The Return of the Beast Sequel to The Haunting of Hillcrest Manor

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Chapter Fifteen

The following morning Nicholas and Nadia woke up at dawn. The first thing both of them did was to instantly see if in fact the miracle they both were hoping and praying for happened. But unfortunately, it only took a moment for them to realize that both of their true loves hadn't broke the connection that was holding them. Nicholas wrapped his arms around Nadia. "Did you really think they would be here when we woke up?" He asked, tenderly. Knowing himself that his Elizabeth was gone from him, forever now. They could still see the images of the two of them but they were now starting to fade. It was more like looking at a reflection instead of seeing them as they once were.

"Well, I guess we have our answer now, don't we Nicholas." Nadia said, trying not to cry again over the loss of her true love. "At least you and Elizabeth had some time together." She said.

"You know Nadia, it's better to have at least loved and to lose that love than never to have loved at all. I know that sounds like some kind of clique but it's the truth."

"I know you're right. I did truly love Damien. And... I'm going to miss him so. I only hope that when he planted his seed in me that I become pregnant and have his child. If for nothing else but to remember him always."

Nicholas just looked at Nadia completely surprised at what she just told him. He had no idea that she and Damien were lovers. "If that is what you want than I truly hope you are pregnant. That way you will have a part of him with you, always." He now wished him and Elizabeth could have had a child together. They never had discussed that part of their future yet. He thought to himself.

Maybe it was meant to be. But we must carry out our mission. The world is depending on us. They gave their lives to try and save the world so we need to step up and continue on and do it to honor their names, forever. We must destroy all of the evil beasts that have invaded our world and send them back to where they belong and lock that portal once and for all!"

"Now that's the spirit I need to hear from you." Nicholas said, with almost a smile on his face. It was more of a determination that he himself now felt, as well. With that said, they both gathered up their things that they had used for the night and loaded up the pack horse as well as saddling their own horses. Nadia turned to Nicholas. What should we do with... their horses, they will only slow us down. It's hard enough traveling with a pack horse in tow let alone two extra horses?"

"I didn't think of that but you're absolutely right. They will slow us down and that's the last thing we need right now. Let's just turn them loose. There's plenty of grazing areas around here. They should be fine." With that decision easily made they just untied the two horses and gave them a small slap on the butt which sent them off in the opposite direction they were planning on going and then mounted their own horses. Stopping only briefly to take one more look at their loved ones before spurring their horses into a full gallop. They needed to get as far away from this place as possible while what was left of Elizabeth and Damien distracted the demons so they could make their get-a-way free and clear.

They rode for several hours and finally stopped to give their horses a rest and it would be a good idea for the two of them to grab a quick bite to eat. They settled under a nice pine tree as they ate their lunch together.

"How much farther is it to the village?" Nadia asked.

"It's quite a ways. We can ride a few more hours and then we will have to stop for the night. These roads are hard enough to travel on during the day let alone in the dark."

"I agree." She said simply as she got up, brushed herself off and then the two of them re-mounted their horses and were off again for the next leg of their journey. After hours more of riding they decided to stop for the night. They would be able to reach the village by early afternoon tomorrow so they both dismounted and started to set up their camp. Nicholas of course gathering the firewood while Nadia fixed them something to eat. They laid their bedding out before they even ate their dinner so it would be ready for them when they had finished eating. It had been a long hard ride today and they were both totally exhausted.

"I think we should both take turns standing watch tonight. I don't know how much longer the demons are going to be distracted by our loved ones." Just as he said that he could hear a small rustling in the woods around them. It was a very recognizable sound. They had heard it the first night after they left London. "Creepers!"

Nicholas grabbed his sword he had gotten from the Iron Sisters as well as his pistol as Nadia grabbed her bow and arrows. "Well, I guess we're not going to get much rest tonight," he said, eyeing the perimeter of their camp.

"Do you think it would help if I laid a protection chant around us?" She asked. "Given the sound we're hearing are from creepers and not demons?"

"It wouldn't hurt!" He replied.

Nadia once again drew a line around their small camp and then started her chant: By the dragons light; on this night; I call to thee; to give to me you might; I conjure thee to protect all that surrounds me." With that said she threw the stick she had used to draw the circle into the fire causing the flames to shot up much higher than usual for just throwing in a small stick. When the flames shot up they could see the creepers all around them making their strange chirping sounds. Neither one of them thought it was safe for either of them to try and get some sleep. They had to make sure first the spell Nadia performed would protect them from at least the creepers that surrounded them. It protected them before so....

They could hear a faint sound of wings in the distance, becoming louder and louder as they were approaching them. "Oh my god! They know where we are! They had to have discovered us missing."

Nicholas shook his head in agreement. "Yes, they had to have discovered we're not still camped by...."

"Or once the creepers found us they could have sent word to them."

"That sounds a little more plausible to me. Anyway we are going to be in the fight for our lives when they get here. Do you have any stronger spells? We'll need all the help we can get."

"Yes, give me a moment to make sure that if I cast another spell more powerful that they won't interfere with each other and cause more harm than good." Nadia reached over and took another stick from the fire, she drew another circle within the circle. Then she began to chant. "Divine Goddess, Goddess Divine; Divine God, God Divine; I call to thee; to protect us from our enemy; on this night, we need you might; help us please; to survive this night." Again she threw the stick into the fire causing the flames to flare up. That's when the first wave of hellbats came. Swooping down from above but then they bounced off the outer circle spell. When they hit it, they screamed out in agony and flew off in the same direction they had come. Wave after wave of them came, suffering the same fate.

"Why do they keep coming, they have to know by now that they can't reach us while we're within the circles?" Nicholas asked.

"They are sacrificing the hellbats to weaken the protection spells."

"Can they do that?" He asked, now starting to get really worried about their safety.

"Yes. If enough of them keep attacking it the spell will weaken and then... it will be gone."

All they could do was to sit and watch as the hellbats kept hitting the barrier. They could hear the sounds of the demon wings. They were now here. Ready to do battle. When the first demons attacked the outer circle of protection broke, immediately. The hellbats had done their job. It didn't take many demons to sacrifice themselves to break the inner circle. Nicholas had been constantly firing his pistol at the demons while Nadia kept a steady flow of arrows going, hitting their mark every time. Now their wall of defense was totally gone. Nicholas laid down his pistol and grabbed his sword as a demon reached him he swung his blade, cutting the head right off, splattering blood everywhere. He moved immediately to the next one and then the one after that.

They both fought valiantly but they knew they couldn't keep up this pace for long. In the distance they could hear demons shrieking in agony. They had no idea who had come to their rescue but they were thankful for the added help.

The demons changed their attack strategy and most of them flew out toward this new threat. Leaving only a few demons as well as the hellbats to continue striking at them.

It didn't take long for the demons to retreat giving Nicholas and Nadia a temporary break they so desperately needed to catch their breath. They looked at each other thinking the same thing. Could it be Elizabeth and Damien?

All of a sudden all they could hear was the sound of silence. It was more disturbing than listening to all the creatures in the forest. Even the insects weren't making any noise. What could be so threatening to cause every living thing in the forest to cease making any sounds what-so-ever? It didn't take long for them to find out.

They came up without a sound causing both Nicholas and Nadia to jump and then Nadia let out a scream so loud at what she saw standing in front of them. These creatures had long black hair with huge pointed ears poking out of the hair, their skin was an ugly shade of purple and their eyes were a bright green. They just stood there staring at them.

Nicholas finally broke the silence. "I am Nicholas and this is Nadia..."

"We know who you are." One of the creatures said, cutting Nicolas completely off in mid-sentence.

"Well if you know who we are then maybe you can enlighten us and tell us who you are and why you are here?" Nicholas asked, boldly. At this point he didn't care who or what they were. They had saved them for the moment from the creatures from the underworld.

"We are Shadowhunters. We keep the balance of good and evil in this world. And we are here because something has disrupted that balance."

"The Iron Sisters told us about you. So you're going to help us then?" He asked with a glimmer of hope in his voice.

"Yes. But we can only do so much. We do not have the power to send Bael back to his own domain. That is what you must do."

"Any help would be very much appreciated."

"The demons have retreated as well as the lower creatures from the underworld. But they will not stay away for too long. Tonight you both need to sleep to re-gain your strength. We will protect you so you can do that." Then the Shadowhunter just turned around and walked back into the darkness.

Nicholas and Nadia just looked at each other. Neither one of them could believe what had just happened. They both had actually forgotten about the Shadowhunters. They never entered their minds. Nicholas just let out a big sigh of relief. "I guess we have our own guardian angels watching over us as well." He said with a smile on his face.

"Yes, I think that is a good name for these creatures. We really do have our own guardian angels."

As Nicholas laid down his sword and started thinking about something he had heard about these Shadowhunters. A crease crossed his brow for a moment and Nadia had seen it. "What's disturbing you now, Nicholas?" She asked, not sure of what had changed his mood so quickly.

"I had heard that certain spells placed on these creatures can change them from good... to... evil."

"Nicholas, I don't even want to think about that. I'm so tired. All I want to do right now is to get some sleep. And it's very apparent that they are working for good otherwise we would be dead right now so can we drop this for tonight, please?" She begged.

"Okay, I see your point." He answered her, he was as tired as she was and they didn't want to miss this golden opportunity to not have to worry about being attacked while they slept.

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