Chapter Nineteen

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           Siobhan, Wren, and Elias crouched to the side of the lake, staring at the spires rising from the center. If their insides weren't so dangerous to all magic kind, they might've been beautiful. Pure white, like the Crystillium used to help create them, yet reflective like a mirror. On a clear day, the world surrounding the spires replicated on each surface. Three points rose to the sky, the building formed a perfect triangle. Siobhan didn't think it was coincidental one end of the triangle pointed toward the highlands. The spire on that end had an odd shape on the tip, one Siobhan often mistook for an eye. As if it were overlooking everything or suggesting it watched those living north of the mountains.

A single bridge spanned the width of the lake, feeding into the road leading to the city. It was the only visible entry into the structure. The spires weren't the only buildings on the lake, though the rest stuck to the eastern and western shores. The south had the grove where Siobhan and company currently hid, while the north was an empty plain covered in snow. It was another design Siobhan felt wasn't a coincidence. Sneaking in from the north was near impossible with the open land leading to the wall.

"I don't see any windows," Wren muttered.

"You won't as there are none," Siobhan said. "There are areas that can be opened to create windows, but they're never opened. The King finds the spires more intimidating if they reflect the world, opening a window would break up said intimidation. There's enough light through torches and totems that they don't need windows."

"Unlike normal spires that you'll find on the tops of churches," Elias said, "these are built wide enough to house people. The flat base of the triangle is where the Vanguard generals sleep, but the nobles and King take up residence in the spires. The northern point hosts some Grand balles. Regular patrols walk on top of the battlements ensuring nobody can encroach the spires from the lakes surface."

"How do we get in?" Wren pointed toward bridge as a portion began rising and bending in toward the spires. "Looks like they're closing up."

"We weren't going that way anyway."

"Why not?"

Siobhan laughed. "Gee I wonder why not. 'Excuse me, Mr. crimson-cloak, this is the man you're looking for but hey, can you let us in the spires so we can look for his fiancé?' Yeah. That'll work."

Elias stood up and stepped to the edge, kicking off both booths. He stepped into the water; the bottom of his robes dragged against the shore. Both hands lifted the fabric over his head before he tossed it toward a bush. His arms stretched parallel to the ground as the fins grew out from his elbows. Soft pops rose from his spine as the flesh bubbled and another fin curled outward.

Siobhan stood up and removed her cloak, tossing it on the same bush as Elias. If anyone happened upon them, they'd simply think someone was stupid enough to go for a swim, there wasn't any need to hide them.

"We're going to swim? In the lake? In the middle of the winter? Do you not see the chunks of ice floating on the surface?" Wren shrieked, rubbing his hands against his arms.

Siobhan smiled but didn't look at him. She stepped up beside Elias and grabbed his right arm. Water lapped against her boots, but only for a moment. Air rippled over the water's surface, pushing the liquid away from her feet. It continued to ripple, bending around her, and rising up to curve over her head. She kept one hand on Elias but reached the other toward the solidifying ripples. One finger pushed against the newly formed bubble, stretching it outward without popping.

"Aquantian magic. So long as we're touching one, we can breathe under water in our own perfect sphere of oxygen."

"That. Is. Awesome." Wren's eyes widened as he scurried to Elias' left, grabbing the Aquantian's arm. As the air rippled at his feet, he chuckled and released his grip. The air popped and stilled. When he touched Elias' arm again, the air rippled.

Draygon Frost | Book 1  | ✔️Where stories live. Discover now