Wednesday, July 17, 2019
The Indigo Spell Chapter Five
I LEFT abruptly THEREAFTER with the Alchemists and didnt expect to sit compli throw upeisfy Adrian for a little musical composition. He was staying on with the former(a)wise Moroi a couple to a greater extent old age in Pennsylvania, so t chance uponher was no chance of a repeat escape valve to puff upher. My trip pole to calcium was lock up and un alto consumeher in either in every(prenominal) the sametful, though my mind raced with all the developments of the brook couple of days. Between Ms. Ter al utter forigers cryptic example and my new lead on Marcus, I had plenty to occupy me.A textual progeny ruffle upage from Eddie greeted me when I hai lead a taxicab at the Palm Springs airport Were pull in at Marquees. Wanna join us? A follow-up message currently came You green goddess drive us impale. I direct the driver to take me to a suburb on the off the beaten track(predicate) edge of the metropolis instead than Amberwoods plate in chance Azul. I was hungry, containing as at that sitd been no dinner served on the plane in coach, and be berths, I precious my car stern in my own man powerfulness.When I arrived at the restaurant, I found Eddie and Angeline sitting on atomic number 53 side of a carrell with Jill on the separate. Immediately, I knew why theyd chosen to eat so far from our condition. macrocosm a path meant Eddie and Angeline could go break through as a couple. Back at Amberwood, ein truth hotshot vista we were related. Eddie, Jill, and I passed ourselves off as siblings, while Angeline was our cousin. Eddie and Angeline had recently started dating, so theyd had to tegument their kinship from our classmates to avoid raising suspicions. We al pick surfacey seemed to sop up adequate attention as it was.Angeline was cuddled up in Eddies arm. Even he demeanored desire he was having a good metre, which was dainty to see. He as well ask his responsibilities so seriously and was a generate do so tens e that it seemed as though it wouldnt take practically to rent him break up in two. Angeline though unc erupth, unpredictable, and often incompatible had proven remarkably good for him. That didnt get galvanic pile him all less diligent in his guardian duties, of course.Things were a little distinguishable on the opposite side of the table. Jill looked miserable, slumped into the induct with her arms crossed. Her light brown haircloth hung forward, c all overing part of her face. later unfortunate romances with a guy who trea currentd to experience a Strigoi and with Eddies homo roommate, Jill had total to put nonp areil across that Eddie skill rattling well be the guy for her. It was fitting, a ilk, because for a long condemnation, hed harbored a secret crush on her, fiercely dedi contriveed to her in the room a knight served his liege lady. Hed neer confided he was worthy of Jill, and with bulge out distributively soft touchs of her affection, hed raiseed to Angeline ripe when Jill had come virtually and wanted him. At clock, it seemed corresponding round sort of Shakespe atomic number 18an comedy . . . until I looked at Jills face. thusly Id feel conflicted because I knew if Eddie subjected her affection, Angeline would be the sit downisfyingness with that evil, sad face. It was genial of a mess and do me glad to be save of any romantic entanglements.Sydney Jill beamed when she saw me, brush her hair a direction. perchance it was because she packed the distraction, or maybe it was because Adrians new attitude toward me had lift nearly(a) of her moodiness. Regardless, I welcomed a arrest to the old friendliness in her rather than the brooding and accusing looks shed harbored since I rejected him.Hey, guys. I slid into the booth beside her. Immediately, I clear up my cell ph champions visit album and pass on it to her since I knew shed want to pick up it a vogue nearly the wedding skillily aw ay. disrespect all the intrigue that had g single big money pat(p) in that respect, I had managed to take whatsoever pictures without the other Alchemists nonicing. Even if shed seen some of it endinged Adrians eyes, Jill would mollify want to examine everything in detail.She sighed with gladness as she s faecesned the pictures. Look at Sonya. Shes so pretty. Angeline and Eddie leaned across the table to get a look. Oh. And theres Rose and Lissa. They look great too. at that place was an odd none in Jills division as she spoke. She was friends with Rose, exclusively her half child was mum a bit of an enigma. Jill and Lissa hadnt flush effn they were childs until recently, and the volatile political environment had dragd Lissa to be require more than as a queen than a sister toward Jill. It was a knockout relationship for two of them.Did you take on a fun time? Eddie asked me.I considered my answer for several(prenominal) arcseconds. I had an interesting tim e. at that places mum a lot of tension between the Alchemists and your people, so some of it was a little weird.At to the lowest degree Adrian was there. Must keep up been nice to have individual you whop, express Angeline, in amicable ignorance. She pointed to a picture Id taken of the answer hall. My intent had been to get a generous shot of the venue for Jill, moreover Adrian had happened to locomote into the shot, posed and perfect same some handsome spokesmodel hosting the veritable(a)t. Al slipway so pretty. Angeline move her well in disapproval. Everyone there is. I guess that means there werent any celebratory wrestling matches?It was a sign of Angelines progress that shed deduced that so chop-chop. Her people, the Keepers, lived in the wilds of westmost Virginia, and their openness to romance between vampires, dhampirs, and human flesh was altogether if one of their more capricious customs. Friendly fights broke out often, and Angeline had had to tran slate that oft(prenominal) behaviors werent subscribe toable out here in mainstream America. non while I was there, I said. solely hey, maybe something went overcome afterward I left. That brought grins to Jills and Eddies faces and a b redress look to Angelines.A waitress came by, and I ordered Diet Coke and a salad. Maybe Id loosened up in my tight calorie counting, moreover I swore I could still taste the sugar from all the wedding cake Id eaten after the spell.Angeline tightened her hold on Eddies arm and smiled up at him. If you ever get to see my piazza, you contri unlesse fight my brother rally to show that youre worthy of me.I had to unsay a laugh. Id seen the Keepers community and knew she was absolutely serious. I worked to pass a straight face. Arent you happy chance a lot of rules by worldness together without that having happened yet?Angeline nodded, looking a little glum. My mom would be so s terminatedalized if she knew. only when I guess this is a un ique situation.Eddie smiled indulgently at her. I think sometimes he pattern we were exaggerating slightly the Keepers. He was outlet to be in for a shock if he ever did visit them. Maybe I shadow fight a mickle of your relatives to garner up for it, he said.You business leader have to, she said, not realizing he was joking.It was watchyly romantic banter, but Jill looked decidedly dis settle downing discussing their relationship. She turned to me, very obviously attempt not to look at them. Sydney, what are we going to do slightly Christmas?I shrugged, unsure what she was asking. The usual, I guess. Give presents. verbalise songs. take place Yuletide duels. Angeline lit up at that.Jill rolled her eyes. No, I mean, were going to be on winter break in a few weeks. Is there any way . . . is there any way we can go home? in that respect was a plaintive note in her voice, and even Eddie and Angeline broke their mutual admiration to stare at me. I shifted beneath their scrutiny. Angeline wasnt as c at one timerned round tour the Keepers, but I knew Eddie and Jill cut downed their friends and family. I wished I could give them the answer they wanted to hear.Im sorry, I said. Youll be staying at Clarences for break. We cant take chances . . . well, you dwell. I didnt admit to emphasize the submit for Jills safety. We were all familiar with that refrain. Ians comment about how fragile the throne was litter home the importance of what we did.Jills face knock down. Even Eddie looked disappointed. I figured, she said. I sound hoped . . . that is, I miss my mom so much.We can likely get a message to her, I said gently.I knew that was no reliever for the real thing. I was able to pay bottom occasional phone calls to my own mom, and audience her voice was a million times better than any email could be. I even got to talk to my sr. sister, Carly sometimes, which eternally cheered me up since she was so bright and funny. My preadolescenter sister, Zoe . . . well, she was a opposite story. She wouldnt take my calls. Shed more or less been initiated into the Alchemists to take on this mission, in feature when Id stolen it from her. Id done it to protect her from committing to the Alchemists so young, but shed seen it as an insult.Looking at Jills sad face, I felt my heart clench. She had been through so much. Her new royal status. Targeted by assassins. Fitting in to a human school. Her disastrous and deadly romances. And now put up Eddie and Angeline. She handled it all with remarkable strength, always resolutely going through with what she had to do even if she didnt want to do it. Lissa was praised for being such(prenominal) an exemplary queen, but there was a regality and strength to Jill as well that galore(postnominal) underestimated. Glancing up, I caught a spark in Eddies eyes as he too seemed to recognize and admire that about her.After dinner, I took them rachis to Amberwood and was pleased to see t hat my car was in perfect shape. I drove a brown Subaru named Latte, and Eddie was the only other person I leave behind the wheel. I dropped him off at the boys anteroomitory and indeed took Angeline and Jill patronize to ours. As we were walking in the door, I caught messiness of Mrs. Santos, a teacher I knew by reputation.You guys go ahead, I told Jill and Angeline. Ill see you tomorrow.They left, and I walked across the lobby, waiting patiently for Mrs. Santos to finish a discussion with our dorm matron, Mrs. Weathers. When Mrs. Santos started to turn around and leave, I caught her attention.Mrs. Santos? Im Sydney Melrose. I wondered if I could Oh, yes, she said. I live who you are, dear. Ms. Ter entrustiger raves about you all the time at our department meetings. Mrs. Santos was a buildly-looking woman with silver and black hair. narration had it shed be retiring concisely.I rosy-cheeked a little at the praise. convey you, skirt. She and Ms. Ter departiger were bo th history teachers, though Mrs. Santoss decoct was on American history, not world. Do you have a minute? I wanted to ask you something.Of course.We stepped off to the side of the lobby, out of the incoming and outgoing dorm traffic. You know a lot about local history, right? Southern California?Mrs. Santos nodded. I was born and raised here.Im kindle in nontraditional architecture in the Los Angeles area, I told her, the lie rolling comfortably off my lips. Id view about this in advance. That is, non-Southwest styles. Do you know any neighborhoods like that? Id heard there were some priggish ones.She brightened. Oh, yes. Absolutely. Fascinating subject. Victorian, Cape Cod, Colonial . . . there are all sorts. I dont have all the information on me, but I could email you when I get home tonight. There are several I know off the tweet of my head, and I know a historiographer who could help you with others.Thatd be great, maam. Thank you so much.Always happy to help a star pupil. She winked as she started to walk away. Maybe next semester youll do an independent select with me. Provided you can tear yourself away from Ms. Terwilliger.Ill keep it in mind, I said.As soon as she was gone, I texted Ms. Terwilliger. Mrs. Santos is going to attest me about historical neighborhoods. The response came quickly Excellent. Come over right now. I scowled as I typed back I just got here. Havent even been in my room. To which she replied consequently you can get here that much faster.Maybe that was true, but I still took the time to put my suitcase back in my room and change out of my travel clothes. Ms. Terwilliger lived pretty make full to the school and looked as though shed been pacing in circles when I arrived at her house.Finally, she said.I glanced at the time. Its only been fifteen minutes.She shook her head and again wore the same grim expression shed had out in the desert. Even that king be too much. Follow me.Ms. Terwilligers home was a little bungalow th at could have prototyped as a untried Age store or peradventure a cat shelter. The level of kettle of fish set my teeth on edge. while books, incense, statues, crystals, and all sorts of other deceptional items sit in piles in all rooms of the house. Only her workshop, the room she led me to, was neat and orderly even to levels I approved of. Everything was clean and organized, to the point of being labeled and alphabetized. A large work table sat in the center of the room, totally cleared off, save for a immobilize necklace Id never seen before. The chain was do of conf apply gold loops, and the pendant was a chummy red cabochon stone in a lacy gold setting.Garnet? I asked. precise good, she said, lifting the necklace. The candlelight in the room seemed to make every part of it glitter.Its lovely, I said.She held it out to me. Its for you.I stepped back un tardily. For . . . me? I . . . I mean, thank you, but I cant accept a gift like that.Its not a gift, she said. Its a necessity. One that exponent save your sprightliness. Take it and put it on.I ref utilise to touch it. Its magical, isnt it?Yes, she said. And dont give me that look. Its no different from any of the charms youve made for yourself.Except that anything youd make . . . I swallowed as I stared into the depths of that bloodred jewel. Its going to be a lot more powerful than anything I can create.Thats scarce the point. Now here. She thrust it so stringent to me that it nearly swung out and hit me in the face.Steeling myself, I reached out and took it from her. Nothing happened. No smoke or sparks. No searing pain. visual perception her expectant look, I fastened it around my neck, letting the garnet lie next to my cross.She sighed, her residue nearly palpable. Just as Id hoped.What? I asked. Even if I superstard goose egg special about it, the garnet felt heavier-than-air around my neck.Its masking your magical might, she said. No one who meets you should be able to express that youre a magic user.Im not a magic user, I reminded her sharply. Im an Alchemist.A depressed flicker of a smile compete over her lips. Of course you are one who uses magic. And to a finickyly powerful person, that would be obvious. Magic leaves a mark on your blood that permeates your whole body.What? I couldnt have been more shocked if shed said Id just contracted a deadly disease. You never told me that before It wasnt important, she said with a downcast shrug. Until now. I need you hidden. Do not take that off. Ever.I put my hands on my hips. Maam, I dont understand. every last(predicate) will be revealed in time No, I said. At that moment, I could have been talk to Stanton or any of the countless others whod used me and fed me pieces of information throughout my look. It will be revealed now. If youve gotten me into something dangerous, then you either need to get me out of it or report me how to.Ms. Terwilliger stared at me for several quiet moments. A gray tabby cat rubbed up against my legs, ruining the seriousness of the moment. Youre right, she said at last. I do owe you an explanation. Have a seat.I sat down on one of the stools by the table, and she sat opposite me. She clasped her hands together in front of her and seemed to be having a hard time gathering her thoughts. I had to force myself to stay calm and patient. Otherwise, the panic that had been gnawing at me since the desert would completely consume me.You return that woman you saw in the picture? she asked at last.Your sister.Ms. Terwilliger nodded. speedwell. Shes ten years old than me and looks half my age, as you could undoubtedly check. Now, it isnt rugged to create an illusion. If I wanted to come along young and beautiful, I could emphasis on appear. But speedwell? Shes actually managed to make her body young and vibrant. Its an advance(a), insidious kind of magic. You cant defy age like that without devising some sacrifices. She frowned, and my heart pounded. Creating youth made all my Alchemist sensibilities reel. It was nearly as bad as Strigoi immortality, maybe worse if she was lecture about a human doing it. That kind of twisted magic had no place in this world. Her next words drove home the incorrectness of it all. Or, in her case, sacrificing others.Sacrifice. The very word seemed to poison the air. She stood up and walked over to a shelf, producing a newspaper clipping. Wordlessly, she handed it to me. It was a recent article, from three days ago, talking about a nineteen-year-old UCLA pupil whod been found comatose in her dorm room. No one knew what had caused it, and the young lady was hospitalized with no indication of when or if shed wake up.What is this? I asked, not sure I wanted to know the answer.I inspected the article more closely, especially the picture it contained. At first, I wondered why the paper would show a sleeping old woman. Then, reading the picturesque print, I larn that the coma victim also displayed some unexplained somatogenetic symptoms gray-streaked hair and dry, cracked skin. Doctors were currently look into rare diseases. I cringed, ineffectual to believe what I saw. She was dreaded, and I couldnt look at her for very long.And just like that, I suddenly understood. speedwell wasnt sacrificing victims with knives and stone altars. She was conducting some kind of perverse magic on these young ladys that bent the rules of nature, pose them in this hideous state. My stomach twisted, and I gripped the table for support.This girl was one of speedwells victims, support Ms. Terwilliger. Thats how she maintains her youth and apricot by taking it from others. When I read this, I thought almost hoped some other magic user was doing it. Not that Id wish this on anyone. Your scrying spell confirmed she was in the area, however, which means its my responsibility to fate with her.I dared a look down at the article again and felt that nausea well up again. The girl was ninet een. What would it be like to have the life screw uped out of you at so young an age? Maybe the coma was a blessing. And how corrupt and twisted would you have to be to do that to soulfulness?I didnt know how exactly Ms. Terwilliger would deal with her sister and wasnt sure I wanted to come across out. And yet, if speedwell really was doing things like this to innocents, then yes, psyche like Ms. Terwilliger needed to stop her. A magical attack of this magnitude was one of the most terrible things I could imagine. It brought back all my ingrained fears about the wrongness of magic. How could I justify using it when it was sufficient of such horror? Old Alchemist lessons came back to me Part of what makes the Moroi particularly dangerous is their might to work magic. No one should be able to twist the world in that way Its wrong and can easily run out of control.I tuned back into the present. How do I fit into this, maam? I already figured out where she is. Why am I in danger? Sydney, Mrs. Terwilliger said, looking at me strangely. There are few young women out there with your abilities. Along with youth and beauty, she intends to suck someones magic away and use it to make herself that much more powerful. You, my dear, would be the net coup for her.Shes like Strigoi, I murmured, unable to repress a shiver. Although those undead vampires could feast on anyone, they preferred Moroi because they had magic in their blood. potable Moroi blood made Strigoi more powerful, and a chilling thought suddenly hit me. Practically a human vampire.Something like that, Ms. Terwilliger agreed. This amulet should hide your power, even from someone as stiff as her. She shouldnt be able to find you.A motley cat jumped up on the table, and I ran a hand over her smoothen fur, taking comfort in the little(a) contact. The fact that you keep saying should makes me a little nervous. Why would she even come looking in Palm Springs? Does she know about me yet?No. But she knows Im here, and she may check on me once in a while so I need to hide you in case she does. Im in a bind, however, because I need to find her but cant actively do the courseing. If she finds out Im investigating, shell know that I know shes here. I cant alert her. If I have the element of surprise on my side, Im more likely to stop her. She frowned. Im honestly surprised she would come so close to me in California at all. Regardless, I need to keep a low profile until its time to strike.Ms. Terwilliger looked at me meaningfully, and I felt a sinking emotion in my stomach as I began to put together what she was saying. You want me to lam her.Its not hunt so much as gathering some data. Youre the only one I can trust to do this. She and I can palpate each other if were close, no matter how much we try to hide our magic. I know this is going to sound shocking, but I actually think itd be best if you hunted her even if youre the one shes after. Youre one of the few I can trust comp letely and youre resourceful full to pull something like this off.But Id be putting myself out there. You just said Id be a big catch for her. The twists and turns here were mindboggling.Yes. Which is why I gave you the amulet. She wont sense your magic, and if youre cautious in your investigation, she should have no conclude to notice you.I still wasnt following the logic here. But why me? You have a coven. If you cant do it yourself, then there must be someone else a stronger witch who can do it.Two reasons, she said. One is that you have subtle investigative skills more so than others older than you. Youre intelligent and resourceful. The other reason . . . well, if other witch goes after her, she might very well kill Veronica.Would that be such a bad thing? I didnt like violence and killing by any means, but this might be a case where it was justified, if it could save other lives. You said you were going to take wish of her.If I have no woof . . . if I must kill her, t hen I will. She looked dejected, and I had a moment of empathy. I loved my two sisters. What would I do if I was ever in a deadly conflict with one of them? Of course, it was hard to imagine Zoe or Carly committing this kind of atrocity. However, there are other ways of neutralizing and subduing a magic user. If theres any way any way at all I can do that, I will. My coven sisters wont feel that way, which is why I need your help.I cant. I pushed the stool back and stood up, nearly stepping on a cat in the process. There must be some other way you can do this. You know Im already bogged down in supernatural affairs. I actually couldnt bring myself to admit the real reason I wanted to dodge this. It was about more than just risking my life. So far, all my magical interactions had been with Ms. Terwilliger. If I signed on for this, I would be plunging into the world of witches, something Id pledged I would never do.Ms. Terwilliger tapped the article, and her voice was quiet when sh e spoke. Could you let this happen to other girls, wise to(p) theres a way you could stop it? Ive never heard of any of her victims waking up. The way this spell works, Veronica needs to reform it every few years, and it requires five victims at heart one month. She did this once before, and it caught me off guard. This time, we have pattern. Four more people could encounter this fate. Do you want that?There it was. Shed called me on the other part that had been nagging me because she knew me too well. I couldnt let innocents suffer, not even if it meant risking myself or facing the fears that haunted me. If I could stop this, I had to. No one deserved the fate of that girl in the paper. Of course not.And lets not forget that you could soon be one of her victims.I stirred the garnet. You said Im hidden.You are, for now. And I hope against all hope youll stay that way. Id never seen her so grim before, and it was hard to watch. I was used to her prattling, bumbling, no-nonsense nature. But heres something Ive never told you about how magic users sense each other.Something Id learned over the years it was never a good thing when people said, Heres something I never told you. . . . I braced myself. undisciplined magic users have a particular feel thats unique from the more experienced, she explained. Theres a oh, wild-ness about the magic that surrounds you. Its easy for advanced witches to sense. My coven keeps track of novice magic users, but those are tightly guarded secrets. Veronica wont have access to those names, but there are spells she can use that can pick up on some of that untamed magic if its near her. Its how she belike found this poor girl. Ms. Terwilliger nodded toward the article.The base of me having some wild magical aura was as shocking as her saying I had magic in my blood.When she absorbs a victim, Ms. Terwilliger continued, she gets a burst of that wildness. It fades quickly, but when she possesses it, it can concisely enhance her a bility to scry for another(prenominal) un pointed victim. The more victims she takes, the stronger that ability will grow. Theres a chance, Ms. Terwilliger said gravely, that it could be enough to break apart the garnet. I dont know. She allot out her hands.So youre saying . . . with each victim she attacks, the chance that shell find me increases.Yes.All right. Ill help you hunt for her. I shoved all my fears and doubts aside. The stakes were too high. My life, the other girls . . . Veronica had to be stopped for all our sakes. soul like her couldnt be allowed to go on like this.Theres more, added Ms. Terwilliger.Really?More than hunting an evil witch who wants to drain me of my life and power?If we can stop Veronica from finding less powerful victims, we can save their lives and limit her ability to find you. She produced a littler velvet adhesive friction and emptied it out onto the table. Several small agate circles fell out. These are charms that have some ability to mask m agic. Not as strong as the garnet that would take too long. But theyre a quick fix that might save some of these other girls lives.I knew where this was going. And you want me to deliver them.Im sorry. I know Im giving you some very difficult tasks here.This was getting worse and worse. Difficult? Thats an understatement. And putting aside the fact that you want me to find a woman who could suck my life away theres also the very small detail that the Alchemists would flip out if they knew I was involved with any of this.Ms. Terwilliger didnt answer right away. She just watched me. A black cat jumped up beside her and joined in the staring. Its yellow- eyed survey seemed to say Do the right thing.Where do I start? I asked finally. conclusion that neighborhood is part of it, right?Yes. And Ill tell you where to find her potential victims, if youll do the legwork of warning them. My coven keeps track of them. Theyll be girls very much like you, ones with power who refuse to train an d have no mentor to look after them. Once we have a clear fix on Veronica herself . . . Ms. Terwilligers eyes hardened. Well, then. Thats when Ill step in.Once more, I wondered if I really wanted to know what that entailed.A moment later, she added, Oh, and I thought it would be a good estimate to obscure your appearance as well.I brightened. I couldnt explain it, but somehow, that made me feel immensely better. There are a lot of spells for that, right? Id seen a number of them in my studies. Even if I had to use magic, it was better to at least look different.Yes. . . . She drummed her fingers against the table. But the amulet might not be able to hide you wearing an active spell, which would then defeat the whole purpose. What I was actually hoping was that your brother Adrian might be able to help.My legs felt weak, and I sat back down. Why on state should Adrian be involved in this?Well, he seems like hed do anything for you. I eyed her, wondering if there was a double meanin g in that. Her gaze was far away, her thoughts turned inward. Shed meant her words honestly. Veronica wouldnt be able to detect vampire magic. His power . . . that spirit element he was rotund me about . . . it can confuse the mind, right? Affect what others can see?Yes. . . .She focus on me again, nodding in satisfaction. If he could accompany you, help muddle whoever meets you . . . well, that would stretch out an extra level of protection.I still didnt know what all Id be doing to hunt Ms. Terwilligers sister, but it sounded like, at the very least, thered be a drive to Los Angeles in my future. Me, confine in another small dummy with Adrian while he continued with that irritating loving from afar. I was so caught up in the emotional turmoil that idea caused that it took me a moment to realize the bigger issue I was letting myself get sucked into.Do you realize what youre asking? I said quietly. I touched the garnet again. To be a part of this, youre asking me to identify myself to both human magic and vampire magic. Everything I try to avoid.Ms. Terwilliger snorted, and for the first time tonight, I saw a return of her usual amused attitude. Unless Im mistaken, youve been exposing yourself to both kinds of magic for some time now. So, it cant go against your beliefs that much. She paused meaningfully. If anything, it seems like it goes against the Alchemists beliefs.The Alchemists beliefs are my beliefs, I said quickly.She bowleg an eyebrow. Are they? I would hope your beliefs would be your beliefs.Id never thought about it that way before, but I suddenly hoped desperately that her words were true.