New- The Demon Hunters Shield — chapters 11 to 15

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Victoria starts training, and explores the Sacred City.

Chapter 11.

Moving To Sacred City

Part One -
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     Next morning when he woke, the last thing Drake expected was Victoria knocking on his room door. Sleepily, he opened it and saw that she was already packed and ready to go.

'The girls have made you breakfast.' She said, 'I'm sorry that I had a go at you last night. It was just a bit of a shock.'

'I'm sorry that I lied to you.' Drake said. 'Well, that I lied to everyone. And I'm sorry that I threatened you. Its something I can't control.' He looked down at the floor, seemingly embarrassed.

'Its OK, I suppose. Why didn't you just tell me yourself? Why did you have to turn into that...thing to say it?' Victoria asked.

'Because I was holding it in, then it just took over me. Like I say, I can't control it sometimes.'

'Any way, you should come down for breakfast. We are leaving in an hour.' Victoria said.

Drake looked at his clock and picked up his bags that he had already packed two days ago. They both went downstairs, Drake made two trips back up to help Victoria with her bags.

It was a quick, simple breakfast. Just bacon sandwiches, but after last night, Drake felt lucky that they had made him anything. Maybe Hagan was right when he said they'll come round. Or maybe it was just like them to make breakfast for everyone.

After eating, they gathered in the dining hall, where everyone's voice was echoing, and when they weren't speaking, there was an eery silence.

It was a huge room, with a concrete floor and massive table. Pictures and paintings hung on the walls, and in the corner was a small desk, with Hagan's weapon case lying on it.

That was the first thing he collected when he walked into the hall to join everyone. The next thing was a grey rock, which looked like a normal piece of rock to Victoria, but the way Hagan handled it suggested it was much more than just a rock.

Seeing the look of confusion on Victoria's face, Hagan explained. 'This is what keeps our defences up. When we put a protection charm on a place, we have to keep this in the centre of the building to keep it strong. If damaged, even the slightest bit, it could mean the difference between keeping us sage, and getting us killed.'

Hagan carefully placed it in his weapon case. This case looked like it had a space specially for this rock. And it fit in perfectly. He snapped shut the case and came over to the others gathered in the middle of the hall.

'OK, we'll try a second time. Everyone ready?' Age assumed and waited for everyone's response. Some nodded, others muttered "yes".
And as soon as they had done so, Hagan opened up a portal.

Lushina and Jaymica went first, followed by Victoria and Drake, and the last two to go were Jason and Hagan.

**********
Part Two -
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     'I'm sorry, but there's nothing I can do.' Jonah was telling Krissintha. 'He is traveling with his protection crystal, so I can't intercept this portal.'

'Damn it! Is there any way to get into the city?' Krissintha asked.

'There might be, but I don't know how.' Jonah explained. 'The only thing I can think of I is to get someone from their side onto ours and get them to go in and get her. But I wouldn't risk it. Those lot are so deceptive, they could just go right back and tell them our plan.'

'What are they planning to do when they get there?'

'I don't know! I can track portals, I'm not a freakin' mind reader!' Jonah was getting sick and tired of Krissintha's obsession with finding Victoria.

'I was only asking.'

'Well how do you expect me to know?' Jonah said. 'I'm only helping you because I want revenge for them killing my wife. If you carry on with the attitude you can find them yourself... They portalled about ten minutes ago. They'll be crossing the town to the city by now.'

'Sshh!'

'What? You're the one who keeps wanting to know their every move!'

'Just shush. I'm thinking.' Krissintha snapped.

Jonah sighed. 'Don't strain yourself.' He said quietly, and rather sarcastically.

'That girl.'

'Who?'

'Victoria's human friend. If we kidnap her, let's say, and tell Victoria to comply with us or we kill her, she might help us find the shield...' Krissintha's plan sounded stupid.

Jonah knew that as soon as they started blackmailing Victoria, Hagan, Jason, Drake, Lushina and Jaymica would come for them, and they wouldn't be alone. 'Its worth a shot.'

'No it's not. You're on your own on this one.' Jonah said.

'Fine. I don't need your help to do this anyway.' Krissintha boasted.

'Because you have Orson? If he's got any sense, or brains, he won't help you either.' Jonah said.

'And why not.' Krissintha stood up. 'He wants this as much as I do.'

'No, you think he does but he's too wired up for that. He knows what Hagan's lot are capable of. He's been on the receiving end of it plenty of times. He won't want to go through that again. He nearly died last time. Because he was helping you.'

'Sorry, who's side are you on?'

'Mine!'

'Well that helps. It really helps a lot.' Krissintha said. 'Well I'm going through with it whether you two help me or not.'

'Well, I'll dig the hole while Orson makes a coffin because its your own funeral you're planning.'

'Whatever.' Krissintha smirked, obviously thinking her plan was going to work.

This time she let Jonah leave and didn't bother to go and look for him. She could do this alone even if Orson wouldn't help. After a few minutes, even the though she was annoyed with Jonah, she couldn't help but chuckle at his sarcastic comments.

It was nearly 1p.m, and she hasn't seen or heard from Orson since the night before. That wasn't normal, he normally came round every morning.

****

    Orson was closer than anyone had ever been to getting into the city. He knew there was a spell to break the city's defences, but he couldn't quite remember it. He made multiple different patterns with his wand, but nothing worked.

He was on the top of a hill, standing behind a huge oak tree, looking down at the city. It was still recovering from the attack a few weeks ago, and a lot of homes and other buildings were being left to crumble down, they were completely ruined.

Roofs were missing from houses and the city hall, or gathering hall as some people called it, had missing corners and the roof was caving in.

Orson knew it wouldn't take them long to reconstruct it, but it was still satisfying to know that more damage was caused to their city than to theirs and their demons.

Orson could smell something. It smelled like rotten flesh mixed with burning rubber. He knew that smell. It was the smell of a recently killed demon. He knew that many of the demons had died during the attack, but not enough to make a hole in their army.

He knew that Hagan would have brought Victoria here by now. After the attack on their mansion, they wouldn't have risked keeping her there for too long. Even though they did come out on top.

He also knew Krissintha was fuming about that, and also about how they had missed Victoria being portalled to the city, and she wasn't able to stop it.

The smell was getting stronger and more pungent. Suddenly he was knocked backwards by an invisible force. He opened his eyes and could see nothing but treetops and the grey sky, and it was spinning.

Then, peeking down at him, was a young man, around 19 years old, with blond hair. He was smirking arrogantly.

'Nice try.' The boy said, and he raised his hand to reveal a jagged blade with a glowing tip. The boy brought it down towards him quickly, but not quickly enough.

Orson had got his bearings and was no longer dizzy. He rolled away just in time to avoid being stabbed by this boy. He soon realised the boy was Jason. And Hagan was there supervising as Jason attacked him.

He looked over to his right quickly before Jason attacked him again. He caught sight of Victoria, and he could tell she was related to Caleb. But that didn't change the fact that he still needed to get her separated from Hagan to get to the shield. He lunged towards her, but Jason tackled him and they both ended up on the floor.

Hagan was shouting advice to Jason telling him to go for the neck, but every time he tried, Orson managed to block his attacks.

Suddenly things took a change for the worst.

************
Part Three -
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     Amber was waiting for Eli to pick a day to go and find Victoria, and Gareth was getting unusually impatient. 'So when can you go?' He asked.

'I can't just turn up out of the blue. Besides I need to find out where they are first. It might take me a while when I go. At least a few days. But don't worry about me, I can handle myself.' Eli said. 'And Ella will be with me.'

'Wouldn't they be taking her where you went? To have that training?' Amber asked.

'Possibly, but they might stop off somewhere else first. When the demons hear that Victoria is in their world now, they will try all they can to get to her, its best to keep moving around. It'll be harder to find her, but I'm sure I can do it.' Eli explained.

'I have a friend in Vortrux who might be able to help. Tyra. She can track portals. There's not many who can. The only two i know of are her and one of Krissintha's friends...' Ella was saying but Amber interrupted.

'Krissintha?' Amber asked.

'Victoria's aunt. Krissi.' Ella said.

'Oh, right.'

'There's bound to be more who have that ability but I've never met anyone else who can. I'd love to know how they do it...' Ella was going off-subject. 'Anyway, once we get there, to Vortrux, we'll have a better chance of finding out where she is.'

'We'll leave tomorrow.' Eli decided.

'OK, so I'll go home and I'll see you tomorrow before you leave?' Amber asked.

'If you want to.' Eli said.

Gareth drove Amber home. He had finally got his own car back from the garage now, no need to drive their uncle's Volkswagen around anymore. Gareth's car was an old and beaten Ford Fiesta, dark green in colour. 'You think Eli will be OK?' Amber asked.

'She's been OK all the other times she lied to you when she was there. Shell be fine this time.'

'In a way, I understand why she had to lie. Its not exactly a ready thing to discuss. And something tells me if Victoria hadn't seen what she did on my birthday, we would have never known about this "other world", and demons and shit.'

Gareth chuckled. 'Yeah I guess. It is kinda interesting though. I wouldn't mind going but there's probably no way a normal human could survive there.' Amber had a feeling that Gareth only said that to see the look of shock on her face.

'Really?' She asked.

'Nah, I just said it to see that look on your face... But now I think about it, I actually wouldn't mind. I hope Victoria likes it there. She didn't ask to be taken there with some weird people with weird weapons and weird demons with weird names.'

They pulled up outside Amber's place and she jumped out of the car. 'I'll call you in the morning. Arrange to pick me up and take me to Eli's before she leaves.' Amber said.

'Alrighty then.' Gareth said, and after making sure she was inside safely, he drove away, back to his own flat. As he was driving away he had to swerve quickly to avoid hitting an old lady, crossing the road with her zimmer-frame.

'Jesus!' He hissed. He popped his head out of the window to ask the lady if she was OK, and to apologise. She had disappeared. He got out of his car to make sure she hadn't fallen over.

There was no one around. The woman had vanished.

Gareth got back in the car and moved it to the side of the road, out of the way.  He looked around but there was still no one there. He put it down to it being dark, and he was tired. His mind just have been playing tricks on him.

He shook his head, checked one last time to make sure that there was no injured old lady, which there wasn't, then slowly drove away.

He was still shaken and confused when he got home. So he grabbed himself a beer from the fridge and sat down in the dark in front of the television for an hour or so, until going to bed. It took a while to go to sleep, but he managed to drift off eventually, wondering whether that really happened or if he was seeing things.

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Part Four -
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††††

     With Jason severely injured, and Orson laying bleeding on the ground, Hagan finished off the job Jason started, while Lushina tried to heal him. Hagan had his weapon case nearby, so opened it and grabbed a different weapon that Victoria had never seen before.

It was a silver ring, about an inch thick and fit perfectly in Hagan's palm. He held it onto Orson's chest and soon he started screeching. Victoria should be getting used to this sound by now, but she wasn't.

It still pierced through her ears and made her want to scream too. She held her hands over her ears and squeezed her eyes shut, until the noise stopped.

She opened her eyes and expected the body to have disappeared like all the others had done, but instead, his body lay there, smoke rising from his wounds and his eyes wide open, staring. But they'd changed. Orson did have icy blue eyes, now they were just white.

Jaymica ran to help Lushina revive Jason, but everything they tried wasn't working. He lay there unconscious, still breathing, but not awake.

He looked just like he was sleeping. Except he was bleeding badly. Hagan stood up from beside Orson's body and said, 'we need to get Jason to the City Hall. They'll be able to help him there.'

Drake rushed over to help Lushina and Jaymica pick up Jason's limp body and carry him into the city. It took them a while, seemed like hours, but eventually they stopped outside a broken building and Victoria guessed that this was the City Hall.

Hagan pushed open the steel doors and inside were people rushing around, repairing things.  They stopped dead in their tracks when they saw Hagan and how badly injured Jason was.

Several middle-aged people rushed forward to help Jason, who was now regaining consciousness, into a small room on the right of the corridor that they had walked into.

Looking at the room it looked just like a scene from a hospital, except everything looked much more complicated. And there were no doctors. One woman wearing a long red coat rushed out after saying, 'I'll go find the Healer.'

After taking off Jason's coat and shirt, Hagan started trying to heal the deep wound that Orson had left on Jason's stomach. Hagan's wand was shooting a soft pink light into the cut and slowly it started to fade, but that didn't mean he was out of the woods yet. Jason was still bleeding heavily from his head and neck, and he kept slipping in and out of consciousness.

The woman in the red coat came back in, followed by a man who must have been at least seven foot tall, with large glasses and long brown beard. This must be the "Healer".

He pretty much barged everyone out of the way and got to work examining Jason. Then sent everyone apart from Hagan and the woman out of the room. Jaymica knew it was serious now.

Outside in the hallway, Drake was pacing back and forth, Lushina and Victoria were talking about Jason and Jaymica was standing alone, obviously worried. Drake noticed this and walked over to her.

'He will be OK, you know? He always is.'

'I know, but he seems to like getting himself into situations like this. One day I'm scared he will get himself killed.' Jaymica sighed.

'Jason is a fighter, always has been, since we were kids. I remember once, when we were five, he fell over out on the street and cut his knee open refused to have a plaster or cream.'

'That's hardly the same.'

'I know, but it proves something.' Drake said.

'Proves he likes danger.'

'How?'

'That cut could have got infected. But he didn't care. Just like today, he rushed into a fight with Orson not thinking about the consequences.' Jaymica explained.

'While I have you here, I want to apologise. About last night. I know it must have come as a bit of a shock...'

'Not really. Lushina figured it out from the way you were acting, and she spoke to me about it.' Jaymica admitted. 'But I doing get why you didn't just tel us in the first place. When we first met, when you first became a hunter.'

'I don't know, I guess I thought it was normal. And I don't know I turn until afterwards. I didn't want to scare Victoria, but it just happened. Of course I don't want to kill her either, but the.... other me... just thought it would have scared her into leaving us and that way, we wouldn't have got attacked the other day.'

'I understand that, but I don't think Victoria will see it that way.'

'She apologised this morning for blowing up at me last night and I also apologised for lying to her, and threatening her.' Drake shrugged. 'She seemed OK with it. I guess she's just getting her head around it like she said she was going to.'

Hagan opened the door and walked out into the hallway. 'I don't think he's going to make it. I'm sorry.'

***********
Next: Chapter 12- Blackmail And The Dreamwitch.

 

 

Chapter 12.

Blackmail And The Dreamwitch.

Part One -
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    There was a knock on the front door. Who on earth could that be at this time of night? Amber wondered. She peered out of the window, but couldn't see anyone standing there. She kept the chain across the door as she opened it slightly. Standing there was a small old lady with a zimmer-frame. The poor lady was trembling, and looked worried and shaken up.

'Sorry to bother you so late at night, dear. But I just nearly got hit by a car. I'm very shaken up about it. I don't suppose I could bother you for a glass of water?' The good lady's voice was shaking and she stuttered a lot.

'Um... Of course. Would you like to come in for a moment?' Amber asked.

'Oh, thank you sweetheart. I can't believe he just drove off. Didn't even stop to say sorry or check I was all right.' The lady said.

'There are some maniac drivers out there.' Amber replied.

'I noticed.' The woman gave a nervous laugh.

Amber walked away to get her a drink of water. When she returned, the woman said, 'thank you dear. I don't know what I would have done if he had hit me. There's no one around. I bet I would have been there until morning.'

'I'm sure someone would have seen you.' Amber reassured her. She was shocked by how quickly this old lady drank the water. It was gone within about three gulps.

'Thank you.' She said again. She was still shaking, and amber worried about her. She was thinking about calling Gareth to come back and give the lady a lift home.

She went back to the kitchen to place the glass in the sink. She found it strange that the woman followed her, but tried not to think too much of it.

When her back was turned, she felt a sharp pain on the back of her head. Then everything went black.

*****


    It was almost ten a.m when Gareth turned up  at Amber's place to take Amber to Eli's flat. He knocked on her door but there was no answer. He knocked again, still no reply. He checked his phone to see if she'd messaged him, telling him she'd make her own way to their cousins, but he had no texts or missed calls.

Where is she? He then thought she might still be in bed. It wasn't unlike her to be in bed this late. He called her mobile. She didn't answer. He left her a text to get back to him as soon as she could.

Then Gareth got back in his car and drove to Eli's flat. Traffic was quite bad so it took longer than he expected. He checked his phone at every red light, each time there was still no reply from Amber, and he started to become worried.

Ella answered the door straight away. 'Come in.' She said. 'Where's Amber?'

'I was going to ask you that.' Gareth said.

'Was she not at home?'

'Nope. She isn't answering the door or her phone.' He sighed. 'I'm worried something has happened to her.'

'She might be on her way here.' Eli said, emerging from the kitchen.

'She would have let me know. She knew I was going to pick her up this morning to bring her here.'

There was silence. Gareth had the feeling that his two cousins may know what might have happened to his sister, but they weren't' willing to say anything.

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Part Two -
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     The next day, Hagan gathered everyone together and led them from the City Hall, to a small village just at the edge of the city. They had walked through here on their way to the City Hall, and Victoria had thought it looked like a friendly neighbourhood.

Hagan asked them to wait behind a little while he went and knocked on someone's door. The door opened slowly and small, frail old man was standing behind it.

'Ah Hagan. I was told you were going to be here yesterday.' He said.

'We would have been. Our portal was intercepted on our way, we ended up getting split up and attacked.' Hagan explained. 'Our Jason is in a terrible way. He's in the City Hall, the Healer is tending to him. But its not going too well.'

'Jason? He is one of the finest hunters of his age that I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. How did it happen?'

'We were almost into the city, up on Serenity Hill, and we saw Orson. Jason being...well, Jason, decided it was a good idea to attack without thinking. I tried to help him, but he got injured, but luckily, so was Orson. I finished him off while the others tried to revive Jason.' Hagan explained. 'We have Victoria.'

'Caleb's little girl?'

'Not so little anymore.' Hagan told him. He turned to Victoria and gestured for her to come over. She walked over to them and quietly said hello.

'Victoria Hyde.' The old man said.

'Nice to meet you.'

'I haven't seen you for years.'

'I've met you before?' Victoria asked.

'Yes, but you were very little. About one and a half, I believe.'

'This is Mayne, by the way.' Hagan interrupted. 'My uncle.'

Drake, Lushina and Jaymica had walked over. 'Hiya, Mayne.' Lushina said.

'Hello, you lot. So sorry to hear about Jason. I know he's not too well but stay positive. He always pulls through.' Mayne said.

'That's what I tried telling them.' Drake said. 'But even Hagan said he doesn't think Jase will make it.'

'Hagan could be wrong. I know all too well that Hagan can get things wrong.' Mayne laughed.

'I'm going to take them to the house. Get them settled in with Tria, then head back to the City Hall to see how the Healer is getting on with poor Jason. I'll be sure to pop in and update you.' Hagan said.

'All right then. I hope all goes well. Lovely seeing you all grown up, Victoria. And welcome to Sacred City.'

It had been a long day, and it was only nearly two p.m but Victoria was exhausted from the long walk through the forests and over the Serenity Hills the day before, and today what tired her out was worry.
Was Jason about to die? He couldn't, she had only just started to get to know him.

The house Hagan took them to was bigger inside than it looked from the outside. There was a hallway when they walked through the front door, and two doors were along that hallway, one on the right, and one on the left. The one to the right was a living room.

A deep red carpet, with black patterns on it matched the burgundy curtains. A fireplace with a real open fire was at the far wall, it was the first thing Victoria saw when she walked in.

There was a brown sofa, that looked like leather along the right wall. And on the left wall was a huge bay window, looking out to the front of the house. Victoria went over and looked out at the street. It was a dull day, quite cold and windy, and the cobbled street was deserted.

The room on the left was a dining room, quite large and bright. It had pale yellow wallpapered walls, and a rectangular shape table in the middle. In the corner was a small upright piano, and Victoria couldn't wait to ask if she could play it.

At the end of the hallway was the kitchen, a small square table in the middle of the room made it feel very homely. Victoria could smell coffee, and noticed that there were five drinks already made up for them, their names written on paper under the cups so they knew which was theirs.

Tria had obviously not been told Jason was severely injured, as there was a cup with his name underneath.

Victoria signed and was led back to the living room by Tria. She was very pretty, Victoria had noticed, and remembered how the others teased Drake about him having a crush on her. I'm not surprised, Victoria thought.

Tria had wavy blonde hair and piercing green eyes. Sure wasn't much taller than Victoria but her boots made her look almost six foot. I don't know how she can walk in those... Victoria wondered.

After having a cup of coffee, which didn't perk her up at all, Victoria asked Tria if she could show her to her room.

'Of course. I forget you're completely new here. The others treat this like their own home.' She giggled. 'Feels disrespectful having a laugh when Jason is pretty much at deaths door.'

'I know, I'm worried too. I do hope Drake is right and that Jason will pull through.' Victoria said.

'What's wrong with you anyway? Just exhausted?'

'Yeah, just need an hours sleep. I'll be OK.' Victoria walked into the room Tria had opened the door to. 'Can someone wake me in an hour if I'm not up?'

'I will wake you myself.' Tria said and smiled at Victoria. 'Sleep well.'

*****

   Everything was blurry. Victoria didn't remember the room looking like this when she went to sleep. Where am I? She asked herself. She could hear someone breathing heavily. It didn't sound too good, the breathing sounded strained. A slight whimpering sound came from her left. She turned her head to look but everything was still too blurry to make out who it was. A choking noise then came from the same person. Whoever it is, isn't in a good way, Victoria thought. I've got to help them.

She stood up and leaned on the wall for support, her vision was slowly clearing but it wasn't clearing quick enough for her liking. She was starting to panic a little, and her breathing started to quicken. Wherever she was, she was sure she wasn't still at the house with Tria.
I hope they notice that I'm gone and come find me, this isn't right.
The whimpering next to her stopped when a door slammed. The room was so dark that Victoria didn't know who had entered until they were about two foot away from her. 'Aunt Krissi?' She said quietly, in almost a whisper.

But it didn't look like she had been heard. Victoria's aunt Krissi, or Krissintha, as she was known here, totally ignored her niece and walked right by her. She knelt down in front of the person Victoria had heard breathing heavily. She heard chains rattling and a scared sob come from next to her. 'Don't worry, I won't hurt you dear.' Krissintha said to the person chained up on the floor. 'The sooner they comply and hand over the shield, the sooner you can go home.'

'What if they can't get the shield for you? What happens to me then?'

'What have I told you about asking questions? It's best to not think about what will happen to you.' That sounded like a threat to Victoria.

'What's going on?' Victoria asked. Again, she was ignored.
Then her vision cleared and she saw the girl next to her chained up. She froze in horror, and let out a little yelp.
It was Amber.

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Part Three -
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     'I know there is something you're not telling me. I want to knows what it is.' Gareth demanded.

'Its not that I'm not telling you, its just I don't know what to tell you.' Eli said.

'What's that supposed to mean?'

'It means I can't tell you anything... I don't know where she is.' Eli was clearly irritated at Gareth's accusations.

'There might be a perfectly logical explanation, Gareth.' Ella said.

'Like what?' Gareth sighed.

'Like she popped to the shops and forgot her phone?'

'She knew I was coming to pick her up. She would have waited for me.' Gareth wasn't stupid, and he might not be a mind-reader but he knew when there was something wrong with his sister. And he knew when Ella and Eli were hiding something.

The girls sighed, and looked at each other. Gareth stared at them both, 'Well?'

'All right. There might be a slight possibility that something might have taken her to Vortrux. As kinda like...bait.' Ella said, slowly.

'Excuse me? My sister is being used as bait?!' Gareth shouted. 'Well you wanna go get her back!'

'Its not that simple.' Eli protested.

'We can't just go there and get her. We'll get killed! Someone might have taken her there knowing that Hagan will find out and they might kind of, blackmail Hagan or Victoria into handing over the demons shield. They won't hurt her.'

'What if this Hagan doesn't give them this "shield" thing?' Gareth pressed them for answers.

'That's when things get ugly. But this is Hagan. He won't just give in to them. He'll kill them, get Amber out safe and bring her home.'

'That doesn't help. What if he doesn't kill...'

'Just shut up! I will go to Hagan and make him aware of the situation. He will know what to do.' Eli stood up. 'Go home, Gareth. Me and Ella will sort this and when we get back, we will let you know.'

Gareth knew there was nothing he could do, no matter how much he wanted to go and get Amber himself. So he left and hoped that Ella and Eli would return soon, and would have Amber with them.

After Gareth closed the door, Ella turned to Eli and said, 'How are we going to sort this? What did you go and tell him that for?'

'I just wanted to shut him up. He was starting to really annoy me.' Eli said. 'I am going to see Hagan, and Victoria and see if they might know where Amber is.'

'Then what?'

'I don't know, but you're coming with me.' Eli told Ella.

************
Part Four -
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††††

     Victoria had been trying to get their attention. It was as if they couldn't hear her, or see her. Her aunt Krissi left again, leaving Amber and Victoria alone in this dark room, with no windows and no food or water. Victoria knelt down beside Amber and spoke to her.

'What does she want you for? How did we get here?' But Amber didn't reply. 'Have I done something wrong?' It was strange that Amber was ignoring her.

Victoria reached out to put her hand on Amber's shoulder, but what was even stranger than Amber ignoring her, was that Victoria's hand passed straight through her best friends body...

*****

    Then Victoria woke up. Tria was standing over her, gently saying her name. 'You asked me to wake you in an hour. Here I am.' She smiled. 'Having a bad dream?'

Victoria nodded slowly, confused. It must have been the stress and confusion of everything that had happened recently that caused her to have that strange dream. 'I've made some supper. Will you. Be wanting any? I'll need to tell drake to save you some otherwise he will eat everything.' Tria giggled.

'Yeah, I will come down in a minute.' Victoria said. She sat up and when Tria had left the room, she perched on the end of the bed and put her head in her hands. She missed Amber so bad. And that dream made her realise how much Amber would need her right now. She must be so confused, and scared for Victoria. Would she ever be able to go back home to see her best friend. Or is this it now? Is this the only home she would have now?

What if they came with me to visit Amber? At least they'd know I'll be safe. At least I would get to see her and most her know I miss her, and that I'm all right... Victoria could feel tears stinging at her eyes, and she let one fall. No, I can't let them see me like this. Just go down and eat.

She got downstairs and went into the kitchen, where Tria was boiling the kettle and cleaning. 'You want coffee? Got told you like it a lot.'

'Yes please.' Victoria answered. 'Take it this is mine?' Victoria pointed to a plate of food with a piece of paper underneath it with "V" written written on it. Tria nodded.

Victoria had the feeling that Tria was a clean-freak. She was scrubbing everything in the kitchen; the cooker, worktops, the fridge, the floor...everything. 'Want to talk about that dream you were having?' She asked while she scrubbed the fridge door. 'Seemed pretty intense.'

'It was just a bad dream. My aunt Krissi, or Krissintha I think you call her, had Amber chained up, and it was like I was a ghost. They couldn't see me or anything.'

'I knew there was something bothering you.' Tria said.

'What do you mean?'

'Something you should know about me. I can make you dream about things that are on your mind. I knew something was wring, so I made you dream about it to find out if it was important. Which, you don't realise, it is.' Tria must have noticed the bewildered look on Victoria's fave, so she elaborated. 'Krissintha has Amber. It wasn't just a dream, more like a vision.'

'What?! Why? Why do they want Amber?'

'I don't know. What was said in your vision?' Tria asked like it was normal.

'Umm... Something about her getting the shield then she will let Amber go.'

'Then she has taken Amber, knowing we will find out, as bait, or blackmail, and she wants us to hand over the shield or she'll kill her.' Tria explained.

'Not that simple I'm afraid... We don't know where she has her. I can inky guess that she has her in Vortrux, but there is no way of of getting there to find her. Yet.'

'Yet?'

'We need to send someone they trust. Hagan's uncle Mayne, have you met him?'

'Briefly.' Victoria said.

'Me, you and Drake will go and speak to him.' Tria said quickly and rushed out of the room to fetch Drake from the living room where he was having a disagreement with Jaymica. Which was regular.

'Stop bickering, Drake. I need you in the kitchen.'

Around thirty minutes later, Drake was getting his jacket on and opened the front door. Tria and Victoria rushed past him and he closed and locked the door. It didn't take them long to get to Mayne's home, and Tria was frantically banging on his door.

'Answer the door, answer the door, ans-' Tria was saying, as the door opened. 'Mayne! Thank goodness. We need to talk.'

'They have taken human hostage?' Mayne couldn't believe what he was hearing. They had explained all that they knew to him; about Victoria's dream, and what it meant.

He began writing something down in a notebook, tore out the page and handed it to a boy that Victoria hadn't been introduced to. 'You're young and quick, Cory. Would you take this to the hall for Hagan please. Tell them it's urgent.' Victoria had learned that his name was Cory, that was all she knew.

Mayne must have sensed she was confused. 'That's my son. He is an amazing hunter. Him and Jason get along like a house on fire.'

'Mayne? The human...'

'Ah yes, sorry. All I can suggest is we portal to Vortrux and find her. There is no other way. We could wait for her to come to us, but that will take too long. I know they won't be feeding the girl, I'd be surprised if they even give her water, so she will deteriorate quickly.' Mayne said. 'Hagan will help us out more. Why didn't you just speak to him?'

'You were closer. He had already gone back to the hall.' Victoria explained.

'OK, well you lot gather everyone together, then come back here. Then we can leave. Tonight.'

************

Part Two Of Book 1- Finding Her Feet — coming next!

 

Chapter 13.

The Rescue.

Part One -

***********

       Krissintha could sense them. They were on their way. Her plan had worked, and Jonah had been wrong. He had put her down, saying it wouldn't have worked. Saying they would defeat her. Amber was still chained up, cold and shivering. Hungry and thirsty. Krissintha didn't care though, all she about was getting the shield for her leader. Soon, Krissintha realized that she still hadn't heard from Orson, but she put that down to him not wanting anything to do with this plan.

Like Jonah. She figured that Jonah had spoke to Orson about it and told him not to get involved. She could handle this on her own anyway.

Amber was curled up on the cold stone floor, whimpering. Krissintha could heard her stomach growling, but didn't care. That humans hunger wasn't her priority. Amber panicked when she heard a metal door slam. She looked up, but could not see anyone or anything. She could hear footsteps, but there were no feet.

After a moment of silence, she buried her head in between her knees and muttered to herself, 'Victoria, I wish you were here. I wish your new friends could save me.'

'They'll be coming.' A voice said out of nowhere. 'But I don't think they will do a good job of saving you.'

Amber looked around frantically, trying to find who was speaking. Still, she could see no one.
'Just let me go home.' She cried.

'Sorry, I can't do that. Not until I have what I want.' The voice said. Amber knew it was the lady who brought her here who was speaking, but there was still no body to put to the voice.

'Well take it up with whoever has it because I've done nothing wrong!' Amber protested.

'I don't care. Its working, isn't it? They're on their way.' Krissintha heard Amber breath a sigh of relief. 'That doesn't mean they're going to save you. It just means I'll get the shield, or they will get killed. Including the precious Victoria.'

'I think you're crazy!' Amber shouted. 'The only thing that's going to happen is you're going to get yourself killed!'

'Oh, please! You know nothing about this.' Krissintha said, shocked at Amber's outburst.

'I know enough. Enough to know this Hagan guy won't just give in to you. I know Jason won't go without a fight!'

'Well, Jason won't be here. He is busy fighting for his life at the moment.' Krissintha had just been told about Orson's encounter with Jason, and knew Orson was now dead, but wasn't going to tell Amber that. She would never admit that any of her kind have been defeated. Least of all by Jason.

'I'm sure they have more fighters than Jason. Like the girls and that black haired boy.' She paused, hearing Krissintha's shocked gasp. 'Yeah, I know about them.'

'How could you, a human, possibly know about us?'

'You know anyone by the name Eli?' Amber asked, her eyebrows raised in a very arrogant, cocky manner.

'You mean Elizia. Eli is her human name... And yes I do. I don't know what she's told you, but don't believe her.'

'I would believe her more than you. She's not on your side! She's on her way to check on Victoria, so I wouldn't be surprised if she comes here with them to get me.' Amber said, enraged.

'Is that what she told you? Ha! You're so naive, young girl. She's not coming to check on her, she's coming to kill her!'

'Why would she? Victoria is the answer to getting the shield. If you kill her, you're so screwed!' Amber shouted at Krissintha, not believing that Eli could be on her side.

'If she dies, the little brats father will come. He will get it from her lifeless body.'

'That doesn't even make any sense.' Amber said, confused.

'Good, that means you can't do anything about it.' Krissintha showed herself now, and slowly walked over to Amber. She was much closer to her than Amber had thought, and she wasn't alone.

*************
Part Two-
*************
††

      Eli opened the large wooden doors to Hagan's mansion. It was quiet, but also late so she figured they must all be asleep. There was a strange smell about the place. The smell of demon blood. She knew that smell all too well. She could recognise it a mile off.

She looked in all the rooms downstairs then made her way to the staircase. It was there where the smell got even stronger and more foul.

There's been a battle here, she thought to herself as she slowly walked up the stairs. I can smell it. She reached the top of the stairs and noticed a dark stain on the carpet and walls, a deep red, almost black stain. Blood, she thought. She opened each door along that corridor and found no one. 'Hello?' She shouted. She got no reply.

They must have left already. But where could they have gone? Emerald City or Sacred City? The only way to find out was to portal to each city and look around. Although she knew someone who would be able to track their recent portals, but had no idea where to find him. Jonah. She hadn't seen him for years, since she was 14 and living in the town outside Sacred City.

Ella was on her way. I should wait here for her, Eli thought. she went back outside through the wooden double doors and waited in the archway outside.

The last time Eli was here, it was just a plain simple wooden archway, now it was covered in vines and flowers, and even though winter was coming, it smelled like spring. It's actually quite beautiful, Eli thought to herself.

Suddenly she was startled by a bright blue flash and Ella stumbled in front of her. 'What took you so long?' Eli asked impatiently.

'Making Gareth leave. Again.' Ella said sharply.

'He came back?' Eli asked and Ella nodded. 'Why?'

'Trying to get information out of me. Saying I knew where Amber was and there was still something we weren't telling him. In the end I gave him  the keys so he could go back and wait for us to bring her back.'

'Idiot.' Eli said.

'You been inside yet?'

'Yeah, place is empty. I think they are at Sacred City. Or Emerald City.' Eli sighed.

'Well we should go then.' Ella said as she was about to make a portal to take them to Emerald City.

'Hold up. There's demon blood everywhere upstairs, and it stinks! There was a battle here recently.'

'So? They probably just left to go somewhere safe.' Ella suggested.

'Maybe, but its just strange that the place was left in this state. I hope nothing has happened to Victoria.' Eli worried. 'Amber will be devastated.'

'She will get over it. Now are we going or not?' Ella asked impatiently.

Eli let Ella make the portal, she was better at it than Eli. When Eli did them, they normally ended up in the middle of nowhere, then have to escape quickly before they got hunted down by demons, which happened regularly.

A soft whooshing sound and a blue swirling light indicated that the portal had been successfully activated, and both girls disappeared in a light blue flash...

And landed in a corn field on the edge of Emerald City. 'Where do we go from here?' Ella asked. 'I take no pleasure in telling you that it would take us forever to find them on Emerald City. This place is huge!'

'You're forgetting one important thing... We can just go to the City Hall to see if they've arrived here. Everyone needs to check in with Alya when they get here. Hagan isn't an exception.' Eli said, pointing over to a huge building with many windows with bars across them.
Books more like a prison, Ella thought.

They began to ten minute walk to the Hall. 'What if they're not here?' Ella asked.

'We go to Sacred City.' Eli said simply.

Ella sighed and followed Eli. They made their way to a middy path, with rocks and footprints dotted about on it. Someone had been walking a horse here recently, as there were hooves-prints covering the path. And Ella nearly stepped in a big pile of horse mess.

All Eli could do was laugh. 'It's not funny!' Ella spat.

'You'd laugh at me if I did the same thing.' Eli giggled as they carried on walking, being careful of any more animal mess.

'Disgusting!' Ella was still moaning five minutes later. 'Why can't people just clear it up!? Or move it to the side instead of in the middle of a walkway! I would hate to see their back yard...'

'Nearly there.' Eli interrupted. 'You done moaning yet?'

'Not quite.' Ella said, sarcastically, as they got nearer the hall.

'So Alya wouldn't mind us just walking in?' Ella asked.

'Course not, if I tell her its important we find Hagan. If we explain to her that there might be a human hostage somewhere in Vortrux, she will gather people together to go fight and get Amber back.'

'I hope so. I don't want to go back home without news for Gareth. He isn't very understanding...'

'Gareth isn't our problem right now. Victoria and Amber are.' Eli interrupted.

'I know, I just don't want to let him down.'

They walked down a busy city street towards the hall which was built on the corner, backing off onto a field almost the size of two football pitches, with large oak trees and rose and thorn bushes all around the edge.

A middle aged woman tapped Ella on the shoulder and beamed, 'Well, its been a long time since you two were last here!'

**************
Part Three -
**************
†††

     Hagan returned to Tria's home to find his weapon case, he collected it along with Lushina, Jaymica and Tria's niece Annabella. 'We have something to do.'

'We know. Tria already came back to tell us, that's why Annabella is here.' Jaymica explained. 'So does Krissintha really have Victoria's friend chained up somewhere?'

'I'm not sure about her being chained up, but apparently Victoria had a dream where she was chained up. Well, a vision that Tria made her have.'

'I hate it when she does that...' Lushina started.

'But that's how we know that Drake fancies her... And himself.' Jaymica said, followed by a giggle from Annabella.

Soon they were all heading back to Mayne's home where everyone was waiting to go track down Amber. There was only one problem... Where in Vortrux were they keeping her?

Victoria was eagerly awaiting Hagan's return, desperate to get her friend back to safety. In that dream, Amber was so scared, she was whimpering, but Amber is never scared of anyone. Or anything.

But Amber knew who these "people" are. Demons.

All her life Amber had believed that demons were fictional, now she was face to face with one, wanting to kill her if she didn't get what she wanted. She had tried not to show how scare she was, tried not to cry, but could not hold it in anymore.

She broke down, begging for this strange demon to just let her go, but Krissintha had showed no remorse or mercy. Amber remained chained up with no food or water.

She could feel her strength slipping away, and tiredness overcoming her. She didn't want to fall asleep, petrified of what Krissintha might do to her.

Amber had no idea that only half a mile away, Hagan stood with Victoria and his hunters, waiting to strike. They looked up at the gloomy, storm-hit city of Vortrux.

Most of the city was situated on top of a huge hill. So huge that Hagan would prefer to portal up there if they could. There was a large Gothic cathedral in plain sight. 'That is where Matoki lives...lived.' Hagan said, correcting himself.

'Who will be in there now?' Jaymica asked,

'Whoever he left the place to... And probably Amber. That is the most secure place in this city.' Tria said.

Hagan started walking up the hill towards this city, but Tria pulled him back. 'Are you sure we should just go up there?'

'Well, why not?'

'We haven't devised a plan yet.' Tria said.

'The plan is; find the human, fight whoever has her, and get her back to her home.' Hagan said.

'That's it?' Jaymica asked.

'Pretty much.'

For the first time since Victoria met her, Annabella spoke, 'I have an idea. I can disguise myself as a child, knock on and trick them into letting me in. Then I'll take down their defenses and then you can portal straight into there without being seen.'

'My niece is so clever.' Tria said, smiling.

'Are you sure?' Hagan said.

'Of course, its not the first time I've done it.' Annabella started walking up towards the cathedral. From behind the group, a male voice said, 'wait. I'll go with you.'

'Jason?' Lushina couldn't believe it. 'You OK to do this?'

'Of course. Annabella shouldn't go alone.' Jason walked past the group and joined Annabella.

'So, are you ready?' Annabella asked.

'Yeah, what's the plan?'

When we get up there I will disguise us both as a couple of kids from this city. We knock on the cathedral door and when they answer I will come up upon with some sob story to get us in.' Annabella explained as they walked up the hill.

'And you're sure that will work?' Jason asked.

'Its not the first time I've done this. These lot think they're almighty and clever but I rumbled them last year with the same trick when Mayne was looking for his old friend that he thought they'd taken hostage. I knew where he was so made out I was some kid needing help and they let me right in. Idiots!'

There was a few minutes of silence as they saved their breath for the walk up the big hill. Half way up, Annabella stopped and took out a small wand, much smaller than the ones Jason was used to. That's because his were mainly for battle.

This one was obviously just to cast defense spells and things like that. She pointed it at Jason's chest. 'l take it this will turn us into something else then?' He asked.

Annabella nodded and lightly closed her eyes. She hovered it in front of him while chanting something under her breath. Jason thought it sounded Italian but knew it wasn't. The wand made a popping sound and Jason looked down at himself, but to him, he looked normal.

Annabella noticed that Jason looked confused, so decided to explain, 'You look normal to yourself and to me, but they will see us differently.' Jason nodded, now understanding.

She did the same to herself, then turned towards the cathedral. They carried on the rest of the way up the hill and son enough came to the cathedrals door. Annabella went right ahead and knocked, clearly unnerved by it all. Jason, on the other hand, felt his heart pounding so much that he thought it would jump out of his chest.

*************
Part Four -
*************
††††


     'Who on earth could that be?' Krissintha raised her eyebrows and cautiously walked through the halls and corridors to the large black painted wooden doors.

She peeked through the peep-hole and saw two children, one of which she recognised. So she answered the door. 'What on earth has happened to you?' She asked, rather worried.

The children at the door were dirty and bleeding. They look like they've been fighting in a thorn bush! Krissintha thought. 'Shania, you should come in I will patch you up.' She turned and the children followed.

When Krissintha's back was turned, "Shania", who was actually Annabella, turned to the other child, Jason, and gave him a reassuring smile and a nod. 'Something attacked us.' She said in a quiet, shy voice.

'OK, well let me make you better and you can tell me all about it.' Krissintha led them into a big room with a large open fire and stone mantelpiece. There was a chair, that looked more like a throne, which was a cream colour, with wooden arms and legs. It screeched horribly as Krissintha pulled it out from under a large oak desk to sit down on it in front of them.

She looked from Annabella to Jason, completely unaware that they were disguised. 'Who's your friend here, Shania?'

'This is Jesse. Marina's son.'

'Ah I thought I recognised you.' Krissintha said to the boy that Jason was pretending to be. She took their hands and inspected their cuts and scrapes. 'Wait here, I'll get some supplies to help you out.'

Now was the perfect time to break their defenses. As soon as the door closed, Annabella took out her wand and got to work. After a minute or so, they felt a slight shudder. Krissintha wouldn't have felt it, but Hagan would have. Now he would know it was safe for him to try and portal into the cathedral. 'We may not need to fight...' Annabella said quietly.

'What do you mean?' Jason asked.

'Well if we can distract her for long enough, Hagan and the guys can get in find the human...'

'Amber.' Jason interrupted.

'...And get her out without this crazy woman suspecting anything.' Annabella finished.

Krissintha was getting her wands and tissues ready to patch the kids up, and decided to stop in on Amber in the basement. She went down several flights of stairs, countless hallways and through many doors until arriving at the cold stone steps leading down to the basement where she could hear Amber crying.

She threw open the door, and glared at Amber. 'I have guests. So keep your mouth shut!' She slammed the door again and began to walk back upstairs. She turned around and went back to the basement. 'I don't want you to die yet.' She threw a bottle of water towards her. 'Drink that and keep quiet.'

Amber whimpered when the bottle hit her. She quickly grabbed for it and opened it. She was normally a coffee girl, but she'd never liked the taste of water so much as she did now. The room went dark again, and she sobbed a little more.

Krissintha thought she could feel the ground shaking, but dismissed it as her imagining things. She started to make her way back to Shania and her friend.

A blur flash indicated that Hagan had managed to find his way directly to Annabella and Jason. Hagan and the girls had already had their weapons drawn in case they dropped in on Krissintha, but lowered them when they saw the two "children" standing there, bloodied and bruised. 'Are you alright?' Tria asked.

'Yes, but I don't think she will be long. I think the girl is here somewhere in the cathedral. Look around and find her and get her out, there may be no need to fight.' Jason told them. They seemed to understand and nodded. Then quietly went through a door leading to the hallway.

As soon as it closed, Krissintha waltzed back through the door she originally went out of. It was a close call, but luckily Krissintha didn't know anything.

Out in the hallway, Hagan led the girls through the ,massive cathedral, looking everywhere for Amber. They came across a room full of weapons and armour. Hagan grabbed a few, in case they ended up with a battle on their hands.

They carried on through the cold corridors and huge halls, until Victoria found a flight of stairs leading down to a metal door. 'Guys.... What's down there?'

'We're about to find out.' Tria said.

The door was heavy and stiff. It squeaked open slowly to reveal a dark room. 'This is the room from my dream.' Victoria whispered just loud enough for the others to hear her.

'Victoria?' A timid voice said from the corner.

'Amber!' Victoria rushed to her best friend chained up on the floor. 'How will we get her out of these chains?' She asked turning to Hagan.

'Move back. I can get her out.' Tria said.

Victoria moved a few steps back and let Tria help Amber. She knelt down and grabbed hold of the chains and touched her wand to them. Victoria could hear a sizzling sound, and the chains started to glow red. Amber winced in pain and Victoria assumed the chains were hurting her. 'Don't worry, you'll be out of here soon enough.' She reassured her.

The chains dropped to the floor and Amber scrambled to her feet and ran to Victoria to embrace her in the tightest hug she had ever had.

'Now, obviously Amber can't portal out of here with us, so we will have to walk.' Hagan said. 'Amber, you stay in the middle of us, if we are seen, Tria will take thou outside and we will take care if whoever is here.'

Everyone nodded in agreement and went back out if the basement.

Krissintha opened the door and was shocked to see the two children holding weapons and about too disappear through a portal. 'Wait! Where are you...' She had no reason to finish that sentence as they already vanished, 'going.' She sighed.

Who were they?...

Back down the hallways and two flights of stairs, Hagan was leading everyone out of the cathedral. 'I've got a bad feeling about this.' Lushina said. 'Like we're being watched.'

'That's because you are.' Said a female voice from nowhere. 'Were those to children with you? Hagan?'

'Where are you?' Hagan looked around, and Tria did as they planned and took Amber and Victoria out of the cathedral. Hagan had his weapon drawn and was ready to battle. He hated fighter the female demons, it made him feel bad, but it must be done.

'Here.' Krissintha said and as soon as she said it, she appeared and she had her weapon pointed in Hagan's face. Instinct took over Jaymica and she shot a bolt of red light at the woman, which didn't seem to affect her at all. Lushina tried a more powerful attack and shot dark purple light at her. Krissintha stumbled and fell as she jabbed at Hagan with her weapon. She free blood, but Hagan shrugged it off. He's been through worse than this. She would have to do better to take him down.

Hagan, Jaymica and Lushina all drew their blades. 'So that's how you want to play it, is it?' Jaymica taunted her.

'Just remember lady, there's three of us, only one of you.' Lushina said.

'Four of us.' Jason's voice said from behind.

'Where's Drake?' Hagan asked.

'Outside with the girls.' Jason replied and he heard the woman snigger. 'But we don't need him. In fact I'm sure Jaymica could take you down herself. You're nothing!'

Jason also had his weapons out, one in each hand. All at once they shot a bolt of green light at Krissintha, and she flew backwards and crashed into the stone wall. It cracked and crumbled, but she got straight back up and aimed her crooked wand at Jason, firing a bright orange flame to his chest, then to Hagan and the girls.

The fire wasn't strong enough to permanently damage them, and after a struggle, they pounced at her again. Lushina pushed krissintha against the wall, yet again making loose parts crumble off and shatter on the floor, while Jason held a blade to her throat. Jaymica and Hagan slowly walked over and drew weapons. Hagan had a blunt ended wand and Jaymica had a glowing blade. They struck her at the same time, making her howl and screech.

Lushina lifted Krissintha, who was bleeding blackish blood from her throat and chest, by the neck and slammed her to the ground. A great number of blue sparks shot from her wounds and Hagan pulled out the ring he killed Orson with.

He held it to her chest as she started to screech again. This time she shook uncontrollably and her eyes went pure white. Green and black blood burst everywhere, spraying the four demon hunters. But they didn't mind, it meant she was dead.

*********

Next: Chapter 14 — Back In the real World.


Chapter 14.

Back In The Real World.

Part One -
************


Ella and Eli stood rooted to the spot, open mouthed and in shock. Ella stuttered slightly until managing to finally speak. 'Mum?' She reached out to touch her mothers hand, but Eli pulled her sister back quickly.

'Don't touch her.' Eli said. 'She doesn't care about us.'

'I do care.'

'Then why did you ditch us in that stupid human world without an explanation? We grew up without a mother. We don't need one now.' Eli stormed off in the direction of the hall they were heading for.

'You'll need me if you're looking for Amber.' Their mother said, raising her eyebrows in an arrogant manner.

'How do you know about Amber?' Ella asked, surprised at Eli's outburst and also surprised by her mother's sudden appearance and her knowledge of Amber's disappearance.

'Everyone knows. Nothing stays a secret around here. She's in Vortrux, been taken by that Krissintha woman. Plans to kill her if our lot don't hand over the shield.'

'And?...' Eli asked.

'Oh, now you're interested in talking to me? Well, Hagan's taking his young trainees to sort her out. And Victoria is with them.'

'You know Victoria?' Ella raised her eyebrows.

'No, I just know what's going on. So would you if you bothered coming home.'

'The human world has always been home to us. This place, is an escape. But now I know you're here, its more of a hell than an escape.' Eli snapped. 'Come on Ella. We'll go see Alya, and talk to her.'

They stormed off and didn't look back at the woman they were supposed to call their mother. 'Don't you think that was a bit harsh?' Ella said.

'Not really. She left us to come here. No explanation, no other family, only Amber and Gareth. We had to find out for ourselves what we were, where we came from. Had to learn it all by ourselves and then we have to sort it ourselves.'

'At least she told us where Amber is.'

'I'm not sure whether we should believe her.' Eli clearly didn't want to carry on talking about it, so Ella decided to shut up and just follow her sister to the hall to see Alya.

Once inside, they quickly located Alya and were led to the small room that Alya called the office. That is where all her decision making happened. The hall was also the place where everyone would meet when about to go into battle. 'So what's the matter?' Alya asked as she sat down in her brown leather chair.

'I take it you already know about the human being taken? Our mother seems to know.' Eli explained.

'Yes, I'm aware. Hagan got a message to me to say he will be going to find her. That Victoria's friend isn't it?' Alya said.

'Yes. Our cousin.' Ella confirmed.

'Really?' Alya looked shocked. 'Is she... You know, like us?'

'No. She had no clue until Victoria saw Jason kill a couple demons on Amber's birthday.' Ella explained.

'Wait... Victoria? As in Caleb's daughter Victoria?'

'Yeah, thought you'd know that?' Eli said.

'I knew a Victoria had been brought to this world, I didn't know it was the Victoria.' Alya looked shocked.

'Oh, well is there any way we can get to them? Can you help us?'

'We just need to know Amber is all right.' Ella added.

'Hagan will be taking the hostage to Sacred City where they will make arrangements to have her taken back home. Make your way to the Sacred City Hall, and they should be there tonight. You can escort her back.' Alya told them.

The two girls nodded and wandered around the hall, greeting people they hadn't heard or seen of for years. 'How is the human world? What's it like?' Jimi, an old friend of Eli's, was asking, his eyes wide with interest.

'Boring... Until Jason and his little crew turn up and crashes a humans birthday party by killing demons right in front of someone.' Ella said.

'Then something like this happens. Me and Ella running around from city to city like idiots looking for our cousin who could have died thanks to Jason's carelessness.' Eli added.

Ella was about to speak when a shriek came from behind them. It was Alya shouting their names. 'The girl is OK. Hagan has taken her to the City Hall and says if you can make it there quickly you may escort her home.' She smiled.

'And Victoria?' Eli asked.

'She is fine too.'

'I have heard she is fine.' Jimi said, his eyebrows raised.

Eli sighed, and Ella giggled. Typical Jimi, she thought. 'OK, well we're going to go now. Nice seeing you again.' Eli said, and smiled at Jimi. They stepped into Alya's little office again, somewhere private to make a portal to Sacred City. It took a while to get one started but eventually, the swirling turquoise portal opened and the two girls disappeared to return Amber to the human world with a soft whoosh and a flash.

************
Part Two -
************

'So this is where you'll be staying from now on?' Amber asked Victoria as she looked around the otherworldly hall in Sacred City.

'Well not here exactly. But I will be in the city, yes. Tria is letting us stay with her for a while.' Victoria told her.

'You're not coming back home?' Amber looked upset.

'I don't think so. Apparently it's not safe.'

Jason took a deep breath and spoke. 'Not "apparently", it's definitely not safe. You're friend being kidnapped by a demon just proves that.'

'But that happened from the real world. So doesn't that mean she should stay here too.' Victoria asked.

'No. Krissintha is dead now. Amber isn't in danger anymore.' Jason said.

'My aunt is dead?'

'We had to kill her, I'm sorry. But that's how this world is unfortunately. To save one life sometimes you have to destroy several others. Think of her as just another demon, not your aunt.' Hagan said.

'So what will happen to Dylan?'

'Drynlak? He's a demon too, don't worry about him. But if you must know, his minder Samia will be taking care of him now.' Jason explained.

The door swung open and Ella and Eli ran into the hall. 'Amber! You're ok!' Ella smiled and hugged her cousin tightly.

'Hey guys! Yeah I'm fine. You try are taking me home then, right?' Amber asked.

'Yep! Gareth has been really worried.' Eli said.

'Hey Eli, I learned something about you.'Amber smiled.

'Which is?'

'You're name is actually Elizia.' Amber smiled.

'I hate that name.'

'Really? I think it's nice.' Amber said.

'Do me a favour and never call me that.' Eli laughed.

'You alright, Victoria?' Ella asked.

'Yeah, I'm fine. I'm just still trying to get my head around all this. I keep thinking that I'm going to wake up and this has all been one horrible nightmare.' Victoria said.

'Not a nightmare, Vic, it's real life.' Ella said.

'I know, I think it was Jason who said the same thing.' Victoria explained.

'You can visit though, right?' Amber asked.

Victoria did not know the answer to that, so she looked to Jason, who then looked to Hagan for the answer.

'Only in our presence.' Hagan said. 'Someone, or a few of us, would have to come with her. If the demons find out you're in the human world without us, Victoria, it would be easier for them to get to you. Whereas here, you are protected.' Hagan explained.

'Protected by who?' Amber said, confused and clearly not understanding what Hagan was saying.

'Well, us. The protection charms we have around the city prevents any demons from entering the city without us knowing about it.' Hagan explained.

'Does she have to go right now?' Victoria asked.

'Unfortunately yes. If a demon finds Krissintha and can sense that we have been there they could track us back here. They will come for us. It's too dangerous to keep Amber here, just in case that does happen.'

Victoria nodded. She understood but was visibly upset. She took a step towards Amber and embraced her in a tight friendly guys and said. 'I promise I will come to see you. I'll miss you.'

'Me too.'

'Make sure you get her back safe.' Victoria said to Ella and Eli. They nodded in reply.

'Of course. Gareth would kill us if there was so much as a bruise in her.' Eli joked.

'I'd better cover my wrists up then.' Amber said, rubbing her wrists.

'Why?' Ella asked.

'They're all bruised and sore from those chains.' Amber showed them the blue-black bruises on her wrists.

'They'll be gone in no time.' Victoria reassured Amber. 'The bruises aren't important, though. What is important is that we're both safe.'

Amber could sense that it was time to leave, so she gathered everyone together and said, 'Make sure you guys look after Victoria.'

'Of course we will.' Lushina replied. 'She's important to us. We will keep her safe.' She smiled at Amber. 'Nice to meet you properly.' She giggled.

'You too.' She turned to Jason. 'And I'm sorry for breaking you a murderer before I knew the whole story. Demons never existed to me so I just assumed that Victoria was losing her mind.'

'That's alright. Many people don't understand all this.' Jason replied.

'Anyway, we should get going. It's getting late and we promised Gareth we would be back as soon as we found you.' Eli said.

Amber nodded. 'Bye Vic, see you when you visit, then.'

'Of course. See you Amber.' Victoria smiled.

Ella and Eli took Amber outside and started attempting to make a portal. It took a while due to the human presence, but eventually a lilac coloured swirling portal appeared in front of them. 'So what do I do?'

'Just take my hand.' Ella held out her hand for Amber to take hold of. 'And hold on tight, don't panic and if it gets bumpy, don't freak out.'

'Anything else?' Amber asked.

'Oh yeah, prepare for a painful landing.'

'And you kind of people do this everyday?'

'It's a lot more of a bumpy ride when a human is traveling. A human presence in this world messes with the way things work. Like a cell phone in a hospital.' Ella said.

Eli and Amber looked confused. 'They always tell you to turn them off because it can mess with the machines and all that stuff.' Ella shrugged. Eli and Amber nodded.

'Ok... Ready?' Eli asked.

'As I'll ever be.' Amber replied quickly.

Right now she wanted nothing more than to get home where she was safe. She had genuinely thought that Krissintha was going to kill her. Thankfully she hadn't, but Amber had never been so scared in her whole life. She was so thankful that Hagan and tried had been there to help rescue her. There's was something about Hagan that she liked. He seemed honest and kind, almost like a grandfather and just being in his presence made her feel safe. He was an old man, but an incredibly clever man. She was sure that Victoria would be safe around him.

Ella wasn't wrong when she said it would be a bumpy ride. Amber felt that she was being tossed from side to side, rolling around and finally bumping down into the ground outside Eli's flat. She sat up and rubbed her head and blinked her eyes repeatedly trying to stop the dizziness that she felt. He vision of the front door was blurry and spinning, so she decided not to stand up just yet. 'Are you ok?' Ella asked.

Amber nodded and slowly tried to stand, but stumbled as she was still very dizzy. She held onto the railing outside the flat for that led upstairs to more flats.
From inside Eli's flat, Gareth heard voices and the commotion outside the door and rushed to open it. He yanked it open which made Amber jump and shriek. 'What are you doing here?!' She squealed.

'Ella gave me the keys to come wait for you here. I'm so glad you're ok!' He squeezed his sister in a hug and practically dragged her inside the flat. 'Did you see Victoria? Is she alright? What's it like there? Did you see many demon thingies?' Gareth was speaking about a hundred miles an hour and didn't give Amber much of a chance to reply. 'You're not hurt are you?'

'Gareth! Stop! I'm fine, Victoria is fine. Yes, I saw a demon, and its a creepy place to be, not knowing who, out what is going to come get you. When Victoria and her hunter friends found me, I was certain it was a demon coming to threaten me some more. But then I heard Victoria's voice. It was so scary.'

'Well you're home now and you're safe. That's all that matters.' Eli said.

'Right, I should take you home now. You should get some sleep, you look exhausted. I'll stay with you tonight, your sofa is comfortable enough.' Gareth smiled.

'Ok, thanks. I don't think I should be alone tonight anyway. I'm still a little freaked out.' Amber huff her cousin, Ella and Eli, and walked back towards the door. She was called back by Ella.

'Don't you want a drink?' She asked. 'You don't have to leave so soon.'

'Actually yeah, a drink would be great. Coffee, two sugars please.'

'Since when do you take sugar?' Gareth asked, slightly confused.

'Since now. I need sugar... or vodka.' Amber smiled.

'I think coffee will do.' Gareth said, as her out his hands on her shoulders and walked behind her to the kitchen where there was a small square table. Eli gestured for Amber to sit down. As she did, they heard a timid knock on the door. 'I'll get it.' Ella said.

A moment later, into the kitchen walked Victoria and Lushina, followed slowly by Jason. 'We just wanted to check that you got back alright.' Victoria said.

Amber nodded. 'I'm scared for you Vic.' She said, her voice quiet and shaking. 'Being in that world. It's so violent! I couldn't bear the thought of those things hurting you...or worse.' She put her head down, so she was looking at the table.

'I'm sure I'll be ok.' Victoria tried to reassure her best friend. 'These guys tell me I'll get the right training and I'm "protected" in Sacred City.'

'Yeah by charms and should and stuff... I'm sorry, and no disrespect to you guys, but I don't trust that. That's something from a fairy tale it a fantasy movie. Not real life.'

'It is real life. I can reassure you Amber, Victoria will be safe and the spells do work. We've survived there for many years and so did our ancestors. Even back when thespells weren't as strong as they are now, and they didn't have advanced training.' Jason said as he bent down next to the chair where Amber was sitting with her head in her hands

'Things have changed, is what Jason is trying to say. Everything is much safer now than it used to be.' Lushina added. 'Have your drink and we'll come with you when you go home. Me and Jason will be able to tell if anything is lurking around.'

***************

Part Three -
***************

Amber place felt cold as they walked in. Gareth went to turn the great on while Victoria helped her friend into the front room. As Amber was brushing her hair, a bump and a sharp poison reminded her that she had been hit over the head. 'Ow!'

'What's the matter?' Gareth asked.

'The Demon hit her over the head before she took me. She was very deceiving... disguised as a gentle old lady, saying she nearly got hit by a car and wanted some water so, like an idiot, I let her in.'

'An old lady with a Zimmer-frame?' Gareth asked, and Amber nodded. 'She wasn't lying about almost getting hit by a car. Just after I left you I nearly hit someone. An old lady with a Zimmer frame. But I got out to check she was ok but she was gone. Just disappeared into thin air. I thought I was imagining things but now I know I actually saw it. I'm not crazy.' Gareth sounded relieved.

'You're a little but crazy.' Amber said quietly, and giggled. She sipped her hot coffee and placed it back on the table, differing about the bruises on her wrists.

'Is that what that alien did to you?' Gareth asked.

'Demon. And yes. Well, I was chained up for quite a while.' Amber told him. 'I didn't want you to see them. I didn't want you to know I'd been hurt.'

'Well I can't sense anything.' Lushina said. 'Can you?' She asked Jason.

'Nope. I don't think anything else should bother you now. 'Jason told Amber. 'You should be safe now.'

An hour later and Gareth and Amber were now alone in the flat. Amber was quiet and Gareth was making himself comfortable on Amber's sofa, where he would be sleeping that night. He pulled the duvet up to his shoulder, pumped up his pillow and caught sight of Amber just starting at the television, not really paying attention to what she was watching. 'Are you all right?' He asked, thinking he already knew the answer.

'No. I'm scared for Victoria. She shouldn't be there, she should be here in a normal world, with normal people. But in a strange world with magic and demons and God only knows what else.'

'I've heard vampires exist too.'

'Not helping, Gaz.' Amber snapped. 'If only she had just stayed at the party instead of going off to see what those guys were up to. She would still be allowed to stay here.' She began to sob. 'She's my best friend. And who knows when I'll see her again. If I ever do. What if something terrible happens to her?'

'You're thinking negative again. She's in the right place if I got what they were saying right. It's dangerous for her here because she's not "protected". They'll look after her there and they did say she could visit.' Gareth tried to reassure his sister.

'I know all that but... it's not the same.' Amber said. 'I guess I'll see it differently after a night's sleep. I'm going to go to bed. See you in the morning.' Amber stood and walked sluggishly out of the living room, leaving Gareth alone in the dark, wondering if his sister would be ok.

Even more worried about Victoria, though. As much as he hated admitting that Amber was right, the other world was to dangerous and he too was scared. Scared that she would end up hurt. And he was also scared that he would never see the girl he loved, ever again.

*************

Next: Chapter 15 — A Moment of Calm.

 

Chapter 15

A Moment Of Calm -

Part One-
************

Victoria had a bit of spare time on her hands, so along with Jason, she took a look around the city. Meeting new people wasn't her favourite past-time, but she made an effort to introduce herself to some of the locals.

Some already knew who she was, that must have been a gift that some of the demon hunters had, but others didn't know who she was. After Jason had explained to them who she was, they all seemed excited and happy to meet her.

Alsop, another trainer, asked Victoria when she was free to start her training, and because she had all day to do nothing, he would start it this evening.

'I'll just be taking you through everything, and when Tria is free, we will start your practical lessons. The first thing will be creating a portal so tonight I'm going to talk you through the essentials.' He left it at that and walked off in the direction of another huge building.

'What's that place?' Victoria asked Jason. She didn't take her eyes of the place. It was a beautiful white building with very few small windows and a pair of black double doors. Alsop disappeared inside, and as the did were open she saw lots of other young demon hunters with weapons and wearing long gowns.

'The training centre.' Jason said bluntly. 'That's where you'll be doing your training. Now follow me. I have something I want to show you.' Jason changed direction and started walking faster towards the huge hill he and Hagan had killed Orson on.

Victoria desperately didn't want to go back up there just yet, the smell of dead demon was to much for her at the moment. But luckily Jason led her down a narrow alleyway where the sound of the city slowly faded into silence, and she could only hear birds and her and hands breathing.

He took her down some stone steps and through a stone archway with strange looking flowers growing around it. She looked up at the sky and noticed that here it was a much brighter blue than in the human world, and there were no clouds whatsoever. 'Where are we going?' She asked, slowly out of breath.

'To a special place. We're almost there now.'

'A special place?'

'Well its not special, it's just a place I used to come to get away from all the noise of Sacred City and training and demons and...everything.'

He opened a squeaky black gate and a beautiful garden came into view. Victoria was instantly amazed. It was the most beautiful place she had ever seen. Small brightly coloured birds door about all over, a sparkling river rushed by and under a small stone bridge. Just past the bridge the river fell into a small waterfall. Flowers growing all over the place and a path of gravel led them the a half-circle bench.

'This place is gorgeous.' Victoria said.

'I know. That's why I like it here.' Jason took off his jacket and laid it out on the bench. 'You can sit on that. This bench is pretty cold.'

Victoria smiled and sat down on Jason's thick leather jacket. She said, 'thank you. This place is really amazing. I've never seen anything like it before.'

'Well you wouldn't have. You've never been here until now.' Jason said.

Victoria looked around this beautiful garden, unaware that she was smiling insanely to herself. She ended up glancing in Jason's direction and caught sight of him watching her. 'What?' She asked feeling silly.

'Nothing is just you smiling like an idiot to yourself.' He laughed.

'Sorry. I just can't believe what I'm seeing.'

'Don't be sorry. It's cute.' Jason said, instantly mentally slapping himself. I wasn't supposed to say that out loud, he thought to himself.

There was an awkward silence as Victoria and Jason took in the surroundings. They showed eye contact like it was the plague until Jason felt brave enough to say, 'so are you looking forward to starting your training tonight?'

'Not really. I'm a little nervous.'

'Well I understand that. It's your first session and you have no clue what you're doing. I guess I can be there with you if you would like to have someone there. Moral support and all that?'

'That wouldn't be so bad. I guess.' Victoria felt embarrassed, having to admit she was scared and clueless, but she figured that Jason was once in this position when he first started his training.

She told Jason that and he replied, 'Actually, most of it came naturally to me because I was born into this world. But the training I did have to take was tiring, and hard. It took me so long to get the hang of it but I got there in the end.'

'Jason?' She asked, then paused. 'Why am I so important. Why can't they get the shield if I'm her and safe?'

'Due to your heritage, you are the only person who can free the shield.'

'Why? Where is it?' Victoria asked.

'We don't know.'

'Well if you don't know, how do you expect me to get it?'

'It's hard to explain... You may not think it, but you're special, and extremely talented. You will find it.' He smiled at Victoria. 'I'm sure of it.'

He knows where it is, Victoria thought. He just isn't letting on...

************
Part Two -
************


Drake and Jaymica sat together with Hagan in a small room to the back of Tria's home. They were discussing the plan for Victoria's training. 'Alsop told me he will begin her training tonight. He practical training will begin tomorrow.' Hagan said.

'Speaking of Victoria, where is she?' Asked Drake.

'It with Jason. He is showing her around.' Hagan told him.

'Oh, is he now...'

'What's that meant to mean?' Jaymica asked.

'I knew it wouldn't take him long. It's obvious he likes her.'

'I don't know where you got that from but I think you're mistaken, Drake.' Hagan sighed. 'You sound jealous.' He smiled.

'As if!'

'Yeah, as if... we all know it's Tria that Drake likes.' Jaymica laughed. Drake blushed a deep red colour and stood up.

'I'm going to see Lushina.' He snapped and left the room.

'Was it something I said?' Jaymica joked after he slammed the door.'

'Probably.' Hagan said. 'Now, I want you to accompany Victoria to her training lessons.'

'Why?'

'I know she'll be more comfortable around you than Jason. He comes across as arrogant sometimes, you're more understanding, so if she gets something wrong she's less likely to feel embarrassed. I want her to feel as comfortable as possible here.'

'Ok, but why not Lushina?'

'Well, purely because she isn't trained to your level yet.' Hagan said. 'Tria and Alsop will be training them both together.'

As Hagan finished speaking, Tria walked in. She sat on a wooden creaky chair with uneven legs, and as she leaned back, it wobbled making her gasp, which made Hagan smile and Jaymica laugh. 'I think it was going to give way on me. Anyway... What time is Alsop going to start Victoria's theory training this evening? I need to let the guys at the training centre know so we can reserve the theory room for her?'

'I'm not sure. As soon as she's back, I suppose.'

'Why, where is she?' Tria asked.

'Jason is showing her around the city.' Jaymica told her.

'Right, well I'll go back and book it for six o'clock. She should be back by then. There isn't that much to see around here.'

'For someone like Victoria, there Is lots to see.' Hagan pointed out.

Tria was about to leave when she seemed to have a sudden realization. 'Wait... Jason is showing her around?' She asked and Hagan nodded. 'What on earth has gotten into him?'

'What's that supposed to mean?' Jaymica asked.

'Well Jason doesn't go out of his way for anyone or anything unless he gets something out of it.'

'Drake seems to think that Jason likes Victoria.' Hagan said.

'Oh, well... good for her. He's a nice boy.' Tria said, and this time she left.

'She never stays long in her own house.' Jaymica noticed. 'She's always in and out.'

'She's a working woman. She can't stand it when she's has nothing to do.' Hagan told Jaymica. 'Anyway, I'll get to the hall to find us our next home, we can't stay with Tria for too long. She might always be in and out and not spend much time in her own home but she probably would appreciate it to not come back home to a bunch of teenagers after a day's work.'

Hagan left the room leaving Jaymica during in a cosy but slightly dimming office room. She sighed then decided she was going to leave too. Jason had the right idea going to the Sacred Garden, if Jaymica was going to sit alone in silence, she'd rather do it there than in a strange house.

She left the quiet house, passing Drake and Lushina at the front door where they were stood talking. 'Where are you going?' Drake asked.

'Just out for a bit of a walk to the Sacred Garden to find Victoria. Let her know about her training tonight.'

'She's starting tonight?' Lushina asked. 'That's soon.'

'Is it? I think it's as good a time as any. She needs to train. Why hang about?' Jaymica said, and carried on walking, tripping slightly on the cobbled sidewalk but pretended it didn't happen and just hoped that Drake and Lushina didn't notice.

Back at the front door, Lushina was giggling at Jaymica's unsteadiness, Drake smirked and they both headed back inside. 'Speaking of training... When's your next session?' Lushina asked Drake.

'Tonight. Alsop is teaching me to use the Death Ring.'

'Jason's only just learned to use that. I would have thought they'd have taught him that a long time ago.'

'What's all this pointless conversation about, Lushina?' Drake asked, eyebrows raised.

'Just making conversation. When will I learn more? I can only use the wands and blades so far.'

'What's the rush? The wands and blades have done enough for you so far right? You're not dead.' Drake said.

'Well yeah but I feel like the dummy out of us all. You guys all know so much more.' Lushina sounded sad.

'You'll get there. Besides, they'll have to teach you all you need to know before we go into battle for the shield.' Drake explained. 'I wouldn't be surprised if we lose a few of our hunters.'

'I know. And poor Victoria has only just come into it just as its the most important. I'm scared for her.'

'Don't be. She will do fine.' A voice said from behind them. They turned to see Jason and Victoria in the doorway. Lushina had jumped and Drake has spun around quickly on the spot.

'How do you guys do that?' Drake asked.

'Do what?' Jason asked.

'Sneak up on people. We are supposed to be able to sense someone there.' Lushina added.

'I have that gift.' Jason said sarcastically, and also smugly as he shrugged his shoulders. 'Victoria must have it too.' He joked, but quickly realised he could be right.

'I think Jaymica just went out to find you two. Have you seen her?' Drake asked.

'Yeah we bumped into her in the alleyway on the corner. She told us that Victoria had her training at six. She can't wait.'

'She is here.' Victoria said. I'm excited but scared. What if I can't do it?'

'Like I just said, you'll do fine.' Jason encouraged her.

A while later, Jason and Victoria were sitting in the living room of Tria's home, in front of the open fire, discussing what Alsop was going to be teaching Victoria that night.

It was nearing half past five, and Victoria was getting a few things together for her training. She had been told to take a writing book and two coloured pens. She chose black and red. Jason advised her to take a pencil and rubber in case Alsop wanted to show her how to draw the spells. 'Draw them?' She asked, confused.

'You might be under the impression that spells are spoken but what we actually do is use our wands to do it. We have to draw the image in the air, at eye-height.' Jason advised but could tell that Victoria was still confused. 'Alsop should explain it better.'

'Will you walk with me to the training centre?' Victoria asked Jason.

'I think Jaymica is going with you. Hagan wanted her to go with you to your lessons.' Jason told her. 'So I won't need to.'

'Why does he want her to come with me?'

'Because I can come across as arrogant and you might feel embarrassed if you get it wrong and I correct you. She is apparently nicer.' Jason shrugged.

Victoria nodded and got up to leave. 'Anyway, I should go find her and her going.'

'No need. I'm here.' Jaymica said from behind her. 'You ready?'

Victoria nodded and said goodbye to Jason. 'Good luck.'

Victoria smiled and left with Jaymica. As they were walking to the training centre, Victoria started to wish she had brought her jacket. It had gotten a little chilly outside and she started to shiver. The wind had picked up a little and it had started to get a bit dark. She could tell winter was coming soon.

The training centre came into view, it looked bigger than Victoria remembered it from earlier when she was out with Jason. It looked a little bit intimidating.

She knew that the people in there knew a while lot more than she did, and already started to feel embarrassed about being the "new kid." It almost felt like starting a new school in the middle of term time and knowing no one and nothing, having to catch up with everyone else, who were just looking at her wondering who she was.

The doors slammed shut behind them and Jaymica approached what looked like a receptionist desk. 'Victoria us here for her theory lesson. Which room is Alsop in?'

An older lady behind the desk looked through a larger folder and ran a long bony finger down the page until she suddenly stopped and tapped the paper. 'Theory room 6, Jaymica. Will you be accompanying her?'

'Yes. It's her first lesson and she doesn't have a clue where to go.' Jaymica looked round at Victoria. 'Do you?'

Victoria shook her head. 'Not a clue.' She tried to force a smile.

'Well don't worry, we're all nice here. We don't bite.' The older lady said. 'I'm Lillith. Nice to finally meet you.'

'You too.' Victoria said. The black double doors slammed again, and Hagan came darting over. 'Everything alright?'

'Yes, dear. I just wanted to tell you that Drake will be training here tonight and had requested that after your lesson, you go to Practical Room 8, and watch. Pick up a few tips. I told him it was a great idea.' Hagan rushed out, getting tongue-tied as he was speaking so fast.

'Ok, yeah I guess I'll stop in afterwards.' Victoria smiled.

'Not I shouldn't keep you any longer. Alsop will be waiting for you.'

Jaymica led Victoria to Theory Room 6 and pushed open the squeaky door. The room was huge and Victoria instantly looked around the walls. There were posters showing the incorrect and correct way to hold the wands, blades and even the Death Ring. Jaymica noticed this and said, 'don't worry about that yet, you won't be taught to use those until your third lesson. I wonder where Alsop is.'

In the middle of the room was a small school-like wooden desk, with a matching chair. Jaymica took Victoria's book and pens over and placed them on the desk. 'I'll go get myself a chair.' Jaymica left the room and walked down the hall to the storage room.

As she pulled a chair out, she heard a bang coming from the room next door. It was the room Drake was in. She powered through the tiny window in the door and saw that Tria was summoning demons for Drake to destroy. One came riding towards him and he quickly lifted his wand in one hand and a blade in the other and attacked the Demon. It burst into a ball of flames for a few seconds then turned to dust.

'Being nosey?' Alsop said suddenly, making her jump. 'He's getting good, isn't he?' He commented.

'Yeah, he's ok.' Jaymica smiled. 'Victoria is in there waiting for you.' She pointed towards room 6.

'I take it you're staying with her.' Alsop asked.

'Yes, for the first few lessons. Hagan said that would be ok.'

'Of course it is. Now let's get started.' Alsop turned and walked back down the hall to room 6, Jaymica following code behind him caring the chair she got it if the stage room. When they got back to the theory room, Victoria was already sat down behind the desk, with her note book open, tapping her pencil, rather annoyingly, on the desk.

'Evening, Victoria.' Alsop smiled. 'How are you?'

'I'm fine thank you. A little nervous though...' Victoria said quietly as is she was shy. Or scared.

'Don't worry, everything we do today will be easy. No spells or charms involved. I see you've brought a book and pens... and a pencil, I take it you've been speaking to Jason?' Alsop asked and Victoria nodded. 'Well let's get started then. I will show you something easy. The Personal Protection charm. This one you use on yourself to protect you. When you are out at any point, anywhere on your own, always use this before you leave.'

Alsop turned with his back to Jaymica and Victoria and drew a almost tribal-looking pattern on a huge white board at the front of the room. He based it look do easy but by the time he had finished, it looked very complicated.

It started off with a cross, like you'd see on a church, Victoria thought. Then over that he drew a circle, which was only big enough to cover the middle of the cross, where the lines overlapped. Then he drew a large 'X' over it, almost like he had done it wrong and was crossing it out. He stood back and looked at it, then nodded. 'There you go.' He smiled. 'How easy was that?'

As Alsop was drawing, Victoria had tried to copy what he was doing. Her drawing of the charm looked nothing like Alsop's. At least Victoria didn't think so.

'You're just thinking you're doing it wrong. You're paranoid. That looks fine to me. It would work.' Jaymica said smiling widely.

Victoria drew it again, this time with Alsop and Jaymica telling her where to draw, and this one looked so much better. She was happy with her drawing and was ready to move on to the next one. That's when she truly realised that this was her life now. Her new life had begun.

************
Next: Chapter 16 — Threat

 

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