Chapter 28:

How It All Began - Final Part

The Heroes' Story After Saving the World

My introduction was regarded with heavy silence.

“Let’s talk somewhere else,” the king grunted in response.

“Forgive me, for declining, but I’d rather not,” I answered. “See, your son tried to kill me earlier, so as a precaution I’d like to keep this conversation here. In front of witnesses. Just in case anything happens.”

“I have never seen this man in my life!” Sirius exclaimed, without even being prompted to explain himself.

“Then pray tell, why did you have that reaction just now, when Jordan took his mask off?” Zenia asked, an annoyed sigh accompanying her question. It was enough to shut him up.

“Please show your son some mercy. His behavior merely stems from the fact that I decided to cast an illusion upon his gaze. Consider it payback for what transpired earlier today.” Don’t even think I’m saying this for Sirius. I am only asking “for his mercy” to feign servility in front of the king.

“An illusion, you say?” he questioned. Now that I think of it, maybe we should have charmed his majesty as well. Although, the damage would have been bigger if he reacted similarly to his son.

“Cut me some slack. I barely got enough power to keep up our telepathy and dozens of illusions for just one person,” Jeanne complained at my fleeting thoughts.

“Sorry! I simply have no concept of magic, because, you know, otherworlder...”

“Cut it out! Do you know how hard it is to keep my facade already, with just seeing my brother’s disgruntled face?” Even through telepathic communication I felt Zenia’s urge to let out a chuckle.

I cleared my throat (mentally(?)) and turned my attention back to the king.

“Yes, I let all the guests appear in my image to him. It was quite a sight to behold, if I dare say so myself.”

Internally, I talked in a British accent for some reason.

“Really? Could you show some proof of that? I think someone like you could prove to be a valuable asset ...” That last part he muttered to himself in a way that implied I was to accidentally overhear it. As I was about to answer, Zenia spoke up in my stead.

“I am afraid, that he can’t,” Zenia said.

“And why is that?” The King questioned.

“Because he answers to me only,” Zenia replied.


“We forged a bonding contract, so that he can only use his magic on my command,” she explained. I was left wondering if I missed some form of telepathic message, because this was the first I heard about it. “Without me giving an explicit order, he will not be able to cast a spell under any circumstances. But, if you so desire, I will allow him to show his power.”

She reached her hand out to me, as if I were to take it, and then demanded: “Show my father the powerful illusion you used to disconcert my brother.”

I nodded, still in my kneeling position.

“Show him Jeanne!” Zenia and I thought at the same time, simply hoping for everything to go well.

I could not see behind me, but the king’s shocked gasp told me Jeanne did the demand justice.

“And without even lifting a finger ...” the king muttered, as Sirius sunk deeper into his seat in exasperation. But, as if affected by a sudden epiphany the king almost snapped: “Enough!” Though he managed to remain calm and composed until just a moment prior, his face was now angry red and, though still seated, his body was tense as if he was about to catapult himself away from here, or explode resisting this very urge.

“Indeed, you are proving yourself to be an incredibly valuable asset. But tell me why you had to forge a binding contract with my daughter.”

Zenia scoffed. Her father seemed to realize the end goal behind our charade but still fought nail and tooth to have his daughter involved in the war.

Zenia and Jeanne looked at me, expecting me to come up with some sort of excuse.

“See, I wasn’t left much of a choice,” I began, as I picked my own brain for any reason why a seemingly powerful mage would forge a binding contract (whatever that was) with some lowly human (I assumed that was the sort of relationship expected for us).

“It was extortion,” I finally answered.

Zenia’s eyes went wide, and though I couldn’t see Jeanne’s face behind her mask I felt her cringe.

“I have to admit,” I continued, “your daughter dealt me a hefty blow, that left me severely injured. I think she waited for her brother to leave, before approaching me again, threatening to cut my throat, before I could cast a healing spell, unless we would forge a contract. I must admit, both your children are very cunning. Though calling me an incubus was the most idiotic attempt at murder I’ve ever witnessed.”

Throughout my explanation Zenia’s head took on various shades of red and now she desperately tried to hide her face from her father.

Sirius‘ mouth stood agape, while his father was more apt at hiding his shock.

After a few seconds of silence, during which I just looked at the royal family quizzically, the king started trembling all of a sudden.

“Oh boy, I hope that wasn’t a mistake,” I thought to myself, and waited for his eventual reaction.

A hearty laugh escaped his mouth and left everyone in shock. His majesty drew in the attention of the crowd, and I felt like someone from the string section just played a false note.

I held my breath, as I waited for the laughter to subside, my heart rate accelerating.

“Very cunning children indeed,” he murmured as he looked fondly at his daughter. “You are very serious about this, aren’t you?” He asked.

“Yes father,” Zenia confirmed, smiling at her father as well. “I’ve known about your experiments for a while and figured they were one of the reasons you wouldn’t allow me to join you at all. But I know the truth now, so don’t be mistaken. I’m not on your side.” Her smile faded in an instant. Her expression replaced with fierce determination. “I’m on the side of ending this war. And Jordan is there to make sure of it.”

Saying that she stood up from her seat and walked towards me. She prompted me to stand up, telepathically. We hooked arms and made our way through the crowd.

Zenia breathed heavily, as we left the room.


I tried figuring out a more pleasant way to tell this chapter of my story.

I’m almost out of paper...

I guess I’ll use the remaining space to quickly tie up some loose ends.

I was appointed Royal Magician by the king, a position that seemed like it should have been taken by Jeanne.

Zenia would still have to prove her combat skills in front of the so-called Overseeing General, who was highest of rank in the royal army. After that, she would be allowed to join the war with me by her side.

And so I began living my life between castle grounds and battlefields.

Truth is, there isn’t really an end to it. I went from a punching bag in one world, to a useless tool in another.

Ending this war would take us more than a decade. Through all the ups and downs.

The deception you witnessed just now didn’t even crack the surface of what Zenia had to go through to forge the life we are living right now.

I struggle to put a pleasant end to this. I could make a metaphor about life with the way this ends. But we never know when it does. So, all I can do is ... write. As long as I breathe, I will be writing.

Writing down my story.

Our story.

Dave Mania