Chapter Twenty Five
Michael’s breaths were very heavy; every time he inhaled, it felt as though his lungs would explode. He was in great pain, but he knew he would not die. Keara had not dealt a lethal blow. He would survive. He just hoped that his brothers would still be alive. With some effort, he stood up. Clenching his wound; looking at his surroundings and searching for his brothers. One by one, they all awoke to the pain of their injuries.
Jonathan looked around, ‘Where are we?’
‘Deep within the forest.’ Michael answered.
‘How did we get here?’ Alexander wanted to know.
‘I’m not sure.’ Michael said, ‘There’s a secluded part just up the stream. I suggest we stay there while we heal.’
They helped each other to stop the bleeding, at least momentarily, and get bandaged. They mounted their horses and headed up the stream.
Michael was standing in the water, allowing the water to slither over his body and heal all his injuries. Alexander, Jonathan and Joseph were sitting between the trees near the water. The plants around them, started growing; slithering over their bodies, omitting cells which allowed their wounds to heal.
‘We were lucky.’ Joseph started.
‘Why do you say that?’ Michael asked.
‘We’re all alive. It seems Keara was not as precise as I thought. She just missed my heart.’ Joseph stated.
‘Keara didn’t miss, and she didn’t intend to kill us.’ Michael started, ‘If she did, we would most certainly be dead.’
‘What are you saying?’ Joseph wanted to know.
‘Keara’s still in there somewhere. She might be under Sharzak’s control, but a part of her is still fighting back.’ Michael said, ‘You of all people should be able to believe that, Joseph. You’ve always been the one who had the most faith in her. You two were always so close; perhaps because you two are the youngest. But don’t lose faith in her now. I think it would be the hardest for her to take that from you.’
Joseph nodded his head.
Michael’s injuries had healed. He stepped out the water as it slithered from his body. He got dressed, then sitting down next to Joseph, put his hand on his shoulder and said, ‘We’ll get her back.’
‘I know.’ Joseph nodded again.
‘How do you think we got here?’ Alexander asked.
Michael fell silent for a moment, ‘I think Keara might have brought us here.’
‘What?’ Alexander didn’t believe him.
‘Think about it.’ Michael started, ‘She didn’t kill any of us; she deliberately missed our vital organs. She wasn’t gonna leave us there to be killed by the Shadows. Then she would’ve done it herself.’
‘I guess that’s true.’ Alexander agreed.
Everyone was silent, not sure what to say.
‘How is it that she’s alive?’ Jonathan asked.
‘I don’t know; maybe Sharzak performed a resurrection ritual.’ Michael started, ‘I mean, what use is Crucis Salerra to him dead?’
‘That would explain why Keara attacked us.’ Alexander said, ‘Sharzak is probably controlling her with his own life-force.’
‘At least now we know Keara hasn’t completely lost her mind.’ Jonathan said.
‘We have to find a way to help her.’ Joseph started, ‘There can’t be anything worse than being a prisoner in your own mind.’