The Beginning of the End
The vortex opened up into a dark black room, filled with bodies. Caz, Jisika, Cyn and Sori flew out of one darkness into another. Caz, being on the bottom of the pile, pushed the rest of them off. “Where are we?”
Cyn stood up and brushed himself off. “I don’t know. ”
“Maybe we should find out.” Jisika mumbled as she stood up.
“That would be good.” Sori rubbed the back of her head, having hit it on the landing. She stood up, along with Caz.
“Well, what do we have here?” The chilling voice of Stiller Naught came from all around. A sliver of light appeared to reveal the Vampire King.
“What do you want with us?!” Cazron yelled in question as they all grabbed their weapons and held them ready. They knew what they had to do.
“I just want you all to combine your powers to help me get passed the Gate and into Exeo.” He simply stated. He looked at each of the Champions, but his eyes lingered on Jisika the longest. He knew that she was not Bella, nor could she ever be in anything more than looks.
“Over my dead body.” Jisika growled lowly.
“Careful, little child. That might be a good wish.” He chuckled, slightly.
<Sori, do you see the bag he has?> Cyn asked his sister.
<Yeah. It’s the same one that he puts the souls in.> Sori answered.
<Think you can hit it?> Caz asked, knowing Cyn’s plan.
<If you guys can distract him.> She quietly knocked her arrow, into a ready position.
Stiller noticed Sori ready an arrow. “You think you can shoot me? Very funny.”
“Think she can miss?” Jisika ran at him, her scythe ready to strike. She went right through him. “An illusion.”
“You honestly think I would allow myself to be caught so easily? If you want me, you’ll have to find me.” Stiller’s voice felt an echo as the room became silent. The light disappeared, taking the illusion with it.
“Guys, ready?” Cyn asked them. The others simply gave their answer. “We need to find a way to stay together.” Someone put a bungee cord in his hand. “Then let’s go.” He led them away from the echo, hoping to find the owner of the voice.
After about five minutes of walking, they still didn’t find anything but darkness. “Cyn?” Jisika started to ask, “Can you turn on a flame so we can see?”
“Yeah, give me a second.” Cyn closed his eyes and concentrated. Flames began to flicker down his scimitars, as he kept trying to make light. The flames on the scimitars flared to life, but offered no light. The darkness just destroyed the light and would not be broken. After about thirty seconds of light from the scimitars was eaten by the darkness.
“Well, it was worth the try.” Sori tried to be optimistic.
Cazron shivered slightly. “Did it just get colder?”
“I can’t tell.” Cyn answered.
“We need to find a way out of here.” Jisika stated the obvious.
Sori tripped over something and hit the ground. “Ow.” She didn’t say it because she was hurt but to let people know she fell and not to get ran over or left behind.
“What’d you trip over?” Jisika asked.
“I don’t know.” Sori closed her eyes and cleared her mind. She used her fingers to touch what she tripped over, forming a mental picture of what it could be. She sent the picture to the rest of them.
“A body?” Cazron asked, debating whether or not Sori was lying.
“Yeah. Cyn send a flame down the cord, towards Sori.” Jisika told him. She was going to try and get the body to catch fire.
Cyn nodded and concentrated on not burning their lifeline. As the flame lit his hand, the darkness disappeared. He didn’t send the flame down, using the light from his hand to see. He found a wall sconce and added flame to it. He watched the flame spread across to all of the other sconces and lanterns.
Sori had indeed tripped over a body. “Lucracious? His soul must have been stolen.” She looked around, seeing other bodies of people they knew. “Kaori, CJ, Kia Cat, Serpent, Solis, and Melody.” She named them off as she saw them.
“That bag looks familiar.” Cazron exclaimed. He ran over and picked it up. He opened it, revealing all of the souls Stiller had taken, using the knife. “It’s them. We need to get them out of the jewels.”
“But how?” Sori asked.
“Exeo. We have to send them there, and they will be free.” Jisika mumbled. “I don’t know how, but I know that it’s the only way we can save them.”
“Then let’s get started.” Cyn told them.
Cazron emptied the bag onto the floor, then sat about three feet away from the pile. The others sat in a circle around the pile of jewels.
Cyn started by sitting cross-legged, his hands crossed over his heart. He created a barrier around them, for protection against physical attacks. “For the Worlds…”
Jisika sat down, her ankles crossed. She placed her arms in a loose circle, her hands a foot apart. She added to the barrier, strengthening it against physical attacks. “For the Planes…”
Cazron was next. His legs were stretched, out and his arms were held slightly away from his body, his hands forming a triangle. He also added to the barrier, against magical attacks. “For the Dead…”
Sori sat with the flats of her feet touching. Her arms were crossed and her fingernails were touching. She finished strengthening the barrier against magical attack. “For the Living…”
As they all spoke those words, they were given the knowledge of what to do. They all went into a relaxed state of being, with their eyes closed to stop all the distractions.
Cyn spoke, his voice was the essence of a roaring blaze, “From thy Blazing Fires, I call upon Thee.” A stream of red light jumped from his hands and into the pile of jewels.
Jisika’s voice was added to his, her voice the sound of rushing river. “Hear thy call from the Thundering Waters, I call upon thee.” A blue light flowed from her hands into the jewels.
Cazron’s voice was that of a grand mountain. “Thou’s help is needed from the Endless Plains, I call upon thee.” A majestic green light tumbled from his hands into the jewel pile.
Sori’s voice lit up in harmony with the others, as an echo in the wind. “To save those who shan’t need to die, I call upon thee.” A white light appeared and blew from her hands into the pile of jewels.
The magic combined all from individual parts into a whole. They continued to say their parts all at once, until their voices blended into the Harmony of Souls. All at once they stopped saying their different parts.
“We…” Cyn started, his light growing brighter.
“Call…” Jisika added, her light growing in intensity.
“Upon…” Cazron added his part, his light growing in power.
“Thee!” Sori yelled the finish, her light combining the rest of the lights into one.
The jewels shattered, one by one, releasing the trapped souls. The unknown souls flew off, back to their bodies. The souls the Champions met along the journey, stayed with them, but were unseen by the living. The shattered jewels started disappearing. Where they were, a golden light appeared. The Gate of Exeo was open. The spirits went through the Gate.
Stiller appeared right outside the barrier. He marveled at the Gate. “It’s taken me millennia to reach it.” He stepped forward, but the barrier blocked him. “Damn them!”
The Champions, upon hearing the vampire’s voice, jumped to their feet. “You will not pass!” Jisika yelled.
“We can’t fight him. As soon as we or a weapon goes through the barrier, it will shatter and disappear completely.” Sori warned.
“And what will happen if we leave and go to Exeo?” Caz asked.
“I don’t know.” She admitted.
“Then let me test it.” Jisika ran into the golden light and disappeared. There was no visual effect on the shield.
Cyn pushed Sori and Cazron into the light, sending them off as well. There was still no visual effect on the barrier. “Have fun.” He grinned then followed them through.
What they didn’t know, as soon as they went through the Gate of Exeo, the barrier slowly began to break apart. First, it was the magical barrier that flickered then failed. Then, the physical barrier disintegrated. Stiller grinned at this new development and passed into the golden light.