Chapter Forty-Seven – Don’t Stop Believin’
Eldrian stepped up beside the girl kneeling on the ground, and he took a long gaze over the carved stone chamber his portal door brought him into. Before him were Alumir and Barston, but they didn’t catch his attention for long. He looked down towards Deena instead.
“I know about Zayna. How you helped her,” he spoke.
Deena turned away. “Then why did you come? I did something bad, and I left everybody with no explanation. Nobody should trust me,” she whispered.
“You might have messed up, but that doesn’t matter. Friends don’t stop being friends because of a mistake. Everybody makes mistakes. And if you really are just evil, I sure as hell ain’t leaving it at that without hearing it for myself.”
The witch slid her phone away and pulled herself up into a sitting position. She wiped tears from her face, and exhaled a stuttering breath before momentarily pausing. Eventually she shot a ruby glare upwards to the wizard.
Chapter Forty-Four – How I Met Your Mother
A couple times over, the sun rose up and fell back beneath the winter horizon. Renatta was still cloaked, both to keep her unique appearance on the down-low, but also to shield herself somewhat from the frigid breeze of the night—not to mention that, even if she wasn’t used to it, it was in fact illegal to carry around two big, bladed weapons in most places in Canada.
She had learned a lot since meeting her friends. Recently, she was set up with a phone, and while she was completely baffled still by how it functioned, she was learning. She had recently been playing a frustrating game where she had to navigate a bird through a series of pipes. Not even her magic could help her get even remotely far. But it wasn’t the time for gaming. She had work to do, for her mother, her late father, and for herself.
Both her and her mother had been looking into the whereabouts of the men responsible for her father’s demise. It was recently that Renatta was confident she knew the location of the final man—the one who committed the murder. She could finally rest her hunt.
Chapter Thirty-Four – Learn to Adapt
Few can explain the intense feeling during a moment of indecisiveness in a simple and short description, especially when the light of attention is shining directly towards you. Your body feels hot, and your stomach uneasy. There feels as if a real weight is pushing down on your shoulders—one made of the impatience of others, whether it truly exists or is a figment of your own imagination.
“I-I just don’t know,” stuttered Arlandria. “I need more time.”
Eldrian patted her on the back. “Don’t worry. I’m here to help you.”
The two of them, along with Kevin, stared up at the menu board above the cash registers. Burgers, wraps, drinks, meals, sides, and more, filled the list of selections, and besides a few others sitting at tables, the place was basically empty.
“What’s a hamburger?” she asked.
“You don’t have hamburgers?” Kevin replied.
“No. It looks good, I guess, but why are there so many different kinds? Sorry… I’m making things difficult.”
Chapter Thirty-One – Trials and Tribulations
Kevin and Eldrian sunk lethargically into the living room sofa with eyes on the television screen. In Eldrian’s hands was a controller, and on the screen, a sword-wielding man in tights. They had recently finished eating dinner—pizza, the most healthy meal—and were relaxing with a game for the time being.
“So, about this game,” Eldrian started. “Is he an elf? I always thought he looked like an elf.”
“They’re their own species. I guess they’re basically humans, but with pointy ears. Or maybe they’re elves, but not typical elves. You know what’s weird? That I look at the screen now, and realize I have my own magic sword and shield, just like him.”
Eldrian snorted. “I don’t have a magic sword yet. You don’t get one until that Temple.”
“Does that mean I’m even stronger than him?” Kevin asked, looking to the wizard with a face filled with much more excited than perhaps it should have been.
Chapter Twenty-Nine – A Whole New World
“Come, little one. Proceed farther. Do not be afraid, for I am only here to help you.”
The voice was of a woman’s, and it was calm, like words spoken from one’s own mother. It emitted a sense of warmth and safety despite it being so alien. However, it was unclear where it came from other than deeper into the woods. It was as if the gaps between the trees whispered—luring.
“Who are you?” asked the little girl. “I’m cold. It’s dark, and I’m scared.”
“Continue forwards and meet with me, and I will keep you warm and safe. I will return you to your home.”
The child stepped cautiously between the density of the forest, rubbing her hands up and down her goosebump-covered arms. A chilling breeze caused a shiver to travel down her spine. She was lost, and this stranger’s voice did sound trustworthy to her. There were few other options in her mind.
It wasn’t long before she broke into a clearing. Up ahead, the speaker stood still. It was a beautiful woman with long black hair and crystal blue eyes. Her skin was fair. It reminded the child of her mother, and she made her way over with arms ready for an embrace.
Chapter Twenty-Eight – Party Like It’s 1499
The view itself, even though they had seen it before, was something not of this world. Or perhaps it was exactly the opposite, and that’s what made it seem so pure and uplifting. When gazing off a mountain to take in the hundreds of kilometres of even taller mountains and an ocean of trees, there’s something that awakens in everybody. It’s the thought of what the Earth might look like if there was hardly a touch from humanity’s hands. But where they stood at that moment, there were ruined walls of stone atop the plateau. They had allowed a day of rest, and then they returned to Machu Picchu.
Rend, Ron, Dylan, and Xeno were all contained in the Demon World, and they had become Lucy’s problem instead. Asta fell upon her own blade as well, which finally ceased the influx of threats falling upon the group. There wasn’t even a drop left of the Elixir of Strength.
There was still a bitter feeling mixed within the sweet. None of them had wanted to kill the woman behind it all, and something about her tale bothered Eldrian even more. But he knew he couldn’t allow it to bring him down, especially during a time meant for celebration. Now all five stood at the entrance of the hidden Inca civilization they had met before most of what occurred.
“This place is beautiful,” whispered Renatta. “There is really a secret city here?”
Chapter Twenty-Seven – The Last Victim
Kevin lunged once again at the spellbreaker, crashing the blue blade of Drodias against her magic shield. The collision sent out a burning flash of sparks down the line of impact, and her forward push sent him back like before. And when Eldrian tried another spell, she was quick enough to break it to pieces.
The two knew they needed a plan. A simple swing would always be blocked, and spells would be countered as long as she was focused—and she seemed to be quite adept at such.
“Your magic is useless,” Asta declared.
“So I cast sword!” shouted Kevin as he began another assault of slashes.
His strikes were blocked by her shield, but also parried by a few swings of her mace. He had been practicing, but she was older than him, and had clearly been doing this much longer than him. But he tried nonetheless. Kevin didn’t want to fail his friends despite his lack of actual magic ability.
“You’re quick with that blade, and it’s clearly special, but it won’t be enough,” said Asta rather calmly even in the midst of combat.