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Lowenna part 11 (chapter 13)

Lowenna part 11 (chapter 13)

A young woman awakes in a strange world of magic, the only clue to her past is one word Lowenna


Lowenna stood outside of Vlad’s. What she wanted to do was go in, have another bath and recover from a late night and a hard run. Then she could check on Rique and make sure she was all right. “Just one thing to do first!” Lowenna said out loud, and she quickly turned and headed towards the fountain. As she circled it, she saw the lad she had struck in the face, bent down trying to hide, his lip looking swollen and sore. “Why are you following me?”

“I’m not.” The lad lied.

“Try again,” Lowenna grabbed his arm making him stand as she said this. The intimidating look on her face made the lad try and back up.

“Our father wanted to know where you lived,” the lad stated. He had given up lying, to this scary crazy woman with a huge knife.

“Why?” Lowenna asked, looking the lad right in the eyes.

“He saw what you did to us, and told me to find out where you lived," the lad replied.

“So he can find me? Teach me a lesson for interfering?” Lowenna knew the answer, it was obvious. If this man wanted to find her, she was better off doing it at a time of her choosing, and keeping Rique, if possible, out of any more confrontations.

“I don’t know,” the lad said, not wanting to admit what his father wanted. He looked very uncomfortable.

“Why don’t I go and see him? You tell me where he lives.” Lowenna said with a smile.

The lad's eyes opened wide, and the entire colour drained out of his face. “I... I can’t,” he finally forced out.

“Is he still in the Building with darkened windows?” Lowenna asked watching the lad's face for any indication that this was true.

The lad suddenly looked even more nervous, his hands were shaking. “No, no!” He lied, and Lowenna smiled, pushed the lad into the fountain, turned and ran.

Lowenna made it back to where the darkened windows were. She didn’t know where the door was, but she climbed the wall using a hand hold to reach the windowsill and clambered through the open window easily, looking around.

The Room was large and poorly lit. All the internal walls on the top floor had been knocked down, and there were only a few posts that were used to prop the roof up. There also was several gaps in the roof, which exposed the room to the elements. There were two flights of stairs, one at each end of the room, both leading down and there was a large image on the wall.

Lowenna stared at it for a moment. The image was of a skull impaled on a sword. The sword hilt changed into a snake, with a large head and long fangs. It gave Lowenna an eerie feeling, but she wasn't sure if she had seen it or something similar before.

Lowenna started to cross the room quietly, when she heard a voice, “So do you want to join us? Or is there another reason, you have entered, my abode?”

Lowenna looked around, she could see no one. She stood very still, trying to work out where the echoing voice had come from.

“Welcome to the house of Herathh,” the voice echoed. “The most powerful of all the Demon-Gods.” Lowenna stayed very quiet she didn’t really know what a Demon-God was, but she suddenly realised she could be in a lot more trouble than she had expected. “That stupid church of the white light thinks there little Angelus are so powerful, but they are nothing compared to the power of Herathh. The serpent and the sword, the God of war and power, the death bringer, the blades of the dark legion.” There was another long pause, Lowenna stood still not making a sound, scanning the room. The voice seemed to be coming from all around her.

“But I digress. I know you don’t I, little girl? I saw you earlier, you helped one of my family escape.” Lowenna stayed quiet, and for a moment it was deathly silent. The silence was broken by an echoing laugh, which changed into a hissing not dissimilar to a snake.

“If you are talking about Rique, she has a family and doesn’t want anything to do with you!” Lowenna stated, again looking around the room, the voice sounded close, but Lowenna could see no one, the image of the skull and snake kept catching her eye.

“The girl has an important job here, but it’s possible you could take her place,” the voice echoed.

Lowenna didn’t like the sound of that, “and what is it Rique did for your family?”

“She’s very important, she will bring more to Herathh's cause. And also I have personal reasons to have a pretty young distraction. The girl got cold feet when it was time for her… initiation.”

Now Lowenna was starting to get the idea, “so Rique said no to you. Did you force her?”

A man stepped out of the shadows, catching Lowenna by surprise. She was sure there hadn’t been anyone standing there before. “No, I would never hurt one of my children, they must give themselves willingly." The man was looking right at Lowenna, his eyes seemed to be glowing. "So would you be interested in taking her place? I know you will learn to love it here.” He laughed after this rhetorical question, but Lowenna clenched her fist.

“I don’t think so!” Lowenna stated, feeling disgusted even being asked.

The man’s smiled, Lowenna couldn't help feel uneasy, there was an unnatural feel about this man. “Don’t worry she will be ours soon,” he said like he was answering a question.

“Not likely,” Lowenna said quietly.

“I’m the head of the family. My name is Malaki. We serve our Lord Herathh. And soon so will you, and your friend.”

“I want you to leave Rique alone!” Lowenna shouted, trying not to show fear.

“So you ARE willing to take her place!” Malaki said, the grin he was giving Lowenna, was making her feel like he was completely in control.

“No chance!” Lowenna said, but she took a small step backwards. She felt disgusted to be even considered and wondered how Rique had got involved with this man.

“Well, you aren’t giving me much reason to leave your friend alone are you? She belongs to my Lord now.” The smile returned to Malaki’s face, as he looked up and down Lowenna and licked his lips. “I think I will have you both. You will learn to love me, and will bend to my every demand.”

Lowenna was thinking, that coming here might not have been a good idea. She had done it on an impulse, to try to help Rique, who got in a very bad situation, but now Lowenna was in a very similar bad situation herself.

Malaki removed his shirt, revealing his muscular body and showing Lowenna his tattoos. The most striking of which was the same as the symbol on the wall, the snake that changed into a sword, entering the skull. Lowenna looked at the skull and for a moment, she had the strangest feeling it was looking back at her.

“You’re right, she is pretty and powerful. She will add to us. I will make her your pet.” That sentence made no sense to Lowenna, it sounded like he was talking to someone else. “Yes, she must be taken, and given the mark. I will make her submit to you, as she submits to me.” Lowenna didn’t know what was going on but knew she had to get out of here now.

Drawing her dagger, Lowenna tried to prepare herself for what was coming, and she dropped her shoulder bag on the floor. “Yes, she’s feisty. I can’t wait to have her. Her taste. Her touch. Her very essence. It will all add to us. Then together, we will get the other girl and they will both be yours.” Malaki continued, “She must be made to serve you. I will enjoy having her, my lord. She will learn to love you.” Malaki’s voice had changed, the pitch had raised he has developed a lisp.

“Who are you talking to,” Lowenna shouted at Malaki. Fear was starting to overcome her senses. It was like a drug creeping up on her. She didn’t know what was happening, the room suddenly seemed to be closing in on her and the light was fading.

Malaki raised his hand and the room went pitch black as if the sun had suddenly set. The only thing Lowenna could see was a pair of glowing red eyes moving towards her. “Don’t fight it, child, you soon will be mine, give yourself to me.” The words they echoed in Lowenna’s head. She was scared like in the dream when she was being chased in the alleyways. She was backing away from the eyes, which were all she could see.

There was another voice in her head, Lowenna suddenly could hear it. It was a woman’s, she sounded loving, but far away, what she was saying. Lowenna couldn’t make it out.

The eyes were almost on her, fear had taken control. She had dropped her dagger. She couldn’t move. “She’s ours now I will have her and make her yours.”

Thoughts were running through her head, he was going to force her. He was going to rape her! There was nothing she could do. She was so scared, what was the voice saying. “Soul stone?”

The words whispered out of Lowenna's mouth as she remembered her crystal around her neck. As soon as she grabbed hold of it, the fear vanished and she could see again. Malaki had a pink outline, as did her dagger and for the first time since she had heard Malaki's voice, she could think clearly. A smile slowly spread on Lowenna's face. “I can see you,” she said, and before Malaki could react, she flipped the dagger with her foot back to her hand and lunged at him.

Malaki stopped walking. He dodged the swipe of Lowenna’s dagger, and then jumped back out of her range. “No, she shouldn’t be able to that. She has magic. The fear spell has failed. She must be made to serve you. She has to be mine!”

Lowenna raised her hand much like Malaki had to make the room dark. As she touched her crystal again, a blinding flash exploded from her hand and Malaki screamed in pain, temporally blinded by the light, as the room returned to normal. “I’m so not going to be yours!” Lowenna said calmly, as pink flames danced in her free hand, and her eyes glowed bright, as the magic flowing through her.

Malaki growled like a beast. The anger building in him as his vision returned. “You are more than you look, girl,” he growled. His eyes were glowing an even deeper red than before, as were the eyes of the skull on his tattoo. He stood up straight and clenched his fist. Lowenna could not believe her eyes, as the snake tattoo on his arm suddenly came to life curling around his hand before changing into a long curved sword. It was more than twice as long as Lowenna’s dagger. Malaki moved his gaze for the first time now looking at the newly formed sword and let out an angry roar. The sword burst into red flames, as he re-focused his eyes back onto Lowenna. A voice echoed in the room “You and your puny magic are no match for my minion, you will be mine, child, or you will die.”

Lowenna looked at Malaki, who seemed more demon than man now. His skin looked stretched and had split in several places, horns and spikes protruding from the newly formed holes, but she wasn't backing down. She pointed her dagger at him “I am Lowenna, and your minion is the one who shall die.” She said this with conviction and belief that it was true.

The voice echoed again “You lie!”

Lowenna smiled, as she prepared herself for the fight. “Let’s find out,” she said placing her hand on her crystal, pink sparks erupting from her hands

The thing, which had replaced Malaki, launched itself at Lowenna, striking down with its flaming sword. Lowenna sidestepped, blocking the sword with her arm guard, the plan was to stab Malaki in the chest, while the sword was harmlessly against the guard, but the pain was too great. It was like her arm had been severed, where the sword had hit against her guard. She vaulted backward, using her good arm, but Malaki swung his sword towards her again, this time only just missing.

The pain had faded, but Lowenna’s arm felt dead. She ducked under another swing, then launched herself up, kneeing Malaki in the face. He tried to grab her, but she slashed his hand with her dagger. Sparks flew and the minion screamed, as two of his finger's fell to the floor.

Malaki span around quickly, catching Lowenna with his fist before she landed, and she slid along the floor from the impact. He roared in triumph and launched himself across the room towards the red haired woman who was lying on the floor trying to recover.

Lowenna rolled to the left as the sword struck the floor only just missing her head cutting a few strands of her red hair. Malaki now tried to grab her, but Lowenna lashed out with her dagger again, this time catching him on the arm.

He was looking less and less human, fire was now frothing from his mouth, and his fingernails were sharp and claw-like. Even his skin was looking darker with wisps of smoke emanating from his whole body. What used to be Malaki raised its sword again, to finish her off. It wasn’t trying to catch her anymore it was now trying to kill her, but Lowenna wasn’t dead yet. She stabbed her dagger, into the side of its leg, then kicked him as hard as she could in the groin.

The thing, which had replaced Malaki, howled in pain, as she slipped through his legs, retrieving her dagger and stabbed it hard into his back. Black blood flowed and bubbled from the wound as she twisted the blade, and the smell of sulphur hit her. Suddenly, there was an eruption of magic and black flames from Malaki’s back and Lowenna and her dagger were thrown across the room, hitting the wall hard.

Lowenna was hurt. She lifted her head and looked straight at the thing that used to be Malaki. It’s whole body had burst into flames. It's flesh burning away leaving just spiky bone and the symbol on its chest. It turned its head slowly, even though its eyes had boiled and burst, she could tell it was looking at her with its sword still in its hand. The flaming skeleton charged at her. Her dagger was out of reach, her leg was hurt, she couldn’t move. She held her crystal and closed her eyes pushing her free hand out to try and protect herself as the sword was swung. There was another pink flash.

Lowenna opened her eyes and looked around, the skeleton had gone. She couldn’t see anything, out of the ordinary at first, then she noticed a small pile of smouldering blackened bones lying in a heap. She forced herself to stand, her arm still felt numb, her left leg felt like it was on fire, and her green dress had nearly been shredded, and badly burnt.

Lowenna looked down at her crystal, it looked different. A lot of the colour had faded. It looked very pale with a hint of grey dullness. Had she used too much magic? She retrieved her dagger, hobbled over to the pile of smoking bones and tapped the bones with it. The blackened bones turned to dust leaving a smoking skull, facing Lowenna. The eyes still had a pale red glow, but this faded over the next few moments, before that too turned to dust.

Lowenna shuddered and looked around the room again. She noticed, the symbol on the wall had turned black. There was no sign of anyone else, so she hobbled down the stairs.

The downstairs looked very similar to upstairs, except there was a table with a red tablecloth and candles on it, and a couple of dead animals suspended from the ceiling by chains. Lowenna went over to the table. As she got closer she realised there was also a human skull, which had been stained with blood, and the symbol of the burning skull and snake sword was printed on the cloth. Lowenna shuddered again. She really didn’t want to know what Malaki had been up to. She gave the dead animals a wide berth and headed out of the open doorway.

Lowenna re-entered the alleyway. She didn’t know exactly where she was, only a general direction to make it back to Vlad’s. So she headed off with the thoughts, that she was lucky to be alive.

She walked slowly down the alleyway, looking for a turning which would take her back to Vlad's.

She couldn’t get the image of the burning skeleton or the symbol of the snake, skull and sword, out of her mind, and she could still hear the laughing and its voice echoing in her mind, "You will be mine."

She stopped to catch her breath and removed the string which held her crystal from around her neck. Looking at the crystal in her hand. It was still very pale and slightly grey, the deep pink colour almost wiped out. She held it up to the light, it had saved her again, but this time, she had used too much magic. Would it ever work again? Lowenna wondered as she slipped it back over her head.

Lowenna headed down another alleyway still slightly limping. Her body ached, and she really wanted to get some sleep, but she needed to check on Rique first. She started to jog along, wanting to get away from where she had just fought Malaki, hoping that distance would help get the images out of her mind.

Turning another corner, while trying not to think about what had just happened, Lowenna hit something hard and fell to the floor. She looked up and saw a friendly green face. “Sorry,” Grilk said as he helped her up.

“It was my fault, I bumped into you, I was in a hurry, trying to get back to Vlad’s.” Lowenna explained, but Grilk was pulling an unusual expression.

“What you do?" He asked, "Clothes all ripped.”

Lowenna put on a painful smile. “Just another sun in Penbirth,” she joked, but neither of the two friends laughed. Lowenna didn’t want to think too much, else she might burst into tears.

Grilk nodded, “You get to inn, get rest. You come see me tomorrow.”

“I will Grilk, thank you.” Lowenna didn’t know what Grilk wanted to talk about, nor did she care. She just wanted to check on Rique, have a bath and get some sleep. She felt exhausted.

Grilk pointed down a small path “Vlad’s that way, you be, um, no trouble.” Grilk tried to smile, but it looked like he was trying to swallow a live bee. Lowenna knew he was being kind.

“You the nicest person I’ve met in Penbirth Grilk. Thank you.” Lowenna felt this was true, out of everyone, the old orc had really made a good impression on her, although he had got her very drunk.

Grilk tried not to blush, but Lowenna could see a slight browning on his checks. “Me like you to Wenna.” He raised his hand and patted her on the head, much like Lowenna would pet a dog. She didn’t care, it was probably the way orcs showed affection, she thought.

Lowenna raised her head, trying to compose herself. “I got to go Grilk, but I’ll see you tomorrow.” Grilk grunted, and headed off the way Lowenna had come from. Lowenna headed down the narrow path he had pointed to and turned into the main street. She didn’t know exactly where she was until she saw, the fountain, outside of the inn, at the end of the street.

Lowenna entered the inn through the main door. There weren't many patrons in the bar, just an old trio playing cards on a far table. “Have you seen Rique?” Lowenna asked Vlad, who was behind the bar polishing glasses.

“She came in earlier, think she went straight to her room,” he replied.

“I need to see her.” There was a touch of urgency in Lowenna’s voice, “Where is her room?”

“Door on the stairs on the way up to your room, should be open.” Vlad replied, and then went back to his polishing.

Lowenna headed immediately to the door and knocked, but there was no answer. So she turned the handle and entered. She looked around the room, which was very Spartan, three chairs a table and a stove, there were two other doors led off the room. Lowenna knocked on both doors. “Hello,” Rique’s voice came from the second room, her voice sounded upset and scared.

“It’s Lowenna, can I come in?”

“Yea,” Rique replied.

Lowenna opened the door, to see Rique sitting in a ball on the bed rocking back and forth. She could see that Rique had been crying, “You mind some company?”

“He will come for me, I’ll have to go back, or they will kill my family.” Rique said as she wiped the tears from her face.

“Malaki is no threat to you or your family, not anymore,” Lowenna said trying to reassure her.

There was a short pause before Rique spoke, “How do you know about Malaki?” She asked looking straight at Lowenna, there was disbelief in her voice.

“I went back to see if I could help,” Lowenna lifted her arms, showing Rique what was left of her dress. “Malaki didn’t like that, but I think I sorted it.”

“Did you kill him?” Rique asked with a scared look, but a small smile flashed on her face just for a moment.

“He is dead, and won’t be bothering you again.” Lowenna nodded, to reassure her.

Rique’s expression returned again to one of disbelief, “You can’t kill Malaki, he had powers, and he’s evil.”

“Trust me, he is dead.” Lowenna didn’t want to go into details. The fight had been nasty, and Malaki had died being burnt alive, by a demon-god, while trying to kill her. Lowenna sat beside Rique and placed her hand on top of her friends. “It will be fine, I promise.”

Rique suddenly embraced her, wrapping her arms around Lowenna and holding her tightly. She placed her head into Lowenna’s shoulder and cried.

“It will be all right,” Lowenna repeated holding her close, “It will be all right.”

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © © 2015 by Robert Stevens All Rights Reserved

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