Chapter XXIII: The Siblings and the Sapphire (2/9)Mature

Will followed, limping, he couldn't believe that the pain of a broken leg felt like nothing more than a scratch. Sapphire has this power, what is this power? Whatever magick she possessed, the magick she had been so desperate to advance that she had sent two hundred magi to their deaths, he made sure not to underestimate her.

'We should turn and run whilst you still have your strength...' Maga whispered, he was glad to hear her voice and feel her presence, but he shook his head.

It might be temporary, and besides...I need to find out what they're doing.

'You want to find Carmen and Karn'el, don't you?'

If they're here, I have to. We can't leave yet.

'...I'm afraid, Will,' she said quietly, sounding embarrassed to admit it.

So am I.

Will rounded the corner of the tunnel and was blinded by the intenseness of the light. He leant against the tunnel's wall, shading his face until his eyes adjusted, then saw how huge the cavern in front of him was.

It seemed impossible that it was underground, carved out in a huge, domed shape. He stood at the carved doorway, stone stairs leading down to the centre, but circuiting above his head were cloaked men, stopping and watching him from the ledges like ominous shadows from above. Cell doors were lined on the levels, but the insides were shadowed and it was impossible to tell if there were occupants. The domed ceiling was hung with huge, sharp stalactites and seemed almost like decoration, and a huge, iron chandelier hung with dried, dripping wax.

Sapphire clicked her heels down the stairs and Will followed timidly to the central zone. Here, there were corridors leading into darkness and one entrance covered by blue velvet drapes. On the floor in the corners were metal grilles large enough to fit people inside; more cells. In the very centre was a stone table - more of an altar - and piled atop it were pairs of tangled fetters and chains. 

It wasn't a marvellous cavern at all, it was a prison.

'This way,' said Sapphire, breaking him from his trance. A masked man stood at the entrance of the draped room, a choker chain around his neck, Sapphire waved her hand and he pulled back the drape for her. She strolled inside, and Will stumbled in after her, the curtain sliding closed behind him.

The room was made from mainly stone, a carved fireplace and stove alongside concave shelves, but it was luxurious nonetheless. China tea sets sat on mahogany tables, old and limited edition books lining the shelves, a simple king-size bed spread with beaded, silken covers, and two leather arm chairs in front of the fire.

'Sit,' she ordered, pointing to one of the chairs. Will's leg gave way as he walked, he fell into the chair with another shiver of pain. 'It was only temporary,' she remarked, 'I'll fix it now.' She knelt down on the floor, dirtying her knees and pulled up his trousers to examine the leg. Will wanted to move, but Sapphire had boxed him into the chair. He saw the blood soaking his leg as she revealed the grotesque bump sticking out of his flesh, bruised and swollen.

Sapphire reached down into her cleavage - Will's face reddened - and she pulled out her wand, black and shimmering in the firelight. She pressed the tip into the swelling, he gasped in pain, but soon enough felt a cooling sensation spread, like the soothe of cold water on a hot day.

'The feet are sadistic louts,' she hissed, 'they should not have harmed you.' Will watched in marvel as he felt the bone move within his leg and move smoothly back into place, the bruising washed away on his skin. Sapphire continued to hold onto his leg even after he had been healed, she looked at him with interest, 'you are afraid. You must not be afraid of us, none of us are here to hurt you,' she said softly.

'You're murderers,' Will said coldly - he knew of their crimes, he would never trust them.

Sapphire stood, looking at him with an opulent, scheming smile.

'And you are at my mercy,' 

The End

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