Exhausted, Sicyrus fell asleep during the ride to the gentle swing of a mostly smooth flight. When she woke up, the wings had disappeared and she was on the ground in a strange forest. Sicyrus was still clutching her other blade, very tightly, and wondered why it hadn't disappeared before realizing that she was much stronger now in magic than before—maybe that was why.
She realized that she had escaped, and felt elated. She was safe! Not for long but, for the moment, she was safe.
END OF PART ONE
Suddenly, near the clearing she was in, she heard thundering footsteps. "Where is it?" someone growled. "It'll be glowing with magic."
Another voice said, "There's only the three of us—maybe it was a bad idea to split up from the group? How can we take it on?"
"We'll manage! It isn't even an adult yet," laughed a third voice.
Sicyrus realized she was the "it" they were referring to and grew so angry that she charged towards them and stabbed one of them in the ribcage. The magical electricity killed the guard before the wound could. She pulled her weapon out and turned to see the other two facing her, grasping hands and holding their blades at her neck.
"Come with me," said the person who'd laughed before, their voice now shaking. "You are u-under arrest for h-h-having m-magical powers."
"Under arrest?" Sicyrus smirked. Then, quickly, she touched her blade to one of theirs.
The effect was immediate. The electricity traveled down the blade and into one of their bodies then, because they were grasping hands, went into the other one and they both fell down, writhing around before finally dying.
Sicyrus didn't wait around for other guards to come. She ran away, holding her weapon tightly, and ran from the clearing deep into the woods until it became so dark within them that only her glow illuminated the ground around her, which was also how she'd seen in the cell for sixteen years.
Hungry, Sicyrus summoned food and savored the taste. Suddenly, she heard thundering guards nearby. "Let's set up camp here," one of them said. This was met with a chorus of agreement.
Sicyrus had an idea, suddenly—a cruel one, one which greatly appealed to her—except that she had no way of knowing how to do it or if it was possible. However, this had been the case when she'd given herself wings, something she'd tried and failed to recreate in her escape after killing the guards.
She found an insect, deciding to start small—assuming it was possible to do what she had in mind. Sicyrus took in her hands and focused on the small bug, channeling her energy into it and trying to combine her ability to manipulate solid objects and the powder creatures she used to care about so much. But they didn't help me escape. I left them with my mother, rotting in that prison cell, she thought to herself angrily. I work better on my own. Or, if this went well, she would be able to possess others, guaranteeing loyalty.
She focused all of her mental powers on the insect, trying to make it jump. It didn't. But Sicyrus did not give up. Possessing people, she knew, would be invaluable to survive. Sicyrus looked once again at the insect, trying to possess it. It didn't work.
Finally, after hours, she managed something. Out of her eyes shot a bright blue beam right into the bug. Suddenly, she felt herself being whirled around. She didn't know it, but Sicyrus briefly entered the Realm Of Sub-Reality before being jerked out of it again.
Her perspective, however, had changed. She was on something warm and flesh-colored. Suddenly, she felt the ground fall beneath her, but she clung to it. Looking over, she saw herself lying asleep on the ground. Sicyrus felt simultaneous panic and elation: she had done it, but if the guards came now and saw her asleep, there would be no hope for her life.
Sicyrus suddenly woke up in her own body again. The sun, she saw, was hanging low in the sky. It had been mid-afternoon when she'd actually entered the insect's body. She had managed, with no knowledge if it was even possible, much less how to do it, to possess something. Except that she couldn't just fall asleep for an hour halfway through the attack on them.
Sicyrus took deep breaths and, feeling well-rested, quickly found a bug and attempted it again. After another half hour, she possessed it. This time, Sicyrus looked around and walked through the forest for a few seconds before remembering that she was asleep and felt a stab of panic.
She awoke at near-midnight, about an hour later, and immediately decided to go spy on the guards' encampment. Sicyrus didn't even get close enough to spread her glow onto the camp, knowing they would see it, but heard the quiet, subdued conversation of the guards on watch.
"In the morning, we should search the surrounding area for it," one of them said.
"I quite agree," said another. "It would be best to split up into groups of two, maybe three. It will not be hard to find. I mean, it glows. Would it really be a challenge?"
"No, we should take it on all together. It has strong magic, potent, stuff we haven't seen since the last great Sorcerer of the age, Wiserogue. And the last time someone approached him with a weapon, he annihilated them," the first one put in.
"Don't speak that name!" the other one whisper-shouted. "Do you want me to kill you for treason?"
"Please don't hurt me—I didn't mean to do it! I just wanted to say that we should best go together, for safety reasons," the first one begged.
The other sighed in resignation. "I won't hurt you this time. But say it again and you'll be dead before you can realize what happened. And are you saying that three of you can't take on one teenage girl who has a couple of magic powers? It can't even kill with them!"
"A few powers? A few? It summoned a blade that, I heard, killed three of a different party of guards. Bervick, did you see those wings? They were pure magic. And it glows! Even the father didn't glow! Where do you think it got powers that potent? We should all go together," they replied.
"No. I'm captain, Krick. Captain Bervick. Does that title mean anything to you?" the one called Bervick asked.
"Yes, sir. It means that I have to 'Defend and Obey,'" Krick answered.
Sicyrus left quietly. They are coming for me. I have to practice. I have to, she thought.
But no matter how hard she tried in the coming hours, she fell into a cycle: try, succeed, panic, sleep for an hour, and repeat. Finally, she decided that she'd have to run. Then, entering the insect's body once more, she took calming breaths and tried to move around her sleeping body. She stayed for a full five minutes before panic set in and she returned to her own body, asleep.
As she woke up, she grabbed her blade and began to run. Then she heard three pairs of footsteps behind her. One of them grabbed their throwing knife and tossed it at her. It her in the arm. Luckily, it was her hand that she didn't use to throw with.
Sicyrus was running too fast to focus on summoning anything so, in desperation, she turned and raised her uninjured arm to stab the one closest to her, but another was opening their mouth to scream, "We found her!"
Suddenly, as if moving on its own accord, her injured hand grasped her healthy one and, with power flowing through her veins, she did what she'd done in desperation when trying to escape, when she'd created the wings: Sicyrus felt the magic, a feeling more powerful than consciously creating it, and casted a large, soundproof field around them. It was taking a lot of her energy to maintain, but it was also safety.
She knew that she just had to keep it there . . . she had to keep it and not fall asleep . . . and then, deciding she would fall asleep anyway, she possessed what looked like the strongest of the guards, the one with a "Captain Bervick" pin, the one who was about to scream.
Sicyrus could only maintain it as long as she stayed calm, which she barely managed to do when she saw them heading for her falling-asleep body. But controlling a human was very different than an insect.
Of course, she thought. Why didn't I realize this? Humans are sentient. She felt split between the conscious and Bervick's subconscious mind, trying to rip her out of the body.
But Sicyrus resisted and instead said in a burly voice, "Stop! Don't attack her! Venemore wants to deal with her himself!"
"Her? This thing isn't human!" said one of the others, looking suspicious—but they did stop.
Sicyrus knew she couldn't maintain her form for much longer so she simply said, "Oh, right. Let's take it back to the castle."
"What about the other guards? It's a two-and-a-half hour walk from here. Shouldn't we get them?" said the one Sicyrus had nearly stabbed before.
"What about the other guards?" she asked. "Are you questioning my orders? You take them back, I'll get the others."
"Yes, sir," they chorused. This threw her off for a moment before remembering who she was possessing.
Sicyrus got as far as the camp before Bervick's subconscious mind forced her away, back into her own sleeping body. Her last thought before falling asleep was, I'm dangerous. Before I die, someone else will—at my hands. She didn't feel altogether sad at this idea.
END OF PART TWO
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