In his half-conscious state, Asa hadn’t heard his rescuer’s name clearly. He’d thought it was “Katie”, instead of “Kitty”. And it was indeed Katie he saw, when he opened his eyes again. He was lying on white sheets, with some machines on either side.
Katie was standing on one side of his bed, and she, was not alone. All the most important people of the South were there in that room.
“Katie?” he tried, looking at her. “Thank you.”
“What are you thanking me for?” she asked. The bewilderment in her eyes were real, he could tell as much. What he didn’t understand was the reason for it.
“For…weren’t you the one who brought me back up to the shore?”
“I was never in the water today,” she answered.
“But I heard your name.”
“You must have heard ‘Kitty’,” somebody in the room said. The voice was foreign to Asa, so he turned his head to look. When he found the owner of the voice, he found himself staring at a good-looking young man he’d never met before. The look in his eyes were cold and determined, as if he’d come with a goal.
“Kitty?” Asa inquired.
“Don’t play innocent,” the male said. “Kitty is the last siren. I heard from some of your people that the newly caught siren was mumbling the name ‘Kitty’ before she was killed. If you’re certain that somebody from the water brought you on shore, and heard ‘Katie’, then it must have been Kitty.”
“Who are you then?” Asa asked.
Katie’s father, the duke, spoke up. “This is Master Kyron. He is a wizard who brought some news to us. Katie, come here.”
Katie went to her father without a moment’s hesitation.
“Asa, you’ve never been so close to losing your life before, have you?” the duke asked. “You’ve never been in touch with a dark creature like the last siren before, have you?”
“I suppose not?” He had no idea where this was going.
It was Kyron who spoke next. “The state of almost dying, plus the presence of a dark creature being physically close to you, awakened your instinct. Your true form broke through your normal disguise, in an attempt to save yourself. At the same time, the presence of Kitty reminded you of what you really are.”
“I’m not understanding.”
“You’re the devil!” Katie accused. “You’ve deceived me, liar. All my life!”
“What? That can’t be. I’ve never deceived you, Katie,” Asa protested.
“Look for yourself then,” Kyron said calmly, as the door opened to reveal a couple of servants pushing in a standing mirror. When Asa looked into the mirror, he saw it–horns, glinting eyes, claws…
He was chained to the bed with iron cuffs.
His eyes narrowed at the wizard. In his moment of rage, he could finally feel the devil’s power inside of him. “What are you aiming at, wizard?” He spoke in a low tone. Once awakened and in this form, his voice echoed in the room, creating a dangerous atmosphere. The people began to panic.
“Don’t fret, everyone,” Kyron said easily to them. “This is the devil Lord Asa. He sure can break out of those cuffs.”
“Saying that won’t make anything better,” Katie complained. “Can you solve this then?”
“I can,” Kyron replied. When he said this, Katie went to hide behind the wizard.
“Katie!” An alarmed look flashed for a second in Asa’s eyes.
“Don’t look at me, devil,” Katie told him.
Startled, his mind went blank. As if all was in his plan, Kyron pulled a handle on the mirror. Chains shot out from the inside, binding Asa. It took just that moment of hesitation.
“Do you really think you can bind the devil?” Asa asked Kyron, his voice making everyone except the Master Kyron feel threatened.
“These aren’t ordinary chains, Lord Asa. Where there is a lock, there is a key. The key to these chains is the siren’s song, and there is only one last siren. That siren, will soon cease to exist.” Kyron began to turn from the door. He spoke then to everyone else. “If you feel unsafe, you can have him transferred to the North.”
That siren, will soon cease to exist. That was what Kyron said. Nobody doubted his words then, because surely, a crew or two would soon discover the siren, and destroy her like they did the rest.
Yet, as Kyron walked away from those doors, he had other plans.
As for Asa, at that moment, he noted only one thing.
The disgusted look in Katie’s eyes. Those very same eyes, were filled with warmth only hours ago.