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The Winged Beauty (Part 2)
Water creatures large and small scurried out of Narri’s path as she shot through the ocean in unyielding speed. Vile shrills from the demons above vibrated throughout Arna.
“Destroy them all,” Narri growled, clutching the infant against her breasts.
Suddenly, the awareness of another force spiked her senses. Someone was trailing her. She increased her speed, but the creature matched her pace. The being advanced swiftly, and before she knew it, he was swimming alongside her.
“There are demons hovering over our home, Narri!” he bellowed in fury. “I wanted to stay and fight but Nikena commanded I follow you. What is going on, sister?”
“They are after the child in my arms, Sota. We are to get her to the portal and protect her at all cost.”
He nodded and swam ahead of her. “I will lead to clear the path.”
Mayiki paced nervously along the shoreline, leaving a trail in the sand where his robe brushed. Off in the distance, he could see the battle between Nikena and the demons. The glow of her spirit axe and wings brightened the sky as she beheaded one dark creature after another, creating a shower of black blood.
The sudden ripple of the ocean caught his attention. Cautiously, he stepped back. Then in the midst of a blink, two blurs shot out of the water and landed in front of him. Startled, he stumbled backward and was on his way to the ground, when a pair of big hands grabbed the collar of his robe and pulled him upright.
“Oh, thank you, Sota,” Mayiki huffed, his heart beating erratically. “I can never get use to your sudden appearances.”
Sota regarded him with a warm smile. “And you most likely never will, my friend.”
Mayiki glanced at Narri, quickly nodded then averted his eyes. Heat warmed his face. The sight her beautiful naked body made his insides flutter. He forgot how fast water demons shed their fins and scales when completely out of the water.
“Well, first things first.” He waved his hand in a circular motion and cast magical beams of light over their nude bodies, clothing them. “Follow me.”
They moved through the copse of trees to make their way into the heart of the forest. Mayiki cut a side glance at Narri, careful not to stare at her stunning mortal image. “Is the child safe?”
Narri eyed the infant in her arms and smiled. “The hard swim across the ocean hasn’t stirred her one bit.”
“Good. We’ll do better if she’s dormant for the trip through the portal.”
They came upon the large tree bearing blue and silver leaves—the elm of spiritual enchantment. Enlightened with magical life, the leaves gleamed bright. As they neared, the elm began to sway, beckoning them closer.
“Stay close, and do not stare at the leaves.” Mayiki pushed away the spiritless corpses of two shape-shifters at the base of the enormous bewitching plant.
Narri and Sota shot curious glances at the dead bodies, then at him.
“I’m aware you two have not ventured this far from the Arna before.” Mayiki kneeled and placed his fingers on one of the victim’s forehead. The gradual cooling of the flesh suggested the tree had devoured their souls only moment ago.
“So that you are informed,” he announced, looking up at Narri, then to Sota. “This plant like creature is a soul seeker.” Rising, he moved closer to the trunk. “If your will is not strong enough, it will absorb your soul, leaving your body limp and lifeless for the wretched scavengers to fight over.”
Sota nodded, a quirky smile gracing his face. “We’ll keep that in mind, in case we come across any more spirit-sucking land creatures created by careless wizards.”
Mayiki couldn’t help but chuckle. His friend’s sarcasm wasn’t lost to him.
“Yes Sota, I take full responsibility for my creation.” He placed a hand on the elm and the other out to his side. “But do not forget, my mind was clouded in darkness when I crafted this unforgivable blunder.”
He murmured a spell to conjure a portal. His staff appeared and filled his open hand. Completing the evocation, he slammed the rod into the base of the enchanting plant. A white light opened in the shape of an oval.
Mayiki waved them toward the portal. “Do not stop running until you feel earth beneath your feet.”
They nodded and both rushed into the entrance. As soon as they were completely through the portal, Mayiki began to cast the spell to close it.
The perception of a dark presence interrupted the wave of his spiritual energy. Before he could gather his senses and strengthen his power, a force lifted him in the air and slammed him against a nearby tree. He attempted to counter this dark power, but his concentration was broken when a monstrous serpent wrapped itself around his body to bind him to the tree.
Copyright © Yvonne Nicolas 2012
To be continued next Sunday. 🙂 Thanks for reading!