24.The Inner Ring.

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The Inner Ring.

Left with no other choice but to follow, a puzzled Gabriel ambled along, grumbling as he went on behind her, but Havillah paid him no attention. Her mind was set forward to unravel the mystery she had stumbled upon. Finally, she came to a stop in front of the massive front doors of the seventy mansion just as Gabriel caught up with her.

"See... I told you! Unlike all the other houses in this area, this ring is tightly shut and no one has been able to breach it in years." Havillah ignored him and took another step forward. "Where is the Captain when you need him?!" Gabriel grumbled to himself.

Unperturbed by her companion's discouraging comments, Havillah took another step forward and surveyed the familiar dove with an olive branch seal on the front door. She stretched out her hand and traced the seal, a smile breaking forth as she reminisced the many times she had done that before.

As expected, as if sensing their connection, the great doors creaked and swung wide open revealing a vast lobby that was so much more beyond the girl's expectations.

"Wa...wa...what?" Gabriel fumbled for words even as the girl put a foot forward to move across the threshold.

"If you're coming, you better hurry up before I let the doors slam shut on your annoying face." The young Great responded even as she took another step forward. Almost immediately, the once darkened interior filled up with a dazzling light that mimicked that of the lights in the temple. The crystal chandeliers glowing with an ethereal light that seemed to have no source, that is apart from the radiating crystals that could sense concealed within the glass.

"How?" Gabriel gasped, moving closer to inspect the outlandish phenomenon. "What are they?" he murmured.

"Crystals?" Havillah replied quite ambiguously.

"I can see that, but you didn't create them?"

"Nope." She replied, still surveying the lobby which was spotlessly clean despite the hundreds of years of desolation.

"Is that all?" an annoyed Gabriel inquired when she didn't offer more. Instead of responding, Havillah moved on as she continued to survey the rest of the house. Torn between the choice to follow her inside or to remain outside and wait for his Captain, the man hovered around the doorway until it slowly started to close and he jumped off the mansion threshold in haste.

"Captain is going to kill me." He mumbled to himself still staring at the now closed doors.

"Why am I going to kill you?" the young soldier jumped, startled by the sudden voice of his Captain.

"I'm sorry I panicked! The doors were closing and she was leaving!" the soldier stuttered, all in one breath, as he turned around to acknowledge the face his superior. "I know you told me to stick by her side, but she's furious and very uncooperative." Gabriel stumbled and Killion narrowed his eyes at him.

"What did you do?" the Captain growled back.

"Nothing, I swear. She was that way when I found her!"

"Mmm..." Killion turned away as his glower morphing into a thoughtful look. "How did she get in?" He questioned, once again turning his head round, albeit this time it was to face the unyielding doors of the great white stone mansion.

"That's just it! I don't know how. She placed her hand on that bird over there and bam! The doors flew open." Officer Connors replied animatedly. Killion gave him a disbelieving look, but Gabriel stood his ground and to his ridiculous sounding story.

"You're trying to tell me that that door did not zap her? Gabriel, you of all people should know that people have died from just touching things within this ring."

"I know, but think about it. From what you said of the 'accident'," Officer Connors said putting airmarks on the name accident, "The things in this ring react in almost the same manner as her robes did."

Killion thought about it for a moment, connecting that new piece of information to what his grandmother and mother had told him, before finally nodding his head in acquiescence. "Alright. I guess you're right. How then do you propose that we get..." He didn't get to finish that sentence.

Agony filled screams pierced through night sky and the two soldiers stood at alert sensing the sudden change in the atmosphere that was around them. The sound of marching filled the ears even as the two soldiers turned to shoot puzzled gazes at each other, before bolting off eastwards and to the direction of the screams.

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