𝒜zir and I slowly ventured down the steps leading to Axeon’s cavern, discussing the Isle and how it hasn’t changed since his last visit, to meeting Marxus after his wife Diannah and daughter Lily died, and first encounter with Axeon. I paused on the steps, looking down at Azir asking softly,
“So...if Marxus was 550 years old, no offense here but how old are you?”
Azir laughed calmly then replied, as he too paused on the steps,
“I am 620 years old. I was a few years older when Marxus and I first met; who was in his late thirties, I recall.”
“Wow. That’s a lot of history.” I smiled, “Not as old as a 6300 year old DemonJinn I’ve recently met, but you must know and have seen so much.” I admired.
“Pardon me, but did you just say a 6300…DemonJinn!?” Azir questioned curiously.
“Yes. A god actually.” I bit my lower lip, growing flustered as Molock’s image came to mind.
“And does this Demon….Jinn have a name?” Azir took a step higher.
“Molock.” I cleared my throat, “His name is Molock.”
“Molock!?” his voice echoed.
“I’m guessing…by your reaction, you’ve met?” I wondered then glanced around, waiting to see if he’d actually appear since his name was mentioned three times.
Azir turned away muttering,
“No. I…haven’t had the unpleasantness but I have heard OF him, yes. And they’re NOT pleasant tales. You MUST stay away from him!” he continued down the steps, “Nothing good comes from selling your soul...especially a Jinn!”
“That’ll be difficult, especially since he can pop in at any time, anywhere.” I informed.
“What!? Did you summon him!?”
“Azir, I’m a half-breed with limited arcane capabilities and I don’t think summoning is anywhere among them. And none of the other Demons here conjured him either.” I argued, “Besides, he disguised himself as my teacher from Ireland.” I went on explaining the events that took place. I paused, feeling so stupid, realizing how this all must have sounded to a superior being such as Azir, “That’s about it.” I shrugged, “And since we’re on the subject of magical beings…” I raised my eyebrow, “I’d like to know more about you, your history and that of Marxus’ as well, please?”
He studied the young woman standing before him then turned away and although I couldn’t see his face, he resumed his tales upon my request,
“After his wife and daughter passed, I helped Marxus control his magic of which he was recklessly abusing and wasting, teaching him how to harness it. He was a very powerful man in his own right. I’m a Jinn yes, but he was different and unique and I meant that from a magical stand point. He did things sometimes out of the ordinary that I never taught him. Perhaps it had something to do with his Immortal status, that’s unknown, but it’s been a century since Natash and I have seen him. He’s greatly missed.”
“He was unique indeed, and very wise. He helped me understand this place but now, I’m learning about it in an entirely different way...ways I’m sure he didn’t anticipate.”
“Yes, there are…many things about the island that you have not discovered but in time, when you’re ready to know about them, you’ll be shown.”
“That’s not at all cryptic.” I teased.
“Mm. Now I have a question for you, Yzavela.” he whispered, taking another pause on the steps that seemed to be going on forever.
“Ask away.” I urged.
He stood on the steps; gazing into my shadowed eyes. With the light given off from the orb slowly circling above our heads, he asked his question which didn’t surprise me,
“How and where did your demonic DNA originate and how extensive are your…”
“Powers?” I answered, “I don’t know their full extent but I know enough and I’m learning new things everyday from other Demons and half-breeds here.” I continued explaining what I knew about that part of myself, “I can’t find out much more. I mean, I don’t think there’s an ancestry for Demons or half-breeds.” I chuckled.
“There are ways and perhaps at another time…Natash can aid you in your search. She’s never given negative results.”
“I’d appreciate that very much, thank you. How extensive is her knowledge on demons?”
“She has ways that still astonish even I, every time. Now, moving back on our previous topic, tell me what you know about…Molock.”
“I told you it’s a long story, but a short version in a matter of a few sentences? He appeared as my teacher, introduced himself as Mol…the DemonJinn, revealed some secrets about my familiars then left.” I sighed deeply for I said all of that in one breath, “And after he left, my mom and I searched through books from the Room of Secrets but they didn’t reveal anything useful, except just bits and pieces about the Sumerian culture but I don’t think any of it is accurate, so…”
“Of course the books wouldn’t have the truth and yes, Molock derives from Sumeria…the original race and source of magic for all Jinn. At least that’s what the tales of the Elders of my tribe tell every now and then. Amazing though, to think he’s been around before humans were even conceived as a thought.” Azir revealed bluntly, “And you’re taking all of this rather well, I can’t understand why? If I were in your shoes, I’d be asking all sorts of questions.”
“Well, when Marxus was around, believe me I had nothing but questions. However, and this is something he made me realize, is that asking questions expecting the answers, I’ll never be able to discover them for myself.” I shifted my feet, “So, did that answer your question?” I smiled.
“Yes...indeed it has.” Azir grinned then turned shaking his head, “We’re here, so let’s keep this quiet for now. We don’t want Axeon to worry about Mol…”
“Oh, he already knows.” I walked past him, entering Axeon’s cavern.
“And he’s alright with it!?”
“Doesn’t have much of a choice, but he’s the one that warned me about someone pretending to be Marxus and sensed an ancient magic. Now, are we going to talk about YOU KNOW WHO or do you want to visit Axeon?” I turned, searching for the dragon’s blue mound, “Axeon…” and glancing ahead, there he laid toward the back of the cavern; head rested on his front feet. Zanz ran toward the dragon then paused, releasing a low whine for he’s never been in such close proximity of such a large beast. He backed away upon my beckoning then heeled.
He looked past my petite form at Azir, who stepped closer. He lifted his head, speaking verbally as he stood,
“Great greetings, Jinn…it has been a long time.”
I respectfully stood aside with Zanz lying near a large boulder, watching as Azir spoke in his African tongue, placing his hands on Axeon’s snout. They exchanged magic, creating a bluish-white spark between them and listening to Azir’s language, it elegantly rolled off his tongue. They must have spoken for at least two hours when Azir broke away from their conversation, turning to me. He hesitated, watching as I played with a spark of flame I had conjured bouncing it around from hand-to-hand, just passing the time. Azir looked up into Axeon’s eyes, receiving a slow wink as if acknowledging the half-breed’s humor and natural Pyrokinetic ability. Clearing his throat, he startled her; sparks extinguishing as she released it from thought.
“Sorry…you say something?” I smiled.
“Not yet, no.” Azir stood with hands clasped in front of him, “How were you doing that?”
“Doing what?” I teased.
“I happen to know that Pyrokinetics need a source of fire in order to manipulate it, yet you...created it out of nothing.” he gestured around observing that none of the firepits, torches or large sconces were ablaze in the current moment.
“Yeah…” I scratched behind my right ear shyly, “I, uh...forgot to mention that?”
“Mention what?” Azir’s tone grew firm.
“She is a fire Demon, Azir Jaheem-Zuberi...and I sense she is and will be a powerful one when she truly comes into her own.” Axeon revealed telepathically before I could answer.
“There you have it.” I gestured at Axeon, “Wait, what does that mean?”
“Does anyone know about this?” Azir questioned.
“About what? Me or Axeon?” I argued, growing agitated of all the questions.
“Both, I suppose.”
“Yes. Everyone knows about both of us, but of course, no one knows where he dwells. I wanted to protect him from those here that might be too close minded to accept his existence but that’s sort of hard when he made himself known. Azir…” I approached the tall being who stood straight, “I would never put Axeon in danger by allowing anyone down here. The most he’s seen is when he flies above the island where the Wraiths and Demons on the wall catch the glimpse of his cloaked shimmer in the sky. Besides…” I backed away, “people are living on an island with Wraiths, Lycynians, a Hellhound and Fire-Demon half-breed, so…I think they’ll be fine.” I paused, hearing Erik’s voice calling out my name telepathically in an urgent tone, “I have to go. Something’s wrong. If you want to stay here, you know the way but I…” I ended my words as I turned, rushing toward the stairs ascending them quickly with my massive hound leading ahead.
Azir watched as the young woman disappeared up the stairs then he too, received a telepathic message from Natash who remained upstairs in the study. Even Axeon sensed an urgency.
“Go, Jinn...we will discuss things at another moment in time. The half-breed needs you.” Axeon urged, “GO!” he nudged the Jinn’s back pushing him gently forward.
“Ah…” Azir grunted, “I see you haven’t lost your pushiness.” he grinned then turned, following after.
As soon as I stepped through the bookshelf with my feet barely placed on the study’s floor, two of Azir’s guards held Erik up against the door; their Scimitar blades piercing the surface of his chest and groin without drawing blood. Erik winced, feeling a burning sensation from the blades’ cold steel, then released a low Demons’ groan that to the Jinn standing before him, sounded like a growl.
“Let him go!” I insisted respectfully.
The guards looked upon their Queen then glanced toward the bookshelf where Azir stood; the bookshelf sliding closed slowly behind him creating a dramatic silhouette.
“Let him go!” Natash ordered as she stood alongside, “The young man poses no threat here.”
“NOW!” Azir’s voice boomed.
The guards swiftly lowered their Scimitars with such precision and unison, then turned facing their King and Queen, resheathing their weapons like a military cadet troupe.
Abraxas flew toward me, landing upon my shoulder while Zanz, hearing the agitation and firmness in everyone’s voice, began becoming agitated himself as he released low growls. I grabbed the scruff of fur on the back of his neck giving a gentle but firm squeeze; he lowered his head in submission before lying at my feet.
“Where the bloody hell were you!?” Erik questioned in a demanding tone, adjusting his shirt, “And thanks, mates...you just ruined this shirt!”
“It is a shirt. Surely a boy with riches such as yourself can afford another.” one of the Jinn argued in a deep voice, following the same accent as their King and Queen.
“What’s wrong!?” I ignored his tone.
“Things are going to sh*t up on the wall. Everyone’s barking mad!” Erik answered, ignoring the Jinn’s remark.
“Why!? What’s coming!?” Natash interrupted, standing next to the young pureblood.
“What’s com…how did you know!?” Erik protested, eyeing her up and down.
“Alright, tell me along the way!” I rushed toward the door and descending the stairs, he relayed the events taking place. Once outside and through the iron gate surrounding the manor, Derek and Anthony ran across the field toward us hearing the commotion from the guards on the wall.
“What the hell is going on!?” Anthony inquired.
“I don’t know. I’m just hearing about it myself.” I answered.
“Yza! Erik!” Nick’s voice appeared ahead of us a little ways across the field; he sped toward us in a blur, “Get up there, now!” he urged then backed away, teleporting back to his post.
Erik stood alongside me ready to portal us among the guards but I added quickly,
“As soon as I find out what it is, I’ll come find you so stay close. You too, Derek.” I nodded then turned to Erik, “Ready.”
He waved his left hand opening a portal that sparked violently before forming into a large 6 foot hole between the distances of where we stood, to the wall. It swirled slowly, creating a swift breeze and closing my eyes holding my breath, we leapt through appearing on the wall.
Derek and Anthony watched as our figures appeared, alongside green pillars.
“F*ck me, Giovanni...I’ll never get used to all the magical sh*t around here.” Derek shook his head, combing his hair back.
“Sorry, Derek...but you’re not my type.” Anthony teased, “Wrong sex and too ugly.” he smiled.
“F*ck off…” Derek chuckled, as did Anthony; they sat on the fountains’ ledge waiting.
“Thank god!” Justin muttered then sped toward us, “Yza, we uh...we’ve got a bloody problem.”
“Clearly, so do you want to tell me what it is?” I ordered, hearing a chorus of chaotic voices erupting on the wall followed by Abraxas’ roars as he flew above and Zanz’s howls as he jumped around near the base of the wall below.
“Look out that way…across the sea and toward the mainland.” he walked me closer to the walls’ ledge, pointing out toward the harbor in the direction of the mainland.
“What am I supposed to be looking at? I can’t see a damn thing. I’m not a…” I snapped but was handed a single pair of binoculars, “I’m not even going to ask why Wraiths and Demons have binoculars.” I gently took them from his hand then focusing the lenses toward the designated direction, five objects moved rapidly, growing closer by the minute.
One of the five anomalies, were another horde of a shadowed mass and the other four were flying ships with bright fog lights searching the sea below. Massive rust colored sails were attached to masts of a ship-like-body, vertically strung, helping navigate through the wind. Two rudders; one on each side of the rear end of the ships, aided the steering mechanisms while a large helm (pirate’s steering wheel) turned the ship’s direction. Steam spat from pipes running along the underbelly of the ship, as two grand propellers spun, keeping the crafts afloat. Painted on the sails; were logos of what looked to be some sort of a tribal dragon symbol.I’ve heard of sea pirates but air pirates? Really? Focusing on the shadowed mass, they were the same evil Shadowed Ones we encountered the night on the wall when Marxus destroyed them. However, due to the lack of visibility; appearance fading in and out, it was hard to estimate how many there were.
“Sh*t...” I mumbled, lowering the binoculars.
“I’ve never seen anything like them before! Where did those ships come from?” Nick wondered curiously as he and other Wraiths used their supernatural vision to observe the masses.
“They’re scout ships from the Great City.” I replied, turning to my friends, “I remember the factory started manufacturing them before my mom and I escaped. Newest on the market, they claimed and only run on steam so that way they can’t be hacked or have any of their electronic gadgetry blown out. They’re quiet and are hard to detect. But the shadowed mass...we’re all familiar with already.” then I turned to Azir, “You’re here to help? Prove it.”
“Anything you need, it’s done.” Azir answered, followed by a quick bow of his head; Natash and the other Jinn followed the same action.
“Good, thank you.” I nodded then turned to Nick and Wyatt, “How long do you think we have before they reach us?”
“At their speed, I’d say two hours. Maybe less.” Wyatt answered, “I’ve flown in one similar to those once, and they can pick up speed if the air currents are strong but since these don’t have the weight of all the batteries and heavy engines, it could be less.”
“Well, why can’t any of the Demons just use that spell Marxus performed last time to get rid of them again?” Caleb added truthfully, receiving nods in agreement, “And there are more this time, than last time!” he frowned, glancing out into the distance.
“What spell!?” Azir inquired, looking at us intensely.
Everyone who was there that night, briefly explained the spell Marxus had performed; I recited the words spoken and Azir grew pleased to hear them.
“I created that spell.” Azir grinned.
“Of course you did…” I barked unintentionally, “but can you do it?”
“Yes, but I’ll be speaking in my own tongue.”
“Great!” Justin smiled, “Whoever he is can just boom...wipe them out and we’re fine, right?”
“Justin, you know better.” Jon added, hearing the news of what’s taking pace, “Besides, none of us know who they are or what sort of weapons they might possess, so no mate...this is a non-magical approach. But if they come here onto the island, then well…” he clenched his fists then raised his hands as they took on a dark orange-red hue, “that’s a different story, mate.” he smiled with pleasure in his red Demon eyes.
“The young man’s correct. My kin and I will handle the Shadowed Ones but our focus will entirely be on them, so I’ll need Axeon’s help to add in a distraction on their part.” he proposed.
“What kind of distraction?” Jon inquired.
“Some of you will have to draw the attention of those flying the ships. Lure them to the ground and keep them there. They must not return to reveal our location to their higher-ups and if it’s who we think it is…” Natash spoke then glanced at Azir in worry, “you’ll want to make sure each and every one of them is dead.”
“Alright...alright…” I huffed, “I’ll leave a majority of the guards up here, but Justin, Caleb, Wyatt and Jon you come with me. You too, Erik.” I instructed then walked down the walls’ length and holding onto one of the Wraiths, we appeared below and once our feet were on the ground, we strolled across the field while I explained my needs; Nick and Justin disappeared to spread the word to the nearest reach of warriors, “Caleb, go with them but please...no flyers!” I teased.
He smiled, disappearing after his fellow guards leaving Erik, Jon, Wyatt and I walking toward the manor where Derek and Anthony sat on the fountain’s ledge; their anxious demeanor was clear as their feet tapped the ground and fists clenched. They jumped to their feet watching as I approached and before I could speak, they rushed out their questions and concerns.