Chapter 19: Jaxon
Jaxon studied her figure while she studied the map on the table. His heart churned as he remembered she was here because of him. Her death was his fault. He was weak. He couldn’t even protect his own mate. Let alone protecting his pack.
“We need to start searching around the area on which you came in,” Zia said, snapping him from his thought. “Then, we narrow it down from there.”
The whole place quaked briefly. Things fell from their places. Camilla ran into Jaxon’s arms, seeking shelter.
“What was that?” he asked.
Zia walked to the small window. “The sky is crumbling down. There are too many Soul Eaters than the souls. Without enough souls roaming around, the world falls from its balance. The souls are the reason this world is still standing.”
“Without this world…” Jaxon paused as he realized the possibility.
She nodded. “The Soul Eaters would roam on the world of the living, eating living souls. They would multiply faster. Then, it would outnumber the living souls. If it keeps going on, there would be no living souls left to save.”
“Where are these Soul Eaters came from?”
“They are heavy sinners. Since the fall of the Angel of Death, nobody came to control the numbers of the Soul Eaters.”
“How did you know about the fall of Angel of Death?”
He felt stupid for asking the question. Obviously, she would know about the Angel of Death.
“Stories,” Zia answered. “Without the Angel of Death monitoring the numbers of Soul Eaters…” she couldn’t finish her sentence as she looked to the map.
“Alpha Jaxon, can you hear me?”
Jaxon’s ears perked at the familiar voice. “Stefano?”
Zia turned her attention to him, probably wondering why he called someone else’s name. He focused on the voice, questioning where it came from. Stefano might be half Angel but there was no way he could enter the world of the dead as easy.
Jaxon turned to face the wall. “Stefano, what the hell is going on? How did you communicate with me?”
“Look, we found a way—actually, two ways to get you and Camilla out. There’s an attack in the Council’s land and everyone is defending while I’m trying to get you out. There’s a shortcut and a long way out. The shortcut, sacrificing two lives for you and Camilla which I know aren’t acceptable. So, we’re going to do a long way out. Tell me, are you in a lighthouse?”
“Yes. How did you know?”
“By the time I finish explaining, it would be too late.”
“Okay, tell me your plan.”
“I need you to identify the portal in that world. Each portal was opened by a different drawing. We need the portal that was opened by the same drawing that sucked you in to close the portal that was opened at the Council’s land.”
Jaxon walked to the desk and checked the map. “That’s going to be a problem. There are over three dozens of portals opened. Any of these could be connected to the one opened at the Council.”
“Jaxon, I think I found the portal that sent you in,” Zia said to him, looking out of the window once again. She glanced at him briefly. “It’s right there.”
Jaxon went to the window, checking the direction she was pointing. There was a red light shot up to the sky. It caused the clouds to swirl around it as if a tornado was about to happen.
“How far is that?” He asked her.
“ETA three hours. Also, it’s—”
Her answer was cut off when something exploded outside the lighthouse. With a high reflex, Jaxon pulled Camilla and Zia to his body and shielded both of them from the splinters. Something growled from the outside the lighthouse quaked.
“—depends on what we encounter,” Zia finished. “The back door.”
They ran out of the back door, but Jaxon returned back in to grab a few things including the map. He regrouped with them behind the lighthouse and made their way away from their attackers. Jaxon peeked from his cover and saw there were several women covered in weird signs all over their arms, legs, and faces. Then, there were other creatures that he never saw before. It wasn’t the Soul Eaters. Those were different.
“Necromancers,” Zia whispered. “They’re hunting you and Camilla. Someone doesn’t want the portal to be closed.”
“That’s a bad thing.”
“You die here, your physical body dies too.”
“Stefano, we’ve got a problem. We might need more time to reach the portal.”
“The Soul Eaters are alerted,” Zia informed, crouching to the other direction. “The blast must have been heard miles away.”
“Fantastic,” Jaxon grumbled.
His sole objective was to close the portal. Now, one by one problem started to show up. So, who did send those Necromancers to stop them? Could it be someone who killed his informant back in the hotel?
If the portal stayed opened, nothing would still be alive in the world of the living. Everyone would be dead.
His Jain would be in danger. Jaxon growled at the thought of seeing his sister got hurt. Not even a strand of her hair could be touched with an intention of hurting her.
Jaxon was determined than ever. Everyone in the other world was depending on him to close the portal. The longer the portal opened, the more Soul Eaters would enter. He couldn’t let the Soul Eaters killed everyone he had sworn to protect. He might have stepped down from his Alpha’s position, it didn’t mean he let go of his duty. His duty was still the same. Protect his pack. Protect his family. Protect those who couldn’t protect themselves.
If he died trying, it was better than died not doing anything. Death was not something he was afraid of. Disappointing everyone was what he was afraid of. He didn’t want to be a failure. He did that twice when he failed to protect Hanson and Zia. The guilt would never stop eating him up for the rest of his life.
“Stefano, guide us out of here,” Jaxon demanded. “We’re going to close the portal one way or another. Either I close it or die trying.”