Chapter 4

59 5 3

Dyson slammed another book shut. Several days and thousands of pages later and he still hadn't found a way to communicate with Kasia through the bracelet. He knew that they were connected in a way that could only be interrupted by someone capable of opening the leather clasps and there weren't many who could do that. It had taken him months to decipher the Velcry alphabet and even longer to understand their laws, but he knew for certain that it was an offense punishable by death to cut off an established connection without the permission of the people involved. The bracelets were made of the same material, using the same two halves of the same gem. It was an ancient Velcry tradition to bind people together for life, a mental and physical link that worked across universes of sorts. However, he did not know that when he first put on the bracelet and neither did he know that the counterpart would find its way to Kasia. Dyson could feel Kasia's heartbeat, just like she could feel his – they were beating as one. It would quite literally be like ripping half of his heart away. He was glad that the law was finally on his side, even if he did not yet know how to make use of the link.

After a glance at the watch above the door, he instantly hurried to put the books back into their rightful places. Ever since Alaya had claimed him after his initiation, he had privileges in her household he hadn't had during his time in Arcadia before. Yet, as a human there were always more limitations and rules just around the corner. At first, she was intrigued by his interest in Velcry culture and practices. His inner historian simply couldn't resist exploring a world barely any human got to see, but after a while she became wary, and even worse, suspicious of his curiosity. Now he treaded carefully around her, a constant game of cat and mouse, uncertain who played which role at most times.

He changed into a light linen shirt, knowing it would be drenched in sweat no more than five minutes after he had set foot outside. There were always people bustling around the estate, but even though he greeted each and every one of them by name as he passed by, barely any of them really acknowledged Dyson's presence. He didn't mind it anymore, but it didn't change the fact that he still felt like he was in solitary confinement sometimes. Back home he had always jumped right into the midst of things happening. People everywhere knew him, he made friends quickly and when the noise got too loud, he could always find a quiet haven in Kasia. They had balanced each other out perfectly. He had taken her along on crazy adventures and she had grounded him when his head had gone too far into the clouds. Now, he was all alone and he didn't even want a crowd to entertain. Just one person, willing to listen and talk to without judgment would have been enough. As much as he wished that person could be Kasia, he knew that he had to stop her from investigating further. There was no way of knowing what the Velcrys would do to her if she found out about Arcadia. He couldn't wrap his brain around why the books weren't more helpful.

A short walk finally led him into the middle of a field of marberries. He snatched a couple off a branch and stuffed them in his mouth, before he started collecting more of them in his basket. The first sour shock slowly subsided to the sensation of a prickly, fresh sweetness. They were Alaya's favourite and if he got lucky, she might make her famous tarte with them. When he had first seen them, he had been about 99.9% sure that they were poisonous. A vibrant blue with green dots just didn't seem like a healthy combination, but you simply couldn't apply human logic to the foods available in Arcadia.

Considering all his jobs since he had gotten to this place, he didn't mind working in the field. It gave him a sense of purpose, freedom and even peace at times. But it was like his missing connection with the people in the realm, it simply didn't fulfil him. When he had still been little, his brothers had always mocked him for his knack for history and learning. They wanted to play sports, grow through action and not knowledge, but what they didn't realise at the time was that Dyson wasn't all that different. He loved the outdoors and exploring, he just also knew that the right way to go about things was to study them first. Over the years, they had found a way to rejoice in their similarities at last, but when it came to his decision to become an archaeologist, his entire family still tried to discourage him. But even back then, he knew that it was his destiny. Then again, it had gotten him into the mess he was in right now.

ArcadiaRead this story for FREE!