Zenith – Part 16

The sky was overcast and dark as the collection of mages made their way to the park. There wasn’t any rain, but it was certainly threatening. Streetlights illuminated the way, but Emily didn’t need them to find her way. She traveled as if in a trance, a new found confidence in her ability to bring Violet home fueling her movement. Cars stopped for them, not because they were intimidated, but because the universe seemed to tell them it was the right thing to do.

As they approached their destination a voice called out, “No! I won’t let you!” followed closely by a fireball striking out towards them. The ball of orange flames seemed to grow in size as it moved, searing the concrete and making Emily’s face feel tight. A shield seemed to appear from nowhere, blocking the magical blast just before it hit the party. The enforcer stood at the ready, sword in one hand and shield on the other.

“Do what you must do Hypatia, we’ll buy you as much time as we can,” Ged’s voice wavered slightly as he turned to face Jiro, loading his hand with raw, glowing mana.

Emily didn’t take the time to watch Ged’s counter attack, she just turned and held the knife up to the location of the former fold. Flashes and bangs sounded behind her as she channeled her power through the blade. Help me with this one final task and you shall be free, she pleaded with the blade.

One of the council members cried out in pain as he pushed too far forward and received a blow that would probably be his last. The other three Clustered tighter, preparing for the worst.

Emily slid the blade down through space, a glowing trail left in the air around the blade as it adjusted the universe itself. She filled her mind with images and thoughts of the strange pocket she had visited that first day. Reaching through the realms of the universe trying to find the place lost to space.

Click.

Something connected. It wasn’t seen, or heard, but felt. Emily reached with her other hand into the cut the knife had made in the fabric of space and grabbed hold, not with her hand, but with her entire being. She felt the knife get warm, pouring what energy it had left pour into the fold, binding it to reality, restoring the change that it had been forced to make.

Then it was done. Emily pulled the knife out. A hand grabbed hers through the fold and Violet followed it out.

“Jiro. PLORIUS. STOP.” Violet’s words rung out over the park. Jiro, whose true name was in fact Plorius, froze, unable to resist the power of the Zenith. “It is over.”

“Not quite,” announced a robed figure walking up behind the vile mage. He reached out his hand and set it on Jiro’s head. “I release you from this realm. Let your anger fade, and return across the veil.” Jiro’s face turned from terror to true peace as he collapsed onto the ground. His body shriveled up as if time accelerated his mummification on the spot. Dry and creased the body lay on the sidewalk.

The robed mage looked up at Ged with a look of disgust, then turned and seemed to vanish back into the shadows.

Emily wasn’t paying attention to the other mage, her focus had turned to Violet, who she was looking at with her physical eyes for the first time in months. She stepped forward and gave her partner a hug, she had no words for that moment and for a couple second Violet didn’t either.

“Em, we have time, but you must fulfill your promise to the spirit.”

Emily stepped back and looked down at the knife sitting in her hand. She felt herself transition back to the green field of the Knife’s spirit. “Show me what I need to do.”

The black hooded figure held up it’s arms, bound by thick chains. Emily reached out, a knife still in her hand and slashed through the chain as if it were butter. The fell to the ground with a loud clanging sound and emily returned to the real world.

The knife slowly turned to ash in her hand and she felt a strange warmth pass through her. Thank you, Zenith of Space, she felt as the blade finally disappeared and the warmth of the spirit moved on to the edge of the veil.

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