It took far too long for that simple answer to sink in.
“We said no.”
He couldn’t help but repeat his confusion, like a broken disc skipping over a track.
“Unlahney, why are you doing this?”
Kayel snapped out of his startled look, shaking his head. “I… I was really hoping you would say yes. This isn’t any more insane than anything else I have asked for. When I was sick and ill and needed somewhere to rest, you said yes. I said I wanted to teach my kids a little magia, you said yes. When I said I was going to learn necromancy, you said yes.”
“Those are different.”
Above the Rethan were five Thraki, all perched on pedestals a little too small for them. As if they had slowly grown out of them over the last few decades. While these Thraki were not the most powerful around, they were one of the few faces non-Thanatian races could talk to. More importantly, they were the council one would have to meet to discuss magic with, and they were very, very picky when it came to who they’d allow in.
“How is this different?”
“Because they are not physically fit enough.”
Kayel grunted. “That’s bullshit. I was in a way worse condition when I got here and you let me in. Just because Ksiel had an episode and Veeyel is disabled, doesn’t mean they’re not as fit as I am.”
“You naturally have an affinity for magia. They do not.”
None of this made any sense. Why were the Thraki being like this? They had always been open with Kayel in the past, but here, they were being stubborn and secretive.
“So how comes only I am the only L-Class, heck, the only Rethan in general with an affinity for magia? What’s so special about me?”
One of the Thraki rears up, growling.
“Unlahney, you KNOW we cannot say!”
“Don’t give me that, Vokulunax!” Kayel shouted back. “Actually, that goes for all of you! Krendaving, Strunvolta, Vaarotar and Farlohsun, you all taught me knowing that I’m some fucked up ball of super-magic just begging to be used and tamed. You taught me to look after others, to heal them and to mend them, you fucking taught me how to manipulate life and death. I’m a necromage now! But me bringing my friends in to live in Thrakian territories, teaching them just enough to fix themselves, that’s too much apparently? And you have the gall to lie to me and mess me around?”
The Thraki fell silent. Kayel knew he’d done… something.
“Seriously though, why am I the only Rethan worthy of using magia?”
Vokulunax glanced at the other Thraki, as if to ask whether they should tell him or not. The other Thraki all hesitantly nodded.
“Because you have been on the receiving end of magia. You know how it can destroy you.”
Kayel tutted. “So you’re saying that because I’ve suffered, I’m somehow worthy. But clearly no one else who has suffered is worthy. For some reason. I don’t know, but I have a feeling that is not the truth.”
Another glance. The Thraki were visibly nervous.
“Well… the truth… is rather degrading…” Krendaving muttered.
“It is not a nice truth…” Strunvolta added.
Kayel growled, sick of their messing around. “If you’re unwilling to tell me, then that means there’s no defined reason as to why I’m the only worthy Rethan mage, which means you have no reason for me to bring my friends here.”
“Actually,” Vaarotar interrupted. “The reason why we deny your friends is because of political turmoil on our own lands. The Tsifans are not happy with the Thraki and the Thraki are not happy with the Tsifans. To bring in a third party would be… awkward. Especially if a… war were to erupt.”
The Rethan rolled his eyes. “You’re all useless. Sitting here on your stupid thrones, talking in riddles. I’ve been following the news, as I should, and you all pushing others away is completely counter-intuitive to everything that is going on! You should be more open when the average ones are pushing everyone away!”
The Thraki all looked at each other, muttering and discussing things under their breath. Finally, Vokulunax turned back to Kayel.
“Give us a day to speak to the other Thraki. We shall have an answer for you later.”
Kayel sighed. “Thanks, I guess… Thank you for listening.”
“Thank you too, Unlahney.”
The Thraki lowered their heads as the Rethan turned around and walked off, a hint of uncertainty welling in their throats.