Chapter XLV

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The attacks followed one after the other, without pause, without stopping for a second, increasing the pace and becoming wilder with each passing, slowly transforming the darkness that enveloped us in a prison with all the meaning of the word. The only thing I could hope for was for it not to become a grave as well, while trying to keep Pandora with me and control her tremors.

Suddenly, an idea crossed my mind when I heard the bars move. I took Pandora with my hands and made her go with me. When I was in front of the fence, I started kicking the bars as if there was no tomorrow, going into despair after each attempt, listening as they moved between the floor and the ceiling.

The tremors and shaking of the place were increasing. I could feel the dust falling on my skin, dangerously close to my eyes, but after several attempts, I managed to get many of the bars out of the way, allowing us to get out of the cage we had been trapped in.

"Alynne! Watch out!" Shouted Pandora. Parts of the walls were crumbling down, allowing the light to come in, but the rocks were falling so near to us we could end dead at any moment. There was one hole in the wall on our right big enough to cross, but we had to be fast.

"Run!" Never separating my hand from hers, I started to run as much as I could, ignoring the pain in my muscles. "We're not that far, Pan!" I could hear her gasp for air, the lack of energy in her movements. I was exhausted, tired and my body could not maintain the same rhythm. Those hours while we were imprisoned had had an effect on me, just like in Pandora, who kept staggering while trying to follow my pace.

The hole in the wall was growing, there was more light with every second that passed. However, it would be just a matter of time before The Tenth's servants returned. We could barely run, but we would be no match for any of the creatures at her service. We both knew it was a run for our lives, despite every step took us nearer to be free again.

"Mom!" I almost collapsed when I heard Wiese's voice, the changed, transformed one. I knew how it would look like, but I still wasn't prepared for it.

Their body was a totally different one, like their voice. Tall, muscular, with thin yet strong muscles, long, white hair and the ever present rabbit ears along with the deer antlers. However, as soon as they was by our side and I saw their eyes, I realized that they were exactly the same. There was the same soul, the same being that I loved as if it had come from me.

"Close your eyes," I told Pandora. Wiese took both of us on the spot and, with a jump, took us out of there while the structure was still collapsing.

When we were in the outside again, I could see two things that made me gasp. It wasn't my castle the one I had been imprisoned in, but The Tenth's, a large, thin structure which form imitated the one of smoke and bones, covered in black. If I thought the ground around me when I woke up the first time in the real world was dead, the surrounding of that place showed me the worst of it all.

Both Pandora and I viewed death as a change, a new path to follow, painful for those left behind, but filled with joy for the ones who walked it. It was a new beginning, a new start, a brand new way to exist before the next step, but the weary ground, the anorexic trees and the clouds in the sky, filled with toxic poison, it was hard not to feel as if in the end of the world.

The next thing I saw was an unnatural forest in front of us, moving towards Wiese, along with many guardians of the trees, plat creatures that guarded the nature itself of such places. Contrary to the usual peaceful state and their calm being, they had an angry, infuriated expression on their expression, and their once beautiful hands were now transformed into deadly claws.

"What is this?" I asked to no one in particular.

"Seems like Gail is very good at magic. I'm pressed, too." Said Wiese with a high pride in their voice.

"Gail?" Pandora and I asked at the same time. "Is she really this powerful?" This time it was only me who spoke.

"We're not sure, but she thinks she can cast spells in the lands she inhabits, or take control of it, as far as it seems like, but we also had a little help from those creatures back to us," they gestured with their head, and when we looked behind us, there were several of the inky creatures Draxen could summon.

It was as if his powers were bigger and stronger in this realm, in the real world, I lost count on how many of his creatures I could see, stopping The Tenth's servants, the shadows, the vampires and even the elves that served her. Spiders, crabs, lions, cats, dogs, chimeras, an entire beastly army was fighting so we could escape. In no time we were inside the new forest.

"Draxen?! Where is he?" I had totally forgotten about him in the middle of what had been happening to Pandora and me.

"I left him with Gail so he could protect her," said Wiese, "but I think she can take very good care of herself." When I looked at their face, I realized how proud Wiese was, as if they was speaking about his own sister. "Of course she is, mom."

It was then that I saw them. Gail was in the middle of a circle of stones, reading her book aloud, surrounded by the very same guardians that were fighting behind us along with Draxen's creatures. He was there as well, drawing more of them, but had his eyes open, contrary to Gail's, who were wide shut.

Behind Gail, the guardians were putting their hands in the ground, moving the forest to their will, following what I assumed where the instructions Gail gave them. All of the trees moved at the same time, while others grew bigger and stronger around us, creating a barrier that would take not so long to be complete.

"I told you to have some faith in them," said Pandora.

"I told you to have some faith in them," said Pandora

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