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   Chapter 27 The Downfall

An Uncertain Present By Grace Estellar Characters: 11840

Updated: 2020-05-17 22:46


***Daniel's POV***

Leaving behind his siblings was impossibly hard for him. His heart felt heavy as he climbed up the worn steps to the Los Angeles Institute. Everything was burning in the tall building, flame casting a brilliant glow against the dark ending sky. It would have made a beautiful painting of destruction, the epitome of chaotic ruin. That is, if there wasn't the knowledge running rampant in his mind that several Shadowhunters likely died in that building, that his Father could be trapped in there somewhere.

I have to find him.

With this in mind he cast his energy on the burning back entrance to force the blackened doors open. He would've kicked the door down if he wasn't so worried about the resulting collision causing the archways collapse. This building was meant to weather any storm, but not this. Smoke came out in a billowing plume. His eyes burned with it, watering with pain. He wiped his eyes before stepping inside. Daniel kept his bow and arrow at the ready. The bow string was notched with an arrow as he looked around. It was hard to see with so much smoke and flames. All the pristine architecture was covered in a mess of black and red.

"Alec! Alec! Are you there?" He called out.

Daniel could hear the strain in his voice. Clearing it would only force more smoke into his lungs. Inhaling the terrible stuff wouldn't kill him by any means, but he would still feel pain from breathing in too long here. Unlike Alec, who will hardly feel any after effects at all. Going off a hunch he pressed on deeper into the Institute. Blue eyes searched for any signs of life, turning away from the blackened bodies he found strewn on the floor. It was hard to tell what might've killed them, the smoke inhalation or the slashes along their chests and arms. For the one who had the hilt of a sword sticking out of his chest, right where her heart would be, he looked away. It was a shame for someone so young to die.

"Alec!" He tried again. There was still no response as he passed the training room. The mats were just burning leather at this point. There would be no salvaging of the dummies either, their plastic burning like it did if you were trying to heat it in the microwave.

"Daniel? Is that you?" A calm voice called back.

It came through the smoke like a hazed whisper against the dark. He found himself running toward it, one hand outstretched as he slammed through the broken door hinges and fallen posts. This was the voice he had run to back when he was only a small child. It symbolized safety, peace to his mind that was so tired. Adrenaline was kicking in as he burst into the new room. With everything burning, it was impossible to tell what it had once been. But all he cared about was the angel standing in the center of the room.

Alec.

"Daniel! What are you doing here?"

Alec was covered in a layer of ash. All of him was dusted with the gray particles, his wings stained with it too. He was a mosaic of ash and burning, his dark mop of hair fringing over glowing blue eyes.

"I should be asking the same about you, but I think I already know. I came here for you. Let's get out of here."

"Can't argue with that. Where are the others?"

They were rushing out together, feet creaking on the unsteady ground. Thankfully, it wasn't wooden like so many other rooms. Enough of the floors were wooden. His feet still felt the burning. Hot coals were much worse, but walking on burning wood wasn't that much better.

"They're fighting."

"Fighting who?"

Daniel frown

he best place to start, though he had his doubts judging by the frown on Sara's face. Her nose was scrunched up, eyebrows furrowed in confusion. It was the same look Isabelle gave whenever something perturbed her.

"What are you talking about? Of course he's a Wayland. Don't try to lie to protect him." Her red eyes gleamed. "Unless you're just worried about what the loss of your bonded will do to you. You needn't worry Father, this will not hurt, not in comparison to the other pain you've been through. You'll just be further freed from all the attachments of the mortal realm. Free to join me."

Some of that information left him feeling startled. He had always been taught the loss of ones parabatai was painful beyond repair. Essentially a loss of self. "I'm not lying. He's not a Wayland, he's a Herondale."

There. I said it. Now believe me. Sara's eyes widened, a hand raising to cover her gaping mouth. She acted as though she was struck by someone's fist. Still, her grip on the sword did not waver. Of anything it embedded just a sliver more into Jace's skin. His brother was coughing. The sound was gurgling and wet. Some blood tinged the corners of his lips like the remains of old lipstick. The wetness hinted otherwise.

"You're wrong. That's-that's impossible. You're lying!"

"I'm not, " Alec said. He kept his voice firm, there was no room for weakness here. Any inflection of wavering would make Sara doubt him.

"I don't believe you." Her voice held barely concealed rage. "I'll just have to go with my gut." She raised her sword, one foot clamping down on Jace's chest to render him immobile.

"Jace!" Magnus shouted, or was it Emma? Everything seemed distant at this point as the blade inched down to Jace's throat.

Such a wound would kill his brother regardless of his heightened angel blood. For all the power he had, Alec couldn't help feeling powerless here. Since becoming immortal, he had known someday he would lose Jace. But the idea that the loss of the parabatai bond wouldn't hurt him so badly thanks to his new status still felt strange to him. Emotion welled up inside of him, he was at a loss what to do in the moment. Everything seemed at a standstill as time slowly passed by.

"STOP!" A voice rang out like a gunshot in the night. There was a flash of vibrant bronze-gold, a pair of wings taking flight.

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