"I had a dream about the next mage.” She knew she was just changing the topic, and she knew they were aware of it; but she honestly didn't mind much. She would rather them be suspicious of a lie than let them show anger towards Darkside, who seemed like they genuinely wished to help. Her words, however, caused for Erik and a couple of the other mages to look at each other before turning to her, and she couldn't help but flinch at the hurt expression Mark sent her way.
"Let's go quickly; we don't want to waste any time." Nico's voice was firm, and he nodded at her shortly as he turned and walked off with the other mages following him. Well, all of the mages except for Angelo.
His eyes narrowed for a moment as he looked at her, but then he shrugged and slowly turned away from her as he continued walking as well, "You better have a good reason to be hiding this from us."
What would she tell him? That she was afraid the other mages would lose trust in her once she told them the truth about herself? That Nico and Nero had told her to keep her past a secret until the second leader joined their group? As she was thinking to herself, she hadn't realized Ion had made his way back to her and held out his hand.
"You found me, took care of me, and protected me. I trust you more than anyone.” She was a little skeptical about his words, since he was pretty close to Erik, but his eyes were gentle and his smile was sincere. Without another thought, she took his outstretched hand, and she and Darius walked out of the house together, only to pause in front of the building with the other mages before them.
Nico, who was holding the map, turned to Darius and she before handing the map over to Erik and walking over to where she and Darius stood. His eyebrows furrowed as he glanced at their hands, but when he looked up at her, there was no trace of anything but his cautious smile.
"Do you know where it is we are heading to?"
She stared at him for a moment, because she forgot what it was that she had seen in her dream. Was she supposed to look for the mage hidden in the castle first, or the one she had seen at the Isle of Death? Her silence caused for Douglas to grow suspicious, and the other mages turned to them as they waited for orders.
Without answering, she walked up to Erik, who hadn't even turned to her, and she slowly pulled the map out of his hands. He was surprised that she went all the way over to him for the map, but she was busy trying to read the map and their next destination. There were two markers left blank, but she noticed something odd. There was one marker over the Isle of Death, of course, but there wasn't a marker over her castle. The last marker was far away from her castle, seemingly in the middle of nowhere.
"That's odd.” She couldn't help but frown, as it was all very confusing. If the marker was in the middle of nowhere, why did she have the nightmare showing that the mage was to be found at the castle? Was she being tricked by her mind? Was she missing something important?
"What's wrong?" Percy was looking at the map over her shoulder, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion as he waited for her to answer.
She couldn't answer because she didn't know the answer. It was beginning to frustrate her; the fact that she really didn't know what she was doing when it came to the mages and how to free them. With a light groan of annoyance, she held the map out to Erik once more, but the mage of earth didn't even attempt to take it, so in the end, she was the one tasked with leading the group.
"Where are we going?" Kaspar asked loudly, and when no one answered him, she remembered she was the only one who actually knew.
"The Isle of Death. We're going after the mage of cellular manipulation."
As soon as she let the words escape her lips, Mika rammed his way through the other mages and was holding onto her shoulders with a gleam of excitement in his eyes, "We're going to find Alex? We're going to find Alex!"
With that, Mika ran off to where Nico, Nero and Dale were conversing in the back. Charlotte turned her head slowly to watch him, a fond smile on her lips, but she couldn't help but notice the disappointed expression on Mark's face.
"That means no Levi, right?" he tried to smile, but it seemed forced; and as she tried to answer, the name he said finally clicked.
They all warned her about Levi before, and Levi was the one she had seen in her nightmares. Why was it Levi that she saw in her nightmares? Why did he warn her, push her away, and attempt to kill her? Who was this Levi and what did he want from her?
"We know this place." Nero muttered, and he pulled forward to look down at the map, "The Isle of Death is where they turned us into mages; and even worse, into their slaves."
"That means I can take us there." Darius didn't sound very pleased as he spoke, but when the elder mages nodded, he held out his hands, and the rest of the mages latched onto him.
When they had gotten to the Isle of Death, they stopped and stared, because the Isle of Death was floating several miles out on the water, and not even Douglas could figure out a safe way to get all of the mages across the water.
"What a show off." Erik's voice was amused as he scoffed, his arms crossed over his chest as he watched the island peacefully float on the water.
She took a couple of steps forward, because she knew that in her dream, she had used Erik's power of earth in order to create a strip of land leading to the flat surface of the isle. Just as she readied herself to call for the power, however, someone pulled her back.
"It's dangerous over there." Dale's voice was wavering in fear, and she wished she knew of a way to reassure him that they'd all be fine; but after what they told her of them all dying together, she knew her words would have no effect.
Slowly, she took his hand off her arm and squeezed it, because she knew nothing she could say would appease their hearts. Their fear would not stop her from doing what she promised to do, and they knew that as they backed away.
Charlotte looked over at the Isle of Death, and it looked deadly as the name suggested, but she was ready to get over there; and when the water before them rippled and a strip of land surfaced to help them reach the isle, she was ready for it.
"Let's go, before it gets dark." Nico was the first to ascend the staircase, and Nero followed closely behind him. Quickly, the other mages ran off after the pair and left her behind with the map clutched in her hand. She trailed after them slowly, the strip of land disappearing slowly as her feet lifted off it.
“Help me.” The voice came from further along the island and her eyes wandered to see what else could have been on the island with them.
There was a temple on the top of the isle, though it was further in and the other mages had already walked into it. There were drawings on the ground, what she figured were magic circles for outdoor rituals, and as she walked into the temple, she felt the strange sense that she was home again. It made sense, since her ancestors came from this place, but she didn't feel at peace when remembering what this temple stood for. When she entered the temple to meet up with the other mages, she noticed all the lab equipment sitting around.
“Help me.” Perhaps it was just her, but he sounded terrified to be there as the lab equipment sat around the room.
Her heart felt heavy. Her mages had been brought to that place so their lives could be ripped away from them. She had the urge to push all of the equipment off the island, but she had something more important to tend to. The mages were all in the center of the temple, surrounding a small podium on which the eleventh mage's ring box was resting. Their shoulders were raised and their bodies were tensed, and she couldn't blame them. There was a see through chamber on one side of the room, and she swear she could see a couple of corpses in it, too.
"Charlotte, get Alex so we can leave this place. Please." Mark's voice was wavering like Mark's was earlier, and she nodded as the group of them parted to let her through.
She opened the ring box, and sitting there was a silver ring with what seemed to be an orb symbol sitting at its center, possibly of a cell, considering the fact that the next mage had the power of cellular manipulation. She hurriedly pushed it onto her right hand's thumb and shut her eyes, only opening them when she heard Mika's excited voice.
"Alex!" Mika actually ran forward and had himself wrapped around the new mage immediately, and the innocent eyed blonde haired male smiled widely as he hugged back.
"Phong." He even kissed Mika's hair, and after Mika sobbed for a few moments, Alex pulled back and wiped his face dry of any tears, "Why are you crying when I’m right here?"
"Alex." Nero's voice cut into their moment, and though she would have rather let the two talk among themselves to catch up after years of being separated, Alex looked over at Nero immediately, "Can you bring this back to the mainland?"
Alex's face tightened at the question, and though he nodded, his voice didn't make him sound like he agreed with the order completely, "I'll do as you say, Nero; but the second this island gets back onto the mainland, the guards are going to come looking for us."
"Guards? What do you mean?"
Hearing her speak, Alex turned his head to her and his eyebrows furrowed for a few moments before he smiled and bowed his head.
"You must be our master."
Well, it didn't seem like he hated her. It was a nice break after Erik When she didn't answer, he looked up at her again and waved a hand in the air.
"They have this place bugged. The only way I could be awakened and have this land back to shore would be if a master found me. They'll be here after us, after you, as soon as we get to the mainland."
Guards? Did that mean people that worked for her ancestors would be coming for them? Would they take the group to her ancestors, or would they kill her and the mages immediately? She wasn't sure, but she knew she couldn't be caught until after they found the next mage, Levi.
She looked over to Nico, who was staring back at her with his eyes hardened and his hands clenched into fists, "They'll kill us if we're found here."
"Keep the island out in the water. You'll get out of here before they can spot us." Her voice was never this sure and confident, and as the mages stared at her in confusion, she ran to the edge of the isle and the strip of land surfaced once again.
"'You'll'? What are you planning to do?" Angelo grabbed her by the arm and wouldn't let go when she tried to shake him off.
Charlotte looked past Angelo to Darius, who was standing beside Erik and giving her an unreadable look, "As soon as you're off this isle, teleport everyone back to the house."
"What are you planning?" Erik's voice wasn't angry but hesitant, worried almost.
"I'm going back with the island.” She answered, and then she was walking back to the center of the temple with Angelo finally letting go.
No one answered at first, and then someone was sighing, and she stopped walking to look over at Nico. He was shaking his head as he looked at her, possibly asking her to change her mind, "If they find you, they'll kill you. They'll kill all of us."
"No they won't, Douglas, and you know that." Finally, Angelo and Erik started climbing down the stairs, causing for a couple of the other mages to look at her once more before allowing themselves to follow.
"I'm their descendant."