A Lack of Trust

“Out of all the Thraki on Portalia, they had to send me to speak to the lunatic…”

Lokmah was not happy. He had a long list of chores and duties he needed to fulfil by the end of the week and he had hardly done any of them. The sudden interruption of being told he had to go and speak to a certain Rethan Mage made things even worse – Lokmah was supposed to be meeting with an Armoni to pick up a shipment of gems, and those little creatures used portal magic that was forbidden on Portalia and in the Maza systems in general. If he didn’t make it in time, they’d bugger off.

Luckily, his target wasn’t too hard to find. He’d been sharing a living space with five friends for a while, a tall tree house in one of the Dovgokul valleys. Even luckier, as soon as Lokmah arrived, he spotted the target floating just above their home. That familiar, non-Thraki look. Such a powerful mage, despite the fact they were a Rethan.



Clearly Kayel was not in the mood to talk. Lokmah swooped around him, slowing himself down, then hovered in front of the little Rethan. They’d changed. Their armour was different. There was a new type of magic flowing through his veins. Shadow magic. Pure shadow magic.

“I see your ritual went well!” Lokmah tried to be pleasant. He never liked Kayel. Actually, that wasn’t true. He admired the Rethan and how he worked and studied, and Kayel certainly was a nice fellow to talk to. But he always believed he was a little too unhinged and too dangerous to be allowed to do whatever he wanted. Being allowed to study with the Thraki was one thing, but originally Vokulunax had let him do whatever he wanted, and now… well, now they had a mess to clean up.

“It did, thank you.” Kayel was being blunt. “What do you want?”

Lokmah hesitated as he adjusted his wings for a harsh gust of wind. Hovering was easy for Kayel, he’d just use his telekinesis to float.

“Now that you mention it, I am not sure. I was sent here to check on you, but no one gave me any instructions on what to say to you.”

“Seems pretty normal,” Kayel tutted. Lokmah noticed that he was staring off into the distance. The planet Kolasi could be seen rising on the horizon, a tiny, glowing dot that many had mistaken for a star in the past. “Don’t think things through in a rush.”

Lokmah couldn’t help but agree. “Well… I will be honest with you. As much as I dislike the way you strut around, I am glad your ritual didn’t kill you. But I have… noticed lately that you and your friends tend to… disappear…”

So you and your ilk have been spying on us.”

No, not spying. Just… keeping an eye on you.”

Kayel tutted, but didn’t say anything.

Lokmah hovered behind him, to give him a little space. He knew that he and the other Thraki had fucked up. No one liked being spied on, particularly Rethans. The Thraki had never trusted him, and that had caused Kayel to act in secret.

So, where do you disappear off to?” Lokmah asked.

A safe place,” Kayel replied. “Somewhere where we won’t be harmed. If I told you though, I fear you would no longer allow us to study with you. You see, I put up with the spying, the being messed around and the lack of trust, because I deeply admire the work you all do. I don’t want to lose access to that…”

You probably wouldn’t, actually,” Lokmah tried to reassure the little Rethan. “Heck, Vokuluax did some rather… horrible things, and we forgave him. Even if you’d found a way to access the Domain of Kinigi, we would be more impressed than upset.”

The massive Thraki paused and glanced at the shadows below him, using them to predict the time.

Do you have to leave?” Kayel asked.

Yes. I have other duties to attend to. Sorry for… breaking your trust.”

Don’t worry about it,” Kayel sighed. “Had our roles been swapped, I probably would have had a lack of trust in you as well.”

Good luck in your new home,” Lokmah smiled as he flew off. “I hope you might feel trustworthy enough to invite me over one day.”

Thank you,” Kayel waved back. “Have a nice evening…”