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   Chapter 10 Lagoon

The Ones Who were Chosen By Lady Lilium Characters: 14508

Updated: 2018-07-13 12:02


Indigo lifted the body of Culture in his arms, turning from the others and walking away.

'What about the other one?' Siren asked his back, glancing towards the still body of Li.

Indigo hesitated.

'We cannot leave her' Siren insisted. 'It wouldn't be right.'

Indigo nodded, holding Culture close to him. The aberrant's large wings dragged on the ground as he walked away.

'Can one of you carry her?' Siren said to the young guardians.

Venom stepped forwards tentatively. The others watched as he approached the body, his footsteps crunching on the broken glass that surrounded Li. He knelt, lifting her in his arms. He looked into her face.

'She's beautiful' he said sadly.

Siren came to his side, staring down at Li.

'We must honour the dead' Siren told him. 'Be they a friend, or an enemy.'

A short way away Indigo had used his magic to disappear into thin air.

'Come' Siren whispered to Venom, lifting her hand towards him to do the same. The others drew closer to her.

Reuben and Lucas stuck close to each other, as did the philosophers stones Ebony and Crystal.

Sian stopped to look back at the sky behind them, towards the direction that Kreas had fled. His cries of pain for his loss still echoed in her heart. She bowed her head in sorrow.

Lucas put his hand on her shoulder, bringing her back to the present. Sian put her hand upon Venom's shoulder, and the group, all making contact with those nearest them, slipped into the magic cast out by Siren.

Everything went white for a moment, before turning clear again. They were standing in a meadow, with Indigo nearby, who had been waiting for them.

'So Reuben, you've been brought back from a dangerous situation yet again' Indigo drawled. 'Lucky you.'

Reuben touched the point of his chest where the injury had been. Now fully healed, there wasn't even a scar.

Indigo lifted his arm out before him, letting the dirt he held crumble between his fingers and fall back down to earth.

The meadow within which they stood was speckled with the colour of the wild flowers that grew. The tall grass was swaying and rustling in the wind, and above them, a skylark sang a sad song, as if to help send those who had passed on their way.

The rolling hills around them grew into a small woodland that stood nearby, and beyond, resting upon the horizon towards the east, was a dark city.

Indigo stood at the end of the mound, a feeble cross made of the picket fence that stood nearby, still bearing the barbed wire that held it together, was placed at the head.

'I still don't understand this religion of yours' Indigo sighed. 'Jesus Christ. Why would a father kill his own son for the sake of others most of us don't even care about?'

'There are many religions in this world' Lucas explained. They are all so different, yet share the same core.'

Indigo threw the last of the dirt on the grave.

'It still doesn't make sense to me.'

'We have our own religion do we not?' Siren added beside him.

'Yeah, but we don't worship a man tied to a cross.'

'Don't be so insensitive' Siren glared.

Behind them Venom had finished tying the cross at the head of the second grave. He straightened, dusting his hands off.

'There' he sighed.

Sian gave a critical expression, but said nothing. She uncrossed her arms then, reverting her attention back to the philosopher's stones who stood close to one another, as if they were sisters who had known each other all their lives. They seemed drawn to one another.

'So' she said to them as she approached. 'You still have not told me who you are' she demanded, looking more at Ebony than Crystal.

Ebony averted her eyes uncertainly, Crystal remained impassive.

'You could start by telling me your name' Sian said to Ebony.

The others looked towards her at this point. Lucas was glaring, and Indigo watched Sian with sadness.

'Siren and I will be returning to the Ancient World' he said in a loud voice. 'And we will be taking the philosophers stones with us.'

At hearing this, Lucas began to feel an overwhelming sadness. A blanket of misery and despair was slowly suffocating him.

I don't understand' Lucas thought to himself. What is happening? Why do I feel this way?

And then Ebony said something that shocked them all.

'I don't what to go.'

'What?' Indigo rounded on her, gaping at her incredulous. 'Have you completely lost your mind?'

'I said' Ebony crossed her arms stubbornly. 'I don't want to go.'

'What's the matter with you? Are you under some spell?'

'I am under no spell' Ebony told Indigo. 'This decision is my own.'

'Why do you want to stay?' Siren asked her calmly.

Ebony lowered her eyes thoughtfully, as if thinking how best to answer.

'If Ebony is staying' Crystal voiced, 'then I am staying also.'

Indigo slapped himself in the face.

'I think' Siren spoke calmly, 'that we should talk privately.'

She beaconed the philosopher's stones to her, and as they approached, Lucas saw Siren grasp the air before her in an action that imitated holding an orb. But the orb was gone now, destroyed when the creature Li was killed.

Siren relaxed her hands, walking a distance away, enough so that a spoken conversation could not be heard. Indigo, once he recovered from his shock, went to join them.

Lucas watched them suspiciously, feeling nervous at the fact that the four kept glancing his way as they spoke. How he longed to know what they said.

'So who is she?' Sian asked. 'The one in black.'

Lucas turned his head to face her. 'She's just a girl.'

'But she isn't is she?'

Sian walked around Lucas, staring at him intently.

'I've seen the way you look at her.'

'What are you implying?' Lucas asked without patience.

Sian sniffed in distain, jerking her chin towards Ebony.

'Why does she have eyes like that?' she asked Lucas. 'Bright pink…it's so unnatural.'

'I don't know.'

'Is she a guardian like us?'

Lucas gave an anguished sigh.

'No' he droned. 'She is what's called a philosophers stone.'

'What's that?'

'I'm not entirely sure.'

They stood side by side, watching the elder guardians and the philosophers stones speak.

'It's strange how she doesn't want to leave' Sian said, referring to Ebony. 'So strange. Isn't it Lucas?'

Kreas threw himself to his knees, craning his head back and wailing in despair.

'Li!' he cried to the heavens. 'Li! My poor love. Dead!'

'Get a hold of yourself' the master snapped.

Kreas fell forwards on all fours, his head covered by his hood, his loose blonde hair hung around his face, hiding his grief.

'We must return to Lagoon' the master said. 'Get up.'

Kreas heaved himself back onto his feet, groaning at the pain that wracked his body. His injuries were substantial.

'Let me look at you' the master said.

Kreas crawled towards his master, hunching his body submissively. The master lifted Kreas' face in his hands, examining the wounds that covered his body. Many were visible, cuts and bruises, some could not be seen, internal damage inflicted by some spell. None of his injuries however were serious.

'You will be fine' the master said releasing him.

'We will go to Lagoon now?'

'Yes K

reas' the master answered.

They walked through the town at a leisurely pace, the master having to pause every so often for Kreas to catch up. There was an injury to his leg that caused him to limp, and he winced with every footstep.

'Try to keep up Kreas' the master told him as they went. 'You can rest when we get there.'

'Yes master' Kreas gasped, hobbling forwards. 'I'm coming.'

Their path led to a grand hotel near the centre of the town. The centre of the building was taller than the edges, and its windows were tall and narrow. At the front of the hotel there were two sets of glass revolving doors, and the lobby inside was large and luscious, made of purple carpet and marble seating.

'A fine place Lagoon has chosen to stay' the master noted, surveying the building before him.

'From one hotel to another' Kreas murmured humourlessly, fidgeting on the spot. 'Do you think we'll actually get them now?'

'The philosopher's stones?' the master smiled. 'Of course, we now know where they are. The hardest part is done.'

'But won't they escape to the Ancient World?'

'Don't worry' the master reassured, 'Lagoon will take care of that.'

The master made his way towards the building, crossing the road to reach it.

'Do you think it's safe to leave them alone now, what if they kill the girls themselves and take their powers before we can?'

'Hmm' the master thought, 'it is a possibility. But Lagoon assured us they would not do that.'

'Even the strongest minds can be swayed for power' Kreas argued.

'True' the master said moving through the revolving doors. 'And yet I still trust Lagoon's word. The elder guardians are strong minded, they will not be swayed by the power, though the thought is likely to have crossed their minds. And remember' the master added glancing back at Kreas, 'Lagoon knows them better than anyone, after all he used to be good friends with all of them. Indigo, Culture, even Shire and her daughter Siren.'

'Where has Shire gone then?' Kreas asked. 'Why has she left them?'

'Who knows?' the master shrugged carelessly. 'Whatever the reason, it shouldn't bother us.'

'That one dressed in black' Kreas asked, 'that's the sister isn't it?'

'That's right' the master replied. 'Lagoon killed her younger sister years before, he is still working off her magic.'

'It's amazing to know he's already found and captured one philosopher's stone, and yet he seeks more?'

'I know how rare they are, but the philosopher's stone he has now is weak, the girl was only young therefore……'

Kreas nodded glumly, struggling to keep up with his master as they moved through the hotel. 'Those below ten are not worth the trouble, isn't that right?'

'Yes. That's right.'

They reached the stairs which led to the upper levels; passing through the building they remained unseen to everyone within.

'Their powers mature as they get older' the master went on as they began to ascend 'like wine, it brews, or festers like an open wound.'

'What are the chances of him finding more than one?' Kreas mumbled.

'Next to impossible, this girl in black was a complete fluke. Even he didn't know about that one. And the girl in white, the one we were originally pursuing, she's older, and far more powerful.'

'Lagoon knows this?' Kreas asked tentatively.

'Oh yes. Like I said, Lagoon has already captured one philosopher's stone before and has gained much from it, despite the fact that it was weak in comparison to the ones we seek now.'

'But the others have both of them' Kreas reminded. 'Won't Lagoon be angry?'

'No, we haven't lost them yet; they are just being kept safe for us. Lagoon likely already knows what's happened, and he won't let them cross over to the Ancient World. We've already won this fight, the philosopher's stones have been found.'

'I just wish…Li was…'

'I know' the master nodded. 'She has done well. Now hurry, Lagoon is waiting.'

They left the stairs at the next level, heading down the corridor and towards the door at the end. The master paused before it; then reached out a hand to open the door. He entered the room within.

The room was large and spacious and very well lit. The windows on this level reached from ceiling to floor, with a view of the town around that was truly magnificent.

At first the room appeared empty, and Lagoon could not be seen, but as the master approached further into the room, with Kreas slinking behind, they saw him.

Lagoon was a man who was dark inside, a deep man who held many secrets. Even the master who followed his word absolutely didn't completely know or even trust him, though he claimed that he did. Lagoon was sitting quietly now in a comfy chair facing the large windows. Two seats were pulled up beside him, and on the coffee table before him were two tall glasses with a clear liquid in them.

Lagoon made no indication that he had noticed them at all; in fact he didn't even look at them as they approached. He just sat there, staring off into space, holding a white trumpet shaped flower close to his lips, breathing in the scent of the lily.

'Please, sit' he said at last to them, and the master and Kreas sat.

'Drink.'

The master leant forward and snatched up the glass, Kreas watched him take a sip before following suit. It had a sharp taste to it, leaving a burning feeling at the back of the throat.

'I wonder what it feels like' Lagoon whispered, speaking as if to himself, 'to know you're about to die?'

'I wouldn't know' the master replied.

'I wonder how that aberrant felt' Lagoon went on, 'that guardian, Culture. He knew he was about to die.' He gave a sideways glance to the master, his yellow eyes shining bright. His white wavy hair was streaked with light blue, and he had blue lines of paint under his eyes. He was dressed in blues, purples and blacks. 'Tell me Arran, what does it feel like to kill your own kind?'

The master looked up at him. 'I feel nothing.'

'How does it feel to hunt the philosopher's stone?' Lagoon asked him. 'It must be hard to overcome your instinct to protect them. I hope the task is not too difficult for you.'

'I manage.' The master replied shortly.

'I bet you're wondering how I plan to keep the philosopher's stones in this world' Lagoon said. 'Don't worry Kreas' he told him, 'that's safe to drink. I'd finish it if I were you, it will help you heal.'

Kreas bowed his head, tentatively taking another sip.

Lagoon smirked, revealing gleaming white teeth.

'I am playing with their hearts' Lagoon said to the master.

'Whose hearts?'

'The philosopher's stones.' Lagoon glanced at the master mischievously. 'They are emotional creatures. Their hearts are easily…manipulated.' He smiled again. 'This…Ebony. She will tell the others that she chooses to stay, and the other philosophers stone called Crystal, will stay to be with her.'

'Do you have the power to control the others?' Kreas dared ask.

'No' Lagoon replied. 'Only the philosopher's stones, once they are found that is.' He steepled his fingers, leaning back into his seat. 'There is nothing to worry about. Everything is going as it should be.' He closed his eyes in contentment. 'We can take our time now.'

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