Emily fell to the floor of the top room of the tower into a crouching position. She stood and looked over to see that Caviere and Lucelle had Chelle bound again.
Caviere looked to her. “Ah, you came back. We were worried, you know.” He seemed a bit too relaxed for his normal physique. His shoulders were lackadaisical and his legs were haphazardly spread apart. “Did you get him to talk?”
“We know what was already known,” she said as she pushed the candle stand over the way. It *clanged* against the ground and Chelle backed up in fear as Emily lunged for her neck. She took hold and gripped tightly, cutting off the circulation of air. She gasped and pleaded for her to stop. She wriggled around and as she seemed about to lose consciousness, Lucelle put a hand on Emily’s wrist.
“It isn’t worth it, Lady. We have a job to do and this isn’t it.” Emily loosened the grip as soon as Lucelle’s hand touched hers. She knew she didn’t want to hurt Chelle, but it came like an instinct. She had impulses to stab Chelle until blood covered her. The impulses urged her to squeeze that throat until the thrashing stopped. Do it, Emily, she thought to herself.
Instead, Emily backed off and got up. She sighed, then looked back at the room. Caviere had picked up the candle from the stand. He snapped it in half, then a constant whirring sound echoed throughout the tower. Very rapidly, immense amounts of smoke poured into the room in a stream that went right into the candle. Caviere had dropped the pieces by this point, but the smoke kept drawing into the wax. Ten seconds went by, then thirty, and then when it felt like the stream would finally thin out, more smoke flooded the room.
Once all of the smoke stopped filling the area and had completely been absorbed by the candle, the room was different. It was lit up with windows cut out of the stone. There was a desk and bookshelf that both held quite a few items. Caviere began to search through the desk papers and folders while Emily went to the bookshelf. Most of it was on a study of the Elementals with a few delving into runes and rituals. Lucelle stood by Chelle and kept a very close eye on her.
“Wuh oh, this is not good,” Caviere blurted out. Emily turned her head to him and he continued, “Says here there are plans for a summoning ritual in Mercelon Castle. It is an unfinished letter to the Royal Lord Akan himself addressed for... oh, look at that. Yesterday.”
“Well... what is he planning to summon?” Emily inquired.
Caviere used a finger to read along the lines of the letter. “Mmh... hum... Ehh... Isyae Domni. I dunno what that is.”
“Maybe these books have something about it.” Emily skimmed the titles of the books. Flames of War, The Crystalline Cross, Studies of an Electromancer... she stopped at one titled Demons of Other Realms. She picked it up and flipped the pages quickly. The opening pages listed the different demons the book would go over. She looked down the line until... Isyae! Here it is. Emily turned to the correct page and squinted her eyes while reading. Soon enough, she widened them. “This isn’t good at all...” She read from the lines, “‘Folklore in the Mercelonic region tell of a wickedly powerful demon with the title Isyae Domni, meaning ‘At the World’s End.’ Isyae Domni is not sophisticated or able to make its own decisions, yet it once had one driving force, that being the destruction of all life.’” The entry went on to talk about how it was thought to be summoned at one point, but was banished by a group of the strongest mages in Mercelon.
“We need to find out if Akan is going to do this or not,” Lucelle said from her corner of the room.
Caviere seemed nervous. “Life-ending demon? I think we need more forces than the three of us to do this job.”
“We would be much stronger with Mother and her friends,” Emily added.
Lucelle looked between the two of them. She sighed, “Fine, we’re heading back to Hysenwood. We’ll go see your mother, Emily.”
“Wha’bout her?” Caviere pointed to Chelle. “We don’t really need her anymore.”
“I need her,” Emily said with a hint of darkness in her voice.
Lucelle and Caviere exchanged glances. The two of them silently agreed to let Emily keep Chelle as their prisoner. Chelle didn’t struggle, but she was clearly not happy to be stuck with them again. I did not want this, she thought to herself. I just want to be back home.
The walk back down the tower was much nicer. There was no longer dust on the steps and they seemed to be easier to get traction on than before. Once they got to the bottom of the tower, though, they realized the biggest change- all of the fog was gone! It had disappeared, now leaving an empty field of green grass residing around the base of the tall building. There was a distinct path leading from the front entrance down into the woods. “This way,” Lucelle said, now taking command of the group. Caviere wasn’t in the right state of mind to be leading at this moment.
The journey from this point on was all uphill for Emily, metaphorically. She couldn’t wait to see her mother and the place she was at. She was probably in a thriving city with all of her favorite people and friends around her. She probably drank tea from beautiful crystal glasses and kept up a garden of many wondrous flowers, like roses and tulips. Emily was so excited to resume her magic lessons with her mother. She would tell her what she had learned so far with Lucelle and Caviere. Everything would be well for them.
“Your mother isn’t going to be expecting you, Emily,” Lucelle admitted. “She doesn’t know we found you. Er, well, that you found us.”
“That’s alright, more of a surprise,” Emily said happily. She gleefully walked on with one hand waving in the wind and the other clenched over the rope binding Chelle’s wrists.
“Are you sure you want to see her so soon?”
“I really want to see her as soon as I can. Aren’t you excited, too?”
“Well... yes, I am. Your mother is just, well, probably not going to be like how you imagined she would be.”
“How do you mean?”
“She was really kind and sweet with you, right? Just like how all mothers are, right?”
“Yes, of course.”
“When she is in the position she’s in, she is going to be a bit more serious. You know that may mean she won’t have much time for you.”
“But she wants to see me, though, doesn’t she?”
“Of course she does, Emily. Of course she does.”