Champion of Moonlight,  Stories

Champion of Moonlight | Saturday: Ghosts

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As soon as we got to my room, Celeste made me change and sit down on my bed while she set about taking care of my burns with salve. While she took care of it, I closed my eyes and tried to drive every thought of what had happened from my head. After all, there was a tournament next year to prepare for. When Celeste asked if I was okay, I nodded.

“Of course. I was wondering what to do for next year.”

I rattled off a few ideas for an alchemy display that I had formulated. There was going to be a new model of broom I wanted, but its release date was a little close to the Tournament, so I wasn’t sure if I’d have time to break it in… Celeste stopped me.

“Not now, Genevieve.”

Anger rose in my chest, because if I couldn’t think of that, then I would think of everything else. Nadir lying, Amin trying to kill us, the kisses, the sooty box. Worst of all, I’d think of the fire. It was luring in the back of my mind and in the throbbing wounds on my hands. It threatened to return and eat its way up the walls and then it would come for me…

“Genevieve, easy. It’s over now.”

“What?”

“You’re hyperventilating. Take it easy.”

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I hadn’t noticed, but I was out of breath, poised to jump off the bed and run from imaginary flames.

Celeste made me sit again and wound clean, white bandages around my hands when she had made sure that the burns were taken care of. Then she encouraged me to try and rest for a bit. I snorted.

“Haven’t slept well for days,” I said.

She put a hand on my shoulder. “Just try, okay? Once you’ve rested we can go talk to our Egyptian friends.”

Stupid tears welled up in my eyes and ran down my face.

“Nadir… Is he okay?”

“I’ll have to check with my partner. But I thought I heard his voice a moment ago.”

I nodded and expected her to leave me alone, but she stayed on the edge of the bed, and her eyes were full of sympathy. I couldn’t keep quiet anymore.

“He was the one who did that break-in, like you said. He was involved anyway.”

“Yes, I’m sorry. I know you liked him.”

“I don’t. I’m … or I do. But I shouldn’t anymore.”

Celeste put a hand on my shoulder. “So, you still do?”

“I don’t know.”

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When did it all become this complicated? Last Saturday, I’d have said I was mad at him because he used a transformation like that for something so ridiculous. It was a shame to see someone of great talent doing something foolish, but it couldn’t be helped, and I’d just have to ignore him and move on with my life.

Now, my brain was running in circles around itself, looking for excuses. There had to be a reason for his actions, because as I had come to know him, he’d never do anything like that. And even if he had done it, it didn’t matter, because he would never do it for bad reasons… And the rational part of my brain must be rotting, because I afforded Amin no excuses. As far as I was concerned, he could disintegrate in his stupid, eternal fire. But not Nadir. I had to find an excuse for Nadir because I had to forgive him.

I wanted to forgive him. But I didn’t want to forgive him.

My body shook with a sob, and Celeste did something she had never done before. She put her arms around my shoulders and hugged me, letting me cry into her shirt. She stayed by my side, stroking my back and my hair gently while I sobbed.

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Celeste insisted I went downstairs to hear what the two Egyptians had to say, even though I had no desire to be anywhere near them. Nadir sat by the fireplace as we walked in. He looked well enough, with only some scrapes and bruises on his face, and when I asked about it, a gruff-looking man told me that he had a concussion but was otherwise okay. Celeste introduced me to this man, her fairy hunter partner whose name was Ash Hemlock. He was a man of stern silence and grey nuances, a man I suspected always had her back when they were working. I greeted him shortly, but I couldn’t find it in me to care.

Especially not since I then looked around and he was there, seated in a chair close to the fire with his hands cuffed behind his back. He looked as pitiful as ever and when his eyes met mine, they were so full of emotions that I almost cried again.

My brain refused to deal with it. I thought of alchemy recipes and infusion spells and everything I could think of that took me out of this moment and little by little, I made believe that I felt more like myself. I sat down in the armchair next to Cloris and took in the rest of the room. Amin was there, in cuffs, as was Isadora, Orion, and Gabriel. It was impossible to ignore all the bad in the room when I looked at them all. It was concentrated and miserable and tense. Not even my usual technique of thinking of something else worked.

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Hemlock closed the door once everyone was seated and Celeste secured the room with a magical barrier. Then she started pacing around the room. Seeing her like this was just as scary as when she had duelled in the basement, maybe even more so. She first turned to Amin with a steely gaze.

“Shall we start from the beginning, Mr. Karimi?”

He hadn’t changed his facial expression at all since we had entered the room, and now he simply gave a nod so small it was almost imperceptible.

“What do you want to know?”

“I want to know what you’re doing here.”

He squared his shoulders and looked straight at her.

“I participated because I wanted to find that spell.” He motioned to the ghost. “The spell that was used to bring that guy back as a ghost.”

“And where did you find it?” Celeste asked.

“A fragment of the Ink Volumes.”

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I groaned. The Ink Volumes. It was always those damned Ink Volumes.

“They’re real,” Amin suddenly said, looking at me. “You think you know everything just because you’ve won a contest million times, but you saw what the fire spell could do.”

“That doesn’t mean it came from a volume full of dark spells,” I spat.

“I don’t care if it’s from the Ink Volumes or Madame Grey’s Spell Lexicon for Tiny Tots,” Celeste said, cutting me off and turning back to Amin: “How did you know you could find the spell here?”

“I wasn’t sure I could, but I examined all the ghosts I could find materials about. Once I made it to him,” he said, with a gesture towards Orion, “I realised that he didn’t make sense. He died of an illness, quietly, surrounded by people he loved. Of all the known ghosts, he was the only one who didn’t make sense.”

As far as I knew, ghosts were overwhelmingly created when people died violently and mostly when they were alone. It was hard to say if that was the case though, since there were so few.

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“I thought maybe he’d been made with a spell,” Amin said. “From what I could glean from the fragments, you could store a person’s energy after death. It’s a permanent spell that’s tied to an object, so I knew I needed someone to reverse engineer it.” He gestured towards Nadir, and everyone’s attention turned to him. He visibly shrank under their eyes.

“Mr. Hazan?” Celeste said. “Tell us why you’re here.”

He had to clear his throat before talking, and once he did, his voice was meek. “Because Mr. Karimi asked me to help him.”

“So, did you agree because you’re such good friends?”

“I agreed because he promised that once we had the spell, I could use it to bring back my grandfather.” When nobody had anything to say to that, Nadir continued. “I didn’t want to go, but he said it would be easy. Go here, find that spell, leave. But then I became the Council Favourite, and I attracted so much attention and praise. It was too much.”

As if to punctuate his words, Amin snorted.

“A little tip for everyone – don’t work with that guy when you’ve got a plan. First, he acts like the most suspicious guy on the planet and gets everyone’s attention, then in the middle of it all, he left me in the dust. Went from ‘granddaddy this and granddaddy that’ to ‘maybe we shouldn’t’.”

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“He used the statue wrong,” Nadir interrupted, glaring at Amin and for once looking less timid. “On the day of the race, I transformed an ice statue for him to use. He told her to find the spell and she didn’t know what to do with that. She can only understand simple commands, so when she couldn’t do as told, she flipped out and tore the house apart.”

“And jumped in the pool,” Cloris said, turning to me. “Remember those traces of water to the pool?”

Nadir nodded. “She automatically started melting about an hour before that, and I enchanted her to find water or a drain when that happened. I used the heat of the pool and a spell to speed up the melting. What matters though is that I didn’t want anything more to do with it after that. I saw how much it frightened everyone and the distress it caused. I told him I wanted out after that.”

“Well I can’t cast that blasted spell myself. I needed your help.”

“So, you blackmailed me,” Nadir said.

The two looked at each other with disgust, and Amin said: “If you hadn’t just given up, I wouldn’t have needed to-.”

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Celeste put her hands on her hips and cut him off: “Blackmailed?”

Nadir looked up at her, back to the meek little mouse who wanted to find himself a hiding place.

“He noticed that I… got along with Genevieve.” His eyes turned to me, and my heart skipped a beat. “Once he learnt of the manor’s basement and realised that the spell must be kept there, he redirected the two of us there. He trapped Genevieve in his fire and said that if I didn’t agree to help, he’d let her die. The fire absorbs magical energy, and eventually it would swallow her up.”

“I wasn’t going to actually do it,” Amin said.

“Well you almost did,” Nadir spat. “The fire kept spreading and we could hear her choking in there. Eventually, he let me get her out, and then he decided to burn down the manor instead if we didn’t cooperate.”

Amin opened his mouth to speak but went quiet as soon as Celeste turned to him with fire in her eyes.

“Don’t you dare tell me that wasn’t actually blackmail,” she said. “So, tearing the house apart, blackmailing, and nearly killing someone – why is it worth doing all that for that spell?”

“It’s a spell that can create a ghost,” he said. “That must be self-explanatory.”

“Someone you want to resurrected?” Celeste asked, arms crossed.

Amin let out a shaky breath and his demeanour changed for the first time since I had known him. For just one moment, he wasn’t angry, just resigned.

“Who doesn’t have someone? But for me it was… it’s my wife. Not that it matters now. They said it’s not possible.” He pointed at Nadir and me without looking up.

Celeste looked to the two of us for an explanation. Nadir looked so miserable – as per usual – that I spoke up:

“He’s right,” I said. “We had a look at it. It’s hard to say what it does exactly, but it’s definitely not a resurrection spell. First, because those don’t exist. Second, because the jewellery box is full of soot. That’s pretty much the only thing we can say for sure – it’s a killing spell, but other than that, we can’t know without seeing it cast. Unless Orion knows something.”

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The ghost shook his head repeatedly. But when I looked up at Celeste, I noticed that her eyes weren’t on the ghost. I followed her gaze to Isadora. She sat, leaning forward, her face hidden behind bright red bangs, and I thought I saw a tear falling to her knee. Little by little, everyone realised the same thing. Isadora rocked back and forth.

“He was ill,” she said, so quiet I almost thought I imagined it. “So, so ill…”

A transparent hand came to rest on her shoulder.

“It is a ghost spell,” Orion said. “I found the spell and used it on myself when I was ill. You’re right that it killed me, and then it brought me back.”

“That’s a load of nonsense,” Hemlock said behind Celeste.

Gabriel, who until now had been quiet, said: “I was there. That’s what happened.”

Isadora looked up at Orion, shaking her head. “But…”

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I did it. I didn’t register the spell, because I realised that everyone would think it was Dora who did it, but it wasn’t.”

Isadora dissolved into sobs and he floated through the sofa to sit with her. His transparent arms circled her, and Gabriel came over to put his hands on both their shoulders. The entire room went quiet, but there were disconcerted looks all around. Nobody wanted to say what we were all thinking. That every single rule of magic flew in the face of what they were saying.

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Celeste got up and told us that none of us were allowed to leave, at least for a few days. She was the first to leave with Amin in tow, and little by little everyone filed out until it was only me and Cloris left. The only ones who hadn’t committed or hidden crimes or had to sort out the mess all the others had created with their crimes. Cloris was the only one who wasn’t involved at all and she looked very small right now, curled up in a little ball.

“I’m sorry he did that,” she said, her voice small. “He seemed… nice. And like he really likes you.”

I nodded. “I thought he did.”

All pointed to the fact that he did. Or I thought so. But I had also been convinced that he would never be part of an offense like that. When it came to Mr. Hazan, I didn’t so much have blind spots as I was just blind.

Feeling lost? If you’ve forgotten previous chapters and need a recap you can find my recap page here. Be aware that it contains spoilers for the story.

Author’s note: Hi guys! And welcome to the penultimate chapter. In two weeks, there’s an epilogue and then… that’s it. Not going to lie, it makes me a little emotional. It also leaves me in a bit of a funky situation because then I’ll just be posting Monte Vista. There WILL be a sequel to CoM but like with this one, I prefer to have it finished before I post – and this time I’ll spend more time on it. I want to use a beta-reader (so boyfriend better free up his calendar, haha!) and I want to have enough time to get it just right 🙂 For the blog, I’ve been working on something new(ish ;D) that I might start posting. It’s still like a month away so I have time to sort out whether it works and whether I want to post it, but so far it’s looking good.
But enough about that, let’s have a random fact for this chapter: See, generally, I don’t come up with names with any particular meanings but for this one, I couldn’t help but have a little fun with my villain’s name. When I looked for Arabic names (on Behindthename.com) I stumbled on the name Amin which means… ‘truthful’. Which he is, indeed, not. I admit, that gives me a chuckle.
In other seriously great news (for me), I’ll have a new computer soon! Wooooooo! We have the cabinet, the power supply, and yesterday we received the CPU and graphics card. Now we’re just waiting for the rest of the stuff which should be here maybe Tuesday or Wednesday. It’s going to be so gosh darn flipping great. Not least for boyfriend who doesn’t have to be bothered by me crying about how much I miss having my own.
Another little message: The past few days, I’ve been a little slow and short in my comments and I’ve mentioned that the recent flurry of posting has tired me out. That’s true, but I want to make it clear that I enjoyed making and reading all those posts as well. It was AWESOME. What tires me out is social anxiety – even when I write a comment that doesn’t seem like a big deal, I second-guess myself and receiving comments is anxiety-inducing as well – I’m that person who flips comments over in my head a million times and feels like I’m bothering you all when I reply. I know that’s probably not the case but I can’t really stop it and it’s tiring. I’m not going anywhere, just know that when I have quiet, short periods, it’s because my brain is messing with me.
Anyway, that’s all from me for now. Thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far and I will see you for the next one.

Cheers!
~Louise/NotJustaBook

0 Comments

  • RipuAncestor

    Celeste is even more awesome when she talks than when she duels. The scene in the beginning was really sweet. Maybe Gen and Celeste will become closer friends after this all.

  • loladiamond01

    Finally some answers!
    Wow, Genevieve already wants to ready herself for another tournament. Maybe sort out your trouble and find steady ground to stand at with Nadir, nah? I’m so glad that Celeste is so supportive <3
    Second, as I kept reading, I figured that they had to kill Orion first and hence the soot. It seemed like the only reasonable solution to the case. I think it's better not to dig for the deceased, because as we know from many stories throughout the ages, it rarely ends well. Also, it reminded me of the Blushing Oath Pendant from Kym's story. If there existed a spell that would allow them to bring someone back when they're already deceased, then I doubt it'd be good.
    I hope there will be a happy ever after for Gen and Nadir!
    On to your note.
    That's so amazing that we will have the Epilogue out on the same day. I gathered it's 10th March like for me, right? Woot!
    I will be waiting patiently for when you gather your strength to bring CoM back in a sequel. I totally get you, because I still didn' regain my strength to start writing gen5.
    Such a good joke with Amin. I like messing with name meanings as well, as you might know already.
    Yay for the new computer! I'm too tied to my current one to think about getting a new one. So guess I will wait for it to break like you did 😛
    I'm sorry that your anxiety is kicking in. Don't worry, I would just like to say that I wouldn't mind if you left no comment at all. It's important that YOU will feel comfortable. You totally don't have to say anything if you don't feel like it. And excessive posting was tiring for me not to mention others. Thankfully, I put a stop to it for now. I'm sure if other people keep posting that they would not mind you not commenting or leaving short comments either.

    • NotJustaBook

      Yes, it’s such a bad time to think about it, too, but it’s her way of coping. Everything to avoid confronting her feelings after it, after all. I like writing Genevieve and Celeste’s interactions because while Celeste always teases her, she’s quite fond of the silly girl as well 🙂
      Yeah, bringing people back rarely ends well and as Genevieve quite rightly says – it’s not possible to do so within the confines of the magic system 🙂
      I am currently writing the sequel to this, but I can tell it’ll take a while. There are some things I learnt while writing this that I’d like to try and do better with the next one 🙂 mainly having someone reading as I write.
      Oh! Yes, that’s the very day! (Which reminds me I haven’t updated the thing on my home page. Oops. There are so many places on the blog I have to update, they sometimes slip 😛
      He, he, yes! Name meanings can be fun. I don’t do it often or sometimes I have a name with a fun meaning in mind and then the story ends up changing so much the name doesn’t make sense anymore… in this one case though, the meaning stuck haha 😀
      It’s easy to get attached to a computer. I wish my old hadn’t quit on me NOW, though, because two months before that our tv broke as well haha! But at least I get a nice new computer that can maybe even run ts3 better :O
      I like to try and leave a little bit, but yeah, it is hard sometimes with all the speculating I do every time I post. I want to continue to post a little bit in between weekends but not nearly as much as recently 😀
      Thank you for your comment <3

  • Lila Remonn

    “After all, there was a tournament next year to prepare for.” Hmmmm will there even be a tournament next year after this catastrophe and revelation? 0.0
    I feel soooo sorry for Gen, getting caught up in Amin and Nadir’s scheme- it seems this incident will stay with her for a long time. I do hope that she can forgive Nadir in time though. I am sort of on his side, because while he did commit a crime, from what he’s said, he wanted out when he saw his actions were upsetting others. And while Amin obviously did wrong, he did want to resurrect his wife… so I guess I understand where he’s coming from.
    It was Orion?! I was not expecting that at all! I was suspecting Celeste a bit there but I’m glad she wasn’t the killer and it wasn’t a murder. She’s such a badass and cool character.
    Oh noooo, the end is close… 🙁 However, I’m really looking forward to seeing what exciting new things you post after! And yay for the new computer, I think I might be getting mine around the same time as well~
    I love reading your replies to my comments! And take as much rest as you need when you want it <3
    Amazing chapter, there were some awesome lines in there by the way 💕

    • NotJustaBook

      That’s the question, isn’t it? It’s been quite the trainwreck.
      Both men had good reasons for what they did, they just went about it in a… bad way. Amin more so than Nadir, with the whole blackmail thing.
      Or was it Orion? 🙂 (My writing must be so unclear aaaa).
      I’m looking forward to seeing if I can make this new idea of mine work. I think I might even have to – gasp – outline it a bit. I don’t normally do that but I feel like this might call for it.
      Yay for new computers 😀 it’s always so exciting, getting new toys!
      Thank you so much 🙂 I’m glad you liked it <3

  • socallucyfan

    I have to admit that when we first met Celeste I didn’t think much of her. But now I can see that she is tough, and I love her!!
    I found it interesting that Gen is already thinking about next year’s competition. Is she worried about not being champion or is this just a way to distract herself from having to not deal with her conflicting emotions?
    I am so happy that you got a new computer! Yay. What are you going to name this one?
    I have to let you in a little secret: I too am very anxious about what I write about or what I say in the comments. I have huge social anxieties and insecurities. Every comment I write (even if it is on my blog or not) I have to read then reread several times. I am always scared that what I am trying to convey will come out wrong. But please don’t worry. That is not the case here. You are such a talented writer. And I am so excited every time I see that you have left a comment for me on my blog. <3

    • NotJustaBook

      Aaaaah, I’m so glad you posted a comment. I’ve been trying to comment on your blog – both the moodboard and the most recent chapter (both awesome, btw!) but they seem to disappear right away – do they get eaten by the spam filtre? :O Just really glad that I have a way of catching you here!

      Any, onto the comment:
      I loooove writing Celeste 🙂 she has, admittedly, evolved a lot as I wrote and she’s not as strongly defined in the earlier chapters. She also didn’t get a chance to show off her skills before now 🙂
      Genevieve is 100 % distracting herself 😛 Even she knows at this point that next year’s Tournament is going to be very different – if there’s even going to be one!
      Me, too! I’m so excited! 😀 When I saw the cabinet I decided that she’ll be called Francine! The old one had a boy’s name after all, so I think it’s time for a girl 😉
      I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one 🙂 Writing to me is less “dangerous” than talking to people (hence the whole blog thing ahaha!) but it’s still enormously hard. Thank you for your kind words. I also don’t think you write anything wrong at all and I, too, am happy to see your comments on the blog! <3

      • socallucyfan

        I would love to see Celeste at her fairy hunting job. That is her in her element showing off her skills!!
        So, are you building the computer from scratch? If so, I am in awe! 🙂
        I am so shy, I have been that way for most of my life. I also second guess my writing because I know that I have a few followers who don’t speak English as their first language. The last thing I would want to do is offend anyone.
        You don’t have to write long essays to show me that you appreciate my blog. You could leave a simple 🙂 and I would be just as excited.

        • NotJustaBook

          The sequel is still not totally clear in my head but one thing I can promise is I will find a way to show more of Celeste in her element.
          It’s my boyfriend building it for me – sadly, I don’t have the skills myself. I’m hoping to learn from him though – I’ll be looking over his shoulder while he builds it, for sure! 😀

          • socallucyfan

            Tell your boyfriend that I am totally impressed with his skills. I know who to turn to if I ever have a computer question. 🙂
            Whatever the sequel end up being, I know that it will be great. 🙂

  • magpie14031983

    Still shipping Genadir! Eternally shipping Genadir

    Oh, Isadora! What did you do!?!?!? Don’t give me that look Orion! We both know you didn’t top yourself sheesh! I guess I can kinda sorta maybe understand why she did it. He was so ill and dying already so where was the harm in speeding things along AND making sure he was still with her after all… yeah, nope… Is still killing, Dora 😭😭😭😭

    *raises hand to volunteer to be a beta-reader* hmm… What? What hand? I don’t know whatcha talking about… Nuh-uh, no sirree bob, not me *waves hand around so Lou can see it better*

    Lol I get what you mean about the commenting thing. Sometimes, I can’t think of anything to say. Either because I’m totally gobsmacked. Or, too emotional. Or, my brain just doesn’t feel like it. And, I’m the Qween on neuroses so I totally get the second guessing yourself and the social anxiety. That’s why I’ve had to make myself post my comments, even if they don’t make sense to me. And, just hope for the best. If I didn’t, I’d spend a year deciding what to write in a 3 sentence comment!

    Love you just as you are, Lou, so don’t feel you need to be different.

    • NotJustaBook

      Oh you know me, Mags – I ship my own characters so hard – ha, ha!

      It’s a morally grey situation, really. But you’ve pretty much got her thinking right there – she was very ill and she thought it would end the suffering and it meant they could stay together. Still not really completely justifiable, though.

      😀 Maybe I could use more than one beta reader. Could be I poke ya when I get closer to the time when I need it 😉 – though it would be without pictures.

      It’s not easy to find something to say at the best of times, I find. And yes, the only way to make it easier to post is to do it, which is a cruel sort of irony.

      <3

      • magpie14031983

        Pictures smictures lol I don’t need no pictures 😁😁😁 yeah, that’s me saying “bring it on!”. I did a book review on my blog just now #ShamelessPlugging so, if you want, you can see what I can do 😁 spoiler: it’s sad lol very sad…

        My 1st ever, I’m hoping to make it a bit more regular… I’ll see what response this one gets…

        Morally grey just means human. I think we’ve all been there. Wanting and wishing for life to not suck so bad. The difference is, we know that murder, no matter the justification, is bad. I still don’t think she really gets that.

        • NotJustaBook

          Ha, ha, I might just poke ya when I get to the stage where I need a beta-reader, then 😉 Not even finished with the first draft yet!
          I just read your review and liked it – very fair, but positive ^_^
          I haven’t really fleshed out Isadora that much so it’s hard to say what her thoughts are at this stage. Don’t think she wouldn’t be crying if she didn’t realise it was wrong… but one does crazy things out of love.

          • magpie14031983

            Awesomeness 🤗🤗🤗🤗 I am at your disposal whenever you may need it!

            Thanks. It was a good book and I can’t wait to read the follow up which is apparently the aftermath of the happenings in the last chapter. *thinks* dammit Nicky! Read faster

            I could always take it out as an ebook from my library (I am so happy Overdrive is connected with our municipal library system!!) But, I really want the actual, physical book in my hands. A story like these deserves the feel of the paper beneath your fingers and the crinkle of pages being turned.

            Well, I just hope the PTB, buy Orion’s version of events. Otherwise, she is in some deep-ass shite!

  • sempreviva

    Phew! First of all, I’m SO glad that Celeste is not a killer or anything and that it was Orion himself who did it!
    I can understand where Nadir and Amin are coming from, but they did commit a crime… however, I hope Gen forgives Nadir. Like Lila said, he wanted to stop when he saw how upsetting his actions where! Plus, they are so cute together, it would be another crime not to be with each other! <3
    Can't wait for the finale! 😀

    • sempreviva

      Oh, and I meant to say, congratulations on your new pc!! 😀 This must be so exciting!
      And don’t worry about the comments, I literally always enjoy receiving yours, but if you don’t feel like leaving a long one or anything, I totally wouldn’t mind 🙂 The important thing is that you feel comfortable!
      Again, can’t wait for the next chapter, loved this one! <3

    • NotJustaBook

      He, he, Celeste truly is one of the good guys – I really feel like I messed up the chapter before this to make everyone suspicious. Lol!
      Like I said to someone else: Or was it Orion? 😀 hahaha… (Again – feel like I’ve messed up my writing with this!)
      Yeah, Nadir’s made mistakes, but he’s definitely not irredeemable 🙂 Genevieve really doesn’t want to be mad at him, either.

  • RosemaryMarie

    Wow! Celeste really turned out to be much different than I first thought! It’s too bad Gen got dragged into this but I am still hoping she and Nadir end up together. I ship them so much! <3 I think the answers you've provided in this chapter are really satisfying. And now I understand Amin better, too.

  • amyqueen

    Aww Celeste is showing more and more why she’s so great. From kickass fighting, to lending and ear and knowing what to say. I love her 🙂 As for Genevieve, I totally sympathized with when she was trying to rationalize what Nadir did and find a way to forgive him. I hope she does, because he wanted to back out when things were heading south and that’s all that matters. At least to me :3 I’m assuming that’s what he wanted to tell Gen on the night of their walk before the obstacle course? By the end I even understood Amin a little bit, though like Genevieve at the start, I didn’t want to even spare him a glance after the pain he inflicted on her. I had a feeling the ghost that was brought back was Orion, but once they mentioned there was murder involved, I had some doubts; ’twas a nice twist there that it was indeed him since it wasn’t quite the way I expected.
    This entire world you’ve created is so deep and extraordinary I was going to say that it could have a sequel or a prequel or multiple other stories branching out from it with new or the same characters, so I’m thrilled to see in your ending note there that you are planning on continuing! Perhaps since I’ve been sucked into this realm for several hours now, the Ink Volumes you’ve mentioned in the prologue and maybe a few other times since then were fresh in my mind and I think it’s pretty cool how the story came full circle and involved them, since Ms. Genevieve who quite prides herself on her extensive knowledge didn’t think they existed. I’ve spammed you with comments today, and for that, my bad XD I warned you! I really can’t put things down and this story and these characters completely won me over! I’ll just put it out there that I’m not bothered at all by replies, since I tend to ask several questions here and there, and I hope these excessively long comments of mine haven’t bothered you, hehe… I really have been unable to tear myself away.
    I’m feeling bittersweet heading into the epilogue since I don’t want to say goodbye to everyone, but I’m excited to see how you close everything out 🙂 <3 <3 <3

    • NotJustaBook

      I think we all have moments where we rationalise things that don’t necessarily make sense, and since Genevieve is such a logical person, she’s very aware that she’s not making sense – by forgiving him, she’s going against everything she thought she was and she is a very principled person… why, yes, I think way too much about everything in this story :’)
      I have, in fact, thought about both sequels and prequels and spin-offs. Ha, ha :’D The sequel is definitely going to happen. The prequel is hopefully going to happen. I can’t let go of this universe yet 🙂
      Don’t worry – not bothered at all by the long comments and I’ve thrown some replies your way. I really love hearing readers’ thoughts and interpretations, so it’s always so cool when someone decides to drop a comment – or several long comments 😀 <3

  • freja64

    Genevieve never cease to impress me – she’s hardly out of the flames and already preparing for a new duel. She’s a pretty impressive speaker as well. It was nice to see how Genevieve and Celeste getting closer. Maybe that’s exactly what arrogant Genevieve needs, a friend who’s not afraid of her “anti-socialness”! 😉 I’m still hoping for a happy ending but I suppose there will be conséquences – you don’t mess around with life and death like you make an omelette… Thinking of what, you have to break eggs for an omelette so I guess that was a pretty good image!

    • NotJustaBook

      Genevieve isn’t one to ever stand still or dwell on her emotions, even when she probably should.
      I think you’re right about Gen and Celeste – she really needs a friend, and especially someone as down to earth as Celeste 🙂 Celeste is also very willing to overlook some of her flaws, which is something not many people will do.
      There will definitely be consequences. While Nadir isn’t by any means a horrible person, he’s still done some bad stuff. It took enough out of Genevieve to even accept her feelings, and with this betrayal… well, it’s not easy to get past.
      Thank you for all the comments again <3 So fun to hear your thoughts!

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