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   Chapter 14 Darkness Rising

An Uncertain Present By Grace Estellar Characters: 8660

Updated: 2020-02-26 21:48

***Daniel's POV***

The journey to the Seelie Realm felt much too slow for his liking. Perhaps it was because of the racing of his wild heart as he scramble to find the natural Seelie realm portal nearby, or maybe it was the sense of foreboding that built up tension in his wings. Either way, he arrives at the Clearing feeling a little worse for wear. The unsettled feeling doesn't go away either when Ricardo looks at him with a solemn frown he hadn't seen since delivering the awful news all those years ago. Ricardo stands alone in the grassy space, Isaac and Gabby were likely fast asleep back in their home.

"Daniel, I'm glad you got here on such short notice." Ricardo says, forgoing any greeting.

"Of course. There's no way I wouldn't be here, not if what you said is true. So where is it? Where's the Portal?"

He'd been looking for it when he first came in, almost worried he would be walking into a trap of some kind. Remiel had taught him a long time ago the dangers of the Seelie world; the ever changing landscape and dangerous people living their were always to be worried about.

"The Portal hasn't appeared fully as of yet. . .though it keeps flickering in and out like a little firefly." Ricardo explains. "I'll show you."

The two men walk over to the two large, twisting trees which the portal had been created in the center of. Daniel could feel power seeping out of it in waves, far more so then how it had been the last time he visited. Back then only weak waves of energy brushed up against his dark wings. The power was overwhelming in its ferocity now, like a ravenous tiger ready to pounce.

"This is not good."

Daniel breathes in a gulp of air. The coolness of it does little to ease the tension inside him. He places a careful hand on the trunk of one of the trees. Embedded in the bark is an old handprint. It was small, feminine, and belonging to someone who was no longer around to put their hand on it. Daniel looks away sullenly, pulling his hand back to hang limply at his side.

Ricardo nods. "I figured you might say that, which is why-"

"Which is why I'm here."

Daniel turns around to see Armando strolling into view. His warlock companion is dressed to the nines in what looks to be an imitation of Daniel's own battle armor. Steel pads protect the warlock's arms, knees and chest. Strings are wound tightly into the fabric to hold the pieces together. The combat boots clearly have Armando's touch to them, the ruby gemstone at the top of each a testament to this, as are the golden buckles with their dragon shape.

"Armando, I.

d hear the raucous cries of demons, their gnashing teeth and deep throated yowls making the hairs at the back of his neck prickle. Goose bumps pop up along his arms just thinking about it.

Grrr. . .Rumble. . .Grr. . .

The rocks on the ground begin to hop around as a strange shaking begins. Trees surrounding the area begin to sway wildly like kites in hurricane winds, the streamer tails being replaced by narrow branches with sprouting leaves and berries. Wind howls with angry screeches, forcing the loose leaves piled on the forest floor to go flying into the air.

"Armando, what's going on?" Daniel faces his friend, noting the look of alarm on the other man's face.

"I don't know Daniel. I think something is coming."

Thunder booms overhead as lightning crashes. Daniel looks up just in time to see a bolt of light streaking from the sky to hit one of the tall trees at the outer edge of the Clearing. It catches fire almost immediately, those hot red flames sputtering as they spread their intensity to nearby trees.

When did the sky get so dark? He doesn't have time to ponder that, as a screech sounds behind him. Armando's eyes widen in horror, orange magic glowing fiercely in his hands. Those broken wings that were always carefully glamoured are on full display now, as are those spiraling horns and barbed tail.

"Daniel watch out!"

He turns around just in time to see a massive Acriux demon barreling into him, with even more of the terrible creatures appearing into the sky. The creature's gnashing teeth dripped with ichor, it's wings as dark as night. Daniel takes one startled breath, before attacking it head on with all his might.

The rune on his abdomen begins to spurt out blood.

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