Spy Glass Page 83

His words slapped me in the face. It hadn’t been too long ago that I had fought to convince my friends and colleagues about an unbelievable twist of blood magic.

I sat on the edge of his bed. “I’m sorry. It’s hard for me to believe you because…” Did I really want to tell him and Reema? “I’m immune to magic. No power can be inside me. There’s nothing there.”

Teegan rolled over. “Then why did your dolphin blaze with light?”

“Your magic caused it to light up.”

“Exactly.”

“But I have nothing to do with that. It’s all you,” I said.

He hissed in frustration. “It’s both of us! You created the magic detector. I just supplied the magic to detect.”

21

MAGIC DETECTOR? HARD TO BELIEVE AND EVEN harder to wrap my head around. Yet Teegan and Reema took the revelation in stride. They didn’t understand enough about magic to think it odd. Who really understood it? As each generation reached puberty, new wrinkles seemed to develop.

I reviewed our conversation and remembered Keelin’s comment. “If no one can see me…shimmer when I encounter magic, then why can they see the dolphin light up?”

Teegan shrugged. “Probably the glass works like a…” He cast about for the right word. “One of those…things that increases the light.”

“Like a magnifying glass?” Which was also used for my spyglass.

“Yeah. The glass magnifies the glow so everyone can see it.”

His explanation sounded logical. “Reema, why did you think the information would scare me?”

She shrugged and dipped her head. Her long corkscrew curls hung in her face.

Crouching down, I lifted her chin and looked her in the eye. “Worried I would leave you?”

The slightest nod.

“It’s going to happen no matter what. In fact, I’m leaving tomorrow for a mission for Master Jewelrose.”

Her features hardened into her tough street kid mask.

“I’m trying to find a sitter for you. And don’t worry so much.” I tucked a curl behind her ear. “When I’m done, I’ll come back and find you a home.” I straightened and picked up the dolphin, shoving it into a pocket. “And I’ll figure out what this means. For now, can you keep it quiet?”

They gave me their solemn promise. As I left the infirmary, I realized my intentions for full disclosure had failed. I’d kept many things from the Council and others—my immunity, being trapped by a null shield and now the magic detectors. If I recovered my blood, those secrets would be moot. And they couldn’t mourn the loss of something they never had. Right?

Or were my motives a bit more complicated? If Pazia’s super messengers proved to be legitimate, the Council might think I was better off with my immunity and confiscate my blood, claiming it was illegal for me to use it.

I checked on Quartz and inspected my tack. The trip to Ognap would take nine days, including the shortcut through the Avibian Plains and a stop in Fulgor. As for my backup, the only way to reach Ari and Janco would be through a complicated series of message relays, starting with Leif. And there would be no guarantee my request would reach them in time. Instead, I planned to arrange for backup in Fulgor.

“There you are!” a girl’s voice cried.

I spun to see a young page hurrying toward me. She wore a Council uniform. A finger of unease slid under my ribs.

“Opal Cowan, your presence is requested. You are to accompany me,” she said.

“Requested by whom?”

“Councilor Moon.”

I relaxed. “Tell her I’ll—”

“You are to accompany me now.”

“And if I don’t?”

“You will be violating a direct order of the Council.”

“The whole Council? I thought you said—”

“She is a representative of the Council. Her requests have the Council’s power.”

The page’s haughty tone annoyed me. “Is it a request or an order?”

She drew herself up to her full height, which was a few inches taller than me. “The request is her way of being polite.”

I suppressed a chuckle at her increasing frustration. “Oh. A polite order. Why didn’t you say so? Lead on.”

As I followed her from the Keep, I regretted giving her a hard time. She was a page, and had nothing to do with the Council’s decisions.

Instead of taking me to Councilor Moon’s office in the Council Hall, she led me to Tama’s private residence. Each Councilor owned one of the town houses that had been built in a long row behind the Council Hall. All Sitia’s government buildings were located in the southeast quadrant of the Citadel.

The door swung open as we approached, and Faith greeted me with a relieved smile. “Come in, come in.” She thanked the page and ushered me inside.

Before I could say a word, Faith handed me a glass of red wine and gestured to an overstuffed white chair with black spots. All the living room’s furniture matched—black, white, or black with white circles. No other color had been invited. I felt out of sync in my comfortable tan tunic and dark brown pants.

Faith called to Tama before she settled on a solid black couch across from me. “We don’t know what to do,” she said.

“Is this about Tama’s new assistant?” I asked.

“No. After a thorough background search, we hired a sweet man. My only complaint is he’s a little too organized. Makes me feel sloppy in comparison.”

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