Fan fiction:The Mage Academy of Gea Kul/Epilogue
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A week later I stood at the railing of a small ship as the crew rowed it away from the shore of the Dreadlands while the captain worked to raise the sails. Behind us, on the shore, the party of warriors who had arrived on the ship were hurriedly arranging their belongings as they prepared for the trek north. They'd come to battle the demons emerging from the Hellgates, dreams of glory and fantasies of the legendary Witch Girl filling their heads.
I'd let them chant and cheer when I boarded the ship, watching and rubbing the blackened skin at my throat while they exulted in their coming triumphs. They would find demons, of course, and most likely die at their scaled and hooked hands, before being trampled into the earth by thousands of marching, hoofed feet. They would not find the witch girl though, for she had departed before me, heading south and west, into the Barbarian lands.
Zia was done with battling demons. She meant to find the families of her three Barbarian companions, to tell them where, if not how, their sons had perished. After that she hoped to travel south, perhaps to Westmarch, where her uncle served. Zia had fond memories of him from her childhood, but had not seen him in a decade or more.
I had not considered traveling with her, nor had I asked her to accompany me back to Gea Kul. My place was at the Academy, and there was no way she could return. Not after the way she'd departed. Not after slaughtering the Fifths. Not even if the Archmaester pardoned her and rescinded the death warrant. Which he was going to do, as soon as I took back that rank. Gutherie had stolen the throne and risen to lead the Academy with the most foul deceptions, and was not fit to hold the title he now enjoyed. I'd known that even before Zia's testimony, but hadn't cared to act. Now I'd recovered myself I did, and knowing what he'd done to Zia only hardened my resolve.
As for the other Maesters, punishments would have to be meted out for those who had betrayed their duties. Taking advantage of a student was forbidden, no matter how irresistible the student might have been, or how willing she had seemed. I had not yet decided upon what form those reprisals would take, but I hoped Maester Shien would assist me in making that determination.
If she could forgive me. Forgiveness was only the first of many favors I meant to ask of her.
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