256 Days Until Broken Friendships and The Uncertain End
All things considered, Zeydar did not have much Sweet Dreams remaining, he noticed as he sat on his balcony looking over Valaria. He had enough for a while. Or he should, if he didn’t up the dosage, which he had been contemplating with how much he wanted to feel. Feel, but not remember.
It wouldn’t be a detriment if he took more, he tried to convince himself. He could always wean himself off of it. He’d done it before and he could do it again. But… the nightmares, the screams, the faces of the dead. It would all come back to him and he did not want that. He wanted to feel without remembering them. He wanted to remember the past when everything was good, not where he was then.
Looking to the sky he saw the advertisements for Everster’s whereabouts and immediately followed up by sales for new clothes and food. Everything was so happy, so peaceful.
“Zeydar!” There was a call from his door. With a flick of his wrist, Zeydar sent the Sweet Dreams back to his wardrobe, shut it from afar, and turned to the door all without picking up his staff. For a second all was well until the fact hit him. He had been able to use magic without a staff, that was one hypothesis down. Yet, without words? What sort of monster was he?
“What class am I?”
Tyler looked to the doors and answered as they exited the building. Zeydar blinked twice trying to place the answer. Tyler looked down to him and cracked a smile. “Just kidding. Class 1.”
He hadn’t been kidding. Tyler never lied. Zeydar had understood that. Tyler never lied, Zeydar just never asked the right questions. And the one time he had, he had been given the truth, but Zeydar couldn’t believe the truth. The truth had seemed like a lie. It had always been a lie.
But no Class 1 should have been able to destroy a Tower.
“Come in.” Zeydar looked up from his hands to the door, trying not to care. The magic was only ever that intense power, that well controlled, when he was focused. When his head was clear, as it was close to being then, he had this ability. He’d never be able to do it again. Unless… it was out of fear and who knew if he could control it then? The only way he’d get that power was if…
“Zeydar!” May entered the room. He hadn’t seen her in a while. Hair the color of grain cut short and bright against her tanned skin, eyes the color of a natural green. She looked much better than he had expected.
“May.” Zeydar walked from his balcony to the only person who he could call friend in the world. She had not been in Arcadia that fateful night, instead having been in Ovaria to visit her sick mother. May was the only other native born Arcadian who survived, but she had not been there that day. Zeydar was the only one who had survived the accident and May… May had never been the same.
She stood in her crisp uniform, Staff in hand and hair cut short. May was a military Magician now, for what the Stars had as a military. She was unlike him: having graduated early, having joined the ranks in an attempt to save the world from the Aralax and more destruction. She was one of the few Stars who aimed, under the direct command of the Superiors, to protect other Stars and to ultimately end up taking them off the planet. Her words came off cold and calloused, but they protected the sweetness Zeydar remembered. “I missed you.”
“Did you?” Zeydar asked her.
“Did you miss me?” Her smile lit up his room, a bit more relaxed now that she had found him awake.
“With great longing each and every night. I prayed to the moon for your safe return like the faithful lover I am.” Zeydar tried to make the words as dramatic as he possibly could.
“Stop with your nonsense.” She tapped at his shoulder. “You up for a duel?”
“At this hour?” He could easily get into the training center with his credentials, however if any of the Superiors found out. Would this set him back again?
“Why not? You are awake. I’m awake. The moon can supervise our secret tryst.” May joked back. “Come on. I want to see what’s holding back the future Superior.”
“You are a Superior.”
“No. I mean… You know why I am held back.”
May’s eyes narrowed. The last time she had been there, Zeydar had told her that the other Superiors were holding him back on purpose. She had told him that it was perhaps he wasn’t as ready as he thought he was. He had said he was. She had said that he was not, and now Zeydar was wondering if that was because she also knew how much of a danger he was.
“Have you still not cut your addiction? I tried to tell you Zedyar.”
No, she thought it was the drugs. The drugs that the Superiors could care less about. The ones they had fed him as a kid that had resulted in the tragedy of Arcadia. It wasn’t that he was too powerful, she thought it was the Sweet Dreams too. It was, in fact, the power that the Superiors could not control. Zeydar knew it, even if he could not prove it. He wasn’t that stupid.
Had it been May that told the Superiors of his addiction? Was it, perhaps other sources? He had thought to trust her, but she was a military Magician now. Her loyalties lied with the Superiors, were supposed to be with him.
He was not a Superior yet.
“They keep bad thoughts away.” Zeydar decided to defend himself even if a little.
“You can get better help for that.”
“You weren’t there May. You didn’t kill them.”
“Zeydar. It wasn’t your fault.”
But it was. It was his fault. The explosions were his fault. The fires were his fault. The shattering glass and infrastructure was his fault. The deaths of millions, all their blood, their faces, their names — and how he had tried to memorize all their names, but was unable to. The mind could only memorize so much — were on him. But she didn’t know that. The official story never said that. It blamed the Aralax.
“I don’t feel like sparring tonight May. Perhaps tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow.” Zeydar kicked up his staff from the ground and pushed her from his room before barring his door shut with magic. Sweet Dreams. He needed it.