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Availability date: 05/11/2016
Amid the drama of high school exams, social cliques, and personal relationships, Milo Sylph prepares himself for the biggest test of all. Lavaliere testing has begun and at the end of the day, only a select few will bond with a gem to harness their hidden potential. Each bond bestows a unique set of abilities on the user. Milo wants nothing more than to be one of those select few, a Lavaliere. However, desires often come with a price, and the true test will be far more difficult. His friendships, willpower and sense of self hang in the balance. As he strives to stand out from the crowd, will he lose himself along the way?
At the edge of the table, he took a deep breath and placed his hand above the first stone. He recognized the golden cube as iron pyrite, or fool’s gold.
This was it, the moment of truth. Every fiber in his body desperately wanted to bond with one of these gems.
Another crystal caught his attention—a decent sized piece of quartz.
Like the fool’s gold, it was also in the shape of a cube. However, the sharp angle of the sides made it look as though it were about to tip over. Quartz came in different colors. This one was transparent with a subtle hint of pink throughout. The light shining down on the stone refracted and cast a small rainbow on the table.
He smiled when he reached the hematite, the stone Lily had bonded with. The hematite on the table looked like a solid round piece of metal, and the reflection off his hand warped on its gray surface. He wanted to pick it up, imagining it would feel cool to the touch.
Milo tried to keep count in his head of how long he took at each one, not wanting to be one of the students who’d be hurried along for slowing down the process.
The next stone was deep purple in color. He recognized it as a bit of amethyst, and hesitated when a shadow flickered across one of the walls, pulling his attention away from the test.
Milo shielded his eyes and looked out at the crowd. Zack was missing.
“Stop the test, something’s wrong,” Swift announced from his station.
Milo stumbled backwards from the table.
Another shadow flicked, this time across the stage.
Someone grabbed him and shoved something into his hand, but when he looked back, nobody was there.
A sharp pain coursed through his arm bringing his attention back to the object he’d been given. It was a small stone, one that hadn’t been on the table. The stone was small and black with globs of red interspersed throughout.
The gemstone heated up inside his clenched fist, and streaks of fiery, red light burst out through the cracks between his fingers.
He tried to drop the stone, shaking his wrist as if trying to cast away a bit of mud.
Every crease in his hand filled with red, glowing lava, and at the center, the stone buried itself deeper in his palm, until the stone had burned right into his hand!
Fire spread through his veins, up his arm, and into his chest. And when Milo fell forward, reaching out to grip the table in front of him, the fabric tablecloth smoked beneath his touch, leaving behind a hand-shaped scorch mark.
His body burned from the inside out.
The liaison was right, something was definitely wrong.
Milo tried to take a deep breath, attempting to calm himself. He stumbled backward, and collapsed, choking and gasping. He wished for it to end because his body couldn’t take much more.
Why wasn’t anyone trying to help him?
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