Mercenary Magic Page 50

“It would seem Finn’s revolution goes beyond a few disgruntled mages,” Sera told Kai.

“So it would seem,” he agreed.

A gust of northern wind rocked the tower. Snowflakes fluttered in through the window. They coalesced into a single ice block that attached itself to the ceiling.

“I’ll take the vampires,” Sera offered as the block cracked open and tiny snow flurries began to fall softly to the ground.

“They’re at the back of the army.”

“Not anymore.”

A pale hand plunged through the window, grabbing Dal by the throat. The vampire thumped him against the wall, then tossed him aside. The beast began to claw and scrape at the bars, his ruby eyes locked onto Sera. So Harrison had teased the vampire with her blood after all. Oh goody.

“Where do you think you’re going?!” Kai shouted out.

She kept on walking. When she got to the window, she slammed a brick against the vampire’s hand. As it roared out in pain, she did the same to the other hand, and the vampire dropped. Unfortunately, there were five others waiting to take his place.

“You’re insane.” Kai grabbed her arm, pulling her away from the window. “They’ve fed on magic.”


“You can see it in their eyes. That’s not just plain bloodlust. They’re high on magic too.”

“Is that even possible?”

“Yes,” he said. “I’ve seen it before. It just isn’t done very often because no sane person would feed magic to a blood-starved vampire. It makes them stronger and meaner.”


He moved in front of her, blocking her view of the window. “Long range attacks only on them. Don’t get within grabbing range.”

“I don’t have any long range attacks. Unlike some people, I can’t shoot lightning bolts out of my fingers.”

Kai didn’t move. He looked so weak right now that she could have pushed right past him, but that wouldn’t solve their problem.

“How’s Dal?” he asked.

Tony looked up from Dal’s body. “Unconscious.”

Which meant he probably wouldn’t be fighting, and someone would have to carry him out of here. Assuming they could get out. The barrier at the door wasn’t looking good. The magic was mostly drained. Callum lifted his hands to refill it, when the snowflakes in the air exploded into a net of lightning rays. Sera spun and tackled Kai to the ground before it hit them. Tony and Callum weren’t so lucky. They hung suspended for a moment, convulsing on the line of pink and purple lightning. Then the magic flickered out, and the two men tipped over and hit the floor.

The magic barrier was full of holes. The assailants at the door were shredding the wood to splinters. Vampiric arms tore at the bars on the window. Half of them were already gone.

“Kai?” she whispered.

His eyes were locked on their fallen comrades.

“They’re not dead,” she said.

“No.” He shook himself. “But they will be if we don’t do something.”

“Use your magic.”

“I haven’t got enough left to do any significant damage.” He looked at her. “You. You need to do it. Hit them with your magic.”

“I…I don’t know how to control it.”

He took her hands, setting them on the floor. He placed his over hers. “As the name suggests, elemental magic is magic we draw from the elements. Feel the stones of the tower. Feel the layers, stacking down one after the other, all the way to the ground. The earth. That’s your tether.”

A bar was ripped from the window. Sera jerked her head toward it.

“Close your eyes,” Kai said.

“But the vampires…” She had the overwhelming urge to snatch up her sword and run at them.

“Forget the vampires. Close your eyes.”

She let her eyelids drop.

“Now reach for the earth. Seek out its magic. Hear its song. Let everything else fall away.”

Sera found it: a song of strength and resilience, of power and the everlasting. It was an ancient song, one the earth had been singing since long before any of them had been born.

“Good. Now hold onto it, let its power tether you,” he whispered against her ear. “Know that with it as your ally, you are not alone. Open your eyes, Sera.”

She did—and gasped when she saw the floor shaking softly beneath her. “What should I do? Split the ground out from under them?”

“Only if you want to bring down the whole tower and us along with it.”

“Not really.”

“The earth is the element that’s easiest to use as a tether. It’s constant,” he said. “But all the elements are connected. You can reach them through the earth. Give it a try. Reach for fire.”

She slid her magic along the channels of earth and listened for fire. It cracked and snapped in the distance, fast and fleeting. It sang out to her, daring her to give chase. But she didn’t. Instead, she tugged on one of the notes that formed its song, drawing it to her. Magic shot across the strand and up her arms. It didn’t hurt. It sizzled lightly against her skin, tickling her fingertips.

She pushed the flames up, higher and higher. The adrenaline rush was unbelievable. A shrill scream called out. She opened her eyes to watch a vampire bathed in fire fall off the window. She dug her nails into the cracked floor, reaching deeper for more magic. But she wasn’t just reaching deep into the ground; she was reaching deep inside herself, pulling out her magic. And that magic came tumbling out like a hundred chiffon scarfs all tied together. The more she pulled, the more of her magic spilled out. It was bursting from her fingertips.

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