CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE

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Though they did not have to, Avos and Elise held their breath as Lucinde walked past them. They watched as she left the hallow chambers they had found themselves in when they arrived.

Their arrival in the Scourge had been almost spontaneous. The last thing Avos remembered was taking Elise's hands as she began to chant in her ancient language. He closed his eyes and felt as if he was floating up into the clouds. Suddenly, his stomach lurched up into his throat as he was dropped only seconds later, right in the midst their enemies' lair.

Avos was unusually calm. He was still holding on to one of Elise's hands. He didn't seem to think it was a good idea to let go. He didn't know that Elise wouldn't have let go of his hands, even if he tried it. She needed to stay attached to him for the spell to hold. If she let go of his hand, he'd wake up back in Bolster.

They both waited until Lucinde was well out of sight and ear shot until they began to make their way deeper into the caverns. It did not take long to reach the room where El'Athan was raising his army. Luckily for them, the undead were trudging their way towards an exit through a corridor at the opposite end of the room.

Avos was transfixed on the process of the Soulless' resurrection. He felt his heart race as he wondered if he had to die in order to become Primordial. Marcus had never been too clear on the process. It took everything in him to look away. The way the dead man began to twitch and shake as El'Athan spoke over top of him was mesmerizing. The lifeless body, suddenly animated, suddenly oozing with magic and rot. Elise had to tug on his hand to keep him moving slowly across the room.

When he saw where Elise was leading him, his heart sink. Only a few feet away lay Marcus. He was chained by wrist and ankle to the wall. He was most likely unconscious, possibly close to death. Avos' gut wrenched and an anger built up inside of him. He did not like seeing his uncle this way, he wanted to run to him, to scream his name. It took all the effort he could muster to stay silent, to stay quiet, to keep moving at a snail's pace.

Before they travelled by Spirit Walk, Elise explained to him that all they had to do was locate Marcus and lay one hand each on him and they could then travel back with him intact. They had become sort of like a portal through time. Their essence was all that Marcus would need to escape. It seemed so easy. So, quiet he remained.

They began to make their way towards Marcus, moving as quietly as possible so they did not disturb El'Athan as he worked. Avos could only assume he was the Earth Builder. He hoped it was, he didn't want to believe that there were any other undead Primordials raising armies of corpses and planning his demise. One was enough.

They inched on. Each step felt like an eternity. Then when they were half way there, everything changed.

Elise saw him first. She knew instantly that he had made a mistake. He shouldn't be here. He should be in Bolster. It was apparent he was searching for her. When he first appeared he looked shocked and then a confused expression took it's place as he scanned his new surroundings.

"How dare you enter here Gray One!" shouted El'Athan as he noticed the elf trying to get his bearings. "Take a wrong turn?" The Soulless turned from their descent and began instead to make their way towards Faeron.

"Faeron!!" screamed Elsie.

Avos had never heard her sound so frightened. This was the Warden of Humankind, the Elf that had reached out to her for help. He had somehow found them. He obviously mistook their ethereal form in doing so and had put himself smack dab in the middle of danger.

Faeron searched for the source of the scream. He knew it was Elise, he just could not see her. He reached out with his magic and scanned the room. The draugs were closing in as he saw them in the ethers, the shapes of their bodies outlined in particles.

She only travelled here, thank the Light! The realisation of his folly brought a smirk to his face. Faeron could only hope she would be safer in Ethereal form. He did not know if he could protect her and face the Fallen One at the same time.  He was by her side in an instant.

"Are you able to take this from me?" Faeron asked her as he held out the Guardian Scroll he had recieved from his Elders.

Elise grabbed the parchment with her ethereal hand. "It seems so."

"Good, read them. Aloud." He looked to Avos. "Do not take your hands off her, Rainmaker. Help her, while I deal with these rotting..." he quickly turned around and sliced the head off of a Soulless who was inches away with a glimmering sword which manifested out of pure air. He turned again and looked back at Elise. "Now would be good."

Elise did not want to let go of Avos' hand so she motioned for him to help her unroll the scroll so she could begin reading it. She held the top of the scroll while Avos unrolled it with his freehand. Faeron was keeping himself busy with the Soulless and the cavern began to reek of rotting flesh as their wounds smoked. The draugs were confused, they could smell three different creatures but could only see one. Elise and Avos were protected from their acidic stench and it somehow did not to seem effect Faeron in the least.

The scroll was written in Valtra which was a relief to Elise because she could read it.

"Avos! It's a resurrection scroll!"

"The Water Scroll?"

"Well, no. Well, I don't know! I've never seen anything like this before. But no, it doesn't specify just water."

"Read it, witch!!" Faeron yelled from in-between blows. Elise huffed and stuck out her chest a bit and began reading the ancient text.

El'Athan had not yet advanced. Avos was watching him, afraid he might begin to make move against them. He must see them. Could he hear Elise? He must want to stop them. Why was he just sitting there, watching Faeron intently. Very intently. There was an anger in his eyes. Was there fear? He looked to Marcus who still lay lifeless. Was that a breath he just saw him take?

Elise continued reading. She had to be almost finished; there were not many lines to get through. But as Avos watched her, he felt something inside him stir. A magic, like how he felt when he had connected with Elsie to defeat the Soulless at Bolster.

Faeron had just defeated the last remaining Soulless and stood facing El'Athan.

Elise read the last words on the page.

Without facing her Faeron asked "Is it finished then?"

"Yes... Elf," she replied softly, she thought had failed.

Faeron smirked again and took up his sword and pointed it at the Fallen One. "Now you and I shall dance."

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