MoboReader> Fantasy > The Ones Who were Chosen

   Chapter 9 Discovered

The Ones Who were Chosen By Lady Lilium Characters: 31093

Updated: 2018-07-13 12:02


Tuesday morning

Reuben and Lucas stood side by side outsides the gates of the college. Together they stared inwards to its grounds and buildings within, and to the other people who were entering the college. Other people who led normal lives.

'They're so blissfully ignorant' Lucas grumbled shaking his head. 'If only they knew.'

'If only they did' Reuben agreed. 'Things would be a lot different if that were the case. That much is for sure.'

'You're not going in are you?' Indigo said casually, standing a short distance behind them.

'No' Lucas sighed forlorn. 'As time goes on I feel less and less a part of this world.'

Culture nearby disinterested picked at his teeth, and Siren leant back against a tree, clinging to the shadows of its canopy.

'There's no going back now is there?' Lucas asked.

'No' Siren replied. 'You are part of this now, what you have seen and learnt….' She trailed off. 'You belong in the Ancient World.'

Reuben shrugged. 'It's not like we've got family here is it?' he spotted Lauralie, Venom and Ebony over his shoulder. 'We'd be taking our friends with us' he added.

'I'm sure Lauralie would follow us wherever we went' Lucas sighed regretfully. 'Venom would surely follow her. And Ebony….' he lifted his head, meeting her gaze. 'She would follow me wherever I went.'

'What about Sian?' Reuben asked his brother in a whisper.

Lucas glanced towards her. Sian was standing a distance away from the others, crossing her arms and glaring at him. Her loyal brother Kyle stood close by, staring up at the clouds.

'I uh…I need to think about that…'

'She can't follow us to the Ancient World if we chose to go' Reuben said.

'I suppose…' Lucas began slowly.

'Oh you would love it there' Siren butted it. 'Guardians are more accepted in the Ancient World than they are here. None magical folk are able to see magic in our world. It's a normal thing for them.'

'I don't doubt' Lucas commented dryly

'You'd be welcomed by the king' Siren went on. 'You never know, you might even fight for him one day.'

'What would we be fighting for?' Reuben asked.

'The king needs guardians' Siren explained. 'They restore peace in times of strife, and maintain order. They are the thirteen.'

'Thirteen?' Reuben echoed. 'Why thirteen?'

'If too many guardians are together for long periods of time, the most bizarre thing happens. It's something we refer to as magic poisoning. The air becomes thick and weakens our bodies, it is a gradual process, but you will learn much more about so many things you didn't know when you visit our world. But know that thirteen guardians are the limit, and only thirteen.'

'Sounds like fun' Lucas droned.

'Oh my goodness!' Lauralie cried out suddenly, staring at her wristwatch. 'I'm going to be late! I said I'd meet the brothers in town.'

'Adrian and Diz?' Reuben asked curiously turning back to her. 'What for?'

'You'll see if you want to come along…but I have to go!'

She dashed off; heading down the narrow concrete path, a shortcut towards the town, the rest of the group stared curiously after her as her beautiful ginger hair swished behind her.

'She seems eager' Venom said offhandedly. 'But shouldn't she be going to college instead?'

'She probably won't go for the same reason we won't' Reuben said. 'Life is just different now.'

Lucas nodded.

'So……' Reuben said, 'which one do you think she will pick?'

Lucas smirked.

'What is he talking about?' Ebony whispered to Venom.

'Drake was so kind to introduce Lauralie to the two street dancing brothers' Venom explained. 'She's become very fond of them.'

'That sounds like fun' Ebony gleamed. 'We should go see them perform.'

'We should' Venom agreed. 'You guys should come too' Venom called to the brothers.

'Ok!' Reuben sang happily back. 'Let's go.'

'I'll meet up with you later' Lucas said.

'What?'

'I…' Lucas began, his attention drifting towards Sian. 'I need to speak to her.'

Reuben clapped a hand on his shoulder. 'Well…good luck. Seriously.' His expression turned sombre. 'Good luck.'

'Thanks Reuben. I'll call you later.'

Reuben backed away, turning and joining Ebony and Venom. The three wandered off in the direction of the town, shadowed as had become the habit, by the elder guardians. Not yet had they let Ebony out of their sights. They guarded her so closely. Indigo, Culture, and Siren.

Once they were gone, Lucas approached Sian. She uncrossed her arms as he drew nearer.

'You're serious about this aren't you?' she asked him.

Kyle wandered away to give them privacy, slipping out of view. But Lucas knew he would not go far.

'Serious about what?' Lucas asked.

'This whole business' she said. 'Guardians and magic. You say there is another world out there somewhere.'

'And I meant every word.' Lucas lifted his eyes to meet hers. 'I told you you wouldn't believe me.'

'But I do' she gleamed slyly back.

'What?'

'Well' Sian continued moving away from him. 'The options are, either you are crazy.' She came to a stop. 'Or' she said, turning back to him, 'everything you say is true.'

'And you think everything I've told you is true?' Lucas asked incredulous.

'Well' Sian cooed seductively, moving closer to him now. 'It is far more preferable to believing you're crazy. Don't you think?' she brushed a strand of his black hair back from his face, leaning forwards for a quick kiss. 'You're not crazy are you Lucas?'

'No' he said, as she moved back from him.

Her expression became serious again. 'I want to be a guardian.'

'What?'

'I said' Sian repeated. 'I want to be a guardian, like you. I want to see magic as you do, see guardians, and maybe, visit this other world you told me about.'

'I don't know if I can make that happen' Lucas told her.

'Well' Sian purred. 'There's no rush.' She leant forwards again, embracing him tightly. 'I just want to be closer to you' she whispered in his ear.

Lucas held her also, trying to feel a stir of emotions towards her, the same as he used to.

But there was nothing.

'Oh my god I'm so sorry I'm late' Lauralie said bounding forwards.

Adrian took his foot off the fountain he was leaning against and faced her, immediately turning on his swagger.

'Oh my fine lady' he sighed, 'you're not late, you're just in time, it is we who are early.'

He flicked his collar up and swept his red streaked hair dramatically back, bowing to her and taking her hand in his.

'Oh Adrian enough of that' she laughed, 'we know each other well enough now don't we?'

'Not well enough for my satisfaction I'm afraid' Adrian sighed dramatically, eyeing her now with longing.

The sadness in him did nothing to sway her; instead she turned her back to him so she wouldn't have to see his over dramatized misery. Diz took this opportunity to jump on her from behind, hanging off her shoulders and ruffling her hair.

'I'm so glad to see you' he squealed in girlish excitement.

'Me too Diz' Lauralie giggled patting his arm.

He let go of her, dropping to the floor, he had to jump a considerable height in order to reach her, short that he was.

She turned back to face them. Adrian was giving the both of them a sceptical look, and Diz was smiling sweetly up at Lauralie, kicking his feet and sucking on a lolly.

'Want one?' he offered her.

'Why thank you' Lauralie said taking the orange lolly he offered. She thought then of how insanely cute he was, with his blonde highlights in his light brown hair, his little button nose, and the same unnatural piercing bright blue eyes he shared with his brother.

'I'd save that for later' Adrian told her. 'We've got some dancing to do.'

'We sure do' Diz gleamed, jumping up and down on the spot.

Adrian gave Lauralie a sly glance to the side.

'Are you ready?'

Lauralie jerked her hips to the side, flicking her hair back and rolling her shoulders seductively.

'I'm ready' she said.

Adrian purred, flashing his teeth at her. 'I think we may have taught you too much.'

'That remains to be seen' Lauralie answered, walking her fingers up Adrian's chest teasingly. 'If I impress the crowd, then we will know if you have taught me enough.' She poked the end of his nose. 'Are you ready for this?'

'Ooohhh' Diz said leaning forwards. 'You're getting pretty confident.'

'I've had good teachers' Lauralie cooed down to him.

'Now come on' Adrian told her. 'We wouldn't want to keep our audience waiting.'

Lauralie took centre stage, with the brothers standing either side of her a few steps back.

They were in the town now, one of the busier places where the shops were, and already people were slowing down to see what was happening, as a small crowd began to form.

The music started slow, beginning first with a rhythmic beat, and growing louder as the sounds began to build. Lauralie was the first to move, moving her shoulders and her arms first she danced for a few seconds as the brothers remained still behind her. Freezing then she allowed them to copy her. The music lapsed, becoming silent for moments, before returning again in full. The three danced together, their moved perfectly matched, as if they were all controlled by the same mind.

Through the crowed easing their way to the front came Venom, Reuben and Ebony. Standing side by side they watched the trio dance. Venom watched Lauralie with longing, and the same desire for her as Lauralie had for the brothers when she had first watched them dance. And the audience loved her, as they had loved the performance when it was just the brothers dancing.

Venom glanced to the side and saw, as always that the elder guardians were not too far away. Standing in a small huddle at the edge of the crowd and looking inwards, Siren as usual, holding the strange orb in her hands. She was not watching the dance, but staring into the orb.

The performance ended just as Lucas arrived with Sian and Kyle. Lauralie turned, beaming at the audience, their cheering and clapping was rolling and continuous. Adrian bowed to the surrounding audience and backed away, giving the centre stage to Lauralie, Diz smiling and waving moved beside his brother.

'I sense a change in her' Diz muttered under his breath to Adrian as they stood behind her.

Adrian straightened up, putting his hands on his hips.

'I sense it too.' He furrowed his brow at her. 'I wonder what it is.'

Reuben was clapping with the others; she was truly a sight to behold. Lauralie was a beautiful girl, all the guys wanted her, and all the girls wanted to be her, perfect body, stunning looks, but when she danced….

'I've never seen anything like it' Reuben said in awe to Lucas beside him.

'That was excellent' Ebony said clapping as she stood beside Venom.

Venom didn't seem to share her enthusiasm. Instead he stared vacantly at Lauralie, sadness descending over him.

Lauralie lowered her arms and turned back to the brothers, her expression dreamy.

The audience faded, the calls and whistles and the clapping. Silence began to peak.

The world suddenly began to turn grey, almost like a dream.

Siren's hands began to shake around the orb, her knuckles whitening, her eyes growing large.

'She's been found….'

Indigo whipped round, staring wildly at her, on her other side Culture's heart began to race.

'What should we do?' Siren pleaded.

'Lucas!' Indigo cried, rushing over to him. 'They've found a philosophers stone.'

Ebony gasped, hands over her mouth and staring at Lucas in fear and expectation.

'Crystal….' She breathed.

'We must leave' Indigo ordered them.

'What do you…?' Lucas began.

Culture's eyes darted back and forth over the heads of the people who were utterly oblivious to anything that was out of place, his body stiff and jittery. He saw an aberrant claw its way over the roof of a building, tearing forwards with all haste and heading in a direction that led out of the town.

'What's in that direction?' Culture demanded of Lucas.

'The industrial estate' Lucas fumbled. 'The abandoned hotel!' he realised.

'I know where that is' Indigo said.

'We must help her.' Siren's voice was raised in panic. 'We must!'

Indigo's eyes flashed. His hand darted out towards Ebony, grabbing her by the wrist.

'What are you doing?' she cried out in panic over Lucas' protests.

'Do not fear' Indigo told Lucas and Ebony, 'we must help Crystal, but we cannot leave Ebony.' He took hold of Lucas' wrist also, vanishing the three of them into thin air.

'We may need your help also' Culture told Reuben, who stood there looking bewildered. 'And yours' he said to Venom.' He grabbed the both of them by their arms and using his magic, took them to the edge of the town.

Reuben felt something grabbing the back of his shirt as he was transported away, to the abandoned hotel, where they had not been to in so long. His feet touched the ground, eyes adjusting to the new light and environment. The thing that had grabbed him from behind released him then, and Reuben turned, gasping in surprise.

'Sian?!'

She quickly turned away from him, her face a horrible tint of green. Her body hunched forwards as she was violently sick. Culture who had travelled them from the town centre released them from his grasp. Exhausted from using so much magic to transport himself and three others he collapsed, falling to his knees and clutching his chest.

'Culture get up' Indigo hissed nearby, 'get up get up!'

Lucas and Ebony gave him worried looks as he slowly rose, gasping and wobbling as if he was dizzy. Culture however insisted that he was fine.

The colour swiftly drained out of Lucas' face as he noticed Sian was with them.

'Oh shit…'

'What's she doing here?' Venom demanded.

'Ebony' Indigo said to her. 'Hide.'

She didn't need prompting, and swiftly left their side to comply.

'And take Sian with you' Lucas added.

Ebony grabbed Sian by the arm as she went. Sian jerked her head upwards towards Ebony, gasping in shock that she could at last see her after being touched.

'Who are you?!'

'No time' Ebony hastened. 'We must hide.'

Too confused to protest, Sian allowed herself to be dragged away, wiping her mouth as she went. The two swiftly vanished from view, hiding behind the wreckage left over from the construction of the hotel.

It was then that Siren materialized herself between the small group.

'Ebony is safe?'

'She is hiding' Indigo replied to her.

'We should have enough of a chance' Siren said, glancing back at the three younger guardians, Lucas, Reuben and Venom. 'Even without Shire' she sighed. 'Can you three fight?'

'We can try' Reuben said.

Venom stared defiantly at her and Lucas remained impassive.

'We must hurry' Culture pressed. 'She is near. I can feel her fear…'

They ran to the other side of the building, Culture leading the way. Around the corner they found them.

Crystal was on her knees, dirt smeared her white dress as the master held her by the hair. The vile beasts Kreas and Li were flanking her, ensuring there was no way for her to escape.

'Let her go!' Culture ordered, coming to a stop as the other guardians gathered around him.

'And what?' The master sneered, 'you'll let us live? You'll kill us quickly? Spare me your worthless lies and face me in a battle like real guardians.'

Culture charged towards the master without pause, tearing forwards with his burning wheels of fire summoned i

n his hands. The chakrams whirled, leaving behind streams of blazing red flames which lasted only seconds, before being replaced again by more. The master however was ready, throwing Crystal aside to confront him. He blocked the attack from Culture's chakrams with his own weapon, twin gun blades. Either side Kreas and Li transform into their human selves. Li summoned forth a mighty scythe, powered by magic. Startling red in colour with a great eye at its head, and what looked like veins pulsing to the tip of the blade. Siren arched her body, swinging her head back and throwing her arms out. The orb she held grew and divided, lifting in the air and spinning bizarrely around her in orbit. Li rushed forwards to meet Siren, as Indigo beside them drew forth a slender sword hidden beneath his robes. He twirled the blade, thrusting it forwards in perfect precision towards Li as she advanced, only to be deflected by Kreas' weapon, three long blades protruding from a garment he wore on his wrists.

Siren met Li with her own magic, the blade from the scythe colliding with one of the many circling orbs. Indigo fought viciously with Kreas nearby, the long cruel claws that he wore over his knuckles, exaggerated in length flew about the air wildly. The two dancing around each other and the blades, each already suffered slashes over their bodies and faces. And between the two fighting pairs, Culture fought with the master, quickly however he was losing ground. The master's attacks were relentless.

Lucas, Reuben and Venom ran over to Crystal, too close for comfort to the fighting. Crystal was too close to danger; one of the enemies could easily grab her. Just a slit of the throat and her life would be ended.

How fragile the body could be.

Lucas reached her as she was attempting to crawl away. Coming to her level and glancing nervously back at the fighting that was happening so close by.

'Crystal.'

Crystal was hunched over, sobbing into her hands, her white hair dragging in the dirt.

Reuben dared a glance back to the fighting, and saw Kreas lunge again at Indigo, pushing forward and roaring like an animal. His face seemed to grow, his eyes glowing red and his teeth sharpening. It was like he was teetering on the edge of transformation. A truly frightening sight to behold.

The master leapt back, throwing his arms out straight he fired. The bullet from one of the guns grazed Culture's head as he charged towards him. Culture suddenly threw his arms out, cutting the master's hands with his chakrams and forcing him to disarm. The master with his hands free grabbed him by the throat, Culture made to slash his arm, but the master caught him by the wrist, dangerously close to the flames. Culture made to attack with his free arm, aiming again for the master as he still choked. But blocked again by the master's other arm Culture coughed violently as he was released. Able to breathe now but with both his wrists held by the master he was trapped, staring back at his opponents red eyes that glinted with pure pleasure and ecstasy. Culture's head snapped sharply back as the master head butted him. He was released, his nose bloody. He stumbled disorientated, shaking himself to try to clear his mind. The master danced back several steps, holding both is gun blades in his hands, he had summoned them from where they had fallen, and now he lured Culture on teasingly.

Culture lowered his shoulders, marching laboriously towards him. The master shot again, this time Culture blocked the bullet with the magic from his chakrams. He lowered them, as his pace quickened. They fought again, the master using the blades of his weapons to fight the aberrant, quickly gaining the upper hand. More and more did Culture begin to tire, he was sweating, and short of breath. The discomfort spread to his arms, neck and jaw. The master smiled in satisfaction, and Culture, after several minutes of struggling, dropped his weapons. No longer able to hold them, they slipped from his fingers. He was too weak to wield the magic and so they vanished into thin air. Culture collapsed. All his old symptoms, suddenly magnified by ten. He fell forwards and retched, throwing up the entire contents of his stomach. When he looked up next, the master was before him, though his arms were relaxed. Culture stared blearily up at him, gasping and weak. The master suddenly grabbed him roughly by the shoulder, having dropped one of his gun blades to do so. He now moved backwards with Culture in his grasp, pointing the barrel of the gun blade he held at point blank range to his head. Culture moaned in agony, clutching his chest in panic and fear of his coming end. He fell to his knees again, and the master released him, and watched passively.

'Weak hearts' he spoke in a dead tone as he watched the aberrant's demise. 'Short lives…

Culture was gasping. He gave a few more breaths, before his body slumped, and he fell to the side. The life left him, and he became utterly still. Finally, the pain had gone away, as his heart stopped beating.

'Rest' the master said down to him. 'You are in a better place now.'

He watched, as the magic left his body, ascending towards the sky. He then turned his attention menacingly, towards Crystal. Towards Venom, and the brothers.

Reuben's head shot up, fear filled him as he saw the master approaching. He grabbed Crystal before him, trying to pull her to her feet.

'Crystal! We have to get out of here!'

'It's no use' she whispered back, a dead weight in his grip. Reuben barely heard her. 'There is nowhere I can run where he will not find me. Not now.'

Reuben rose to his feet, looking around him desperately. As if some solution would come to hand. The master was nearly upon them. Reuben leapt over Crystal's body, caught by a sudden surge of madness and bravery and foolishness. Fearlessly he charged towards the master, bringing forth his razor light spell. The gold flash from the magic left a white light in his sights, blinding him for seconds from all else.

The master gasped, as if emotionally hurt. He took a step back, brushing his cheek tenderly. There was only a single narrow cut on his face; the rest of him was unscathed.

Reuben backed away then, suddenly very frightened.

'What?' he cried. 'The spell should have worked!'

The master lowered his hand. 'Young guardians' he said. He furrowed his brow, and then he smiled, revealing sharpened teeth. 'What fun!'

He grabbed Reuben by the shoulder, balling his fist and sending an aim at his stomach, twisting his wrist before the impact. Reuben doubled over in agony. He was thrown to the side as Venom rose to meet the master, shooting balls of lighting his way. His magic now as familiar to him as a friend he had known for years, and as easy to summon as it was to breath. The master deflected the bolts of lightning with a mere flick of his hand, reaching out to strike Venom, but suddenly darting to the side, avoiding a strike that came from Lucas.

The master straightened up, facing each of the three younger guardians who stared at him in defiance.

'Keep away!' Lucas ordered him. 'We're not afraid of you.'

'Oh?' the master replied curiously. 'That's a shame.'

Reuben lifted himself off the ground, moving towards his brother, he stood hunched, holding his stomach where he had been hit. Reuben with a great effort straightened, grimacing as he did. The master watched his discomfort with pleasure.

'You are not afraid of me' the master said, 'we will have to remedy that.'

They fought then, all three of the younger guardians against the master, attacking him from all sides. But the master hardly seemed to notice them; deflecting their attacks easily and pushing them all back. He struck the brothers upon their head with magic simultaneously, nearly knocking them out. They stumbled back dizzy and in pain, leaving only Venom to face him alone. The master summoned one of the gun blades to his side, stabbing the point of the end into his shoulder. Venom cried out, falling to his knees and trying to push the weapon out of him as the master forced it deeper into his flesh.

The master gleamed a cruel grin as Venom moaned in agony, eyes wild.

'I love the sound of pain' the master cried, suddenly mad. 'When I hear a man scream…my stomach lifts, and I am filled with a lust that nothing else can satisfy!'

'Twisted freak' Venom gasped.

The master wrenched the blade from him, pushing him backwards, Venom began to crawl away.

'Hey!' Lucas called to him as the master advanced towards Venom, no doubt intent on hurting him again.

The master slowed gradually to a stop, easing his sights towards his new target. He watched.

Lucas bowed his head, holding himself tense. From his back, something grew. Lucas moaned as he straightened up.

'Ahhhh' the master purred curiously, lifting his head. 'Of this I have never seen before. How interesting. How interesting indeed.'

They were huge in size, and a magnificent dark bronze colour with perfect formation. They had grown slowly from his body, their sharp edges cutting slits in the fabric of his clothes, now they spread outwards, casting great shadows upon the ground.

'Wings' the master breathed. 'Fascinating, but they will not save you.'

Lucas leapt to the sky, taking flight and soaring in an arch. But it was seconds before the master caught him. Lucas didn't know how he did so, but he was struck with a blow to the head by a spell cast out by the master who remained on the ground. He fell out of the sky, hitting the earth hard and falling awkwardly on his wings. Lucas was out in the open.

Reuben and Venom ran forwards to confront the master. Reuben slashing the air with his spells, Venom summoning his lightning powers. The master however, watching their approach from a distance could not be caught off guard as he had been with Lucas. He now knew what to expect. He danced with them, using their own attacks against them to his advantage, tricking them, teasing them. The pair grew ever more frustrated, their concentration falling.

They had lured the master away from Lucas and Crystal. Crystal had risen now, attempting to drag Lucas away from the others and closer to safety. But his unconscious dead weight coupled with his wings rendered him near enough impossible to even budge, and Crystal skidding on her heels fell back down, panting furiously.

'You're so heavy!' she cried in despair. 'How do you fly?' She tried again, pausing in wonder to see Reuben now flying through the sky, with wings just like his brother's.

'So they have the same powers' she whispered.

She watched them fight.

Venom had been left on the ground, nursing his injury. It was only the master and Reuben who fought now, the master levitating and flying by some invisible force, for he had no wings, but walked, ducked and fought in mid air. He moved as if he stood on the ground, fighting with Reuben as he flew. And as Crystal stared up helplessly, the master met Reuben with a blow. Crystal saw in the sunlight a glint of the knife the master had pulled from his sleeve, so cleverly hidden it was. Reuben gasped, straining for breath. He had been stabbed between the ribs. Slowly, tipping back, he fell out of the sky.

'Lucas!' Crystal screamed in desperation. 'Open your eyes!'

Almost as if under her control his eyes shot open. He rose quickly, moving forwards and soaring through the air towards the master, and towards his brother as he fell. Lucas managed to grab and hold onto Reuben by the arm as he fell, spreading his wings to slow their descent and brining them both gently to the ground.

He let out a long deep sigh of relief; coming back down to earth he relaxed his grip on Reuben.

'Are you alright brother?' Lucas hastened.

'Oh yeah' Reuben groaned through gritted teeth as he lay on his back. 'I feel fine.' A smile tweaked his lips, though only for a moment, before turning sour.

Lucas leant over his brother, seeing the wound inflicted by the knife.

'Reuben' Lucas whined. 'You've punctured a lung.'

Reuben spluttered, turning his head to the side and coughing up blood.

'Oh Reuben' Lucas whispered.

'I'll be ok' he groaned, 'just give me a minute.'

'I don't have the power to heal him' Crystal uttered coming over to them. 'I'm so sorry…'

Lucas raised his head at the sound of movement to his side. Sian ran to him, with Ebony right behind her.

'Sian, what are you doing…?' Lucas asked in amazement.

Sian didn't answer; instead she stared down at Reuben, who was slowly bleeding out.

Sian got down on her knees; reaching forwards she touched Reuben at his chest, covering the wound with both her hands. She closed her eyes as a light began to grow from between her fingers and over the wound. She used her newly gained magic to heal.

Above them, still floating in the air, the master watched coldly. His attention wavered from the young guardians, and towards the beasts Kreas and Li that fought nearby. They were locked in combat with the guardians Indigo and Siren.

Li screamed in furry, slashing the air with her scythe. Its range was long, and its blade sharp. Siren ducked, saving herself from its blow. She straightened again, throwing back her hood. One of the many orbs flew towards Li in a gentle curve. Li leant back, arm thrown upwards, her scythe back behind her. The ball rippled, as if made of water. The atmosphere turned grey, Li's movements slowed, and she struggled to steady herself. Siren directed her orbs, smooth and steady she was, her movements controlled. Li then screwed her eyes tight shut, she stumbled. Dropping her scythe and throwing her head back in a scream of agony. Siren sent another orb her way, trapping her way now. Li gasped as she became surrounded, gripped by a raw and primal fear only those faced with their own deaths experienced. Siren cast her hands out, completing the spell. The orbs shattered into a thousand million pieces, littering the floor all around them with tiny shards of dark glass.

Li collapsed as dead weight, her eyes glazed over. Siren turned from her, sparing her not a second thought. She ran to help Indigo, who struggled under the rage and might that was Kreas. She joined Indigo in the fight. Kreas spun round at the sight of her, swinging both his arms. In seconds he transformed to his animal self, screeching and crying. Indigo leapt onto his back, showering the beast with a spell that cut and dug deep into his spine and forehead, while Siren attacked the legs from behind.

From above the master watched as the scuttling black creature was tormented by the two guardians. He struggled, not to attack, but to defend and keep himself alive. When the master had had enough, he called down to Kreas in a short sharp whistle. Kreas broke away from the two guardians, turning he fled, howling in pain at his injuries, and at the sight of Li, who lay there dead in his sight. Kreas howled in pain and frustration, fleeing from the scene into places unknown. When the elder guardians Siren and Indigo looked up at the sky together, they saw that the master too, was gone.

Lucas embraced his brother tightly in relief that he was still alive. The wound in seconds had been fully healed by Sian, who was now by Venom's side, healing his injury also.

Ebony and Crystal looked on sadly, as Siren and Indigo knelt by the dead body of the aberrant Culture.

They surrounded him, and began to mourn.

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