Making of a Magister (Realm of Hulsteria Book 3), page 1
Making of a Magister
I want to thank all those who have supported my writing adventure, most notably – Charity. If it wasn’t for her encouragement I would have never begun this journey. I wish to once again thank my mom for her continued support. Astrid, my super fan, thank you for letting me rant about this process, and for giving me wonderful advice as I navigated this adventure. Lastly, Susan, my tireless editor and proofreader. Thank you for your help!
©2018 Frank David
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the author
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Any similarities between characters contained within this work of fiction and any living or deceased person is purely coincidental.
Cover design by Victoria Cooper
Table of Contents
Chapter One – Courtney
Chapter Two – Stela
Chapter Three – Courtney
Chapter Four – Roderick
Chapter Five – Lena
Chapter Six – Harris
Chapter Seven – Mary and Greg
Chapter Eight – Victoria
Chapter Nine – Mary
Chapter Ten – Joseph
Chapter Eleven – Felicia and Sofia
Chapter Twelve – Diana
Chapter Thirteen – The Morrisons
Chapter Fourteen – Charity
Chapter Fifteen – Joseph
Chapter Sixteen – Xasha
Chapter Seventeen – Svetlana
Chapter Eighteen – The Wedding
Chapter Nineteen – Stelaphina
Chapter Twenty – Braynard and Diana
Chapter Twenty-One – Daniella
Chapter Twenty-Two – Astrid
Chapter Twenty-Three – Autumn
Chapter Twenty-Four – Drevniy
Chapter Twenty-Five – Felicia and Sofia
Chapter Twenty-Six – Daniella
Chapter Twenty-Seven – Astrid and Amanda
Chapter Twenty-Eight – Stela and Braynard
Chapter Twenty-Nine – Jascaessau
Chapter Thirty – Braynard and Madeline
Chapter Thirty-One – Sofia and Luna
Chapter Thirty-Two – Dianites Ascend on Jascaessau
Chapter Thirty-Three – Stela and Daniella
Chapter Thirty-Four – Stela Returns
Other works by Frank David
The Fall of Lilith (Fantasy Angels Series) (Volume 1)
Bitter Awakenings (The Keeper Chronicles, Book 1)
Chapter One – Courtney
The carriage swayed as it made its way through the rough terrain. She sat with one hand in her mouth, biting at her nails. The other hand stroked the hair of the child lying in her lap. The journey had been rough on her young daughter. She was glad they were returning home. It had been far too long.
She missed Ohnmoor Estate, her home in Colonstay. The home was her husband’s, as was her title. Once her mother was gone, she would receive her family’s title of Imperial Archduchess of Paisley. For now, she was happy to be the wife of the Imperial Grand Duke of Colonstay.
She watched out the window as the carriage made the trip to her home. Early summer was in the air. She dreaded the humidity which accompanied the season. It would not be long until the heat of the day was unbearable.
She had been gone longer than she had expected. She was sure Stela had noticed her absence during the siege of Jascaessau. What punishment would she face for abandoning her sovereign when she needed her support the most? She could not focus on such things now. She had devised an excuse for her not being by the Empress’ side during Edmund’s attack.
She would explain she needed to take her daughter, Autumn, to Norland. The child had become ill and it was well known that Norland was home to many gifted healers. Surely Stela would not be upset with her for trying to heal her child. Of course, this was not true. Her daughter was a robust child, never having been sick a day in her five years, but it was the story she needed to stay Stela’s anger. She ensured her farce would be believed by having a member of the tribe embed the memories of being ill in the child’s mind, so the young one would not give away her mother’s deception.
She did not like using Autumn in her treachery, but it was necessary. If Stela knew the truth about why she was absent, all they had been planning would fall apart. She looked down at her daughter. The child slept, peacefully unaware of what lie ahead of her. The child was born for one reason and one reason only, but she had many years until she would discover her cause. The girl was not her husband’s, but he believed her to be his. Diana had forced her and the girl’s father to mate. The girl’s father was another who was dedicated to the goddess and of Imperial blood. She could see delicate features which reminded her of the girl’s father, but they were not so obvious as to give away her paternity.
Autumn stirred in her lap as the carriage jolted over a bump.
“Mama, are we home yet?” Autumn asked, looking up at her. The child’s eyes were only open a bit, adjusting to the midday sun.
“Not yet my dear. It should not be much longer,” she said as she looked in the child’s large green eyes which reminded her of him. Thankfully her mother also had green eyes, so the color was easily explained. She had been thinking of him more and more since his death. They were never particularly close while he was alive, but they shared a child, a secret. He had sworn he would never disclose he was the child’s father.
Autumn sat up, rubbing her eyes. She peered out the window. She was happy to be home in Raamsfeld. “Mama, why is the Empress’ flag flying above Ohnmoor?”
Her heart froze. She looked out the window and saw the Imperial flag flying about the tower of her home. It was a sign Stela was there. Stela had come to Colonstay, but why? This was not good. She went back to biting her nails.
“We have been gone for some time. Perhaps the Empress has come to welcome us home.” She attempted to keep her tone level but was sure she failed. The child was young and would not pick up on the uneasiness of her voice.
Autumn became excited. She loved Stela and could not wait to see her. She was always so kind to her. Her mother stared at her, knowing if Stela knew what Autumn’s future held, the child would not be allowed to live.
The carriage stopped at the gates of Ohnmoor as the Imperial guards approached. She could hear them talking to the coachman but could not make out what they were saying. She thought it best to remain quiet. A knock on the door startled her. The guard opened the door and saw her and her daughter seated.
“Imperial Royal Princess, Empress Stelaphina is waiting for you inside the palace,” the guard looked at her. She could not determine the meaning of his glance. “Please go to her at once. Do not keep her waiting any longer.”
“How long has she been here?” she asked, her voice shaking.
“Her Imperial Majesty arrived yesterday,” was all the guard would tell her. He then motioned to the coachmen to proceed as he closed the door.
The coachmen jumped down from his perch and opened the door to help the two down. Autumn’s nanny appeared in the doorway to the palace.
“Please take her to her room. She is tired from the journey.” She gave the command as the nanny came forward and took the child by her hand, leading her away.
Autumn looked back at her mother as she was dragged off.
She straightened her gown as she made her way up the stairs and she moved the strands of hair from her eyes. She was sure she was disheveled and unworthy of an Imperial audience but knew Stela would not allow her time to prepare herself.
She entered the grand hall. Stela stood at the far end with her back to the doorway. She quietly hurried to meet Stela.
Chapter Two – Stela
Stela heard the footsteps approaching but refused to turn to face her cousin until addressed. She turned to meet her glance as Courtney greeted her. She was sure her face showed her disappointment.
“Where have you been?” Stela clenched her fists as the woman curtsied before her.
“I am sorry, majesty,” Courtney stayed in the lowered position. “My daughter became ill and I feared for her. I took her to Norland to be seen by one of their healers. Please forgive me.” Courtney was surprised by Stela’s resolve. The last time she had seen her, in the council meeting, she was not this strong. She was still unsure of herself. The battle with Edmund had changed her. She sensed an anger in her which was unlike Stela.
“Is the child better? Were the healers able to make her well?” Stela eased her fists, allowing her hands to relax at her side.
“Yes, majesty. She is healed and much better now, thank you for asking,” she said as she kept her eyes low. She was still unsure what trouble she might be in. “How did you know I would be returning today?”
“I did not. I could not wait for you to come to court any longer, so I made the journey here. I needed to know why you refused to stand by me when Xasha attacked. I expected you, of all my advisors, to stand with me. After all, it was you who gave me the courage I needed when I doubted myself.” Stela looked at her. She felt Courtney was uneasy in her presence which was unusual for her.
“I am sorry I was not there for you. As a mother, I am sure you can understand my child would come first.” Courtney was not sure if this was the correct thing to say but it was what came to mind. “I heard you were successful against Edmund.”
“I can understand your child needed you, but you should have told me where you were going,” she paused. “I do not know that I would say I was successful. I stopped him from taking my throne, but I fear the wounds left behind will not soon heal, if ever.” She looked out beyond Courtney. “It has been a month since I faced him in the garden. I cannot get his face out of my mind. I cannot rid myself of the image of his decapitated body lying among the roses. The horror on the faces of his men as I tossed his severed head at their feet haunts me still.”
“Word of your battle and its outcome had reached Norland. I thought the stories untrue. I did not believe you would have done what they said but it appears the stories were true.” Courtney approached her, but Stela stopped her, raising an arm to keep her at a distance.
“I am not the same women you left many months ago. I fear I have changed. I no longer seek your comfort or words of encouragement,” Stela said as she stared at Courtney. She could sense something was not right but could not determine what it was. “I have learned I must do things on my own. I must not and cannot rely on others. My heart has always been my weakness.”
“Your heart is your strength, Stela,” she hesitated, unsure how Stela would react to her informal address. “Do not close your heart off to those who care for you.” Again, she tried to approach.
“Do not come any closer.” Stela’s voice commanded a power Courtney had never felt in her before. “I do not wish for you to touch me or attempt to console me. I am who I am. I am not the foolish girl alone in her bed chambers, afraid of what laid ahead of her. Taking my husband’s life has made me a monster.”
“You are not a monster. You did what you needed to protect yourself and your people.” Courtney felt for her. Her fear had waned, compassion taking its place.
“I did not need to sever his head. It was this act which drew the last bit of compassion from my soul. I could have simply struck him down, ended his life in a more humane way. I wished to send a message to any who might decide to stand against me. The message was severe, but it was clear.” Stela again clenched her fists. She could feel rage growing inside her.
Courtney stood looking at Stela. Was she warning her to not betray her? Did she know her intentions? Had she discovered her alignment to Diana? The questions flooded Courtney’s thoughts. She needed to respond but what could she say? “You were threatened by a man you believed loved you, but he deceived you instead. You had no choice but to take his life. I believe it was the passion between the two of you which caused you to end it in such a dramatic fashion.” Courtney hoped her words sounded sincere. She had never feared Stela before but the woman in front of her was different.
“Passion made me a monster?” Stela laughed at the notion. “I reacted hastily. He was going to end my life without giving it a thought. The anger grew within me as I watched his own blade enter him. He begged me not to strike him down. I cared little for his pleas. I only wanted him dead. I feared if the wound was not severe Daniella or another healer might bring him back from the brink of death. I could not allow that to happen. So, I took his head, knowing no one could bring him back from such a death.” Her blue eyes seemed to darken as she spoke of how she killed Edmund. The change startled Courtney.
Courtney scanned Stela’s face trying to determine what happened to her. The look was not something she had ever seen before. Had her battle with Edmund impacted her so deeply? What did this mean for Diana’s plan? She would not be an easy target as they all believed. She needed to get word to the tribe. Letting them know of the change taking place within Stela.
“You did what was necessary, Stela,” Courtney spoke, still studying Stela. “No one can fault you for protecting yourself, your children, and your people. Perhaps your ways were a bit stronger than most would agree but it had the effect you wished to convey. I am sure any who might see you as weak have altered their opinions.” Courtney’s opinion had been altered. She feared her cousin now. “Let us change the subject. Have you discovered your power?”
“I have,” Stela answered quietly. “I cannot be harmed.” It was a half-truth. She could be harmed but only if her heart were pierced. She was not offering such information to anyone. It was bad enough Braynard knew. “Have you been granted a gift, as well?”
“I have. I can hear the thoughts of others,” Courtney stared at her. She had noticed since she arrived that she was not able to see inside of Stela’s mind. “However, it seems you are immune to my abilities.”
“You attempted to hear my innermost thoughts?” Stela raised her voice again, not pleased Courtney would attempt to use her talents against her.
“I do not attempt, it just happens. When I am near others their thoughts flow through my mind as if they were my own. Your thoughts do not flow. I find it refreshing,” Courtney chose her words wisely. She had angered Stela and needed to calm her now. “You cannot be harmed? Ever?” Courtney asked her, turning the attention from her ability.
“No. When Edmund attacked me, I felt his sword against my skin but there was no wound. Even when I was practicing with Harris, his sword would not pierce my skin. I thought he had missed but now I realize my power was there even then.” Stela wondered if the ability was a blessing or a curse. If she could not be harmed, did this mean she would never die? The thought had plagued her since Braynard made her aware of the gift.
“You must have some weakness?” Courtney needed to know if she was truly invincible. The answer could change their plans.
“As far as I am aware I cannot be harmed,” Stela stared at her. She wondered why Courtney wanted to know of a weakness. She was becoming uneasy. “We have spoken enough. You must be exhausted from your travels. Please go rest, we can speak further at dinner.” Stela gave a gesture letting Courtney know it best s
“As you wish, Stela,” Courtney curtsied, “I will see you at dinner.” Courtney turned and left the room. Her mind was filled with thoughts. Thankfully Stela could not read her mind, else she would find herself at the end of a noose.
Courtney made her way up the stairs toward her room. She passed a man descending whom she did not recognize. He was not wearing the uniform of the Imperial guard and he was not one of her servants.
“Who are you?” she asked as the man approached her.
“I am Harris Morrison, Imperial Grand Archduke of Raamsfeld, the younger,” he quickly replied. “You must be Imperial Grand Duchess, Courtney Roberts. I have heard much about you from Stela.”
“The Imperial Grand Archduke has no sons, only two daughters,” she quickly pointed out to the man.
“You have been gone a long time,” he laughed. “I am the bastard son of my father. He has made me his legitimate heir.”
“Why are you here and why do you speak of the Empress so informally?” Courtney’s brow raised.
“I have accompanied the Empress to Raamsfeld. I am her personal guard.” He gave her a stare letting her know he was not beneath her as she seemed to think.
“Very well, I think you should stay with the Empress and not roam about my palace,” Courtney said as she continued her ascent to her room.
He continued his descent of the stairs. He was looking for Stela. He found Stela in the great hall. He sensed she was troubled. He approached her. “What is it my love?”
She turned to face him, unaware of his approach. “Something is different about my cousin. I do not know what it is but there is something.”
“I ran into her on the stairs. She is not the most cordial of Imperials,” he laughed.
“No, she is not. Neither she nor her mother are fond of the Imperial lifestyle and etiquette. I do not believe either wish to give up their station but neither relishes the opportunities they have been afforded.” Stela could not shake the feeling there was something amiss about her cousin. “Did you tell her about us?”
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