Chapter Twenty-Two – Prison Unbreak
Enough was enough. It was time for Eldrian to throw caution aside—even if he often did that already—and work the offensive to stop this unknown force from threatening not only his life but that of his friends’. Therefore, he pitched an idea to Deena as they sat together on the sofa of her living room. It was one that not only could lead to trouble, but could also lead them to answers, or at the very least, it could unravel the mystery of the spiral eyes.
“So this is the plan,” Eldrian started. “We travel to the police station at midnight tonight. See, I know for a fact that the old man I ran into before is still being kept in there, as they’re a little confused about his condition still. We need to act quickly. It’ll be easy for us to get inside, and when we are, we figure out what happened to him.”
“You want to use our magic to sneak into a jail?” Deena asked in response.
“Yes. It’ll be a snap. In, out, and nobody will find out. We aren’t going to break him out. We’re going to break ourselves in… and then back out. It isn’t like any laws will be broken. You know, besides the trespassing part.”
“We don’t exactly have a better plan, I suppose. And it could lead us to that assassin too. She has some explaining to do.”
“You’re still mad about that?”
“I thought you would be.” She crossed her arms, and shifted her ruby gaze away. “Whatever. I’m just saying, she’s involved.”
“We’ll find her. Don’t worry about me in the meantime.”
“I didn’t say I was worried about you, did I?”
“I saw it. In those spooky eyes.”
“Is it too late to decline going along with this plan?” Deena muttered.
“If you don’t want to…”
“I’ll go. You’re right about it being easy. And this whole thing has me upset. What time is it now?”
“Just getting to eight o’clock.”
“I’ll meet you there.”
Eldrian gave a nod of his head, and until then, he departed and waited.
Luckily, time passed quickly by, and there the wizard lurked in the shadow of a neighbouring building with an opened blue robe trimmed with silver. The hood was pulled over his head, casting a censoring blackness over his face, but a shimmer of his pale blue eyes shown as he glanced up to the noise of Deena approaching.
She had a black coat, a skirt of the same, while her legs were covered by striped leggings. Her hair was done up into hoops, and said style was together by over-sized ribbons. She made her way up to stand beside him, quietly, and she turned her head up to meet his eyes.
It wasn’t the air that brought a chill down his spine. Eldrian kept feeling as if someone was watching him, ever since all of this started, which was likely a cautious thing to ponder given the circumstance. Three criminals, all given special abilities, were sent after them by a single woman, and then a series zombified innocents were being moved at someone’s leisure, presumably. Fortunately, through the wall up ahead, there was an older man affected by a curse, and with their wizardly abilities, they should do well finding something to go on.
“Are you ready to do this?” asked Eldrian.
Deena nodded. “Yes. Let’s go quickly.”
As if they were never there in the first place, the two wizards vanished from sight and appeared somewhere new. It was through the small window of the cell that they blinked. To anyone, it would have seemed as if the latter had been the only truth—that they were inside the police station alone with only the spiral-eyed man.
Soon, the man turned, and his strange eyes widened at the strangers. They feared he was going to scream, but Deena was a bright witch. The spell came from her.
A black strip pulled itself over the man’s lips like a piece of tape and stuck on tight. He tried to pull at the edges, but it didn’t budge even slightly, so only muffled noises were heard. At nearly the same moment, Eldrian spun up his hands, causing a swirling cyan force of power to move up his arms and betwixt his finger tips, which caused pair of vibrant rings of the same colour to wrap around the man’s body to bind him tight. Binding Bands!
They pulled him aside and to the wall. It was Deena at his front. In order to reach a comfortable position to gaze into his eyes, she had to float—even if it was embarrassing—a foot or so off the ground. A hand covered his face, and she began to think. Her mind focused.
In her head and body, she felt the magic. She used her knowledge from books and her natural affinity with such powers to determine what she could. Given enough time, a wizard can solve almost anything, especially if it’s related to magic. They have a certain connection to such, and with more knowledge from ancient books on the arcane, this ability only increases in versatility. Eldrian felt as if he definitely could, but Deena was insistent, as the magic seemed more to her nature. She liked it because it was spooky, basically.
“You’re getting better at flying,” mumbled Eldrian.
Deena was mostly quiet, but a whispered, “Thank you,” was heard between breaths.
Her shoes landed against the stone floor with a gentle click. She looked to Eldrian, and her thumb slowly raised itself up to gesture triumph.
“You know what’s up?” he asked.
“Of course. It’s not unlike a curse, but it was definitely done by something strange. I think I can reverse the effect. But, essentially, he’s been conditioned, like brain washing, to do certain things.”
“I had a feeling, ever since I saw him leave his home exactly as his clock hit a specific time. Go, then. Let’s see what he knows.”
“But then he’ll have seen us,” she whispered.
“It’s fine. We’ll put him asleep after, and he’ll think it was all a dream,” he replied. “Plus, he’ll probably just blame the condition he’s been in.”
She turned her eyes back to the terrified, bound, and hypnotized elder. With a wave of her hand, she bewitched the spell straight from his mind. The spirals of his eyes turned to normal, and he gasped for air as if his life had returned to him.
“Hey, it’s fine,” said Eldrian softly as he raised up his hand towards him.
Suddenly, without even a hint of warning, Eldrian yelled out in pain. A tiny kunai burning with fire stabbed not only into his palm, but pinned it briefly against the stone wall he was up against. It put a slit through his hand which burned around the point of impact.
“What the—“ said Deena quickly.
Her eyes turned to the only place something could possibly come from, which was the window. She didn’t hesitate to follow suit by once more teleporting outside in the blink of an eye. After groaning and gripping his wound, Eldrian joined her, placing them both just beneath the cell window. It was nothing but a cool, quiet night, or so it seemed.
There was then something Eldrian recognized. It was the disk-like blade the assassin cut him with before, and it was coming straight for them from the neighbouring rooftop. It was too late to react by the time it came whistling through the air. Eldrian heard the crash of metal against stone beside him, followed by the scream of Deena as it carved through the back of her wrist.
“Damn it! Come out here!” cried Eldrian, now steaming.
The weapon lifted back up and made a quick dash back to its master, which Eldrian than saw. The red-haired woman was flipping through the air, and she caught the blade while doing so, before landing gracefully back to the ground, all in one smooth acrobatic maneuver. This led into her next move, as when she landed, she pivoted her body to toss her second blade towards them.
A shimmer of rage shone behind Eldrian’s gaze. His eyes were focused now, and no longer was he in the mood for joking. Time almost seemed to slow as the sharpened disk made its way to his chest. He thrusted his body forwards, causing his cloak-like robe to billow in the wind, and his hood to fly off the back of his head.
The weapon was caught in a conjured force, similar to how the assassin retrieved her weapons. Using its own spinning momentum, he steered the weapon in a perfect one hundred and eighty degree turn, and it flew back to its master prematurely like a sudden elastic snap.
It cut through the air, as well as through the skin of the assassin’s leg. She attempted to dodge, but it still sprayed a shower of crimson off to her side as she tumbled away. The assassin gripped the wound with a clenching of her teeth.
She looked up, but Eldrian was already a step ahead. She could hardly tell what he was doing in the dead of night, and through her pain, but her body was quickly bound by two cyan rings of energy which held her stiff.
One more spell came, and it was more than enough. It would have been better if she fell, but at that moment, she decided to stand. Often, a win or loss comes down to a specific decision, and her mistake may not even have been standing. It could have been doing something else, which pushed one too far, but either way, she lost as quickly as she attacked. Eldrian’s hand was up to her chest. For a moment, she wanted to be flustered at something so inappropriate, but instead she was greeted only wish a rush of kinetic force that shot her ten feet back into a wall. Push!
Everything went black for her after that.
With her edgy assassin mask pulled down to her neck, Eldrian noticed she was actually very beautiful. Her skin was dark and foreign, though he couldn’t place where she was from, yet her hair was almost unnaturally red and tied back into a pony-tail, just as it was the last time they met. She was also, for the lack of a better way of describing it, more fortunate than Deena in the department of a feminine physique. There was certainly more he could notice than when he was nearly being murdered by her, such as small red feathers hanging from the band in her hair, and her large, ocean-blue eyes.
They were—of course—in Deena’s house, much to her dismay. They had her sitting in the corner of her kitchen up against the counter near the sink, and she groaned when she awakened and tried to figure out what was happening. And there were no spirals beneath her lids.
“Where am I?” came the young woman’s voice.
The two wizards luckily had time to tend to themselves, at least for the time being. Eldrian had bandages wrapped several times around his right hand, and the same went for Deena’s wrist. They also—against Deena’s wishes—repaired the assassin’s injuries as well. Eldrian insisted.
Eldrian spoke up. “Somewhere far away from where you tried to kill us.”
She gasped. Colour come to her cheeks as her breathing increased in speed.
“I did? Oh my goodness. I did not know! Please. I am so confused.”
“Where are you from?”
“Originally? Well, me and my family are from India. I came here years ago. I really do not remember anything between now and…” she drifted off as she looked up to a calender behind Deena’s head. “Almost a week!”
She reached down to a pouch at her side. Both wizards flinched, but instead of a weapon, she pulled out an oatmeal cookie and took a surprisingly large bite.
“Is this the time for eating?” asked Deena quietly.
“Any time is the time for eating,” replied Eldrian.
The assassin giggled. “Yes. I have a problem with eating baked goods. I can not help myself. Sorry. Oh no. This is the last one! What am I going to do?” she practically shouted near the end.
“You cut both of us open!” snapped Deena.
“I did?” she responded with a frown. “I did not mean to.”
Eldrian crossed his arms over his chest. Still, the woman sat on the floor in front of them, terrified and confused.
He sighed. “Who are you?”
“My name is Renatta. I am a fire dancer.”
“And a wizard.”
She gasped yet again. “You know?”
“You used magic against us. Don’t worry. You were being controlled the entire time, and for better or for worse, I think the people affected don’t remember a thing afterwards. I bet that old man won’t even remember we saved him, considering we left right away.”
“A man…” she muttered.
“What was that?” asked Deena.
“It was a man who did this. I think. It was the last thing I saw. Please, you need to let me leave so I can find him and figure this out. And beat him!”
Eldrian looked to Deena, and then to Renatta. He offered his hand down to her. Enthusiastically, she grabbed it with impressive strength and pulled herself up, practically bouncing with excitement. He then grinned to her, and laughed.
“We need the help,” stated Eldrian. “And if you want to bring the same people down that we do, I think we should accept that help. Right, Deena?”
The witch said nothing.
“Right,” Eldrian continued. “So tell us all you know about this man, or whatever happened before.”
“Before that, can I find my actual clothes? This weird outfit makes me look like a bandit. I could never be acrobatic in this thing.”
“You did front-flip off a roof and catch your weapon.”
“My chakrams! Where are they?”
“Relax. We took your weapons, but we have them. Now let us know what you know, and of course I understand the importance of looking the part before battle. That’s just a given.”
“And do you have any donuts?”
“Talk,” barked Deena from behind.
Renatta practically froze with fear as she gazed into the terrifying eyes of the tiny witch.
“Sorry,” the red-head muttered. “Yes, well, the man I remember had long, twisted, greasy hair, and a pointed chin. He also had the body of a water noodle.”
“Do you know where to find him?” asked Eldrian.
“I think so. Yes. I know so. I will help as best I can to make up for all of this, I promise! I do not want to be enemies. You are both so strong. At least, I assume, since my head and body still ache from whatever it is you did.”
“A fire-dancing ninja wizard assassin, huh?” Kevin asked.
Eldrian, on the phone with his best friend, responded with, “Basically.”
“Is she cute?”
“That’s the first question you have?”
He laughed. “Sorry.”
“I’ll let you and Daveon know anything else we find out.”
“So does that mean both women who’ve joined us have threatened at least one of our lives?”
“I mean, if you want to think about it that way.”
Kevin sighed. “All I’m wondering is if all wizards are this eccentric. Like, can we have a girl join our crew that’s quiet, simple, long blonde hair…”
“I’ll get you one if you’re good.”
“Shut up. And I’d come with you if I didn’t have plans, and you have three wizards anyway. That sounds pretty unbeatable. So just call me if you need a skilled swordsman.”
“A tangerine samurai?”
“Please stop calling me that.”
“Hey, I’ll talk to you later, Kev.”
“I’ll see you around,” he said as he hung up.
Kevin rested back against his sofa. At the moment, his parents were out and he was watching television. The screen had an incredibly attractive pretty boy with short blonde hair and perfect pale skin. He was being interviewed for his incredible work keeping Toronto safe. The young man in question was surrounded by young ladies who begged for his attention, and Kevin swore his teeth actually sparkled when he smiled for them. Over his shoulder, he always seemed to carry a black umbrella, which matched his dark suit and bowler cap.
Daveon came out of the bathroom and made his way over. For a time, the two decided to hang out, even if their interests differed in many respects. There was a bond Kevin had been feeling between himself and all he’d met because of Eldrian’s introductions.
“Who’s that?” Daveon spoke as he leaned over the back of the couch.
“Oh. That’s Noah Jackson. He’s pretty famous for his fighting and investigation skills. And his good looks. For some reason, I just… hate that guy.”
“No! Maybe it’s his dumb hat.”
“The way you talk, it sometimes makes me forget if I’m speaking to you or your good friend Eldrian. But you’re both great people anyway.”
“Thanks, Daveon, but I think Eldrian is way better than I am. I have a magic sword, all right, but that’s not even something I did. It’s something that was given to me, and it’s probably something I don’t deserve.”
“You know, I figure everyone is just a combination of what they were given. We’d all be dead if not for others, and none of us are perfect. We all have flaws. That’s why we so often come together, to balance each other’s shortcomings.”
“It feels good to be part of a team. I just don’t want to let everyone down.”
“I bet we all feel the same way. And from what I can tell, deep down, Eldrian feels this the most. He seems like the kind of man that ends up being the leader no matter how much he fights it, so he slowly stopped fighting at all. We should feel lucky that we don’t have that kind of stress.”
“You really think so? He doesn’t seem to act that way.”
“Just look at how things have gone. We have a party, like we’re playing some kind of JRPG. You’re the warrior. Deena’s the black mage. Eldrian’s the sorcerer. I’m the… druid, I guess. And yes, I do play video games sometimes. I’m not just a hippy.” He snickered.
“So what you’re saying is we need a cleric,” Kevin replied with a smirk.
“I suppose so. I’m afraid I can’t help with that. No magic on Earth I’ve heard of can actually heal somebody’s wounds.”
“So we need to work together to minimize damage…” Kevin mumbled. “We need to protect one another.”
“Exactly. The only thing I worry about is if threats continue to grow, doing that will only grow more difficult, unless our party grows even larger. We’ll eventually wish we were playing a JRPG, just for healing potions.”
“If you’re good, I’ll buy you a healer.”
Daveon rolled his eyes. “Then I’ll be good.”
Stay tuned for Chapter Twenty-Three – Twisted!