I am seeing ghosts in everything I do.

Gregory stood on the high stone wall. The skirt of the frilly white gown that Ackerley had forced him to wear swirled around his ankles. He knew what he must look like: white hair, white dress, blood red eyes. From the way Oliver was staring at him, it was like he was looking at a ghost.

He’d come there with one goal in mind. Ackerley’s orders were clear: get the folia of dark spells that Oliver was transporting from the east warehouse and come back. Torsten’s orders were clearer: don’t let anything stand in the way of your success in this mission.

Sighing, Gregory awakened his staff. Then, he slowly drew the blade. “Hand it over, Ashley,” he growled, intentionally using Oliver’s surname. “Don’t make me kill ya and don’t think I won’t if you stand in my way.”

“I can’t just let you have this folio,” Oliver said, awakening his own staff. A soft rattling could be heard from it as it awakened.

Scowling, Gregory leapt at his former comrade. It reminded him of a battle against Starke and Glenmoore, where he’d done the same thing. Except, then, he’d been leaping off a wall to come to Oliver’s defense. The change haunted Gregory, causing him to falter at the last moment.

It was a costly error. Oliver swung his staff upward. As he did so, the rattling intensified, filling Gregory with fear. Even as he shrank back, he knew it was a spell. He gasped when someone caught him from behind. His staff clattered to the ground; then an arm was around his throat.

Gregory had enough time to realize that it was Peter who was choking him. Then, he blacked out and the ghosts of his past vanished.


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