As the Grace of Aralis faded, Sage regained his feet and ran over to the sole ambusher left behind. Lying on the grass after his fall from stories above, he had obviously suffered a number of injuries, some of them internal. The mask he was wearing had only eyeholes, and there was a flow to it which gave it the appearance of willow bark.
“Who are you?” Sage demanded, grabbing the man’s shirtfront. “Why did you attack the Instructory? Answer me!”
Nothing but a hiss issued from beneath the mask, and the man slouched back, the tension going out of him as he died. Disgusted, Sage relinquished his grip on the man, letting his body slide back to the earth. Rising, he turned and took stock of the Courtyard.
The spell circles were fading away by now, their work done; up on the stage, it appeared that all of the staff had been killed. On the grounds before the stage, the majority of the sixty graduating seniors had been killed; those that had not been targeted by spell circles tried to resuscitate their friends or cried over them; those that had been targeted by spell circles and had been freed by Kashé and Sage, were trying to recover from the damage inflicted on them. The trees stood stark and bare, stripped of their leaves and flowers beneath the soft blue sky. All told, Sage would estimate that roughly eighty had been slain in the last four minutes.
Angered by the ease with which life could be so quickly extinguished and by so few, Sage stalked back to the center of the Courtyard to help his injured and mourning peers.