Because Izz did not want to wait, we're going to try and release chapters faster.
Lucky you, huh?
‘We wing it.’
Nixion had absolutely no idea what that meant. He didn’t mind all that much, though, because he figured that if Mist knew what he was saying (however random it was), then he knew what it meant, which also meant that, in this case, he knew what he was going to do. What were they going to do? They were going to wing it. And Mist probably knew what to wing and how to do it. With a lot of effort, Nixion vaguely managed to string together the fact that they would wing the spy in the group, but even then he was confused, if not more.
Despite everything that had happened in the rather short amount of time he and Mist had arrived back at the Sanctuary, Thomas-less, Nixion found himself yearning to talk to Stavan again as they made their way back to the lounge, away from the Interrogation Rooms. Stavan seemed to be taking on a role of a new friend in Nixion’s mind. Was it possible that Stavan actually did count Nixion as a friend too? Other than Mist, Nixion did not actually have any friends. Even though the two drove each other up the wall and had come close to being killed by one another in the past, they had, seemingly, become far friendlier towards each other in the past few days. Stavan was different though. At the very least, he seemed to share Nixion’s complete disregard for rules and knack for recklessness. Maybe he didn’t enjoy killing as much as Nixion did, if at all, but either way, he was more like him than Mist was. Or was he…?
Nixion was pondering over this when he became aware of a pair of footsteps following him and Mist from behind. At once he wheeled around and faced the follower, his lethal glare dropping from his face as soon as it had flown up at the sight of the person. It took Mist several seconds to realize that he was now alone in his continued walking and had to backtrack a bit to join Nixion who did not look at him. The follower had stopped walking too and was facing Nixion looking a little flustered. And for a moment, Nixion did not see the person dressed formally, neatly, in front of him with a slight redness creeping up his neck at being caught before his chosen moment to act. Instead, he saw the same person many years ago, battered, ragged, bloody, kneeling. With Nixion standing above, in the same dimly lit corridor, holding a machete and laughing insanely.
Grand Mage Thyrow Slit was kneeling in front of him, clothes ripped, face bloody, hair wild, expression desperate and full of blistering rage.
“Don’t kill me…” he half gasped. “Please don’t kill me.”
“You be deaded soon.” Nixion laughed from in front of him, his machete held loosely in his hand while blood slowly dripped off of it. “You soon be deaded.”
The Grand Mage stayed silent, obviously not sure what to say in response to that. There was silence for a few moments in which Nixion’s laughter died and he stared deep into the Grand Mage’s eyes. He gazed back, mesmerised, terrified, outraged. “YOU BE DEADED!” Nixion roared suddenly, breaking the silence brutally which caused the Grand Mage to jerk backwards in shock. Nixion let out another long, harsh laugh at this, his body hanging backwards loosely, face turning to the ceiling. The entire thing was very amusing, he thought. The Grand Mage was kneeling in front of him, Nixion, and was about to be killed by him, Nixion. He, Nixion, was about to kill the Grand Mage. The Grand Mage. Of Australia. And he, Nixion, was going to kill him.
Eventually, his laughter died down again and Nixion closed his eyes, trying to concentrate. Concentration. That was Nixion’s new hobby. The drug that had been given to him by the man in his prison a year ago seemed to be beginning to wear off now. He was still insane, still had the uncontrollable urge to murder people as viciously as possible, still had that horrible headache, that strain on his mind that told him it was snapped, broken, but through that, he was beginning to make sense of things. Small things. Things like recognition. He knew some of the basic things: His name was Nixion Strange which was the name he had taken under advisement of that man. His real name was Aiden (Nixion still did not remember his last name). He had been tortured. He should kill people. And then some other things that Nixion did not even know how he had come to learn: He was in the Australian Sanctuary, the person kneeling in front of him in a horrid sweat with a panicky expression across his face was the Grand Mage of Australia. Nixion could feel deformed strings of sanity returning to him, and, thus far, he could not tell whether or not he liked it anymore.
His body slowly recoiled itself back to face the Grand Mage again where his eyes slowly opened again, a dark glare across his face as he breathed heavily. The Grand Mage was sweating heavily. Large, dark rings were imprinted under his eyes and his wet brow was furrowed as if trying to work out what Nixion was doing.
“Deaded…” Nixion repeated darkly to the Grand Mage. And with that, Nixion slowly raised his machete, the blood still slowly dripping off it and a look of horror increased on the Grand Mage’s face, head shaking violently.
“No.” he said shakily. “No…please, no. Don’t…please…” Ha! The Grand Mage was begging. The Grand Mage was begging to him, to Nixion. Ha!
“DEADED!” Nixion roared, and plunged the dagger into the wall. “You be deaded!” he was laughing again, pointing to the Grand Mage as he desperately tried to take his machete out of the wall. But he quickly stopped, noting the confusion and desperation on the Grand Mage’s face slowly transforming into a concentration and disbelief. At the same moment, Nixion became aware of steady footsteps making their way towards him.
“Oooh…” Nixion muttered, glaring at the Grand Mage, another string of sanity suddenly wrapping itself around Nixion’s mind uncomfortably. “Yeah. You’re deaded, Mage. You be deaded now…”
The footsteps became faster and closer and Nixion abandoned his attempt to dislodge the machete which was now firmly fixed in the wall and turned around to face the person who had now drawn to a halt in front of him. His eyes were emerald green, his black hair fell over his ears and he held a dagger in his hand.
“Nixion?” came the same voice from beside him as Nixion swayed. And as he turned his head to look at Mist, for a moment he was still entrapped in his past. Instinctive, Nixion’s fist came hurling forwards and smashed into Mist’s jaw sending him staggering backwards, clutching at his mouth and groaning in pain.
“What the hell?!” he roared, backing up against the wall and doubling over in pain. There was a bloody tooth lying on the ground… Nixion was in shock. He just stood there, wide eyed and stunned at what he had done and did not attempt to resist as the Cleavers that came running on the scene quickly pushed him on to the ground. “Let him go.” Mist gasped as quickly as possible, a groan of agony distinct in his voice. The pair hands that were grabbing Nixion were strong and powerful. He looked up and saw that the Grand Mage was dragging Nixion to his feet and waving the Cleavers away. Suddenly, life surged back into Nixion and he staggered backwards, gasping and cursing loudly. Mist spat a mixture of saliva and blood onto the polished ground before placing his hands firmly back on his jaw.
“I’m…sorry…” Nixion muttered, staring at Mist in shock. “I didn’t mean to…I mean you were…holding a dagger…”
“…What?” the Grand mage asked incredulously.
“I…nothing…” Nixion said after a while, brow furrowed and feeling horrible. “Sorry, Mist.”
Mist raised his eyebrows coldly but did not reply.
“Are you OK?” Nixion asked him, slowly making more and more sense of what had happened.
“On top of the bloody world.” Mist practically snarled back. Nixion could not blame him…
The Grand Mage swiftly summoned a healer to his side and gave the order to take care of Mist. “Nixion, you come with me, please.” He said afterwards as Mist stumbled off with the healer, brushing away the hand to steady him impatiently. Nixion’s stomach dropped. The last time he had been alone with the Grand Mage, he had almost killed him; Nixion had just relived that himself. He was not sure what to expect as the Grand Mage led him back along the brightly lit corridor and then into a dark, depressing room that stunk of rotting metal.
Perhaps the Grand Mage was going to give him a lecture on self-control. Or maybe he would suggest seeing a professional physiatrist…Nixion almost laughed at the thought. But Nixion knew, when he saw the concern in the Grand Mage’s face, that he was going to be talking to him about something very, very serious indeed. Even in the dimly lit room, Nixion could see the sags and creases in the Grand Mage’s face lined with worry, the face that had changed so much since the version Nixion had seen of him minutes ago; broken, sweating, desperate.
“Nixion,” he started, studying him intensely as though wondering whether or not he should have thought this through more carefully. He did not say anything. He simply waited for the Grand Mage to continue; he honestly did not think it would be wise to interrupt the Grand Mage while he was in this different, less-than-happy state anyway. And besides, Nixion still did not feel comfortable in his presence. Yes, the Grand Mage seemed to have forgiven him and yes, Nixion trusted him now, as much as he trusted anyone, anyway, but he still felt uneasy. There was still a small amount of tension whenever they were in the same room, with or without company (it was always with). Of course there was going to be; Nixion had once almost killed the Grand Mage and half the Sanctuary Staff a few years previously, in his days of madness, his days of murder. But today, now, at that moment, Nixion did not detect any tension due to past events. Instead there was something more sinister, something deadly, something that the Grand Mage knew.
“Nixion…” he repeated, more slowly this time, thinking hard. He bit his lip, released it and opened his mouth repetitively as if thinking of the best way to put something. Yes, the Grand Mage knew something… Nixion thought frantically of something he or Mist may have done wrong, but the only thing that came to mind was the interrogation of Keeve half an hour ago. Nixion did not think this had anything to do with a few bent rules. The Grand Mage opened his mouth and left it hanging there for a few moments, then finally decided on something to say.
“…I know you have a traitor.” He said finally, and Nixion was taken aback.
“What?” he asked, aghast. “How did you…?”
“Nixion,” he sighed with an air of trying not to sound irrational. “Please. I’m the Grand Mage of Australia. This is a Sanctuary that I completely re-designed. I know things.”
“Ah…” Nixion muttered. “Right…”
“I know you have a traitor.” The Grand Mage repeated. “And…” he hesitated, then cut himself off completely.
“And…?” Nixion pressed him after a moment or two, eager to find out what this was about. The Grand Mage sighed deeply, then took a deep breath in, whether he was trying to calm himself or trying to delay the moment where he would have to tell Nixion, he could not tell.
“And…” he continued… “I think I know who it is.”
“What?!” Nixion asked much louder than he had originally intended to and the Grand Mage hushed him. Nixion obeyed only because now he knew that this was important. “Who?” he asked in almost a whisper.
The Grand Mage hesitated. Again. Unsure. Then something dawned on Nixion, something so out of place, something so obvious, that he was enraged at himself for not spotting it sooner.
“Wait…” he muttered. “Why didn’t you have Mist here at the same time…?” he asked slowly. The Grand Mage sighed again. Sighing seemed to be the new fashion.
But Nixion still could not figure it out. Why would the Grand Mage hide this from Mist? He was practically leading the team, getting the investigation moving, doing the recruiting, doing all the work, gathering all the information and organizing everything that had to be done. Nixion could not think of any rational reason the Grand Mage would have to keep Mist away from a piece of information like this, something this vital. But then he did think of something. There was one reason. The only thing that Nixion could think of. It was really the only reason he would have to keep Mist away from this. And that was…
“No…” Nixion muttered absent-mindedly. “No, that’s not possible.”
“Nixion,” the Grand Mage continued, ignoring him, continuing with the problem, the situation, the information.
“I think the traitor’s Mist.”