Chapter 19.3: Veiled Threat

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"Dad! She IS Enhanced!"

"Stop saying that! Lady Daamon is not Enhanced." Mathias snapped at his son. William shrunk in his seat and stared at the councilor's pointed blue velvet stiletto shoes.

His father took a breath. "If you don't mind, I've just been told that my son going to die next year on the killing fields because he's an insecure little idiot, who lacks the grace and decorum of the social class he so desperately wants to be a part of." His dad was really mad. He had never called him any sort of name let alone an idiot.

The councilor fiddled with her tablet, trying to give them their personal moment. He had no doubt she'd add a few extra details to her report after they finished their session with her. Maybe she'd recommend family therapy. He wouldn't mind spending some time with his dad.

His father brought his hands to his lips and muttered a small prayer. He glowered at the empty space between the three of them.

"I'm not going to die..." The metaphorical dark cloud that hovered over Mathias felt like it solidified. "...I'm not." He wouldn't go to war because they'd find out that this whole time he was telling the truth.

"She is not Enhanced," his father repeated. "At worst, she's a survivor of two demon raids. Her parents were killed when she was infant. Her adoptive father, Alexander, found her about to be eaten by a demon. He killed it. Took her in and raised her as his own. Eventually, he died fighting off the demons that consumed his town. He knew his work was dangerous, so he had asked me to take care of her should the inevitable occur. The task fell to me. The Red Order refused to sanction the arrangement. That's not to say they weren't interested in taking her in. She'd already shown signs of being a second-generation Hunter. If those talents are nurtured early enough, she may have had the potential to become a Crimson Knight. That's when Dezmond stepped in."

The woman gasped, "Is it possible that she's the reason the attacks happened to begin with? I mean if she's a survivor, don't demons want to finish the job? No man, woman, or child left behind, kind of situation."

"If survivors demonic attacks were usable beacons, the Red Order would have access to thousands of pre-emptive weapons. I assure you madam, that the rumour that the survivors are cursed is completely false." His tone was hard, almost angry at the woman. She covered her mouth to hide the fact that she was insulted. His dark eyes flit to William. "The point of this story is first, we don't know the full extent of the side effects of those incidents. We do know she's going blind. She may be fully blind within a couple of years. We thought giving her the opportunity to interact with the world may be of benefit to her personal well-being and future mental state. Neither of which you care about, I know."

"To the second point on which you've chosen to fixate is with regards to her wealth. First, she is never going to inherit. There were no plans to have her inherit because she couldn't. She's not related to the Daamon's directly. She'd have to marry into the family. Even if that were the case, there exist strict laws concerning the transition of wealth that make the maneuver near impossible. Laws you know nothing about, and were never a threat to you or your personal well being."

"The only things that her grand-father could offer her were: the best education money can buy and a good marriage contract. That's all he could do. Now, because of you, he can't even do that." He went quiet again staring at the emptiness between them.

William knew he was supposed to feel bad for taking everything away from her. So what, she was never going to inherit. It didn't stop her from parading around like she did. She wasn't even a Daamon. She was a dirt poor nobody. Her name might not even be Astral. It was a stupid name anyway.

The woman broke the moment of silent reflection. "I'm afraid that after today's incident, Mr. Mathers will be expelled from the Academy."

It was official, his life was over. His friends would never talk to him again. A high-school drop out. No worse! A trouble maker who got kicked-out.

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