“Those demons are still on the run. The ones who are left, like me, try to hunt them down. Thankfully only the leaders of the Contrarius Order are given the power to summon demons and perform rituals, a gift from the demon lord we assume. With the leader dead, we can be sure that there won’t be more demons in the future and your life should be safe as well. Taliesin, those people I killed when you teleported into my room…” “Were demons?” Tal finished Nik’s sentence. He gave him an acknowledging nod. “Yes. I’m sorry that I didn’t explain it sooner but those ‘humans’ had no humanity left in them. I did what I had to do. Killing them was the only solution.”
“I…” Tal hesitated and then gulped. He thought about his nightmare and what his own inner demon had tried to tell him. It was wrong. Tal had been right all along. Nik was a good guy. “I believe you. You did what you had to do.” Nik smiled again. He seemed glad and Tal was happy now that he wouldn’t need to justify liking Nik in his mind. Take that evil demon dream spirit, he’s the best and you can’t change my mind about it!
“These demons exist in many different shapes but mostly hide in a mortal body. It’s easier to gain the trust of other humans and seduce them into making a deal with them. Once the contract is signed – I mean metaphorically speaking – the demons devour the mortal’s soul and leave nothing behind. Within 24 hours they become demons themselves.” “That’s horrible.” Tal mumbled quietly while trying to put all the pieces together. He still had many questions. “What about the descendants? Did the gods really leave?”
“They did. The gods blessed a kid, buried their power inside of them and then waited for one generation. They saw it grow up perfectly fine. Once it became a parent however, things changed. The next generation of descendants, twins, had developed the power to teleport. The gods didn’t know that this could happen and grew nervous. What if future generations would be able to yield all their power? Nothing like that happened. Every generation grew up like the other. The only manifestation of their godly heritage was the teleportation ability. It’s the only way to identify the Descendants.”
“So that’s how you realised who I was.” “That’s how I knew, yeah. I asked you for siblings, remember? When Descendants have siblings their power is, how can I say it? Torn? Parted? Well, each kid has a part of the divine power until one of them gets pregnant or has a kid. Then the power gets passed down. We have no idea how exactly that works but it’s been that way for a long time so we stopped questioning the process.” Tal gulped. He knew what Nik was trying to find out but he had no answer to that question. “I don’t know if my parents had any children beside me.”
The thought of his parents ached in his chest. Tal didn’t want to think about them. Especially not after everything he had just found out. He wondered how they would have explained his ability to him. He would have lived a different life. A proud one maybe. If his parents knew about everything, if one of them had been a descendant then why did he end up on his own? His chest tightened even more and his body started trembling again. He thought he had calmed down from his panic attack earlier but all of a sudden, the feeling of suffocating resurfaced.
“Why did they leave, Nik? If they knew who I was then–“ Tal sobbed loudly. He hated crying in front of others but he couldn’t hold it in. He buried his face in his hands and tried to stifle the sounds. “I don’t know, Taliesin.” Nik replied a bit surprised about the sudden burst of emotion. “The Contrarius Order was still around when you were born. If they had a lead on either one of your parents, giving you away might have been the only way of protecting you.” Tal didn’t react. He was sobbing and spiralling into another panic attack until Nik suddenly knelt next to his chair and held his chin up. “Do you hear me, Taliesin? Maybe they didn’t have a choice.”
Tal let out a pained laugh and wiped his tears away. He tried to look down at Nik but his vision was too blurry. “You’re just saying that to make me feel better. You pity me for not having parents. Like everyone else.” “No.” Nik interrupted him, his voice firm. “I’m saying that because it’s possible. Either way, you won’t be able to change what happened, Taliesin. Your parents are gone, you need to get a grip and take a deep breath. You need to breathe.” That was the moment Tal snapped. He couldn’t explain why Nik’s speech had so deeply offended him but he pushed the other away and gritted his teeth.
“What a sweet thing to hear from someone who never had to go through the same! You don’t have any idea–“ He stopped himself and snarled. “Your parents gave you a manor, they gave you a butler, you are living like a royal and yet–“ “My parents didn’t give me anything.” Nik said, slowly getting up and taking a step away from Tal. His voice was cool and calculated now. He was distancing himself from Tal in every possible way. “The manor was passed down to me when my parents died in the ambush four years ago.” He huffed. “You think you’re so quick-witted, Taliesin, when you have no idea what you’re talking about.” Realisation hit him and his heart dropped. Maxwell entered the dining hall with a concerned expression on his face. He must have heard them arguing.
When Nik noticed him he turned away from Tal. “Nik.” Tal whispered and moved towards him. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t–“ “Don’t apologise. I’m not in the mood to hear it. Maxwell, take him back to the Academy. I’ll be upstairs.” “As you wish, Sir.” “Nik, please.” “Mr. Bennet needs some time now.” Maxwell explained while Nik rushed out of the dining hall. Tal’s heart broke into tiny little pieces. How could he say something like that? How could he be so insensitive? His own pain was no excuse. He should have known that Nik wasn’t living alone because he wanted to. Tal cursed himself out for being so stupid. “Mr. Thornwell, please follow me.“ “No!” Tal screamed at the Butler. He didn’t want to leave yet, he needed to apologise to Nik and make it right. He pushed the hand Maxwell had kindly offered him away and fell into a dark hole.
His feet struck the ground first and upon the breaking sound of his right ankle the rest of his body collapsed. His breath was heavy and the world around him wouldn’t stop spinning. He had fallen onto stones and was surrounded by complete darkness. He couldn’t make out where he was and when he touched his throbbing head the scent of blood hit his nose. Tal tried to move but a sharp pain coming from his ankle made him cry out. His limbs felt heavy and he was getting sleepy. Don’t pass out, not here, Tal, fuck. No matter how hard he tried to concentrate on staying awake, his eyes fell shut and he drifted into unconsciousness.