Chapter 18

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Picture of Stark Above
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Chapter 18

Previously on for the love of Death...

I could feel the darkness fight the radiance in my soul. I knew I had a lot to fight for but my resolve was weak. Darkness always felt comforting but this was different. It was unsettling and began to douse my senses in pain. I could no longer fight it. The throbbing became unbearable and I cried out in torment. I thrashed around and gripped my head as my body burned like the fire of a thousand suns. I struggled to hold onto my humanity but it was too late.

The darkness prevailed...

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Aira's point of view

After we quelled the roaring beast that resided in Stark's stomach, we proceeded to make our way to LA. It was within Ava's power to teleport us there. I marveled at her abilities. Maybe she could mentor me once this mess was over. It was dusk when we hiked up to the sign. I looked around speculatively, seeing nothing but tumble weed rolling across the parched earth.

Stark mumbled under his breath, as he crossed his arms over his chest. He reminded me of a petulant child who wasn't getting his way.
I walked over to him and placed my arm on his shoulder, "I'm sorry, what was that?"

"I said, this freaking sucks!"

Tyler ignored Stark and knelt to the ground, his eyes fixed firmly on a dandelion. He plucked it gently so as to not disturb the tiny seeds.
"Dude what the H are you doing?" Stark said incredulously.
I rolled my eyes at Stark and said, "I can't believe you quoted Adventure Time."
"You know what it is so that must mean you watch it too" Stark said smugly.
I turned my back on him and I hoped he didn't notice the blush that faintly tinted my cheeks. My eyes zoomed onto what Tyler was doing instead.

We all regarded Tyler skeptically as he carried the dandelion over to a huge boulder. He placed his hand over it, muttered incoherently under his breath and blew the dandelion onto the rock. He then proceeded to sit down and we continued to stare. Tyler finally turned his gaze towards us and smirked. He actually smirked!

"Uhm, what was that?" Elsa asked.

"That was our ticket to Nicolas's secret hideout." Tyler said arrogantly.

My jaw dropped, "How could you have possibly known that?" I felt slightly suspicious by Tyler's action. Warning bells were ringing in my ears and my mind screamed, "TRAP!!"

"It is not a trap Aira, relax. I helped Nicolas find this place centuries ago. I was tasked with building it. Father always had his suspicions of Nicolas and I was asked to trail him. Nicolas thought I was one of Father's mindless drones and he remained non-the-wiser. Unfortunately I lost track of him for the past two decades." Tyler finished.

"How did you-"

"The higher order daemons have special abilities. One of his many abilities I'm afraid." Ava informed me. Her eyebrows furrowed together and she whipped around suddenly to face Tyler.

"Wait if you built this place, then why didn't you mention anything when we did the location spell? I could have transported us right inside if I had an inkling of where we were going."

Tyler shook his head, "It wasn't at this site up until a few days ago. I was ordered to make its location difficult to be found. As a spy, I had to make sure that Nicolas did not suspect any disloyalty and I did my best to conceal it. Naturally, I had a few tricks up my sleeve and also created a way for me to find an entrance if ever the opportunity arised. The dandelion was spelled to project multi-colored lights when I was near the entrance, and it is sort of a master key."

"I'm impressed Tyler. That must take some serious skill. Not to mention dedication. What exactly are we waiting for though?" I enquired. I noticed Tyler making himself comfortable, which meant we must have a long wait ahead.

Tyler didn't answer me straight away, so I sat on the dry, scratchy grass and stared at the horizon. The sun had just dipped in between two lush hill tops, painting the sky glorious shades of orange and yellow. In that moment, I basked in the tranquility of our surroundings. The night was falling faster now, and soon enough we will be engulfed in darkness.

A few hours had passed before Tyler had answered my question. He turned to me, his warm hazel eyes twinkling in the dark, "In order for us to actually pass into the structure, we need to wait until exactly 9pm. The door will appear briefly for a minute. No more, no less."

Stark shrugged and grinned lazily as he plopped down next to Tyler, "That doesn't seem so bad. Even if we somehow miss the door, we can just catch the next one tomorrow evening."

"Well, not exactly..." Tyler began sheepishly.

Ava's honey eyes narrowed and she placed her hands on her hips, "And what does that mean exactly?" I resisted the urge to giggle. She reminded me of a mother hen.

"The structure changes it location every year. It also changes directly after the master key has been used and goes into lock down. So we have to get in now."

Stark yawned and scratched his belly, "Still, it isn't as bad as it sounds. There's only 10 minutes until the door opens. I'm more surprised that there aren't any guards around."

Almost as if they were prompted, the ground split open ferociously and dark figures rose out of the earth with an ear-splitting screech.
"Seriously Universe?!" Stark bellowed to no one in particular, as he pulled out his twin blades just in time to slit two sub daemons throats.

"You make it too easy!" Elsa laughed merrily, aimed a roundhouse kick to a group of subs.

I glanced at my phone and cursed. We had less than 7 minutes left.
"Guys, we have to do this now. It's almost time!"
I ducked a hit just in time and delivered a blow to the sub that tried to hit me. Unsheathing my kitana, I rushed forward and sliced three more daemons. We continued this massacre for a few minutes but it seemed as if more and more kept coming. It was clearly a distraction.

"You guys go ahead, I need a little action. Caves make me claustrophobic anyhow," Else shouted.

I didn't like the idea of leaving anyone behind but there was no other way. We held our own until we reached the boulder, which was glowing faintly. A handle appeared where a door knob should have been and Tyler grasped it quickly. He flung it open and everyone piled in after him. I stopped briefly and glanced at Elsa, who motioned for me to go. I nodded, and entered Nicolas's hideout.

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