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Trickery (Curse of the Gods #1)
Author:Jaymin Eve & Jane Washington

Trickery (Curse of the Gods #1)

Jaymin Eve & Jane Washington




One




Some things in life were a given. It was a given that the sols were the bridge between the dwellers and the gods. It was a given that some of them would become gods, after they died—while the rest of us would only become ash. It was a given that they would always be more important, and that the dwellers would remain their slaves until there were no dwellers left, and the sols had taken over everything.

It was also a given that I’d never be picked to go to Blesswood Academy, because I never got picked for anything. I was still going to go to the selection ceremony, though. To support Emmy. She would get picked. She was smart like that, and lucky like that, and people loved the hell out of her. They didn’t love the hell out of me; they ran the hell away from me. It wasn’t like I was a bad person or anything, I just … had a lot of accidents. I didn’t mean accidents like I ate glue and then peed myself on a regular basis. I just tripped more than usual, and accidently set things on fire more than what would be considered ‘normal’. I got kicked out of the village school only one moon-cycle before graduation for accidently making one of the teachers bald. How do you accidently make someone bald? That’s a good question. All you really need is a bucket of warm tar to accidently toss onto the back of their head. How do you get a bucket of warm tar? You don’t go looking for it or anything—or at least I didn’t. It was just sitting on the road outside the school and I thought I should carry it inside to ask what it was.

None of us had any experience with tar. All of our roads were dirt, but the leader of our village was always trying to make us famous, and he had all these random engineering books to give him ideas. Books that he probably stole from somewhere. As if the gods gave a shit about whether our roads were gravel or dirt. We had no sols in our village, and we were so far out from the centre ring—the centre of our society. So the gods wouldn’t even notice if we painted our roads purple and started walking around naked.

Anyway, back to the tar.

Apparently, when your hair gets covered in tar, the only way to get rid of it is to shave your entire head, and that’s how I made my teacher bald. The whole ‘making a teacher bald’ incident was pretty much the reason that nobody was expecting me to go to the selection ceremony. I was the embarrassment of the village, the village fool, the cursed child that they all secretly wanted to be rid of. But they could all suck-it-the-hell-up, because Emmy was my best friend, and I needed to be there when they announced that she would be chosen. Mostly, I just wanted to see Casey’s face when she wasn’t chosen, but that wasn’t even halfway as noble a motivation as cheering on Emmy.

Casey might still be chosen—each of the outlying villages were allowed to send two of their best dwellers to Blesswood, where they would serve the smartest, bravest, and most powerful sols in the world. Blesswood was Minatsol’s most holy city, housing the only academy dedicated to the gods. The gods even came down to Blesswood once a moon-cycle to survey the sols—to watch them fight it out in the arena, or outsmart each other in strategy games. Not every sol would get chosen to join the gods, but those that did were always chosen from Blesswood.

None of us dwellers really understood how the process worked, but it wasn’t our business to understand. The majority of us would never step foot inside of Blesswood. Instead, we would remain in our outlying villages, studying to become teachers, or working in our family trades to keep ourselves afloat. But two insanely talented dwellers would always be chosen to lead a different life. To be different. To enter the world of the sols. Emmy was definitely one of those dwellers; there was no doubt in my mind about it. She was beautiful, intelligent, steadfast, and brave. She once re-built the woodsmith’s shop overnight, all on her own. There wasn’t a thing in the world that she couldn’t do.

Well … except for becoming a sol, or a god.

That was pretty much impossible.

“Willa!” The girl in question had just skidded into the house, her eyes widening at the sight of me, a shriek in the form of my name leaving her mouth.

“It’s nothing,” I managed, jumping away from her before she could grab me.

“You’re bleeding, idiot!”