The Ring Bearer: Being Found

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 20

Nothing could calm the worry in her heart. The eighth mage's ring box, she knew where it was, but she didn't know who else knew where it was and she didn't know why anyone else would have been looking for it. Much like when she found Ion's ring box, she was worried that the mage would have gotten hurt and she wanted to find him- to find him and make sure for herself that he would be okay.
Percy was a fast walker; she had realized that as soon as they set out on search for the eighth ring box. In the time it would have taken her to survey the entire floor, Percy had breezed through the corridors and swept in and out of various rooms. They were empty, of course, but she could still see all the furniture that someone threw around, as well as the many papers on the ground. Percy saw it too, but every time she looked up at him to see his reaction, he'd have his head turned away from her.
He wore his heart on his sleeve, Percy did. When he was happy, he showed it, when he was guilty, he showed it, when he worried, he showed it- and she guess he didn't want to show it. As he continued walking down another series of corridors, she realized that the lights over their heads were starting to flicker on and off and with a gasp, she turned her head into Percy's chest.
“I'll protect you." He whispered it to her and despite the fact that she didn't know Percy as well as perhaps Mika, she knew he was honest and that he would protect her. So she nodded and turned her head back in the direction they were moving in, and occasionally, they found one of the other mages in the room they were going to check next.
"Why are you carrying her?" Darius had a stack of papers in his hand as he asked; his eyebrows furrowed in annoyance as he glanced from Percy to her and back again. He had come out of the nurses' office, and she wondered what it was he had sorting through.
"She said she knows where the ring is!" Percy's voice was eager and excited again, but his eyes had tightened, and she didn't know if he was annoyed or if he was worried.
"You had a dream?" that was Mika's voice calling from behind Darius, and when Darius moved slightly to the side, Mika walked up to us with a stethoscope in his hand, "Where is he?"
She shook her head, since she wasn't sure where he was, but she knew that if they didn't start walking again soon, that they wouldn't be able to find the next mage at all. After tugging on Percy's shirt, the mage of fire nodded and continued in the direction that they had been going.
Nico and Nero stopped them as well, the elder of which had actually put a hand on Percy's arm to stop his movement, "Where do you think you're going?"
"To find Dale!" Percy answered back cheerfully, and Nico and Nero shared a glance before Nico cleared his throat, his arms crossing over his chest.
"Percy, you can barely find your shoes," Nico's eyebrows rose as he added on. "While you're wearing them, too."
Percy seemed to be naturally curious, because he'd ask her what every room in the hospital's purpose was, and though she'd never actually been to the hospital, she answered as best as she could.
When they had gone into the morgue that was still cold enough to place dead bodies in, Percy refused to go in past the entrance.
"It's too cold. If I need to use I powers later, it'll take me longer to heat up." Percy frowned as he said it, and without even looking at her, he turned and walked away. He hadn't been as upset when they got into the operation room, but he flinched as he saw all the surgery equipment laying around and backed out of the room as if the equipment would come to life and attack the two of them.
Then, they had gone into empty patient rooms, surveying the inside of the room and leaving when realizing nothing interesting was happening in there anyway. There was a lot of equipment laying around in those rooms, as well, though it wasn't enough to make Percy flinch like for the operation room. It was enough to make her flinch, however, because her dream hadn't been as... real as that. Seeing all the equipment being thrown around and knowing someone else had been looking for the eighth mage was terrifying, and she wondered who it could be.
Darkside? However, they hadn't seemed to be much of a threat, despite the fact that they were tracking their progress and worried about the mages' past. Who else could possibly even know about their existence?
Senior Leo knew of their existence. Charlotte could still clearly remember how he had reacted when she told him she needed to go and find the first mage, and how hesitant he was to let her chase after it. Could it have been him? Or perhaps, someone he knew? She had no idea, honestly, and she was sure that Senior Leo didn't even know about these rings, so she tried her best to stop thinking about it.
“We need to find him." It wasn't her saying it for herself, but her asking because she was starting to actually panic again. Percy glanced down at her the same time that she looked up at him, and with a silent nod of agreement, Percy hurried down the corridors.
She was already sure that no one took the next mage's ring box, since the box was safe and seemingly unharmed, but her heart was beating as if that information was too good to be true.
"Wait, is that-" Percy cut himself off, something she realized he seemed to do a lot, and walked up to a door at the end of the hallway. She hadn't taken a good look at it in her dream, but Percy's eyebrows furrowed as he read the sign on the door, Chai. She didn't know why he was just standing there, but a moment later, he kicked the door open and waltzed in as if he owned the room, "Is he in here?"
“Help me.”
She looked around to make sure the room was what she saw in her dream, and surely enough, it was; and now with the mage calling out to her, it was much easier to believe he was there.
Being in the room then was much more terrifying than seeing it in a dream, because it smelled heavily of some herb she wasn't sure of, and the cobwebs that occupied the room worried her.
Why did the room seem to be untouched but at the same time destroyed?
Like in her dream, Percy walked over to the dusty old desk chair and put her down on it, briefly chuckling at her disgusted expression before he turned away and started looking for the ring box again. He hummed as he looked for it, occasionally swearing and throwing objects here and there as he did so.
"You'd think a doctor like him would keep his room clean." Percy had been stepping on several sheets of paper that he had no interest in until one set of papers caught his interest and he pulled it to his face, "BLOOD-"
“Help me.”
She had zoned him out in order to search for the ring herself, her eyes just barely taking in the books and papers spread out across the ground before her eyes fixated on the portrait. It was of some old woman she didn't know, and it certainly didn't fit in the office setting.
Was he still in there, like he was in her dream? What if someone had gotten there before Percy and she had? Maybe that would be unrealistic, since reality never strayed far from the dreams she had, but there was always the chance that something could change the outcome of the dream. There were tears going down her face, and though Percy's gaze was on the stack of papers in his hands, she had a feeling he was as worried as she had become.
How could she get to the portrait without getting out of the chair Percy placed her in? How could she get to the eighth ring box to make sure the mage inside of it was alive and well? That portrait was blocking her view of the inside, and she found herself wishing for a way to remove the portrait.
“Help me.”
That's when she blinked and opened her eyes only to see that the portrait had caught on fire. She gasped as she saw it, alarmed that she had once again been able to do something without even realizing it, and that seemed to snap Percy out of his thoughts.
"Charlotte!" With a gasp of his own, Percy ran to the portrait and pressed his hand against the fire. She wondered why the fire didn't affect him for a moment, but when she looked closer, it was as if his hand was absorbing the fire that came from the portrait, "You must not be very artistic."
Charlotte knew he was joking as he said it, but it didn't help her feel better about setting the portrait on fire, even if it was to look for the hidden mage, "He's behind the portrait."
"Behind...?" With a hum, Percy gently lifted the portrait off the wall and bent over just slightly in order to peer into the hole that the portrait had been covering. She tried to peer over his shoulder, but Percy was tall and it was nearly impossible to see anything but his broad shoulders.
In frustration, she closed her eyes and bowed her head, unable to take the suspension of whether or not the ring box was actually there. Percy cleared his throat, and she looked up at him to see if he had any luck, but Percy was already standing in front of her, leaning forward, with the ring box in his hand.
"You found him.” She breathed out in relief and gingerly took the ring box in her own hands, her eyes running over the familiar black velvet casing with the silver lettering of BLOOD around it.
The only thing that upset her when holding the ring box was all the marks covering it. The ring case was obviously untouched for a long time, but it was in such a bad condition that she realized that someone had already tried to open it.
"No, we did." Percy's answering grin calmed her fears just slightly, but she turned her gaze back to the ring box and was worried all over again. It was like when she had found Ion's ring box, marked and hidden away, but it just seemed to be a little worse. Someone turned the entire hospital upside down in order to find the mage, was unable to open it and use the mage's power, and then hid it again so no one else could try to use the mage he wasn't able to use.
"Please open." The ring box had no reason to open for her, since it also didn't open for whoever else attempted to find it, but she found herself hoping it would, because she wanted for the mage inside to be reunited with the friends that were still turning the rest of the hospital over trying to find him. Her fingers opened the box easily, and after a moment of looking down and smiling at the ring with the symbol of a healing orb on it, she pulled it out of the case and slipped it onto one of the empty fingers on her right hand.
After a moment of covering her eyes to make sure the white light wouldn’t blind her, she had uncovered her face and looked at the male who came from the eighth ring. He had a soft pair of eyes that seemed to be looking at things miles away, a sharp face, and dirty blonde hair.
"D-did you summon me, ma-master?" His voice was gentle, shy- afraid.
She glanced over to Percy and noticed that he was staring at Dale with his eyes narrowed in curiosity, but when he noticed she was looking at him, he turned back to her and tilted his head.
"Go get the others, Percy?" With an excited nod, Percy tore out of the room and down the hall, leaving her with the eighth mage that was trembling where he stood, "I'm Charlotte, who are you?"
"I’m Dale, m-master." His eyes were darting around the room in worry, as if he were expecting something to jump out from the shadows and attack him.
"Call me Charlotte." His trembling stopped immediately and he widened his eyes in surprise as he looked back at her, and only then did he notice the wounds covering her body.
"I'll heal you, ma- Charlotte." he walked forward with shaky footsteps and held one hand out to touch her leg, but she had quickly grasped onto it with her hand. Dale flinched and attempted to pull his hand back, but she refused to let go, instead, slowly clasping her hands around his.
"Thank you for opening for me."
He never answered, and she never expected him to. The two of them lapsed into silence, with her trying to keep her tears in, and with him just being in surprise that a "master" like her was there and not humiliating him.
"Dale! Char-" Mark's voice was calling for her eagerly as the mage burst into the office she and Dale were in, but Mark had silenced himself as he saw what state the two of them were in.
"Mark!" Dale's gentle voice was full of surprise as he called out the younger mage's name, and she let go of his arm as soon as he called it, "Kaspar!"
"Oh, our precious doctor." Kaspar let out a sniffle and then cackled afterward, and she supposed it was because he used a nickname that Dale wouldn't appreciate.
She knew they were hugging, since Mark was the first to pounce on any of the mages they were to find. She bowed her head as they hugged, and she refused to look up even when the other mages walked in and crowded the already small office. Their voices were eager as they greeted the eighth member; she listened as the mages clasped their hand against Dale's shoulder each time they hugged.
"Wait," that was Dale's voice again, stopping the chatter coming from all the other mages as the eighth mage walked over to her and slowly got onto his knees when he realized she wasn't going to look up at him, "You are the one who summoned all my friends?"
When she looked up at him, she noticed gentle curiosity reached his eyes, and she nodded, only causing those few tears to escape her eyes again and drop onto her lap.
"I'll heal you on one condition, then.” She stared at him to continue, though the tears were falling again without relenting, and she barely felt the gentle reassurance Nico gave her when squeezing her shoulder lightly.
"Treat me the same way you treat them, because if it's you that's making them so happy, I want to be a part of it."
And like that, Dale had joined them in their quest to find the next four mages.
Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.