The Ring Bearer: Being Found

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Chapter 10

When she opened her eyes, she found herself lying in bed again as if she hadn’t left it at all. Charlotte would have thought that her sudden fainting spell was just a bad dream, but the wet cloth pressed against her forehead said it wasn’t. Who moved her to the room, she didn’t know, and why she had fainted earlier was beyond her.

Glancing out of the window, she noticed that the sky was now dark, meaning she’d better get up and move around she’d have spent the whole day sleeping. She walked out of the room and slowly tiptoed down the hall and stairs; she didn’t know what time it was, but she didn’t want to wake the three mages up in case they had already decided to call it a night.

However, that didn’t seem to be the case as she walked into the living room to see the three mages sitting on the couch and playing… video games? She hadn’t even noticed the television earlier, but they seemed to be enjoying themselves even if they hadn’t been around for over 300 years.

They were boys, alright; competitive and childish boys who that immersed themselves in the game they were playing together.

Charlotte crouched so that she wouldn’t be in their way as she walked by, and took a seat on the floor in front of the three, her eyes glued to the screen despite the fact that she didn’t particularly care for it.

The first to notice that she had suddenly appeared before them was Mark, who tossed his controller aside and practically jumped off the couch to press the back of his hand against her forehead. She wanted to laugh and say she was alright, but she smiled at the attention she was receiving from Mark.

The next minute, the game was paused and Darius pushed Mark aside to check her forehead himself. She really did laugh, then, because Darius sometimes became so childish that it was hard for her to take his actions seriously.

Mika pushed Darius away then and held out a bag of food for her, and she felt her lips curve into a smile. None of them knew how to cook, and there was nothing to cook, so they were more than lucky to have the unlimited supply of bags of food for times like this.

“I’m fine.” She told them, pulling the bag of food out of Mika’s hands and opening it with the intention of eating it. However, she could only finish a small portion of the food before she felt her stomach reject the rest.

“Are you sure you’re feeling better?” That was Darius’s voice, and she tilted her head back far enough for her to look up at him and nod gently.

“Yeah, I don’t know why I fainted earlier.” She reassured him and then turned her attention back to the game they had started to play again. She scooted back until she felt her back bump against a pair of legs and when she turned to see whose legs she’d bumped into, she noticed Mika’s lips curl into a grin as he continued playing and not so subtly nudged her with his feet.

“Have any dreams?” Mark asked then, and the other two turned their gazes to her as if they just realized that was actually something they should have asked earlier on.

Slowly, she nodded and wrapped her arms around her legs as she recalled the dream. It wasn't like she'd never been scared by her dreams before, but this dream left her cringing far more than the others had before.

The first thing she noticed was that she was in the middle of a graveyard; and like most graveyards, there were several gravestones around her. There were storm clouds directly above her, and around her, and stretching out for seemingly as long as the graveyard itself stretched out.

She didn't know how she'd gotten there, or what she was looking for there, but she felt her breath hitch in fear. Being in the town her entire life, the graveyard was unfamiliar because there were no graveyards inside the barrier’s protection. As far as she knew, this was the first graveyard she’d ever seen, and she wasn't excited in the slightest.

There was grass beneath her feet like when she was in the wind turbine field, yet there was no gentle breeze and no sun, just clouds and moonlight, and the air was thick with fog. She gasped every time she saw another gravestone, because some of the graves looked like they were actually trying to open and she certainly didn't want to see whoever was hiding underneath the dirt.

Charlotte’s eyes were restlessly searching the area around her, and she knew what she was looking for without thinking too much about it. The next box was around here, yet she didn't know where it was and she was in the middle of the graveyard.

She closed her eyes then, praying she would just wake up from this awful dream, but when she opened her eyes, she knew she was still in that strange place. She wasn’t in the open graveyard anymore, but seemingly underground and possibly inside of a catacomb with skeletons lining the walls and lights flickering on and off overhead.

She looked around again, though her eyes weren't as frantic as they were before as her search for the next velvet box continued. Then, all of a sudden, one of the lights turned off, and when it turned on again, Charlotte noticed in horror that the walls of the catacomb were crumbling down and dirt and bones were all hitting the ground without rest.

Horrified, she turned and bolted away from the crumbling walls. She didn't know why the structure was suddenly falling apart, but just seeing the damage was overwhelming and she wanted nothing more than to just run as far away from that place as she could.

Charlotte didn't know where she was running, or where she'd end up. She didn't know if she'd outrun the destruction behind her, either; yet her feet kept going and she kept throwing glances over her shoulder to make sure the crumbling walls hadn’t caught up with her.

To her ever-growing horror, the walls before her were also crumbling down and she knew that she was going to be in the middle, but she was far more concerned with the crumbling behind her. Perhaps, though, maybe looking back so constantly would only be a bad idea because she eventually stepped onto a false tile and the ground beneath her feet disappeared and allowed for her to fall through to whatever was below her.

Thankfully, because it was a dream, she didn't feel any pain- though she was afraid of what would happen when she actually had to go and find this ring. Maybe she could put it off for a few days or something- though she hardly doubted the other three mages would let her.

Speaking of the three, when she found herself still, she also found she had rolled against something solid; and when she looked up, standing there was none other than Darius. He wasn't looking at her, however, and she then noticed Mika and Mark on either side of him. The three of them didn't look particularly amused with her, yet their eyes were on something behind her. At first, she thought the debris had fallen in with her; but when she turned to look, it was as if an invisible force had stopped the destruction.

That's when she looked down at the ground and found a black velvet box wedged into a small crevice. She left the three mages so she could go and inspect the thing, and indeed, it was another "BLOOD" box. There was dirt covering the case, and though she cringed at the state it was in, she realized she was also in a similar state after rolling around in a graveyard. Charlotte reached her hand into the crevice the box was in and wrapped her hand around the box, tugging at it with all the strength she could muster for it to pull out of the small space.

Again, perhaps that wasn't the wisest move, because she used so much force to pull the box out that she ended up losing balance as she freed the box from the crevice.

Except, when she found herself awoken from her day dream, she realized she hadn't lost balance, but that Mark had reached down and was shaking her shoulder to attempt to pull her out of whatever thoughts were bothering her, "What did you dream about?"

She contemplated on what to tell them, since she didn't know of what she should tell them. Maybe they'd worry about her if she told them about all the dangers she faced in the dream, or maybe they wouldn't believe her and say she was only making things up so that she didn't have to continue looking for their friends.

"I don't know what it was exactly.” She answered, and she absentmindedly rubbed her arm to calm herself down, "It looked like… death."

The three of them let out sighs and she turned to them in bewilderment. She didn't expect for all three of them to sound disappointed with her announcement, since she just confirmed that they'd be able to see one of their other friends. Then, as if they hadn't heard anything displeasing to them, they smiled so widely that she figured their lips would fall off.

"Think of it this way, at least it's not Percy." Darius let out what sounded like a sigh of relief, but she could only keep staring, because who was Percy?

"Or Angelo." Mika continued with a murmur, and she turned her head to him in further disbelief. Who was Angelo?!

The three of them then proceeded to nod in unison, as if they were glad they had all been thinking the same thing; but she could only feel her eyes narrow at the trio.

"What's wrong with Kaspar?” She felt the need to defend the mage she was soon to meet even though she'd yet to meet him, but it seemed that her phrasing of the sentence was wrong, for they all turned their heads to stare at her.

"You did it again!" Mark said accusingly, his arms crossing over his chest.

"Did... what?" Honestly, she had no idea of half of the things those three told her, so she felt tense as they accused her suddenly.

"She did that before?" Darius asked the other two hesitantly, though his eyes remained on her.

"Yeah, apparently she mentioned my name to Mark, and then she said your name, too!" Mika nodded rapidly and they continued muttering to each other like a group of gossiping elderly women.

"Are you saying I called the new mage by name?” She asked, dumbstruck. As far as she knew, she had said 'what's wrong with the new mage?', but she had actually said the male's name? What was even going on anymore?

For a moment, the three of them just stared at her as if they couldn't believe she hadn't realized she was doing something like that; and after another glance shared between one another, they all stood up and Mika rolled up the map while Mark went to grab her backpack and Darius pulled her off the ground.

"Where are we going?” She couldn't help but ask. They still hadn't decided on what they were going to do, and they haven't talked about the possibilities as to why she was able to call the mages by name without realizing or remembering it.

"To find Kaspar." Mark was practically bouncing as he stood by the door with her backpack in hand. Why he was so excited she didn't know, but she found it endearing how eager the mages always were when they found out they could find another mage.

"But I don't know where to find him-” She started to protest because she was actually starting to get afraid of what she'd seen in her dream in finding the fourth mage.

"We already studied the map." Mika informed her, and she only gaped at the three in surprise to see their commitment, "We deciphered their hiding spots, now it's on you to do the rest."

Without realizing it, she was nodding and the three of them left the comfort of the house they were in to look for the fourth mage; and it was only then that she realized something.

It was still in the middle of the night!

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