Chapter 6

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"John, what is going on?" Seraphina called him in a trembling voice as soon as he ended the call with Isen.

"Sera, I am sorry, there is no time to explain. I have to go help them," he said feigning a determined look, trying to not shake from the adrenaline rush taking over his body.

This was the chance the raven-haired boy had been waiting for to get closer to EMBER ever since the attack on Sera – from what he had found out from Isen, even though the opponent they were facing was very strong, it appeared that there was no ability dampening mechanism this time at play. So, this could very well be his best shot at a surprise attack.

"You are not planning to face them alone, are you?" Sera said, holding him by his jacket sleeve.

"There is no other choice," John answered curtly, his nerves shot at the prospect of entering a real deadly fight.

"I am coming with you," Sera said. Before John could protest, she added: "I know I am of no use in a fight right now. But I can't bear to stay away while you are out there risking your life...if something were to happen to you...I don't know what I'd do," she gulped, tightening her grip on his wrist.

"There is something you can do to help," John said, thinking of a way of gaining time and getting his stubborn friend away from the danger. "Go get Elaine and Arlo. Find us in Rushford as soon as possible. It is going to be alright, I promise," he said, placing his hand on her shoulder while trying to put on a reassuring smile to ease her worries, even though his own confidence could use some work in this case.

He then did something he had never done before, but that felt so natural at that moment. He leaned forward and placed a soft peck with his lips on her forehead.

"See you soon," he whispered and turned around and began running as fast as his feet allowed him. He was heading towards the nearest exit from campus to catch a cab. Rushford was one of the poorer suburbs, and to get there by foot would take him at least one hour at a fast pace.

Passers-by would throw him strange looks as he was sprinting like a madman at a late evening hour. John paid them no attention, knowing that every second counted in a fight like that. Hold on guys.

He held no friendly feelings towards any of them, however an attack on fellow Wellston students felt personal to him – specially knowing who the perpetrators were.

Soon John reached an avenue with a steady flow of traffic and was considering to literally stop the first car he could and force them to drive him with force if necessary, but luckily a cab appeared and pulled over after noticing him desperately waving with both hands.

John told the driver the intended destination, who was clearly surprised and wondering about the reasons why a student from a wealthy private school would head alone at night into a shady neighborhood, and was less than thrilled to go there himself.

"I will pay you double the fare," John said. "Make that triple if you can make it there in ten minutes."

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