To The Room

They crept along the stone corridor until they reached the intersection at the end. The place was built somewhere underground, so the place was cold with a slightly damp feel to the draughty hallways. They knew their way around well enough of course. They had lived there since their transformations, and in any case all Immortals seemed to have an excellent sense of direction. They tried to hurry through straight ahead where the Room of Seven Doors and their escape lay waiting.

 

 

However as they sped through somebody was also coming down the intersecting corridor and about to round the corner. Willow’s heart leapt into her mouth as Meena collided with him and rebounded from his broad leather-bound chest, knocking into Willow.

It was the Guardian.

“Why aren’t you in the Room?” Meena gasped, trying to get back the breath that had been knocked out of her. The Guardian was usually to be found sitting on the throne in the Room of Seven Doors, where he guarded the entrances to the Citadel from those who travelled there through the mirrors. In fact, he was always to be found there, because that was where he was supposed to be, because that was his job. He should never be away from the Room, especially in times like this with Tenebrus lurking anywhere. He was a vampire warrior, he needed no sleep, he had no excuse to leave.

Meena was about to let rip with all of this when he spoke in his deep baritone voice.

“I have been sent away for a time by Miss Celeste Ariyn. She told me to return after half an hour had elapsed, so here I am.”

“Who the heck is Celeste Ariyn?” Meena demanded instead, cluelessly. Willow shrugged as she had no idea either. The name sounded quite elfish though, and she wondered if she had heard it before.

“Why, Eternal Carmel’s protégée elf, of course,” the warrior said with a lilt of surprise in his otherwise unchanging voice. “I should be getting to the door anyway. I’ve just been to a briefing, and apparently that mortal girl has gone missing from the hospital she was in and so has Phoenix. The Eternals seem to think he had something to do with it, and she might come back here.”

Willow and Meena were both tuned in to the same thoughts. They were remembering Phoenix’s pale, set face as the Eternals announced their decision. Neither of them had remembered getting a glimpse of him as they were bundled away. Of course, he was always the bloody older sensible one. He would have known that resistance meant capture and therefore defeat. Willow was mad now that he had managed to rescue her when they hadn’t.

She glared at the Guardian

s eyes through his compulsory black mask with a touch of petulancy. It was made of woven steel covered in velvet reminiscent of a bucks antlers. The Guardians eyes were a deep violet shade

maybe it was the shadows or the mask. His long black hair flopped spikily over his forehead and down over the black collar of his shirt. Over the shirt he wore a Kevlar vest with the flourishing rose crest in red on the front, like splashes of crimson blood, and black thorny vines painted in a black ink so glutinous it remained iridescent long after it had dried. One silver spike hung from his right ear. If they had bumped into him in the mortal world he would probably seem like the tough motorcycle-gang type. The Guardian smiled and the light of the candles in the wall sconces glinted off his gleaming canines.

“Do you wish to leave the Citadel? I shall have to accompany you. It seems you have been excused.”

Of course he knew who they were. He had just come from a briefing so he knew what they had done too. But for now he was not against them.

“Yes,”

Willow said. s chair. For a moment it blocked their view and then they could see the back of a girls head, hair so blonde it was almost white hanging down past her waist and the skirt of an intricately embroidered robe, with wide sleeves like those of a kimono. In front of the elf, they could just see a pale girl with her long chestnut hair tousled, her green eyes wide in the blood-drained face. Her clothes looked slightly crumpled, and there was a spot of blood on her collar. There was a bandage taped to the side of her neck. There was a darkening stain on it. It was Ruby, and it was obvious that Phoenix had indeed rescued her in the only way he knew how.

They set off and in no time at all they had reached the black door leading into the Room. It was the one in the centre with three either side, and they came through right behind the Guardian.

The End

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