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Chapter 15: Echo

I reach the lake, and I stare into its clear surface. The raven, I had now nicknamed Dalton was squawking loudly. I named him after the soul of a man who even in death would never stop talking. Dalton's memories were also full of constant talking, including in his sleep.

I felt Dalton was a fitting name for this bird, the similarities were endless. A glimmer of something in the lake catches my gaze and I edge slightly closer. The glimmer was now turning into what seemed to be a doorway. I watched Dalton fly into it and then out with only a few droplets on his wings.

I jumped into the lake, sparing any moment of time to hesitate. I am now in a cave, completely dry. The only sound that could be heard was the echoing of water dripping somewhere. It was dark and the cave gave off a gloomy feel.

I gripped my scythe tightly, waiting for something to attack. But nothing ran from the shadows. The raven remained silent. He clung to my shoulder looking around, not a sound escaped his beak.

Why was he quiet now?

There was only one way to go, straight. I ignored my rising concerns about the silent bird as I walked into the darkness. As I walked, a light become visible a small distance away. I knew I was going to have to brace myself, my instinct was kicking in. I walked closer, as quietly as I could towards the light.

I turned the corner and found myself in an empty dusty room. A low growl echoed from the roof above me. I hear a small whimper from the side of the room and instead of looking above, I look for the owner of the whimper.

I see Rosalie tied up on a metal chair in the very corner. Her eyes are filled with tears, her body trembling. Something lands on my back and its claws are ripping through my shirt. I use my scythe to rip it off and swing it into a wall. The wall echoes with a thud at the force I had used.

I recognised the creature as the same creation that had attacked me in the wheat field. Only this time I could see it had friends. More of the savage creatures of darkness began to crawl out from gaps in the walls.

I gripped my scythe even tighter. I had prepared myself for this, I knew Lucy had something up her sleeve. They ran closer, snapping their teeth and growling at me, viciously. One bit the end of my scythe as I hit another away. The raven only gripped tighter on my shoulder.

I used the hooked sharp edge of my scythe to swing at the creatures. I got two of them, but there was more waiting. I kept up my stance, hitting and swinging. Slowly the creatures finally began to dwindle in numbers.

I was breathless by the time I killed the last one. I spent a moment catching my breath before I walked over to Rosalie. I could breathe a sigh of relief that she remained unharmed, sporting only some marks from the rope around her wrists. Although I knew that this was only a warming to me.

I was in Lucy’s game, she used Rosalie to make the first move. I knew I was no longer just playing The Reaper. I was forced to be a pawn and a protector, I would not know if my actions towards Rosalie would make Lucy more furious. But I could gamble that she will most likely gain an aura of fire after seeing my work.

I untied Rosalie, she stretched her arms. She was still trembling, and I fully understood. I had extraordinarily little to fear, whereas Rosalie had only just caught a glimpse of the horrors outside the mortal realm. I pulled her into my arms, the only thing I could think of that would help with some comfort. I knew I would protect her, I just was not sure how I could be The Reaper at the same time.

Dalton the crow that I had briefly forgotten about, until now. Well, he was now squawking with no fear, back to the same old annoying bird. I was thankful to him and my thanks to Gaia for sending him. I was sure he would be helpful in the future that was yet to come for me.

Rosalie had now buried herself into my human chest, I could feel her warmth and her warm breath. I could smell her hair, although dusty, there remained a hint of coconut. I whispered to her that she would always be safe with me. It sounded so easy, but I knew the reality of an unpredictable immortal Lucy was another story.

A bell rang in my ears, I gripped to Rosalie. I was taking her, she could not be alone. I turned to her and I told her my plan. It was the only way I knew she would remain safe. I was not sure what the doorways would do to a human.

So, I gave her my jacket and I hoped it would work.

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