“Please do explain, because you are still being rude. What is this all about?” Luke looked very pissed off now.
The Head mage glanced at him, then continued. “The sword Mark possesses may be very dangerous. It has not and cannot be proven, until he has had a while with the sword itself. Your young friend needs to become accustomed to his weapon as much as the rest of you do. It will become a part of you.”
He paused, and Luke interrupted. “Then why are you wary of Mark? You said you needed to speak with us about him, so spill it. You are only making yourself look suspicious.”
Jackie placed a hand on Luke’s arm and he tensed, shaking it off gently. He did not need her shushing him, and he really wasn’t sure if contact between them was wise, anyway.
Alix glanced at them momentarily, an unreadable expression on his face. “Sir, you are speaking of the backlash of magic, correct? You believe that Mark’s sword has the darkness inside of it, pulled from the stolen sword.” He ignored the glare he received from Luke.
The Head mage nodded. “It is beginning to appear that way. We need to observe all of the swords during training and see if there are any dark tendencies from any of them.”
“So it could be any of our swords that was backlashed?” Jackie smiled at him politely. “What are we supposed to do if that has happened?”
“It could have been any of the swords, but we are almost certain that it was Mark’s. He is showing signs of unease and fear, which is the beginning of madness and distrust…”
Luke stood up and walked over to the Head mage. “I have had enough of your bullshit, and I haven’t even known you for an entire day. You do not know Mark, or any of us, for that matter. Whatever you are afraid of with this sword is not a part of Mark. He is not going to become one with a sword, and go insane. If I could, I would go back home and forget all of this ever happened. You can find someone else to carry these swords and find this guy, Bord…whatever. Mark will be fine, because I know who he is. I’m through with this.” He glanced at the others to see if they were following him, but when they didn’t, Luke swore under his breath and left the room.
The Head mage did not try to stop him, but spoke quietly after him as he was leaving. “I believe you may feel differently after a time. There was a reason you were given Larick’s sword and given the title of leader.”
Luke paused momentarily, then left.
The Head mage smiled at the others. “Do you all understand why I am speaking with you about this? I am looking out for the well being of everyone, including Mark. If the sword is tainted, we will deal with whatever is necessary. The sword is not what matters in this case. It is Mark and the rest of you. Stopping Bordekai is of utmost importance, but we must deal with one problem at a time.”
“What would happen if Mark did show signs of being tainted? What would happen?” Jackie wished that Luke had not left so he could hear the answer.
The Head mage looked at her with a serious expression. “I am not certain that we could catch it in time. We cannot touch the swords without strong magic, and the last time the tainted sword was used, it killed someone. That is what I am afraid of. He could kill us all in a hunger for more power. In that case, we would have no choice but to stop him.”
Jackie sucked in her breath sharply, unsure of what to say. Luke may have had the right idea about wanting to leave.
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