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

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๐“’๐“ฑ๐“ช๐“น๐“ฝ๐“ฎ๐“ป 38

๐’ฎilence was what the residents in their rooms heard and venturing down the stairs standing in the lounge, their eyes searching for any more intruders, it was then they jumped in place for someone banged hard on the door. Holding their weapons, pots or pans, a medium crowd spread out across the lounge while Lady D and Katrina cautiously approached the window near the door but there was no one there.

โ€œMommy!โ€ a young womanโ€™s voice called out.

Lady D sighed in relief as she sheathed her athame quickly rushing to unlock the door and swinging it open, there stood her daughter covered in dirt, soot and blood but she didnโ€™t care as she pulled her in for a tight embrace.

โ€œOh, thank you godโ€ฆโ€she prayed, holding me tightly, โ€œoh my god, are you alright?โ€ she then pulled away, combing my hair out of my face.

โ€œYeah.โ€ I smiled then peeked over her shoulder taking in the sight of frightened residents, โ€œItโ€™s alright, everyone...the threat for now, has passed!โ€ I called out to them.

โ€œWhat in the goddessโ€™ name happened?โ€ Katrina approached with Margarette and Belle standing behind her.

โ€œHonestly?โ€ I looked into her green eyes, โ€œI donโ€™t know.โ€ I shrugged, โ€œI donโ€™t even know how they found us out here.โ€

โ€œThis is too close!โ€ voices erupted from inside, โ€œWeโ€™re not safe here anymore!โ€

โ€œAlright, hush!โ€ my mom turned to them sharply, โ€œHush!โ€

โ€œBut Lady Dโ€ฆโ€ a man attempted to argue.

โ€œI swear, Sir...if you donโ€™t shut up, Iโ€™ll take that rolling pinโ€ฆโ€ she gestured at his weapon of choice, โ€œand roll out whatever balls and dough you have between your legs!โ€

I wasnโ€™t sure if the moment was appropriate for laughter, not after what I had just been through, but I couldnโ€™t help myself; I stood in the doorway laughing so hard that tears escaped the corners of my tired eyes. I leaned against the door frame catching my breath. Even Katrina and her daughters chuckled.

โ€œWhoa...oh my godโ€ฆโ€ I caught my breath tapping my chest, clearing my throat, โ€œwith that said, I need to get back to the clean up efforts and make sure Leonus isnโ€™t trying to kill anyone else.โ€

โ€œIโ€™m coming with you.โ€ my mom affirmed.

โ€œMe too.โ€ Katrina added.

โ€œUs three!โ€ Belle smiled.

โ€œNo...no. I donโ€™t want you guys out here.โ€ I objected.

โ€œSweetheart...we werenโ€™t asking.โ€ my mom stood by her choice.

I sighed.

โ€œOkay...okay.โ€ I gave up arguing with her, โ€œBut I donโ€™t want any of you lifting or moving any of the heavy debris. There are barrels and construction wagons near the garage so please...just take it easy.โ€

โ€œFair enough.โ€ Katrina agreed.

Men scampered to and from the garage where minutes later, they emerged pushing large wagons and barrels. Growing closer, the residents couldnโ€™t believe a threat had come this far. Putting aside their fear, they gathered smaller debris and torn fabric from the scattered sails, avoiding the carrying of bodies. Shovels too were brought to scoop piles of ash and splinters. Walking around gathering smaller pieces of debris avoiding the pinching nerves of the cut on my leg, I glanced to my left catching a glimpse of a large cluster of fallen Ravens. Emptying my arms of wood planks, I slowly strolled over. Kneeling down with a faint squeak, I gently picked up one of their fragile feathered bodies. Gently stroking its sleek black feathers whispering words of sentiment, it vanished.

โ€œWhat theโ€ฆโ€ I looked around, watching as the other corpses did the same as a strong breeze swept through the area.

Azir walked over standing behind me, commenting solemnly,

โ€œMost, if not all, of these Ravens were spirits of the dead that once lived here, and offered to give their services in protecting Ravenstone, in their next incarnation. The vanishing is surprising, I know. It was one of the many things arranged between Marxus and I.โ€

โ€œReally?โ€ I stood, โ€œDidnโ€™t know that.โ€

โ€œIโ€™m surprised Marxus didnโ€™t tell you.โ€

โ€œFor the last time, he didnโ€™t tell me a lot of things. God...they were so beautiful.โ€ I sniffed, blinking tears away.

โ€œWeโ€™ll have to change that, for there are a lot of things yet to be revealed. And yes...they truly were, and fulfilled their destiny.โ€ Azir proclaimed.

โ€œOf course there are.โ€ I complained then turned, standing alongside the Nubian Jinn, watching as Lycynians emerged from their dwelling and once finding out what had transpired, they offered their help as well. My eyes searched for Erik and when they landed on his 5โ€™8 form, I excused myself and walked in his direction thinking of what to say but nothing came to mind other than, โ€œHeyโ€ฆโ€

He held onto a pile of splintered shards with gloved hands as he glanced at me side-eye but said nothing.

โ€œSo thatโ€™s how itโ€™s going to be? Really?โ€ I folded my arms.

โ€œWhat do you want me to say?โ€ Erik threw the shards hard into a nearby barrel, โ€œHmm?โ€

โ€œI donโ€™t expect you to say anything, really. Never mind.โ€ I walked away approaching my mom.

โ€œEverything alright?โ€ she wondered.

โ€œNo. Simply put, Erik and I are done.โ€ I continued walking away.

โ€œWait...what?โ€ she dropped her armful of small debris into a pile that was being shoveled into a barrel, โ€œSweetheart, waitโ€ฆโ€

โ€œI donโ€™t want to talk about it. Iโ€™m going to my room to shower then going to bed.โ€ I left her standing there in disbelief for she wanted to know more but knew Iโ€™d tell her when I was ready.

Along the way, Nick and Caleb appeared alongside me upon my summons, listening to my instructions of gathering anything from the ships that might be of importance or could tell us how they found our location. They nodded then before Nick could disappear I asked if he could do me a favor and check in on Jon and Anthony at the hospital. He smiled, giving a quick nod then disappeared, tending to my plea. I bit my lower lip taking a seat on the grass because I didnโ€™t quite make it to the dwelling before I began feeling the fatigue hit me. I knelt my elbows on my knees as I knelt forward placing my hands against my forehead.

โ€œYzavelaโ€ฆโ€ a voice softly spoke my name.

Ugh, what!?โ€ I raised my gaze; there stood Natash, โ€œSorry, I just...โ€

โ€œItโ€™s alright, dear girl.โ€ she sat next to me, elegantly adjusting her tunic while crossing her legs to the side in a very feminine manner.

โ€œWas there something...you needed, Natash?โ€ I asked combing my hair back before stretching my legs outward crossing my feet.

โ€œMe personally? No, but Azir would like to speak with you.โ€ she revealed.

โ€œAbout?โ€ I complained.

โ€œYouโ€™d have to speak to him, my dear.โ€

โ€œWell, Iโ€™m not going anywhereโ€ฆโ€ I laid back; the grass feeling cool against my back and neck. Zanz and Abraxas laid close, feeling the tension of the events slowly pass. I petted Zanzโ€™s soft fur and stroked Abraxasโ€™ scales as he laid gently across my chest snuggling his head against my chin.

Natash frowned then stood, dusting grass and dirt from her clothes then strolled away, searching for her husband that then ventured in my direction once she located him. He took a seat, uncaring of the grass staining the fabric of his African tunic and giving me a side-eyed expression, he remained silent watching as I pushed myself into a sitting position sliding Abraxas onto the grass.

โ€œYes?โ€ I asked, turning my head to him.

โ€œNothing.โ€ he slowly shrugged, โ€œI was just wondering what your next move might be after this?โ€

โ€œReally? Youโ€™re asking me this now?โ€

โ€œAnd why not?โ€ Azir questioned turning slightly in place.

โ€œBecause...I donโ€™t know...Iโ€™m still processing everything that just happened!โ€ I argued, gesturing at the scene before us; figures passing by carrying debris or piling larger pieces into piles near the gates.

โ€œI understand, I do.โ€ Azir murmured.

โ€œBut thereโ€™s more you want to say, I can sense it so go on...spit it out.โ€ I urged.

โ€œWill do no suchโ€ฆโ€ he attempted to argue then realized the phrase was American slang, โ€œI was curious yes, in knowing what your next move is after this!โ€

Studying his intense features and clenching jaw, I broke my gaze thinking about what actions to take next. Pulling blades of grass from their place and playing the soft pieces between my fingers, I answered,

โ€œFirst thing?โ€ I looked at the Jinn, โ€œFirst thing Iโ€™d do is finish gathering the rubble and pile it outside the gates to burn because I want it off these grounds. During that process, Iโ€™ll have the guards who are tech savvy, search to see if we can use anything that the ships carried...maybe gadgets or plans that could give us intel on Lord Drakuul.โ€

โ€œAnd the bodies?โ€ Azir questioned.

โ€œHmm. Well, the Boar-wolves are gone because we could always feed them.โ€ I attempted to make a joke but then realized how morbid that sounded and apologized, โ€œSorry. That was gross.โ€

โ€œGross, indeed.โ€ Azir raised his right eyebrow.

โ€œThe bodies? The bodies.โ€ I repeated myself in two different tones then continued, โ€œWe could pile them outside near the rubble and have them burn as well.โ€ I straightened my posture, โ€œBut first, I think we should somehow use them to send Drakuul and this...General Matrx a message.โ€

โ€œWhat sort of message?โ€ Azir folded his arms.

โ€œWhatโ€™s with the rush of questions?โ€ I complained, โ€œAzir, Iโ€™m tired as is everyone else! I want to go home and soak in a nice long hot bubble bath!โ€

โ€œLittle Oneโ€ฆโ€ Azir pushed himself to his knees, โ€œIโ€™m sure during your teachings wherever they may have come from, that a warrior must be prepared for anything at any time, from anyone and anywhere. That includes making decisions on the spot, even if they might be bold or spur of the moment. Go with your gut, for it never lies then take it from there. Iโ€™ve seen and done a lot, Yzavela...believe me so thereโ€™s nothing you can say that will shock me. Not in the slightest. So...what do you have in mind for the bodies? Really.โ€

He wanted my answer? Okay.

โ€œItโ€™ll be too much to carry and too many of them, but send the heads back to their Lord and General. Warrior-to-warrior sort of code.โ€ I revealed bluntly and honestly, โ€œBut if weโ€™re going to do that, I certainly donโ€™t have the stomach to perform such actions and I wonโ€™t ask any of my friends or guards to do such things, so there goes that.โ€

โ€œAs Iโ€™ve said, Iโ€™ve seen and done many things, so if you ask it of me, Iโ€™ll do it.โ€ Azir approved.

โ€œReally? Just like that?โ€ I pondered.

โ€œNot just like that no, but itโ€™ll be done.โ€ he pushed himself to his feet then reached out his hands, helping me to mine.

โ€œAlright. Just...let me know when itโ€™s done and weโ€™ll take it from there.โ€ I advised.

โ€œDid I hear you right?โ€ Erikโ€™s voice interrupted as he stood behind Azir and I.

โ€œExcuse me...hello to you too!โ€ I snapped.

โ€œIโ€™ll leave you two be and look for Natash to discuss the details of what weโ€™ve discussed.โ€ Azir added.

โ€œGo ahead...say it, Azir. Youโ€™re going to talk to Natash about cutting off the heads of these men!โ€ Erik argued, but Azir ignored his tone as he walked away.

โ€œThat was rude. Again.โ€ I implored bluntly, โ€œWhat the f*ck is your problem!?โ€

โ€œSince when do you agree with cutting off mens bloody heads?โ€ he argued. โ€œWhatโ€™s happened to you!โ€

โ€œI donโ€™t agree with it, but itโ€™s the only logical thing to do to let our enemy know that we know, he knows about us.โ€

Erik tilted his head confused, as did I as a matter of fact.

โ€œYou know what I mean!โ€ I rasped.

โ€œRight, I got it but it justโ€ฆโ€ Erik placed his hands on his hips, โ€œdoesnโ€™t sound like you. Youโ€™re becoming one of the men, so it seems, in your way of thinking.โ€

โ€œExcuse me? Becoming one of the men? In what f*cking universe is that in any way true!?โ€ I swore firmly, pushing him for answers.

โ€œNever mind, that came out wrong. Sorry.โ€ he cowered, giving up on the conversation.

โ€œWeโ€™re warriors, Erik...weโ€™re warriors and you of all people should know that once you pick up the sword thereโ€™s no turning back and that there are times when you have to think like one. Hiromi would understand. And speaking of, what the hell happened between the two of you?โ€

โ€œThatโ€™s between him and I. Not you and me. Got it?โ€ Erik remarked.

โ€œGot it!โ€ I held back further words, staring into his gray eyes I once found so alluring but not anymore, โ€œWhy donโ€™t you go help the others.โ€

โ€œSure and why donโ€™t you tend to your mutt? Iโ€™m sure he needs your special touch. Wouldnโ€™t be the first time.โ€ he exaggerated the relationship between Anthony and I.

โ€œErikโ€ฆโ€ I lectured firmly and loudly but luckily no one was close enough to hear, โ€œthe next time you see me, do me a favor and say nothing because the next words that come out of your mouth, are going to be the last words you ever speak!โ€

He stared into the young womansโ€™ brown eyes that flickered with a dancing flame in their center. Studying her face and features, he kept his words locked away and silenced his loud thoughts. Nodding, he backed away then turned his back returning to the piles of debris. He began dragging pieces of burnt wood, metal, the iron chains and remnants of the sails, leaving the young woman in disbelief.

โ€œUnbelievable.โ€ I shook my head, making way toward the dwellings when along the way, I received a call. Removing it from my pocket staring at its cracked screen, there was Jonโ€™s face waiting for me to answer the call, โ€œHey, everything alright?โ€

โ€œYeah. Just wanted to let you know. And thereโ€™s also someone here that wants to speak with you.โ€ Jon hinted handing his phone to another figure; there was Anthonyโ€™s face in Jonโ€™s place, โ€œHi.โ€ he smiled, โ€œHowโ€™s everything up there?โ€

โ€œOh, you know...Leonus this, Erik that.โ€ I shrugged, โ€œDrama, drama, drama. How are you? Howโ€™s your shoulder?โ€

โ€œHealing.โ€ he revealed, giving a shrug of the one shoulder, โ€œSorry Iโ€™m not there to help.โ€

โ€œYou have...you have nothing to be sorry for. You helped enough for one night.โ€ I hoped I offered comfort in my words, โ€œAnd in more ways than one.โ€


โ€œThatโ€™s for another time when neither of us are in the hospital.โ€ I teased.

โ€œAnthonyโ€ฆโ€ Thomasโ€™ voice called from the background of the call.

โ€œYou should go.โ€ I urged, โ€œGet some sleep and plenty of rest. Keeperโ€™s orders.โ€

โ€œSi. Goodnight, Little Yza.โ€ he smiled.

โ€œGoodnight, Musketeer.โ€ I returned the smile then watched as he returned the phone to Jon; the images flashing around quickly before Jonโ€™s face steadily appeared, โ€œClean-up efforts are starting up here so once youโ€™re done there, go home and be with your family. Donโ€™t worry about things up here, alright?โ€

โ€œAre you sure?โ€ Jon begged.

โ€œYes, Jonathan...Iโ€™m sure. Look for yourself.โ€ I tapped an app on the screen changing face-time to landscape mode; I watched as the images I saw with my eyes appeared on the screen and then I knew Jon observed them for himself because I heard his oooโ€™s and gasps, โ€œOkay? Goodnight.โ€

โ€œGoodnight.โ€ he fretted before the call ended.

Standing there continuing to watch the clean-up efforts, it was then I felt an uneasiness linger in the back of my mind.

โ€œAxeonโ€ฆโ€ the word escaped my lips and it was then I realized how he must have felt during the events that transpired. Feeling fatigue hitting me strongly, I ignored it as I ventured toward the manor, up stairs to the study then down to Axeonโ€™s cavern. But descending the rock steps of the hidden stairs, watching as they swirled around ahead of me made me dizzy. I paused, taking in a deep breathing catching the scent of rock and damp earth then continued my descent. Entering the cavern, there Axeon stood pacing slowly as his wings hung limp down by his side, โ€œAxeon?โ€my voice broke his pacing.

โ€œWhat has happened and why was I not summoned?โ€ the blue dragon objected verbally, โ€œWhy was I not called upon?โ€

โ€œCalm down, pleaseโ€ฆโ€ I urged, โ€œplease.โ€ I reached out my hands wanting to pet his snout.

Lowering his head above the young woman, he allowed her gentle touch upon his snout.

โ€œThe reason I didnโ€™t call on you, is because lately Iโ€™ve sensed a weakness in you or more like...in the energy you possess. I sensed it when you and Azir were speaking this evening so Iโ€™m the one who should be asking you, if youโ€™re alright?โ€ I worried.

โ€œIt is true, dear child.โ€ his voice uttered telepathically as he laid elegantly before me, โ€œI am fatigued of late, and perhaps it was wise that you did not summon me tonight. However, I would have appreciated receiving word of the events. I am the true magic that holds this place together.โ€

โ€œAxeon, it happened way too fast that not even Azir knew what to do.โ€ I recalled, โ€œBesides, not that Iโ€™m replacing you because I would never do such a thing, but Abraxas handled things perfectly. He got a little carried away, but he did good.โ€ I glanced in his direction as he perched on a large boulder nearby.

โ€œYou are fortunate to have such a Zyphyn in your company but I must ask you to never leave me unaware of what takes place upon this Isle. It was my sworn duty to protect it and protect I will until I am no longer required to do so.โ€

โ€œI understand and again Axeon, Iโ€™m sorry.โ€ I apologized, โ€œYou have to know that Iโ€™m not replacing you with Abraxas because that could never happen. After all, youโ€™re one of the biggest treasures here that Iโ€™m fortunate enough to protect.โ€

Axeon seemed content with my words, knowing I meant every word.

โ€œYour words are sincere, dear one...I know that.โ€ he bowed his head, โ€œI am pleased to see you are unharmed but I must ask you now to leave for I must think about actions to take that will shape not only my future, but that of the Isleโ€™s as well. Go now, childโ€ฆโ€ he gently nudged me backwards then turned away, wrapping his wings around his body as he laid his head down. His long tail curled around his body hiding itself beneath one of his wings.

I respectfully nodded as I backed away heading toward the stairs but I worried for Axeon. Glancing back, I hoped his weakness didnโ€™t mean he was deciding to leave everything behind unprotected.

โ€œAbraxas, Zanz...letโ€™s go.โ€ I called for them; their forms swept past me up the stairs quickly.

Molock, invisible to all, strolled through the pile of burnt corpses, removing souls from the fallen soldiers, placing them in a small Rubix-cube sized ornate box with intricate carvings (think the Hellraiser box but with more grandeur detailing) he carried attached on his elaborate belt. Pleased that he gathered another batch of new souls, he smiled and standing among the piles of debris, he suddenly heard a voice speak behind him,

โ€œWhat are you doing here, demon!?โ€

Molock grinned then turned to observe the Nubian Jinn standing a few feet away with his hand placed on the hilt of his sheathed Scimitar.

โ€œHello, diapersโ€ฆโ€ Molock teased, โ€œitโ€™s been a long time. You were whatโ€ฆthis tallโ€ฆโ€ he held out his right hand measuring three feet in height, โ€œlast time we met?โ€

โ€œFortunate enough for me, I donโ€™t remember you.โ€ Azir answered smugly, โ€œNow answer me, demon. What are you doing here!? Were you involved in all this chaos?!โ€

โ€œI donโ€™t answer to you, diapers and Iโ€™m here...to collect souls of the dead. Itโ€™s my duty. Iโ€™m Death, after all. And I was invited by the lovely Yzavela herself.โ€ Molock revealed.

โ€œYou tricked her into this access because the magic protecting this island would never allow an unwanted being on its shores. Surely you know that, if youโ€™re so wise!โ€ Azir snapped.

โ€œWellโ€ฆโ€ Molock shrugged, โ€œshe doesnโ€™t mind having me around and I havenโ€™t hurt anyone. I have no reason. Unless I have to.โ€ he flashed a sinister grin. โ€œBesides...I can go anywhere and everywhere that I choose!โ€

โ€œPerhaps, but not here! Iโ€™m warning you, demon. If you harm her or have intentions to do so, Iโ€™llโ€ฆโ€

โ€œYouโ€™ll what!?โ€ Molock warned, โ€œBanish me!?โ€ he scoffed, โ€œYou donโ€™t have the magic to perform that spell, not even with your band of merry kin that accompanied you here, soโ€ฆif I were you Azir Jaheem Zuberiโ€ฆIโ€™d keep your threats to yourself because clearly, youโ€™ve forgotten that I...predate all Jinn bloodlines, even yours. Remember that.โ€ then he heard his Masterโ€™s call, โ€œI have to go, but I promise that youโ€™ll be seeing a lot more of me, I guarantee it.โ€ he bowed smugly then as he straightened his posture adjusting a Scimitar that hung off his belt, he disappeared in a swirling red flame; the scent of sulfur was left behind. Azir removed his hand from the hilt of his own weapon, frowning in worry of the Sumerianโ€™s intentions. He knew he was right though; predating all magic and Jinn races. Nothing or no one can banish an ancient of such power except for the Book of Solomon of which is kept and buried where NO ONE could ever find it. Hidden in a secret place, containing all magic both good and evil, that only he and Marxus knew. With his left hand, he fiddled with his flecked goatee before turning away, hearing Natash call out his name.

Later that morning; 2:30am, I laid in my bed tossing and turning, thinking about everything that occurred. As I turned over with Zanz spread across my feet and Abraxas next to me; head resting on my right shoulder, I suddenly heard faint knocks tapping against my door attracting their attention. I carefully sat up, leaving them laid on my bed. Standing in front of my door, I peeked through the peephole door but saw no one out in the hall. Retrieving a dagger that laid on the table beside my bed, I cautiously opened the door and immediately glancing down, there laid a red rose with a note attached with a red ribbon wrapped around its thornless stem. I scanned the hall up and down to my left and right but there were no clues as to who could have left it.

I quickly picked it up then held it close to my nose, taking in its fresh scent knowing it must have come from the greenhouse where roses were abundant. Closing the door and laying my dagger back in its place on the table, I sat on the bed then read the note and all it said was:

โ€œ A rose for a rose, little Yzaโ€ฆ



I smiled for there was no one else on the island that called me that. I took in its scent once more then scampered into the bathroom searching for a tall enough cup to place it in and once filled with water, I placed the rose on the fireplace mantle in sight. Laying back in bed, I stared at the rose making decisions, seeing their possible outcomes run through my mind and feeling the ache of a headache creeping up on me, I turned out the light then propped myself up with my pillow that seemed too fluffy. Once punching the cotton around attempting to flatten it slightly (Iโ€™m not too keen on thick fluffy pillows) I laid my head down and closed my eyes.

โ€œCute, Anthony...โ€ I muttered, โ€œvery cute.โ€

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