Ant interrupted, “Aurora, mother believes in prophecy but Nox does not. Speaking of it is only going to make him rebel against it. It is best just to know it, and let it play out.”

Aurora laughed. “You worry, darling. It has already happened as prophecy foresaw.”

“So you are saying my life is written. That there is nothing I can do to change what is destined,” I said quickly as I stood up. “Destiny is bullshit. I was not destined to be beaten my entire life. I was not destined to live alone. There is not a living being who would wish that or will that on someone. So no, you and your destiny can go to hell.” I walked to the door quickly, Alec was standing and waiting for me to exit, Ant following only feet behind me. “We will find Valence and stop him from whatever he plans. But right now I can’t be here.”

Ant followed me out the door and stopped. “Mother told you what not to do and none of you choose to listen.”

Alec had followed me out and was trailing behind me unsure of what to do. “You are the third Ascendant,” he spoke. “You don’t want to hear it, I understand. But the book only responds to an Ascendant.”

I laughed. “I might be, but that doesn’t mean my life is written.”

He nodded. “So you won’t refute the facts, just that you aren’t doing things because they are written?”

“I know enough about reading the future, it’s a possibility. A probability. My father can go through glimpses of the future a few minutes at a time, he sees the outcomes and chooses the best possible one. I see the probability in things, the pattern, the effect little changes have on the world So my future isn’t written.”

Ant was walking beside me. “Why did you submit Alec?”

“I told them why I did what I did. I knew he wasn’t a monster, I knew the power wasn’t corrupting him and if he had a choice he’d give it all up to spend forever with his loves. But it was the way he fought my power that clinched it for me, I saw into his soul, saw he would be so easily dominated, that if I pushed, and Anthony I did push, I could control him. He didn’t fight me, he didn’t show me power, he let me in, and I passed right through him because of a promise. His word is binding. He is a true Ascendant and one like we’ve not seen at all. I’m sure your grandfather can tell you of his sister. And we’ve all heard the stories of Prometheus.” Alec said with a smile. “I am yours. My line is yours.”

I laughed as I walked to the stair well. “So now lets see. I have a whole dragon clan and a whole bloodline that follow me through supernatural ties.”

Alec followed beside me as we went upstairs speaking quickly. “My prince, if you were a vampire, you would be king. Even Francesco would have no power over you.”

Ant chuckled. “You think my grandfather would yield to a boy?”

Alec looked at the younger vampire and nodded. “I think your grandfather is more afraid that Nox is not as benevolent as Il Cane says he is. That this power will one day come and swallow us whole.”

“It already has, Alec. You swore fealty to him.”

“I do that out of personal interest.”

I stopped halfway up the stairs and turned around pushing past both vampires that looked at me confused. “The book is mine, right?”

Ant nodded. “Yes?”

“So I can read it or use it as I need. What if I tell it to reveal all its secrets to me?”

Alec’s eyebrow rose and he followed as we headed for the vault. Ant was with me but Vin had met us at the vault entrance. “Don’t you sleep?”

Vin laughed. “You will leave shortly and I will have all the rest of the day to sleep with the dead.”

I sighed. “I’m fine inside.”

Alec looked at Vin and smiled. “If I take your place will you do as your Master commands?”

“He’s not commanding, but if Ant says it’s okay,” Vin said. “I’m just following orders. And Ant’s my boss.”

“And his boss told you to sleep.”

“Actually I asked him if he did. He’s free to do what he wants, if he wants to be a zombie that’s his call. Ant we really need more trusted guards.”

“Alec is not a fighter.”

“Does he need to be?” I asked. “What’s a fighter going to do against a jet of fire from a dragon.”

“Point taken.” Ant looked at Vin. “Sleep, we will find others I can trust with the lives of the ones I love.”

I opened the vault and we stepped inside. I ran my fingers over the bindings and took it from the stand. “Not here.”

We took it to the top floor and it wanted the sun, the floor in the middle of this level was made of the same glass that made up the rest of the windows. It was three meters thick and the sun shown through. Alec stared up at sun. “I’ve never been this close and not burnt. Your mother’s team is wondrous.”

“It’s nice isn’t it,” Ant said.

I stared out at the middle of the floor, it was perfectly safe to walk across people did it all day, but I always walked around it. I took a deep breath and I took a step onto the glass and I moved to the middle of the square of glass that shone down above the guests below. My shadow would be huge at this height. I didn’t think about it as I sat down and opened the book. It glowed with power, I breathed slow and deep. My fears were getting the better of me as I asked the book to show me its secrets all of them.

I saw the brightness from behind my closed eyes and I felt the warmth envelope me. I felt whole and broken to a billion pieces at the same time. The world was both order and chaos. I knew that the energy was living and that I could command it. And just like that the cold world surrounded me again and the light died down and Ant and Alec were pulling me to my feet. “You okay?” They asked in unison.

I only nodded my head. I couldn’t speak even if I wanted to as Ant pulled me towards solid ground. And when I opened my eyes, they were staring at the book. I looked down and the page was open. “Welcome, Third Ascendant. I am Order of the Umbra.”

My name is Nox Sétanta. I am first and foremost a fictional character escaped from the mind of my creator AJ. In layman's terms I'm a magic wielding monster hunter born to my human mother and my Venatori father.

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