Chapter XIV

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After drawing the symbols on the ground, said the incantations and washing it on a rive near to us, Pandora gave a necklace to Wiese. It had one of the fags form the snake-like shadow, which turned to be half-spectre; we discovered it when Pandora saw the fangs and nails, all of them, intact.

She knew how to make a simple necklace with a little bit of fabric you took from my already short dress. I knew I would need to find something else soon, but mean while, it wouldn't be a problem, as we had proved we could defend ourselves; I tried not to think on that one exception, the reason for us to travel...

Pandora had done another spell that showed us the right way to Gail, and despite that meant she was still alive, something told me that there was something strange in that whole situation. Why didn't the shadows kill her? They never showed mercy to someone, and as far as I knew they didn't have a ruler, a kind of King or Queen. Would it be that things changed, in that case?

Wiese made a soft nod, as if thinking the same as me. 'Are you?' I asked in my mind, and they nod again. Ironically, it surprised me that I didn't find his power surprising this time. It confused and amazed me at equal parts, and for the smile in their face, I knew they was still reading my mind.

'I want a private moment, please' I said, and Wiese understood, as I felt something changing in the air. 'So this is how things work then...'

There was something I couldn't stop thinking about, besides Wiese's nature, and it was the connection with the real world. There had to be one, I was sure, why then would so many legends and myths in the folklore, the cultures, the books? I just had to find a way to get in contact, something that took me to there for a while.

It had been a long walk since we left the ruins, and little did we speak since the last attack. However, we still found some comfort in the others' company. I knew that Wiese may be tired, but it was better for all of us if we kept walking as long as we could, and I also knew they understood as well.

It was when we reached another spot in the forest that we stopped, thicker and filled with different trees that would help us cover ourselves, maybe even hide our scent from the other creatures that could be near. Decided not to take any risk, Pandora conjured a few tramp and alarm spells and fell sleep immediately.

"Is she always like this?" Wiese asked me when we sat down and I prepared a fire.

"What do you mean?"

"Always so cautious, always doing spells... She seems to be tired, really tired." There was a worried tone in their voice, which moved me. Perhaps I could really tell them about the nature of Pandora's powers.

As I spoke and saw how surprised Wiese was to discover that her health and magical energy were intertwined, I realized that I didn't trust them, until then. That a voice in my mind prevented me from opening myself to that kid, maybe because neither I nor Pandora knew anything about them or where they came from.

"Do you think she could teach me? Just like you teach me how to fight" they asked.

"You'd have to ask her instead. Witches are more than this... cautious," I said remembering the word they used, "when it comes to teaching their magic formulas. But maybe she could explain some general things you could find in any serious book."

"Like the one she took from the ruins?" They said smiling.

"No way," I laughed. "That one is high and even dangerous magic. You see her only reading the book, but never casting a spell from it, right?" They nod. "It is because she needs to fully understand how that magic works, or she could kill us with just a few words in the wrong order."

I saw that Wiese was now terrified, so I hasten to talk again. "Look, magic is like painting. You have the canvas, the paint, the brushes, and everything else, but you first need to study those things, the techniques and the uses they have if you want to make something worth the money you spent in them."

"Oh, I see..."

"Well," I continued, "like an artist is with those material, a witch is with hers. Pandora will never cast a spell until she reads, analyze, understand and memorize the last page of that book. Fortunately, she's a quick study and swallows books as if they were candies," I joked, trying to make them see that there was nothing dangerous with magic. I saw the moon for a second, before speaking again. "Okay, time to sleep."

Wiese said nothing. Both of us were tired from the trip, and they fell asleep just as fast as Pandora has done, which I thanked in silence, as I'd need some quietness to do what I was about to try.

Speaking in the lowest tone I could, I improvised the incantation. "Let me travel between the veil, to the world of those who are alive and awake. I want to go to there where my life belongs, let my mind go, as my body can not."

An invisible force knocked me out, making everything melt into black. I found myself immersed in a tide of disjointed images, noises and sensations that stunned me, leaving me useless, like a dry leaf at the mercy of a blizzard.

The pandemonium lasted little more than a minute, which seconds I was more than aware about. I could count each and every one of them, until my mind collapsed, as if it were an old and worn table splitting in half.

I could open my eyes for a couple of seconds, feel myself covered in sweat, before I ran out of strength and sink into a dream very similar to the one to which my body was doomed, or maybe unconsciousness would suit the experience better, as there was only black.

When I woke up, remembering what I had told Wiese, I felt ashamed of myself. I was desperate, yes, but I would have a little chance if I remained alive at least; risking my sanity wasn't going to solve anything, and I knew, for the look that Pandora was giving me that she knew what I tried to do while they were sleeping.

However, I focused on the image of Pandora and Wiese instead. She was teaching him, not magic, but how to fight.

 She was teaching him, not magic, but how to fight

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