Legendary (Caraval, #2): Chapter no 40

Legendary (Caraval, #2)

Those who had been looking up at the sky, still searching for clues even though the game had just been won, might have noticed the appearance of more stars, stars that had not been seen in centuries. For it had been nearly that long since sacrifices of such magnitude had been made.

Humans were selfish creatures. The stars had witnessed it again, and again, and again.

But tonight, as the stars peered down on the world, they saw what seemed to be truly unselfish acts.

First, from the young woman.

Foolish young woman.

She’d seemed promising. Now she was useless. Paper.

But it was interesting to watch how her young man responded.

The stars leaned closer. He was distracted, allowing them to move more freely than they had the past several nights. It was a delight to see him in pain. This boy, who never seemed to care about anyone but himself, shook with rage. Hopefully he didn’t do anything too foolish. He’d made a deal with them that they hungered for him to keep. It would do them no good if he were trapped in a card or dead.

Not that they believed he would sacrifice himself for her. Humans were not that selfless. But, of course, he wasn’t fully human.

He picked up the ring that had fallen from the girl’s hand when she’d been turned into a card. The ring’s stone burned red and violet, cursed once more, but still sharp enough to pierce skin. The boy sliced it across his palm. Blood spilled, as red as heartbreak and terror, and full of power.

The stars watched with grim interest as he covered the deck of cards with the magic from his veins, more magic than a human should possess. Then he spoke the words, ancient, terrible words he should not have known, let alone been willing to utter.

The blood covering the deck turned black, and the world changed once more.

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