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꧁༺࿅• -- •❈• -- •࿅༻꧂

⊹⊱ Mingxia ⊰⊹

"What is the meaning of this, Cerai? Has your ancient brain finally lost a screw?" Ian remarked, displeasure was etched into his features. His hands twitched at his side, he wanted to fight back but it seemed as though his mind didn't want him to until he had all the answers.

"We have helped you and you intend on turning against us? You must be aware that you cannot take us all on your own. You may be a Crane, but you certainly are not invincible," Taranis joined in.

"I was never alone, dear Taranis." With a soft chirp, young avians came marching into the room. Their eyes were glazed over like they were in some sort of trance.

Seeing them was a relief, for the missing avians were standing mere feet away from me. I just wished that they weren't slaves to an unheard tune. How long had they been like that? What did Cerai plan to do when he was done with them?

"What have you done to the fledglings? Release them at once," the air Clan Leader demanded.

"It is truly a shame when people have forgotten history. Have you not heard of the Birdsong?" Cerai replied with a hint of amusement to his tone.

"The Birdsong was outlawed centuries ago. It should have died out with the sale of Zhen feathers. Practicing such an art is dangerous not only to the individuals around the caster but to the Realm itself! No one should know how to complete its spell!" the air Clan Leader exclaimed.

"The only thing that seems to age well with the Realm is the Crane Tribe. Our minds age but our bodies and souls remain intact. To you, I may appear no older than your father or perhaps even your brothers. There is a reason as to how the Crane has remained alive and well all these centuries, after all. Don't you think, Lord Ian?" Cerai redirected to Auzineian leader.

The sound of Ian gritting his teeth sent a shiver down my spine. Even though he wasn't charging at Cerai, he was quite irritated with the ancient avian. I knew nothing about the Birdsong, but it sounded like a great threat to the Realm. If it was a technique that should have faded over the centuries, just how old was Cerai? His mate was also The First Oracle and the previously claimed Hierophant of the Major Arcana. How much of what was he saying was true? Or was it all just falsehoods fabricated by the Tarot itself?

I felt a small drip of water snake up my arm, the ice was melting slowly. My eyes flickered over to Taranis whose hand was moving in a rather fluid movement, as if guiding the ice to dissipate. Then, my gaze wandered over to the avians, hoping they couldn't hear the dim trickling sound of the water. Avians were known for their god-like hearing, it would be no surprise if they were to stop Taranis mid-spell.

However, they didn't budge. They stood like statues, waiting for their master's command. The Birdsong must have inhibited the execution of their specific abilities. I immediately took notice of small, yet strange plugs in their ears. Why would Cerai purposely cut off their ability to effectively hear unless it was a way for him to ensure that the Birdsong's effect would be prolonged?

If they were removed, then they would come back to their senses. Cerai would no longer have an army and it would be the mages, fledglings, and I against the avian. There would be no choice but to surrender. The problem was that I had to make sure to time my attack perfectly. If I waited too long, then Cerai would notice and make sure that our plans would be foiled. If I jumped at the opportunity too soon while the ice was still in place, I'd only harm myself.

A Celestial Requiem (Book 1, The Secrets of Tarot series) ✔Where stories live. Discover now