“You know, Councilor,” a voice said from the woods. “You really should know better.”
Aurora spun around, her nerves lashing tight around her power. It was always worst when she was startled or afraid. There was a figure standing in the dark of the trees, hidden by the deepening shadows of twilight. She could make out that it was cloaked, which already marked it as not native. At least not to this part of Galavaria.
“So you know who I am, I guess,” Aurora said. “Care to return the favor?” The cooling night air crackled around her. She smelled ozone. Time to clamp down more.
“I don’t see any reason to,” the voice said. “I do, as they say on Earth, hold the cards here.” The figure was preternaturally still. Aurora was beginning to wonder if it was alive or just a decoy.
“Out with it then,” Aurora said. “You can probably see my patience is wearing out.” This time she purposely let a small slip. A tiny void peeled open in front of her, collapsing with a roar as air rushed to fill it.
“Now, now,” the voice said with aggravating patronization. “Don’t get ahead of yourself. You haven’t heard what I’m here for.”
“Let’s see,” Aurora said. “Creepy cloaked figure in the shadows. Vaguely threatening comments. Overconfidence in the face of utter destruction. I’d say you’re about to divulge some threat or another. So, as I said, out with it.”
There was a laugh contained in the voice now. “I swear. Do they teach all Councilors to be arrogant bastards? Fine. To the point. You should have known better than to bring someone out here. Someone that couldn’t pull on entysiana to help them. Even in a paradise like this, you should know that there’s never a safe place for people like you. Or the people you care about.”
Aurora paled. The chill air of the night hit her as blood drained from her skin. She had only left the apartment for an hour. Had they gotten to Isabella? How…? Then the air around her flared into heat again. Right. It wasn’t worst when she was afraid.
It was when she was angry.