"What's so special about this cemetery?" Abel asked.
"I don't know," I answered. "Just... we have to go there for answers. Nobody separate."
I swayed a little and Cian put his arm around my waist.
"Lean into me. You'll be okay. Your body is regenerating the blood we had to take," he explained.
"Okay," I whispered.
"Do you know what direction to go in?" Daray asked when we left the house.
I looked around. Everything looked the same. I bit my lower lip and closed my eyes. Images flashed through my mind and I nearly fell over. Again, Cian caught me. I saw fire, people screaming, and a priest.
"Don't," I said to Cian when he tried to hold me back. "Let me walk. But hold on to me."
You make me feel safe.
I kept my eyes closed but, in my mind, I saw the priest running to a church. His arm was dripping with blood and he stumbled in, slamming the door shut. He stood, panting, and looked around desperately.
"I have to find a place to hide it," I said.
"What?" Abel asked.
"If I don't hide it, they'll find it and the world will be destroyed." I looked around and stumbled to the altar. I was running out of blood and fell to my knees. I started to crawl, vaguely aware of someone holding me. "Need to hide it.... If I don't...."
I died, a small package falling into a hole beneath the altar.
I gasped and opened my eyes. We were in the same church I had just seen. I looked around. The men were all staring at me in fear. I was panting and sweaty as if I had really run like the priest had. I waited until my heart slowed down.
A beam had fallen over the angel that guarded the hiding place.
"Come help me," I panted. "I need you to move this beam and the angel."
I stepped to the side as Daray and Dany lifted the beam easily and Cian pushed the angel to the side. I lowered myself to the floor and stuck my hand in the hole. My heart dropped.
"Someone found it," I said and stood back up.
"Found what?" Cian asked. "You kept saying 'I have to hide it. I have to hide it.'"
"It was a small package," I said, wiping sweat from my face. "I didn't see what was in it. The priest died and it fell in that hole."
We all stood in silence until Abel spoke up.
"Cemeteries are usually behind churches, right?" he asked and I nodded.
Abel led the way out. I was weak from my vision and kept stumbling. Cian picked me up and carried me.
"You don't have to," I said. "I'll be better soon."
"We need you conscious," he said. "Let me know if you have a... vision or whatever again."
"Okay," I mumbled and leaned into him.
Clemente opened the gate to the cemetery. I looked around and pushed gently on Cian's chest. He put me on the ground and I wandered among the graves. I ran my fingers over the names, my eyes closed.
"Whoever found it," I said, "used it on the village. They died. They were buried by the townspeople before everyone...."
"Do you know the name?" Dany asked.
"No," I sighed. "I have- the creatures are looking for it, too, I think."
Suddenly, Clemente screamed and we spun. A creature dug its teeth into Clemente's throat and I screamed. The twins ran forward, their swords drawn. The creature lifted Clemente off his feet. Clemente's face was etched in terror.
"Go," he gasped. "I'm dead anyway. Go."
"No," I whimpered.
Abel threw his sword but the creature dodged it simply. It jumped over the nearest roof top and I fell to my knees, trembling. I sobbed into my hands. Clemente didn't scream but I knew what was happening. He was drowning just like Brone had.
"Don't, Abel," Daray said quietly. "If you run out there, you'll get grabbed."
"Apparently it doesn't matter!" Abel shouted and pointed at me angrily. "This is her fault! Clemente wouldn't have been killed if we had stayed in that house!"
"They would have found us regardless," Dany snapped. "This isn't Viveka's fault. She's helping us!"
"They're picking us off one by one!" Abel yelled. "Cian said one reached for her! What if it's her they want!?"
I shook as he took a step closer.
"Then they're shit out of luck," Daray snapped and the three men stood in front of me. "Stop it, Abel. This isn't you speaking."
"I'm getting out of this village!" he yelled.
"Don't go!" I cried, jumping to my feet. "If you leave us-"
"Just shut up," he snapped. "I'm tired of your face and your voice. You never should've come along. I hope they get you before you get anyone else killed."
I started to cry as he disappeared.
"He's wrong," Daray said immediately.
I hung my head, though, and cried. Was it my fault? Would they have been safe if they stayed and I left?
I cringed as Abel's scream echoed through the air. Cian hugged me tightly. I screwed my eyes up and shook until they died out.
"We have to find the grave," Dany said in a hoarse voice. "Can you figure it out?"
I looked among the tombstones. "Everyone link arms," I said. "Face out. That way we won't get taken by surprise again."
They did so and I linked arms with Cian and Daray. We kept our backs touching as I scanned the graveyard. I closed my eyes, willing a vision to come to me again. The world turned black and white. I was bent over a grave, trying to dig it up.
"This is your fault," I said. "You shouldn't have read that spell! You shouldn't have used that orb! We're all mutating thanks to you!" My body jerked and turned on fire. "No! I have to stop this, damn it!"
My body began to contort and, suddenly, my nostrils seemed to disappear but I could still smell, still breathe. A hot waved spread from my head to my feet. I was blind. My mouth was hurting and a snarl came from my throat. I roared in pain.
"Viveka!" Cian shouted and I gasped.
"Move with me," I panted. "Hurry. I know where the grave is."
We shuffled over awkwardly and got on our knees.
"Don't let me go," I ordered to Cian.
"Let me do it," he said but I shook my head.
"You can't," I breathed and gulped. "God this is going to hurt," I whimpered. "Sword."
Cian passed me his and I unsheathed it. Using the tip of the blade, I tried to start at least a small hole. I wish Chester had shown me more about digging holes. I hacked at the dirt until I made enough of a dent to get my nails in. I tossed the sword to the side.
As I started digging with my hands, the earth began to shake.