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13. Caves and Bones

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Chapter 13. Caves and Bones

What a day! We were successful in defeating, albeit temporarily, the Fire Pulser! I should note it didn’t happen exactly as the Fat Lady had said. Once the five diamonds were in place, instead of the shield we were expecting, a bright light shot between them, connecting them and forming a solid sphere around her. This circle, at least ten feet in diameter, glowed brighter and brighter until it became painful to look upon. However, after several minutes the light dimmed, and all that remained was a diamond ball with Lasia contained inside. I can only imagine her fury to see us there, watching her. As we did so, she pulsed fire from every inch of her body, and the diamond around her became hot. We were quite surprised when we saw the dirt around the diamond begin to melt and the sphere that encircled her start to sink. Eventually all that was visible were the top few feet of the diamond, which we promptly covered in dirt.

So much for the third element!

***

A large section of clouds rolled into the shape of a face. As it became clearer, its eyes opened, glancing around for a moment, then focusing on Jacob and Akeno.

The cloud was also forming massive hands and arms that appeared to be gathering something, but Jacob couldn’t look away from its angry gaze.

“Jacob! Run!” Aloren screamed. He ripped his eyes from the monster in the sky, surprised he was able to hear her. He hesitated for a split second before the adrenaline kicked in, then tore up the hill toward Aloren’s voice, Akeno running beside him.

Suddenly his feet flew out from under him and he soared through the air, landing hard on his knees ten feet from where he’d been standing.

Dazed, Jacob scrambled up and spotted Akeno about a yard away. He appeared to have been knocked unconscious. Jacob looked down the hill to see what it was that had thrown them forward and was surprised that a hole now smoldered, three feet in diameter, where he and Akeno had just been.

Aloren stood at the edge of the trees, screaming. No sound carried to Jacob, though he wasn’t more than forty feet away. She motioned with her hands for them to run. Jacob picked up Akeno and both bags, and made a beeline for the trees. Another shock wave blew through the air, nearly knocking him over, but this time he didn’t turn around.

He reached Aloren, tossed her one of the bags, and kept running. They ran up the hill, through the trees. Continual shock waves hit them on all sides with explosions and blasts of fire.

Trusting that Aloren knew where they were going, he stayed as close to her as possible, following her far up the side of the mountain and away from the trail. He still couldn’t hear anything, and shock waves rammed into his body, making any kind of movement difficult.

After what felt like an hour of solid running, Jacob saw several caves in the rock ahead of them. He followed Aloren into one, and they ran as far as they could until the cave stopped. Aloren mouthed something and darted out of the cave, unable to hear Jacob’s shouts to come back. Jacob wasn’t surprised—he couldn’t hear them, either.

She was gone for a couple of seconds before returning. Racing back in, she grabbed his hand and pulled him out of the cave. Confused, he chased after her into the entrance of another cave. They didn’t stop running until they were almost completely enveloped in darkness. Dropping Jacob’s hand, Aloren faced the entrance. The only thing visible was a glimpse of the mountains on the other side of the lake. She put the bag down, slumping by one of the walls.

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