Chapter twenty-seven takes us to the end of Spell Tracker. We find out the consequences of Devin's attempt to sacrifice himself to save Cass, his sister, and Luca/Avi, the boy he loves. Nothing is ever straightforward when a magical contract is involved, and this Spell Tracker is a Shadow Mage to beware of. He insists on collecting what is due to him, and Luca is forced to ask the Master Mages for help.
The rest of the book is available to read via the New series link at the top of this post. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page for Chapter One. Spell Tracker and its sequel Spell Mason are also on Amazon (at $0.99/£0.99/€0.99). I hope you enjoy the conclusion to Luca's story, and thank you very much for reading 💕.
27 A Different Life
instantaneous. The contract released me. As soon as I realized what had
happened, I freed Cass from the Spell Tracker’s magic.
she said, running over to throw her arms around him. He held onto her and closed
his eyes. It was the kind of moment guardians lived for. The love between them
said the Spell Tracker. “That wasn’t… That wasn’t a proper name!” he shouted.
raised his hand to claim Devin.
said, interrupting his spell. “You cannot harm a magician connected to a
guardian. Not without the High Council’s endorsement.”
until you find out he’s a Light Mage.
turned red, then reddish-purple. I raised my eyebrows. “Something you’d like to
tricked me! You… you…” His anger overcame his powers of speech.
said. “Devin outsmarted you, but he didn’t trick you. In this dimension
it’s a recognized name. Otherwise the magic would not have responded as it did.”
pulled back from Cass and gave me a grin. “I couldn’t be sure, but you told me
how powerful thoughts and beliefs could be. I never expected to wind up
grateful to Mina for creating Cavi.”
no,” said Cass. “She’ll never let us hear the end of it if she finds out.
Although… I can’t exactly tell her. I have no idea what’s happening.”
grin faded. “Am I… am I still going to die?”
said the Spell Tracker, sneering. “My contract with you is perfectly valid. You
entered into it of your own free will.”
see,” I replied. I reached out with my magic. “Michael, Gabriel, Raphael,
Uriel, Selaphiel, Raguel, et Barachiel. Uno nomine veroque te invoco.”
Spell Tracker recoiled. “W-what are you doing?” He leaned backward as if I were
pointing an earthbound gun at his head.
we should settle this now,” I replied. “Before one of us is—how can I put
this?—tempted to adjust their magic in any way.”
glared at me. Yes. I doubt Cass is the only magician whose contract you’ve
should be happy,” I said. “You might be remembered as an extraordinary Spell Tracker
has answered you,” he said, looking left and right. The four of us were still
alone in the classroom. His superior expression reasserted itself.
you… call?” asked Devin. “Because those names sounded familiar.”
make up the High Council of the magical dimensions,” I said. “And someone is already
was being inspected. Guardians had to submit to a lot of audits, and I was
accustomed to the sensation. Whoever had answered my summons would start with
me. The ability to ask for help in this way was a guardian’s privilege and one
we were not permitted to abuse.
wishful thinking is absurd even for a guardian like you,” said the Spell Tracker.
“I am returning and I’ll be taking my—”
off mid-sentence with an expression of panic.
the matter?” I said, with fake concern.
shivered and Devin lifted his shoulders, frowning. “Avi…?”
be afraid,” I said. “You’ve done nothing wrong. It is the Spell Tracker and I
who are at fault.”
came a low, melodious voice. I turned.
I said, lowering my head briefly.
are angels’ names,” said Devin. “I remember now. And you do… you do look kind
had not bothered with an earthbound covering. Though her usual form would look
quite ordinary in the magical dimensions, here she looked like a person made
from magic, glowing and golden.
a faint smile. “Angel is an earthbound word. It simply means messenger. When we
first created this dimension alongside our own, the High Council were the only
guardians. We were a little careless with how much information we imparted, and
the stories about us unfortunately persist.”
I thought… the archangels are all supposed to be men,” said Cass.
she said, her smile turning mischievous. “Earthbound lessons regarding the
irrelevance of gender are still a work in progress. We’ll get there
asked Cass, smiling back. “I think you’re my new favorite person. If… person’s
the right word?”
and Master Mage,” I said.
all magicians,” said Devin slowly. “That’s what he meant about restoring my
magic. This dimension… the life paths… the guardians… even the penalties. It’s
like a kind of college, isn’t it?”
eyes widened. “We’re all magicians?”
at Selaphiel to see if she would confirm it. I still had no idea how the High
Council would resolve our situation. She’d examined our magic. She would know
the right to execute my contract,” said the Spell Tracker loudly. “You cannot
prevent it indefinitely.”
expression turned cold. “You are not in a position to make any demands, Spell Tracker.
However, I’m afraid you are correct as far as the contract is concerned. Go
sank. She was going to allow it, then. Cass would lose her brother when she’d
only just found him again.
said Cass, moving in front of Devin. “What did you say?”
Spell Tracker pushed her out of the way behind a wall of magic. “No!” she
shouted. “Avi, stop them. I thought we were safe. Dev!”
satisfied smile, the Spell Tracker snapped his fingers and Devin crumpled to
the floor. Cass threw herself against the wall of magic in an attempt to reach
him, continuing to protest.
held up her hand and Cass was forced into silence. “Be patient,” she said.
“Permit me to explain what will happen now.”
of some kind, I assume?” said the Spell Tracker. “Get it over with. I have a
magician to torture.”
do not. The physical covering you just killed belonged to a Light Mage.
Congratulations, Spell Tracker. You have successfully created another
gasped. She gave me a pleading look. “Does that mean Dev’s OK?”
interrupted by the Spell Tracker, whose face was distorted with rage. “Impossible.
You…” He turned to me. I tried to keep my face expressionless. “You knew. You knew.
I’ll kill you for that. I’ll kill you. You’ll be looking over your shoulder for
the rest of your life, Guardian.” He stepped closer and Selaphiel shook her
will not live that long, Spell Tracker. Have you forgotten the contract you
entered into when you took your position?”
furious expression wavered, but only for a second. He rolled his jaw and threw
the lanista’s cloak over his shoulder with an imperious gesture. “You’ll
never enforce it. That’s why you employ me. No one on the High Council would lower
themselves to my position.”
would.” She narrowed her eyes and the glow of her magic crackled like static
electricity. “I would consider it a fair exchange for the harm you have done.
However, I won’t have to. Your successor will be tasked with executing your
penalty. She is ready. You were due to step down soon, I think? I’m sure you
remember the timing better than I.”
Spell Tracker froze. His eyes flicked left and right as if looking for a way
out, but there was none. If his magic was bound to a contract, he was done. As
we watched, he was dragged backward, and the illusion of his physical covering
said Selaphiel, “we come to you, Luca. I am in something of a dilemma about your
penalty. You could argue that the end justified the means, but the problem is
you had no way of knowing the end before you engaged in the means, did you?”
sighed. “And what is your view on the rules about objectivity now?”
might as well say it while I have the chance. “I think they should be less strict. I think
guardians could give better help—more help—if we were allowed to be part of the
earthbound dimension from time to time and revisit former connections.
added, “I think the High Council is too far removed from what’s going on in
this dimension. You can’t legislate for what you don’t know. There are bound to
be other loopholes you haven’t thought about. Plus… I’ve given more help in the
five weeks I’ve been here than I usually manage in half an earthbound year.”
I bit my
lip. I hadn’t intended to go on for so long.
quite finished?” she asked.
nodded. My cheeks were hot. I was glad I’d managed to stop before I blurted out
my feelings for Cass and Devin, too. Way to undermine your own argument,
Luca. I’d demonstrated just how susceptible to emotion this physical
covering made me.
seems you’re not alone,” she said.
not the only guardian who thinks that way.” Selaphiel extended a hand toward
Devin’s body, which glowed for a few seconds before coming back to life.
he said, sitting up.
said Cass a little warily. “Is it really you?”
he said. He gave her one of his amazing smiles and her expression relaxed. “I’m
going to keep the name. I prefer it to my real one. And it will be less confusing
right,” she said. She glanced at me. “I accept your suggestion. We will pursue
this on a trial basis. You may live in the earthbound dimension with the
freedom to identify your own assignments as long as you report for auditing
once a month.”
jumped. It felt as if the ground had dropped away from me for a second. My
physical covering shimmered.
made an adjustment. Your covering will remain an illusion, but tactile interaction
will no longer be painful for the earthbound,” added Selaphiel. “No
connections, though. I’m afraid the risk of discovery is too great if we allow
the earthbound to look into your eyes and see your magic.”
turned to Cass. “Last, but certainly not least, we come to you.”
stood up and took hold of her hand, and I walked across to take the other one.
“Don’t be afraid,” I whispered. “You’ve done the difficult part.”
said Selaphiel. “You have graduated your life path. Please forgive us for the
additional lifetimes and obstacles you faced. I regret them deeply.”
don’t… What am I supposed to do?” said Cass.
supposed to remember,” said Selaphiel, restoring Cass’s magical identity.
held my hand more tightly. “Oh… my… God,” she said. Her disorientation passed
quickly and it was like she’d stepped from a black-and-white movie into bright
technicolor. Her energy signature was so strong compared to how it had been
before. She’s kind of amazing.
I replied. She leaned over to give me a kiss, and I knew she was saying goodbye
to what we’d had. She’s right. It’s time.
always love you,” she said. “Both of you. And you’d better come visit me often.
The thought of being an Animal Mage and a Healer is a little daunting. Especially
now I remember that dragons are real. I’ll need all the help I can get to start
try and keep us away,” I added.
ready,” she told Selaphiel. “I have a favor to ask, though. Since you regret what
happened, I wonder if you might… smooth my departure a little. If the
earthbound were to believe I’d… maybe… gone to Europe to study or something?”
elegant solution,” agreed Selaphiel. “And a fair request, given what you’ve
been through. Consider it done.”
Who will be training Devin as a guardian?” I asked.
begin with,” said Selaphiel. “You’ve been a guardian for almost two thousand
earthbound years. You are sufficiently experienced.”
certainly is,” said Cass, with a wicked grin. “Dev, you’re a lucky guy.”
and I protested together.
both soon,” she said, unrepentant. In an instant, she and Selaphiel
disappeared, leaving Devin and I alone in the classroom. It was dark outside
and the glare from the overhead lights was unpleasant. I didn’t know what time
it was, but I felt mentally exhausted.
said Devin, and the lights went out. “That’s better,” he said. “Although it
doesn’t sound quite so impressive when it’s not in Latin, does it? Just my luck
to graduate my life path as a North American high-schooler.”
know,” I said. “You have a nice voice. It doesn’t matter what language you’re
yeah?” he said, closing the distance between us.
I murmured. His magic was buzzing. I think he’s a stronger magician than I
am. That’s hot. I swallowed. “Thank you for saving my life, by the way.”
you for saving my sister’s life. Er… do you think you might ever kiss me again?”
I made a
kind of helpless noise, then we were kissing. Gods. I am never going to get
enough of him. Let’s hope the janitor doesn’t plan to check this classroom
you expected home?” I managed when we came up for air.
he said. “You can come back with me. I want to introduce my boyfriend to
everyone. We’ll figure out the rest as we go along.”
nodded. It was going to be an interesting new life. For both of us.
Post a Comment