Chapter 91: Cross, Part I

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 439


When Zidane spoke, his voice was quiet. Barely a whisper against the dusk surrounding them.

"We're here."

Lance swallowed, feeling tension inside his gut. Finally, they'd made it...

Is this the last step I'm going to take? His foot landed against the grass, then again, and again. Does Yowlitch already know we're here?

Zidane slowed to a stop, placing one hand on a tree. His eyes closed, head bowed slightly, and Lance could tell he was searching, like he did before they'd entered Yittek and Adelah's town. Maybe it was like a radar's pulse. A blip that searched for any footsteps, any change in the environment.

"Nothing but barriers," Zidane said quietly, hand dropping away. "And he's really loaded with them."

"So, what do we do?" Lance asked.

"In a side pocket of the duffel bag," Zidane began, looking towards it, "there should be a smaller bag. Open it."

Lance did so, flipping open a small satchel and instantly feeling energy swirl around his hands, up his arms. Memories flashed—a nightmare, with orange-red energy curling around him.

But it's different this time. The invisible mist moved around his shoulders, his neck. Coaxing his eyes closed. This is more white. Pure.

He stayed like that, feeling the mist hang with every slight movement he made. He put the satchel back into the pocket, the energy sticking to him.

"What's it do?" he asked softly.

"Makes you invisible," Zidane said. "Ironically adapted from one of Yowlitch's serums."

Lance nodded, still feeling a sense of calmness.

"If you blink twice, you can zoom your vision in, too."

Lance did so, the balcony that ran along the castle's middle-floor instantly filling up his sight. "Whoa." He searched for a moment, seeing nothing of interest, before asking, "How do I zoom out?"

"Blink three times."

The castle became distant again, and Lance shook his head, trying to rid the dizziness. "So cool," he grinned. He looked to Zidane. "So, I guess I'm your watch?"

The crossbreed nodded, taking a few steps towards Yowlitch's castle, Kiresune, his voice coming to Lance's mind.

"Let me know if you see anyone."

"Yeah," Lance replied quietly, eyes scanning the balcony again. Damn big place... He hoped he could spot someone in time...

Lance blinked, pulling back his sight in time to hear Zidane's voice, barely making out his figure in the darkness around them.

"Stay here, alright?"

Lance nodded, watching the crossbreed let out a long exhale. He turned black, shadowlike, and then sank into the shade of the night. Lance barely caught the flicker of movement as Zidane sped across the Inner-Earth, heading for the castle a few miles away.


Every thought that came to Zidane was one of guilt. The pact he had made with Zooka, that unspoken promise to never thieve again... Here he was, breaking it after so long.

He focused on shading instead.

It was like slingshotting himself. Pull enough, and release to the next shadow. Leaping over and over, going faster as the seconds ticked by. He was careful to conserve his energy, pinning the bag attached to his arm against himself and injecting just enough to keep him going. He had to be sparing with this...

When the castle's barrier was less than a half-mile away, Zidane held his breath.

Please let this work...

He felt the pressure as he darted underneath the rim of the dome, and then nothing. His eyes opened, seeing the shadowy world speed by.

He'd made it.

Zidane continued forward, slipping up the castle by pulling on a shadow created by a torch.

He phased out of the shadow, reaching to the balcony rail and hopping over, using both hands to keep his feet off the ground.

Slowly, he lowered one foot. Toes touching the floor, mind expecting an alarm to go off—something.

Nothing happened.

Zidane put his other foot down, searching as he sank lower. After a few moments, he continued forward on the balls of his feet, withdrawing both knives from their sheathes. He passed a wide entranceway, entering a brightly lit room with a statue on a small round table.

So, according to Yittek's blueprint...

This was too easy to get, Zidane remembered. Something's wrong.

Despite his stomach shriveling with each step, he continued on, rounding the small table and entering an elegant hallway. Still brightly lit, with many doorways.

Twenty paces, and it should...

He stopped at a doorway, straightening as he became centered with it. He stared, seeing the vial. Sitting atop an elegant statue, a stone-hand presenting it.

It was there.

Zidane smiled.

He walked forward, crossing the entranceway and expecting an alarm to go off. Still, nothing. His stomach felt like dying.

This isn't right. This is too easy.

Five steps away. He held his breath, reaching forward. His right arm ready to squeeze against his side, inject energy into his bloodstream if needed.

He wrapped his fingertips around the vial, and plucked it from the stone hand.


At the first sign of a shift in energy, Zidane sprinted towards the exit. He turned, running down the hall, hearing the guards bolt after him. They appeared out of nowhere in front of him, swinging dual-headed axes. Zidane slid, going underneath. He squeezed his arm against his side, injecting energy and exhaling for a teleportation.

Nothing happened.

They're blocking it!

He slipped as he ran forward again, jumping over the table and knocking the statue. The stone shattered as he landed, sprinting and preparing to volt over the balcony rail.

Axes swung down; Zidane slowed a few steps, waiting for the blades to hit the floor before skying over the crossed weapons.

He tried breathing again. Nothing. Goddammit.

He landed and rolled, dodging a flaming arrow.

Zidane sprinted towards the balcony rail, skying over and looking to his left. The eyes of a guard glared back at him, arrow raised in position.

Zidane held the vial in his mouth, flashing both blades of the knives before sending them to their targets.

They hit the necks, spraying blood out. Zidane continued to fall in the darkness, zooming past the wall.

They're making this too easy.

His shoes scraped against the castle, trying to slow down.

Shit shit shit—

He breathed out again, and this time he slowed down. Gliding against the wall, the guards above him following in teleportation. Waiting below.

Zidane withdrew the only gun he had left, a compact sniper.

If the descent worked...

He pulled the trigger, aiming for their chests. The bullets disappeared in ripples—a barrier.

Zidane pointed the gun at the space between his legs, breathing out to increase the bullet power by a hundred. He pulled the trigger, and catapulted himself away.

So, only certain spells are working?

He breathed out again, a few seconds before landing, his entire body tensing for the impact.

He landed softly, rolling and sprinting on. Skying over a pair of bushes. Clutching the vial to his chest with both hands, praying to whatever force was out there that they'd make it out of this alive. Arrows and shots of energy sped past, grazing his skin, his jacket.

He hoped Lance would be fast enough to catch up with him.


Submitted: December 04, 2019

© Copyright 2023 Meaghan Kalena. All rights reserved.


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