"Ouch!" I cursed, winching at the pain I felt to my shoulders and all over.

Although I had hit the pivot landing rather hard, surprisingly, I didn't suffer any broken bones.

"Both okay?" Brystagg whispered when he rose to his feet.

I nodded. Colin and I helped each other to our feet.

We faced empty space. Was this really the place to the Lotus Bridge?

"You must stay absolutely still. The spell I will call upon breaches both time and space." Colin soberly signed.

I translated for Brystagg's benefit.

We stood at the center of the platform, ignoring the fighting going on above us. Colin called upon his powers of the Light Grimoire through his fob watch.

His hands drew out the spell called the Unbound Reunion. Elongated fingers manipulated light and shadows, sketching out an outline of another platform around us. The emptiness was soon replaced with the setting of the Lotus Bridge. He finished off the spell, so were facing the gold coin olive tree.

"Bravo! Well done good chaps!" Possessed Death over zealously clapped as he greeted us from the other side of the platform. 

"I must say I under estimated the odds of seeing you back here. Then again, that Hades Lion had mentioned it could happen."

Icy hands grabbed our limbs to constrict our movements. My nose got a whiff of stinky fudge.

"Urrea piztu!" He cheerfully cried out.

Brystagg swiftly counteracted the demon's spell.

"Gaah! Fine." Possessed Death snarled. He assumed a moment to recompose himself. "Fine. No magic."

"Maitasunean eta grazian, itzuli zure tokira," said Brystagg.

Icy hands released our limbs with sighed thanks. The fudge stench was gone, the atmosphere felt warm and free from ghostly energies.

"An insurance." He smugly declared.

"Brystagg De Marc Aueralius. My you are a sight for sore eyes." Possessed Death sighed, like he had cooled his temper. "Or is it, sore eyes for no sight?"

"Still the same deranged prat Moralta." Brystagg insulted Possessed Death.

I gulped at the hiruda's snarl twitching the corner of his lip.

"So you figured me out. I guess congratulations are in order." The earlier signs of emotion were replaced with clever cockiness.

He magically called up a silver-glass stool from air and took a seat. So much for no more magic.

"Whether you know of me, my plans, it doesn't matter. I have this world in my hands now."

"Ea incipit." Moralta spoke his spell with a creepy smile and gestured for us to look up.

It was like in Delphi's vision; Trix and Leinard suspended within the tree's trunk was a startling sight. Leinard's colonel cap and sword was missing. Trix's overcoat was removed, along with his weapons, but he was wearing his mapglass, which had minute threads of light streaming out of the lens to pierce through each spinning gold coin. Light wrapped around their limbs, keeping them upright and bound next to each other. What dastardly magic was this?

Footsteps approached my back, followed by the sounds of steel clashing. I saw Colin's short swords blocking Aidoneus's blade attack.

"How? War ran you through with his sword." I moved away from their swordplay.

"A masterpiece. I found him chipping away the walls of the labyrinth. A lost and lonely boy some years back. So, I empowered him to find his way." Moralta smirked with fake admiration.

Colin and Aidoneus fought as Moralta talked like they were part of a demonstration for business men.

"Isn't he wonderful? My dream of the super elite race. Instantly regenerating, never needing to eat, sleep and breathe. Filled with the power of Zyon. Aidoneus is almost the perfect specimen of our next generation, not quite there yet."

Moralta was talking crazily, but whilst he did so, it was giving me time to find a way to Leinard and Trix.

That idea fell flat when Aidoneus successfully disarmed Colin and stabbed his stomach.

"Revenge," Aidoneus said with an expressionless voice.

Colin crumpled to the ground and became still. Blood pooled around him.

"Colin!" I cried out as I ran to him.

Aidoneus caught my arms before I could attend to him, and threw me to the other side of the platform.

"Even playing field. Let's spar, shall we?" Moralta pulled out a silver-glass longsword from air.

Brystagg magically revealed his own. "You'll pay for all of this. I'll ensure it."

"Bold words from a powerless man. I'll give you the chance Sire." Moralta started his attack.

"Let's have a chat." Aidoneus cracked his neck as he hauled me to my feet and rapidly punched my stomach. "I'll let my fists do the rest of the talking."

I spat blood in his eyes. My fingers fumbled in the belt pouch for the portspell and flipped it open. Aidoneus was thrown to the other end of the platform. 

I rebalanced myself for his counter attack. Brystagg and I found ourselves locked in a fight for our lives.

The time to save the world was ticking away.

ZaldizkoRead this story for FREE!