As he left the council chamber Lucas wondered if he had gone too far.  Surely it wouldn't be hard to put two and two together and figure out that he had been the one to decimate his village. Now that the council knew of his ability, and willingness, to kill they would have little difficulty connecting it back to the deaths that spurred his migration to the Academy. But, he supposed, the real question was whether or not they would care. After all he did just promise to take on the entire Southern army on his own, a promise he could uphold.

Hopefully they would send him on his way by the end of the day, that way if they did figure out his past he would already be long gone. Of course they may send someone after him, however Lucas didn't worry about that possibility. He could kill any pursuers, and as long as his energy was focused on the South he doubted that the Guardians would take any drastic action against him.

Elbowing through the throngs of elves in the main rooms Lucas headed out the large doors escaping the crowded atmosphere behind him. The hot sun glared down at him, heating his black cloak to nearly unbearably temperatures. Regretfully Lucas fingered the cloth realizing that he would have to trade his clothes in for some more suited to the heat of the south. Presumably, he though glancing back over his shoulder, the council would provide suitable coverings for him.

Not sure what else to do Lucas approached a nearby tree and swung himself into the lower branches, shaded by the wide boughs he waited for a council member to exit the academy.

*~*~*

After a couple hours Lucas spotted Amana slipping out of the main doors, impatient to discover the counsel's decision he whistled a lilting tone. Recognizing the signal as Lucas's Amana stopped and looked around, Lucas could see the hesitation on the elf's face as he locked his gaze onto Lucas's tree. Repeating the whistle Lucas made it clear that he expected Amana to respond, and after another moment of dragging his feet the second elf joined Lucas amongst the branches.  

"Lucas, I'm sorry I had to tell them! I didn't want to betray you but they would know if I was lying!" Blinking rapidly Lucas held up a single hand to slow the babbling elf.

"Relax Amana, I was the one who prompted them to question you. My first order of business was actually to thank you for testifying on my behalf." Lucas paused examining the reactions of the elf crouched beside him, it was clear that Amana was having a hard time processing the idea that Lucas might be grateful for his testimony. So Lucas continued, impatience tinging his voice.

"Anyway, the main thing I wanted to ask was whether or not you had any idea if the council would grant my request?"

"Request?" scoffed Amana, "That was more like a demand, or even a threat. But yes, I think they will."

Lucas nodded, slumping against the wide trunk he exhaled slowly and tried to plan his next couple moves. He would have to gain control over his lapses, but not so far as to render them useless. Unconsciously his hand moved to his side, gripping the hilt of a sword that wasn't there. Amana didn't miss the movement, he noticed, the nervousness in the other elf was apparent. Examining the younger elf lazily Lucas wondered what was going through his mind. Why he had been so strongly affected by seeing Lucas kill so many . . . Lucas smiled at himself as he realized just how much he had acclimated to his own violence.

"You're insane." Amana seemed startled to hear himself speak, and as Lucas looked at him the surprise slowly morphed into what looked like poorly concealed fear. Looking over the training fields Lucas sighed.

"Oh, really? How so?"

"Uh, well. . ." Amana stuttered, "For one you killed all those Southern elves, and you wanted me to testify about it."

"That sounds like the actions of a man wishing for recognition, not one lacking sanity." Lucas pointed out without turning his gaze.

"Well, yes. But you are going to take on the entire South, singlehandedly. And you are happy about that, if I didn't know better I'd say you were happy about killing all the soldiers as well. And, there's one other thing. I find it more disturbing then the rest combined."

Sure of what was coming next Lucas wondered how he was going to respond. He had hoped that he would at least be off of Academy grounds before elves started figuring it out, but Amana was right here starting to intrude on his secret.

"And what might that be?" Lucas asked, struggling to keep his tone neutral.

"Years ago, before you came to the Academy. You were found in a village, a village who's inhabitants had been slaughtered. There were three survivors; you, a man trying to kill you, and a village elder. Now it seems that the village elder swore it wasn't you, and the man had been screaming something incriminating. But, what if the elder was too scared to speak against you, what if you used magic against the man to make him attack you. You are many things Lucas, but you aren't dumb. Planning such a scheme is well-within your abilities."

Amana stopped, he had apparently been expecting Lucas to interrupt and protest by now. The pale elf did none of these things however, instead he continued watching elves train together. He marveled at the effort they each put into defending each other and their homeland.

"This supposition that you have put together, what are you going to do with it?" Lucas's voice sounded dead.

"I. . . What do you mean?"

"If you go through the trouble of forming a theory then you must have an intention to use it for something. What are you going to do with the information you just relayed to me? And what are you implying exactly?"

Voice suddenly strong Amana stood, making the tree branch sway hard enough that Lucas had to grip the bark. "You know exactly what I am implying, you killed your own village. You used magic to hid the fact. And I will do nothing with this information. The Academy can use you against the South, and as long as we have your wife we will continue to use you."

Lucas stood just as quickly, "What did you just say?" he asked, voice low and dangerous. Amana swallowed, fear returning as he saw the change in Lucas's demeanor. "I said, um that I wasn't going to do anything with the information."

Growling Lucas balled his fists, "after that."

"Um, as long as we have your wife we will continue to use you."

"Now I wonder Amana, how is it someone in you position feels the authority to give a statement like that?"

Without responding Amana lifted his chin and stared Lucas in the face, all traces of fear gone.

"I never was good at acting," he mused, "it was only a matter of time before you found out. And it's not like I'm anything special, just a member of the council."

Lucas grinned tightly and slapped Amana on the back. "Ah is that it, now where's my wife? After all, as long as you have her you  use me right?"

"She's locked up safe and sound. . . Ah shit! I'm an idiot. Horrible actor and a total idiot!"

Lucas might have found Amana hitting himself humorous, if he wasn't quivering with rage. Slowly a hand shifted to his tunic, gripping the knife he had hidden within. Noticing the movement Amana looked up from his self-punishment.

"I wouldn't if I were you Lucas. I'm on the council for a reason. And we do have your precious little family."

Barely able to think straight as he thought of his precious child in the hands of an institution as corrupt as the Academy Lucas gripped the pommel of his blade. Lying to him about the South in an attempt to further his rage was something he should have expected. However the stress building within him was at its crescendo and this little tidbit of information was pushing him over the edge. Screaming wordlessly Lucas drew the knife.



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