“Where is it?” he asked again.
Gwen staggered backwards and his eyes widened as the large intimidating figure approached him in the darkness.
“I don’t know what you are talking about,” he lied, trembling backwards till his back reached the wall. He watched the cloaked figue move swiftly towards him. The room was dark except for a lamp that burned low on top of the table.
“Hmm, you dare lie to me?” the cloaked figure threatened. His breathing was rough and Gwen sensed evil.
“Where is the crystal?” the figure barked.
“I don’t know, I swear in the name of the gods, I know nothing about the crystal.” Gwen answered almost immediately. He knew he would come and he knew what the end would look like, but no matter what, he had sworn an oath of secrecy to the Lords. He was a keeper and would die honoring his oath.
“You dare lie in the name of the gods, keeper?” The cloaked figure’s voice was deep. “I knew you would resist. But I came prepared.” The cloaked figure proceeded forward until it stepped out of the shadows. It raised its hand up to its hood and slowly pulled it backwards. It had been said that the darkness never reveals itself to any mortal, but as the hood slowly came off the head of this figure, Gwen’s eyes widened.
“Theora,” he breathed after a moment of shock. His mouth was wide open and his body easily trembled.
Theora laughs half heartedly.
“Theora can’t hear you, but I can say that she’s quite a good host. Think of what I can achieve with this body, the magic that flows through her ura is just overwhelming.” Theora gesticulated with her hands.
“No… Please, let my wife be,” Gwen cried. He fell on his knees and watched as his wife smiled at him.
“I will let her be, keeper. But you have to pay a little price for it.” Theora said retreating back into the shadows. “Give me the crystal and I will let her be.” she offered.
Gwen looked down and then up at the darkness. He was numb and his eyes were heavy. It was as though he had been thrown into an ocean with large stones tied to his legs.
“Please, not my wife,” He pleaded but his pleas fell on deaf ears. He watched Theora raise her Ura up in the air. The brilliant light that radiated from it filled the whole room and made Gwen cover his eyes.
“I see them Gwen, I see your children. Your wife is quite a strong woman. I can feel her trying to stop me from reading her thoughts… But it’s too late. If you don’t tell me what I want, I will find your kids, and I will make you watch while I butcher them.”
The threat didn’t go down well with Gwen as he slowly got to his feet. He turned and faced his beloved wife who had been possessed by the darkness. He steadied himself. If only he could reach his Ura that was resting on the wall close to the door. If only he could do that, then he actually stood a chance against the monster.
“leave my children out of this,” he said with a flash of anger in his voice.
“The crystal and I would be gone before you know it.”
A lot went through Gwen’s mind, giving out the crystal would provoke the lords, and who was he to stand against them. He was merely a farmer with no ambition of acquiring power. But what stood in front of him was different. At first, he thought it was one of the Nats, a group of hunters dedicated to hunting keepers, but when he saw his wife instead, he understood what it was, a signage, a conjuring spirit that possess its victim, and a messenger of higher authority. This had gone out of hand.
Now standing face to face with Theora, he made the difficult choice. He had to fight for his oath and for his family. His hands were sweaty and his pants were soaked with sweat, but he knew it was now or never. In a moment he was on his heels, his eyes focused on his Ura as he raced to the door. He was nearly there, but out of the corner of his eyes he saw her raise her Ura up, the brilliant light blinded him, and he felt a hot blaze grace his chest…