Raina lay asleep, nearly unconscious. As she fluttered her dark eyes open, she struggled to focus on the vision in front of her. After sitting up, her eyes surveyed the room, and the realization came to her. She was back in her room at Esmra’s.
“You are awake,” Pandora said.
Raina pushed herself into the wall in fear. “Do not fear me, child. I am the one you wanted. I am here now. It is time for us to do our work.”
Raina said, “What do I have to do?”
“I know that Naberious is far away. I read the demon’s thoughts. He does not believe that I am on Earth and saw through the other demon’s disguise. I must go to him, but I cannot travel far from the one who summoned me. I am weak and must recharge my strength. I have to tend to some things first and then return and face my mother. The one who did this to me. Until I face her, she will leave me this way. I will never be able to return to my true self, to help humans, to go home, or to love.”
“How are you going to regain power by going to the fairy realm?” Raina asked.
“Well, I have to regain my power somewhat to face my mother, then I can get the strength I need. I will have to get my power here, first.”
“How are you to get it here?”
Pandora grinned. “I have to absorb the youth, and beauty of a young woman in love. Once I absorb her youth, love, and beauty, I will have enough to face my mother.”
“What happens to the woman you absorb power from?”
Pandora whispered, “She turns into a crone.”
Raina gasped and covered her mouth.
“What Raina, do you know of a woman in true love?”
Raina shook her head.
“Yes, you do, Raina.”
“No, Raina. What you have is not true love. You are in lust. Besides, even if you were in love, you are my summoner. I owe you a favor. So, if you wish for Derek to love you, I can make that happen.”
Raina jumped up. “When to do we leave?”
Pandora let out an evil blood-curdling laugh. “Amelia. We will wait for her here.”
Raina stopped from leaving the room and froze upon hearing her best friend’s name.
Meanwhile, Lahash and Astaroth had another problem on their hands. With the real Pandora out, the two demons were uncertain with how Naberious would react to the news. They traveled back to Egypt to find Naberious remained in his exile, waiting for Pandora to come.
As they arrived in the small abandoned abode, his glowing eyes emerged from the darkness. “You have returned.”
Astaroth no longer appeared as a light skinned and red headed woman.
“Astaroth, you change with the seasons. Who is this you imitate now?” Naberious asked.
“This is someone from ages ago, I look like her when I am not impersonating any human. You know this. You also know that the real Pandora, your love, she has returned from the Underworld.”
Naberious appeared inches in front of Astaroth’s face. “She is free?” He looked to Lahash who stood smug. “Is she telling the truth?”
Lahash snorted, “I am afraid so. But I can’t see why you would be so in love with her. She acts more like a demon.”
Naberious muttered, “So the prophecy is true.”
“Prophecy?” Lahash said as his smugness left. “Was there something you needed to tell us?”
“There was a rumor that if a demon were to release her, they would release a plague on this Earth. If it were a human who releases her, she will be indebted to that person until she regains her strength. The only way she can do that is to absorb the youth and love from another woman, but I cannot say if it is just one woman or several. This woman or women must be in true love with another. Once she completes her cycle, it was said that she would be unstoppable, to enact her rage for what her mother did and unleash it throughout Earth. I have only known Pandora to be a good being with a good heart and soul. It is difficult for me to believe that she would become a soul absorbing evilness, like myself or other demon. I cannot believe that if she were to become this, that she would be happy to do so, but I do not know her state of mind and desperation.”
Astaroth was incredulous. “What! Why didn’t you tell us?”
“You didn’t ask. And I didn’t know if this were true, or a rumor to keep someone like me from bringing her back, even if I somehow didn’t believe what Selena told me all those years ago.”
Lahash said, “Now what? I have an idea who she will go after, Amelia. Then she will hunt for her mother, and then who knows what she will do. But I know she is looking for you, Naberious.”
Astaroth said, “What if we find Selena, tell her what has happened. Naberious, you could take the fairy book back to her. Let her have her book back.”
“Why? Doesn’t the dark one wants the book back? Isn’t it you that wants me to return to the dark realm so the dark one will be happy with you? I am not going to give that book back to Selena after what she has done. I would rather give it to the dark one.”
Lahash said, “Either way, you need to come with us, back to Salem. That is where Pandora is. Maybe you can stop her.”
“Since when do demons care what a cursed necromancer fairy does to Earth? Oh yes, you both need the humans for your energy source. Well that is your curse.”
Astaroth implored, “Naberious, come with us. Show yourself to Pandora. Put all of this behind you.”
Naberious extended his arm to take the fairy book out of Astaroth’s grasp. “I will go with you, for Pandora. If I decide to return the book, it will be to the dark one, but no other. I do not make any promises thereafter.”