It started in my abdomen, a warm tingling that spread through my body. Gene watched silently as I breathed heavily, the sensation completely new to me. Panic set in as I wondered if this was the effect of the poison I drank, and I felt bile rise in my throat.
However, nothing changed. The tingles came and went, leaving me feeling regular and perfectly healthy. I relaxed, eyes passing to Gene.
"Should I be dead by now?"
The guard frowned. "The nullifier takes thirty seconds to work, and the poison should knock the drinker out immediately and kill them in a minute," he said matter-of-factly. "Your power cannot be taken away, and is very much active."
The confirmation caused a large smile to appear on my face. All I really wanted was to be told I was Lightblood -- even if it was partly. For the first time I had had hope for having magic, and now I knew it was real and existed within my veins.
We continued with poisons, each one causing the warm tingles before having no effect on my body. It was almost as if I was taking shots of water, and even Gene began to looked amused as I drank vial after vial. Each one had a different colour, taste and smell, but each one ended up with the same effect; nothing. Eventually we ran out of poisons, and Gene lifted up three vials of clear liquid.
"These are the power of three other Lightbloods transformed into a poison. We already know you are immune to the Prince's power copy, but now we are going to see if you're immune to others' power as well," Gene explained, handing me the first vial. "This is the power of a young Valley woman. She has the ability to suck the energy from a person and make them sleep instantly."
Like Charles, I realized. Nodding, I popped the cork off, watching it fly to a random corner off the room, and tipped the contents of the vial into my mouth. It tasted like bile, and I nearly spat it out before I could manage to get it down. We waited ten minutes before I glanced at Gene.
He sighed, handing me the next one. It was meant to freeze my vocal chords so that I couldn't speak.
I waited a minute. "Nothing, again."
The last was a scrap of power from an elderly Lightblood who could stop a person heart, and it caused my hands to shake as I forced myself to be brave and downed the contents.
Gene watched me in concern, but as the time passed, we shared a smile. To mess with him, I faked falling unconscious, tipping out of my chair and crashing onto the floor. Vials fell to the ground as Gene panicked, kneeling by my side.
"Cloud?! Cloud! God damnit, Cloud, wake up! I didn't rescue you from Kyra only to have you die from a bit of poison!"
Smirking, I cracked an eye open. "You're right," I told him, watching his eyes widen. "Nothing for that one either."
He smacked my head as I laughed in his face, sitting up. Gene offered me a hand, pulling me to my feet before turning to clean away the vials. I took a moment to study his face, noticing a few scars, the silky look of his hair, and the brightness of his teal eyes.
Blushing, I turned around to look through the window that overlooked the Valley. Somewhere outside, Kai was napping in the sunlight. Somewhere in the castle, Elijah and his mother were working. I wondered if they had as many questions about my life as I did. The sound of glass knocking against itself caused me to turn around, and I saw Gene staring at one of the vials. It was the only one with a label, and instantly, I felt tension in the air.
"Gene?" I prodded, voice shaking. The guard turned around, eyes sad as he looked up at me.
"This vial... It's labelled..," he trailed off, and I noticed his hands shaking as he reread the label.
Kai, get the Queen! Or the Prince! I thought-shouted, panicking as Gene's face went blank. Hoping my thought reached the dragon, I took a slow step toward the guard.
"Gene? What is it?" I prodded, watching as he gulped and met my gaze.
"Darkblood. You drank Darkblood," he accused, throwing the vial on the floor. It shattered, glass flying everywhere. I barely had time to react as he lunged, hands wrapping around my throat as my back hit one of the tables, arms knocking everything to the ground.
"Only Darkbloods can consume their own blood! You fiend! Kyra was right!" Gene screamed, his hands tightening around my windpipe. My hands swung wildly, trying to find anything to get him off. When they didn't find anything, I switched tactics. My Lightblood power couldn't save me now, and I'd already reached out to Kai...
Which left the Darkblood in my veins, which had increased since drinking the vial.
Gene's eyes were wild as he continued to squeeze, spots blooming in my vision. "You won't get close to our Prince, filth. And who would've known? The runt of the stubborn dragon family allied himself to the Darkblood that slipped through the cracks. Is he really tamed after all?"
My blood began to boil as I gasped for air that I couldn't get, and my vision was beginning to fade.
Was I really doing this? Getting choked to death while on some childish adventure to rescue my eldest brother from Darkbloods?
I may be doing the latter, but I am never doing the former, I thought, hands coming up to where Gene's were wrapped around my thought. I forced myself to focus, to search for that warmth that came with Lightblood magic.
Nothing happened, and I began to panic.
How? How do I do this?! I cried, searching for a hint of magic within my blood. The contents from the vials felt heavy in my stomach, as if they were taking effect.
No. The Darkblood is there, I realized, feeling a chill spread through my body. Slowly, I began to calm down. If Lightblood was warmth in my veins, and dark was the opposite of light...
My thoughts formed the answer, and I pulled on that feeling of a chill. Gradually, I felt my veins drop in temperature, as if ice was traveling through them instead of blood. When I had been fighting the poison, it felt a bit like fire. Now that something else was happening, it felt like frost and ice. Lightblood power was in the humans blessed with divine magic, while Darkblood was the humans with demonic blood in their veins. Witches, warlocks, werewolves, vampires -- anything you could think of.
So what would I be?
The answer came in the form of a flash of light, and suddenly I was able to breathe. Gene was thrown away from me as I was thrown to my feet, new weight in my back, rear and head. I gasped, feeling something scrape against my bottom lip.
"Demon!" Gene cried from where he was slumped against the wall, eyes wide.
Confusion radiated through me, causing me to panic further as the door was thrown open. The Queen and Prince burst into the room followed by six guards and two dragon heads peeking in.
Kai's voice rang in my ears.