Home > Infinity Reaper (Infinity Cycle #2)

Infinity Reaper (Infinity Cycle #2)
Author: Adam Silvera



Bright Night


I drink every last drop of Reaper’s Blood while looking up at the Crowned Dreamer.

The elixir smells like burning bodies and tastes like iron and charcoal. The blood from the century phoenix, the golden-strand hydra, and the dead ghosts is heavy on my tongue like mud. My throat is burning and I’m this close to spitting out the rest, but I force myself to swallow it all because this Reaper’s Blood is game changing. I wasn’t lucky enough to be born with powers—to be born a celestial. But now that I’ve absorbed these creatures’ abilities, the world will get to welcome me as their new champion—a one-of-a-kind, unkillable specter.

I drop the empty bottle and it rolls toward my brother, who has been stabbed. Emil is eyeing me like a stranger as I lick my lips clean and dry them with the back of my hand. I’m about to help him up when I stumble, falling onto my knees. My vision becomes fuzzy. It’s as if everyone in the church’s garden is spinning slowly, then faster, faster, faster. My entire body feels like countless fingertips are grazing my skin. I suck in the sharpest breath of my life, like someone has been strangling me and finally lets go, and before I can full-on panic about whatever is happening, light surrounds me.

I’m glowing. I’m nowhere near as bright as the Crowned Dreamer above me, but I still feel like my own constellation—the Bright Brighton, the Bright King, whatever you want to call it. I have no idea if all specters experience this warm white glow when getting their powers. The only specters in my life I could ask are special cases who wouldn’t remember—Emil, who was reborn with his phoenix powers, and Maribelle Lucero, who just discovered hours ago that she isn’t a regular celestial. Her biological father was a specter—the very founder of the Spell Walkers—marking her as the first-known celestial-specter hybrid. But I’m a special case too. I feel it; I feel this change in me, even when the glowing stops.

Emil is stunned, but his expression turns back to pained. “Hel-help me,” he breathes. Blue blood from the dead phoenix, Gravesend, is wet and sticky on Emil’s chest, but it’s his own red blood spilling out his wound that needs attention. Luna Marnette, the supreme alchemist who created the Reaper’s Blood I just drank, stabbed him with an infinity-ender blade. She must’ve gotten Emil so deep with that infinity-ender blade that he can’t even tap into his phoenix powers to heal himself.

I cradle Emil’s head. “I got you, bro.”

I flinch as spellwork explodes across the Alpha Church of New Life’s garden. The fighting hasn’t stopped because my brother is dying. It’s like the Blood Casters and their acolytes won’t rest until every Spell Walker is dead. In the fray, I see my friends Prudencia Mendez; Wesley Young; and Iris Simone-Chambers, the leader of the Spell Walkers. Despite their innate powers, they’re struggling to contain Stanton, a specter with the blood and the powers of a basilisk, and Dione, a specter with the speed of a hyrda and the extra arms to match.

Then I see Maribelle, our most powerful player, as she crouches beside Luna with absolute murder in her eyes. “You had my parents and boyfriend killed so you could live forever. Now I get to watch you bleed out.”

Luna is fading in and out as she stares at the stars like they can still make her powerful. Not happening. Her silver hair is plastered to her sweaty forehead and she’s pressing down on the hole I blasted through her stomach with my wand’s spell. “You won’t . . . you . . .” Luna tries to speak but keeps choking on her own words. It triggers a flashback of Dad gagging on his own blood. It’s so vicious that I turn away, even though Luna deserves every ounce of pain.

Unlike Luna, I’ll never have to fear death again thanks to the Reaper’s Blood.

But my brother does.

“Maribelle! Maribelle, we have to get Emil to the hospital.”

Then June appears out of nowhere—moon-white skin, dark silver hair, big empty eyes. She’s a specter with ghost blood, the only Blood Caster with those powers, we think. And she possessed Maribelle and made her kill Atlas Haas, the love of her life and one of my very favorite Spell Walkers. I keep calling Maribelle’s name, but it’s like her need for vengeance has me on mute. There’s no stopping her as she scoops up the oblivion dagger, the one that’s made of bone and can vanquish ghosts, and chases the young assassin around the garden.

Back home when I told Maribelle my plan to steal the Reaper’s Blood away from Luna, she didn’t question it. She wants Luna to die powerless, and I don’t want to die at all; we’re both coming out winners. Except it’s all pointless for me if Emil doesn’t live too. I have to get him out of here. I try lifting him, but it’s a struggle; it’s like he has rocks hidden in his power-proof vest. It’s a shame that none of my new abilities is powerhouse strength, but I still manage to muscle up and get Emil on his feet, and he wraps his arm around my shoulders.

An acolyte runs at us with an ax, hopping over the hydra beheaded for the potion, his feet now slick with yellow blood. I’m counting on him slipping on the grass, but he stays upright. Emil can’t protect us, but it’s okay. I’m going to be his hero the way he’s been mine the past month. I take a deep breath and extend my hand, visualizing phoenix fire blasting from my palm. The acolyte keeps pursuing us. I keep my hand ready, concentrating on how badly I want to take him out, and he’s suddenly wrenched backward as if flicked away by some invisible hand.

How did I do that? Is this a ghost blood power?

I realize it wasn’t me when Prudencia appears at our side with her eyes glowing like skipping stars. The eyes that look like doorways into different corners of the universe are how you can identify anyone as a celestial, but that’s only if the celestial activates their powers around you. Prudencia has only ever shown us her beautiful brown eyes since we met her in high school, and now here she is saving our backs and fighting this war with us. Her forehead is split open, and her glistening celestial blood is running down the side of her face.

“What happened? Who hurt you?” I ask.

Prudencia waves the question away as she observes Emil’s wound. “We have to get him medical attention.”

It was only hours ago when Prudencia and I last saw each other at Nova, the elementary school for celestials that was being used as a haven. Iris was forbidding me from going on any more missions, and even though Prudencia told me to stop risking my life, to stay with my family, to stay with her, I followed Maribelle like a true hero.

From the ground, Luna groans.

“Whoa,” Prudencia says. “So we stopped her?”

She must’ve missed everything while fighting for her life. My grand entrance, blasting Luna with the last spell in my wand, saving Emil, and drinking the Reaper’s Blood. Even the glowing. Those moments were historic, and she missed them; I should’ve set up a camera to upload everything online later for everyone to see.

“I took her down,” I say, pointing at the steel wand on the ground.

She doesn’t call me a hero or tell me I did a great job.

Iris shouts as she barrels through acolytes like a quarterback, laying out six before she reaches us. There’s blood setting into her dyed-green buzz cut and even more across her knuckles. She clearly bested every idiot who thought they could take on one of the city’s strongest celestials. “Enforcers are storming in,” she says, panting. “I counted a dozen, but more will be on the way. Time to retreat.”

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