13:: Confrontation

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Jimmy stared back at Sausage, not entirely sure what to say.

He wasn't shocked exactly- he had kind of figured it out during their conversation- but a confirmation made it so much worse. The tribrid had been half hoping Sausage would say someone random, someone he hadn't heard of-

But of course that was too much to hope for.

Sausage went to say something else but paused at the sound of an angry shout. Sausage poked his head around the corner as Jimmy crouched down next to him and slowly moved forwards, both of them trying not to be seen.

"It's not a big deal, dude. So what? I use my magic a bit more than other dragons. Who cares? It doesn't effect me." Jimmy frowned at the sound of Joel's voice. He hadn't been paying as much attention to his friend as of late, and he hadn't noticed the harsh tone that now came with the MudWing's voice.

"It is a big deal though, Joel. We've received concerned reports from many of your fellow students at your overuse of magic. In fact, if I had to calculate it, I'd say since you started this school, you've used more magic than me and Cleo combined." Xisuma said quietly.

There was a thoughtful pause. "What, like since you guys started working here?"

"You've used more magic since you started than we've used in our entire lives. Can you see why it's getting concerning?" Cleo drawled, earning her a small shove from Xisuma.

Jimmy glanced at the exit to the school (the entrance, technically). Wasn't this a stupid place to talk? Joel could just fly off if he needed to. The part SeaWing glanced back as Joel spoke again.

"No! I don't! My soul is literally unaffected, thank you. I'm pretty sure the whole 'you lose a piece of your soul every time you cast a spell' thing is made up to stop animi-" At least he's using the proper term now. At least, I think 'animi' is the right term- nope, not the time, Jimmy. "-from reaching their full potential." Joel snapped, scowling.

"If that's the case then why did you cast a spell on that necklace of yours to hide the effects of the soul-breaking from everyone but you?" Xisuma asked quietly, and Jimmy's friend looked startled for a moment.

"How- how do you even... know about that- are you like a stalker or something?" Joel demanded, frowning.

"Uh- no? But I do have a book that tells me whenever any spells are cast, what the spells are cast on, and what they are." The NightWing's eyes narrowed. "Which means that I also know about the spells you've been casting on your clawmates."

Joel blinked. "Well- Jimmy was being really annoying about spells, and- FWhip kept rolling around in his sleep... three moons, it was just to make life easier for everyone."

"It's immoral, Joel! You can't cast spells on other dragons! That's like, Darkstalker levels of creepiness!" Cleo hissed, causing Xisuma to shoot her another warning glance.

"Oh, please. Come back to me when you have Jimmy complaining every time you cast a spell and say you wouldn't do the same." Joel muttered. Jimmy tried to ignore this as the conversation continued.

"It's immoral!" The NightWing-LeafWing repeated. "Which is why we wanted to talk to you. Well, X wanted to talk to you but I tagged along. You need to stop casting spells so carelessly. You say they don't effect you, but-" Cleo paused for a moment, muttering something under her breath, and the chain on Joel's necklace snapped, causing it to fall to the ground.

A dim gold light flooded the cave and when it faded Jimmy stared at Joel with a somewhat horrified expression.

It would appear that the necklace had somehow been hiding the effects of his magic- his eyes were bloodshot, there were spots on his front legs were scales were missing- as if they had been picked off- and he had clearly been clawing at the stone beneath him throughout the entire conversation.

Xisuma stared as well. "Why do you have scales missing?" The headteacher asked quietly.

"I- picked them off every time I- wanted to do something incredibly violent. See? I have been trying. I can handle myself, thank you." Joel retorted.

"I mean, I'm not sure about that. The other animus students have been handling themselves much better than you, I was literally interviewed by one so he could stop himself from doing anything bad-" Xisuma blinked as he was cut off by Joel.

"There's other animus students?" He asked quietly, his voice dangerously low. "That can't be right. I'm meant to be the only one. I'm meant to be special." Cleo tried to speak, but when Joel glanced back at them, their mouth snapped shut, seemingly not of their own accord based on their furious expression, their jaw twitching violently as they tried to open their mouth.

Jimmy glanced away as his MudWing companion picked up a small stone, glancing sideways as Sausage let out a small panicked noise of some sort, his eyes almost glazed over as he muttered repeatedly under his breath, "Bad timeline, bad timeline, bad timeline, bad timeline-" Oh no-

"I enchant this rock," Joel said quietly, "to show me the other animus students at Jade Mountain Academy when I break it." He crushed it between his claws before anyone could protest.

Jimmy stared as two hazy illusions appeared next to Joel. Oh, those two are animi?

One was the sleeping form of Pix. He was curled up in what looked like a very uncomfortable position with his tail tucked under his snout and his wings occasionally opening slightly.

The other was Gem, who surprisingly enough was wide awake and was looking around with a panicked expression. When Jimmy attempted to move closer to hear more, he could faintly hear her muttering, "Where did they go? Why aren't they asleep-"

Xisuma frowned. "Joel, you shouldn't have done that. They've both made it very clear in their respective conversations with me that they don't want anyone to know they're animi-"

"So? I don't care about that. They shouldn't be here! I'm meant to be the only animus student. I'm meant to be the special one." Joel paused thoughtfully. "Maybe I can get rid of them, then I'll be special again. Get rid of their powers at least."

"Joel-"

"Actually, you know what? While I'm at it, how about I try and make myself the only animus?" Joel smiled at Cleo and Xisuma, who exchanged an uneasy glance. The MudWing paused for a moment, clearly looking for something to enchant before walking over to the cave walls. He tapped his wing lightly before reaching for the wall.

Jimmy just had time to see Cleo dive for the cave exit, slamming her talons down aggressively on a feather (presumably in some form of enchantment) that had fallen into the cave earlier on, before Sausage pulled him back and the cave roof collapsed.

Joel did a silly (used his magic too much, wanted to be important and tried to murder two dragons, we'll see if he's successful next chapter)

They got one of the bad timelines <3

Ty for 1k reads btw :>

Comments and votes are appreciated! <3 :]

Sorry for any errors lol

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