I fell out of the portal and onto the ground, back on Earth. I immediately got up and grabbed the portal keeping it open. I felt so confused. I didn’t know what to do. Should I stay here on Earth, or go help someone I don’t even know? But what would I do? What could I do if I went and helped? There was nothing. Especially since I didn’t have my memories.
If I went and helped, not only would I be helping Rovana but Earth as well. But what was I supposed to do? How was I supposed to help? And what was I supposed to tell my parents? They’d be worried about me if I didn’t show up back home. And I can’t just leave this portal and go and tell them everything because first of all, they’d never let me leave hearing that I was helping the Demon King and second, the portal would close.
Why was this so hard? Why couldn’t I just leave this portal? What was holding me back? I don’t even remember anything. I don’t have anything to fight for.
I closed my eyes really thinking hard about this. Would I really regret everything once I got my memories back? Did I love Dimitri that much? I felt the strong bond we shared. It was so strong that even when I had no idea who he really was, I still didn’t want to let go.
I decided I would go back. Yes my parents will be really worried but in the end, if I do succeed, not only would I have helped Dimitri but Earth as well. They’d understand that. As for my friends, it wasn’t their first time getting drunk somewhere and having to find someone to drive them back home. They’ll figure something out.
I faced the portal really thinking through my decision. Did I really want to do this? I could so easily walk away and forget about this. Did I want to take this risk?
That’s when I decided I’d go and get Devon to explain every little detail to me. How the Shadow got stuck inside Dimitri? How Dimitri had lasted so long with the Shadow inside of him? Why it was now that he was deciding to make his decision to surrender himself? What the Shadow really wanted? I had so many questions. And then once all my questions were answered I’d decide whether I wanted to stay or not.
I closed my eyes and jumped back into the portal, hoping the decision I made was right.
The darkness hit me again and soon I tumbled back onto the ground in the hallway. I got off the ground, groaning in pain at my ankle.
I looked around wondering where I could find Devon. This castle was absolutely huge and I had no idea where to go. I didn’t want to run into Dimitri because I knew he’d send me down again.
I started walking when I heard a voice behind me. “I knew you’d come back.” It was Devon. I immediately turned around to find him smiling at me.
“I... I realized that this was important for me to do. Not just for Dimitri or Rovana, but Earth. This battle between the humans and demons has gone on long enough. This supposed battle I should say because it really isn’t a battle. Dimitri has no choice but to kill as you told me. But, I have questions. A lot of them. I need you to explain everything to me.” I said causing Devon to nod his head as he held his hand out for me to take.
“Come. Let’s sit and talk.” He said pulling me along with him to a room. We both sat down on a couch and I launched into asking him all the questions I had. And I learned so much.
I learned of Dimitri’s story about his parents and how he lost them both to the Shadow. I learned how Dimitri has to kill a human once in a while to keep the Shadow satisfied otherwise he’d be painfully punished. I learned that the only way the Shadow can take over Dimitri is if Dimitri kills a certain amount of people. From what I got from that is, committing a certain amount of sins, committing evil makes the Shadow inside of him stronger.
“So by killing all the people Dimitri has killed, the Shadow has gotten stronger and stronger over time? And if that’s true, then how has Dimitri kept the Shadow from consuming him for this long? Wouldn’t the Shadow have gotten strong enough to take over him a long time ago?” I asked to clarify.
“Yes when Dimitri kills, the Shadow becomes stronger. But Dimitri kills humans one at a time, making sure to give some time between each kill. That way, any of the strength the Shadow seems to gain, lessens a little when Dimitri takes time between the kills. But not all of the strength goes away, there’s always a little bit still left in the Shadow. That’s why it took the Shadow so long to gain all the strength it now has.” Devon exclaimed causing me to nod my head in understanding.
“And Dimitri chose to surrender himself because he knew the Shadow was getting stronger and knew it would hurt me and you and everyone else he loves. So he made a deal?” I asked, trying to really understand this situation throughly.
“Yes he made a deal to surrender himself to the Shadow, if the Shadow promises not to hurt anyone he loves. And Shadows are known to keep their deals. But they always find loopholes in their agreements and end up not really following through. The loophole in this agreement is that the Shadow’s going to take over everything while still in Dimitri’s body. It’s going to take over his body. And Dimitri won’t die. He’ll be stuck inside his own body, just like the Shadow is currently stuck.” Devon said causing me to sigh. This was worse than I thought it would be. The Shadow would not only take over Rovana but Earth as well.
“Wait, if evil makes the Shadow stronger. Then doing good should make it weaker. So why doesn’t Dimitri just do good and not kill?” I asked seeing this really simple solution.
“Dimitri can do good and make the Shadow weak. Dimitri realized that himself too. But it’s not enough to completely rid himself of the Shadow. And the Shadow has too much strength already, he can punish Dimitri. And Dimitri has been punished many times as I’ve already told you. Dimitri claims it to be too painful for him to handle and push through. The pain can also kill him if it goes too far.” Devon explained. I was really angry now. This was hopeless.
“What the hell am I supposed to do then? Dimitri can’t be helped! There’s no way we can save him Devon! No way!” I exclaimed causing Devon to bury his face in his hands.
“I don’t want to lose him Bella. I can’t, goddamnit! He’s been with me for so long. I grew up with him. Our families have always been really close. Once he lost his parents, my parents took him in and took care of him. He’s like a brother to me Bella! He’s my best friend! He’s always been there for me. He’s done more for me than he thinks he has. He thinks that he’s the one who’s always needed me. He thinks I’ve never needed him for anything. But I have. He’s always been there for me. Even when I have never asked for help, he was there to help me through everything. He was there when I had no one. He was there when not even my parents could be. We have to save him!” Devon exclaimed, his eyes wide and desperate. “Isabella, you’re our only hope. You’re the girl from the prophecy, I know you are.”
“But the prophecy says that a girl, eighteen years of age will defeat the Demon King by killing him. It doesn’t say anything about saving him.” I told him causing him to look at me with a confused look on his face before realization dawned on him.
“No that’s not the prophecy at all. I’m guessing your government took the wrong meaning from it and twisted the words around a little. The prophecy states that an eighteen year old human girl will save Rovana and Earth from the terrors thrown at it, through the Demon King. You’re people probably assumed that it was the Demon King throwing these terrors upon Earth because it says ‘through the Demon King’. But what that means is that you’ll save Rovana and Earth through helping the Demon King. By saving him first. By saving Dimitri. Does that make sense?” Devon asked causing me to nod my head.
“That makes a whole lot more sense. Because, I mean, killing the Demon King always seemed a little off to me. Dimitri is a whole lot stronger than any human on earth. It would take a lot for us to kill him, because of his healing abilities. But now that we have that clear. I still don’t know what I’m supposed to do.” I said slumping down onto the couch.
“Don’t think too hard on it child.” I heard a woman’s voice say.
“Esther! Here, you can sit down.” Devon said, giving up his seat for Esther. So she was the one who made that memory liquid.
“Thank you dear.” She said smiling warmly at him before making her way over to the couch.
“How are you, child?” She asked smiling at me now.
“I’m good I guess.” I replied back sighing.
“Give the medicine I gave you some time, and slowly you should have your memories back.” She said smiling assuringly at me.
“You sound really sure about that.” I spoke quietly, fiddling with my fingers.
“Because I am very sure. And I’m also sure you can save Dimitri.” She said causing me to look up at her.
“How?” I asked her, hoping she’d give me the answer I’m looking for.
“That’s for you to figure out, child. All I can say is that I believe in you. I don’t just think you’ll figure it out, I know you can.” Esther said grabbing my hand and giving it a warm, motherly squeeze.
“How can you be so sure? How can you so easily say that you know I’ll figure it out? How can you say that without actually knowing?” I asked narrowing my eyes in at her, until realization hit me. “You know! You know exactly how I can save him, don’t you?”
She smiled at me. “You are a smart girl. A very smart girl. And you are right. I do know exactly how you can save him.”
“How?” Devon and I both shouted, shocked that she knew this whole time. I mean it made sense, since Devon told me Esther could see a little into the future.
“By believing.” She spoke cryptically, causing me to sigh. She wasn’t going to tell me, was she? Or maybe she didn’t exactly know, but just saw that I could do it. Who really knows? “I’ll be going now Isabella and Devon.” She said as she got up. “Good luck to you both, in saving Dimitri.”
“Thank you Esther.” Devon said as she walked to the door. Just as she was about to leave, she stopped and turned back around to face me.
“You have to fight through the pain sometimes child, no matter how unbearable it gets.” She spoke her last words before leaving.
Esther had so much belief in me. I was so scared of leaving her disappointed. I didn’t know how I was going to save Dimitri. I didn’t know how to. But I was going to listen to her and keep believing I could.