TSW: Chapter 19 – Shadow of a Doubt Pt. 2

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Chapter Nineteen – Shadow of a Doubt Pt. 2

It was sunrise—a brand new day—but it wasn’t a good one. Blood came down Daveon’s lips. His throat was sore and bleeding from screaming. The local police had to hold him down within the station, and around him were people who knew him and his family.

“Let me go!” Daveon yelled at the top of his lungs. “I want to see them!”

“You don’t want to, dear boy,” came the voice of an older man. He shook his head. “Trust me. It’s not something yours eyes should be seeing. No one deserves to go that way.”

“It was Mr. Markani. I know it was!”

“Calm down,” came the voice of an officer. “And don’t shout that so loud. Please.”

Finally the druid calmed down enough where they could release him from their grip. Nobody let him see his parents. There were already police at his house when he got home, and they kept telling him that it was horrible, but he didn’t know what to think.

His world was spinning. Nothing seemed right. Every minute he pinched his arm to wake himself up to the point of leaving behind a painful red mark. I need to find him, he thought. Daveon wanted nothing more at that moment than to kill Bryant Markani. His vision appeared as if he was staring through a frame of outlining blur with minutes feeling like hours as they passed sluggishly by. He never truly understood chaos until that moment—when he lost his senses to the ether of emotion.

Fire burned in his stomach. A shimmer of emerald below his brow calmed enough to begin absorbing his environment, and he did so to watch the others carefully in order to find an opening in their ignorance.

It was soon that everyone in the room, he confidently decided, was looking away from him. When someone finally turned, it was already too late even to spy the rat scurrying out the door.

Markani massacred his parents. At first he was curious, but he decided it may be an awful idea to find them both after all, especially if what they were saying was true. They didn’t even go peacefully. He had to find him. His tiny rodent feet brought him beneath the legs of pedestrians and the bottoms of market stalls in a hot pursuit to find the man behind it all.

Everyone knew where the man lived. It was within a stunning manor at the edge of town that dwarfed the other houses of the town in both size and gaudiness. The paint was vibrant red with golden trim.

Behind it was a fenced-off garden of bushes, shrubs, and flowers, and that’s precisely where Daveon went to first. He found a crack in the stone wall surrounding the area and squeezed inside. Next, he needed to find a way into the manor. That’s what he thought. However, the back door creaked open to bring a shudder down the rat’s spine.

Dressed in another extravagant suit was Bryant himself walking out from his door to gaze upon the garden he seemed to be surprisingly passionate about. He always looked proud of himself, but at that moment, he was smiling more than Daveon had ever seen before. Seeing his face—seeing it grin—set the druid off as before, and without thinking further, his form flashed back to normal to stare him down. They were alone. He was free to use his magic.

“Daveon,” spoke the man calmly. “I kind of expected you to show up here. I’d be upset for you intruding if I wasn’t in such a fantastic mood.”

“You’re happy about killing my parents?” screamed Daveon.

“Oh, no. It isn’t that. I just succeeded in what I was worrying would be impossible. I broke through the next barrier of my own limitations and brought forth something truly remarkable. It excites me down to my very core. Truthfully, I’ve never been so flustered and giddy in my life. I might be blushing.”

“What the heck are you talking about? Actually, I don’t even care. I’m going to make you pay in blood for what you did to them… Why did they deserve that, huh? You’re disgusting!”

“They didn’t listen to orders. I told you before. Some are above, and it’s the rest of the people’s duty to obey them. And now, I truly am those some. More than before. I’ve risen above those who tread this path but fail.”

“I don’t care!”

Daveon, no longer wishing to hear more of the snake’s venomous words, rose up his clawed fingers to the sky to call upon a power within the soil. He conjured up his entangle spell. This caused vines to burst up from below Markani and wrap around his biceps in a tight lasso-like squeeze.

The man’s eyes lit up.

“Colour me surprised! You’re a wizard, Daveon.”

“You know about them? Impossible.”

“Today I broke the impossible.”

A shadow fell over Bryant as his smile curled up into a twisted crescent. At first, Daveon thought the darkness to be his own imagination—blinded by rage—but soon it grew to a figure emerging from behind the suited man. It was a being, and it was eight feet tall. The creature had to duck to step through the open door.

Never did Daveon see something so terrifying and disgusting. The figure’s skin was dark red, but covered in vibrant veins. Not only was it tall, but it had the pecs of a body builder, and an eight-pack at least. Daveon would have been impressed if it wasn’t so horrific.

This creature also had four large arms protruding from its body, a single large eyeball, and mandibles like an ant. It was the swolest, nightmarish insect he’d ever seen. Also, the only, thank goodness.

It didn’t hesitate to grab the vines gripping Markani’s limbs and snap them in its grip—pulling them apart with both sets of arms. The man only chuckled. It wasn’t to mock, however, but came from uncontainable excitement.

“I did it. I really did it,” muttered Bryant. “One of the hardest things for a warlock to do. I summoned a demon. And now that you’re here, Daveon, let me send you to Hell in its place!”

Markani swung out his hand. His fingers pointed forward, and swirling around his rest danced a pitch black mist. Whatever he did, Daveon froze in place, but it wasn’t with fear. A magic took hold of his body’s control and held him still.

“Go now, Sartax. Take him out.”

The demon leapt forward and crashed down beside the paralyzed druid. Using a right swing from both of its arms on said side, he pounded both a jaw and kidney shot as part of a single strike. The spell snapped off Daveon, but he also crumbled to the ground with red spraying from his teeth.

“You’re a wizard too,” groaned Daveon beneath his breath. “With dark magic. A warlock and a demon. That’s why you were able to own this town.”

“That’s right. A wizard is a god to normal folk. Without magic eyes, they can’t see through any of our illusions, and our powers have the potential of the very deities they often praise! Maybe it’s natural. It’s us that are meant to be worshipped.”

There was nothing he could do by himself. Against just one, there was a sliver of a chance, but he wasn’t a fighter. He couldn’t handle two. There wasn’t a chance. He struggled to his feet, wiped his lips, and stared desperately at what may become his demise directly in front of him. He had never seen a demon before, and it was even worse than he could have dreamed.

“There’s nothing that can stop a god, Daveon. You could have been in this seat, if you were smarter about your actions. Huh? I hear somebody in my house. Damn burglars. Do they know who I am? Sartax. Keep Daveon company while I—What?”

Shoving him out of the way came two more figures.

“I paid you all off, you stupid cops!” screamed Markani. “Get out of here!”

“We aren’t cops,” said one.

The first that spoke was short. His hair was black, and buzzed nearly to baldness. Both of them were garbed in what looked to be military grade body armour, but this shorter gentleman gripped a longsword using both of his hands.

Beside him was a man standing at nearly seven feet tall. His skin was dark, as was his hair, but unlike his companion, his cut was poofy and curled. There were no weapons in his hands, except for the hands themselves. Each of his arms looked to be as wide as the other man’s body.

“So you are burglars then,” Markani scoffed. “Dressed like that?”

“We aren’t burglars either,” said the first once again. “You’ve been too careless, Bryant Markani. To make things worse, we came here on suspicions that you were a wizard, but now we see that you’re conspiring with a demon too. Those are harsh crimes, Mr. Markani. Surrender now before you regret it.”

Daveon didn’t know what was happening, but he watched from afar. He saw that Markani was raising his hand to cast a spell, but he was too slow to warn the strangers. Bryant successfully lifted his hand and bright a crackling dark power from his fingers towards the shorter man.

However, the target responded with a thrust forward of his own. The magic shattered like glass and disappeared completely. Markani turned white.

It seemed as if they barely noticed Daveon standing there. Unfortunately, Sartax did. He grabbed the druid with all four his his arms and sprinted straight through Bryant’s stone fence, and both of them quickly broke into a cover of trees. But as he went, he watched Markani from a distance.

The warlock tried another spell, but this time, the larger man swing his fist and the spell dispersed, but the punch also connected with the suited man’s jaw. He tried another spell, and yet again, it failed. Again. And again. Every spell Bryant tried to cast was completely disrupted.

Something came to Markani’s face that Daveon had never seen. He was helpless. Confused. He was on the ground with tears coming down his cheeks. A blade’s swing cut open his chest, and a fist of muscle crushed his chin.

“You can’t do this!” Daveon heard Bryant scream as he was dragged into the forest. “I’m above you!”

He heard nothing more coming from the manor. After a moment more of running, Daveon was thrown onto the ground in a clearing within the forest to stare up at the demon he faced. Bryant was no longer here, but he still knew nothing about demons—how to fight them, or anything.

And who were those men? Daveon read about something like that before. Tales spoke of spellbreakers. They were a class of people able to counter a wizard’s spells. It’s the reason why Daveon had to keep secret, so they didn’t come, and it seemed as if Markani wasn’t so careful. They didn’t see Daveon cast any spells. But if he started now, would they spot him and take him away as well? He didn’t have much of a choice at that moment.

With death staring him in the face, he felt as if he had to fight. The shape of Daveon shifted into that of a black bear, and he roared out with a fury of claws to assault the demon’s pectorals. A slash connected to a wound across his chest, but then the two bottom arms grabbed his body while the others bopped him in the face repeatedly like a punching bag.

“You. Die,” growled the creature with a broken understanding of Daveon’s language. It hissed.

A final punch caused the bear to tumble back to roll straight through a puddle of muddy water.

“Ora!” grunted the creature as it swung. “Weak. Man.”

The bear snorted a huff of bubbles through the water. He raised back up and stood up on two legs before lunging himself once more at the ant-like demon. They started to wrestle, but given Daveon’s inexperience and the creature’s size, he even knew he didn’t stand a chance. However, it was distracted, and that was enough.

A blade stabbed straight through the demon’s chest—the point stopping a millimetre before bear flesh. Daveon used his moment to slash the demon across the neck, and to continue the combination, the figure behind sliced off the head with a spin of his sword.

The demon fell back. His head rolled off, and after a twitch of its leg, it finally stopped moving.

Daveon now stood face-to-face with the shorter of the spellbreakers. At first he thought to pretend to be an actual animal of the forest, but this man was staring directly into his eyes. There wasn’t a chance he didn’t know.

He shifted back into a wizard.

“Please. Don’t kill me,” muttered Daveon.

“We know what Bryant Markani did.”

Daveon nodded.

The spellbreaker sighed. The noise of silence overtook them. It seemed as if the taller of the two was back dealing with Markani still, so for the moment, it was just the two of them, and neither looked as if they knew what to say.

“Are you going to capture me?” the druid finally spoke.

“It’s our jobs to capture wizards so they don’t put others in danger. They’re powerful people that need to be but in check. It’s just the way it is.”

“Fine… I’ll go. There’s nothing left for me here anyway.”

“I didn’t say I was going to take you anywhere.”

“What?”

“I said we capture wizards. All I saw out here was a bear. Bears can’t be guilty. You know why? They’re creatures of the land, and as such, they act on instinct. You can’t blame an animal for acting on instinct. Right?”

“I don’t know what to say,” whispered the druid in response.

“Bears can’t speak.”

So the spellbreaker made his way off, leaving Daveon behind to contemplate. It didn’t take long before he was completely alone with nature once more. Presumably, the spellbreakers either took Bryant away or killed him, so the city was free thanks to his own hubris. That wouldn’t bring his parents back, however.

But he was spared. He didn’t know why, but the man took pity on him, and offered him a chance to keep living. It was then that he remembered everything his mother told him before he left to the shop. Her words resonated in his mind. She knew she was going to die that day, and he realised that the speech he gave her really was the most important thing he needed to remember. It was his duty to honour her final advice.

There was only one thing he could do at that moment. He started walking and he didn’t look back.

***

“I still don’t know why the man spared my life,” said Daveon. “Maybe he felt bad after all the things that happened to me. But I moved on, travelled a bunch, and eventually found my way to the city where we met.”

Eldrian spoke up with the story ended. “I’m sorry. You dealt with so much. I had no idea.”

“It’s fine now. My parents wouldn’t have wanted me to be stuck, so to say.”

“I didn’t know spellbreakers could be so merciful.”

“Neither did I.”

“I guess everybody has a story.”

Daveon nodded. “I guess so. Thanks for listening to mine.”

“I just want you to know,” Deena started. “That I study demons and dark magic, but I would never be stupid enough to summon one to Earth. Ever.”

“I know.” Daveon smiled. “At least, I’ve come to know. I didn’t mean to judge to immediately when we first met. I hope you understand.”

“I do.”

“Well, we should probably pack up soon,” Eldrian stated. “It’s going to start getting late. Plus, I’m sure there’s people waiting to try to kill us back home.”

Kevin chuckled. “With you guys, I’m sure we’ll get to the bottom of things. The three of you are amazing! I wish I could do the things you all can do. But I’m glad to help at least. And I have this awesome sword…”

“It is pretty awesome,” Eldrian replied. “And Lucy wouldn’t just give a named magic blade to someone if she didn’t have faith if their abilities.”

“I guess you’re right. I hope I don’t let her down.”

“If I hear anything strange, I’ll let you guys know,” spoke Deena as she readied herself to leave.

The rest of them nodded, saying they would do the same. Soon they packed up and opened a door back to Canada. It was ultimately a successful picnic, Eldrian decided, and so did the others, but an important darkness was looming beneath Grand Prairie they couldn’t ignore for long.

Stay tuned next week for the twentieth chapter of That’s So Wizard! Eyes From Afar.

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