering orange halo lazily
drifting toward the right. Toward the body.
my breath afterwards.
death. What would it do when it got there?
nose, prompting a gag. That smell didn’t come from the body, it came from the
disgusting magic corroding this area. Magic that was still active. Lingering,
waiting. But for what? Whatever spells had been laid, they weren’t used to
create rainbows. They were also extensive and intricate. Beyond my training.
body. For a second, nothing happened.
started to sizzle and pop. Like water splashing into hot grease.
a quiver in my voice.
from the door.
senses. It was like undertow, rolling and fierce, sucking. Consuming. As fast
as magic surged into my body, elements desperate to get in, something in that
area stole it again, using my draw to fuel itself.
scrabbling to pull my power back.
into the building, his tattoos lighting up like a Christmas tree. A great,
gleaming sword swung into his hand, the blade glowing orange.
tie off this weird spell. It’s sucking magic to it.”
body once again receding out of the doorway. Tim backed out with him, but
fighting the draw both of that corner, and from the elements fighting to rush
into my body.
said under my breath, sensing the elements within the casting. “They’re, like,reaching for me. Feeding off my magic. I’ve
never dealt with a spell like this. I didn’t even know this was possible.”
to work. Harder to control. Someone has balls of steel.”
up the spell, like soldering wires, closing the spell in a sort of circuit. The
question was, did I just lock all that power in, or would it fray and
disintegrate like it had been, needing someone with magic to come along and fan
exactly what he was doing,” I murmured, analyzing the lacy structure of the
orangy incantation. It hovered within a shaky line spilled on the cement floor. Spilled because it looked suspiciously like blood,
sticky and slick, gleaming in the soft light from the window.
Jonas, wanting to talk about what I’d done and see what he thought—we’d
probably have to go get Toa—the lacy spell cleared away like mist. In its place
grinned the head of a black monster, staring at me like a hungry lion would a
teeth filled a mouth too big for its face.
leg stepped forward.
fibers of alarm.
barrier. Orange sparks rained down on its head. It glanced up, and then around,
noticing the hazy orange circle trapping it. And then its face straightened
out, staring right at me out of black pits instead of eyes. “We can rule,
you and I. Our power, combined, will be indestructible. Join me.”
the weakness of it. The shaky spell, barely held together. Even as I stood
there, the thing was starting to eat away at its cage.
some sort of failed attempt?
roared at Jonas, backing away as quickly as possible. “This thing is way, waystronger than other Dulcha I’ve seen. It’s feeding off of the
magic containing it, somehow. We need Toa for this one.”