Published at 2nd of February 2021 09:33:43 AM
The boy looked at her with a dull gaze .
“Didn’t you hear what I said? I’m…”
His voice shook slightly, but Apollonia smiled inwardly .
“There are two ways to undo the curse mark . As you know, the first method is through your death . . ”
Apollonia recalled what Gareth had mumbled the last time he’d been drunk…
“There’s a way to make sure the animals never escape . The dog collars… can only be removed with the blood of a Leifer . If the slave tries to escape without the master’s permission, they’ll die . ”
He’d scoffed afterwards that neither he nor Petra would ever shed a single drop of blood for those animals . Everyone present at the time had assumed it was just drunken nonsense, but they didn’t know the half of it . Every spell had a key to undo it, and Gareth had shared the key for the curse mark .
“The other way to undo the spell… is to use the blood of your master’s family . ”
The boy stared at her for a moment, stunned . Then he shook his head and laughed .
“There’s no point in trying that . No one with Leifer blood would ever release me . ”
“No, you’re wrong about that . ”
She slowly rose from her chair, and leaned towards him .
“Because the blood of Leifer runs through my body, too . ”
Apollonia remembered some of the sorcery she’d studied as a child under the strict guidance of her grandfather . There was no way to undo the spell without the assistance of a real sorcerer, but she was well-versed in theory .
Every spell had a key to undo it .
It depended on the intention and ability of the person who’d casted the spell . Spells were relatively difficult, and often expensive, to cast, but once you found the key, they were easy to undo .
The Leifer family completely owned each of Safiro’s wolves by branding them with the curse mark . They’d chosen their blood as the key to release it, so the release could be done by them and only them . It couldn’t be done from just a reckless accident . This technique had been used in ancient times by powerful families . It had been kept a close secret for generations, but Apollonia had been taught many of the empire’s secrets by her late grandfather . She knew the technique well .
So when her grandfather had told her about Safiro’s wolves so many years ago, even then, she’d been able to guess the key . Gareth’s drunken rant had only confirmed her suspicions .
Only the blood of a direct descendant could be used as the key . But Apollonia was the daughter of Gaius Leifer, who’d once been the head of the family .
There was no more certain key than that .
“That tattoo . I’ll erase it . ”
The boy looked skeptical at her words .
“I need a sorcerer, so I can’t do it right now . Just wait a few days . ”
“How many days?” asked the boy who’d been certain of his own demise only a few moments ago, shaking his head . He couldn’t believe that she would erase the mark he’d thought would bind him forever, in only a few days .
“My coming-of-age ceremony is in seven days… during that time, I’ll bring in a sorcerer . Before then, decide if you really want to die, even after your mark is removed . ”
Apollonia grinned . The boy still looked dazed .
She turned around just as she reached the door to leave the room, like she’d thought of something to add .
“The correct title to address me is ‘Your Highness,’ and from now on, speak to me with the respect my station deserves . ”
(T/N: It’s because he’s been speaking to her informally before now, and calling her ‘you,’ which is disrespectful . )
“What do you mean…”
“I’m sorry I was born in a time where my people suffer . But I can’t have people undermining my authority . ”
Apollonia once again approached the barrier and made eye contact with the boy .
“It’s up to you to choose me as your owner or not . But if you ever refer to me as ‘you’ again, I’ll put a dagger in your right shoulder to match the one in your left . ”
Seeing her cold expression, the boy furrowed his eyebrows, but he didn’t respond . She glared at him for a moment longer, then turned back and grabbed the doorknob .
As soon as she pulled the handle, a low murmur rang out behind her .
“Uriel Biche . ”
“…What did you say?”