The wind whipped at their faces as Eira reached out for Rulan.
"Join me," said Eira softly. "Take my hand."
Rulan looked into his mother's eyes, and she looked to his. He saw nothing human left in the deathly black pits. One of the many prices for selling her soul.
"Don't listen to her!" screamed someone.
He turned to see his sister, who was desperately trying to raise herself up from the ground. The pain in her eyes sent a pang through his chest. She had dark, spreading bloodstains on her tunic, some blood dripping on the floor. His friends were all injured because of Eira. He had to finish this.
"Never," spat Rulan. "You disgust me."
Eira's face contorted from that of eagerness into a muted anger. Her hand wrapped around her staff more tightly.
"I did not want it to be this way," She murmured. She almost looked apologetic. "We could have been powerful. But you are afraid of greatness, my child."
"I am not your child," He snapped. "I would die a thousand times for me to not be related to you."
She sighed. "Then you are a fool."
Rulan froze as Eira's staff vanished. She drew her hands apart, revealing a magic circle with ancient underworld scriptures and black flames. He barely registered what he was seeing as she thrust it forwards, the dark magic thundering towards his chest. He watched as the fires of death inched closer to his body. Was this death? Was this truly it? He willed his limbs to move, for his arms to block it or his legs to stretch out. But nothing happened. He was paralyzed.
Before he could prepare for impact, a blurry shadow of a body flew out from the side, blocking the attack. It happened so quickly Rulan was unable to see who. There was a sickening hiss as the orb made its impact upon their chest, then a crack, then a thump. Leo.
He had taken the hit for Rulan. He saved him.
Leo's head rolled back on the ground, and Rulan gasped. He fell down, grasping Leo’s body.
Rulan’s screams echoed around the mountain. He shook Leo’s shoulders violently. He did not utter another word, unresponsive to anything Rulan did. The black flames had erupted and now engulfed Leo's body, pulsing up and down. Rulan could hardly watch.
“Leo, talk to me, please..."
A dark, shadowy mass then began to unravel itself inside Leo’s body, contorting and shriveling at the same time. He was twitching, blood dripping down his chin as the demonic power spread through his body like poison. Then, as if it were a burrowing animal, the magic disappeared inside of him. Rulan gasped and checked his neck for a pulse.
He went weak with relief. There was a heartbeat. Faint, but there. That was all that mattered.
Rulan held onto Leo for a little longer, unsure of what to do.
“Please,” cried out Rulan. “Help him, please.”
The rest of the group were all sprawled on the ground behind him, Jiaying wincing and clutching the wound in her stomach. Aziza tried to get to her feet, but her broken leg could not support her body. She fell. Rajani was the only one that could make it to his feet, so he limped over and tried to carry Leo's unconscious body over to where they all were.
Rulan's heart was racing in his chest. Leo had to survive. Leo had to make it. He would make sure he survived, and if he did not, he would bring his wrath upon Eira and the entirety of the underworld.
“You,” snarled Rulan, eyes like daggers. He staggered to his feet and advanced towards Eira.
Something took over his body, as he felt his blood running through his veins, dark power coursing through his body. It was electric. As if he was outside of himself, someone different, something other than human. Millions of worries and thoughts circled in his head, but he pushed them away. There was one thing he wanted. Revenge.
“Don’t you dare to run away!”
He was livid out of his mind. Rage pulsed through every bit of him as Eira cowered. She did not get to cower. She did not get to run, she did not get to hide. She had lost that benefit the second she stepped foot onto the overworld with the intent to murder him and everyone he loved.
He slid one of the knives strapped to his side out and, in a heartbeat, darted and grabbed Eira. The tip of the knife met her throat and he looked into her eyes. She could not escape him this time.
"Say hello to the demons for me," He whispered.
The knife fell with a clatter, him coming down along with it. His hands barely outstretched in time to support his body, sending pain up his arms as he crashed. Eira had vanished. Not even a trace of her, a torn cloak piece, a footprint - nothing.
“No…” He panted. “No…”
His head spun. She was there. In his hands, about to die. How? How? A wave of new anger filled his body and his fist met the ground with a boom. A large crack sounded and he heard Aziza gasp. Black twisting veins began to spread through the cliff, unraveling itself just like the poison that almost killed Leo.
Rulan lifted his hand up and looked at it. A black fire wavered around his fingers and hands, shadows of the underworld swirling at the tips. Dark magic.
He could not make sense of this as he lay on the cliff, chest heaving. He faintly heard voices around him, or perhaps behind him. It was a blur. His vision reduced to nothing and the thoughts in his head grew quieter and quieter until there was nothing left.
Silence, at last.
hey! i wanted to revise the draft i published 5 days ago for the sake of the competition. sorry for continuing to publish and re-publish, i'm always making changes. rip to the 2 comments on the last one u guys are g's <33. if you're reading this you're cool. thank you for support!!