I glide carefully into the shadows of the woods. I was lucky enough to be born an Aeromancer (a warlock who commands the power of the wind) so it was easy. I look back to my best friend Isaak who stopped in the clearing and glanced back.
"I can't believe it! They lost us! What idiots." He grinned, keeping his voice down. I could almost laugh. Me and my best friend Isaak Steelbearer has been sneaking in the Temple of Portals for years. We have been traveling back and forth to the human world. This was the first time some guards spotted us they were not very happy when two unauthorized seventeen-year-olds got in.
"I wonder where they go?" Isaak asked.
"Do you think we can be able to sneak in there again?" I asked. I loved traveling back and forth to the human world even though it is forbidden without any authorization but I and my best friend loved doing crazy stuff like this.
"Not for a while. We'll probably wait for them to settle down again."
"I guess so." I agreed. I look at my best friend. Though we both are wearing black clothes, Isaak covered his black hair with a green bandana with yellow neon spots. My icy blonde hair and his bandana are visible under the moonlight. Either the temple guards are blind or too lazy to chase them this far. It's not their fault the guards are morons. If the temple keepers wanted to keep out intruders they should invest with better security.
"Such a shame we can't be able to use this." Isaak muttered in dismay when he took out two tickets to a concert in the human world that shows next week. I really loved the music at the human world. Theirs were much better from the instrumental tools we use in the preternatural world.
"We should go. My brothers will be home soon and I don't want to get caught again." I said. Using my wind magic we got into the clearing of the city in half a time. Before we could separate, "Hey, my dad planned to go visit some Bone dragons den tomorrow. Wanna come?" Isaak asked.
"Bone dragons are you serious?" I was stunned. Any type of dragons are dangerous but I've never seen one and I've never back down from experience despite the dangers. "Sure. I'll try to see if I can sneak out tomorrow."
"Okay. See you Shawnee." Isaak grinned before he ran.
"Don't call me Shawnee!" I yelled. My name is Shawn Pascovich but when I and Isaak met at seven years old, he could call me Shawnee. I would never admit it but I didn't mind the nickname. I'd probably kick someone's ass if they call me that.
Living far from the city wasn't easy. One, my father is a highly respected royal sorcerer who works with the council. Two, even though our ancestors has built this realm for the protection of the preternatural race there are still enemies that are still out to destroy us. The higher the rank of the magician, the many the enemies you have and father got the title of "Sorcerer" which means he is one of the few people who received the highest rank in the realm. Three, it's not easy to even sneak out of the manor because of those enchantments that protects our home, so it's going to be a while for me to even sneak in.
There were times I wished I wasn't born from a royal magician's family like Isaak. There weren't any pressure and barriers around me. They weren't constrained by the social norms, family pride and magical rankings.
I climbed up the wall when I spotted motorcycles and the black car in the driveway. "Shit." I muttered. My brothers are home earlier than expected. I sensed the heat from the engines. If I were to guessed, they've just arrive. I still have time to sneak in without them alerting that I actually spend the last few hours in the human world.
I glided again on the lawn. My older brother, Brandon, is a Geomancer (someone with the magical command over earth) and specialized in plants. I already know he enchanted the grass for intruders. So long as my feet don't touch the ground, I'm good. I've been sneaking in and out for so long I already know where all the traps are.
I climbed up the open sitting room window. I don't want to speculate why it was open. The room was dark and I could hear my brothers arguing downstairs.
"Where have you been?!" I jumped and nearly knocked one of the vases on the cherry tables. I stared back at my fifth eldest brother's ocean blue eyes. I and my brother almost looked alike. We both have icy blonde hair and blue eyes. We are both lean and lanky but he keeps his hair long and tied in a ponytail while I keep it short.
"Yo bro!" I grinned nervously.
"Don't you, Yo bro me. Where were you?" My normally calm and kind older brother, Brandon growled. "Do you have any idea what you have done?"
I know what I've done. I sneak out to the human world to hang out with my best friend whom the entire family disapproved but they shouldn't know I went to the human world. Besides, the temple guards didn't have a good look at us. My only fault was leaving my two younger sisters at home without a guard. That was it. But I'm pretty sure the house has enough protection for them.
"Darkmoon came downstairs when we arrived. She said you left the house and she couldn't find you."
"That's not possible." It wasn't. I gave my sisters a sleeping potion. It was suppose to last till morning.
"The sleeping potion you gave them didn't work. We found it in the kitchen. Let's just say Darkstorm is not happy with you right now."
I gulped. I didn't really expect this to happen. Darkstorm is going to tear my ass to pieces. He is very protective of our younger sisters.
"I know you and Isaak were looking for trouble again and I don't want to know what that is. But c'mon Shawn! You're seventeen already. You have responsibilities to take care of. Haven't you learned anything from what happened to Zach?"
I look down. Zachariah or Zach as we like to call him was our younger brother. He never saw his twelfth birthday. Our old house was raided by Wraiths while I was out gnome hunting with my friends. I was his charge. I was responsible to Zach's safety. But I was fourteen and I thought back then that the house was safe with all those enchantments.
It was in our Warlock's Family Code that the older siblings look after their younger sibling next to them until it is lifted when the warlock reached the age of twenty-two. The law does not apply to the youngest in the family and the only children.
I've learned my lesson. I'm not an idiot. I know that the protection in our new house is more firm than before but dammit, I don't want to be stuck in the house too long. It will drive me crazy.
"Today is a bad time for you to be sneaking out. Wolfric is here." Brandon said finally calming down. He never stays angry for long. Wait, Wolfric? Did my brother say Wolfric? My mouth was open, my eyes were stunned.
Our eldest brother, Wolfric Pascovich, son of our father's first wife, the pride of the family and is never home. I've only seen him twice and he was as scary as our father. He was out there studying to become a Champion Mage so he can follow the footsteps of their father.
"Let's get down and expect some punishment." I sighed and followed Brandon to the Family room.
When I entered the Family room it was quiet except for the trickling of the fire in the large fireplace. The lancet glass windows are all covered in the maroon velvet curtains and the golden chandelier lights up the room. This was always used for family meetings. Sofas and arm chairs everywhere and the desk that sits near the window usually used by our father. This may be used for family meetings but to me, we never have anything to say. Our father doesn't like questions so we never do. It's a stupid rule in the house. I was just glad that he was never home.
Most people think that there are servants running around in the manor. But magicians today don't own servants anymore. The entire family helps around the household. My father always believed that this will teach us discipline and self reliance. Problem was I never really get to do or finish any of my chores. Besides, he was never home and my brothers can clean up a room with a click of their fingers. I still never learned that trick.
I sat next to Brandon in the sofa. Kaliki, the third eldest brother sat on the arm chair next to the fireplace. Kaliki is a Potions Master and teaches potions at the school where I study. He has wavy brown hair and green eyes behind those square spectacles. Kaliki is the son of our father's second wife, Micalaya.
This is the problem with magicians with more than one wife you always have way too many siblings. The magicians have a different culture than the humans and other preternatural races that usually have only one partner. A warlock can have more than one wife but not more than four. They never mate with other preternatural races expect the fairies, elves and the genies since like magicians, they need magic to survive.
My father, Astral Pascovich, has four wives: Lamentia, Micalaya, Dragana and Alesha. Alesha is my mother. Brandon, me and Zachariah are her children. According the Family Code, once a witch is married, they are never separated from their husband so wherever my father goes, his wives go with him leaving us to take care of the household. Not all warlocks practice this but my father is big on honoring the laws so I rarely see my mother.
Darkstorm, Darksky, Darkstar and Darkmoon are the children from my father's third wife, Dragana, who is also an Elf. They all share the pale complexion and midnight black hair that made me wonder if that is the reason why their mother named them with "Dark".
Darkstorm and Darksky are the fifth and sixth borns and are identical twins though their personalities are completely opposite. Darkstorm is a Pyromancer (commands fire) and his black, silky, straight black hair hangs on his waist. He wears a silver chair necklace with a ruby phoenix as a gift from his mother. Darkstorm glared at me as he stood next to the fireplace. I have him a grin knowing that he is still mad at me for leaving the house and he isn't as forgiving as my older brother Brandon.
Darksky sat on of the armchairs. Unlike Darkstorm's gray eyes, Darksky has blue eyes and doesn't wear his hair as long as his twin. Darkstorm is serious but Darksky is a friendly and smiling person. There wasn't a day I have seen my bother cry or angry. Even his magic is opposite to his twin. He's a Hydromancer (commands water) and he specialized on Ice. A silver mermaid with a blue gem hangs on his right ear. Darkstorm works as a Ranger (an equivalent of human police) and Darksky owns a bookstore.
My youngest sister, Darkmoon sat on the floor next to Darksky. She gave me face when I entered. She and I never get along. I have to be careful around her since she always rat me out and sometimes blames me for something I didn't do. Being the youngest, she's spoiled and my brothers treat her like she's the queen. Darkmoon has a round face, large gray eyes and her bangs covers up her eyebrows. She carries her headless doll she called Nadine everywhere. Since she's still six years old, she can't produce magic until she reached thirteen so her magical inclination is still unknown.
Darkstar is the second youngest sister. She's eleven and her magical inclination is also unknown. She stood next to Darksky's chair. She's short for her age and she's paler than the rest of her siblings with the same mother. Her black hair is thick and her bangs almost cover up her eyes. Her right eye is dark blue and the left is dark brown. She's the only sibling who inherited her mother's pointy ears for being an elf. Ever since Zach died, I've become Darkstar's charge. Even though I don't get along with Darkmoon, I get along with Darkstar better even though she never really speaks a word to me. She always answers questions with a nod or shake of her head. Zach was always the one in-charge of Darkstar so I haven't been a large part of her life.
I look around for Kaspar. The second eldest and Kaliki's brother of the same mother. He was nowhere again. None of us know where Kaspar is. He goes for days without coming home that we stopped worrying about him.
Wolfric stood up from the chair. He is taller than me and he is the only person in the house who inherited our father's red hair. His steel gray eyes eyed us suspiciously like he was wondering about our silence. We are all lean built but Wolfric isn't. He is heavy built and his muscles are visible and formed. Wolfric is both an Order Magician (someone who has the power of both light and healing) and a Dueling Magician (someone who wields both magic and weapons) and is studying for Arch Mage level, the fifth level of magical authority.
All magicians are ranked in seven ways: Page, Caster, Mage, Champion Mage, Arch Mage, Master Magician and Sorcerer. The higher your level, you get the best jobs, the name and the honor of the family. All of us start with Page when we reached thirteen and can take the Caster level when we reached fifteen. Unfortunately for me, I'm still in Page level. I failed both my Caster's examination twice not because I was stupid but because I didn't show up in both annual examinations. My father wasn't very happy about it.
Brandon, Darksky, Darkstorm and Kaspar ranked Mage. Kaliki and Wolfric are currently Champion Mage but only Wolfric was given the first priority to study for Arch Mage level to Kaliki's dismayed. He always wanted to be an Arch Mage in Potions.
"I know that you all have been called with an emergency meeting by your respective magic departments." Wolfric broke the silence. "Have they told you why?"
We all turned towards Kaliki. Because of Kaspar's absence, Kaliki was given the right to answer without reprimands. I've always hated this. Why can't I ask or talk directly to any of them during family meetings. I have to go through Darksky, who will forward it to Darkstorm, then Brandon and then Kaliki and then speak it out. We all have to pass all our concerns to Wolfric to address it to our father. It's a stupid rule I hate following.
"They didn't give us much to know. It was more about increasing security in the realm and Darkstorm here has been added protection duties in the Ranger's department." Kaliki answered softly. "They said we will know tomorrow why."
Wolfric paused before he answered. "The Enchanter was murdered today."
I gasped. I look at my brothers who looked stunned. The Enchanter dead? That's not good. The Enchanter rules the entire magical realm. He protects the realm and as long as he is alive our enemies can never harm us. What kind of person can murder the Enchanter, the most powerful warlock in the world?
"Security has been increased all over the realm while the Rangers and the Council investigates the death. Also, the Enchanter has not chosen an heir so you better be cautious. An Enchanter without an heir is usually a fight between royals."
Power hungry royals. I corrected in my head but didn't speak out. That is what it is. The royal families have always been out with each other for power. I'm not sure about my family but I am not interested for any of those. I'd rather lived normally, work normally and marry a girl who is not from any royal bloodline. I just hope none of those royals will target our family just so they can succeed in the Enchanter's throne. After all, my father is one of the most qualified for the throne.
"Father sent me back here to take over the house and your safety."
"Wait. What?!" I gasped. My siblings stared at me. Wolfric's eyebrows were up. "Oh. Sorry." I muttered.
"What about ArchMage Academy?" Kaliki asked.
"We're on break." Wolfric answered, a little too fast in my opinion.
"I didn't know the academy has a break?"
"They do now. Enchanter's death created a change. We will resume everything tomorrow. There will be some changes on your schedules and routes and Shawn…"
I was almost floored. I didn't realize Wolfric knew my name. "You're going to clean up the lawn and the basement tomorrow."
I was going to ask why when Brandon glared at me. Oh yeah, my punishment for sneaking off. Before any of us could leave, "Where's Kaspar?"