Magical energy pushed him far faster than he could have normally run and Lucas soon left Amana far behind. The useless shouting behind him faded as the elf fell further and further behind. Sobs racked his body as Lucas ran to the gates of the Academy, he wanted to stop and curl up into a ball. He wanted to pull his knife out and kill every single person he encountered. His chest burned as the magical ties he had once placed over the Demon's Heart fell away, without knowing the significance of the mark he had hidden it only as a matter of simplicity. He had grown tired of answering countless questions about it, but know he knew that if he were to look at his chest it would stand as clear as it was the day it had been carved.

Now, as Lucas ran, he wondered if X had truly carved it out of revenge. Or if the Guardian had marked him as a warning, just in case he failed to survive Lucas's rampage. It didn't matter now, it was there and X was dead. No, Lucas corrected himself, not dead Istrali left him to the South.

Lucas knew what he had to do, he quieted his sobs and oriented his erratic flight into a straight path to the main gate. He had to get off of the Academy grounds before they closed the defenses. As he crested a green hill Lucas's heart sank. Before him the great gates were slamming shut with a dozen fully armed elves guarding it, and more running in along the wall to reinforce them. Slowing Lucas allowed the magic to wrap around him, forming an illusion of a rank and file soldier. Then he continued jogging towards the gate.

Though he didn't look Lucas knew an emergency signal had been given by Amana, a flash of red had illuminated the sky. He doubted any of the elves in front of him had seen it before, he himself never had. He had only heard about the signal indicating that the internal defenses were to be raised. He approached the group of elves then froze as two dozen blades were pointed in his direction.

"Hey what's going on?"

"Save your breath and surrender."

Cursing Lucas decided he didn't even want to argue, again he activate the magic surrounding and disappeared. Ignoring the surprise resonating amongst the elves before him he leapt straight into the air and began to run, using the heads and shoulders of the would-be defenders Lucas quickly made it to the wall and jumped again; the force of his leap sent the last elf to the ground.  The rough stone of hurried construction provided Lucas with adequate handles and footholds for upward progression. But he was sure that on the other side the rough stone would be sheared smooth to prevent an enemy from doing the same thing he was currently doing.

After a couple minutes of hurried scrambling Lucas vaulted up over the battlements and immediately fell to a crouch. Elves were running along the wall sweeping their weapons widely to try to hit him. They had apparently estimated his trajectory by the direction that last elf had fallen. To his surprise Lucas saw Amana among those on the wall. Stifling a curse he made his way over to the far side of the wall, but as he crossed the halfway mark on the wall a sudden glow of magic filled the air and Lucas found himself immobilized.

"Lucas stop, okay just stop!"

Biting back a remark about how he had stopped Lucas watched as Amana made his way over. He didn't appear to be looking directly at him though so Lucas supposed that he was still invisible. Desperately he realized that he could still access his magic so Lucas began to feel at the bonds around him, testing them.

"I'm sorry Lucas, but you have to understand. You were a danger, we had to watch you."

The elves around Amana were giving him strange looks,  so only Amana could see the magic. In the back of his mind Lucas wondered if Amana had been chosen to watch him because of his strength in magic.

A crack in his bonds appeared and excited Lucas flexed against it, probing his own magic into the tiny imperfection until it widened. Amana didn't react apparently unable to sense such fine interactions. He dropped to his knees and gripped Lucas's side.

"Listen, it was my duty, just as it was Trisha's. It was nothing against you personally. I mean do the years we gave you mean nothing? You were given a life you could never had otherwise had. Isn't that better than execution?"

Lucas tried to relax his body as he put more effort into freeing himself, Amana seemed to feel it and relaxed himself.

"Lucas what we did to you was unforgivable, I know that. But I'm asking for forgiveness anyway. Won't you drop the magic, let me see your face."

Lucas did as he was asked, though not for Amana. Instead he funneled that magic into breaking the bonds. Amana seemed as though he was about to say something, but he didn't have the chance. the magic snapped and both elves jumped to their feet. Shouting the elves around them closed in but Lucas ignored them, instead he looked into Amana's eyes.

"I will never forgive you."

Then he leapt while simultaneously shoving Amana away forcing them both off of the wall. Amana fell somewhere into the grounds, Lucas went flying away from the corrupt institution.

He rotated as he plummeted to the ground, below him springy turf concealed a hard landing. Eyes streaming from the air flow Lucas bent his knees slightly, then he brought his arms around his head to protect himself. As the ground grew larger he realized how tense he was and forcing down his fear Lucas relaxed.

His toes hit first, then his heels, legs crumpling under the force. Despite the incline Lucas forced himself to fall on his side, then he began rolling down the hill like some child playing. His arms bounced off the ground and occasional rock as they protected his head, but he survived the fall with nothing more than major bruising.

Dizzy Lucas tried to stand, but the pain stopped him from doing more than kneeling. With swimming eyes he saw the great gates of the Academy open and elves ran out. Shaking he again stood, this time desperation overruled the pain and Lucas was on his feet. Belatedly he realized he should have again cloaked himself with magic before standing so as to prevent the running soldiers from gaining a fix on his position. But as the shroud covered him and shielded him from their vision Lucas was sure he could escape. All he had to do was walk away without leaving any signs. Groaning as he began to move his legs Lucas made his way to the forest using magic to raise the grass he stepped on. By the time the elves arrived where he stood he would be gone. Then, unless they got lucky, he would be free to make his way South.


Lucas (Book Two of The Guardians series)Read this story for FREE!