Chapter 24 Blood Fire

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Night has fallen over the canyon and lanterns line the walkways, glowing with different colors, adding more magic to the city, and leading festivalgoers to the large squares located throughout the city.

Many can be seen now that the sun has set. They’re lit well and appear as large balls of multicolored lights along the canyon walls.

It’s to the western square Ime, Jaxon, and Meah head, following the crowds of joyful men, women, and children. Those of the city greet the group of three with large smiles, some singing happily.

As they approach their destination, Ime, Jaxon, and Meah see why Deven said the western square was where most of the celebration would take place.

The square is large, most likely the largest of the city’s numerous squares. Lanterns float magically in the air, platforms are spread throughout, and stands of food and trinkets circle the square. At the center, many people dance as bands play beautiful music.

Mixed among the crowd are others from their group. Bon and Cal are sharing food as they walk from stand to stand, staring at the amazing trinkets for sale. Bern, Mava, Rava, and Fleance are dancing with those of the city and many more are seen enjoying the Festival.

Barely containing her excitement, Meah quickens her pace to join in the festivities. Before she goes too far, she looks at Ime and Jaxon who have pulled away from the crowds. Ime, noticing her longing expression, nods his head and waves her off. She runs into the square, having little trouble deciding where to start, as she runs towards the center.

Ime and Jaxon find a row of seats built along the outer edge of the square and climb to the middle level. They sit away from the large crowd, keeping their eyes on Meah’s quick moving figure.

“There’s still much to do,” Jaxon says, leaning back so his elbows rest on the seats behind him. “War is coming.”

Leaning forward on his knees, Ime releases an exhausted sigh. “I know.”

“The easy part is over.”

Glancing at Jaxon, Ime raises an eyebrow. “The easy part?”

“War is never easy. If it is, your doing it wrong.”

“Are you speaking from experience?”

Jaxon pauses before continuing. “You won’t win as you are.”

Returning his attention to Meah’s figure moving through the crowds, Ime clasps his hands together. “What do you mean?”

“There’s a reason your fire magic was taken. It’s true that knowing all four elements is rare magic, but something about your fire frightens Klaeon.”

“What about your fire, Blue Mage?”

Jaxon laughs. “My blue fire may be rare and stronger than other fire magic, but it has its limit.”

“Maybe Klaeon doesn’t like being burned. It’s very unpleasant.”

“Joke all you want, but it isn’t a coincidence. Your fire magic is the key to this war and you’ll need it if you plan to defeat Klaeon.”

“Then the war is already over. He stole my fire. It’s gone,” Ime says, allowing the anger and annoyance of having to remind Jaxon of the fact enter his voice.

Movement in Ime’s peripheral allows him to realize Jaxon has leaned forward, close to Ime’s ear. “I know how you can get it back.”

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