The Guardian

“Then why have you followed me? How did you know where to go? Who are you?”

The vampire sighed, and the outward rush of air made his spiky black hair flicker about his face.

“I am the Guardian of the Room of Seven Doors - I know therefore the workings of the doors, and the transport door will lead you to the last place it transported somebody to if you do not think of a location. That I have left the room unattended is a great disloyalty to the Eternals. But I heard the elf while I was healing, and I believe she meant to do you harm.”

“And the Eternals didn’t?” I snorted. “Since you work for them you must know they intended to let me die.”

His oddly coloured eyes were torn.

“The truth is, Celeste’s prophecies have always come true. From what she said, it sounds like you will face troubles. And from what has been said about you, you may need protecting.”

“So you are going to protect me instead of the Eternals’ doorways?” I asked, taken aback a little at what he had just been saying in his sincere voice.

“Once the elf lady has awoken she will summon another Guardian and tell the Eternals about me. Even if I turned back now and returned, it will be too late and they will already have decided I have betrayed their decisions.”

“Um… that’s… well, thank you. And thanks for saving me just then. I mean, I didn’t think Amber was an Immortal. I thought I knew her.”

He smiled. He was thinking about Celeste, I knew, that her prophecy had started already. I didn’t want to think about it.

“Well, you are very welcome. Now, I think we must reunite with your companions. Surely they will be worrying that you did not come back through the mirror with them. May I enquire why you did not do so? And where are they now?”

He rubbed his hand across his stubble-shadowed jaw as he spoke. With such a height and strength evident from his broad masculinity he was a very formidable figure. I thought it would probably be best to answer his questions if I wanted him to stay on my side.

“That was my mother’s art gallery. The mirror there was delivered anonymously a few days ago, and I wanted to know if it was one of those transport mirrors.”

“But why would you attempt something so risky?” the vampire guardian gasped. I was probably looking very puzzled but he continued speaking anyway. “If it was not one of those Mirrors, then you would have been trapped somewhere between dimensions, aware of everything yet non existing in any of them!”

“Oh,” I said. I felt immensely stupid, and also relieved that it had been a transporting mirror and that I hadn’t known, because I might have been too afraid to try it. At least now I knew that somebody had planted a mirror to my mother’s working place, and Amber had something to with it. Was she watching over it?

“Did you kill Amber?” I asked, suddenly wondering if it had been wise just to leave her back there. If he had not I felt that he should somehow have interrogated her to find out her motives. It was beginning to sound like a crime thriller show. I began walking, and as I had thought he would the vampire fell into stride beside me. We moved at almost an ordinary human’s pace, just slightly faster.

“No. I gave her a wound that would stop her from shifting until it healed over. It would only have taken her a matter of minutes. You started to run before I could do anything more, and I thought I should go after you rather than stay there to finish her. Did you want me to?”

I hesitated for a minute. “No. That’s all right. We’ll probably meet her again pretty soon.”

The End

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