TWENTY-SEVEN

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"Where's my father?", I asked, taking a firm stance to show that I'm in no mood for any of his shenanigans.

"I'm sorry but I haven't had the pleasure of seeing Oliver", he replied as if we're having a business meeting.

"What about the workers?"

"Who are you more concerned about, Oliver or the workers?", he returned with a slightly amused expression.

"Everyone, especially if they've come in contact with you", I replied, not bothering to keep the spite out of my voice but he only gave a dismissive wave in return.

Before I could register it, he was out of his seat, over the table and already standing right in front of me in one fluid movement. He was so close that I had to involuntarily take a step backwards and put my magic on ready.

"You intrigue me", he said after a moment of staring at me like I'm some sort of Guinea pig, "You're the only one who has managed to get me. Deep down, it's a fact that we're the same".

"I'll never be the same as you!", I shouted and took a threatening step forward but he only laughed in return.

"But that is the truth", he replied, still laughing, "You're on the wrong side of this Troy. Trust me and join me and I promise that you would have made the best decision of your life".

Now, it was my turn to laugh. "You want me to trust you", I repeated, "You do remember that you are the biggest jerk there is and you didn't even have the decency to fight this war on fair terms, even when you have the advantage, right?"

"A war isn't meant to be fair, it is meant to be won", he replied as if I'm missing a crucial point, which somehow I think I am.

"Well, Trichloris, I defeated you once, who says I can't do it again".

"And who says you can".

We both stared each other down for a while before he finally broke eye contact and walked back to his chair.

"I know that I've not done anything to earn your trust but I am going to prove to you that I can", he said but I couldn't grasp the meaning of what he just said until he pulled off his mask and for the first time ever, I saw the man behind the mask of Trichloris.





"You're... young", I finally managed to gasp after so many attempts. In all my life, I have always imagined Trichloris to be an old man with flowing white hair and an evil chuckle but there he was, a guy barely older than me, twenty-one at the most. He has a black hair that stopped just above his shoulder and piercing black eyes to match the hair. He had always been the symbol of evil in my eyes but as he stood there looking at me with what almost looked like pleading eyes, I couldn't help but see him as... Human.

Whoa! Wait a frigging second! I can't feel sorry for the guy, the mask might be gone but Trichloris is definitely still present in him. He has caused a lot of trouble, he's a big cheat and he also killed Francesca, I most certainly cannot be in the same boat as him.

"Are you done with the charade or is there more?", I asked, giving him a smirk the size of the Mississippi.

Trichloris definitely didn't see that coming as I saw a mixture of surprise and hurt on his face- Come on, Trichloris! You know that has never worked on me, don't you?

He slumped into the chair I originally found him in and in a normal circumstance, I would have taken a seat opposite him but sitting with Trichloris is not on my 'Things I want to do in my lifetime' list.

"My name is Brian", he began, "I am an archwizard, and so are you".

"I told you to never say things like that again!", I shouted as I created a blue light to strike him with but stopped at the last moment, that's Trichloris' style, not mine, "I am not going to join your little cult, not now not ever so deal with it".

He began to laugh again although I couldn't fathom why this time. "Is that what they're calling us?", he asked through fits of laughter, "A cult?"

Okay, this is news to me. "So what is it?", I asked.

"We're the most special group of wizards, a connection between the mages and the normal wizards. We were everything a normal wizard is but we also have the power of the mages without having to go through their extensive knowledge search", he explained, "So great was our power that the mages became afraid of us taking their leadership from them so they ordered the death of everyone of our kind, even children. They reduced us to something lesser than a memory". As he spoke, I saw his face change and his pain reflect in his eyes.

"This is our world Troy and you have to help me take it back", he concluded. I have to say that I completely understand his notion for wanting to tear the world of magic down, especially after... Wait a minute! I'm not seriously considering what this guy just said, am I? I mean he's Trichloris- Or Brian, whatever- for heavens sake.

"I don't believe a word you just said", I told him, and meant every word too.

"Ask Oliver", he simply replied.

Suddenly, the door swung open and a panting Victoria rushed in.

"Troy, we have to get the hell out of here!", she shouted, "The workers have mysteriously reappeared and the police are on their way". I was surprised that she didn't acknowledge Trichloris and I turned to see why, he had disappeared into thin air.

"What about Oliver?", I asked.

"David found him some minutes after you left and they're all waiting for us outside", she replied.

"Let's go then", I said as I moved towards the door but she held me back.

"Did something happen that you think I should know about?", she asked with a worried expression.

I turned to look at the seat Trichloris occupied just a few minutes ago and his words came flooding back. "No", I replied, "Nothing happened here".

"Alright, I believe you", she replied but her eyes still held some doubts. As we made our escape, Trichloris- I mean Brian's words just kept tugging at my mind. Of course, he's a manipulator and there's a big chance he made it all up. But what if he's telling the truth? What will I do then?

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