Hesitant, Emiliana opened her eyes. The first thing she noticed was that the vision in her left eye was dimmer. Cloudier and darker, and the eye itself just felt stiffer, like it took more effort to move.
And then she saw her hands. Specifically, the tips of her fingers. They’d all become dark as coal and hard like rocks. And more than that, some of them had grown outward, gnarled and pointed like misshapen claws. Two on her right hand, three on her left.
She remembered her face next, how it had burned as well. Wide-eyed, she searched around for a mirror but didn’t see one. But she could see the changes just barely in the corners of her vision. Small protrusions from her flesh. Stubby horns, they felt like. Dark and hideous.
She was about ready to lose her mind. ‘What the hell happened to me?!’
‘Your ability has manifested,’ said Chergoa. ‘You’re a mutation type.’
Chapter Eighty-One: ‘What it means to serve...’
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Emiliana moved toward the glass wall, just wanting to get away from the other people before they noticed they were standing next to some kind of freak. She stared at her hands in horror. ‘I’m going to be like this for the rest of my life?’
‘Yes and no,’ said Chergoa, still trying to sound gentle. ‘You can’t exactly undo what’s happened, but you can make further changes to yourself and potentially counteract any negative effects they’ve caused.’
Emiliana touched her face another time. Her rocky fingertips had lost all sensation, but with her palm, she could feel four little horns on her head--one on each cheek and then two on her forehead. Her reflection in the window was faint, but she could see enough to know that she already hated what she’d become.
‘Mutation is the least understood type,’ said Chergoa. ‘I know that might not inspire much confidence, but luckily for you, I’ve studied it quite a bit, so I know more about it than most reapers probably do.’
Emiliana wanted to scream at her. It was disgusting. How could her parents let her become a servant if they knew something like this could happen?