King of Blades – Chapter 10 “Power Sharing”
“What happened?” Shelton questioned.
Anil slumped down into a chair, one hand on her swollen belly. “I was in the stables,” she explained as she caught her breath. “I was thinking about the news from Algoma and that we will likely be at war soon. I stopped to rub the face of one of the horses, thinking of how I wished I could protect them from harm. Then this… sheet of light – that’s the only way I can describe it – came from my hand and covered the horse’s entire body. He didn’t even react. When I became frightened and pulled my hand back, it vanished.”
“What color was the light?” Shelton asked, stepping closer to her.
“It was black with a silver shimmer.”
Coulta was beginning to get a very uncomfortable feeling.
“And I actually healed someone,” Myri added. “I’ve never been able to actually heal with magic, usually all I can do is enhance herbs. But a servant from the kitchens came to the healers with a large cut on her hand from a carelessly-used knife. I was trying to decide if she would be able to keep her thumb when this silvery-black light slipped from my fingers and started healing the cut. She’s fine now.”
Shelton sighed and looked at Coulta. “Well, Coulta, it looks like you’ve managed to share your magic with your spouses.”
Coulta raised an eyebrow. “How?”
“It’s known as a power share,” his mentor explained. “It isn’t unheard of among people of magic. It is common among sorcerers who physical relationships. Though it’s not very common for a sorceress to be able to pass her powers to a male counterpart, she can gain his. Usually, it occurs among those who have romantic aspects to their physical relationships, but it can also be done purely to strengthen our powers. I except the latter to become common as war draws nearer.”
“Are you trying to say that I gave them my powers through sex?” Coulta demanded.
Shelton nodded. “Most likely. It’s not the only way, but it’s the most common one.”
“You said it happens between people of magic,” Wildas pointed out. “I’ve never had any magical abilities.”
“Neither have I,” Anil stated from her chair.
“There have been queens with magic,” Shelton answered, then sighed. “But you’re right. You’ve never had any capacity for magic. It could just be the fact that you have magic in your blood, however diluted.” He turned to Anil and knelt on the floor before her. “Did anyone in your family have any magic at all?”
She shook her head. “Not to my knowledge, no. I’ve never known any of my parents or grandparents to have any powers.”
She didn’t need to add that now they were all dead, so they had no way of knowing.
“Wildas couldn’t have gotten magic from you?” Myri questioned of Shelton.
The Former Second King shook his head and sat down in another chair near the hearth. “No. I was the only one with powers, and magic can’t just pass on to those who have no ability to wield it – or so it usually goes. Plus, it is normally easy to control whether you pass on your powers or not.”
“Maybe it’s the type of magic Coulta has,” Rohan offered, startling Coulta. He’d forgotten the prince was still in the room.
Shelton took a deep breath. “One of the mages I’m working with may be able to help more than I can. She has studied types of magic and power sharing in depth. She might be able to determine what is going on here.”
“How long will these powers last?” Myri asked.
He shook his head. “I have no way of knowing. The powers usually fade over time, depending on how much power was shared.” He turned to look at Rohan, standing by the shattered glass on the floor, and waved him off. “Stop snooping in your brother’s private life.”
Rohan sighed and left the office.
When the General was gone, Shelton looked back at Wildas. “If you don’t mind my asking, when was the last time your husband made love to you?”
Coulta shifted uncomfortably at the straightforwardness of the question. Clearly, nothing could be private now.
Wildas cleared his throat. “Uh… night before last…” he answered, sounding just as awkward as Coulta felt. Thankfully.
“And you?” Shelton asked Myri.
“The same,” she stated. “With both of them.”
Coulta really didn’t feel like Shelton needed to hear that second part. He rubbed his neck uncomfortably.
Shelton just nodded and moved on to Anil.
“Before my bed rest started,” she answered, blushing. “I haven’t wanted to risk the baby since then.”
“So why is this just happening now?” Wildas demanded.
All Shelton could do was shake his head.
“And what about the baby?” Coulta managed to ask. “If Anil was pregnant last time… will the baby be all right?”
“Maybe that’s why she nearly miscarried,” Myri suggested.
Shelton held up his hand. “Don’t start thinking too much about this. I’m going to look for Terezka now. Maybe she will have some answers.”
Coulta hoped they were good answers.
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