When the nausea had ceased, Sonya finally put her lessons into use. She closed her eyes and stretched her consciousness into the pathways that travelled between worlds. She identified this dimension as one she’d never visited, but had heard about. The Royal Family rarely visited here, because the resident magicians were powerful and lived by strict honour codes. Users of dark magic were severely punished by their own people.
Sonya sheltered under a tree and used the magic to wash her face and change her sodden dress into more practical clothing; a long coat, pants and boots. She then used her magic to weave the branches above her, which prevented the rain from reaching her entirely. Then she waited for Trin. She wondered how long Naria would be in hospital. It would probably take months for her head to regrow properly.
Embarrassment and shame crept through Sonya’s veins. She’d just sat and watched as people were slaughtered. She hadn’t even tried to help Trin fight off the yellow-eyes Rutilus. How would she cope patrolling the deserts the Rutilus lived in if she just froze when she was in danger? When Trin came back, she would apologize profusely. She would try harder.
A figure appeared on the nearby path.
“Sonya?” a man called out. It couldn’t be Trin. Sonya hesitated. “Sonya? Trin sent me to get you. Everything is safe now.” Sonya slowly came towards the path.
“Trin said she would fetch me herself.” Sonya warily stepped out of the foliage. She recognized the man. He was a politician called Vyant. He’d been at the party. But why had Trin sent him? Vyant stopped where he was.
“..She’s busy at the Palace, trying to calm everyone down.” he eventually replied.
Sonya didn’t reply. Vyant rapidly moved his arms and sent a ball of plasma hurtling towards her. Sonya raised her arms and created a shield. His magic bounced off. Sonya’s breath rattled in her lungs. She stepped back and ran into the bushes. More attacks came. Bits of ground around her exploded. Then Sonya felt a searing pain across her back and she crashed down into the weeds. She picked herself up again and she could hear him tripping on tree roots, getting closer and closer.
Sonya found herself in a clearing. There was a large complex of white walled houses in front of her. She turned and saw Vyant running out from between the trees. She rapidly created her own ball of plasma and threw it at him. He was forced back several meters. Blood roared through her ears and Sonya prepared another, more powerful attack. I can beat him, she thought. She hurled her attack, but he simply reflected it back. It hit her squarely in the chest. She was thrown right across the clearing, landing on her back. When she opened her eyes, gasping with pain and shock, everything was blurred.
“Hey! What’s going on here?!” It was shouted in a foreign tongue by a male voice. There were flashes of light, and then everything went black for Sonya.