“I am so happy you’re awake!” my ears perceive a whisper and I turn toward the creator of it. Elena is kneeling beside me, her hand on my forearm, shrouded in black. Her face show signs of relief and consternation, “Adryan, let’s go, we have to get out of here.” She stands up and pulls me to my unsteady feet. I sway a bit, feeling groggy and light-headed. The rope that had bounded me is lying on the floor with the broken china that contained the liquid forced into my body.
“Elena what is happening?” I ask, rubbing my eyes in hope that fatigue would leave. The house is in a silent sleep, its inhabitants rejoicing in the certainty that tomorrow their worst fears will be dead.
She places her finger on her lips and quietly pulls me after her, toward the door left ajar. She opens the door more and slips into the mantle of the sky above her. I follow. The door closes behind us with a small creak. We descend the stairs and walk with a quick pace away from Yanira’s settlement.
A sudden loss settles in my heart, like the long-felt loss I experienced some time ago now buried deep under the flames of oblivion. “Elena, we have to save Leila. Drey has her…” my voice comes out weak as I let her drag me into a deserted alley. Once there, she looks at me solemnly, curiosity arises. “Why are you here? How did you get here?”
“Astra sent me to look after you and Leila and to warn the two of you about a dire danger,” Elena replies, reaching inside her satchel to retrieve a dagger with its sheath on. A cylindrical container with a crimson liquid, similar to the one Leila had, serves as the hilt and glows under the now partially covered moon. “She said Yanira’s behavior had been odd when they came for the meeting, she said she seemed too eager to have Leila in Atala. I set off today after you and watched you being guided by Yanira into the house, I heard what she said, when they left the living room I sneaked in to get you out.”
“Astra’s beliefs were confirmed,” I say softly, “she told me the only reason she wanted Leila over was to give her to Drey. I failed on protecting her, a demon attacked us and Drey took advantage of the situation and took her away.”
Elena gasps, “we must hurry up now,” she hands me the dagger; “Drey will kill Leila’s soul and bring Zahira’s into her body. Midnight is approaching fast.”
“He can do that?” I ask bewildered, pocketing the dagger in the belt of my trousers.
“Yes, Darkness’s power were unlimited as far as we were concerned,” Elena replies, “I guess he resolved that creating demons takes away his life strength, we’ve also noticed that traces of fragmented pearls were found in his latest creations. We are not sure of the specifics of how he might do that but great pain and suffering will be involved…”
“We can’t let Yanira go unscathed,” I growl at the thought of her. “Nor the witches that lives with her, they are all accomplices.”
“We won’t” Elena says, “Astra and the others are on their way now, but we can’t waste further time.” She steps out of the alley and into the street, “we have to search for Drey’s house.”
I follow her, my head still dizzy. Elena has surprised me with her determination and composure in handling this situation, I am sure she also feared for Leila.
“Good luck Adryan,” she says softly before taking off to the right and disappearing behind a corner.
I walk to the other side, squinting through the bleak windows to endeavor seeing signs of dread wakefulness. My wounds are half healed and bandaged, at least they didn’t let me die, but that didn’t cast a light of favor or gratefulness toward the treason committed. My steps resound loudly against the cobblestoned path and echo across the town. My mind reels in prayers for the well-being of Leila, several confused thoughts clashing with one another in the maelstrom of my heart.
I look up at the indifferent sky with the moon slowly making its monotonous path to the summit of the dark night sky. I wish I can stop nature as it progresses through time, giving me more time to save Leila. An endless search has began and the sands of time were slowly escaping from between my fingers.