The room was made entirely of white marble, sparkling even in the dim light. Aevil sat in a chair in the center, simple enough in design with no elaborate carvings or anything, but elevated enough that it was clearly a throne. She nodded as Raeza walked in, followed by her friends, who were introduced as Avalyn, Seth and J.A.
"Are you keeping your part of the deal?" Raeza asked, eyes hard, a challenge.
Aevil met her daughter's gaze firmly. "Of course I am. Are you keeping yours?"
"A deal is a deal." Raeza's eyes went to the floor, and her companions watched her warily.
"Raeza..." the one called Avalyn began, but the woman known as J.A. put a hand on her shoulder and she fell silent.
Aevil looked the scarred woman up and down. "That would be her, would it not?"
"Yes." Raeza kept her eyes down. So she hadn't told the rest of them, lovely. Aevil smiled slightly.
J.A. stepped forward, a hard expression on her face as if she thought she was some sort of sacrifice, but wasn't going to fight it. Poor girl, Aevil almost felt sorry for her.
"What did you do?" The man, Seth, turned on Raeza and gripped her by the collar of her jacket. Her reflexes should be better than that, Aecil thought, after all the training I gave her.
To her credit, Raeza wasn't the least bit flustered. "It's going to save her," she said softly and Seth relaxed just a little, though he still looked ready to kill someone. J.A., on the other hand, looked almost...hurt? Aevil wasn't especially good with emotions.
"Raeza..." the scarred woman trailed off, her forehead wrinkling. "You didn't...what did you agree to do for this?"
Raeza looked at her mother, and Aevil shrugged. "Nothing she wouldn't have done anyway."
J.A. took a deep breath and looked straight at Raeza. "What did you do?"
"She accepted her--"
"I don't want to hear it from you!" Aevil actually shut up. Not many could make her do that.
"There's this prophecy that I'm supposed to turn a tide. Well, it was a daughter of Aevil who's supposed to do it, but my sisters are dead. Aevil thinks it means I'll join with her in fighting Mevolent, and there's actually a chance she could harm him--"
"We could harm him, Raeza. The two of us together could--"
"All I have to offer is the prophecy, Mother. You're the several-hundred year old super-powerful energy-dealing mage, you're the one who would actually stand a chance against him. I wouldn't, and we both know that's a face." Raeza took a deep breath. "However, if believing in the so-called prophecy is enough to actually make you take action, then so be it." She turned to J.A. "And you will let her make you a new body like she did for me."
J.A. spole softly. "You made a sacrifice, Raeza, and I'll honor that, but please..." So she could tell that Raeza hadn't been on especially good terms with, and still didn't particularly like her mother. That probably meant she, too, would be distrustful of Aevil. The other two would, as well, most likely. How lovely.
Aevil got out her clay and had just finished sculpting the basic outline of J.A.'s new body, when the door swung open.
"Ah, hello Serpine. You're a bit early. I wasn't planning on attacking you all until tomorrow morning."
"Your daughter and a few others broke out of the holding cells easier than they should have. I knew you had to be involved."
"Yes, and about that? My daughter is highly dangerous and important and should be kept in a proper jail, not simply holding cells." She said the last two words as if they were poisonous.
"I'll keep that in mind, and I'll make sure it's a bit more of a challenge for you to interfere next time." Aevil wasn't sure if Serpine was mocking her. Most likely. "However, I came here to warn you."
"To warn or to threaten?"
"Both, I suppose. Mevolent is stronger than he once was."
"So you say."
"Where is your daughter, anyway?"
"She knows better than to stay up past bedtime."
"Ah, of course."
"So are you done yet?" Aevil yawned slightly and went back to carving J.A. an eyebrow.
"Apparently so. Aevil, I tried to do you a favor. We were friends once."
"Once, as in not anymore."
"Yes, but for old times' sake, I thought I would try. Mevolent is no ordinary sorcerer. He hasn't been idle while dead, and he has many loyal followers. You are not on his level."
"You do know saying that just makes me want to fight him more, right?"
"I had hoped it would be otherwise, but..."
"You hoped no such thing. Goodye now."
Serpine nodded. "Alright then." He turned and walked away, and Aevil thought about possible real reasons he'd come. She had a funny feeling she was walking into a trap. She ignored it.
((The duel between Aevil and Mevolent will be fun. :D Also, this chapter is sort of a filler between lots of plot twists! Yay for plot twists! And pretzel twists! And hair twists!))