Part 3 - Chapter 30: A Light in the Darkness

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The deck rolled on turbulent waves as the containership cut through the sea. Though the ship was massive, the ocean was a force of nature that would not be conquered. More than once, Maria almost lost her footing as she stood atop the bridge castle with her brothers.

Only two days passed since they embarked onto the open sea, and her seasickness showed no sign of abating. A small act of magic would allow her to stifle her queasiness, except consistent contact with the spirit world could invite another incident. So she kept her grip tight on the railing and tried not to notice the rolling waves. And they all appreciated the fresh air of the sea.

"I can't believe you wrecked that speedboat, Enzo," Maria said, smiling to herself.

Enzo chuckled. "Yeah, I guess I should have gotten some lessons first, but at least no one can follow us here."

Maria frowned. She never considered the voices could be coming from someone chasing them, although it would explain why her attacks lessened once they put some distance between them and the cities of Brazil. They still came for her in the night, and she feared they always would, but their intensity diminished, and they ceased altogether while she was awake. She thanked God no more intense intrusions plagued her like she experienced on the riverboat. The voices felt so close then, but no longer. They were distant now.

"You really think someone could be after us?" she asked. "And did you really have to be so reckless with our boat? They have room on this big ship. We could have kept it when they rescued us."

"I'm just being safe, sister."

Levi laughed. He too seemed perplexed when the speedboat started sinking just as they spotted the large containership heading their way. Enzo assured them the ship was taking them in the right direction to get to the medicine man, so at least they continued their journey after losing their own boat.

"An odd coincidence," Maria said, smiling and looking suspiciously at Enzo.

Enzo shrugged and returned her smile. "Come, Maria, let's get below deck again. We are safer in the state room they gave us."

She nodded and followed her brothers down the stairs.

The next day, Maria finally felt better and could endure longer periods not lying down in her bunk. She started eating real foods without the threat of throwing them back up. It only required a small act of pleading to convince Enzo she could brave the top deck again and breathe the fresh sea air. After her nausea soothed, she rather enjoyed the salty wind and majesty of the wide open sea. Even the soft rocking of the boat was soothing.

And so, she was standing on the bridge castle the next day, staring out into the distance when she felt an odd sensation behind her. She gasped and spun around, looking back to the world they left behind, staring in fright.

"Oh, no!" she said.

Levi and Enzo stared at her in confusion.

"What is it, Maria?" Levi asked.

"It's them," she said. "Your archons! They must have been set free. I just saw some kind of explosive ritual back in Brazil. It was so strong, and now there's more of them! They're coming after me, aren't they?" She continued to stare off the stern of the ship.

Enzo regarded her with narrowed eyes. "What did you say, Maria?"

His voice broke her concentration, and she shook her head.

"What? I'm not sure, but somehow I know it," Maria said. "I saw it back there; there was an explosion of yellow mana. What does it mean, Enzo?"

"It means you're waking up. You've been losing your memories rather quickly as of late. The enchantment is breaking down."

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