After the angel disappeared Nicholas took Elizabeth in his arms. None of them could believe that Elizabeth's wounds were now completely healed. It was as if she had never been attacked at all. They all saw it but they had a hard time truly believing it. It was just like a miracle was all Nicholas could think of. Nadia herself was a true believer that when you die your soul goes to heaven but this was almost incomprehensible. To actually see an angel here on earth. And then watch as she healed all of Elizabeth's injuries. The most surprised of the group was Damien. He had lived so many years in hell, just to be able to walk on the earth again was truly awesome to him. But to see an angel from heaven, he fell to his knees and had stayed there the entire time the angel was present. Even after she left it took him a few minutes to stand up again, he was so moved by the experience.
Once the group got over seeing the angel they all sat down except for Damien who was standing watch over them. Nicholas sat very close to Elizabeth with his arms around her. He had never felt so helpless in his entire life when those creatures were tearing the flesh right off her back with every bite and he couldn't do anything about it. He himself had been knocked down on the ground fighting off the hellbats that were attacking him any way he could. They were biting and scratching trying anything to lift him off the ground but he was too heavy for them. Nadia had just as many on her. But she had her dagger her grandmother had given her in her hand and had been slicing and stabbing any of the creatures that were trying to bite her. Now she standing up trying to tend to Nicholas's arms and legs where he had been bitten repeatedly by the hellbats but she really didn't have any kind of medical training, even for the simplest of injuries. Her grandmother always took care of things like that. Once she was finished, Nicholas stood up and started tending to all of her wounds that had been inflicted on her body during this late night attack.
When everyone's wounds were tended to as much as they possibly could do for them, they all sat back down again in front of the burning fire. All any of them wanted to do right now was to watch the flames as they would spark up in the air ever so often. They had been through another horrible, vicious attack and Nicholas and Nadia had some pretty serious bites and deep puncture wounds where the hellbats dug their claws deep into their flesh. But they would survive and with the help of the angel, Elizabeth was as if she had never even been attacked, which was such a miracle in itself. This made them all feel like maybe they could succeed after all in this most dangerous mission that they had all been chosen for.
Nicholas finally broke the silence. "Well I guess it's obvious that the creatures know where we're at now." he said, with a little humor in his voice, he was trying to lighten everyone's else's moods but he all of a sudden had this horrible feeling of dread come over him the moment he said it. He couldn't understand why he had this dreadful feeling. But it was really strong. It was a terrible feeling of doom.
"You think!" Nadia said.
Now trying to hide this horrible feeling he had he thought he had better ask Damien a few questions, maybe he would know the answers to them. "Will they come back in another wave tonight do you think?" He asked Damien who was standing behind them not far from the fire.
"No. I do not think so. They will have to report back to Bael first about what they saw happen here tonight. He will not be happy when he hears the news that Elizabeth now has a guarding angel. But they will come again. Rest assured, next time with a much larger force. I will not leave you alone again. They will be watching us very closely now that they know where we are. And I do not think any of these protection spells will keep them out either. There is just too many of them for the spell to work properly. They will now be sending the more powerful demons after us. That you can be sure of. I can deal with the lessor creatures but if they send the stronger demons like myself, than I will be hard pressed to protect you. They will be my equals."
"So you're saying if they come again with this much force...." Nicholas said, hesitating not really wanting to hear what Damien was going to say next.
"We will all be destroyed."
"What about my guardian angel or the amulets we all have? And.... what about the mystical rings we have? Why can't we put them together again to drive them off?" Elizabeth asked, not wanting to believe that they all would be killed on the next attack.
"The amulets will not be strong enough, you have no idea the power a demon possesses. It would be a fight to the death for me to just deal with one of them let alone many. As far as putting our rings together, I have already warned you about the danger. That will be our only hope until we meet up with the Iron Sisters. They have such powerful weapons to use against the demons and all the other creatures from the underworld, you will be amazed by what they will show us. But if Bael comes himself... I can only hope we will be able to defeat him when the time comes. Even with the help of the Iron Sisters."
Now Nicholas understood why he had that terrible dreadful feeling come over him. But he didn't want to dwell on it. "How much farther is it to the citadel volcano that is where you said these Iron Sisters live?"
"It is at least another day or more but I do not think we will have to go quite that far now. The Iron Sisters will hear of this attack on us and most likely head in our direction to meet up with us as long as it is still within their own domain. Like I said before, they will not cross over into any other territories."
"Well that's good news at least." Elizabeth said and Nadia also agreed with her.
"You all need to get some sleep now. I will stand watch the rest of the night."
Nadia was looking over at Damien, "Don't you ever sleep, Damien?" She asked shyly, she would get tongue tied every time she tried to speak with him. She was now very concerned about him because she had never seen him sleep yet and had started wondering why.
"Occasional. But it is not necessary for demons to sleep as much as it is for you humans. Like I said, you need to lay down and sleep now. Tomorrow I am sure we will have another very busy day for us and you need your rest." With that said, he turned and walked away from Nadia, he just did not know what else to say to her. He had never had any kind of problem like this before, so why was it only with her?
Nadia laid herself down on her blanket, not sure why Damien seemed to get frustrated with her every time she talked with him. What was she doing wrong? Her grandmother told her how she would meet her true love and it seemed like what she said had come true but Damien just seemed to tolerate her instead of being interested in her like she saw with the other gypsy couples in the camp. Maybe I should talk with Elizabeth about this again. She seems so in love with Nicholas and him with her. Oh to be them, to be so much in love. She felt a tear run down her face and knew she needed to go to sleep before she would have a complete crying fit.
With Damien standing all the watches tonight Elizabeth curled up as close as she could to Nicholas on their make shift bed. He put his arm around her and pulled her even closer. "You really scared me tonight, I thought I lost you forever. I still can't believe that angel came and healed you, completely." He said, looking down at her with such love in his eyes.
"I know. It still doesn't seem possible to me either," Elizabeth said. "But I am very glad the angel came and healed me, if she hadn't...." But I'm really concerned now at the injuries you obtained tonight," she said as she sat up. Now for the first time really realized that Nicholas had been pretty severely injured. So now all she wanted to do was to check out his entire body for any other wounds he might have obtained tonight and wasn't telling her about. This innocent action on her part only caused his passion to rise again almost to the level that all he wanted to do right now was to roll her over and make mad passionate love to her again, and then maybe again after that not caring about what the other two in the camp thought or not. She just didn't understand what her innocent actions caused him to feel inside. "Elizabeth, enough! Please!" He said finally not being able to stand it anymore. She just looked back at him not understanding at all what she was doing wrong.
"Nicholas, I just want to make sure that you don't have any more injuries. Why is that so offensive to you?" She asked.
"Elizabeth, you just don't understand what it's like for me to have you so close and not... make love to you. Is that so hard for you to understand?" He asked, almost pleading with her to stop touching and searching every part of his body.
"I just want to make sure you're already. Is that such a crime?" She said, then put her head down feeling that he didn't want anything to do with her.
"Honey, please. You need to understand what it is like to be a man, with desires." He replied back to her and then just scooped her up into his arms and said. "Enough, already."
They were getting some strange looks from both Nadia and Damien as all of this was happening. Then Nicholas just started laughing. "Oh Elizabeth. I love you so. And if you love me than you will stop caressing my body...."
"Oh," was all she could say now realizing what her innocent actions were doing to him. "I get it now. I'm sorry." She felt so embarrassed now she didn't know what to do.
"The best thing you can do for me right now is to lay down here next to me so we both can just cuddle up here and let us both fall to sleep. We have no idea what tomorrow is going to bring but I have a feeling that it's not going to be a good day and we need all the rest we can get to cope with it."
With that Elizabeth did exactly as Nicholas said as she laid down next to him as close as she could and hoped they both would be able to finally fall asleep. Which they did after a little time had passed and their passion had finally subsided.
The following morning they all rose up, quickly ate their breakfast and then broke down their camp. Loaded up the horses and were on their way again. They could hear the creepers in the woods all around them with their high pitch chirping sounds almost like the sounds a bird makes. But they kept their distance from them. They all knew Damien was traveling with them and they were instructed to follow them and keep track of their whereabouts at all times for Bael.
After so many hours of listening to them, it made all of them un-nerved just knowing they were being followed. Their chirping was starting to drive them all crazy. The farther they traveled the denser the woods on either side of the trail became thicker. The road itself was becoming difficult to travel upon which caused Elizabeth to ask Damien why even the road was changing so drastically.
"It is because not many ever dare to come this close to the Iron Sister's domain. They do not tolerate trespassers of any kind and will deal with them quite harshly."
"I'm afraid to even ask you what they do to them." Elizabeth replied.
"You do not want to know. But the poor souls are never heard from again." He said to her which gave Elizabeth a complete feeling of dread. She felt every nerve in her body respond.
"You are sure they will accept us and not take us for intruders?" Nicholas asked. He was at this point completely un-nerved.
"Yes. Do not concern yourselves."
The farther they traveled the harder the road became to follow until it was almost impossible to see. This made the group stop at once.
"How are we going to travel if we don't have a road to follow?" Nicholas asked quickly.
"We have reached the outer edge of the Iron Sister's domain. Only they know the way from here to the citadel volcano."
"So what do we do in the meantime?" Nicholas asked.
"We wait for them to contact us."
"That's it?" He replied back. "To just sit here and wait? For how long? Aren't we just sitting ducks waiting to be attacked?"
"Yes. But no one dares cross into their territory without permission."
The three of them stared at Damien, their eyes were now wide open in fear. With that being said they all dismounted their horses to at least give them a rest since they had pushed them hard to get out of this territory and closer to the Iron Sister's domain.
The creepers were now chirping louder than ever and they thought they could hear the wings of the hellbats closing in on them. But what really struck fear into their hearts was this new loud, unknown flapping sounds that were becoming louder and louder the closer they came. Their horses were becoming extremely difficult to handle for all they wanted to do now was to bolt in any direction to escape this new on slot of creatures.
"What is that making those sounds?" Nadia asked in fear while she tried to keep her horse from rearing up and bolting.
"That can only be the sounds of demon wings."