Hellbound Saga Book 1: Albador

Chapters 3 & 4

Chapter 3

The forest flew past as Kyra and I ran as fast as we could back to the farm, as we got closer I began to smell the smoke and could hear the panicked screams of the horses, but I had yet to hear my mother scream again. Panicked as I was, every numerous possibility of what could of happened crossed my mind but not a single one seemed possible. It didn't take very long before we were close enough to see signs of the fire through the trees and the smoke started to surround us, then I could hear my mother pleading with somebody.

"Kyra wait." I said suddenly, something wasn't right, why was my mother pleading? "Let's creep up and see if we can figure out what is going on."

"Are you sure?" Kyra asked. "Your mother may need our help."

"Yeah, my father always told me that emotion overrules reason, we can't afford to make that mistake. If we go rushing out there and someone has her we may cause more harm then help, at least this way we can evaluate the situation and deem what the best option may be."

"Really? It sounds like your mother is hurt, don't you hear her pleading?"

"I do, but who is she pleading to? Someone is out there with her, I don't want to just run out and give them two more prizes."

"Your farm," Kyra remarked sarcastically, accepting defeat. We slowly crept closer to the edge of the forest and as we did I could start to see the wreckage of my farm. The barn was on fire, one of the horses laid dead outside but by the sounds of the screams the other one was trapped inside of the burning barn. The pig sty was ablaze and the cow pasture fence was destroyed, the cows nowhere to be seen, probably fled in fear. The house itself looked as if it had exploded, chunks of it lying everywhere. Most of the house was on fire but it seemed as if only the back wall still stood. The great elder apple tree was engulfed in flames, and beneath the blazing elder were three people.

My mother sat on her knees between the other two and it seemed as if it were to them she was pleading, with her seemed to be and electric blue creature that stood about three feet tall. It stood on two legs, had a short tail and long pointy ears, kind of like an elves just more pronounced. I couldn't be sure of its face but it seemed as if it had small, black, beady eyes, a short, pointy nose and a squashed face. The man with the blue creature was unmistakable, his enormous size and short cropped black hair was recognizable anywhere, It was Billum "The Bull" Vallis.

"What is The Bull doing here and why is he with an Imp?" Kyra asked.

"Shhh,” I whispered, "How do you know it's an Imp? I've never seen anything like it."

"My father described them to me, he said the only thing that seems to vary between them is their voices and color, otherwise they look exactly the same."

"Oh, weird, let's see if we can find out what they want."

Just then we heard my mother cry out again as the Bull struck her again. "Where is it!?" he yelled.

"I don't know. Please I don't know.." my mother pleaded, "Please just let me go."

"You lying bitch!" Billum yelled as he backhanded my mother even harder. "You know exactly where it is, he told you." My mother remained crumpled on the ground crying as the blue imp stepped forward.

"Sstop this Billum," said the imp, his voice surprisingly deep for his size. "We will get nowhere if we keep at thiss. Let'ss just take her back to him, he will know whatss to do."

"So, back to Zaiville then?" Billum asked

"Yess, we must report what happened and then I mussst move on. Once I get her to Zaiville, he can do the resst."

I looked at Kyra and I could tell she was thinking the same as me, If we didn't move now we would miss the chance to help my mother.

"The count of three,” I whisper to Kyra. " One, Two.." but before I could get to three there was a loud bang and my mother and her kidnappers vanished on the spot. The recursive damage caused the apple tree to snap in half, the top half falling to one side.

"What...what just happened?” Kyra asked as she walked out into the clearing surrounding the farm.

"I...I don't know, I'm guessing the imp had magic.” I replied. "What were they looking for?"

"Your guess is as good as mine."

"Any idea who the imp was?” I asked

"No, but by the context this has something to do with Zaiville."

"Way to go captain obvious," I replied sarcastically. "Do you think your father would know who the imp was?"

"Possibly, why, are we going after her?"

"Yah, but first we need information, let's search the area see if there is anything useful. After that we can head back and see your dad, he may have some information on the blue imp that may be useful. After that I say we keep to our original plan and head to Zaiville."

We searched the remains of the farmhouse and the barn, having now burned out, but our search didn't yield any results. All of the animals were dead and anything that may have been of use is now charred and destroyed. The great apple tree now just a charred stump in the middle of a massive pile of ash. There was carnage and rubble everywhere.

"Any luck?" Kyra asked as she came up to me.

"No, everything seems to be destroyed."

"Are you okay Cas? This is kind of nuts," Kyra asked, concern emanating from her emerald eyes. I had to admit this was the last thing I expected on my naming day, I'm just a normal farmer, why can't I just have a normal life. In my world that apparently is not possible though, it was time to take on fate head on, to hold nothing back. My father always told me to never dwell on a problem, dwelling on a problem causes worry, doubt and more problems. He told me instead of dwelling on the problem, dwell instead on how to solve it, in this instance that means going to Zaiville.

"I think you're going to want to grab your knives when we get to your house." I stated.

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

"I can't believe it, Rufus Babelash had your farm destroyed and your mother kidnapped, what is this world comin to." James stated in disbelief. It was about half an hour later and we were sitting around table in Kyra's den. We had just got done explaining all that had transpired so far to James.

"So do you have any idea who the blue imp is?" I asked James. He shook his head before responding, 

"No, I have only met one and it was a vibrant violet colored female named Sil. I have no Idea who this mysterious blue imp is but my guess is he is working for Babelash."

"That's what we figured, any idea what they were looking for?"

"No, if your father hid somethin he didn't tell me about it." James replied while shaking his head. I was a bit disappointed, I had hoped that James would of had some information for us, instead we were still in the dark.

"While we are on the topic of my father," I replied, causing Kyra to sit forward in her chair and give me one of her famous stares. "I have come to believe that my mother has been hiding information from me about his disappearance, and I think you know something as well, I want the truth now, I'm tired of being lied to by everybody."

James looked me in the eyes long and hard before responding but he seemed to be having difficulty keeping contact. "All I know is that your father vanished while on a mission on Mathion ten years ago. One of his companions, Rob I think, came to inform your mother."

"So his body was never found?"

"No," James replied. At this point he was staring down at the table. 

"James you know you have always been a horrible liar, my mother always said so. It is obvious that you are still hiding something, what is it?"

James alternated between looking at Kyra, the table and me for a minute before looking back at the table and said "Your mom and your dad's companions think he is still alive somewhere, someone's prisoner, they just have no idea where. As your mother tells me the demon hunters have been searchin endlessly for him but have still come up with nothin. Now it seems possible that Babelash has him, or knows who does."

My father was still alive, it was wonderful to finally hear someone confirm it for me. "I guess it's safe to bet that whoever has my father now has my mother as well, we just need to figure out who and how to rescue them."

"So what's next?" Kyra asked

"Next we go to Zaiville, we will poke around a bit and see what we can find out. If we are lucky my parents will be there, if not hopefully we will find out where they are." I replied.

"Yah, but how are we going to find out if they are there?” Kyra asked

"You can't take people like Vincent and Anna prisoner and no one notice." James stated. "Someone in the city had to of witnessed them being taken in, and if I learned one thing about cities it's that gossip spreads like wildfire."

"Do you think Babelash has them James?" I asked as I paced around the table. 

"I don't think so," James replied. "Babelash is bold don't get me wrong, but I don't think he has the balls to pull this without someone backin him. The real question that worries me is what is Babelash's endgame? I don't believe this gamin resort crap, someone put Babelash up to this an' I bet my ass this has somethin to do with your dad."

I paced around the table for a bit while I pondered everything James had told me so far. My father's last mission seemed to tie in to the destruction of the hunter's somehow but I lacked enough information to piece it all together. Then there was Babelash and my mother, Babelash searching for something that is probably immensely powerful, and my mother lying and keeping secrets from me. What was I to do?

"Cas, can you sit down?" Kyra asked suddenly, "You're kind of scaring me pacing around like that." At this point I realized that I had been pacing around deep in thought for almost a quarter of an hour. 

"Sorry Kyra, I'm just worried." I replied as I took a seat. "Well Kyra you ready to go? We have a lot of land to cover and sunlight wasting away."

"Yah, we should get going." Kyra replied getting up from the table. "Hey kids do me a favor and camp at the edge of the forest tonight if you make it that far." James stated as he got up from the table to see us out. Adori Pass can be dangerous during the day but it's deadly at night."

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

"Are you alright Cas?" Kyra asked me breaking the silence that has built up for quite a while. We have been walking for about three hours and the sun was just starting to set. While we occasionally chitchatted for the most part we traveled in silence, lost deep in my thoughts about the events of the day.

"Yeah, for the most part," I replied as I shifted my pack, "I just can't stop thinking about it, what is the end game, what do they intend to achieve? I can understand the kidnapping of my father, he more than likely had more secrets than a king has gold. My mother on the other hand I don't understand the motive, She wasn't a demon hunter or anyone else of importance, and I'm pretty sure she has no connection to the Drao, so what's the point?"

"Well.... maybe in an attempt to elicit cooperation from your father. He may know something and torture isn't working." Kyra replied thoughtfully as she stepped around a fallen stump.

"After all this time? It's been almost ten years, unless they somehow just came up with some new information and they can't get the truth out of him but that still doesn't make sense. If they are willing to kidnap my mother, who ever they are, then why didn't they do that years ago? Makes more sense to get her then to elicit cooperation instead of waiting ten years. Ten years is a long time to be frustrated over and over by a prisoner who won't talk, anybody else would have done something overly dramatic long before now. Nothing seems to make sense, none of the facts seem to add up."

"Well I'm sure we will gather more information once we get to Zaiville, I'm sure Petey will be able to tell us something." Kyra replied

"I sure hope so." I replied, "I don't know how much more guessing I can do, my brain is starting to hurt thinking about this so much. I'm tired of being stuck in the dark."

"I understand Cas, I hope we can get to the bottom of this soon too. Speaking of being stuck in the dark, would you like to try and make camp before it gets any darker?"

"Sure," I replied still stuck in my own thought's. "I'll scout the surrounding area while you set up camp."

"Alright Cas," Kyra replied stopping and giving that piercing gaze of hers. "Be careful and watch out for yourself, Holler if you run into anything."

I turned my back and walked away from Kyra prepping camp still lost in my own thoughts. I wandered the woods around our makeshift camp all the while lost in my own thoughts and looking for dry firewood. At first I just stomped around looking for dry wood until I saw a pin prick of light off in the distance. After hanging out with Kyra for so long my curiosity wouldn't be sated until I investigated the source. As I crept closer I could see that it was a small campfire with a man sleeping beside it. The man looked to be in his mid forties to early fifties with black hair with a few gray stripes through it. He had a little stubble on his chin and jaw. Beside him on the ground laid two swords. He seemed travel worn and a bit tattered. He wore what seemed to be black traveling garb and a red traveling cloak that was stained so bad that it seemed to be brown. To me he seemed exhausted enough to sleep for the next week or so, it also looked like he could use a feast or two.

As I crept closer to the edge of the clearing of where the mystery man was sleeping I got as quiet as possible to get a better look at the man and to better evaluate my surroundings. As I looked at the two swords lying on the ground and I debated on whether or not to steal one. Now, it's not like I go around stealing all the time but I figured I needed to buy a sword anyways, so why not just take one of these swords and save the gold for other things we need. To be honest, it was not an easy decision but in the end I decided to steal one of them anyway. Of the two swords one of them was plain and a bit used and the other was a bit ornate and decorative, I decided it was best to steal the more plain one as I figured the decorative one might have personal value. I was worried about him waking up but as we all learn eventually, passion tends to rule reason, as I have learned too many times with Kyra. I quietly crept closer to the sleeping man and carefully crouched down to grab the plain sword, holding my breath trying to not make a sound. I managed to quietly lift the sword off the ground and started to turn back the way I came hoping to slowly creep my way back to Kyra when I heard a deep brisk voice.

"What do you think you are doing?" the stranger stated as he quickly rolled into the standing position while grabbing the other sword.

"I dddon't want any trouble," I stammered to the stranger, "I just need this sword."

"You may not want trouble but you have definitely found it." The stranger stated staring me down, "Give back the sword and I'll let you be on your way, refuse and I'll take the sword off of your dead body."

I don't know why I just didn't give back the sword but plain impulse caused me to draw the sword. The sword was a plain handle and a half steel bastard sword with a basic cross guard. Holding the stained, black leather wrapped hilt it seemed to fit perfectly in my hands, an extension of my body. I observed the stranger trying to best decide how to proceed and could tell by his stance that he was an expert swordsman and that I was going to be hard-pressed to escape, my best bet was to make enough noise to attract Kyra's attention before he has a chance to kill me. I dived at the stranger while swinging the sword over my head yelling "Eyyyyhhhaaaaa" as loud as I could. The stranger side stepped my attack as if it was nothing. My momentum carried me past the stranger and farther than I originally intended, I quickly spun around afraid the stranger would attack my exposed back but when I turned he was just standing there chuckling to himself.

"I've seen children with more skill with a sword than you, you must be a great fool if you believe that you can beat me." The stranger said as he raised his sword. I rushed at him a second time, this time swinging at his leg, putting all my strength behind it. He parried my attack as if it was nothing, "You're wasting too much energy fighting like you are, a berserker does not last long in a battle and always carries his share of scars, soon you shall tire and I will have defeated you without actually doing anything."

This intensified my anger toward the stranger so I tried slashing at his chest repeatedly but each time I tried he blocked my attack effortlessly and then finally he bashed me in the face with the cross guard of his sword and then punched me in the chest knocking the wind out of me and pushing me back a few feet.

"Enough of these games," the stranger stated as he took a step closer. "I think it's time I have the sword back, goodbye boy." He said raising the sword over his head, I knew that I was about to die so I closed my eyes and waited for the inevitable, knowing what was coming time seemed to slow down, prolonging the agony of my defeat. Just as I gave into my fate I heard a commotion off the side of the clearing.

"Nooooo!" Kyra yelled as she came flying through the air landing on the stranger causing him to crumple up under her. She quickly disentangled herself from the stranger and drew one of her knives, crouching between the strong and I. "You will leave Cas alone, or you will deal with me!" Kyra stated.

The stranger stood frozen where he was looking perplexed, "Cas?? As in Casius, Vincent's son?"

*†*****†*****†*****‡*****†*****†*****†*

Chapter 4

I restrained Kyra as she went to dive at the stranger again.

"Who are you and how do you know my father?" I demanded immensely confused, I didn't recognize the stranger.

"I'll take it you are Vincent's son then," he said as he sheathed his sword, "You may not remember me, you were quite young last I saw you. My name is Roboris but my friends call me Bors or Boris, I am a demon hunter and one of your father's former companions and friend."

It hit me like a brick wall, I did know him. I remember him being with my father when he would come home from a hunt, or sitting there watching my father and I sparring. I also remembered that James said that it was Rob who reported my father's fate to my mother, this must have been who he was talking about. If I remember correctly him and my father grew up together on Bazior and joined the Demon Hunters at the same time.

"I remember you now, what are you doing here?" I asked pointing the sword at him.

"Actually, I was on my way to see your mother and you, I knew today was your naming day so I wanted to bring you a gift. I've also been hearing some disturbing rumors about recent events on Albador so I figured it was best to come look into it." He replied while he crouched down and started rummaging through his pack eventually pulling out what looked to be a long strip of leather ago about an inch wide. "I guess you can keep the sword, it's meant for you anyways." He said handing me the strip of leather, "Here, this is a belt and basic leather sheath for the sword. Here let me show you how to put it on." He stated in response to my blank look when he handed it to me.

"What are you doing out here anyways? It's a little late to be playing in the woods."

"It's a long story but my mother has been kidnapped and we're on our way to Zaiville to find out what we can." I replied as he finished tying the sword belt on. It was a little heavy but it fit comfortably on my hip.

"There. How was Anna kidnapped? Do you know who took her?" He asked taking a step back to examine his handiwork.

"Yeah, we know who took her but I think we should get comfortable before I start telling you, it's a long story."

"Our camps set up not to far away," Kyra said suddenly scaring the bejesus out of me because I forgot she was there. " The clearing is a little bit larger and I have a fire started."

"Sounds good to me," said Boris as he turned to snuff out his fire and grab his bedroll and pack.

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

"So, explain it to me from the beginning, don't leave anything out."

We arrived back at our camp and Kyra started making some vegetable soup over the fire in a small pot that she brought, Boris set up his bed roll and sat down. After that he just sat there smoking a pipe while watching me through the fire. When the soup was finished we all ate and Kyra washed the dishes in the river, after that Boris started talking.

"Well I guess it started when we were headed back home from fixing the bridge, Kyra thought she smelled smoke and then we heard my mother screaming and pleading with someone. When we got to the edge of the forest I could tell that the house looked blown apart and I could hear the horses screaming."

"Why didn't you rush in to help your mother?" Boris asked

"Cas said it would do more harm then good to rush headlong in blindly." Kyra replied while laying on her bedroll watching the fire.

"My dad always told to evaluate my surroundings and be sure of what's going on before even contemplating a move forward, none the less my mother was pleading with someone which meant she wasn't alone. If we had just rushed headlong in, then her attacker would have gained two new toys." I explained

"Good, you're not an idiot, go on." Boris stated with a slight smirk that threw in sharp relief a scar over his left eye.

"As we crept up to the edge of the forest, as I said earlier, the house looked like it exploded and the barn was on fire. There were slaughtered animals everywhere and the great apple tree was on fire, on the ground was my mother who was on her knees pleading with Billum Vallis and what seemed to be a blue imp. They were demanding the location of something, they claimed that they knew that 'he' told her where it was hidden. She kept telling them that she had no idea what they were talking about, so the imp said that they were going to take her back to Zaiville and then just vanished with a loud cracking sound that caused the tree to snap in half." I stated while staring absently at the stars.

"Imps can do that, vanish in one place and appear in another, but they're limited to a few hundred miles at a time. By the sound of it that would be Azu, I've never met him myself but I've heard that he is quite a bit crazy." Boris stated while repacking his pipe.

"Who does he work for? He has to owe allegiance to someone." Kyra asked.

"I'm not quite sure, most of the time he goes wherever he can cause the most trouble and discord. How you're talking though it does seem as if he's working under someone else direction, the question is who. I'm sure that he's working with Babelash but I don't think he's working for him, which is worse because there is no clues as to their endgame. And then there is the question of who has the power to command both Azu and Babelash."

"Mortis..." I stated still watching the stars

"Cas..... I thought that myself for awhile after he surfaced but now I'm ninety percent sure that Mortis doesn't have your mother or father." Boris stated somberly. "I figure by now you know that we never found your father's body, your mother should have told you by now."

"No, but I found out today on my own, so do you have any idea what happened to my father or where he may possibly be?"

"Figures, leave it to Anna to not tell you," Boris sighed. "I was with your father when he went on his last hunt, it was nine years ago about mid-fall. We received reports back at Karduim that there was a necromancer plaguing the southern half of Mathion so your father and I were chosen to go deal with it but the reports we received understated the necromancer's power and we were woefully unprepared."

"What's Karduim?" Kyra asked

"It was the hunters base of operations." I replied.

"Oh."

"Well what happened then?" I asked Boris.

"We managed to surprise him as he seemed to be preparing some spell but as I went to attack him he caught me off guard with a hung spell of some sort, the last thing I saw your father was running him through and then I collapsed. When I woke it was hours later and while the necromancer's body was still there, there was no sign of your father or any tracks. I've searched all over the world since and have yet to find any sign of him."

"What's a hung spell? I asked, I remember my father mentioning it a few times but I didn't know what it meant.

"A sorcerer has the ability to per-structure some basic spells but leave out one key piece of it causing the spell to hang suspended until they add the last piece to cast the spell. That way we can cast some spells in an instant instead of having to structure it on the spot. If we couldn't hang spells we would be useless in battle due to some spells can take quite a while to structure. I currently have a basic array of spells hung, mostly combat and healing spells."

"Wait, you're a sorcerer?" Kyra asked.

"All demon hunter's must be sorcerers, otherwise they wouldn't be able to deal with half of the beasts that do. Magic gives them the edge that they need." I explained

"True but while we have use of magic we must always remain vigilant because some of the creatures that go bump in the night can use magic as well, imps for instance don't structure their spells but use their magic through instinct." Boris stated

"What other creatures can use magic?" I asked

"Actually quite a lot, there are the imps which as I explained earlier use their magic through instinct and will and can be quite devious. There are witches who are like sorcerers and sorceresses but gain the influence of their magic from the underworld like necromancers but can't summon spirits or demons. Then there numerous creatures that have some sort of magic mostly for self defense. And then there are wizards who use their magic in a manner like imps but I'm unsure due to the fact that there hasn't been a wizard in over a thousand years, not since the old war."

"What happened to them?" I asked

"As I understand they were all killed off by the sorcerers of the time, I believe that the sorcerers of then were jealous of how easily the wizards could use their magic and felt frightened by them because wizards didn't always understand what they were doing with their magic and it sometimes had undesired effects."

"Well I guess we won't have to worry about any of them, so what do we do now?" Kyra asked.

"Keep to our original plan, head to Zaiville and see what we can find out." I replied.

"Sound like a sturdy plan just keep in mind your mother isn't the only one that has gone missing from Albador over the last few months. From what my sources tell me that a few people that have been outspoken about Babelash's ruthlessness and lack of concern for those 'lesser' then him have vanished without a trace, the same goes for Fensteir. I'm not sure about the Elven fort to the east as they tend to not communicate with outsiders so watch where you stick your nose, we don't know who may report to Babelash."

"We? So I guess it's safe to assume that you plan on joining us?" I asked

"You assume correctly, I at least owe it to your father to look after you and it's obvious that you haven't thought your plan through all the way. How did you plan on getting past the shadows and the weights without a sword or weapon of some sort?"

"I have a dagger and some throwing knives." Kyra stated, "so we're not completely defenseless, this isn't the first time me and Cas have gotten into shit."

"You may have been in shit before but nothing like this, one wrong move and you'll find yourself dead or worse. Let's get some rest, we still got quite a ways to go and we should probably head out at first light."

"Sounds peachy to me," Kyra replied rolling over on her bed roll to get more comfortable. "Nighty night Cas."

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

It was the next morning and as Boris said we all got up at first light, Kyra quite reluctantly, packed up and started on our way. The morning dew and grogginess made the journey slow going at first but after a while we started making some good head way. After two hours of trudging through the forest we finally got close to the edge of the forest and could start to see the Adori Pass through the trees.

At this point I realized that I haven't exactly explained what the Adori Pass actually is. The Rainbow Mountain's surround Zaiville on three sides, only in the east is it open, but in the southern side there is a pass that was carved through the mountain thousands of years ago. In the center of the pass is a long destroyed city that was carved into the mountainside itself. My father once I told me the story of the city, it was named Adori and was a training place for ancient wizards and was one of their last strongholds in the great war a thousand years ago. Now, it's just rubble and the skeletons of long destroyed strongholds and building.

Kyra and I once tried to explore the ruins but soon found out the deeper ruins were infested with weights, or dead people who have been brought back by dark magic and can only die by fire or decapitation. There were also some sort of shadow creatures that at first seems to be ordinary shadows until they start to move around, we saw one pass over a rat and the rat dropped dead instantly causing us to immediately turn and flee. After that we decided to just stick to the main path, the weight’s avoid the sunlight and you can see the shadows, luckily neither move very fast.

"We need to talk before we go any further," Boris said stopping us in our tracks. "When I last passed through the weight’s had come a lot closer to the main path. It would seem as if something is emboldening them to ignore their aversion to sunlight so we need to keep our wits about us. As long as we keep our eyes peeled and be as careful as possible we should be fine. If we come up against any weights aim for the head, decapitation is your best bet. If we come up against shadows, run, because you have no way of fighting them. When we get through the pass I'm going to show you how to properly use that sword Cas."

"It's Casius," I replied. "You want to lead the way?" I asked directing the way.

Boris ignored me and started walking while drawing his sword, I followed suit and in the corner of my eye I could see Kyra draw her dagger. As we crossed the threshold of the forest I could see the towering mountains to either side, it amazed me as it always did how tall they were, it's hard to imagine something so large even though I could always see them in the distance. The first quarter hour we progressed at a pretty decent pace but after a while I started to feel trapped, as if I was stuck in a pit. The imposing mountain sides always made me feel tiny. It took us an hour to start to see signs of the ruins, and then we came up on the old watch house.

"Beyond this point we have to be vigilant, listen for any sound and keep your eyes peeled for anything that may move. Try to be as quiet as you can." Boris whispered before we slowly started creeping forward. As we crept past the watch house we could start to see the skeletal remains of a few building close to the main road, the more intact buildings were farther back into the pass but those were shrouded in darkness. We managed to creep along in this manner for about a half hour or so without much of a problem, but at one point I thought I saw something and I looked back to find out that there were a few weights following us at a distance.

"Uh...... Boris, we're being followed." I whispered.

"I've already noticed, just keep going as we are and try to not make any sudden moves, they seem to be keeping their distance for now so maybe we'll get lucky and they'll leave us alone. We're about a third of the way through so let's just keep our heads." Boris replied in his deep whisper.

I saw a shadow flit across a building every now and then, but they never came close to us, the weights on the other hand seemed to be edging closer by the minute, some were even directly in sunlight as if it didn't bother them. At this point I could see half a dozen weights behind use but the city was getting deeper on each side leading to more potential followers. Even though we were being followed by undead wizards who want to rip our flesh off, I couldn't help but appreciate where I was standing. In this very location thousands of years ago ancient wizards were trained, lived, and researched everything to do with the world. It was all destroyed now, long ago, obliterated off the face of the earth, a reminder that nothing lasts forever. Looking around at the large skeletal remains around me it made me wish I could see this place in its hay day, people and shops bustling all around, noise all around instead of the crushing darkness that there was currently.

At this point we were about halfway through and were starting to come up on some bigger buildings that were still some what still in tacked, shadows were swarming all over them. At this point I could start to smell the weights and now the ones behind us were close enough that I could start to see the decaying flesh on their faces, eyeballs missing, some missing other limbs. At this point I started to get worried, I could see over a dozen of them on all sides now, and Kyra was following close behind me.

"Boris, don't you think we should do something, they're getting pretty close now." I urgently whispered.

"We're too exposed right now, we're out in the open, and their on three out of four sides. Our best bet is to keep moving and hope to outrun them." Boris replied.

Now, the building was getting larger and more grand, but the shadows were getting deeper and we could see where the shadow fey were, except for the one's on the building's closest to the road. As we came up to what seemed to be the main square of the old town we found our path blocked by a half dozen weights. We stopped in our tracks and looked around, there had to be at least two dozen weight’s not including the six blocking our way out. At that point I heard a high pitched scream not far away and realized Kyra was no longer right behind me.

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Hellbound Saga Book 1: Albador
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