Original Stories Fan Fiction / Fables/Fairytales Fan Fiction ❯ The Elementalists ❯ Thirteen - The Amulet ( Chapter 13 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

[Recap: “No where,” Guren said, unexpectedly, as he turned to face the tall trees before them. “We have company.”
“Relax,” said a strong, calm voice. “It's just me.” Out of the shadows stepped Captain Skyler, wearing his usual uniform. “I have some information regarding this Lady Rika.”
The group settled down for a few moments on the grass, a few yards or so from the lake. All of them were anxious to hear the news about Rika, though they had a feeling it was not good news. “Well?” said Eryk, impatiently. He wanted to get straight down to business, so they could hurry and get to Soumei's place before sundown.
“It seems Rika has a weak spot,” said the Captain. “Though we have yet to figure it out, rumors have been going around about what this weakness is, or could be. Many have pointed out the ancient amulet she is seen wearing around her neck…” He took a long pause, staring at the grass in the middle of their circle. “Recently, some of our spies have been able to sneak past the barrier around her stronghold and come back to the Ministry with valuable information. Just this morning, we found out that the amulet…”
Everyone stared at Captain Skyler, timidly waiting for him to continue. All was still and quiet until Eryk broke the unsettling silence by exclaiming, “We don't have all day, Captain!” He merely smirked at Eryk's impatient personality, but complied to his wish.
“The amulet itself is five-thousand years old, and before it was found by Rika, it was buried deep within the caves of Camelia. Decades ago, the amulet was rumored to be cursed, to harvest souls of humans. Legend has it, the amulet was forged by Edric Balin Elias.”
Half of the group gasped, while the other half simply stared in disbelief. “No way… Edric Balin Elias? But… That was ages ago, at least three-thousand years prior to now,” said Kai, looking towards Guren to see that he, too, was quite baffled.
“Yes, but do remember, the ancient scrolls say that he wreaked havoc among the Human World for his own sick pleasures,” replied the Captain, who looked very bleak. He sighed, rubbing his forehead. “Although they are only simple rumors, they are being taken very seriously. If it is indeed true that the Dark Amulet has come to be in Rika's hands, it is the source of all her power. And if that is true…”
“And if we are able to destroy it, this mess will be all over,” said Florian, finishing Captain Skyler's sentence. He nodded, looking Florian straight in the eye.
“I understand that you are going to train with Master Soumei,” he inquired, once the group was somewhat settled down and less tense than earlier.
“Yes, we encountered… We encountered Gilead last night,” said Guren gravely, his eyes focused on the ground. “I saw no trace of the man we once knew last night,” he continued, his eyes hardening as he successfully concealed his remorse. “He was far too powerful for even all of the Elementalists. We would all have to combine our strength in order to defeat him, and if that is the case, Rika may as well have many men just like him. Hell, she's probably a lot stronger than he is, and we all know she has thousands of servants.”
“Yes,” agreed Captain Skyler, sighing regretfully. “Poor Gilead… He couldn't do anything to stop himself from being captured so long ago,” he murmured, staring into the darkening sky. He paused for a moment, then stood up and nodded to nothing in particular. “I have told you what I was sent to tell you, and now, I must leave.” He bowed slightly, turning away quickly and heading back towards the place he came from. “I will inform you immediately if more information is gathered.”
After Captain Skyler had taken his leave, the group immediately resumed walking towards the location of Soumei's temple. “I hardly remember this path,” commented Florian, looking around curiously at the trees. “The forest was never this opaque before, was it?”
“No, it wasn't,” answered Eryk, pushing branches out of his way. “In any case, we should be there in less than an hour.”
“That's a relief, considering it's almost sunset,” said Candis, roughly shoving the branches to the side, annoyed at all the shrubbery in their way.
“It should be right here…” Florian said, trailed off as a puzzed expression entered his eyes. “Hold on just a minute…” He jogged out into the vast opening, dead grass filling it, with the others following closely behind. “What the…?!”
In front of them was nothing but an open field, dead weeds growing everywhere, almost reaching their knees. In the middle of the field was a short stump of a very old tree that was at least two-hundred years old.
“This isn't right,” said Eryk, stepping cautiously around, looking for any sort of sign to help them. He stared in incredulity at the only object within the perimeter: the stump of the tree. “You don't think that he could have possibly moved…?”
“What's any other possible explanation?” asked Kai bitterly. “Although, I have a feeling he isn't in the Magic World anymore…” She brought her hand up to her cheek, sighing frustratedly. “I've decided that I now hate thinking.”
“He did say a few months ago that he was planning to go to the Human World,” said Chi. “Maybe he's still in this location, but in the Human World.” She sat down on the stump, but as she sat down, she fell right through.
“What just happened—Chi?!” exclaimed Candis, running over to the tree stump.
“Well what do you know,” Guren said sarcastically. “It's a portal for us. It can't have been here very long. Soumei is still no fool.” He rubbed his neck, thinking on the old man's increasing cleverness. “I suppose it'll be closing soon. We should hurry and get through before anyone else can find it.”
“Agreed.” Guren jumped in first, followed by Kai, and so on until everyone was through. Unfortunately, they had all wrongly assumed that their fall would be an easy one. In fact, it was far from easy, as the other side of the portal was located a couple hundred feet above solid ground.
Surprisingly, Guren, Feng, and Florian had all landed on their feet, but as for the others, they nearly fell on their bottoms.
Kai was screeching loudly as she flailed wildly in midair. “I hate you Soumei!” she cried, waiting for the hard ground to make contact with her bottom. Instead, she felt strong arms catch her, though slightly clumsily. She opened her eyes slowly, seeing Guren's bright red hair almost blend with the pink and orange sky. She blushed lightly, as did he, and stared into his eyes for what felt like an eternity. “O-oh,” she said, wriggling out of his arms. She stood shakily, blushing even harder when Guren helped her remain steady. “Thanks,” she said sheepishly, grinning more to herself than to him.
“It was nothing,” Guren replied, turning away to see Candis fall straight out of the portal.
“Crap!” she yelled, falling flat on top of Eryk. “Ouch…” She looked up to see her face mere inches from Eryk's. “…Oh.” Her cheeks turned bright red, though she felt a little better seeing that Eryk's entire face was tomato-red. Realizing she was still on top of him, she quickly got up and held her hand out for him to grab. “Sorry about that.” She smiled with embarrassment.
“Just forget it,” he replied, looking away to hide his own humiliation. Candis sighed in relief when he walked over to Florian.
“Ooh, I saw that! Candis you sneaky gal,” teased Kai, nudging her elbow into Candis's side. “Someone's all flustered!”
“Shut up!” Candis retorted, blushing heatedly. She grumbled gibberish to herself, looking away until she was completely sure that her face was back to it's normal pale color.
“I didn't expect this many visitors,” said a somewhat groggy voice. The group turned around to see an old man of average height, with long, silver hair held up in a bun. His eyes were dark brown, making them look black in the near dark.
“Look at you, old man,” Eryk said, throwing his arms up in the air. “You tell us off if we aren't prepared for more than what we expect, yet here you are, expecting only a few of us to show up on your doorstep!”
“Shut your mouth if you wish to be trained,” snapped the old man, looking frigidly at Eryk.
“It is an honor to meet you once again, Master Soumei,” said Guren, stepping forward to kneel and bow lowly at the elderly man.
“Ah, Guren,” he said, bowing in return. “It is nice to see so many familiar faces at once. But it troubles me as well,” he added grimly. “We must start at once, for we have limited time until Rika commands her first attack.
“Though since you have arrived so late, we must wait until tomorrow morning to start. Get a good night's rest and tomorrow…” He paused, his eyes roaming over each of the group before him. “Tomorrow will be a new day.”
Soumei's temple was exceptionally large, for it was located deep within ancient forests, even in the Human World. It had three floors total, each floor having three bedrooms and bathrooms. “At least this time we have our own rooms,” said Kai, gratefully sighing as she laid down on her bed.
“Yeah, Eryk was a pain in the ass to sleep next to,” said Candis, sitting on the desk chair. “Well, I'm off to bed. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight.” Candis turned off Kai's lights as she walked to her own room, leaving Kai behind to think about the day's events.
The fire wielder sighed with frustration as she buried herself under the covers of her futon. She couldn't stop thinking about the day's events, and how things just abruptly went from bad to worse. `It feels as if no matter how hard we train, even if we learn Soumei's techniques, I still feel we may not be able to beat them,' she thought. `And…' She shook her head, holding it wearily with one hand. `I gotta stop thinking this way.' Sighing again, Candis closed her eyes one last time before entering the dark abyss of her dreams.