The Ring Bearer: Being Found

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Chapter 38

Seeing as she had already been given some alone time with Levi, she continued in the direction the warlocks had gone to give the mages some privacy. Their reunion was great for everyone- her included- but they still had a problem; her ancestors were nearby and the group was supposed to be running away from them until they had some sort of plan.

There was laughter and tears following her down the dimly lit hallway, and she knew the mages weren't behind by too long of a distance. When she glanced at them from over her shoulder, she could barely see them and the smiles on their faces. Suddenly, someone ran over to her and when she checked at her side, it was Alex.

"This is the first time all of us have been reunited in centuries." There was a childish grin on his lips, and it was so wide that it stretched from ear to ear, "You should be part of our celebration, yet you stay here! You didn't even introduce yourself to Levi."

"All the more reason for you twelve to catch up without me.” She reminded him, and Alex only let his lips form a frown.

Staying silent for a moment, Alex looked at her and then slowly turned his head so he could see the group behind them. Following his lead, she turned her head slightly, only to catch Angelo's gaze as well as Darius's and Mika’s. Seeing as she turned their way, the three of them looked away and then back to her, and she saw nothing but adoration in their eyes. She was confused, though; why were they looking at her in that way?

"I don't think I'm the only one who wants you to continue being with us." In confusion, she turned to Alex again and then threw another glance over her shoulder to see she had caught everyone's gaze.

"Wait. Master.” She cringed at the name and turned around, seeing Levi walk over to her with an amused grin on his lips, "You ignore me now that you've found me? I'm offended."

Charlotte couldn't help it when her eyes narrowed up at him, and when Percy and Kaspar took a step back, she knew they knew what was coming, "If I remember correctly, you're the one who tried to kill me before."

That stopped all of the laughter immediately and the mages all rounded on Levi. She thought it was amusing how even Erik, who had his fair share of giving her death glares, instead sent his death glare to Levi.

"It was too dangerous." He defended himself, his eyes glancing over each of the mages and then back to her, "I didn't think you'd want to risk your life saving me."

"Levi, meet Charlotte, our suicidal master." When Angelo introduced her, she turned her glare onto him, but he snorted and snapped back, "Don't give me that look. You know it's true."

"Running into a graveyard." Kaspar began, and she watched with a scowl as the other mages added on.

"Jumping into a frozen lake."

"Swimming in a frozen lake."

"Climbing up a volcano."

"Scaling the side of a Chapel."

“Diving off a cliff."

“Confronting your ancestors."

"Fighting your way through a battleground."

"They're all things I did to reunite the twelve of you.” She said quietly, and though some of them grinned, the others shook their heads.

"We know, and that's why we tease you." Douglas never smiled much, at least not openly. As he smiled, she could feel the red that started to paint her cheeks, "You never gave up on us, even when it was dangerous."

"What are you all going to do when I free you?” She could not help but ask. It had been in her heart for a while and though she never voiced out her worry, she knew she would be worried for them.

"We're going to get revenge." The look in Nero's eyes was murderous as he spoke, and she noticed that all twelve mages shared the look, "We're going to take everything your ancestors built up and they'll destroy it one by one."

Everything? Did that mean her as well? Was it dangerous to let the mages go and get their revenge? She wouldn't ever change her mind about freeing them, but now she was afraid of staying with them. Would they destroy her or would the desperate need to take revenge destroy the twelve of them? She didn't want to stick around and find out.

"You look frightened." When Angelo spoke, the other mages softened their gazes. They probably realized how she felt about all of this, but she knew that wouldn't change their hearts, "Why?"

"When I made the promise to free you, I did it with the hope that you'd create yourselves a new future.” She turned around and kept walking then, and she didn't bother turn around as they entered the underground bunker her town's civilians shared, "Not to return to your past."

As she entered the bunker, her eyes roamed for any familiar face she could spot; and she spotted many. It was a large room for the remaining civilians and rooms branched off for families to sleep at night. There were many warriors hiding down there as well, and she cringed at their bloody state. Some were missing arms or legs, while others were sitting in corners and rocking themselves as if to convince themselves it was all just a bad dream.

"There you are." Senior Leo had come out of one of the rooms with the rest of Squad A following him, and as he neared her, he held out a first aid kit, "I’m going to need help checking on the injured."

Before she could grab the kit in his hands, Dale walked forward and with a smile, took it out of his grip, "I was a doctor once. I’ll treat them."

"I'm going to help.” She was surprised that Erik would offer to help, considering he really didn't like anyone, but he trailed after Dale like a puppy.

"What can we do to help?" Mika stepped closer to where she and senior Leo were, but as he did, she stepped away.

"There are supplies and firewood down that corridor." Senior Bryn said, pointing to the east side of the room, "We'll need a few of you to grab them."

Percy squeezed her shoulder as he walked by with Angelo and Kaspar following him, "We volunteer."

“C'mon, Alex." Kaspar grabbed the eleventh mage by the shirt, even though Alex whined.

"How good are you with needles and thread, grandpa?" For a moment, Charlotte thought senior Ariel was talking to Nico or Nero, as they were the eldest, but his gaze was on Darius.

Darius's lips curled into a smirk as he stepped closer to senior Ariel, "Depends. Are you telling me to prick you?"

Senior Ariel narrowed his eyes for a moment before grinning and walking away with Darius behind him.

Sighing, Mark took Mika's hand and pulled him along, "We'll go make sure Darius doesn't kill him."

"The rest of you-"

As senior Leo turned to the last three mages behind her to give them assignments, he was cut off by Otto, who trailed out of one of the other rooms. There was a bandage covering his shoulder and he saw that she was staring at it.

"Charlotte. We have to discuss the next step."

Catching the hint that it was about freeing her mages, she nodded and hurried over to Otto, though the remaining mages trailed after her. When she looked back at them, the three of them had stared back at her as if they didn't know why she stopped walking. She didn't think much of it since they were the elder mages; they probably wanted to keep her safe and figure out what she was doing.

"Charlotte!" The first face she saw as she entered the room was Theodore, who seriously reminded her of Mark and Mika. Gera was in the corner of the room like back when they first met in the hidden room under the trapdoor.

In his hands was the spell book he had once given her that belonged to her ancestors. She wondered how he got the book for a moment, but then her eyes fell upon her backpack, and she realized she had forgotten all about it in her panic to rescue Levi.

"It's time to learn the spell to unbind them." Gera put the book down and walked over to a crate, lifting it onto the table where the spell book sat, "In here sits twelve candles. We must retrieve a drop of blood from each mage in order to perform this spell."

For two hours, Gera and Otto coached her on the spell she needed to perform. Nico, Nero and Levi sat still in the back beside the other warlocks, but she could see the excitement dancing in their eyes every time she turned in their direction. They were more than ready to be free again.

"It's sundown. We must hurry or the day will be lost." As Otto spoke, the other warlocks cleared the room and Otto himself left the room to gather the other mages.

The nine mages walked into the room in absolute confusion, but as they saw the spell book, the elders' excitement reached their own expressions. The mages got into a large circle around her and each one was given a candle. Then, as they held their candles, Gera walked around the circle with a small pricking needle and collected a drop of blood from each mage, putting it into a small bowl and handing it to her. There was a large bowl sitting in front of her feet, and as she chanted the spell, she was to pour the blood into the large bowl.

"We only have one shot, Charlotte. Are you ready?” She was far from ready, and she was terrified, but she couldn't help but nod at Gera's words. Her mages waited far too long and it didn't matter now if she was ready or not- what mattered was that her mages were.

Everyone was standing for the spell, and right before she closed her eyes to start chanting it, she noticed the soft smiles on her mages' faces. They were more than excited, they were thankful.

“Child of the frost and of the sea,
Of time and of the breeze,
Of the skies and of the clouds,
Of the mind that has been bound.
Child of the fire and of the earth,
Of the lost and of the hurt,
Of the light that has been dimmed,
All the children that have been pinned.
I remove all that was in your way,
And may you burn brightly another day.
With the power invested here in me,
I now declare you as free."

Everything was silent for a moment, and she was frightened. Did she say the spell wrong? Was she not strong enough? Had something gone wrong? But she was the one that was wrong- because a moment later, a large gust of energy escaped from the bowl on the floor, and she was knocked off her feet, covering her head in case something was going to jump out and attack her.

Then there was laughter, and a lot of it. It wasn't exactly joyful laughter, but the kind of dangerous laughter a maniac would give out as he unveiled a plan no one could stop. She slowly uncovered her eyes and looked over at her mages- well, not hers anymore.

Nothing about them physically had changed, although she could see the danger in their eyes shining even brighter than it had before. When she looked down at her hands, her rings were still there but not even glowing at all; they were just ordinary rings now.

"We thank you, Charlotte." Nico got down onto one knee and the other mages followed, and for a few moments, their expressions had turned into the ones she was used to, "Now we have all of our powers, and we're ready to take back the world that should be ours!"

"No.” She gasped, but it was too late. The mages were disappearing one by one and now that they weren't in their rings, even she couldn't stop them.

"What did I do?"

To be continued...

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