Chapter XXVI

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"Alynne! Wake the hell up already!"

Such sweet words were the ones Pandora used to bring me to life. I heard many crashes, lightnings, screams and the sound of glass being broken. When I could focus my sight, I realized there were several shadows inside the house, almost all of them downstairs, with all of my friends in the bedroom.

However, there were some creatures I didn't recognize immediately. Elongated forms, thin bodies, delicate faces, long, white hair, dark-purple skin... When I saw the marks all over their bodies, barely covered by black and red fabrics, I knew what they were.

I got up and threw the first thing I had at hand to the dark elves, which was the night table. They cut it in a second, but served as a distraction so Pandora and Draxen could cast some defensive spells.

"How the hell didn't this wake me up?" I shouted, as I punched a small shadow, the size of a rat, sending it downstairs.

"Magic-induced coma," explained Draxen. He was controlling two winged feline creatures this time,flying all over the place trying to rip the eyes of the faces of the elves, armed with long, thin swords that could be used faster than usual.

"What?!" I went back, covering Wiese and Gail with my arms, making them stand back. My eyes started to search for a scape or something we could use to get out of the house, but there was nothing.

"You used more magic than you can handle," said Pandora, and right then, a spider-like shadow tried to grab her leg with its tongue. "Oh no, you piece of shit!" She sent a red blast of energy through her fingers, cutting cleanly the tongue of the creature. "And you also owe me an explanation about that, just when we're done with... this!" She sent a beating, blue rune, freezing three shadows and an elf. A red one followed it, sent by Wiese, making the four of them explode. "Nice shot, kid," Pandora smiled right before casting a purple symbol in the ground.

Suddenly, the whole house started to shake. "Alynne, Pandora! Take my hands!" Shouted Draxen. We did in no time, I not letting my gaze go from the kids, despite they were surrounded by Wiese's explosive runes and protected by Draxen's creatures.

A barrier formed in front of us, colorless, shapeless, always moving and transforming before our eyes could give it a concrete shape. I looking at Draxen, only to see his eyes completely black and his mouth pronouncing something I couldn't hear. Then, looking at Pandora, saw that her lips and Draxen's were saying the right same thing.

My hand started to feel hot and my head dizzy, but the barrier, always moving, pushed the shadows and elves back, making some of them even fall downstairs. It was enough for me to keep my hand in Draxen's, letting him and Pandora take whichever amount of energy the needed.

Unexpectedly, the feline figures who had protected the children flew to the remaining elves in the room, and as soon as they crossed the barrier they became wolves three times larger than the natural.

Despite the elves attacked them with their swords, the wolves plucked a leg from one and part of the arm from the other, causing them to flee screaming in pain and leaving a pool of dark, blue blood on the floor. When the last of them was out of our sight, Draxen released our hands. My head felt dizzy, as if the place had been spinning uncontrollably, but at least it was done.

"I think this will..." Pandora started to say, but a shock to the whole house took the words out of her mouth. "Those little...!" And there was another, harder than the past one. "Okay, here's what we're going to do," said my friend, already sick of the dark creatures. "Draxen, make the wolves be cats again to protect the kids, the five of you follow Alynne and me downstairs. Now."

"Everything will be okay, just do what Pandora says, okay?" I told Wiese and Gail. Both of them looked scared, especially Gail, but the two of them nodded. "Right behind you then," I said to Pandora. She went down waiting not even a second, and I followed her.

The whole place was a disaster of crashed and burned wood, but the overall structure was intact. But for how long? I thought. Pandora's voice returned me to reality.

"Help me find a mirror, whichever size and form."

"What for?" I asked, trying to do what she asked me. I heard the sound of steps coming to us and took a piece of wood to attack whatever it was, until I saw it was Draxen followed by Wiese, Gail and the cats.

"Here it is!" Shouted Pandora. The house shook again, more aggressively, making us all fall. Pandora screamed, trying to protect the mirror with her body.

"What are you going to do with that?!" Shouted Draxen.

"Shut up and see some magic, rookie." I swallowed thickly as I heard her say it. I did not know what to expect, but I knew Pandora would never compromise or do anything that could harm us, so I simply closed my eyes and tried to trust her, just as I had done many times.

"Take us away, take us to haven, somewhere safe, where we won't be fear's slavens." I opened my eyes to see a white energy coming out of the mirror, drawing a circle around us, shielding us from falling pieces of wood. "The land of roses we shall see, as I will so mote it be!"

A flash of light blinded us in that moment. I felt I was trapped in a kind of tide, wrapped in silk and thorns, and in less time than I thought it would be possible, I was thrown to the ground. When I opened my eyes, I could only recognize the green grass, the blue sky, and an almost naked, blond boy, who looked at us with satisfaction.

"Welcome, Pandora," he said. "It's so nice to finally meet you."

"

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