XXVII: Something to Remember

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Kingdom of Umbria

Land of Oberos

Nalin couldn't move. His mind was screaming at him to do something, anything, to get as far away from this person as possible...but his body just would not move. Much to the boy's distress, the strange man began to approach him, slow and tantalizing, as if he knew very well what effect he had on Nalin. Those particularly sharp teeth flashed once more as a dazzlingly terrifying smile bloomed.

"What...a...surprise!"

Nalin's eyes veered away from the approaching man, looking anywhere for something that could help him snap out of the trace-like state that he was in. Had the stranger casted a spell the very moment he stepped foot onto the street?

Nalin didn't jump. Not when the stranger stopped inches away from him, not when he touched and lifted his chin, not even when he brought his face dangerously close to Nalin's. The unmistakable sight of a shadow loomed over them both.

That was when it hit Nalin. It was Black Magic. He was using Black Magic to hold him there against his will! All Nalin had to do...was combat it with his own...and...

As soon as his back hit the ground, he saw stars, vision obscured; Nalin was being strangled.

He felt the blood rush to his head as the pressure made his eyes want to bulge out of their sockets. With all his might, he kicked, slapped, punched, and scratched, but the strange man wouldn't give even in the slightest bit. He was insanely strong.

Nalin could feel himself going in and out of consciousness; it was only a matter of time before—

Just as quickly as it had been initiated, the vice-like grip around the boy's slender throat disappeared almost instantly. A second later, the sound of something crashing into a solid surface shattered into the night.

It took a while before his vision returned, but as soon as he was able to see clearly, the sight of Sir Lulche standing in front of him protectively came to view.

Jacinda pulled Nalin up and helped balance him against her side. "Are you okay?"

The boy gave a nod.

The strange man picked himself up, that grin of his still gracing his features. "Why that was rather rude. We were having a moment."

Sir Lulche didn't bother responding, and instead sent a whole army of dark soldiers, materialized straight out of thin air, his way. Nalin and Jacinda were absolutely stunned.

But they were even more surprised when the strange man parred each soldier. All whom met the blades of his daggers dissipating to nothingness. He moved faster than light, his body a mere blur. It was clear enough that he was on a whole other level than even Sir Lulche, and that realization in itself was a terrifying thought.

If the Keeper could not defeat him, how could Jacinda and Nalin stand a chance?

While the strange man descended down upon the very last of the shadow soldiers, Sir Lulche threw an intense look over his shoulder to his students. "Go now!"

Both hesitated, but when Sir Lulche screamed at them to flee once more, Jacinda was the one to pull Nalin as they sprinted from the fight. Nalin's gaze was distraught, never once leaving the back of his mentor, who stood tall as this...this monster advanced on him next.

.

.

.

Jacinda and Nalin had been running for at least thirty minutes, yet they were still out in the streets of the destroyed Kingdom. Night had fallen already and the moon painted red from the fires loomed over them. Nalin squeezed his eyes shut, trying to ignore the ache of his legs as they worked to keep him up and running. Can't...stop...now!

Jacinda suddenly gave a gasp before crumpling down like a defeated building. She would've hit the ground hard too if it weren't for Nalin's fast hands. The boy hauled her limp body up into his arms, feeling a wetness seep through to his hands. Confused, Nalin glanced down, and was horrified to see a large spike of shadows protruding from her waist.

He felt a presence enter the vicinity then and with wide eyes, Nalin watched as the man--- who should have still been fighting Sir Lulche ---stepped out into the light.

If it wasn't clear then, there was no doubt now that he was not human.

A demon?

An angel?

He had to be a demon, no angel could be so malevolent.

"Where do you think you're going?"

The man positioned an opened palm their way and in a heartbeat, Nalin pushed Jacinda away just as something whizzed past the space she'd been standing in. It collided with something behind them, sending it flying into the building across the street in which made it cave in on itself. The ground shook as dust, dirt, and concrete flew up into the air. Nalin stumbled back in shocked silence, his body slightly trembling as he worked to pull his mind out of the gutter.

With a thin trail of blood streaming from the corner of her mouth, Jacinda tried to catch the poor boy's gaze. She grunted as she covered her bloody wound with a hand and reached out toward Nalin with the other. "Run," She choked.

Nalin gritted his teeth, and instead ignored her, turning his severe gaze to the man.

"Who are you?" He hissed, which only seemed to make the smile on the demon's face stretch even wider.

"How cruel that you've forgotten me already..." His crimson eyes flashed dangerously. "I'll make sure that my name will be the only thing you will be screaming." Nalin tensed when the demon averted his eyes to Jacinda. "After I get rid of this last pest."

Nalin trembled both in fear and anger. Where was Sir Lulche? Jacinda needed medical aid quick and the demon still posed a threat. Sir Lulche was able to let them get a head start by holding him off, now Nalin had to finish it and protect Jacinda.

The demon cocked his head at the menacing aura that seeped out in every expanse, wafts of dark magic radiating out of the boy. His power reserves were formidable to say the least, and the demon began to tremble in excitement.

It only lasted for so long, however, as something compelled him to back away in the next moment. The demon snarled as his Mistress called him back through the bond.

She was ever the impatient one. 

So with one last wicked grin, the demon turned and vanished into the shadows seamlessly. 

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