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Chapter 18: Maze of Illusions


‘Can I call on my mother again?’ Siva asked looking at the dark pool. The voice rumbled,

Yes. Yes, you may.

Siva smiled to himself and slashed the air thinking about his mother. From the crevice, his mother’s form rose. She was still the same. Black eyes and black hair. He asked slowly,

‘I want to ask you a simple question mother.’

‘Yes son?’

‘Mom, I never had asked this but tell me…who is my father?’ Siva asked. It was one question he had always dreaded. He watched as his mother’s spirit turned away. She said softly, her voice trembling,

‘Why are you asking son?’

‘Because I want to know.’ Siva said. His mother drifted quietly around and said slowly,

‘You are being distracted from your aim my son. Focus on the mission the Dark Lord has given not on this nonsense.’

‘Mother, this is not nonsense.’ Siva said.

‘This is nonsense my son.’

‘Tell me who my father is.’ Siva shouted.

A fissure opened on the Earth’s surface and his mother’s spirit vanished into it. Siva cursed and looked the pool. The Dark Lord merely whispered,

The woman was ashamed no doubt. Your father, Son of Death, is the Lord of Death. Hah, ha, ha... You can see how responsible the gods are. Your father little boy, is Lord Dellonde, The Lord of Underworld.

All Roy had done was run in the direction of Aila’s screams. He found a small cottage made of wood and straw. Who would build a house here? Aliens?

‘Aila?’ Roy asked. He received no answer. Quite foolishly he opened the door and walked in. Everything inside was dark except for a small candle. And old lady sat by with knitting materials and singing a song in some ancient language.

‘Excuse me?’ Roy said cautiously.

‘Who are you now?’ the old woman said looking at him sternly. Roy looked around and muttered,

‘I’m sorry. But I thought I heard my sister call my name.’

‘Oh you mean that brown haired girl? She’s inside.’ The old woman said standing up. Roy was about to ask where she was when the old woman suddenly kept growing taller. She reached about nine feet high and her teeth elongated into yellow fangs. Her skin became scaly and green and her fingers grew claws.

Roy gasped and the door bolted itself.

~Roy, keep thinking about something~ Jayce’s voice said.

~What do you want me to think when a monster is about to blow me off the surface of Terracolipse? ~

~All right then, think about all you know about monsters. What sort of monster is it anyway? ~

~I have absolutely no idea. It is hideous and scaly and looks like it’s about nine feet tall~

~I’ve got nothing. Make as much noise as you can maybe it will run away~

Roy didn’t think it really would run away. But he banged at the door anyway hoping it would open and he would breathe clean, pure air. But it would not budge. He decided to keep banging it anyway. The monster hissed and smoke issued forth from its mouth. Just then the door crashed and burst into flames. The cinders flying and smoking. Aila and Jayce leapt through the flames and they grinned at him.

Roy had never felt happier seeing his sister again. He almost hugged her but the monster was getting restless. It roared into the roof and started to stalk them slowly. Roy shouted,

‘What do we do?’

Jayce was merely looking at it. He grinned and snapped his fingers. Then poof! The monster simply vanished.

‘How did you do that?’ Aila asked.

‘It was not a monster. It was an illusion. And I am the master of cracking illusions. After all I am favored by the Mistress of Illusions right.’

‘Illusion…’ Roy muttered. ‘But Jayce, how did you find me?’

‘Tracked you using your brainwaves.’

‘That’s so cool.’ Aila said. ‘If it wasn’t for Jayce, I’d have died due to loneliness.’

‘But seriously, it isn’t always a good thing to be able to read others minds. Sometimes, I regret having these powers. Sometimes,’ Jayce paused looking at the sky, ‘I wish I was a regular human. I mean isn’t it because of these powers we have that we are facing all this Quest and stuff?’

‘I agree.’ Roy said, ‘Anyway we have to still find Kai and Rika. Let’s go.’

Jayce sat down on a rock again and closed his eyes. Aila had understood that this was to connect his thoughts to someone else namely Kai in this case. Roy and Aila sat down near Jayce.

They sat in silence for a long while. Finally Jayce snapped his eyes open. He said,

‘Kai is in danger. We have to hurry.’

And so, they ran as Jayce led the way. Aila could sense the trees moving and shifting in order to confuse them but she forced her eyes to remain on Jayce. What could have happened to Kai?

The first thing her eyes fell on was a golden rock. No not a rock. It was a wolf. An actual golden wolf. Not one. She spotted a whole crowd of eighty such wolves with metallic gold fur, grey eyes and real gold fangs. But why were they snarling and gnashing?

‘Kai!’ Roy shouted. And she saw the scene. Kai was trying to defend himself from the wolves. He spotted them and in his eyes she saw something that made her wonder if it was the brave Kai she knew. He looked absolutely scared.

‘Guys! A little help here?’

They rushed towards him but caught the attention of the wolves. The wolves snarled and lunged at them. One toppled over Aila. She felt a strange energy surge through her arms. She smacked it in the jaw and stood up. About nine wolves were surrounding her now.

They all seemed to be thinking along the lines: We’re hungry. You’re definitely our dinner.

‘I’m not your dinner.’ She muttered and brought out her sword. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Roy blasting columns of fire at the wolves injuring them for a small while. The wolves didn’t seem to lose their vigor but Roy was stooping with each blast. Kai was slashing his knives and Jayce using his sword.

A wolf leapt at her smacking her head taking her by surprise but she slashed the sword and shouted,

Get off me. If you dare to come near me, I’ll have to skewer you.’ The wolves hissed and took a few steps back even the ones attacking her friends.

One wolf stepped forward. He was obviously their leader. As a strange matter of fact it spoke to her. Not speak exactly more like she simply understood what he wanted to say by reading its eyes.

We apologize for the intrusion. But we were commanded by Louronde to attack this person. The wolf pointed its nose at Kai.

Louronde? As in Lord Louronde, God of the sun?’ Aila asked.

The wolf mutely nodded its head. It said,

We will leave you in peace now. Forgive our interruption.

The wolf turned around and snarled. Its companions scattered away. It turned one last time to look at Aila. It lowered its head and turned away into the woods.

‘The Princess of Shepyt? I don’t think so.’ Kiran said. ‘What is she like?’

‘Um she left our group very early and also another guy called Jayce Charade.’ Rivola said. Kiran turned surprised,

‘Jayce Charade left you? Mac! Did you hear that?’ she shouted across the table. Mac, who was apparently in deep conversation looked up and Rivola’s heart almost skipped a beat.

This guy was the most hideous person she’d ever seen. His face was covered with lumps and black marks. A scar covered his left cheek and his muscular arms had gashes and claw marks. She wondered with whom this guy had been fighting.

‘So what do I do? If he wants to die he’s free to.’

‘But Mac, he’s your brother!’ Kiran said.

‘No he’s not!’ Mac said, ‘He simply owns my name. Even Mom thinks he’s a freak.’ Mac looked away and melted back into his conversation.

‘Jayce Charade is a freak?’ Rivola asked.

‘I don’t know. But all I hope is,’ Kiran paused glancing worriedly at Rivola, ‘that he is still alive.’

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