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HomeFantasy StoriesLowenna 2: The secrets of Light and Darkness, chapter 16

Lowenna 2: The secrets of Light and Darkness, chapter 16

Chapter 16 The girl with sparkling golden hair

Rune had used the time wisely and had almost everyone free, "Are you just going to stand there or help me?" she asked, showing some irritation towards Lowenna.

Lowenna glanced over at her before looking at the dead orc again. There was a moment of silence only broken by another slave being freed before Lowenna went over to help.

Rune passed her an unusually shaped key, with three prongs "This key will remove the collars,"

Lowenna looked at it for a second, still a little dazed, before taking it and going over to one of the freed slaves. His collar had three small holes, and when the prongs entered the holes, the collar instantly fell off. Lowenna went around the room removing everyone’s collars until only Rune still had a collar on.

Lowenna cleared her throat and shouted to the slaves, "You are all free, but still in great danger. There is a fire; you have to run!"

No one moved, unsure what to do. "Did you not here me there is a fire, you are all in grave danger." A few of the freed prisoners walked towards the exit but kept looking back, unsure if this was a trick or if it was real. We don't have time for this Lowenna thought, as she clasped her hands around her crystal and both of her hands were suddenly on fire, and her voice echoed around the room. "You are free. Run, or you will die!"

“That worked,” Lowenna thought as everyone suddenly realised they needed to get away and started running. "We have to get out of here too," Lowenna said turning to Rune, but she was just staring back."

After a moment, the smile returned to her face, "We have to free the orcs now."

Lowenna nodded, knowing there was no point arguing, "Alright, where are they?" she asked as she inserted the key into Rune’s collar and it fell to the floor.

Rune closed her eyes and purred. The two crystals in her wristbands erupted into a spray of coloured lights and her skin and hair sparkled. A strong breeze suddenly flowed around the room, and magical energy and lightning danced all around her. Lowenna had to take a step back else the magic would of hit her. "Mmmmm, feel so warm," Rune said as she opened her eyes. Lowenna gasped as she noticed Rune's eyes had changed from brown to a crimson red and were so bright, Lowenna was sure she would be able to see them in the dark. Her hair had also changed colour too, from dark brown to almost gold and sparks seemed to flutter every strand. "Thank you," she said, even her voice now sounded magical.

"You are not human are you?" Lowenna asked.

"Neither are you," Rune replied, with a big grin. Lowenna's eyes narrowed a little. She about asked what she meant, but again Rune said, "We have to free the others, they’re in the next room.

Lowenna looked around and noticed a dark wooden door, against a black wall. She went to push her fingers against her crystal but suddenly a gust of wind blew the door open, Lowenna quickly looked over at Rune who was smugly grinning, her hands stretched out, pointing all of her fingers at where the door had been moments before.

"I command the elements of wind and thunder," Rune stated, answering the question that Lowenna had been about to ask.

Lowenna's eyes narrowed, "Can you read minds as well?"

Rune paused for a second, "No, but I can sense certain things, questions, where people and items I need are and who means me harm."

"Useful," Lowenna replied thoughtfully.

"I will explain everything once we are out of here,” Rune promised, “So what is your name?" Rune asked changing the subject.

"I’m called Wenna," Lowenna replied, but Rune’s smile diapered, and a scowl crept across her face.

"You just lied to me," she stated, slightly irritated. Lowenna paused, not saying anything. "I can sense lies too," Rune added, the grin slowly returning to her face.

Lowenna turned to face her new friend. "I will also explain everything after we are out of here." Lowenna chose her next words very carefully, "Some people call me Wenna, but I don't know my real name."

Rune tilted her head as she pondered what Lowenna had said, "Very well Wenna, let us go free the orcs."

The two orcs were chained much as the humans had been. Both looked beaten. Both grunted and bowed once they were free.

Lowenna could now smell smoke, glancing around she hoped there was another way out of here. The sporn of Hydra was chained in the corner, its head forced to bow and its jaws clamped shut. Lowenna ran over to it but when she got close one on the orcs grabbed her "What you doing?"

"Freeing it," Lowenna replied, unsure what the orc wanted.

"Leave it, it dangerous." the orc started looking at Lowenna.

"I’m not going to leave it here to die," Lowenna retorted, but the orc didn't let go. "I didn't leave you, why would I leave him?"

The orc growled, "It a beast, they kill."

Lowenna looked straight in the orcs eyes, "Listen… Saxon did this to you and him," she stated pointing at the sporn of Hydra. "The human was the beast he is just another victim."

The orc lets go of Lowenna and growled again. "You foolish girl. Me owe you life, so me has warned you, Hydra evil!" The orc turned to his companion and grunted and pulled a strange face before both left the room.

Tifa walked over to Lowenna "They are dangerous, and I can sense it’s angry, and it would lash out at us."

“I’m not leaving it here to die!" Lowenna said as she took a step back, placing her two fingers against her crystal and summoning a spark. She pointed her fingers using the grey beam of light to cut the chains, freeing the Hydra sporn. It clawed at the leather strap that held the metal mask in place to keep it’s jaws shut. The leather strap snapped, and the mask fell to the floor. The creature hissed like an angry snake. It looked down at the metal bracelets then eyed Lowenna and Rune. Suddenly the creature launched its self towards Lowenna. She pushed Rune out of the way, expecting the claws and teeth to latch on to her but the creature vaulted over her and soared through the open door.

Lowenna helped Rune up, "You all right?" she asked. Rune nodded as she straightened up.

"The Hydra thanked you for freeing him," she said. "We better go, the fire is getting worse."

Rune turned and started to run. Lowenna stood still for a moment amused by what Rune had just said, "That’s what I have been saying," she whispered to herself before running after Rune.

Black smoke was now filling the tunnel. Rune and Lowenna were running back the way they had come. Lowenna knew this was not going to be easy, and as they got to the end of the tunnel, Lowenna saw how right she was.

The walls were ablaze, part of the stairway had collapsed, and the handrails were gone. Rune pushed her hands out, and the fire parted leaving a path of the two women to escape. "We have to run!" Rune shouted over the roar of the fire.

As they ran up the stairs, Lowenna could hear the timbers creaking. The steps did not feel stable, the heat from the flames was very intense, and the smoke was getting worse. Lowenna listened to a long creak and then a crash as the stairs started to collapse. "Run!" Lowenna screamed, but Rune fell as the steps she was standing on fell away. At the last moment, Lowenna dived to the floor grabbing Rune’s wrist frantically pulling her up. They both realised there was now nowhere left to run.

"Hold on to me," Lowenna shouted as she touched her two middle fingers against her crystal and threw her arms outwards. She was worried that holding the crystal would change the spell. Thankfully she saw the two grey wings appear.

Rune held on to Lowenna’s neck, as Lowenna jumped flapping her arms downwards, she knew they wouldn’t last long. She was right, at the top of the stairs, the wings vanished, and Lowenna and Rune crashed into the floor.

Lowenna was up on her feet in no time helping Rune up. Across the hall, the two orcs and a crowd of people, some slaves and some patrons, were trying to get through the large wooden door. Lowenna could hear more wood cracking. She looked up as the ceiling started to cave. She touched her crystal but nothing happened, the stone was grey and lifeless. "I’m out she shouted at Rune, who nodded before banging her bracelets together. The icy wind, which erupted from her, made Lowenna take a few steps back, Rune pushed her hands towards the door causing everyone to be blown off their feet, and the door was ripped from its hinges, bursting apart halfway down the garden.

The sudden rush of air made the fire burn faster. The ceiling started collapsing, and burning timbers fell on top of Rune.

"Noooo!” Lowenna shouted as everyone else clambered and fought to get out of the building not even looking at the two women who had saved them.

Lowenna frantically moved the red-hot chunks of wood, ignoring the pain as much as possible, when suddenly another gust of wind forced Lowenna backward. All the pieces of burning wood on top of Rune flew off her in every direction.

Rune was hurt, down on one knee, blood running from a nasty cut on her forehead. One of her hands outstretched above her head, the gem in her wristband glowing, but Lowenna could see that her other arm was broken, it hung loosely to one side. Lowenna grabbed the injured girl and dragged her out of the building hoping she would be alright.

Once outside Lowenna carefully helped Rune over to a tree, hoping to at least partly conceal them. She lay Rune down on the damp grass, and slowly Rune opened her eyes, "Owie, my arm," she managed to whisper. She placed her hand on her chest, and her skin glowed, Lowenna looked around hoping no one, was watching them. She saw the building was ablaze. Many people were hurt some just watching the building burn, and some were running Lowenna assumed most of them were former slaves trying to escape or patrons who didn't want to be recognised.

"Wenna," Rune suddenly whispered, "I need you to straighten my arm." Lowenna hesitated for a moment before kneeling down by her new friend, "pull it straight," Rune directed. She cried out in pain as Lowenna did what she had been told. Lowenna was almost crying. She wished she had magic to heal her friend. Not long afterward Rune started to glow again, Lowenna heard snapping and cracking as the bones in her arm reset and fixed themselves, while Rune panted and wheezed in pain.

The glow slowly faded, as Rune slowly sat up, the cut on her forehead had closed, and although Lowenna could tell it was painful, Rune could now move her arm "Owie," she repeated.

"You can heal yourself?" Lowenna asked almost not believing what she had just seen.

"And others but it can be painful. I will need time to recover fully."

A slightly painful smile spread on Rune's face, but Lowenna suddenly noticed, two lawmen walking towards them. "We have to go," Lowenna whispered, and Rune nodded in acknowledgement.

Lowenna helped her up, but Rune wasn't steady. Lowenna used one of her arms to support her, while the other went through both loops in her cape holding it closed to hide the fact she wasn't wearing any clothes. They headed to the gate, all the while the lawmen were gaining on them. Lowenna was hoping they weren't after her, her crystal was out of magic, and she had no daggers left.

There was a lawman on the gate. Lowenna walked passed trying to look at him, but Rune flashed him a smile as they passed. The Lawman didn't react, nor did Lowenna want him to. She tried to speed up, but Rune wasn't up to it, wincing in pain with every step.

It seemed like an age but eventually they were out of sight of the lawmen. "Please slow down," Rune said as she struggled to walk.

"Sorry," Lowenna said as they turned into an alleyway. "Some Lawmen want to imprison me and take me back to Penbirth."

Rune suddenly looked confused, "Why would they do that?" she asked.

Lowenna paused for a moment. She didn't feel like she could do anything except tell Rune everything, she knew if Lowenna was lying. "Because they think I’m a Lowenna."

Rune pondered this for a moment, before asking "And are you?"

"I don't honestly know," Lowenna replied, but Rune slowly shook her head.

"You believe you are, but can’t prove it," she said, smiling at Lowenna.

Lowenna stayed quiet for a moment. “I can't remember my past, I awoke on a beach, suns ago, and have been thrown into danger ever since.”

Rune looked at Lowenna, smiling before she grimaced in pain.

“Come on we need to get you to a safe place where you can get some rest. I have a room in the Nott & Sail inn, it's close to the city spire, should be this way.

The two women made their way slowly through the alleyways. It was too dark to see. Lowenna was about to activate her light shield just so they could see, when Rune suddenly said, "Use one of the Fire shards. Lowenna took the purse with the sun printed on it and removed a small shard of crystal. "We lock the fire element inside of them. Just break the crystal and stand back."

Lowenna passed the shard to Rune, unsure how to break it. Rune just threw it against the wall. Lowenna heard it crack like it was made of glass, and a moment later she was almost blinded by a hot flash of light. She could hear the crackling of a fire and could feel the heat as she slowly reopened her eyes.

A wooden crate, which just happened to be near where the little shard had cracked, was ablaze. Flames were dancing as high as Lowenna was tall. Lowenna looked at the fire in astonishment, then took another shard out of the purse to have another look. "Careful," Rune said," The fire can rupture another shard if not in the protective bag." Lowenna nodded before placing the shard back in its little bag and returned the bag to one of her pockets.

Lowenna picked up a piece of damp wood and put the end in the hot flames. After a moment with the wood steaming, Lowenna removed the burning piece of timber using it to light the way ahead. Unfortunately, as they started to move, Rune’s legs buckled. She fell to the floor, breathing heavily.

"I need to rest," she said apologetically. "In this form, it takes more time and magic to heal."

Lowenna helped her up, supporting her new friend. "What do you mean this form?" She asked. She had told Rune about being a Lowenna, so it seemed only fair she told her about herself.

Rune smiled but didn't answer right away. "I’m a nymph or a spirit folk. Most people don't even believe we exist. We live on the border of the real world and the spirit world. Not long ago someone broke through the boundary and captured a few of my people, including my sole-mate." Rune paused for a moment before continuing, "My people forbid me coming here but I had to find him, so I took this form to search. Once here I found my magic is a lot more limited than I expected. And I wasn't expecting one of your kind to be so evil, capturing me and placing that collar around my throat. It was killing me, slowly sapping my strength. I used what I had left to ask for your help."

"Why me?" Lowenna asked.

"I sensed your power and your kindness," Rune replied, "Plus I could tell you're lost and searching for something as well. My be we can help each other Lowenna."

Lowenna pondered what she had just learned, and the offer Rune had just made. "I am searching for me, or at least who I was. The search led me here, but I have found this is not a kind place. Also, I have sensed something evil since I arrived here."

Rune nodded, "Now I’m free of the collar I sense it as well," Rune suddenly grimaced in pain and nearly collapsed again.

"Enough talk, we will get you to the inn, and you can rest and recover, maybe when your strength has returned, we can help each other."

"Thank you," Rune whispered quietly.

Rune leant on Lowenna, and the two girls slowly made their way through the alleyways heading towards the inn.

Lowenna was starting to wonder if they were still heading in the right direction when suddenly Rune opened her eyes wide showing panic on her face. Lowenna felt it too, a magic tremble in her mind. She held the torch up high illumining the area but saw nothing. She couldn’t shake the feeling something was watching them.

Lowenna looked up and saw something falling towards them, something alive. It happened so fast, something hit Lowenna and Rune hard, sending them both off their feet. It had Lowenna’s wrists and her throat. She opened her eyes and gasped in horror as she saw what had her.

The torch Lowenna had made close, allowing Lowenna to see what had her.

Eight eyes were staring at her. The monster was tall and seemed to be covered in short dark hair or fur. Its mouth was huge with two dripping pincers one on each side and rows and rows of small but very sharp teeth. The creature roared in triumph. It had six arms, and it was holding Lowenna and Rune by both wrists and the throat. It was incredibly strong.

Rune lay in the things grasp unconscious, but it seemed more interested in Lowenna. She opened her hand with her crystal slightly. Hoping if she squeezed it she would be able to summon any magic she had left, but the creature was too fast, slamming her hand into the wall forcing her to drop it.

Lowenna found she had nothing left. She tried to bring her legs up, trying to push the creature away but it didn’t move. The creature seemed mesmerised by the grey crystal Lowenna had been forced to drop. It released one of Rune's arms and went to grab the crystal.

Lowenna looked over at her new friend. She looked pale in the poor light.

Suddenly the creature hissed in pain. It's hand ablaze with grey flames, but it was determined to hold onto the crystal. It jumped backwards dropping both girls to the ground. It grabbed its own arm. Lowenna watched in astonishment as it ripped the flaming limb off its body, howling in pain. It held its burning arm much as Lowenna had held the torch. The grey flames casting a monstrous shadow of the creature.

Lowenna recognised it now. It had been watching her from the church rooftop. She was wondering if it had been watching her before that.

Lowenna jumped to her feet, and drew one of her swords, "Give it back," She declared, causing the creature to glance at her in hatred, before launching its self up a wall. "NO!" Lowenna shouted as she threw the swords at the creature, but it didn't slow down even when the sword struck it and bounced off its armoured back. Just a moment later it disappeared over the rooftops.

Lowenna went to follow but suddenly had to stop. She looked at the barely conscious Rune and cursed out loud at the unfairness of it all. She had to help her. She grabbed the flaming piece of wood and went over to help Rune. Her hair was no longer looking shiny. Lowenna could tell even in this light she wasn't doing well.

Lowenna helped her friend through the alleyways until, more by luck than skill, she found the inn. The key had been left for her at the desk. Lowenna helped Rune up to her room, where she laid her down on the bed.

"You’re going after that monster aren’t you," Rune suddenly asked without opening her eyes.

"I have to. It took my crystal, and that’s the only thing I had when I awoke with no memories, I believe it’s the only link to my past."

"But I sensed such power. You might not survive..." Rune's speech had slowed and changed into a whisper, "And you have so much still to do."

"What do you mean, so much still to do?" Lowenna asked, but Rune had slipped into unconscious again. She had been the second person to say Lowenna had much to do. It was like they knew her destiny.

A determined Lowenna quickly got dressed and left the room, locking the door behind her, She slid the key under the door so Rune could get out of the chamber. Then she took off quickly, not looking back. The only thing on her mind was to get her crystal back. Two men watched her leave and without a word one took a key out of his pocket, unlocked the door and entered Lowenna’s room.

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

Copyright © © 2015 by Robert Stevens All Rights Reserved

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