Chapter 13: Everything Goes Downhill

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We arrive at the campsite shortly after. As I descend from the Sempers legs, I look around for Viol and Jolton, but I don't see either of them. The Semper bounds away again creating a path of thick broken branches behind it.

"I don't see anyone." I panic. We had only gone for the night, and now both Viol and Jolton are gone. This is my fault.

"Don't worry Eim," Kelko assures. "I can hear Joltons thoughts from here, and Viol will be with him."

I nod my head in agreement, but I only fool myself.

"Then, we can give her the Glidden Flowers to heal her." I say. Kelko nods his head back to me.

We walk around the forest for some time before I hear the familiar sounds of electric sparks. I turn around the corner and basically trip over Jolton.

"Jolton!"

"Eim!" He says, standing to pull me back up to my feet. "Where have you been?"

I look at him. His hair's a mess, with lively leaves tangled in his blonde curls and his jacket dirtied not only from ink from the Ink Swamp, but from dirt as well. His hands shake against my forearms as he pulls me up, and I notice that his right sleeve is soaked. But his eyes are what say the most. They are worn out and swollen, brimming with red. Jolton has been crying.

"What happened?" I ask, concerned. I lightly tap his shoulder and keep an eye out for Viol.

"She's gone." He hiccups, bringing his right sleeve up again to wipe his tears away.

"Who is?" I say, rubbing Jolton's arm trying to console him.

"Viol. Viol is gone."

No. My heart stops. No no no. A thousand terrible thoughts run through my head too fast to process.

"What happened exactly?" Kelko asks, only caring for the facts.

"I woke up and she wasn't here," Jolton whispers "I looked around but couldn't find her and in my gut I just knew..."

I find it hard to breathe, sweat dampens my skin. A hand touches my shoulder.

"Breathe. We can still save her." Kelko says calmly.

"How?!" I scream, tears finally coming to my eyes. "We've been trying to save her for how long, and now she's GONE?! Everything we have done has been to stop this from happening. And now what? We just, wait?" Weight pushes on my chest and I feel as though I'm going to vomit. "So tell me your brilliant plan to bring her back from oblivion!" I turn to seek comfort from Jolton, but he's crouched on the ground falling apart.

"I understand you guys are upset but I know a way we can save her."

"How?" I sniffle

"I know some people."

The line doesn't lift our spirits, but it might be the only way. Look into Kelko's eyes and nod in approval of this new plan.

"We have to hurry, we don't have much time if Viol is truly gone." Kelko says, grabbing the strap of the satchel and tampering with it. "If you guys are up for one more walk, I think we can save her."

I look towards Jolton as he looks at me. He looks unsure, but I remember everything Kelko said from last night. He wanted to help Viol. He wants to help Viol. This may be our last chance to save her and there is no way I will give up.

"Let's go." Jolton and I say in unison.

*

We walk swiftly through the forest without speaking a word. I choose to admire my surroundings, and take in deep breaths of the crisp air to help calm me down. But even as I look at everything around me, with all it's beauty, my mind can't help but to fall into deep circles.

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