Flavus wasn’t even going to sleep. With Kangassk’s permission, he took the silver tome to his room and started reading it right away, all the top-secret stuff no simple Hunter ever has a chance to learn. Every time Flavus tried to stop, his inner voice whispered to him, “Just one more chapter.” He was deep into the mysteries of the first ambasiaths by the time he heard someone knock at his door.
The young Hunter went pale with terror. His first thought was to hide the forbidden book but he knew that it would only make things worse if there indeed were the Inquisitors behind the door. He could only hope that the word of the worldholders’ apprentice would be worth something if it came to the trial…
Flavus carefully put the tome on his bed table and opened the door. He was ready to face the Inquisitors and confess to them but his fears turned out to be groundless; there was no one but his friend Kangassk with a Liht in one hand and the dragonlighter in the other (the little thing refused to part with his owner again).
“Sorry for waking you up,” said Kangassk.
“I wasn’t sleeping.” Flavus stepped aside to let him in and closed the door behind him.
“Me neither…” Kan hesitated for a moment then grabbed a chair and sat down. “Flavus, we have to talk.”
Flavus grabbed himself a chair as well and sat across Kan. Now the only thing between the friends was the bed table with the ancient tome on it. Kangassk put his Liht beside it; its silver patterns answered the magical light with an eerie glow. As to the little dragon, Kan kept an eye on him so he wouldn’t approach the precious thing.
"I’ve been thinking about what you told me; old people, ambassa, all that stuff…” said Kangassk. “Tell me: is it ambassa the vitryanik is after?”
“Yes,” Flavus nodded. “The book didn’t mention the word but what else all those ‘immobile layers of magic’ and ‘special quality magic spheres’ can mean? I bet that’s ambassa, the morphed magic. It has a ton of special properties and, unlike ordinary magic, it doesn’t move.”
“So I got it right,” concluded Kan, then he continued, “Okay, another question. Tell me, would the vitryanik prefer your family of all people in the Iven’s neighbourhood?“
“Yes, but they checked us and…” Flavus hesitated.
“Did they check everyone?” the Apprentice interrupted him. Kan’s voice, usually quiet and soft, had a steel, Inquisitor-like tone now.
“No…” Flavus shook his head. “Kids… they never check kids. Anyone too young to have ambassa…” he stopped dead mid-sentence as the realization struck him; he knew now what was Kangassk driving at; he also knew that he had just sentenced Sylvia to death with his own words. “I don’t care that you’re the worldholders’ apprentice! I won’t let you hurt her, understand?” Flavus’s voice was harsh and menacing now. “You’re not telling them anything!”
He stood up and clenched his fists, burning with anger and fear, ready to fight, ready to die if needed. In such a state, even a scrawny kid becomes a formidable opponent. And if the said kid is a young battlemage, things can get ugly…
Kangassk chose the only right course of action here: he did exactly what Vlada had done to him back in Tammar; he waited, patiently, without a single word. Flavus’s anger, like a fire deprived of oxygen, burned out pretty quickly with Kan just quietly sitting there and looking at him. With the anger out of the scene, conscience and logic were back again, slowly taking effect. Soon, defeated and miserable, Flavus sat back on his chair and hid his face in his hands like someone who didn’t want a friend to see his tears.
“I’ll go check on her,” he said finally with feeble, dying hope in his voice. “I’ll try to wake her up…”