1 - The Wrong Face

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Valkyrie was waiting in China's library, Skulduggery was still infuriated with the fact that she killed his family but she had information. Information they needed. She glanced at the books in front of her and found herself selecting one titled 'The Surge' opening it she was immediately disappointed, no pictures. The first paragraph was all she needed really, the other three hundred pages we rendered useless almost immediately. "The Surge is inevitable in any young sorcerers life, the age of magic settlement is uncertain. The average age is between 19-21 years old, the earliest age recorded is 7 years old in the early 1500's. The younger you are when you experience the surge the more powerful you tend to be, but this is an educated guess based on observation. The Surge itself can last 5 hours or 5 months, depending on the strength of the receiving sorcerer. During The Surge the sorcerer is rendered powerless and in a regulating agony." Valkyrie grimaced at the last bit, up to five months of agony. She secretly wished to herself that she was going to be one of the lucky ones. Her gaze fell onto China's apartment door, she didn't like Skulduggery going in alone but he insisted. The book slid back into its place on the shelf and she walked over to the door, holding her breath, she opened it.

"Even if you could believe those vessels of insanity, there is no guarantee that it was actually him. And if it is what are you going to do?" China Sorrows was calm and collected, smiling at Valkyrie as she neared.

"I don't know." Skulduggery sighed. He tilted his head at Valkyrie before turning back to China. "we may not see eye to eye anymore but the last thing either of us want is another war."

China nodded her agreement, "I have your number, as soon as I hear something I will call."

Skulduggery nodded his goodbye and Valkyrie followed him out of the door, through the library and down the stairs, "I told you to wait outside." 

Valkyrie shrugged, "I was bored."

"I'm sure you could have read a book to pass the time." As the door neared he touched his collarbone and a wave of tanned skin washed over his skull, blonde hair sprouted and grew down to his shoulders. His eyes were icy blue, stubble pushed through the skin around his thin lips. Valkyrie froze, staring at skulduggery in horror. He looked like someone she knew, someone who has attempted to kill her on countless occasions. The only difference with skulduggery and him, skulduggery had eyes.

"is there something on my face?" skulduggery asked, oblivious to his appearance.

"Billy-Ray Sanguine." She whispered slowly.

"Where!" he looked around, fists clenched until he saw Valkyrie point at him.

He ran to the Bentley and looked in the wing mirror of the driver's door, "oh dear god, he had blue eyes. He always struck me as a hazel kind of fellow." He grinned and turned to Valkyrie to see her laugh, she looked uneasy and disgusted. "ah right, not funny. Sorry!" he tapped his collarbone and the face withdrew, skulduggery was skulduggery again. Valkyrie breathed a sigh of relief and got into the car.

"so what did she know?" Valkyrie tried to focus on their current investigation rather than Billy-Ray Sanguine's face on skulduggery.

The Bentley sped out onto the streets, Skulduggery's phone rang. He answered, "Yes... Okay... I have just left... I will be there in ten minutes." He didn't say goodbye. He just hung up, "China knew nothing about where the troll lives, and on the plus side we have a new case!"

Valkyrie groaned with exasperation, "we haven't even got the troll yet!"

Skulduggery nodded, "Yes but this is more serious, there have been sightings around County Clare of a sorcerer matching the description of Mevolent."

Valkyrie's blood ran cold; please don't let that be true. She shifted uncomfortably in her seat, "so are we going to the sanctuary?"

He nodded again, "China phoned Ghastly two hours ago with the information and she then proceeded to tell me the stuff she didn't want the sanctuary to know."

"didn't Mevolent die in the war?" Valkyrie questioned China's information.

"supposedly so but his body was never found, no one bothered to check either. Everyone was too happy to think further than the evening celebrations. Ghastly has pulled in some help for us, an expert on Mevolent and the only mage with the power to kill him."

"Who is that?"

"Morticia Bloodthorne."

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