Next chapter, enjoy!
The house was apparently empty. Windows and doors were closed, and just the light of a candle illuminated the room. A black candle. Thysa saw blood stains, dark and dry, over the floor and walls, and observed the chaotic mess everywhere. She didn’t hear anything, even the sound of the sea or the breathing of Ruar and his sons in front of her, that were moving catiously around the room with their swords in hand. Thysa sensed nothing, her power didn’t give her a clue and that made her feel vulnerable. Perhaps was she wrong?
- Ath?- she whispered, almost in an inaudible voice.
- It’s not here, but it’s near, maybe coming.- he answered louder, to be heard by the rest.- I would be a good idea to make a quick reconnaissance. And don’t touch that candle.
They didn’t waste time. Ruar and his sons took a look around the living room and the kitchen, while Ath made a gesture to Thysa and encouraged her to follow him to the bedroom. When he pushed the ajar door, she could smell an unbearable stink that she knew well: the smell of death and putrefaction. The bed was broken and there were blood traces there as well. In the floor, next to the bed, she recognised a still shape. Ath approached it slowy and confirmed what Thysa had already imagined: a corpse.
- It’s a woman.- he informed.- Call Ruar, maybe he knows who she is.
The Governor ducked near the body and after observing it for a few minutes, he nodded gloomyly.
- It’s Doira. She worked in an herbalist shop not very far from the Port. We thoguht she had disappeared, or that it was possible she managed to escape from the city at the beginning.
- Do you know if Doira suffered a loss recently, sir?- Ath asked.
- Yes... she lost her brother lately.
- Were they very close?
- Very, very close. They only had each other.
- I’m not wrong if I say that there were rumours about an affair between Doira’s brother and the widow, the first victim...
Ruar blinked, surprised.
- No, you’re not wrong. How do you...?
- The spirit is Doira’s brother, sir.- Ath explained, saddened.- Or at least, it was. Doira tried to bring him back to life when he died, appealing to forces and sinister powers that nobody should play with.
- Will you have any advantage knowing that?
- It had been possible, but the spirit of her brother has been corrupted by darker forces, I’m afraid. We’re facing something of diabolical dimensions.
Thysa noticed that Ruar and his sons turned pale. The trust they had showed before was gone now, replaced by a fear easily to recognise in their features. She couldn’t blame them: it made her hair stand on end. In that moment she felt a piercing pain in her temple at the same time that a shiver went down her spine. She looked at Ath and knew he had felt it, too.
- It’s outside, waiting for us.- he whispered.
They looked each at other for a moment and then went out. Thysa felt a notable fall of the temperature: the wind was sharp and cold, and now they could hear the enraged waves of the sea. In front of them waited the most sinister being Thysa had ever seen, without hiding itself, challeging them openly. It didn’t look as Ellem had described it; it had black skin, dark as the very night, it didn’t have any hair and its eyes seemed embers in the middle of the darkness. It had its mouth open and it was smiling cruelly. It moved its head staring at them, like an animal.
But it wasn’t an animal, it was something dark and malevolent whose presence made Thysa feel nausea. She knew it was impossible for her to carry out an invocation, pero she could still be able to convert herself. She chose one of the multiple pendants hung from her belt, with a wolf fang. She tied the necklace around her neck without stop looking at their enemy. Suddlenly, Ruar shouted encouraging his sons to attack. The three of them pounced on it, but the creature moved with a sobrenatural speed that disconcerted them for a few seconds. Enough and valuable seconds that the enemy used to gain a fatal advantage.
It jumped backwards making an impossible pirouette in the air, avoiding Ruar and placing itself in the right side of Ifher. Using that instant of puzzlement of its opponents, the monster hit with both hands the man’s side, forcing him to drop his sword. It seized the weapon and dealt a blow to Ellem, who managed to stop the attack in the last second. Ruar tried anothr thrust, but their enemy avoided it easily while repelling Ellem’s sword and withdrawing Ifher’s advance. It was obvious that they were no rivals for it.
Thysa lookead at Ath, anxious. Should they interfer? In that moment somone screamed. When she put her eyes again on the battle, she saw Ellem bending himself and grabbing his stomach with his arms, then falling over the ground gritting his teeth to contain the moans. The creature held Ifher’s sword, whose blade was covered in bright scarlet, licking the blood in its lips.
She didn’t wait Ath to command her. When she saw their enemy jumping again, over Ifher that time and holding the sword with both hands, she grabbed the fang and focused with all her strength in carrying out the transformation. That was when she felt something else interferring the waves of her power, apart from the dar halo of the monster. She looked at Ath again and saw the man holding the Universal Cross, the symbol of gods: a cross inside a five-pointed star. He had his eyes closed and his lips moved quickly, whispering something. The cross started to shine and the intense light it irradiated made their enemy move backwards and drop the sword with a horrifying shriek.
Thysa had to close her eyes as well, because the light was so bright that it blinded and hurted her. When the shine disappeared, the creature had also vanished. Ath was sweating and his hand trembled uncontrolled. Thysa, without knowing well why, took the one he had left between hers and squeezed it gently. But then Ellem screamed again and they went to help.
The monster had wounded Ellem in his stomach and the man was profusely bleeding while trying to contain his tears. Ifher made a quick tourniquet with his own shirt and after that, he and his father mounted him in the horse. Thysa said the horses where they should go, as fast as they could, in order to make them move without the reins of their riders. As they left the house and the cliffs behind, she knew after read the expression in Ath’s face, that they hadn’t won. The creature would come back, and surely most powerful than before.