Chapter XX

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"I don't trust him," said Pandora.

"Cannot blame you, but don't you think you might me exaggerating a little bit?"

"Not at all, and you know that if I don't like something, I'll put my terms on it or work nothing with that thing. The same goes for unknown people."

"Pandora, the House of Dramuni has been known by my family, and yes, I never met them because of what happened, and yes, I understand that you might distrust Draxen, but right now that's the best we have. I know Gail is still live, but we don't know either why or if she will be for any longer."

"I know, I swear I know, and I also want to save her, but don't ask me to go blindly into a starnger's spell with nothing in my favor."

"Okay, do the spell that way if it calms you, but try not to be so..." I searched for the right word. "extremist in your methods," I finally said.


Wiese had been listening in silence, and when I stood up to go inside, they wernt with me. The hours passed slowly while we waited for Draxen, all of us doing anything to keep our minds busy, but when he returned, no one knew how to react. I admited that a little part of me thought he wouldn't come back, not after what Pandora threw at him.

"Hello," he said, entering the house. "It's almost sunset, the right time for the ritual, shall we go outside?"

We silently went out, Pandora with the book floating beside her and an already drawn, beating rune hidden under her skin, in case anythign happened. It will swallow Draxen in flames if he tried to do something she didn't like. Considering what she was capable of doing, I knew she was holding back. Bittersweet.

"I'd do the spell first," she said. "The way I told you."

"Will guide me but could kill me, I know," he said as if speaking of the weather. "Go ahead."

Pandora closed her eyes for a couple of seconds, drawing a rune with her 'unarmed' hand, creating a blue rune that went right to Draxen's right hand. "You'll feel the way to take and it will shine while you're following it. Try it." She simply said.

Draxen opened his palm, and there it was, a rune as black as ink. He moved it and, when it faced a path between three rocks, it shone in a bright blue. Draxen laughed, sincerely happy, and looked at us. "Thank you, really."

"You're welcome. Anythign we should know before you begin?"

"Just focus on what you want to achieve, which is find that girl. Focus on her face, her name, and the portal will take you there."

A thought came to me. "Can you do two portals?" Pandora and Wiese looked at me. "This could be the best chance to send you home, Wiese."

"No way!" They said, horrified. "I'm going with you! You promised I will!"

"I know, but the Black Ocean is dangerous..."

"I can defend myself, I can help, I will do anything you tell me, but don't send me home, please, please," they said in a rush.

I looked at Pandora for support, for she had a gaze I couldn't understand. They's really scared, her voice said in my mind, not of this, but of his home. Was it that then? Let them come with us, I won't let anything happen to them. Okay, I thought.

"Do not stay away from Pandora, not a bit."

"I promise, I swear." Despite I wasn'tasking him, he answered anyway, visibly relieved.

"Go ahead, Draxen," I said looking at him.

It was all simpler than I expected. He simple draw a thick, black circle around us, which seemed to be another of his creatures, moving and trembling as if it were alive, along with different runes around.

"Hold your hands and think of the girl as soon as I close my eyes," he said.

"Wiese doesn't know her," Pandora said suddenly as she took my hand and Wiese's. How could we have forgotten that?

"Then think about following Pandora and Alynne wherever they go," he told them. Wiese nodded effusively and took my other hand. Then, Draxen closed his eyes.

The next thing I knew was that the ground started shaking and my head spinning as if I were in the middle of a freezing hurricane. Both Wiese and Pandora tightened their hands in mine.

But just as soon as it began, so it came to an end. In less than a second, the air calmed down, but I didn't open my eyes until I heard a scream not far from where I where. Gail's.

She was in a cage made of stone, surrounded by what I thought ten shadows, all in different forms, but with two bulls on each side of her prison. I didn't even need to say it, Pandora took distance and Wiese went right to her as I ran to Gail.

The white water caressed my feet as I went to the creatures, taking each dagger from their places. It was challenging, but managed to find a pace in the wet sand. When I was near enough, I cut the head of a snake-like shadow in a single movement, kicking another with the shape of a bear in the head.

When I had a  chance to see her, Pandora had opened her book. It sent chills down my spine, but I had to trust her. Wiese, on the other hand, was right behind her, trembling, but moving their fingers in a way I recognized. They's drawing runes.

I swallowed thickly, trying not to despair. I didn't need to think a lot about it, as another shadow, a spider, came after me. "You'll have to do somethign better than this!" I houted, as I punched it in the face and cut her chest, having enough time to dodge a flying shadow.

However, while I tried to rcover my breath, I saw that some of them were not shadows, but dark elves, preparing their bows and arrows to shoot. It had been a trap, I had knew it, but I never tought the Tenth could use her creatures in Dreamare.

Pandora screamed, and I had to kick two shadows before I could look at her. She and Wiese were surrounded by red circles, which spun and traversed the earth like furious rings of energy. The book levitated a few inches from her hands.

"I need enough time and the bastards will burn to ashes," she said. "Watch out!" I had just enough time to counterattack and break one leg of a humanoid shadow. I needed to get nearer to gail, who was crying desperately. Finally, I had the opportunity to vent, and do something good in the process.

Some circles appeared around me, and I knew they were from Wiese. I shouted a thanks to them and went right to the next shadow, making it clash with one of their runes. Surprisingly, it set it on fire. "Keep doing those!" I shouted at them. Three more came to my side, and I used them as a shield agaisn't the shadows.

When I was closer to the elves, they started to shoot with an inhuman speed, almost one arrow per second. Another set of runes came, this time creating a tornado around me, which diverted the arrows. I could not help laughing.

"Alynne! I'm almost ready! Take Gail and get back!"

With my daggers, I killed one of the elves before she could shoot me, and used her body as a shield agaisn't the others. The screams of the creature were deafening, but they gave me enough time to take a sword from another elve, cut his throat and break Gail's cell with a red rune and both daggers.

"Run to Pandora!" I told her, but she had already started running. There were still three shadows bathed in blood and three elves. I used the last red rune making it clash agaisnt the ground and making myself fly. "Now!"

Just when three yellow runes came to me, creating a shield, Pandora raised her hands. The circles went straight to the creatures, wrapping them in flames and exploding at once.

 The circles went straight to the creatures, wrapping them in flames and exploding at once

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