Chapter Twenty-Five – Like Soldiers
There they stood within Deena’s abode, five in total: Kevin the ginger warrior, Daveon the handsome druid, Deena the little witch, Renatta the fire ninja, and Eldrian the aspiring wizard. They were in circle looking towards one another, as Eldrian just finished explaining everything he knew to those who were out of the loop—about Asta, the thugs, and the upcoming battle.
“So we’re expecting to run into a guy with mind control powers, and a guy who has indestructible skin, on top of a spellbreaker, which is apparently the thing that counters all of your powers?” Kevin asked.
“Yes,” Eldrian replied.
“You know I’ll help you, but how do we deal with this? It sounds even more dangerous than the giant Dylan thing.”
“Planning, and a lot of improvising, like usual.”
Deena crossed her arms and gathered their attention. “Eldrian and I have been discussing what to do. They all have unique abilities that need to be dealt with. If only those three are there as threats, we need to figure out who is best made to handle each one. There’s five of us, which means two of them can be dealt two of us instead of one, and I imagine Asta is on the top of that list.”
Chapter Twenty-Three – Twisted
Renatta no longer reflected the image of a deadly assassin. Instead, she wore fine red clothes, and not unlike in the way of a belly dancer. Her footwear slipped on, like flats, and in the end, Eldrian thought she resembled moreso a genie, but he also assumed if genies were real, they wouldn’t be armed with blades.
“I barely remember,” she whispered. “But I do have fleeting memories of a building. A small house, at the border of the city. It was old, worn, and next thing I knew, everything was spinning and twisting. I heard a voice in my head, and snickering, and here I am. I am sorry I do not remember more. I can take you to the place, though, at the very least. And then we can burn him up!”
She flexed her arm, and upon the edge of her knuckles sprouted a roaring fire. Eldrian winced back a step or two after feeling the wave of warmth come over his skin.
“Careful with that,” he muttered.
“Oops. Sorry,” she said in response, snuffing out the flame.
Chapter Fourteen – Elixir Unleashed
With the sun disappearing behind the flat landscape of a white Alberta ground, Deena stood ready several meters from the warehouse that Kevin was supposedly being held. She wasn’t alone either. On her shoulder was a rat, but it was no ordinary rodent, as the rat’s form was not long ago that of a handsome young man. Daveon, in his animal form, joined Deena in looking over the vacant side wall. It was time to move.
“So this is the place,” said the rat. “If you can get me inside, I’ll look around and see what we’re dealing with here. They might not even know who I am in the first place, but in this form, they definitely won’t suspect a thing. Look up there. I see a vent I can fit through.”
“Try not to die,” Deena replied.
“That’s usually the plan, yeah. Thanks. Just float me up there and I’ll hopefully return with something helpful.”
She nodded. There was hardly effort required to levitate such a small critter up through the air and into the vent near the warehouse’s roof. The rat scurried inside, and disappeared from Deena’s view.
Chapter Thirteen – The Odd Couple
The night passed quickly. Eldrian, who was still resting up at the hospital, was left with a box of leftover food from the disastrous dinner that happened the previous day. His injuries were fortunately not severe and his recovery was moving properly. Outside, Deena was walking down the sidewalk. She was not only looking for a place to open up a portal door to her home, but also felt as if she needed some fresh air and quiet.
It was still the morning. She was returning from her visit, but now she wasn’t certain what to do. She was once content with sitting, studying, and silence. Eldrian and Kevin entering her life made it difficult to think of anything other than the chaos they brought.
Down the sides of the road were smiling folks, and while she wasn’t joining them in that regard, it was a comforting sight. Everybody and their dog—literally—was out enjoying the last bits of sun before winter took it over. While the little witch brought the curious gaze of pedestrians she passed, she was used to it. From head to toe her body was pale, even her hair, but it wouldn’t be long until the city felt the same. Her hand held out with the palm raised up, and it was greeted by the melting of a single bit of snow that floated down from the sky.
Chapter Nine – One on the Inside
Day three came sooner than he thought it would. The food was delicious, the bed was comfortable, and ultimately, it was a nice vacation besides the looming threat of a backstabbing villain hiding somewhere nearby. This was also the last day he was able to stay. With his blue attire on, he left from his room and sought out the final of the Three.
They were never hard to find, as they didn’t tread far from Eldrian at any given time. However, it was only Huanca in the garden that morning, probably because they knew he was the last. The hairless man garbed in red turned to him as he approached and smiled warmly.
“Good morning, Eldrian.”
“Have you learned anything yet of our dilemma?”
“A little bit. I’m still not sure what’s going on, but maybe you can help.”
Chapter Eight – Three Two One
Eldrian awoke the next morning beneath decorated sheets stuffed with the softest feathers. The room, however small, was an exotic and beautiful sight to behold. Tapestries of landscapes foreign yet comforting hung from the walls, and various clay pots and sculptures of animals lined the room. He began to worry that a wrong move would cost him a fortune in damages. However, sunlight pierced through the drapes covering the window at the far end of the room and pushed him to get up and out of bed. He was by no means a morning person, but there was a lot of work to be done.
The Three offered him clothes to sleep in, but a wizard must always be prepared. He was dressed in black pajama pants. With a wave of his arms, discs of incorporeal energy manifested around him and drifted apart, leaving behind them an outfit—his arcane blue wizard clothes.
Today he was going to find and speak with Pachama. He wasn’t certain if he should believe Urco’s words from the night before, but the man seemed genuine. The promise of secrecy should be honoured nonetheless.
Chapter Seven – Complementary Colours
“Goodbye again, guys. I hope I can do this without you,” Eldrian began. They stood before the gateway they all entered through earlier that day. “I’ll let you know what we discover, and tell Lucy that I promise no more demons will be sneaking magic items out of this place once I’m done here.”
“Good luck, buddy,” said Kevin.
Daveon, however new to the party, offered the boy a kind smile. “Yes. Good luck.”
The gate reopened. After the stones shifted apart, the three departed through the hidden door. They all made their way back to town, as in the meantime, Eldrian had business to take care of. Pachama, Huanca, and Urco stood still dressed in their vibrant colours, and they continued to escort him everywhere he went. As kind as they were, it wasn’t in their agenda to trust anybody with full access to their secret society.