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Familiar Story

This is UNFINISHED! This is posted because I need help deciding about the stuff between the **  **. Pretty much, I’m not sure what to do at this point, such as who the big bad is or where to go from here.


Part 001

He held my arms down to my side, his warm lips barely touching mine. His hot breath made my body shiver in delight. I watched as his brown eyes met mine in anticipation. He knew that he had me under his charms. I smiled and pressed my lips to his, finally tasting the nectar that his look promised. He held me against the wall, pushing his body against mine, as his kiss devoured mine in haste and need.

He then pulled away, leaving a rush of cool air between us. He smiled mischievously, “It did not even smear…” He touched his thumb to my lower lip, trying to get my lip stain to smudge under his touch, but it stayed just as in place as well I applied it.

I smiled, “Then it did its job.” I pulled myself away from the wall, “Master, we need to get going, as it is. You will be late to the Council meeting if we continue enjoying ourselves here.” I straightened the long black sparkly dress that clung to my curvy figure, before fixing his black silk cravat and the lapels on his dark red tight-fitting coat.

He turned away from me, and I watched his tight pants as they hugged every muscle from his waist to his calves. His long blonde hair was tied back with a red ribbon, keeping it away from his face. Every step he took made my heart leap, until he turned back to me, “Coming, Pet?” He asked with an eye brow raised.

I felt my skin burn as I quickly stepped to my place behind him. I followed him with the precision that came with our Contract. Two steps behind and one step to the right was my place as his Familiar. His butler opened the door to the outside, and the footman then opened the door to the carriage. He climbed inside easily, before the footman helped me into the back, facing away from the horses.

The carriage jolted forward, and I kept my seating, lest I touched my Master without his permission. He was one of the top Wizards in the country of Eamtern. He was thought to become the next Council Leader when the current one retires. He was the most desired Wizard in Eamtern, because he held dominion over Love and Hate. He could have chosen any Familiar in the world, but he chose me.

I kept my eyes to the ground, not letting the earlier amusement let me think higher than my class, though I played with the ruby heart necklace I wore. Familiars are creatures with enormous amounts of power, but they require being Bonded to a Wizard in order to be controlled. We are given Contracts that allow our Wizard Masters to take our mana for their own spells, giving them more power than what Wizards can create on their own. We still retain our own magical power while Bonded, even if our magics are different kinds, such as ours.

An Unbonded Familiar is a dangerous one, and if they refuse to be Bonded, they are to be killed. We are told that even worse than being killed, is when a Bond is forced on a Familiar to a Wizard they do not want. The Bond forces the Familiar to give their mana, even if the Wizard forces the life of servitude onto a Familiar. Only Evil Wizards will force Bonds onto Familiars, so in order to keep ourselves safe, we do everything our Master desires to prevent them from Severing the Bond.

The coach stopped abruptly, pulling me from my thoughts of the Bond. I handed my Master his dark red mask, watching his hands work to tie it on. He exited the carriage first, before I was allowed to exit. I followed behind him, staying two steps behind and one step to the right.

“Welcome, Lord Bittan.” The footman spoke to my Master as the double heavy wooden doors opened before us. I am always amazed at the sight of the grand entrance. The grand staircase was covered in white stone that glinted in the candle light. The walls were aged mirrors that reflected the light into every part of the entrance. My Master unbuttoned his dark red jacket, and I caught it as it fell to the floor. He wore the same colored silk shirt that matched his jacket and his mask. I bowed to him as he walked up the grand staircase and stayed bowed until the large ornate glass doors opened and shut behind him.

I handed the jacket to the valet, before heading to where the other Familiars were gathered. They say that Familiars start to look and act like their Masters, but I knew that I have not changed from when I was first captured when I was younger. I carefully opened and shut the door behind me.

I watched the other Familiars appraise me, but I did what I could to ignore them all. I was different than the other Familiars, and we all knew it. I walked over to an alcove and bided my time until the Council meeting was over. The other female Familiars whispered as I passed, but I tried not to listen in. They were jealous that my Master had chosen me instead of any of the other Familiars. The males stopped and stared as I passed them by, some debating whether it was worth trying to talk to me. I knew that the dress was chosen because my Master wanted to flaunt the body I have, so the males were enticed to wanting to see the curves that lie under the clingy material.

I grabbed a couple sandwiches and a glass of wine, before sitting in the same alcove I always did, away from the other Familiars. I had no desire to mingle with the others because, eventually, the conversation would swing to my magic and what I was. What none of them knew what that even I had no idea what I was. Nevertheless, they would become annoyed at my lack of answers, and then they would try to goad me into using my magic. If my Master felt me using my magic, he could decide to sever the Bond, so I did everything in my power to stay away from the other Familiars.

I watched from the shadows, eating the sandwiches I grabbed and sipping the wine. It felt like forever for the Council meeting to end, but that could also be because of how uncomfortable I was. I saw a commotion out of the corner of my eye. Three male Familiars had a female pinned to the wall. None of the other Familiars would help her; they all just watched as they laughed as she tried to escape.

I felt white hot rage start to fill me, my magic sensing my anger. I stood up and could feel the heat coming from my body. I knew that heat waves would emanate from my magic and body. It was the only warning anyone would get before I would unleash the fire within me. The Familiars stopped gossiping about the three males and their prey as I passed by. No one stopped me, not that they could. I was too far gone to be stopped by anything but my Master.

I stepped up to the males, grabbing the two on the outside by the shoulders. They screamed as I burned through their clothes to their skin. I ripped them away from the girl, throwing them to the floor, before dousing them in icy cold water. The ring leader of the group turned to face me, “So, the bitch decided to join us.” I felt the ground rumble under our feet, as did the rest of the room. I watched his face go from haughty to terrified as the air around us became both flaming hot and ice cold.

I looked to the girl behind him, seeing her torn dress sent me over the edge. I grabbed him by the throat and threw him to the ground. I felt the fireball and the icy wind wrap around me, as I grabbed her hand to help her up. The males scrambled away as she smiled to me, “Thank you.” She whispered, but I watched something slither behind her eyes. She screamed like she was being stabbed. I dropped her hand and stepped away, confused.

I felt the yank of magic from my Master, as he and the other Council members poured into the room. The girl kept screaming, as my Master grabbed the magic leash that Bonded me to him, pulling me to the ground like a dog. She ran to him, holding onto his red shirt, crying into his chest, “I was talking with my friends and she ATTACKED US!” She became more and more hysterical.

“I did-” I tried to say, but my Master yanked the Bond, silencing me.

“You have no right to talk, Familiar.” His voice was sharp, and it cut into my heart. He looked down at the pretty girl who was clinging to his shirt, “Tell us exactly what happened, Familiar…”

“Familiar Lufn, my Lord.” She sniffled, slowly calming down. She pointed to the males who had burns on their shoulders and neck. “We were just talking about nothing, and out of nowhere, SHE-” She pointed to me, “came up and started to burn them. Then she grabbed me with her hands and I thought she was going to kill me with her fire and ice magic!”

He glared at me, before turning to the other Familiars, “Is that what happened?” He demanded of them.

Each of the Familiars stood by their Master, before answering that Lufn was telling the truth. I felt the world fall beneath me, as I watched every single of the Familiars lie to my Master. None stood up for me, and the accustomed feeling of betrayal and loneliness hit me. He yanked the leash, pulling me to my feet. He grabbed my long hair and pulled me towards the pretty girl. I saw the maliciousness in her eyes as he grabbed her by the hand and took us to another room.

He opened and slammed the door behind us, “Since my Familiar hurt you, what can I do to make it up to you?”

“My Lord, I am Unbonded but wish to be Bonded with a Lord as strong as you. Is there a Lord that you would suggest?” She asked hopefully. I felt her magic rise and slam into me, before it leaked into my Master. It was his same kind of magic, but different. I felt the lust and seduction radiate from her. I tried to block the flow of magic from me into my Master, hoping to stop her from bewitching him. He let go of my hair and pushed me to the ground out of his way.

“You are a Succubus?” He asked breathily, as he was trying to control himself around her.

“That is correct, my Lord.” She curtsied low to him. “I have the same magic as you and wish to be your Familiar, if you let me.” She looked disdainfully to me. “My Lord, everyone knows that you belong with a Familiar that matches your magic. This pet you have is a menace and has attacked other Familiars before. How long until she turns on you?”

I tried to defend myself, but my voice would not work with his magical leash gagging me. He looked down on me, and it was the first time I felt him withdraw his magic from me. I saw him for who he truly was, an ambitious Wizard who cared for nothing but power. I could give him all of the power he could ever want, but I saw the disgust in his eyes looking at me. “She would not turn on me, but I will also never truly possess her, despite my ownership through the Contract.” He looked at her, as if she was everything he ever needed, “But since we are compatible, you and I could truly become powerful.” He grabbed me by the hair again, pulling me up, as she opened the door to where all of the Wizards and Familiars were gathered.

I watched in horror as he nodded to Lufn, and he grabbed a dagger from the Aether. I tried to pull away, but I could not move with him holding my hair so tightly. Everyone watched with apprehension. We all know what that dagger meant, because it was the only thing that could Sever a Bond. He threw me to the ground, using the magic leash to hold me on my knees. The leash tightened around my wrists, knees, and pulled my head back, exposing my chest and necklace to the best angle from above.

“From the magic of the old world, I Sever the Bond between us.”

The other Wizards spoke in unison, “He Severs the Bond.”

“With this dagger, our Contract is void.”

“The Contract is Void.” The Wizards repeated.

“May the Gods have mercy on you, whether life or death is the appropriate state after the Bond is Severed.” He raised the dagger above his head with both hands holding the hilt.

“May the Gods have mercy.”

He plunged the dagger through the necklace and into my chest and heart. “The Bond is Severed.” He called out.

“So, mote it be.” The Wizards answered as the dagger vanished.

I felt the icy cold of the Bond leaving me, pain blossoming from my chest. The leash released me from its hold, since my Mast-Lord Bittan released me from my Bondage to him. I crumpled to the floor, trying to hold myself together from the lack of Bond as my magic raged through me. The Bond had helped keep it at bay, keeping me from any of the adverse effects of my wild magic.

I heard a shout from near me, “Does anyone wish to Bond with this creature?” Lord Bittan’s voice rang out with glee. There was nothing but blaring silence in the room we were in. Without a Bond, my magic could destroy me, or the Council would.

The doors to the room slammed open, darkness filling the space. Familiars stood by their Masters, protecting them from whatever this magic was. I felt it call to me, the wildness of it felt like home, but I did not even know where home was. “I will Bond with her.” The voice was deep and rough, like someone had no spoken for weeks started to talk again.

There were shouts all around me, “Preposterous! You are an Exile! How dare you enter the House of the Council?!”

Darkness engulfed everything, but the pain finally left me, the Gods having mercy on me. I silently thanked Kitarr for allowing me to live to feel this wild magic around me. I felt my magic dance with it, my elemental magic emitting from everywhere around me. It wanted to join with this darkness magic, giving my magic life. I felt the warm fire, icy water, wild wind, and soft earth rise from my magic. I could not see the room around me, but I figured that my magic was having its way with the room. I heard screams as my magic clashed with the other Familiars’ and the Wizards. Nothing could stop this maelstrom now that it was unbridled from lack of Bond.

I felt someone lift me up in their arms, holding me close to their body. “You have a choice, Council Members. You can allow me to Bond with this Familiar, or you can see what true wild magic unleashed is like.”

There were more shouts as the Wizards debated, but another wave of my magic crashed into them. The Council Leader finally shouted, “Let him deal with the Monster!”

The Wizard who held me spoke softly to me, “Do you accept the Bond to me? A lifetime of servitude to me? Will you allow me to become your Master in mind, body, soul, and magic? Will you allow me to drink from your magic as I see fit, even if it kills you?”

I laughed at his voice, as it filled me with warmth and tamed the wild magic that wanted to burst out of me. I wanted nothing more than to let our magic dance, as it should. “I accept your Contract and Bond.” I could not see the man who I Bonded with, nor did I know his name, but I knew with everything in me, that he was where I belonged.

“So, mote it be!” The Council Leader shouted, finishing the Bond through his power. The world calmed around us, the darkness receding and the Bond leashing my magic back within me.

I could finally see the man that held me, and I felt my heart sink. I stared up at the wild-eyed man, his pale blue eyes the color of ice, his skin was tan from living outside. His black hair was chaotic, as it flowed down his back. I recognized him from the Exiles book, a Dark Wizard who killed other Wizards. I heard the whispers from the other Familiars and their Wizards.

“She would have been better dead than with that Wizard.” I heard Lufn say as she clung to Lord Bittan.

I gasped as he pulled me closer to him, before he turned as swept us towards the doors. I heard Lord Bittan yell to the Council Leader, “How could you have allowed that Exile to Bond with a Familiar, especially one as dangerous as her?!”

“I had no choice! Her magic is wild and would have killed us!” He snapped back, holding his own Familiar close to his side. Lord Bittan glared at us, as we left the room then the mansion.

The Wizard set me onto a pure black horse, holding me close to his chest. My brain felt fuzzy, like it did not understand what was going on. “Sleep, Little One.” He commanded of me. “We have a long ride ahead.” I felt his wild magic wrap around me, and despite his reputation, I felt like I was home. I felt sleep creep up on me, before it took me under.


Part 002

I woke up to the sounds of birds and the rustling of leaves outside a brightly lit window. I shielded my eyes from the light, as it poured through the large window, filling the room with morning light. I sat up and looked around the small but comfortable looking room. I laid on a bed that was as long as I am tall, but twice at wide. The furniture was all a warm cherry wood color but none of it was new. The best description I had was that it was well loved. There was a dresser, night stand, desk, desk chair, and then a larger comfortable looking chair in a corner that had a couple of bookcases flanking it.

I stretched, trying to get my muscles to untense after the pain from the night before. Then it hit me, I had been Disbonded and cast away from Lord Bittan because a succubus Familiar accused me of harming her. I tried to hold back the pain and rage I felt, but it manifested as blue fire in the palms of my hands.

The wild-eyed male burst through the door, “Is everything alright?” He asked carefully, trying to see if there was someone else in the room with me.

Looking at him, my fire extinguished. This was my new Master, even if I did not know his name or anything about him. “Nothing is wrong, Master.” I answered in a barely audible growl.

He gave me an odd look, “Well, since you are awake, breakfast is ready.” He turned towards the door, but stopped before he stepped out of it, “The Lord that threw you away is an idiot. Do not let yourself dwell on the thoughts of the past. You also might feel more comfortable in the clothes on the desk.” He stepped out and shut the door behind him.

I stood up and walked over to the desk and saw the pile of black clothes. I picked up the first piece of cloth, realizing that there was a dark green tunic, a strip of black fabric and a pair of black leggings in the pile. I looked to the door, then took off the slinky black dress and let it fall to the wooden floor. I used the strip of black fabric to bind my breasts, squishing them closer to my ribcage. I pulled on the leggings and put the tunic on over my head. I grabbed the dress off the floor and exited the room.

I walked down the short hallway to a large room that combined the kitchen, sitting, and eating rooms. The male sat at the medium sized round table. He stood up as I entered the room, both of us not really sure what to do. I bowed, as Lord Bittan would have had me do, “May I join you at the table for breakfast, Master?”

He nodded wearily, “Why would you not sit at the table? Where would you sit? On the floor?”

I did not have an answer for him, so I sat down in the chair across form him. He then sat down and handed me food from a large bowl. The eggs and bacon smelled delicious, the toast looked fresh, and my stomach grumbled loudly. I looked into my lap, as I felt embarrassed that I was not making a good impression on my new Master. He looked up at me and laughed heartily, his black hair bouncing as he sat back. “I guess you are hungrier than I thought.” He piled the food onto a plate for me, setting it close to me. “You will need your strength, so eat up!” He commanded through tears of laughter.

I carefully took the fork and ate through the food he offered. I meant to leave some food on the plate like I always had, but I ended up devouring the food without thought. He finished before I did and just sat there watching my chow down on the eggs, bacon, and toast. I finished cleaning the plate of food, before I noticed how intently he was staring at me over his folded hands. I asked, choosing my words with great care, “Did I do something to offend you, Master?”

“Was Lord Bittan your first Wizard?” He asked almost offhandedly.

I nodded, “Yes. We Bonded about three years ago.”

“And before that?” He asked, and I could feel the seriousness of his questions.

“Before that, I was Unbonded as a part of the Council for ten years, while they tried to find placement for me. Earlier than that, I do not have memories of. I was found wandering the docks and streets. I do not know of where I came from or of life before the Council had me.”

He looked at my lap, where I still held the dress, “What do you plan on doing with that?” He asked, disgust on his face.

“I will do whatever my Master commands of me.”

“I did not ask that; I asked what are you planning on doing with it?”

I had not thought about anything like that, but it did not feel like he was trying to trick me with his questions. “I do not know, Master. I have never been asked what I wanted.”

He stood up suddenly, “Come outside with me.” I followed close behind him, two steps back and one step to the right of him. He took note of my positioning as he opened the door to the cottage. There was farmland to the front of the cottage and forest in the back. He grabbed my shoulders and guided me to a patch of dirt. “Think about last night. Think about how someone you trusted threw you away at the first chance he got. Think about the bitch that set you up.” I looked back at him, confused because he was not there to witness that. He smiled, “I know about what you did and why. You thought you were saving her from those three males, but instead, it was a set up.”

I saw her gloating face in my mind’s eye, before it shifted to Lord Bittan grabbing the dagger. Then the image became her clinging to him, and him protecting her from my maelstrom. I felt that familiar rage rise in me. He grabbed the dress and held it up to my eyeline. I hated that dress, a piece of cloth that Lord Bittan chose because he was the Lord of Lust and wanted to flaunt it. I hated how it clung to every bit of me, and I hated how he demanded I wear it when he wanted to entice other Wizards to give him their support.

I threw the dress into the air, letting my magic suspend it. I felt the anger, hatred, and rage fill me, before it whipped around me and my new Master. He was in the eye of the maelstrom with me, protecting him from the fire that started to crackle in the air. I called that flashing heat of lightening to my hands, before sending it to strike the dress. A loud clash of thunder filled the area as the flash of bright light slammed into the dress. I watched the fire sprout and dance in the fabric. It jumped from strand of sparkle to strand of sparkle, before I let the flames engulf the dress completely.

I felt him wrap his arms around me, placing his hands on my wrists, guiding the wild magic to stay within the dress’s area, preventing the inferno from escaping into the world. I watched the fire destroy the dress, before calling on water to surround us, keeping the fire contained. As the dress became ash, I dropped the ashes to the ground, then opened the ground up with a small fissure, dropping the ashes inside, before closing it up. I felt my magic withdrawing back into me, as he let my wrists go, stepping back from me.

I looked at the ground, feeling ashamed for not controlling my emotions better. “Well done!” He shouted, clapping his hands together. I turned and faced him, confused. “I knew you were powerful and held dominion of the elements, but I never thought I would see the beauty of it.” He then noticed my confusion, “What is wrong?”

I looked at the ground, “I could not control my emotions and stop myself from causing destruction.”

“You are a force of nature, why would you want to stop yourself from using your magic? Moreover, you are a Familiar, meaning magic will bleed from you if you do not use it often enough.” He stepped up to me, sighing. “I did not think a creature like you could be broken, but it seems like you could be.” I could feel the waves of anger coming from him.

I looked up, meeting his hard ice blue eyes, “What do you mean?”

“Your kind are not meant to be controlled, but it seems like Lord Bittan and the Council destroyed whatever semblance of wildness in you.” I watched as his fists balled up at his sides, “Those bastards.”

I was more confused than before, “What are you talking about, Master?”

He lashed out, “Stop calling me that!” I shrank back from him, before I watched his anger dissipate towards me. “I am sorry.” He turned away. “You did well. You can spend the rest of the day wandering the area.” He started to walk away from me.

I bit my lip, “Mast-uh…” I took a deep breath and let it out slowly, “If you do not want to be called Master, what should I call you?”

“My name is Lugh, so call me that.” He tossed back over his shoulder, stomping off to the forest.

I looked to the farmland ahead of me, before taking another deep breath and sighing, “Not even a full day, and he is pissed off at me.” I watched the farmland for a while, just letting the space and warm fall air fill me. I watched the cows as they ate their way across the fields.

I turned to face the forest, the birds singing in the afternoon sun. I heard other noises coming from the forest, and my curiosity got the better of me. I stepped into the forest, the birds’ songs fell silent around me. I could hear something on the very edge of my hearing, so I followed that until I came to a clearing with a small babbling stream. I walked up to the water, letting the sound fill me with peace.

I felt the water pull at me, urging me to use my water magic to dance with it. I let a small treadle of water magic from my hands, letting the water spiral and leap before joining with the water of the brook. I heard footsteps behind me, pulling me from the calm of the water. I looked to see Lugh walking towards me, holding something in his hands. He set the long thin box in my lap, before sitting on the other side of the stream. I let the water magic drop as he sat down, not sure if it would anger him using it like I was.

“Open the box.” He commanded in a gentle voice.

I opened the small box and saw a small black and white opal pendant. It was two halves of an oval, the black opal taking half with the white opal taking the other half. “This is…”

“Proof of our Bond.” He finished my sentence. “I want you to wear it, as I do not plan on giving you up, especially to anyone who would try to harm you further than they already have. I am sorry for my anger earlier. It was not towards you, but when I saw the fear on your face, I realized that you did not know that. I would understand if you wanted to mutually break the Bond, but all I ask is to let me explain myself.”

“Mutually… break…?” I asked. I only knew of the Wizard being able to Sever the Bond, not that it could be broken by both sides.

“The Council did not tell you?” He growled under his breath, before he pushed the anger aside. “Familiars can only Unbonded by three ways. One, is if the Familiar or Wizard they are Bonded to dies, but if the Familiar dies, the Wizard will not. If the Wizard dies, the Familiar will pass with them. Two, is if the Bond is Severed by the Wizard. This can not only kill the Familiar, as the Council saw yesterday, it can cause the Familiar’s magic to become wild and destructive. The third way is for both the Wizard and the Familiar to agree to breaking the Bond. If that happens, the only consequence is that the Familiar is Unbonded. Since the Council is a bunch of idiots, they would try to hunt down the Unbonded Familiar if they knew about it. If you decided that we should go our separate ways, I would never tell the Council that you are Unbonded, but the second you step into their City, they would know.”

“Why would they not tell us that? I knew that we could die if our Wizard does, and that the Bond could be Severed, but they never said anything about a mutual agreement.”

“Why would they? They want to control all of the non-human magic users, and this is their way of doing it.”

I then remembered about the Exiled Wizard Book, “Why are you Exiled, and why did you kill other Wizards?” If I was going to stay, I needed to be able to trust him, which included knowing about his past.

“I was against the idea of the Council since the start. You have to realize, any of us that are not a part of the Council has no power to stop them. They wrote laws for ALL Wizards and ALL Familiars, without regards to the rest of us. They wanted power and the Council is how they got it. They do not care about Wizards like me, who hold no political or monetary standing.” He looked me straight in the eyes, letting me see the truth in them, “I am an Exile because I fought them. I led a revolution against them, hoping to stop them from destroying our original way of life. It failed and those of us who stood against them were branded as Exiles. We have no rights to anything with them, meaning that if they chose to, they could hunt us down like the dogs they think we are.”

“Why have they not done that?” I asked, trying to think of why the Council would not get rid of those who stood against them.

“Because we are too numerous for one. For two, the Council knows that if they attacked any of us, we would take them with us to Hell. They would be more foolish than anyone would have thought if they attacked any of us.”

I changed the subject, because I did not want to think of a war happening that would kill so many. “What did you mean about me being broken?”

He looked at the stream, then back at me, before standing up. “It would be better to show you instead of explaining it.” He hopped over the stream and grabbed my hand to help me stand up, as I stuffed the pendant into my pocket. I followed him where I normally would, but he kept slowing down until he was right next to me. I would then slow down to compensate, and we cycled through this a few times before he stopped, pulled me to his side and then kept his arm around my shoulders to keep me there. “We are partners, if you accept the necklace, so you walk with me, not behind me.” He let go of my shoulders, and I stayed right next to him.

We walked through the forest until we reached a large cave entrance. He stepped inside and held his arm out in front of him. Bright white light shot from his palms and lit up the cavern. I gazed at the beauty of the stone, and the lights gave me a perfect view of everything. He looked down at me, before leading me deeper into the cave.

We stopped at a large wall, his lights gathering around us, lighting the wall up. I saw the cave paintings and the words that glittered in old paint. I stepped closer to the wall, touching it lightly. I felt electricity shoot into me from the paint. I looked at Lugh, “What is this?”

“This is where your magic comes from.” He pointed to an image of tens of humanoid figures dancing around a fire, while others swam in streams, some flying overhead, and finally some that climbed cliff faces. The symbol for Light shined down on all of the figures. “You see, these were your people. They were the masters of the elements, and they used their magic to take care of the world around us. They came from and returned to the Aether when they died. They were known as the Aetherius.”

“Aetherius… Where are they now?” I asked, touching the paint again, letting the sparks travel through me.

Lugh looked down at me, “They were captured by various Wizards because of their magic. Unlike creatures like the succubus, Aetherius do not run out of magic or energy. As long as they are alive, they are able to use magic. It is also why your magic is tied to your emotions. As more Wizards stole them, your people started to die out. Your people fought against the Bondage, even when it killed them.”

I felt a punch to the soul. “Are there any left?” I asked quietly.

He shook his head, “I have looked for Aetherius everywhere, and you are the only one I found. I have heard there are people like yours on the other side of the world, but I do not know if it is a rumor or truth. When I spoke about you being broken, I thought you knew about the strength of your people. But, I see that the Council and Lord Bittan did what they could to kill your rebellious spirit. I guess they realized if they broke you young, then you would not fight against the Bond. Then when as you got older, you were the perfect Familiar, until you cracked, which was bound to happen. Then when I saw your Severing, I knew this was my chance to save you. If they had done it where your magic was nulled, then they would have let you die.”

**I looked at the cavern wall, then to Lugh, “I want to destroy them.” I felt the wall crack under my palms, before I ripped myself away from it. I looked up in horror at the large fissure that was growing through the rock.

“I know, Little One, but you cannot destroy the Council. At least, not yet.” I looked back to Lugh. “There is a reason why I wanted you above any other Familiar. You can help me, then I will see what I can do to help you with your vengeance.”

“What do you need?” My thunderous voice echoed in the caverns.

“There is something wrong in the world, balance is being skewed, and I need your help to fix that balance. Since you have magic of the elements, your magic complements my light and dark magic.” He smiled, “You see, Wizards are not fully human, which is why we have magic. Your people worked with mine to protect the natural world.  We were allies when your people were still free. Since you are last of your people, I ask for your help.”**

“May I have some time alone in here to think? It is just a lot of new information that I need to process.” I hoped he would leave me be for just a little bit to gather my thoughts.

“Of course. I will be right outside the cave entrance.” I watched as he left with his light magic, leaving me with my fire to alight the area.

I looked at the mural, praying to Kitarr for guidance and for direction. I touched the paint and let the sparks fill me, closing my eyes and then letting my mind wander.

I saw a little girl who looked like me with long red hair skipping along with other children. She wore a dark green dress, though she preferred pants because she liked to climb. The other kids were about the same age of seven and eight. They played with fire, letting the flames dance along with ankles like the adult fire dancers. They let water around their wrists, using them like ribbons. Every step let the ground shake a little, small rocks vibrating and lifting into the air. The children danced in a circle, letting their magic flow until it became a dazzling cacophony of magic.

Later, they watched as the adults did their dances, each step measured, and each element represented. They kept time with the drums that gave the heartbeat of the village. A single wooden flute joined the music, accenting the deep beats of the drums.

Around the fire and circle, there were outsiders that they knew as allies. Some of the allies joined the dance, they light and dark dancing in an alluring spiral of perfect harmony. The elements they danced with were a beautiful display. The little girl smiled at one of the allies from her spot, where she was letting her fire and water magic have its way. The light and darkness from the ally reached and intertwined with her magic. She smiled to the boy who was only a few years older than her. They watched as their magic mingle and  soared with the other magic of her people and their allies.

The dances continued, even after the children were told to leave, since children did not watch the final dance. She ran off with her friends, but she kept thinking about the ally boy. He joined them to play with their magic around the small fire the children created. He grabbed her hand and asked if she would like to dance again. She smiled and giggled but accepted. They bounced around, as much as they knew how to dance, it was nothing like the elegant dances the adults did, but those dances did not look like fun.

The images faded into someone screaming for the little girl to run.

She ran as fast as she could, trying to outrun the magic ropes that gathered up the people in her village. She ran into someone she did not recognize, but he held spelled ropes like the other intruders. He tried to grab for her, and she tried to light him on fire, but the fire did not take. He laughed at her feeble attempts to harm him, but he did not expect the ground to open up under his feet, swallowing him up, then closing without a trace.

She used her air magic to fly into the trees, staying silent as she watched her people fight to get away from the intruders. She tried to help, but the screams of her family ripped her magic away from her. She only used her magic for fun, now these new confusing emotions were disrupting her from accessing her innate abilities. She could only watch as they were taken away and the village burned to ashes and dust.

She climbed out of the tree after the rains came a few days later, dowsing the fires. She made her way to the waterfall and river, where she thought she would find other survivors, but no one was there. She caught and ate fish while waiting for weeks. She slept behind the waterfall, using its soothing roar to help her sleep and to hide her screams when the nightmares became too much.

She practiced using her magic, so when the other came, she would be ready for them. She ran before, but if the intruders came back, she promised herself that she would fight. During the daytime, she honed her magic, using it even when she was no having fun or being happy. She started to associate fire with anger and rage, which ended up becoming her main element.

Months past and no one came. She left the safety of her waterfall, hoping to find someone who could help her. She wandered the riverbends, until she came upon a large glittering City. She walked to the City gates and inside. The rough stone did not hurt her feet as much as the dirt floor of the forest had. She wandered until she found herself at the wooden spots where the ships came in from the large ocean.

“There!” She heard a commotion behind her, until someone grabbed her on the shoulders, picking her up. The face of the woman got closer to hers, “It is an Unbonded Familiar. Take her to the Mansion.”

She fought against them, letting her emotions free to let the flames of fear hit the person holding her. As soon as she was dropped, she took off, using her earth magic to let the stone give her bare feet grip.

“It is an Aetherius!” The old woman shouted and pointed at her.

The girl ran as fast as she could, using her magic to try to get away. She did not see the Lord standing there as she slammed into him. He grabbed her head, as she lashed out with fire. Then the world fell apart around her until she was nothing. She shattered as he grabbed her memory and stole it.

She woke up later in a room filled with nine other beds. The older woman walked up to her, “What is your name?” she demanded.

The little girl tried to think, but her mind was completely blank and black. Did she even have a name, or was this a trick? She struggled with trying to remember, lashing out at everything as her confusion grew. The old woman slapped her, “What do you think you are doing, Familiar?”

“Fam…il…iar…?” She sounded out loud, trying to figure out what that word meant.

“Lovely, a blank one.” She smiled finally, patting the girl on her head, “Do not worry, darling. You will learn all about that soon enough.”

I pulled my hand away from the wall. I knew what happened next. Years of beatings, torture, and learning how wizards treated their Familiars. It was not until she met Lord Bittan that her training was complete, and she was obedient to the Council and her Master.

I pulled the pendant from my pocket and looked at the two opals. I refused to believe that all of my people were genuinely gone, and maybe if I helped Lugh, I would find my family again. If I truly was the last Aetherius, then I would help them, then seek my revenge on those who destroyed them.

I put the necklace, letting the pendant land to the center of my chest. I felt the connection between Lugh and I complete itself. I felt his relief that I had chosen to stay as his Familiar, just as I felt his presence on the edge of my own, and the Bond letting him utilize my magic. I kissed the cavern wall, promising that I would avenge them all. Then I left the cavern, using my earth magic to seal the entrance as soon as I stepped out of it.