Fan fiction:The Mage Academy of Gea Kul/Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Seventeen[edit source]
Zia's smirking face tore me from my thoughts, and as I met her grin, my face hot, puffy, and wet with tears, she smiled more widely. She was enjoying this. Seeing me brought low. That realization stirred further the simmering stew inside me, and I felt my concentration drawing down to a point, my senses sharpening. During the months since her departure, I'd never felt any desire to punish Zia. I'd viewed her as a victim and blamed myself for those disastrous events. I had not objected to my place on this failed death squad, but I'd hoped I would die before I saw Zia fall.
Now, for the first time, a desire for revenge hatched within me. Not for the murdered Fifths, and not for my shattered pride, but for my clan. This woman, this brilliant girl, had lied and stolen from my Academy. She had never intended to live up to her vows and promises. She'd endured the brands and tattoos and rituals not out of loyalty, or pride, but as the price she had to pay for knowledge. To her, those sacred rites were no different than spreading her legs in a Maester's study, hiking up her skirts as she bent over a chair, or licking her lips while unbuttoning a man's trousers. She had profaned the discipline, and violated my Academy! And for that, she deserved to die.
The change in my thinking must not have shown on my face, since Zia kept smirking, even after she took a long drink from a wine skin slung over a low stool beside the fire. "Tell me, former Archmaester Yun. Who is the new Archmaester? Did you hand pick your successor, as carefully as you picked your favorite students?"
"Gutherie." I said, grunting the word through clenched teeth. I still could not move my fingers, but my toes were beginning to tingle as I concentrated and forced magical energy to flow through my body. My bonds were expertly tied, the knots viciously tight. They could not have been released except by cutting them, and I was sure Zia had never intended to do so. She'd kept me alive only to taunt me, only to confess her harlotry to. Only to stab me in the back one last time.
"Gutherie?" Zia exclaimed, genuine surprise in her voice. "That buggering bastard?" Her face showed shock and disgust. "I lied when I said you were the worst, Yun. Gutherie was the worst. His endless questions and suspicion. And his appetites! Such perversion. I never felt more dirty than after those long minutes, bent over a chair for his stubby, arse-stabbing fingers. He wanted me to lick them, afterwards. He swore I'd enjoy it. He wanted me to lick them clean, then kiss him."
I coughed, her revelation almost enough to shake my concentration. I had never imagined I might return to the Academy. I still could not believe that was my fate, but if I should somehow survive this night, and find my way back to Gea Kul, I would have words with Gutherie. More than words. There would be a reckoning, should I return to the Academy, a bloody, tattooed, and branded flap of Zia's skin strung to my belt.
That thought in my head, I looked at Zia, and something in my eyes warned her. Lightning crackled over her fingers, my death within her grasp, but I was already moving, my vision blurring as I teleported out of the ropes, leaving even my clothing behind in my haste. The flash of lightning was blinding in the dim tent, but while her bolts were still scorching my abandoned garments, I had launched my own counter attack. I felt the skin on my arms prickling with cold as a blast of icy air rushed down my arms, propelled straight at Zia's back.
The first spell just grazed her, chance and speed saving her from a jet of cold that would have knocked her instantly unconscious, if not killing her outright. My left leg was still wobbly and half-asleep, and it had given way just as I cast the spell, causing my aim to swing right. To her credit, Zia had sensed my teleportation faster than I would have believed, and had ducked as she turned. The blast of cold still struck her, but across the shoulder and upper back instead of the head. My magic hurled her forward and dashed the cap from her head, but she landed on the heap of sleeping furs and was trying to roll over as I tracked her, hurling a volley of frigid blasts at her.
My aim was poor, but the target was very near, and of the half dozen projectiles I launched, three struck her solidly. Two into her legs, one into her lower back, one into the ground, and two others against the far wall of the tent, where their intense cold instantly cracked the hide, causing it to contract as though a fist had clenched the leather from the outside.
Zia was immobilized and stunned, but not dead, and as I hobbled closer to be sure I did not miss, I was distracted by the sight. Her face was up, and though her eyes were glazed she was still so very beautiful. Memories filled my head, thoughts of her laughing voice, bright eyes, and cheerful personality staying my killing spell.
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