On the Evil Scale: Keeper of La Tecla (The Key) Book Two

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๐’ž๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐“…๐“‰๐‘’๐“‡ ๐Ÿค๐Ÿข

๐‘…emoving his axe, the creature laid bleeding out, taking in its last few breaths. It again looked at me, trying to plead for a motherโ€™s mercy, but its eyes closed and breathing ceased. I turned to the nearest person behind me, who happened to be Anthony, burying my face in his chest. He held me in his arms comfortably while I wept. Erik gazed across the cavern watching as I turned to Anthony, instead of him but didnโ€™t take a moment to realize it had no meaning. During the scuffle between Leonus and I, he didnโ€™t step in so what was I supposed to do? Leonus stood there leering down at the beast, then turned his back, cleaning the blood from his blade with a piece of torn fabric from his jacket. Not noticing Erikโ€™s presence he gloated,

โ€œSorry if I interrupted your Beauty and the Beast moment. Itโ€™s not like you couldโ€™ve taken it home with you.โ€ and being one of those that kept trophies of their kills, Leonus knelt down.

I watched as he gloated, raising the horn against the dim light to examine it.

โ€œYou son-of-a-b*tch!โ€ I pulled away from Anthony pushing Leonus back, โ€œJust because the creature was dyingโ€ฆโ€ I daringly pushed him again, โ€œdidnโ€™t give you the right to treat it like some goddamn trophy kill! And if I could...โ€ I pushed my luck shoving his bulk a third time; hearing a grunt in agitation and rage, โ€œif I could control that creature, the first thing I would have had it doโ€ฆwas have it shove that horn so far up your goddamn a** youโ€™d be impaled!โ€

Before I or anyone could react; not even Abraxas and Zanz, Leonus raised his axe, pressing the curve between the blade against my throat. Whichever way I turned my head, the blade edges could slit my petite throat.

โ€œIโ€ฆI have had ENOUGH of youโ€ฆand your bloody little tantrums!โ€ Leonus growled, โ€œWhen all of this is over and we get back to Ravenstone, you and I are going to settle this honorably!โ€

โ€œHonorably!?โ€ Erik protested taking a step forward.

โ€œAh-ah, boyโ€ฆone more step and I slit her throat.โ€ Leonus warned, pressing the curve firmly against my skin.

I mocked the situation and Leonusโ€™ego, chuckling in place,

โ€œYou have no honor, Leonus Lancaster! That creature thereโ€ฆโ€ my eyes gazed down at its corpse, โ€œhad more honor protecting its kind, than youโ€™ll ever have in a lifetime!โ€ I continued to chuckle, โ€œYou hate me!? Thatโ€™s fine because the feeling is very mutual!โ€ and focusing on the hilt of his axe, it suddenly burned the palm of his hand. The weapon fell to the ground creating a loud clunk as the metal made contact with the stone. He attempted to reach for it with the other hand but I released a blast of fiery energy toward the weapon. In a low voice I muttered, โ€œYouโ€™re not worthy of that weapon! Not anymore.โ€ and focusing on the weapon, it began melting in place and regardless of the fatigue I felt and the energy being drained, I wouldnโ€™t stop until his prized weapon was destroyed and nothing more than melted metal ore at his feet. I succeeded, feeling extremely tired as I leaned against Anthony for support.

โ€œWhat have you done, you f*cking little b*tch!?โ€ Leonus screamed as he knelt to the ground, โ€œThat was mine!โ€

โ€œYou want to settle this?โ€ I moaned, โ€œI accept that challenge.โ€

โ€œIโ€™ll destroy you!โ€ Leonus jumped to his feet and raising his right hand where his claws extended he prepared to swipe the young womanโ€™s throat where she stood but before he could lower his hand, another grabbed his wrist firmly; claws of their own extending longer. Raising his gaze, there stood Derek ,โ€Let go of me!โ€ Leonus ordered.

โ€œThatโ€™s enough!โ€ Derek shouted, โ€œLook around!โ€ he gestured at the dead surrounding us, โ€œThere has been enough bloodshed and killing done here today, so no more! NO MORE! Leonus, sheโ€™s just a girl and speaking of whichโ€ฆโ€ he turned to me, โ€œget out of here and get that leg looked at!โ€

โ€œYza, heโ€™s right.โ€ Nick stepped forward, โ€œletโ€™s get you out of here, yeah?โ€ he placed his hand on my shoulder but pulled away as his hand blistered, โ€œAnd if I were you, Lycynian...Iโ€™d retract your claws before thereโ€™s more bloodshed from your carcass being strewn all over!โ€

I leered at Leonus, staring into his blue eyes filled with hate; his eyes catching a glimpse of a flickering flame. He pulled his hand away from Derekโ€™s grip with great disappointment then turned his back, gazing down at the Boar-wolf. The level of hate I felt for that man became overwhelming as my Aura made its presence known. Erik stepped forward, wanting to offer his comfort but observing the supernatural occurrence of myself, Zanz and Abraxas; all connected by emotions, he held back his decision and actions. Leonus glanced around, studying the faces of his current company.

โ€œOh, come on...โ€ Leonus objected, โ€œall of you feel sorry for the monster that kidnapped your sister, Jonathan!? Take a good look around! Your wounds werenโ€™t given to you by fluffy little rabbits or cute kittens! These beasts...โ€ he gestured around the cavern at all the carcasses, โ€œwouldโ€™ve killed us all, so the rest of you...can all go f*ck yourselves!โ€ he pushed past Derekโ€™s shoulder. Walking ahead leading the way following the glowsticks, he noticed Nathan holding his right hand up to his left arm with an expression of discomfort. โ€œWhatโ€™s wrong with your arm, boy?โ€ he asked.

โ€œJust got a scratch.โ€ Nathan replied, โ€œIโ€™ll wrap it when we get out and donโ€™t call me boy...man!โ€ he released a moan then strolled on ahead in fast strides.

Erik and Anthony limped alongside me when Erik spoke softly,

โ€œHowโ€™s your leg?โ€

โ€œItโ€™s...fine.โ€ I complained then remembered my training from Shung-Lee in Ireland, learning to block out pain; proving very effective at the moment.

โ€œFine my a**, little Yzavela.โ€ Anthony offered.

โ€œI said Iโ€™m fine!โ€ I snapped not wanting to be the focus of anyoneโ€™s attention.

Making it to the cellar, the rope hung limply and one-by-one, we climbed out but as I stood there wanting to just release my anger, I heard Zanz release low growls as he stared at the tunnel behind us. I called him over then pushed his rear up the stairs while Abraxas flew up and out in a swift flap of his wings.

During the battle against the Boar-wolves and their leader, the women who huddled together down the center tunnel, observed EVERYTHING! Cautiously crawling from the tunnel looking around, they sniffed the air, taking notice their invaderโ€™s scents were gone. Each of the women clung to their mates; grieving over them for as bad and deformed as they were, they loved too. The leaderโ€™s mate; a tall muscular woman, walked over and knelt beside the leaderโ€™s head. The other women scampered toward her, offering their comfort in a crazed embrace. She grunted as she pushed them away, standing to her feet. Leering down at whatโ€™s left of her clan, she released a string of grunts and moans, while pointing toward the single tunnel behind them. Two clear words escaped from her lips in a deep low rasp,

โ€œLeaderโ€ฆvengeanceโ€ฆโ€ and continuing to stare, her eyes filled with revenge as she marched forward; kicking glow sticks into the pit. She took it upon herself to seek justice. They followed the tunnelsโ€™ length until coming across the cellar; rope hanging from above. The woman ran over, cutting a length long enough to bound around someoneโ€™s wrists and ankles. Eyes glancing upward, she shielded them but caught the glimpse of someoneโ€™s petite figure.

Standing near the entrance stumbling to keep our balance, Erik ran over searching through the bags for the first aid kits. Everyone else sat on the snow covered ground taking in the fresh clean air with their eyes closed; some cleaning off their faces with bottled water. Nathan of course smoked one of his much wanted cigarettes as he sat there holding onto his arm. Zanz and Abraxas remained beside me, trying to comfort me, knowing I was injured. Abraxas perched himself on my shoulder, snuggling against my chin, while Zanz laid at my feet.

I groaned feeling the sharp pains racing up and down my leg. Having the need to sit, I began crouching in a seated position but fell the rest of the way. Everyone but Leonus and Nathan showed or offered their concern. I appreciated it but felt confined and under pressure. Crushing snow while shifting in place or melting it away, I grabbed handfuls swiftly rubbing it on the wound; the cold temperature numbing the pain. Sighing in spurts of relief I leaned my head back, when Zanz grew restless; whimpering and pacing. I tried calming his anxious behavior when I suddenly heard rustling and creaking coming from the cellar below. Turning around and cautiously crawling toward the opening, I peeked inside seeing nothing but a dark hole when two hands roughly grabbed onto my forearms. It all happened so fast; one moment I was above ground and then the next, I laid on the stone ground. The air was knocked from my lungs as I laid there gasping for breath. I heard Zanz barking before hands grabbed at my body.

Pinning me to the ground was one of the women from the cavern sitting on me, holding my arms down with incredible strength, preventing me from fighting back. I was too weak to focus my Aura so I was defenseless. She quickly and roughly tied my hands together. Unfortunately I didnโ€™t have the appropriate light to see her face but I could tell from her strength and weight, she must have been one of the tallest women. After grunting, she jumped off me sweeping me from the ground; throwing me over her shoulder as if I weighed nothing, carrying me across the pit, back toward their lair. I released a loud scream that echoed.

Thinking maybe it may have been another insect, everyone noticed the scream was more intense and terrifying. Anthony glanced up watching as Zanz and Abraxas reentered the cellar below, making him realize something was wrong. Everything happened so fast that by the time Nick and Caleb teleported inside, I was gone. Once they appeared, their eyes searched with their Wraith vision, seeing nothing except signs of a struggle along the dirt below their feet, until once again, my screams echoed through the underground tunnels. Abraxas and Zanz ran ahead, following my scent. Erik and Jon immediately appeared moments after.

Derek and Anthony (though with an injured leg), without a second thought, also returned underground with weapons in hand. Leonus stood disgruntled, feeling the loss of his axe while as for Nathan, he rolled his eyes, flicking his cigarette away. It burnt out once hitting the snow surface. He huffed as he reached for his sword. Standing to his feet, he mocked as he stood alongside Leonus; playing with his swordโ€™s weight,

โ€œSoโ€ฆshall we rescue the bloody b*tch in distress, or let her rot in the ground!?โ€

โ€œTempting, but no...sheโ€™s mine to destroy after all.โ€ Leonus groaned.

โ€œWhat the hell are you waiting for!?โ€ Thomas raged, shuffling toward the entrance.

Leonus and Nathan glared at the Italian who felt helpless that he couldnโ€™t join. He removed his radio-phone from his pocket as he sat on one of the snowmobiles, sending word to the guards on the wall that help was needed and less than seconds after the call ended, figures suddenly appeared. Justin (Nick and and Calebโ€™s friend and Maker) scampered toward the Italian rushing the words from his lips,

โ€œThomas, mate...are you alright? Whatโ€™s happened? Did you find Lucy?โ€

โ€œYes, sheโ€™s safe with Sarah at the hospital.โ€ Thomas answered.

โ€œAnd the others?โ€ he worried for his friends.

โ€œTheyโ€ฆโ€ Thomas paused then explained the events taking place.

โ€œWhat!?โ€ Justin couldnโ€™t believe it as he paced then turned to four other guards, โ€œStand around the hole and when they come out, get them out of here, do you understand?โ€

The other guards nodded then scampered the hole that greeted them with an unsettling feeling.

I was thrown into a cavern onto the hard stone floor that crunched beneath my body. I moaned as I shifted when I began hearing voices grow closer. Pushing myself into a kneeling position I shouted out in a raspy breathy tone; eyes seeing nothing but darkness,

โ€œHelloโ€ฆIโ€™m here! Iโ€™m here!โ€ and fearing the dark, I held out my hands gathering enough energy to create a ball of fire that hovered, before allowing me to somewhat see what laid around me.

I felt around the ground when something slimy moved away from my touch. Knowing exactly what it was, I screamed which again echoed throughout the caverns but my screams quickly turned into low grunts and groans as hands tugged at me in the darkness. The hands continued their rough grabs and now, here in this moment, I knew what poor little Lucy must have gone through. Feeling my rage boil to the surface, I screamed once more releasing my inner demon. All women nearby, screeched as the flames of my Aura, burned their hands. They moaned as they backed away, holding and licking their hands; lost without the protection and care of their male mates. Their nocturnal eyes observed the petite figure engulfed in fire, thinking maybe she was a fire goddess or perhaps their new leader but regardless of what they thought, they feared her. Breathing heavily, I stood, leering at all the crouched figures when suddenly in the distant, I heard voices calling out my name. Turning around trying to find the entrance, I began to see a light at the end of the tunnel (no...not those voices or light at the end of the tunnel) until I saw figures standing there.

โ€œYza!โ€ the voices called out but Keeps was somewhere in there, โ€œYza!โ€ the figures jumped into the cavern without paying attention to the height of the ledge, โ€œYzaโ€ฆโ€Anthony approached with a limp.

โ€œKeepsโ€ฆโ€ Erik added wanting to place his hands on the half-breedโ€™s shoulders but he avoided her Aura at all costs.

I smiled in relief then glanced over their shoulders at the others trailing behind. I was surprised to see Leonus and Nathan but pushed aside the distraction. Abraxas flew above their heads landing in my arms, while Zanz jumped off the ledge whimpering and growling. The women and children admired Zanz, for he reminded them all of a Boar-wolf. Some grunted as they reached out their hands to stroke his fur but quickly withdrew when he turned to them, slathering his jaws. He released low growls as he snarled. I grabbed onto his harness after Abraxas flew from my arms, hovering high near the cavernโ€™s ceiling; scales aflame adding to the illumination among the flashlights.

As Erik turned to the others with the absence of his ski-cap that disguised the young man, Leonus shouted in rage unafraid of the consequence,

โ€œWhat the hell are you doing here!? Youโ€™re supposed to be...โ€

โ€œLocked away!?โ€ Erik mocked, โ€œYouโ€™re not the only one with friends, you sick son-of-a-b*tch!โ€

โ€œHey!โ€ I screamed, โ€œNow isnโ€™t the time for this, so letโ€™s get out beforeโ€ฆโ€ my sentence was cut short as the women began letting out loud screams, alerting others and their children they had intruders.

From the illumination my Aura and that of Abraxas above, everyone spread out noticing the actions of the women and children were dangerous. Suddenly coming from a hidden tunnel toward the back, were countless women and hybrid children crawling out to surround us. The woman that had carried me stood in the middle of the clan slightly hunched with her dirty hair hanging in her face. None of us could tell what her natural hair color might have been. Her muscular frame made her look as if she was once a female bodybuilder. She wore what looked like a halter top made of skins and a loin-cloth-like skirt that hid her lower regions. She screamed then pointed her bony fingers toward the invaders before them then without warning, they lunged from different directions, jumping in mid-air on our backs or from the front, knocking everyone to the ground, trying to bite with their sharp teeth. In between, they caught the scent of the four male Lycynians, momentarily ceasing their attack on them but resumed after they were roughly handled. Their eyes reflected nocturnally in the dark, setting off an eerie appearance as they caught the light off my glow. They attempted biting down through our armor, gnawing through the leather as if it were tough meat. Their intention was to kidnap me, keeping me as their new LEADER. I honestly couldnโ€™t imagine what their intentions could have been. Perhaps it had something to do with my ability to communicate, my warriors skills or because their leader showed an interest, I donโ€™t know. I certainly wasnโ€™t going to stick around to find out. Once more, shouts and raging cries echoed underground. We managed to grab hold of them, pushing or throwing them against the walls, leaving them motionless. Abraxas also defended against these crazed figures by tearing at throats with his talons or burning them alive, causing them to scatter around the cavern in flames, screaming in agonizing pain. As they continued the burning, the illumination from the flames brightened the light around us so we had a better advantage. I unfortunately, was unable to really defend myself, due to my injured leg, dislocated shoulder and lack of energy to perform any half-beed arcane magics but my Aura provided enough protection for as they attempted to grab once more, they burned.

Erik and Jon had gathered enough of their energy to release blasts of the arcane; women and children were thrown back or bounced off their invisible barriers put in place. Other women and children that had avoided their magic approached the barrier and ran their hands along the air before them feeling the invisible force. They grew fearful as they backed away. Jon and Erik kept the barrier in place as Erik escorted me toward the ledge; Zanz leaped over his head, roughly landing on the ledge. Erik took the chance, placing his hands on my waist, lifting me up onto the slippery rock; hands burning against my Aura. Zanz grabbed onto my shoulder armor, pulling me away in a firm yet gentle grasp. As Zanz released his hold, he jumped forward, snapping at Erik when Jonโ€™s voice hollered out over the loud ruckus,

โ€œErik, mate...I need you!โ€ he felt the barrier weakening, โ€œI canโ€™t hold it much longer!โ€ the barrier began to shatter in some place allowing gaps in the weaving that allowed the attackers to squeeze through.

โ€œYzavela, get out of here! Now! Get out!โ€ Anthonyโ€™s voice hollered out in addition as he fought off the large woman that held her grip tight around his neck from behind; legs wrapped around his torso for extra support. He turned, facing her back toward the wall and with one hard push backwards, he broke free from her grip as she fell to the ground; suffering from a broken back. Laying there crying in pain, she gazed at him with a horrified expression, unable to move. Anthony glanced down with empathy and sadness. Seeing her horribly disfigured face, he knew that putting this poor soul out of her misery was the right thing to do, so raising his sword in the air, before plunging the blade through her chest, he said solemnly, โ€œMay god forgive me for what Iโ€™m about to do, for he knows I would never harm a woman or child. Please, Missโ€ฆforgive me. I truly am sorryโ€ฆโ€ then clenching his jaw, he lunged forward; sword piercing her heart, ending her misery immediately. Tears ran down his blood splattered face, before he took a few deep breaths in anguish. This would haunt him for the rest of his life. He stood there giving her the sign of the cross, then stepped away continuing to fight. Despite his love for women, he was a true Catholic at heart.

Erik had turned away just as the barrier shattered like glass, continuing to fight as I stumbled to my feet running from the events taking place. I held onto Abraxas as Zanz ran ahead of me and once making it to the rope, I began my ascent but struggled due to my dislocated shoulder. Suddenly I felt hands roughly grab my wrists from above and fearing the worse I attempted to pull away but heard familiar voices reassuring me it was safe. Once my head peeked through the hole, there stood Justin alongside Thomas and raising my gaze toward the individual pulling me, it was Wyatt who handled me as if I weighed nothing to him.

โ€œItโ€™s alright...Yza, itโ€™s alright.โ€ Wyatt felt the woman trembling within his grasp that broke when her Aura ignited.

I fell to my knees breathing heavily with tears in my eyes as I crawled backwards away from the hole; my tear-filled eyes staring for the longest time.

Thomas approached crouching alongside me then took a seat in the snow, listening to the sounds of screams of women, children and metal striking against stone could be heard, creating an unsettling chorus. He worried, hoping Anthony would be next to emerge. He feared what took place in his absence.

โ€œWhat happened?โ€ Justin knelt alongside me but I didnโ€™t answer.

โ€œLeave her be.โ€ Thomas argued.

I heard their voices but they sounded so distant for I could see with my open eyes were the horrific images of Boar-wolves, women and children lying dead everywhere. I shook my head as my mouth muttered words that couldnโ€™t be understood.

Minutes passed; Erik, Jon, Nick and Caleb appeared in their individual ways of teleportation. I sighed in relief as I sat on one of the large boulders. I held off tending to my wounds because I was too worried about my friends but Thomas insisted on the matter so I accepted the offer. As he searched for another first-aid kit, Erik stood nearby examining his gloved hands for the skin hidden beneath remained unhealed.

โ€œErik, let me see your handsโ€ฆโ€ I pleaded.

โ€œIโ€™m fine.โ€ he argued with a deep frown, โ€œLetโ€™s get your leg looked at, as well as your shoulder.โ€

โ€œNo!โ€ I reached out, grabbing his wrists and removing his gloves, I was shocked because his hands were blistered and burnt. Gently releasing my grip, I had nothing to say. I wasnโ€™t repulsed by the sight, but I was to blame.

โ€œSatisfied!?โ€ Erik snapped, pulling away.

โ€œErik, mateโ€ฆcome onโ€ฆโ€ Caleb interrupted, โ€œnot nowโ€ฆโ€

โ€œPiss off, Caleb! This has nothing to do with you!โ€ Erik stood, facing him with rage.

โ€œIt has everything to do with us, mate. With all of us!โ€ Caleb stared into Erikโ€™s eyes.

โ€œErik, go put your hands in the cold ice of the snow. The cold temperature will help soothe the skin. Weโ€™ll take care of Yza.โ€ Wyatt firmly advised.

Rolling his tongue around the inside of his left cheek, Erik turned away, disappearing from view behind one of the solid walls. I stared at my feet; tears stinging my eyes for I couldnโ€™t imagine what Erik; the man I admitted to caring about thought of me. Caleb walked over removing a bottle of water from his pack, preparing to at least clean off his face while Nick and Wyatt tended to my wounds; the scent of fresh blood on the Wraithโ€™s mind but Nick was strong enough to push it aside.

โ€œAre you alright?โ€ Nick whispered.

โ€œYes, Iโ€™m fine.โ€ I muttered, blinking my tears away.

โ€œHeโ€™s not a bad guy, you knowโ€ฆErik?โ€ Nick continued.

โ€œI know heโ€™s not but obviously, Iโ€™m too much for him to handle.โ€ I moaned, wiping my face with a rag.

โ€œAlright, Yza...let me care for that leg wound.โ€ Nick advised, changing the subject.

I moaned in discomfort as I stretched out my leg, which Nick began cleaning with the bottle of water. Once the wound was cleaned and washed away of all the dried blood and dirt, Nick removed his gloves and dagger from his belt. Holding it in his hands and staring at the shiny clean blade, I joked,

โ€œWhat are you going to do with that!? Amputate my leg!?โ€

โ€œI see your sarcasm is still in check, but no. Iโ€™m going to heal you.โ€ he answered, โ€œBesidesโ€ฆitโ€™s too pretty a leg to amputate.โ€ Nick teased with a chuckle.

โ€œFunnyโ€ฆvery funnyโ€ฆbut how?โ€ I flinched; sharp pains running along the nerves.

Nick smiled as he shook his head.

I watched as he cut the palm of his right hand, which he quickly placed on my leg wound, beginning to smear his blood into the wound.

โ€œWatch your hand, Nick.โ€ I warned; Zanz and Abraxas released their threatening warnings.

Nick glanced at them in the corner of his eye, taking their warnings to ear and nodding in their direction; a nod of respect, he revealed as he pulled his hand away,

โ€œThat should do it. Just a smudge is all it takes.โ€ he smiled.

I grabbed his hand searching for the cut, but it had already healed. I glanced down at my leg where I watched as the wound healed, leaving behind a strange tingling sensation.

โ€œAmazing.โ€ I whispered as if the wound was never there, โ€œThank you.โ€ I felt the skin that remained sensitive to the touch.

โ€œDonโ€™t thank me.โ€ he smiled, โ€œNow letโ€™s get that shoulder back in place, shall we?โ€ he watched as I nodded in hesitation then raised his gaze in Wyattโ€™s direction, โ€œNow, the shoulder...โ€

Wyatt walked over in front of me gently reaching for my arm. Thomas walked over, handing me a small flask from his pocket, offering me a little liquid courage. I took a brief sip, making a face of distaste then prepared myself. I stared at Thomas who told me to keep my focus on him, while Nick stood behind me, placing his hands on my shoulders from above while Wyatt continued stretching out my arm.

Erik sat on a small chunk of stone; hands shoved into the snow. The freezing ice stung the skin but it soothed Erikโ€™s discomfort. He listened to the conversation taking place not too far away before hearing a womanโ€™s scream, knowing they werenโ€™t of fear. He removed his hands examining them as they began the Demon healing process. Relieved they were healing he stood, making his return to the others where he watched as I rolled my shoulder; strength gathering quickly. Looking at my friends I sighed,

โ€œThank youโ€ฆall of you, but Nick...you healed my leg with your blood, so does that mean weโ€™re bonded?โ€

โ€œOnly if I bite you.โ€ he answered, โ€œAnd that wouldnโ€™t be such a bad thing, would it?โ€

โ€œCuteโ€ฆNick Charming.โ€ I smiled, trying to lighten the mood.

โ€œNo oneโ€™s biting anyone.โ€ Erik interrupted roughly.

โ€œIt was just a joke, man...geesh!โ€ Nick argued as he backed away, allowing us privacy for a moment but no words were said between Erik and I.

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