Episode 9: Carmichael must use the memories of his abusive father to build up enough magic to defend himself against the Ruin Rats, but the price is high.
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What Prohibited Magic is about:
With Grimoire Society of Dark Acts’s magic book and crystal ball in the hands of the parasitic Ruin Rats, Carmichael’s decision to take the Book of Blessings and infiltrate the magical gang has left Dark Acts magically crippled. Gertrude is trapped in Grimoire Assassins’s magical realm; only the never-before-seen Grimoire of Blood can save her. Dark Acts and its allies split up to stop the worsening imbalance in the Magic Societal Universe, an unprecedented state with unfathomable consequences.
Episode 9: Opening the Wound
“What a massive ego you have, Carmichael,” Fenn chided, sneering. “You think you can walk in here and tell me—me!—to fall in line behind you as if no order has already been established? As if I haven’t been building up and training this gang for years, working night and day to harness parasitic magic like a wild horse?”
Parasitic magic…a new term. Of course, because it draws from others like a parasite. But there must be more to it or he wouldn’t be gathering all the artifacts on that table and downstairs.
“Years, is it?” Carmichael said. “And just how many? I suppose that number will correspond with how long I’ve seen shifts and imbalances in the Magic Societal Universe.”
Fenn looked as if he was trying to hold back a smile. “It’s no secret. I’ve had plans for a good long time now.” Then he shook his head slowly. “Even so, I’m not the headhood.”
Carmichael straightened at that, speechless for a moment. If Phineas Fenn wasn’t the headhood, and he was doing so much damage, what on earth was the ultimate goal of this horrendous gang? And who was behind it?
Now the barely hidden smile came over Fenn’s face full force. “Surprised? You give me a lot of credit, thinking I’m at the top. You couldn’t have made me happier if you’d tried. Still up for that fight?”
Carmichael realized he was staring at Fenn with his brows drawn together; he tried to relax his face. If I challenge him and win, it might go wrong. His gang mightn’t follow me but rather look for chances to kill me, avenge him—after all, I don’t have their loyalty. I could lose the opportunity to find out who’s at the forefront of this gang. Perhaps I’d be making a bullheaded move rather than a strategic one.
“If you aren’t at the top,” Carmichael said, “I won’t waste my energy on you. I’d rather work together in that case.”
Fenn’s smile turned sour. “Work…together?”
Carmichael looked him up and down. “You know what they say. Keep your friends close—”
“And I do like to keep an enemy closer,” Fenn said. “Sun Tzu was a brilliant strategist.”
Somehow, Carmichael felt he’d just fallen into a trap, even though he’d set his own.
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© Christie Stratos 2023