Chapter 25:

Chapter Twenty‑One: The Fate of Magic

Beyond the Borders Volume 1

Two weeks had passed as Aryia continued to feed the four girls that were
becoming more paranoid with time. Aryia looked through the bookshelf
Lylianna had in hopes to find something interesting to read. Over half
the books she owned were nothing more then detailed information books on
an assortment of subjects. She had very few — if any — books that
explored the more eldritch inconsistencies of the unknown world.Bookmark here

As she looked for anything good she noticed a book entitled *Evolution
of Magika* by Damarius. Aryia had never questioned it before but now, as
she stared at the book, she began to wonder. *Where does magic come
from*, she thought as she picked up the book.Bookmark here

While the book wasn’t a first edition she assumed that it still had
relevant information containing all the research pertinent from years
ago. Aryia sat down on her bed and opened the book.Bookmark here

“Stealing books from my bookshelf I see.”Bookmark here

Aryia jumped slightly at the sound of Lylianna’s voice as she stood
there at the doorway in nothing but her underwear. Lylianna made her way
into the closet and gathered her Black Knight military uniform.Bookmark here

“Hey Lylianna, before you leave I have a question.”Bookmark here

“What is it?”Bookmark here

“Where do you believe magic comes from?”Bookmark here

After getting on her uniform Lylianna made her way over to her bed
carrying a pair of black knee‑high socks.Bookmark here

“I don’t believe it comes from the fictional goddesses if that is what
you are asking.”Bookmark here

“Oh no, I was actually interested in knowing just where it is we get our
magic and why.”Bookmark here

Lylianna slowly put on her socks, pulling them up just above her knee
until they were form fitting.Bookmark here

“It is a bit of a subjective answer but I believe our magic comes from
the very planet we stand on. Others would believe magic was handed down
by the four goddesses, but it is stupid to believe in such fairy tales.”Bookmark here

“So, assuming what you said was true… then what would happen to the
magic? I mean there has to be a limit on it.”Bookmark here

“It is true that when we use magic we can only use so much before it
drains us but that alone does not mean that the magic itself has a
limit. Of course, if it does then it would mean that one day all magic
would go away.”Bookmark here

“That is a scary thought.”Bookmark here

“It isn’t much different then dying. It simply happens and that is it.”Bookmark here

“You can be really morbid sometimes.”Bookmark here

“You are the one that asked. Anyways, I need to go and change shifts
with Melissa,” Lylianna said as she put on her boots and laced them up.Bookmark here

“How is the Princess doing?”Bookmark here

“She is fine,” Lylianna said as she stood up, “part of her is annoyed
with all the paper work but she tries her hardest to get everything done
to keep the capital running well.”Bookmark here

“That is good.”Bookmark here

Lylianna grabbed her bag and looked to Aryia.Bookmark here

“Yeah, anyways make sure to feed the recruits in ten hours.”Bookmark here

“Right. Make sure you keep the Princess safe until I return,” Aryia said
with a smile.Bookmark here

“Was that meant to be a joke?”Bookmark here

“Hey! I can protect her too, you know…”Bookmark here

“I know. It was a joke.”Bookmark here

“Kind of hard to tell with your expressionless face there.”Bookmark here

“Oh? Then maybe it wasn’t a joke,” Lylianna said with a smile.Bookmark here

“Now you’re just being mean.”Bookmark here

Lylianna made her way out of the room leaving Aryia alone with her
thoughts. With nothing to do Aryia opened the book again and read
through it in hopes to at least understand the origin of magic. A few
minutes had passed as Aryia managed to read through one‑third of the
book. Unlike Lylianna, Aryia found it hard to read through an eight
hundred page book filled with nothing but line after line of text.Bookmark here

Aryia decided to stretch for a bit and figured it was time to try and
get back into her training regiment. *Okay, time to try and do a bit of
light training*, Aryia thought as she got into push‑up position. She
started with doing one‑handed push‑ups as she counted to herself. After
doing one‑hundred push‑ups in two minutes and fifteen seconds Aryia
turned over on her back as she closed her eyes.Bookmark here

“Damn, that isn’t good enough,” Aryia said aloud.Bookmark here

“Two minutes and fifteen seconds isn’t bad for someone with a bullet
wound to the knee.”Bookmark here

Aryia opened her eyes a bit surprised to see Melissa standing there in
the doorway with a smile on her face.Bookmark here

“How long have you been standing there?” Aryia asked as got to her feet.Bookmark here

“Exactly two minutes and sixteen seconds.”Bookmark here

“I still don’t think it is good enough.”Bookmark here

“You still have plenty of time to improve once your knee is fully
healed.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, that is true.”Bookmark here

“Anyways, I am going to go torture one of the recruits, you want to
watch?”Bookmark here

“I still have traumatic flashbacks of that time so no thank you. How is
it you enjoy something so… sick?”Bookmark here

“Well, I am a sadist. Putting people in enormous amounts of pain just…
turns me on to put it bluntly.”Bookmark here

“What happened to you as a child to make you enjoy something so
inhumane?”Bookmark here

“Who says something had to happen to me?”Bookmark here

“You mean you enjoy it for no other reason then just the pleasure of
it?”Bookmark here

“Yuppers!”Bookmark here

Aryia was at a loss for words. With nothing more to say Aryia sat down
on her bed and read through the book once more.Bookmark here

“I am going to get some food before I start working. You want anything
Aryia?”Bookmark here

“No thanks.”Bookmark here

Melissa left the room as Aryia continued to read. *She can be scary at
times*, Aryia thought. Aryia’s mind started to wonder how Mari would
deal with Melissa’s torture. She knew Melissa would not kill her, she
was to good to slip up like that. But even still, the thought was in the
back of Aryia’s mind. What if Mari didn’t survive?Bookmark here

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