chapter twenty two | darkness isn't always evil

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The giant mass of shadows slowly inched towards us as the wind whipping my hair suddenly because thrice as strong. Reaper, Kiran and I slowly looked up to face the creature. Grim was down below, stumbling towards the top.

In the blink of an eye, the monster grew two claws and slashed Kiran.

Large cuts made their way through his abdomen, blood leaking out of it. Kiran's eyes widened, his hands clutching his injury.

And then he disappeared.

I opened my mouth to scream, but nothing came out. I was frozen in place.

The shadow turned to look at me, preparing to attack, but was quickly interrupted when a flash of light blinded our eyes.

"Surprise."

With a terrified screech, smaller shadows escaped the dark creature and flew off. Reaper and I found Kiran walking to us with a grin on his face.

"How did-" I blinked rapidly, confused.

"Illusion magic," Kiran said, swinging one of his chain sickles which met and tore through the shadow's claw that meant to grab ahold of me. I took a step back and held my sword in front.

"Shut up, and start fighting!" Reaper yelled. A recited incantation made lightning pour down from the sky, striking the shadow on its head. More shadows flew off to somewhere I couldn't be bothered to check.

"Did you see that? The light made that thing die down a bit," Kiran remarked.

"Tch," Reaper displayed his annoyance at Kiran's unwillingness to listen to what he said. "Yes, light overcomes shadows, what do you expect-"

"But... That light..." Movement from me came to a stop as I came to a sudden realisation. "Darkness is Lana's element, right?"

"So?" Kiran asked, making more light appear with his illusions. Our weapons were barely effective to the monster, simply cutting through it and letting it reform.

"Cores are made out of the element that the elemental mage uses. Light isn't always good, that light is what's eating away at Lana's Core, not the darkness!" I cried.

All attacks directed at the creature ceased immediately. We glanced at her Core. There was barely any more darkness remaining. The shadows that previously flew out of the giant mass were now clawing at Lana's Core, allowing the light to rapidly take over her soul. But it wasn't over yet.

"Crap," muttered Kiran, letting his guard down for second before retaliating against another attack against him by flashing more light to the monster.

"Someone has to go deflect the shadows, or it's game over," said Reaper.

"I'll go." Without giving an explanation which would just waste time, I made a run towards the Core, suddenly coming to a stop when I realised that there was no land underneath it.

I can't back out now, so...

Moving backward to gain a running start after placing my sword onto the ground, I dashed and leaped towards the Core. "PROTEGAS ME!" I shrieked, my voice filled with panic and dread.

Before I almost fell into the depths of the two mountains that led up to the Core, a transparent material quickly materialised under me, forming a water bubble that contained me and Lana's Core, preventing the shadows that were attacking it to continue. I looked down and became fully aware that it was a bad decision when I felt like my stomach did a one-eighty flip.

I also regretted what I did because instead of clawing at the Core, the shadows were now scratching and attacking the water bubble I conjured. The bubble started to slowly fade bit by bit. It wouldn't be long before it broke and let me fall all the way down.

I didn't know if my voice would be able to be heard by the rest of them, but I didn't care. "REAPER! KIRAN! HURRY UP OR TWO PEOPLE ARE DYING TODAY!"

It seemed to do the trick when the attacks they dealt seemed to become four times as strong when they were reminded of the consequences of what would happen if they lost.

I looked back around me.

Wait... What? What were the shadows doing?!

The shadows previously attacking the bubble separating them from the Core were now not only attacking the bubble, but they were attacking each other.

"WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING?!" I yelled, exasperated, not expecting a response. It seemed like the more Reaper and Kiran gained field on the monster, the more aggravated the smaller shadows were becoming towards each other. But that also meant that the attack against my bubble became stronger.

Which reminded me... How was I going to get out of here?!

"This is the dumbest move I've ever pulled," I groaned in defeat. There was nothing I could do now except to protect the Core.

Another crash of lightning by Kiran and Reaper followed by the sound of thunder echoed throughout the mountains, forcing me to cover my ears. A piercing screech could still be faintly heard. I turned to look and realised that the monster that used to be there wasn't anymore.

At the same time, the shadows that were attacking each other broke into pieces due to their attacks. They dissolved into thin air, and so did the light that was corrupting Lana's Core.

The water bubble holding me up with the Core faded and broke.

"DAAMN ITT-" I flung my limbs around wildly as an ear-splitting scream came from me as I fell into the depths of Lana's mind.

Before I could fully say my goodbye to the world, I felt a gust of wind sweep me upwards to the mountain in front of me. I landed clumsily onto the ground, taking a few steps before regaining balance. This was only my second battle.

I glanced around to see Grim polishing his scythe. His eyes then flickered to me. "You're welcome."

Barely recovering from the shock of almost dying, I nodded my head uncertainly.

"Let's go back to them then." Grim carried his scythe and started walking, soon being followed by me after I retrieved my sword from the ground.

"What was that all about? Did the shadows started to attack each other, or am I becoming as blind as Asurma?" Kiran questioned.

"I have no idea what happened as well. The more you two attacked that monster, the more aggressive they became," I replied, as puzzled as the rest of them were. "Wait, Asurma's blind?"

"You mean that shadow blob thing?" Reaper asked.

"Yeah," I said, placing my sword back into the scabbard of my umbrella.

"Guess we'll ask the rest when we get out of here," Grim answered.

"Domum," Reaper and Grim muttered another incantation.

A flash of light blinded me as I felt my body dissolve and piece back together again.

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