Home > Rival Magic (Dragon Born Serafina #4)(11)

Rival Magic (Dragon Born Serafina #4)(11)
Author: Ella Summers

“You approve?” she asked.

“You know I do.”

“We should be going,” Logan said, pointing at a rocky opening in a nearby hill.

They ran, the ghosts hot on their heels. But when they ducked into the cave, the ghost veered off, screeching in pain.

“They don’t like it here,” Alex observed.

“These rocks.” Sera brushed her hand across the smooth walls of the cave.

“It’s just like the ones in that cell Alden stuck us in,” said Alex. “The ones that bounce magic.”

Sera smirked at her. “So don’t set off any firebombs while we’re in here.”

“I’ll try to contain myself,” Alex said drily.

“Let’s go,” Sera said. “I don’t want to wait for that army to get here. Somehow, I don’t think a few magic-bouncing rocks will deter them from following us inside.”

As they moved deeper into the cave, the walls and floors changed colors. At first, the rocks were purple, then blue, then silver. Everything was overly smooth and glossy, streaked and soft, as though it had been over-processed by magic.

“This isn’t natural,” Sera commented as the path dead-ended.

“Not at all,” Alex agreed.

“Alden warped this area with his magic.” Sera set her hand on the rock wall, and it dissolved. She withdrew her hand, surprised. “Mind over matter. That’s how it is here.”

The new tunnel was not made of rocks. Everything—walls, ceilings, floors—was covered in a layer of shiny red tiles. As they moved into it, the opening in the wall sealed shut behind them.

“So freaky,” Alex muttered as she fell into step beside Sera.

“We’ve seen worse.”

“Worse maybe, but not weirder.” Alex linked her arm in Sera’s. “Hey, are you all right?

“Well, the most powerful mage in the world is after me, so no, not really. And this whole place bothers me. It gives me the creeps.”

“Of course it does. It’s all completely messed up. All of it. I keep wondering what new delight the Grim Reaper will throw at us.”

“Alden is full of delights,” a familiar voice echoed off the walls.

And then Finn came around the corner, his entire body pulsing in a blinding halo of magic.


Void of Monsters

FINN’S WIDE GRIN was as plastic as his personality. “Welcome,” he said, spreading his arms. “It’s so wonderful to see you again.” His gaze darted to Kai, then settled on Sera.

Kai didn’t reply. And he didn’t wait for his cousin to offer up any more false pleasantries. Kai preferred actions to words. He slammed a concentrated ball of wind magic into Finn, hurling him across the cave. Finn flew back. His back hit the tiled wall, sliding down the glossy surface like oil over satin. Well, at least they knew magic didn’t bounce in this part of the cave.

As Finn stumbled back to his feet, Sera followed up Kai’s attack with a fireball of her own. She preferred to allow her actions to speak for themselves too.

Finn ducked with easy grace, as smooth as a ballet dancer. “So obstinate,” he said, laughing silkily. “She obviously learned that from you, Kai.” Finn sounded almost amused.

“I was very good at being obstinate long before I knew Kai, thank you very much,” Sera told him.

Finn chuckled. “Of course. That’s what’s so exciting about you, Sera. Such life, such spunk.”

He waved his hands around with extravagant flourish, collecting the scattered remains of Sera’s fireball. The flames danced around the cave in slow motion, as if suspended, hanging in time. Finn pushed his hands together, twisting the flames into a fiery ball twice as large as Sera’s had been. As he lifted his hands into the air, hurling the ball at Sera, the flames flashed up to full speed.

Sera evaded, jumping to the side. The ball exploded against the wall, blowing red tiles across the cave. Finn had grown strong—really strong. Alden had pumped him full of so much magic. Sera could feel it oozing out of his pores, steaming on his breath. The borrowed power hung thick on him, dripping ill intentions and a love to wreak devastation.

“Yes, such spunk,” Finn repeated. “I’m going to enjoy stomping that out of you, Sera. One by one, your layers of resistance will fall. You will see the truth. That Alden is our true leader.” He looked her up and down. “Who would have guessed the Dragon Born were so hot?”

“Yes, we are, aren’t we?” Alex said in an obvious attempt to draw Finn’s creepy, predatory attention away from Sera.

Finn’s gaze flickered to her. “Mmm. So reckless, so free, so deliciously fierce.” His tongue darted out, sliding slowly across his bottom lip as he cast a leisurely look down her body. “Not held back by social conventions. You would make a fine weapon.”

Logan was very still. Deathly still. Like a cat stalking its prey, getting ready to move in for the kill.

Finn sighed. “But, sadly, my master doesn’t want you,” he told Alex. “He only wants your sister.”

“Why?” Sera asked.

Finn shrugged. “I have no idea.”

“He will never have her,” Kai said, low and cold.

But behind that icy, clipped tone, his voice was strained with barely contained anger. His magic buzzed so hard against his self-control that it infected Sera. Her magic reacted to his. It rattled inside of her, wild and erratic, yearning to break free, to explode into murderous rage.

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