183 Days Until Anguish And the Uncertain End
The way that the magic felt was a bit tighter, stronger, thicker, than Zeydar was used to in his dream state. The last time he remembered feeling magic that way, was when he detoxed, and more importantly, when he was sober. The weight of it hurt him. It always did. It stung him and broke him, cut at him and healed him. This time, however, he was in control over it, like he had tried years ago. With it came the sting of magic. With it came the sting of the memories that the dreams kept away.
“What are you looking at?” Kony asked from below.
“Im focusing on the feeling of the magic in the air.” Zeydar answered, from atop the bus. The days were warmer than the nights, but they had to wear many layers anyway. Soon, they would not, and should not, move about outside the bus at all. The bus drove on, with the car following behind them insulated for the chilled weather.
“How do you do that?” Kori asked.
“It’s an application of magic theory.” Kony answered as he climbed up. The realization that Kony may have finished the theory book that Zeydar had given him, was shocking at first. Then Zeydar understood it was a testament to Kony’s dedication to the magic. Zeydar had to help him better. “One that I want to try.”
“Go ahead.” Zeydar offered out his hand towards the world. “What you are going to do is let your eyes focus on nothing, and feel with your whole body.”
Kony stepped up to Zeydar and continued to pester Zeydar with application questions. Zeydar answered them to the best of his abilities, despite the prying eyes. He thought of the last time so many eyes were on him was the last day a Tower fell and he couldn’t stop it. Zeydar tried not to look back at those who starred. Zeydar walked on ahead towards the closest the road edge.
“I feel it.” Kony called back, dragging Zeydar’s attention to the moment. Zeydar looked to Kony who was breathing out a rather week tracing spell, and that was when Zeydar cast his own. In a second his senses were on the magic in the air. He pulled Kony from the top, into the bus, and yelled to Crass to stop driving. Crass pressed on the breaks and Evester yelled for everyone to get down. Zeydar heard the car behind them break as well. The tires on the ground screeched and then the bus lunged forward as it stopped. People yelled, which turned to whispers, and Zeydar focused. He focused solely on the world around him.
“What is it?” Kim asked him first, holding Heia who had fallen over in the action.
“Magicians.” Kony answered before looking to Zeydar for confirmation.
“Quiet.” Zeydar hissed and the bus went silent. The engine went off and Zeydar breathed out, casting a spell as he did. The bus was enveloped in silence from the outside world. Zeydar reached out, trying to hear more. He could sense the military mage’s magic attacking something, doing something. The magic was going wide, and large. Then Zeydar heard the screams as a soft echo on the wind.
It was in those moments that Zeydar had to make a decision. Was he supposed to tell them that there was a chance that the military mages were killing people? If he did, there was a chance that Heia would ask them to save lives and Zeydar knew that they would not make it out unscathed.
“What is it?” Heia asked this time.
“What are they doing?” Kony asked Zeydar.
“Killing.” Zeydar answered. “People, Aralax, I’m not sure.”
“Animals.” Shawn answered. Zeydar’s eyes shot over to him. “We’d hear screams if it were humans.”
Zeydar did have to agree with the idea, but Zeydar heard screams, even if no one else did.
“Magician’s and the army kill animals in the Aralax lands. Keeps food scarce, and people in need of the government.”
Zeydar tried to focus, tried to listen but the screams were getting less and less. They had come at the end of the massacre, not the beginning. Zeydar’s mind spun with memories of the screams and fire and… His breath was short, a hand was on his back, and he felt like lashing out but she stopped him.
“Zeydar focus.” Heia’s voice called to him, snapping him from the magic.
“Around… the bend… should not… be seen.” If it were animals then they’d know. If it were people, they would have had a chance to save them and Zeydar hadn’t taken it. The bus spun to life, and followed Zeydar’s instructions before hiding. Then for the next three hours, they were silent. It was only after Kony gave the clear of the lack of magic, that the bus turned to the location of the magic source, to find a few dead people and a farm of dead animals.
Stepping off the bus, Heia ordered them to bury the bodies and Zeydar found himself vomitting and relapsing into memories and shakes as he tried to push the thoughts away. But all he could think of was how it was his fault, and how he couldn’t save them. He should have been able to save them but he hadn’t. He couldn’t.