Chapter 13Where Some Is Revealed

The letter was written in a very neat hand, more like a report than anything else. No introduction and no signature at the bottom.

We have made some progress in using Magic through crystals. Their absorbing qualities are quite effective, even at a small distance. Dark students which had a crystal placed near their bed were not able to perform the following day. Some additional testing with Fey also generated some interesting results. Both Light and Dark Fey are brought to near death upon touch with certain charged crystals. However, they instinctively keep away from them and are able to move them at least, using sticks or other tools. One captured young dryad did not survive when we tied a crystal to her forehead. The Light students that worked on her felt quite ill after touching that crystal afterwards. So far, there appears no upper limit on the charge a crystal can contain, but it's not maintained easily. More updates will follow.

Deirdre had read it as well by now. "That's horrible."

"Did you hear about crystals before?"

She nodded slowly. "A little. I heard they were being used as a replacement for candles sometimes. When imbued by Light, it's a clear white light, good for working with."

"I've seen them a few times. But they made most people feel uncomfortable. It's like they drain you a little."

She looked at me. "Did you ever touch one of those?"

I shook my head. "It felt very dangerous, it's like they absorb Light."

She added. "Or Dark..."

It was also very, very worrying that they were experimenting on Fey, forest spirits. Though they left the cities alone most of the time, actions like those are asking for retaliation. And they did, usually, have a lot of nastiness at their disposal when they did get angry. It also made me wonder if they did similar experiments and research in Dawnbridge. Of course I hadn't read the letter I delivered to Bleakfield, so it was hard to tell.

"We need to go."

Deirdre looked. "Yes."

We had spent way too much time here, with breakfast, that hassle and the letter. It wouldn't be good to get too much delay in our return trip. They wouldn't know when to expect me back, obviously. But the longer it took, the more suspicious it would become. I put the letter back and closed the seal, heating the blade of my penknife with Light. I knew it would give me a light headache for a few hours, but I just didn't have the time to make a fire and heat it the easier way. Another few minutes later I was satisfied with the now-closed-again seal. There shouldn't be any tampering evidence left so I was free to decide what to do with the information.

I looked at Deirdre, who was staring at my actions curiously. "Let's get going first and talk later."

She nodded and stepped back for me to unfasten the horse and get on it. She then pulled herself up behind me. "What about the Fey?"

I wasn't quite sure what to say. I set the horse to a walk, then a trot to a canter. It was a little while further that I found what to say. "It's wrong to experiment on them to begin with. But they'll retaliate. And with tension being as it is, they will be seen as the new enemy... Just in time for another war."

"Do you think they do this on purpose?"

I smiled grimly. "Probably not. If they're working on experiments, the idea is just to get an extra edge should it be needed. That, or more power."

I could almost feel Deirdre getting colder behind me. "We must do something."

While I agreed that something had to be done, I wasn't completely sure about the 'we' she mentioned. Sure, I liked her, she was interesting and pleasant company so far. And I sincerely hoped she'd keep her word and teach me more in Dark Magic so I would become more able to handle both my sides. But... It was hard to forget the fearful look in her eyes when she realized what I was. But perhaps it was just the memory of so much fear, so much misunderstanding in my past, resurfacing. I shouldn't take it out on Deirdre. I also realized that I had no place for her to stay. I usually stayed at the castle and, though some had female servants that slept nearby, it would be very difficult to get Deirdre in. Unless we could get away with her acting as a servant.

We...

"Yes, we must do something, but I'm not sure how yet. I wonder if the Fey know about this..."

She looked around to the forest where, despite the sound of hooves, it was surprisingly quiet. "Are Fey linked to each other? Like empathy or telepathy?"

I shrugged. "I don't know. There's all kinds of folklore around their abilities. I don't think many scientists or magi have had the opportunity to research them. There was very little in the library about them, at least."

Deirdre stayed silent for a while, while the horse carried us further through the forest. It would have been lovely to see it from higher up. To see the small shapes of us, sitting on the horse, barely visible through the trees. To see the mountains of the distant north, sparkle in the sun or the deserts of the distant south, hazy through the light. My mind was soaring while we, humble humans, rode along the path laid before us. It was her voice that brought me down to earth again, in more ways than one.

"I think they know."