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Chapter 24

What is it Cristoph

“What is it?” Jack said, as Cristoph walked off unexplainably. Lithia and the other two stared at him, watching; but said nothing.

Jack had questioned Cristoph again, after looking around a bit in confusion. “What is it Cristoph?”

Cristoph sensed something odd. He did not draw his sword, for what he sensed didn’t seem threatening; yet.

Cristoph stopped in front of a massive dark and draping tree. Whatever the presence was, it was now staring down upon him; though Cristoph couldn’t actually see it staring at him; he could sense it.

Lithia was ever watchful, and had her hand ready on her sword.

Jack waited, peering at Cristoph, standing in front of the tree ahead of them; he noticed something…

This tree, was unlike any of the other trees surrounding them! Out of all the trees, this one looked dismal and plagued with suffering and sadness, as if it had a personality, a soul. The tree gave out waves of so much emotion by its appearance, that Jack wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised if it came to life and began to cry.

Suddenly, something quite unexpected happened! From the tree, a man had jumped down, and landed on the ground in front of Cristoph! Only the lower part of the man’s face was seen. The rest was covered by the lush black hair that adorned his head.

Cristoph, in sudden surprise, drew his sword, and said with harshness. “Stand back!”

The man grinned slightly, and then, replied. “Relax, I do not want to fight you. I am here to take part in league with you.”

Cristoph eyed-up the man, hesitated for a few brief seconds, then drew his sword back, holding it at his side.

“With us?” Cristoph said, looking at the man fixedly. “Who are you?”

Jack, Lithia, Astrid and Tesmorlah, came up and gathered out around, standing on both sides of Cristoph.

“It doesn’t matter who I am, it only matters why I am here. I am here to help you destroy the great evil, which destroyed the Garbire, and will destroy this Forest, if we don’t make haste to stop it!”

Tesmorlah stepped forth, and declared to the mysterious man. “We haven’t a chance against this thing that killed the Garbire!”

The man turned his head to face Tesmorlah, but still, his hair hid his identity; if it had even been known by any of them from somewhere... some time ago. “With me… you will defeat it.”

Cristoph glanced at Tesmorlah, then looked at the man and questioned. “How do we know we can trust you?” Jack added. “How do we know this isn’t a trick!?”

The man lowered his head, and when he did, his voluminous hair, gave off an illusion of being weightless as it bounced. There was a momentary silence… and then, the fair skinned, black haired man spoke. “Have faith…”

“What was that?” Jack said. A sleek cutting sound broke through the atmosphere. Cristoph and Lithia, Jack and Tesmorlah, Astrid and the man stood in defense, and had searched the distance with their active and watchful eyes!

Helen and Angelus flew on while keeping a look out below for Lithia, Cristoph, or any sign of the others.

“Look at that!” Angelus said to Helen, as he had pointed down to some kind of dead reptilian Creature, on the left.

“Could it be polluted by the Dark?” Angelus looked at it a little harder, trying to make good judgement of it; and saw that it didn’t have any marks or wounds. “It doesn’t look like it… it doesn’t look dead either. Let’s check it out.”

Angelus swooped down and landed, and Helen did the same.

“It looks like it could be alive… but it isn’t moving.” Angelus said, nearing closer to it.

Helen shrieked in fright as he crept towards this great beast. “Be careful!”

Angelus laid his hand on its neck. “No pulse, but the warmth hasn’t left the body yet!” This was a horror he most dreaded. This meant the Creature had just been killed… by what…

Angelus stepped back in alarm, when a snapping had echoed from beyond, startling him! He looked around in minor panic, and then glanced back upon Helen for a moment, then continued vigilantly watching the Forest. He spoke slowly and softly. “Whatever killed this Creature... is still here...”

A crashing and intense vibration, snuck up on him from behind! He turned to see what had been there, but found only Helen, and she was lying on the ground, as if she had just been knocked off her feet!

“Helen! What happened?”

Helen rolled over and tucked and pulled her wings in, as she rose from whiplash and said. “It came so fast! I don’t know!”

Suddenly, a giant woman appeared in front of them. It was Lithia! But she had not seemed to recognize Helen or Angelus. She drew her sword and swung it for Angelus’s head!

Angelus quickly ducked and grabbed Lithia’s leg, with so much accuracy, speed and advantage, and before she even knew what had happened, she was on the ground!

“Lithia! Stop! It’s us!”

Lithia sprung up, and had swung her sword once more in attempts to thrash him. Angelus folded back and dodged the blade, about to severe him in half!

Helen shouted. “Lithia, it’s Helen and Angelus!”

Lithia stopped and stood there, looking to Helen as her strong voice rang through the trees. Angelus scurried and stood up straight, as Lithia put her sword down. Jack came running over with incredible speed and asked; as he studied them in confusion. “Angelus? Helen? How did this happen?”

Helen and Angelus answered right as Astrid and Tesmorlah appeared out of nowhere, to come and stand next to Jack. “We wanted to help, and the three Protectors made us able to do so! That’s it... basically...”

Cristoph, observing from above in a nearby tree, came flying over, and landed adjacent to Lithia; and the mysterious man materialized aside her along with him!

Angelus looked at the fair-skinned, not too terribly bulky, black-haired man. “What is… who is this?”

The dark haired man, drew his bowed head up and said humbly. “There’s no need to fear me… I am here to aid thee in destroying the darkness.”

How remarkably liquid. Helen watched the man’s perfect lips form the words so enchantingly; and thought it almost seductive. His tongue had been sharp like a blade, and his behavior crafty and sly. He had wisdom; secret…hidden wisdom.

There was a silence, and then Jack said, as he shot a glance to Angelus and Helen. “What kind of Creatures are you two?”

Helen replied. “We don’t know! The Protectors said we were of them, and a new species.” Angelus agreed to this. “We have no name... just like how this man—” he said subtly, mocking the influencing mysteries. “Has no name.” Jack could tell Angelus had been speaking with slight sarcasm, but it seemed to slip passed everyone else.

Cristoph had glanced at Angelus and Helen, and then back and forth, eyes fluttering from one to another.

“I’m glad you two decided to come.”

Cristoph turned and faced the Forest ahead. “Now we have an even better chance of achieving victory!” he said.

Lithia drew nearer to Cristoph, and pivoted, facing the trees, which they would soon be moving on and out into. “Time does not wait.”

Tesmorlah turned, and with her tail, grabbed Astrid gently and set her down upon her back.

“Then let us go!” Tesmorlah roared, and then began to sprint, swiftly leaping up, and became airborne.

Helen and Angelus joined her in the air, as Jack, Lithia and the man, took off on foot. Tesmorlah now climbed higher and higher, as Lithia jumped on from one tree to the next, gaining speed to catch up to her.

The last to assemble, was Cristoph; he spread his great gargoyle wingspan, ascending with haste, dashing off after Tesmorlah, Astrid and Angelus… who were quite a challenging distance away.

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