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Dreams of Aveinha Part 6

Casey finally gets some answers. Whether they’re true remains to be seen.

Read previous parts here: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Casey reached the top of the stairs and felt the cold air caress his face. He took a deep breath and felt the sweet air, tinged with smoke, fill his lungs. Despite the smoke from the copious amount of buildings on fire, the air was still fresher than in the cellar. He followed Gilmyn through a maze of destroyed buildings, smashed carts, and broken Circle soldiers.

“How did you guys find me?” Casey asked, equal parts relieved and suspicious. Did Gilmyn follow him from Viarin? Casey wasn’t sure how he could have, since he had run all over creation trying to evade the Circle.

“Rhiun,” Gilmyn said as if the answer were perfectly obvious. “She has the Gift of the All-Seeing Eye.”

“What the hell is that?”

“Save yer questions for after we get out of this hive of wretchedness.”

Casey stopped. “Fuck that,” he said, clenching his fist and digging in his heels. He had been jerked around by Rhiun, Gilmyn, and the Circle ever since he arrived. “I’m tired of being dicked over by all of you.” Gilmyn stopped and spun around. Casey looked him in the eyes, trying to will his knees to stop shaking. “I’m not doing shit until I get answers.”

“Well, if ye want answers, there she be,” Gilmyn said. Casey turned around and saw Rhiun emerge from the smoke of the burning village, or whatever this place used to be. A Circle member ran up to her from behind, holding his sword high above his head. Without looking, she held up her hand and flicked her wrist. A bolt of energy shot out of her hand and enveloped the soldier. The soldier stopped and his body shook violently before collapsing.

“Jesus, is that guy gonna be okay?”

“No, he’s dead,” Gilmyn said, then called out to Rhiun. “Ye get it?”

“I did,” she said holding up her non-magical killing hand. She held the book Casey had been sent to retrieve. It had what looked like a silver necklace wrapped around it. “And I see you have retrieved the last piece.”

“Aye,” Gilmyn said. Before he could continue, Casey cut in.

“Ok wait, so why - .”

Rhiun narrowed her eyes at Casey, looking at him as if he were some sort of curiosity. “Oh, he has questions,” Gilmyn said, gesturing to Casey, irritation plain in his voice.

“I am sure that he does,” Rhiun said, as she joined them. “Come, I will explain on the way,” she sighed and started walking towards the woods.

Casey followed Rhiun and Gilmyn into the woods that bordered the settlement. They approached a carriage sitting just inside the treeline. Gilmyn climbed into the driver’s seat, and Casey followed Rhiun inside.

“So, you have questions,” Rhiun said, climbing into one seat as Casey took the one across from her. “I’m sure all this is very confusing for you. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.”

Casey opened his mouth, then shut it again. Now that he was talking to someone who seemed willing to answer his questions, he froze. All the questions he has had over the past day swirled around his mind as he tried to pluck one out, only for them to slip from his grasp. “What’s the Gift of the All-Seeing Eye?” He finally choked out.

Rhiun pondered the question for a long moment as if she were trying to condense eons of knowledge into a succinct answer. “Well, it’s a power I have that allows me to see through someone else’s eyes. As long as I have something that belongs to them.”

“What do you have of mine?”

“Your clothes,” she said. “Using your shirt, I performed the incantation to look through your eyes on your journey to Viarin and on your flight from the Circle. Based on where they captured you and where their keep is located, it was a simple process of elimination.” Rhiun gestured with her hand, like the solution to the problem was completely obvious. Casey half expected her to say elementary somewhere in the explanation.

“That guy… the dude that’s in charge of the Circle,” Casey said, struggling to think of the name. The day was taking its toll on Casey’s mind. His brain felt like it had been through a meat grinder.

“Lord Gredus,” Rhiun said, helping him out.

“Yes, Gredus! He said I was an abomination. And you were a ‘black mage - .'”

“What do you think of when you hear the term ‘black mage?'” She asked, cutting him off.

Casey thought for a second, pictures of the villains from different fantasy novels flashing in his mind. “Some… evil guy, or person. Uses magic to kill people.”

Rhiun chuckled, “Such simple ideas. Unfortunately, ones that the Circle leverages for their own gain. Magic is not inherently good or evil. It just is. I could use my powers to help a farmer’s crops grow, and it would be called a miracle. Or I could use them to kill the crops, and it would be called an abomination. Yet I would use the same powers for both tasks.”

“So, why’s the Circle going around, rounding up mages then? Why’d they call me an abomination?”

“The Circle, especially Lord Gredus, is a group of religious fanatics who take barbaric pleasure in torturing people under the guise of purging them of dark magic.” She sighed, then continued, “As for calling you an abomination, they likely knew where you had come from and that I had sent you there. They have spies everywhere.”

Casey nodded in explanation. Everything Rhiun was saying made perfect sense. Gredus seemed like a psycho. So did his soldiers. Yet, something still wasn’t sitting right with Casey. Rhiun had called him the last piece earlier. She also had the book she sent Casey to fetch, but the necklace…

“Did you send me to Viarin knowing the Circle would capture me?”

Rhiun stared at him with piercing eyes but didn’t speak. Casey shifted nervously in his seat. Finally, she said, “Yes, to get the necklace. I knew Gredus had it on his person, but it was too risky to attack them outright at their keep. And, I do not have any thieves in my employ. But, I had a hunch that if I had sent you and the tome to Viarin, then they would leave their keep to capture you and the book.”

“So you used me as bait,” Casey said, a crawling feeling spreading over his skin. He wondered what would have happened if Rhiun’s hunch was wrong. But she didn’t exactly look like someone who made a habit of having wrong gut feelings.

“Yes,” she said in a matter-of-fact tone.

Casey shook his head. It was nice that she had rescued him and was finally answering his questions. But he wasn’t getting a warm, fuzzy feeling that she wouldn’t dispose of him as soon as he had outlived his usefulness. Casey wondered who the good guys were here, or it was just a world full of villains. “So, what happens now? Are you going to send me home?”

“Yes, I have all the tools I require to send you back to your universe. We just have to go back to Aveinha to perform the ritual.”

“Why do we have to go back there? Why can’t we just do it here if you have everything?”

“You’ll see,” she said, turning her head toward the window.

~ ~ ~ ~

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Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in Adventure, All Stories, Fantasy, Fiction, Humor, Mystery/Thriller

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