Methir teleported away without a word, leaving Kyrik and Kali alone with the two beings neither desired to be around. Without Methir here to hold back Jirmen, there was no telling what might happen if Azulia and he got into it.
Jirmen teleported them outside the library, where they hurried inside.
Kyrik never thought he’d ever be anxious to ever step inside the library. The place was a sanctuary to him, a fountain of knowledge that he could forever dive into. The librarians and other custodians knew him by name, if not appearance. Half the students who studied there recognized him despite not being in classes.
Yet, none of the familiarity brought comfort. Rows upon rows that Kyrik could huddle up or hide near offered no protection. The peaceful atmosphere, disrupted. The water that flowed through the center churned uneasily. Although there were doubtlessly hundreds in the library, almost all remained out of sight, giving a sensation of expansive loneliness.
“Keeping the heart of Falmari in a library? How fitting.” Azulia mused.
The center pillar that held the Library together, lined by more rows of bookshelves, was their destination. Kyrik had to stare directly up to see the roof, an action that hurt his neck. Poor Kali’s neck must have been broken from all the rapid movements her head made, trying to capture every detail the library offered. Again, much like Kyrik himself did back then.
“Oh, please tell me it’s behind the bookshelf.” Azulia said enthusiastically. “It’s such a cliché, I could not help but do the same at times. Nobody ever looks!”
“Why do you think I did it?” Jirmen asked, creating another ankh that hid their appearance. Runes danced along a bookshelf as he combined them to break the lock on it. “I wouldn’t bother memorizing this; it has already changed to something else.”
“Do you distrust everyone these days?” Azulia asked with exasperation before her eyes widened in realization. “Oh, you hate me, don’t you? You understand the twins made that deal of their own violation, yes?”
“I’m aware.” Jirmen slid the shelf aside, revealing a dark staircase big enough for them to walk side-by-side.
“Then I fail to understand your anger. I hold their weaponry, that is true, but I have not used them. Nor have I mounted them upon my throne. Witherwing takes great care of them.”
“Um, I think I get it.” Kyrik found himself speaking, earning the attention of both Jirmen and Azulia. “I don’t know you as well as he does, but those weapons are all he has left of Aurgal and Aura.”
“There is nothing stopping him from visiting.”
“That’s not the point.” Kyrik spoke with more confidence. “The point is that you now own the Wrathblade and Spellbreaker. I don’t know the history between you two, but the wound can’t close.”
“Kyrik, that’s enough.” Jirmen snapped.
“I don’t think you’re evil, but I know you know the potential.” Kyrik finished his thoughts quickly.
“You don’t think me evil?” Azulia’s eyes widened along her growing grin. “Are you sure you are under Jirmen’s care?”
“You take in those damned by society. You care for them. That’s not evil.”
“Are you certain? For all you know, I could be growing an army.”
“I’m speaking from what I know.”
“It is astounding how naïve you are.” Azulia burst out laughing. “I must admit, I find it quite refreshing.”
“Was that a declaration of her being evil?” Kali muttered to Kyrik. “Because I’m not sure how to take that.”
“I’m not sure, either.” Kyrik whispered back.
Down and down the stairs went, going on forever. If Kyrik hadn’t been down here before, he would’ve assumed this to be an endless staircase, a way of distracting Azulia. But each mage or other sorcerer who completed their training came down here to attune to the Nexus Point, where they wouldn’t have to rest as long to replenish energy.
Kyrik was an exception, this being his third time. The first was when he first arrived in Falmari, with it being a way to measure his power. The second was the first time he transformed, where the energies allowed him to transform back easier. He always expected his third to be when he finally graduated, but fate once again held other plans.
Upon reaching the final step, Kyrik was greeted by overwhelming pink that refracted off the dull white walls. His very bones quivered and shook under the raw arcane that poured from the room. It made him giddy and distressed at the same time, a clash of emotion that was unique to here.
“I don’t feel good.” Kali mumbled, leaning against the wall.
“The exposure must be taxing you.” Kyrik helped her lay down. “It did that for me, too. You don’t have to stay down here.”
“I highly suspect I’ll be taken down here anyway at a later date.” Kali waved him off. “May as well get used to it now.”
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help.” Kyrik reluctantly left her side, approaching the source of arcane.
Although the Nexus Point was in truth below the city, the energies were syphoned into Falmari from this location. Unlike most forms of Arcane, this appeared as a swirling pool, with no runes or other letterings to be discerned. A concentrated, raw mass that would be sipped from to create a spell, and once attuned a sorcerer would be able to draw from the closest Nexus Point safely.
Said syphoning came from a peculiar object floating above the pool; a silvery triangular prism that rotated slowly. Nobody knew where it came from other than it always was above a Nexus Point. Although safe to touch and move, it would always float back to the center no matter where it was located.
Not even walls could stop it, with it somehow passing through matter to return.
“Do stand back,” Azulia warned. “I would hate for this to react negatively and lash out.”
“I’m not sure if I want you to use it if that’s what’s going to happen.” Jirmen raised a brow.
“It is a joke.”
“Didn’t sound it.”
At the touch of the queen, the energies swirled and churned. Kyrik felt it answer her call with great hesitation. Yet, when she backed away, the area around her touch slowly began to take shape.
“I commanded it to show me who was behind both the golem and the murder.” Azulia addressed with regality, as if expecting backlash already. “I did not alter the outcome.”
“You sound like you already know.” Kyrik said.
“I did. And I would not have been able to prove such a thing without you calling for my head. The planet does not lie.”
Hearts racing, Kyrik watched as the shape turned bipedal. As the long-finned tail formed, he knew who it was taking the form of. But he couldn’t believe it. There was absolutely no way for this to be true!
Yet, despite Kyrik’s disbelief, the Nexus Point conjured the image of Methir.