Prologue

Wind shoved against their bodies as Dionté teleported them to the giants’ castle. He released his brother’s hand when they landed, placing his forefinger over is lips. Darrell nodded in understanding. The guards pacing the walls continued marching, undisturbed. Dionté jumped again, Darrell in hand, to a turret. Darrell lifted his axe; his eyes trained on the giants. Dionté scanned the courtyard to get his bearings. He should know it like the back of his hand, but the spiraling street design always disoriented him. As a guard marched dutifully in their direction, Darrell leapt, cutting the giant’s throat. Another guard came running, but Dionté sank his sword into its head.

They retrieved their weapons, Darrell grinning down at his little brother. A third giant discovered them, drawing his bow to shoot them down. Dionté teleported onto the wall; leapt and slammed his body into the guard’s arms. The bow dropped into the street below, but the arrow had already released. Darrell ducked as Dionté finished off his kill.

The clanging bow caused a commotion, and new guards strode towards them. One pulled a red vial from his belt and swallowed. He extended his hand and released a spider web, trapping the brothers to the wall. Dionté wrinkled his nose in disgust, squeezed Darrell’s shoulder and jumped to the slave trade square.

Children sat in cages, ready for market. Dionté warded off the soldiers in charge, while Darrell tried to break the locks with his axe. Only a few guards lined the square; the rest of the castle hadn’t taken notice of them yet. He just needed Darrell to open the cages quickly enough for him to teleport everyone to safety.

It never crossed Dionté’s mind that his older brother stood in danger. Even though Darrell couldn’t use his skill of strength within the castle, Dionté still saw his older brother as invincible. Despite this, he often taunted Darrell. Being the only child who could use his skill within giant territory set him apart. Part of him only meant it as a joke, but the other part felt superior. Finally, somehow, he could compete with his smart, kind, strong older brother.

As Dionté purged the square of guards, he heard a blood-curdling cry. Dionté froze. A giant had grabbed Darrell by his hair, holding a knife to his throat. Darrell struggled, kicking with all his might. His normal strength failed against the strength of a giant. The soldier chuckled, the scar above his lip quivering with delight.

“Let’s make a deal, Dionté!” he boomed.

A jolt seared through his system. How did the beady green-eyed giant know his name?

“You never steal our slaves again.”

Dionté prepared to teleport and rip the giant’s throat out, but it was too late. The knife sliced Darrell’s neck, blood spraying onto the street. The giant dropped Darrell, spitting and laughing. Dionté, enraged, lifted his sword to strike, when the giant picked up another child.

“In exchange for your permanent absence, I leave them alive. But every time you take one, I kill one. Do we have an understanding?”

The girl struggled against his grip, her feet kicking and tears pouring down her cheeks. The caged children screamed. Darrell’s star had already begun to lift into the sky. Defeated, Dionté ran to his brother’s side, teleporting his limp body to freedom.

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