Chapter Forty-Nine – Looming Shadow
There was an eerie silence around Deena and Eldrian after the two brothers departed. It was just them, an empty chamber, and a grand set of doors ahead of them. This was something Deena had been looking forward to ever since she learned of its existence—her mother’s secret hideout. Although she’s long since passed on, secrets may lie within.
Her gloved hand swept over the chilling metal front. It looked as if it would take the strength of many men to move such hefty doors, but when she pushed forward, the crack between them widened. Creaking echoed almost deafeningly off the walls, and draft beckoned them inside.
“What should we expect to find in here?” Eldrian asked.
“I’m not sure. For years, my father has tried to convince me that my mother wished me away from family dealings, and I’ve never known why. Perhaps I don’t care the reason. But if it isn’t true, I need to prove it. I just want to know what my mother truly felt,” replied Deena.
Chapter Forty-Eight – Streetlight People
Seven heads devoid of light coiled up from a misty shroud around Alumir’s feet. He didn’t spare a single moment, so each of the heads snapped closed shadowy jaws as they made their way to their prey. Each appendage loomed over them, blocking the torchlight from above. They crashed down where Eldrian and Deena stood, but an instant before, the two of them blinked a few meters backwards to dodge the attack and stand before the entrance.
Taking a firm stance, Deena raised a single hand up above her, and faced her brother with a determined stare. A plume of black appeared above said hand, and in a moment, it swirled into a ball of chaotic power. She tossed it towards the multitude of heads with all of her strength. Shadow Ball!
Eldrian acted at the same time as the witch beside him. He brought two fingers up on both his hands, and as sparks appeared above them, he brought his hands around in circles before leading them to his side. The electric power grew, and when he hurled it forwards, it fired off in a streak. Lightning Lance!
Both of the attacks collided with Alumir’s Black Hydra. Three of the heads burst into smoke, though the four remaining seemed unaffected, and just as determined to devour them whole.
Chapter Forty-Five – Family Feud
Eldrian stood his ground as the only thing between the life of the man behind him and a brutal demise. He knew he was a criminal, and that he did terrible things and perhaps even deserved such a fate, but he couldn’t sit idly by while his friend slit a man’s throat. There was something off about her demeanour during the whole thing.
“Do you know how long I’ve had my dearest daughter train for a moment like this?” her mother spoke. “How skilled she’s become, just so she can cut the man down? He’ll pay. Know that, and get out of our way. Renatta has grown strong because of me.”
Eldrian swallowed. “I can’t do that. My conscience won’t let it happen.”
“Your conscience? What do you even know of the situation at hand?”
“Only a bit, but I have a feeling… There’s something bothering me. Is that really why you trained Renatta, to help her?”
“What do you mean?”
“I think you only meant to turn her into a weapon of vengeance.”
Chapter Forty-Three – Secrets
Eldrian’s bleeding, trembling hand continued to grip onto the blade of the sword as he struggled to pull himself to his feet, and when he saw that Daveon was too shocked to drive the weapon forward once more, he released his grip, and slowly lowered it to his side. The druid, once mentally recovered, handed Drodias back over to Kevin and took a step back.
“What do you mean you’re not controlling him?” uttered Daveon.
“Don’t kill her. Wait,” Eldrian said with a groan.
Arlandria hustled over to the injured wizard and consoled him. She looked to his wounds, and with her hands at the ready, she began her healing ritual. A soothing light started the process of closing the gashing in his flesh, and for that, he gave her a thankful albeit exhausted smile.
“What do you mean, don’t kill her? She’s a demon. Isn’t that what you came here to do? And she tried to control your mind,” Daveon barked.
Eldrian nodded. “I know, but—“
Chapter Forty-Two – Love is Blind
“So, Eldrian’s been hanging out with this girl pretty much non-stop. I have no idea where Deena went. She just kind of disappeared off the face of the planet. Now I’m bored. Hopefully Eldrian doesn’t keep spending all his time with Zayna,” Kevin explained as he lounged on his sofa.
Joining him were Daveon and Arlandria. It had been a couple days, and thankfully, nothing crazy had happened to them otherwise. Not all of their friends were present, nor were they obligated to inform them of everything that was going on with their lived. Deena was always mysterious. She often did disappear for fragments of time.
“Are you jealous of her?” Arlandria asked.
“What? No!” quickly replied Kevin.
Daveon crossed his arms and shook his head. “I can’t believe you’re so calm about this. Both of you. You said she had grey skin, horns, a tail, and more. It’s a demon. This Zayna is clearly from the Demon World. You know, the demon Eldrian was probably out to hunt? You don’t think this is a cause for alarm?”
Chapter Thirty-Nine – The Moose
The fight had commenced a few minutes prior. They were already exhausting themselves, but given that it was still a four against two, the heroes didn’t worry too much. Kevin’s Drodias and Aegis of Light were out, and the three wizards were conjuring spells.
“Where’s Eldrian?” shouted Kevin.
“Not here,” Poppet said with a snicker. “Not even close.”
“Then why are you fighting us?”
“Just following orders. No hard feelings, right?”
Alchia fired a tiny version of her acid arrow from a single palm and yelled, “Yep! We’re just doing what he said. All we gotta do is keep you busy for some reason.”
“Dang it,” muttered Daveon. “What do we do? Finish them?”
Chapter Thirty-Eight – How the Elf Stole Christmas
A bead of sweat stopped at Kevin’s right brow. In that moment, he was unable to move a single part of his body. He just stood there, staring off into space, with the phone gripped in his hand. Was this what it was like when Ron kidnapped him a few weeks back? This was different. Kevin knew he was no wizard, and this time, it was Eldrian in danger.
“We need to do something,” muttered Kevin.
Arlandria pursed her lips. “I agree, but Tyreth is incredibly dangerous.”
“So how do you know this guy?”
“He’s from my world.”
She nodded. “And he’s the reason I’m on Earth to begin with. He failed to kill me.”
“Why is he trying to kill you?” Kevin gasped, nearly dropping his phone to the ground.