The Flames That Bind Us

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Epilogue

The Crimson Crypts laid forgotten underneath a city that no longer pulsed with life. A city that –as much as the man who lived under it –was nearly wiped out from the memories of the people of this world.

Up there, they danced and celebrated and led ordinary lives. And down here, the shadowed man schemed and dreamt of the ruin he would soon bring.

It took him nearly two hundred years, and it might take a while longer until he perfected it.

Yet, there was madness in his eyes as he gazed at the four sealed tombs. Each one close to the other, and each made of dark red stone that resembled the color of blood.

On their surface was drawn a rune that cost the wizard nearly half his magic and blood to wield. He was still recovering from it, but the price was worth it. The serpent-shaped rune kept the four unconscious rulers hidden within the tombs, their magic chained and restricted.

“It`s almost time to leave,” a woman`s voice said sharply, but the man paid no heed to her as she strolled across the small chamber to him. When she neared him, she slid a hand under his arm and rested her head on his shoulder. “Are you sure you can handle it, my love? Perhaps you should try when you`re in a stronger health.”

The man took her hand and entwined his fingers with hers, his madness replaced with resolution. “No, Evine. I`ve waited too long for this. I`m ready.”

Two hundred years…he had spent it in hiding, crafting his magic to its outmost potential.

For this.

Wielding the restraining ruin had taken its toll on him, but he cast that aside.

Still, Evine touched his cheek softly, worry dawning her lovely eyes. “Just be careful.”

He nodded, taking her hand and kissing her knuckles. “Did you bring them?”

Evine unstrapped a pouch bag from the clasps on her belt, then dumped the content to his awaiting palm.

Four small jade-green stones glimmered underneath the dimming light of the crypt, and Uzier smiled at them as if they were the most precious things in the world.

To him, they were.

He turned to the four tombs, his eyes lit with malice as his lips pulled back in a sneer. And as he stalked to them, sweeping a hand against the damp stone as if he was caressing a lover, he leaned in to whisper, “Shall we begin?”

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