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Lowenna: The Secrets Of Light And Darkness, Chapter 14

Who is this Mysterious girl, and Can Lowenna save her?

Chapter 14 The Slave Mansion

Lowenna heard a scream as she approached the wall, which surrounded the mansion. She looked around to make sure no one was watching before she climbed the wall and dropped down, landing in the long grass.

She looked up at the building. There were several sentry guards and very little cover from where she was to the mansion, and she needed to get there without being seen.

Lowenna glanced around. For the moment no one had seen her but knew it was only a matter of time. She touched her crystal to summon the flames, hoping no one would notice before pushing her hand towards an old tree at the far end of the garden. The tree exploded into flames, and all the guards ran towards it. Lowenna remembered the first time she had used that spell. It had been the first time she had meant to cast and for the second time a tree burned.

Lowenna ran as fast as she could until she reached the building. Breathing slowly, she heard the bells of the church chime. She would have to meet the queen another day. There was a wooden door a few steps from her. Lowenna tried the handle, and to her surprise, the door slowly opened leading into a dark room. Lowenna smiled, so far she was lucky, the guards knew something was happening, but hopefully she could find the girl before they found her.

A man in a black cape slowly closed the curtain. He had seen the girl enter the mansion "You were right she came," he said in satisfaction

"I knew she would," a woman replied. "She will make a valuable addition to this house if she can be broken."

"If not she will be sold or she will die. I’m sure our patron will want to try personally and break her but not before I test myself against this Lowenna."

"She is stronger than she looks," the woman said while rubbing her jaw.

"Of course, she is, else she never would have bested you."

Carinthia's eyes narrowed, "She caught me unprepared. I was expecting a young girl, not a dangerous Lowenna."

"No excuses," the man stated, "I taught you better than that."

Carinthia nodded "Yes you did, sorry I disappointed you."

"Do not worry this Lowenna is no match for me, I will have her shackled and powerless or dead before this moon is over."

"Try not to kill her Horic," another man said joining the conversation, "She will be worth a lot of silver if alive." Horic and Carinthia nodded, before leaving the room.

So far Lowenna had been lucky. She had seen two guards in the main hall but had managed to slip down a corridor while they were talking to each other. The problem was the mansion was so large, and Lowenna had no idea where the girl she had seen was. It had also entered her mind that the girl might not even be here.

Lowenna turned a corner and saw a long corridor with three doors and a flight of steps at the end leading down to a basement. She walked along the hallway and was about to head downstairs when she heard footsteps. Someone was coming up. She started to back up but then, to her horror, the farthest door opened. She was now trapped. Without thinking she quietly went through the closest door, closing the door behind her as quietly as she could.

Lowenna stood there, frozen, with her mouth open. In front of her was a naked woman, chained to a wall by four bracelets one around each wrist and ankle and a metal collar with a pale purple crystal around her neck. Lowenna could tell she was dead. She walked over to the body. She could see brushing on her neck and on her wrists and lower legs where the chained bracelets were attached. The body was limp but still warm and had some nasty deep cuts. Lowenna knew they hadn't been the cause of death. This woman had been strangled. Someone had just squeezed the life out of her while she couldn't fight back. Lowenna felt sick. The worse part of this was Lowenna recognised her from the cage with the slaves. She had to find the girl and get out of here fast.

A short fat man suddenly entered from an adjoining room. The only thing he was wearing was a towel which was covering his modesty. Surprised he stopped, glanced at Lowenna, then the dead body then Lowenna again. "I was told she was mine. If Saxton wishes to be reimbursed for the girl, he knows I’m good for it."

Lowenna could not believe what she was hearing, he was admitting killing and thought a few coins would cover it.

"Why would Saxon send you?" The fat man suddenly asked looking confused, "And how did he know she was dead?" Lowenna said nothing, wondering what to do about this position she found herself in. The fat man kept talking, "Does Saxon want me dead? Because if he does I can pay you for letting me go."

Anger was building in Lowenna this man thought he could spend his way out of trouble. He had killed a young woman, and the Angelous only knew what else he had done to her. 

A warped smile creped across the man's face, "Or are you here for me," he snorted like a bore and licked his lips, "I can make it worth you while." Lowenna suddenly realised he thought she was Carinthia.

"You're a pig," Lowenna said with a look of disgust.

The man walked towards her to gather his clothes, "Well it was worth a try, I’m very rich and if you change your mind..." The fat man never saw it coming as Lowenna launched herself forward in anger, catching him in the face with her armguard. The man fell backwards with Lowenna on top of him, the armguard against his face. The back of his head hit the floor hard. After a moment of silence, Lowenna got up and looked down at the man. Blood was running from his mouth and nose, but he was still alive. A voice in Lowenna’s head said, "You should kill him," Shaking her head Lowenna took a step back, before turning and leaving the room. "You should kill Saxton," the same voice said, and Lowenna found herself nodding in agreement, as she walked down the stairs to the basement.

The stairway lead to another corridor with over a dozen doors, Lowenna could hear moaning and crying, but she didn't want to enter another room. Seeing one dead girl was enough for this moon. The corridor led around a corner into a large, well-lit open room. There were several chairs, an almost empty tray of wine glasses sat on a large table to the side of the chamber. There was only one other doorway, which led out of the room but before Lowenna had taken a step, two caped figures entered through it. The smaller figure removed her hood revealing a scowling woman staring right at Lowenna, with anger. She had a split lip, and Lowenna could see a nasty bruise on her forehead. "Carinthia," Lowenna said as she allowed her cape to open as she drew her two swords.

"Lowenna," Carinthia replied but did not draw any weapons.

The other figure repeated, “Lowenna.” his voice was gruff but noble sounding. Lowenna watched him remove his cape and draw a sword. He was wearing light armour and two silver gloves each with a pale purple crystal showing on the back of his hands.

"Let me pass," Lowenna stated, looking at the man. Carinthia had taken a step back, partly to give her master more room, and partly to observe this clash better.

"I don't think so," the man replied, "You belong to us now."

A smile flickered on Lowenna’s face, "Carinthia said the same thing, and I bested her with no weapons or magic."

"She isn't me. I am Horic, master assassin, and now you fall Lowenna," He stated, before charging at Lowenna.

He was fast, too fast. It was like fighting a lawman. Lowenna was desperately blocking his sword, with her two. Horic thrust it forward. Lowenna pinned it with hers before realising she had left herself very venerable, and he slammed his fist into her chest, partly winding her. He then twisted his sword, forcing Lowenna to drop hers while fighting for her breath. Horic paused, giving Lowenna time to recover. He laughed at the young woman, who was now angrily staring at him while rubbing her chest "This is what bested you, my student?"

Carinthia scowled again, but Lowenna wasn't defeated yet. She took another step backwards before letting dagger after dagger fly at this master assassin. He blocked each one in turn but had been forced back, and Lowenna now touched her crystal showing both Horic and Carinthia the pink flames at her command. Horic laughed out loud again. "You think magic will save you," he stated as he stuck his sword in the wooden floor, preparing himself for the attack.

Lowenna pushed the fire towards him. He didn't move, pushing his hand forward and caught the fire. The pink flames fizzled out in his hand to nothingness.

Lowenna was shocked. Her magic had never failed her before. She launched a second ball of pink flames at him. This time, Horic punched it. The fire sparked and vanished before Lowenna’s eyes. "How?" Lowenna asked without meaning to. She knew how powerful those flames were.

The arrogant man stood there smiling and showed Lowenna the back of his glove where the crystal was. "Anti-magic stones, no magic can touch me. My hands are shielded from your attacks." The man readied himself to charge again. Lowenna had no weapons, and her magic was useless… or was it.

Lowenna brought all of her fingers to the crystal and thrust her hands outwards flicking ten sparks towards Horic. "Is that the best you can do," he shouted as he punched the first two sparks. The remaining sparks started circling Horic. He looked at them bemused before jumping into the air. He turned as he punched each spark in turn, "Five, six, seven," he counted each one out loud as he hit them. He was so busy showing how pointless the sparks were that he didn't hear Lowenna clap her hands. "Nine, ten," he shouted as he took the last two sparks out, before landing. He turned to face Lowenna but this time, his smile faded. He was confronted with a giant wheel of pink flames.

"Stop this!" Lowenna commanded as she brought her hands back to her chest before pushing the flames.

The wheel of fire shot forward. Horic thrust both his fists forward aiming at the centre of the wheel, gritting his teeth preparing himself but Carinthia had dived through the doorway, taking cover. She had seen enough.

As soon as the gloves touched the centre of the wheel of fire, it started to disperse. The middle of the wheel vanished as the flaming wheel dissipated from the middle outwards but not fast enough. The outer edge, of the wheel, hit the Horic shins. He cried out in pain as he fell to the floor, his legs and feet badly burnt.

Lowenna breathed heavily while glancing around the room. The walls and ceiling were charred black from where she stood till where the man was lying on the floor. He was trying to pull himself backwards with his arms. A voice murmured in the back of her mind as it had before, "Kill him."

"What are you waiting for?" Horic shouted, angrily, "End this."

"No," Lowenna replied, to the voice and Horic, as she walked towards him. "You are defenceless."

Horic dragged his way over to a wall and placed his hand on one of Lowenna's fallen daggers. "I will heal, and I will come for you," he shouted, looking at Lowenna with hatred.

"That is your choice. I’m just here looking for a someone. You attacked me. In fact, If Carinthia hadn't attacked me, it's more than possible we never would have met." Lowenna pulled Horic's sword out of the floor. It was slim but surprisingly heavy for the size of it. "Mind if I borrow this?" she asked with a smile while holding it in both hands. "I’m looking for a young woman. She was in one of the cages earlier this sun, and I believe she has been brought here."

"There’s a lot of women here," the Horic replied angrily.

Lowenna curled her lip and stared at him, "She was short and had a ripped green and blue dress on, didn't bow like the others."

"I know the girl, feisty, had some sort of magic. She’s here, along the hallway, end door." Horic replied before growling in pain.

"Thank you," Lowenna said and started to turn. At the last moment, from the corner of her eye, she saw movement, Lowenna spun back quickly and more by luck than skill, blocked the dagger that Horic just thrown at her. She charged at him and without thinking and plunged the sword into his chest. Horic started shaking, looking right into Lowenna’s eyes, blood running from his mouth before his head fell forward and his body lay still.

Lowenna slowly breathed in and out, while calmness returned. This is not what she wanted. Why had he thrown that bloody dagger? Why couldn't he just let her go? But then another thought entered her mind, why had she killed him? She had been angry, hadn’t been thinking just reacting. The voice in the back of her mind answered the question, "You are Lowenna." 

Lowenna stood there for a moment staring at the dead body. She glanced at the sword, no longer wanting it. She had to free the girl in the blue dress that was all that mattered. She quickly looked around the room again, this time, she picked up the six remaining daggers she could see, even though they were still warm from the fire, and grabbed her swords, returning them to the pockets and loops in the cape. She briefly glanced at the dead man one more time before leaving the room.

Lowenna went through the doorway. With a feeling of relief, she saw no sign of Carinthia. She kept walking slowly, thinking about the look in the man’s eyes. He wasn't the first man Lowenna had killed, but he was the first who couldn't fight back. She had executed him in a moment of anger. She had told herself she wasn't going to kill unless necessary. Her friend, Rique had told her once that it was easy for Lowenna to kill and she hadn't liked being told that. Though it did seem to be true.

Lowenna paused at the end of the corridor, the door was bolted and secure. She went to tap her crystal. The idea was to summon the fire and either melt the lock or burn through the door, but instead of tapping it she pointed two fingers and pressed then against the magical stone, which was resting on her top. She removed her fingers from it and looked at them.

There was a large spark resting at the end of her fingers. She instinctively knew what to do. She pointed the fingers at the lock, a beam of magical light shot from them hitting the metal bolt, which secured the door. The beam of magic melted straight through it. Lowenna moved her fingers slightly, and the magic cut right through the metal lock, half of it dropping to the floor. Lowenna looked at her fingers again as the spark faded, and a twitch of a smile formed and instantly vanished again. Another new spell she thought to herself, before drawing one of her daggers and entering the room.

The room was large and well lit, most of the walls were covered in drapes, with comfortable red cushioned seats on either side. The wall with the door, which Lowenna had entered, had chains hanging from the ceiling, and the far wall had more chains and another open doorway, which led to a flight of stairs. There were four people Lowenna could see. A man, in a smart shirt, was smiling and staring at her. Beside him to the left was the weapon shop owner who Lowenna instantly recognised. Beside him was a large man, his head looked slightly crooked, he too was smiling at Lowenna, but it was more of a simple smile.

The final person Lowenna could see was the girl she had been looking for. She looked unconscious lying on a red sofa, her clothes in tatters. "What have you done to her?" Lowenna asked anger was easy to hear in her voice.

"Nothing yet," The smartly dressed man said, "She’s a gift to my newest employee."

Suddenly and without warning something grabbed Lowenna’s cape and pulled her off her feet. Lowenna tugged and the cord, which held the cape in place and then threw her arms back slipping free. She turned quickly throwing the dagger at where her assailant should have been, but there was no one there. Again Lowenna was attacked from behind, this time, a collar was clamped around her neck, Lowenna launched herself backwards turning in the air to strike at the attacker, but again there was no one there.

The man in the suit and the weapon shopkeeper were now laughing. Lowenna tapped her hand to her crystal, before being yanked backwards off her feet. There was a chain attached to the collar, and someone was on the other end. When she tried to get up, she was yanked back again. She was off balance, had no time to stand. She was at the mercy of whoever was pulling the chain. Lowenna felt the wall behind her. The collar was now forcing her to stand, cutting into her as she tried to resist.

Lowenna turned her head and saw Dumar. He was standing against the wall holding a chain which was hanging down from a metal loop in the ceiling, "You!" She shouted as she pushed her hand towards him but nothing happened.

"Me," Dumar replied merrily before pulling the chain again which was attached to the collar around Lowenna’s neck through several metal rings in the ceiling. The collar was forcing her upright, hurting her. She was unable to resist. He secured the chain in place. Leaving Lowenna very uncomfortable, having to stand on tiptoe to reach the floor while the collars edge rested against her chin keeping her head up. "As I said," Dumar said, as he turned to the three men, "A captured and unarmed Lowenna."

Lowenna tapped her crystal and pushed her hand towards Dumar, but nothing happened. She moved her hand to the collar, tugging at it trying to remove it but it was on tight. She felt a crystal mounted at the front of the collar. It was large and not very smooth. She had seen these crystals on the slave's collars.

"Don't try to escape," the man in the smart shirt stated, "They are from your kinsmen."

"What do you mean," Lowenna shouted while pushing her two fingers against her crystal hoping for a spark.

"They were created by the Lowenna, to keep slaves in order. They are similar to the control collars which we attach around the necks of beasts." The man paused for a second before counting "I apologise… where are my manners? My name is Saxton, welcome to my house. I believe you already know Mr Trott, weapons expert," The man who had sent Lowenna into Carinthia's trap nodded, "And this is Mut, he's a little simple but very strong." The larger man just stood there staring at Lowenna vacantly smiling and nodding his head. "I believe you already know Mr Dumar."

Lowenna threw him a look of disdain, "We met," she growled in distaste.

"I did what you asked," Dumar suddenly said, ignoring Lowenna, "I wish my payment now."

"Of course, the girl is yours, but you won’t be able to teleport her, not with the anti-magic collar on." Lowenna's eyes widened in fear, as she realised she was completely powerless.

"That is fine," Dumar replied. "I will be using one of your nicer rooms." he walked over to the unconscious girl, picked her up, and slung her over his shoulder. He was about to leave when he turned and looked at Lowenna, "When you have finished with her, I might be interested in a ride, but only when she is more... controllable."

"It may take a few days to break her but if you bring me any more girls, then we shall see what is on offer shall we."

Lowenna felt sick. Saxton was already trying to make a profit out of her. She was not going to let this happen.

Dumar smiled at Saxton before he carried his new prize out of the room. Lowenna knew the girl was in trouble. Dumar was a very unpleasant slimy wretch of a man, but Lowenna had to free herself first before she had any hope of helping the girl. She was trying everything to get out of the collar, but she hadn’t been given many options. "Leave her alone," she shouted as soon as Dumar was out of sight but the other men all laughed, although Mut started laughing after everyone else.

Saxton started unbuttoning his shirt, "Well I think I have waited long enough." He looked at Mut who looked back at his master, "Remove the girl's clothes," he said as he unbuttoned his cuffs and slipped his shirt off.

Panic started entering Lowenna's mind. She grabbed her crystal again, but nothing happened, no magic, she was powerless. The crystal had a sharp point, Lowenna pulled at it hard, and the string which held it round her neck snapped.

Saxton was watching her as he removed his trousers, "Mut teach her, she's not allowed to resist."

Mut turned his head and nodded to Saxton. He started walking towards her. He was huge. Lowenna didn't have a chance of stopping him. She looked at her crystal, then touched the crystal in the collar around her neck and jabbed the sharp end of her crystal into it.

Saxon suddenly looked nervous, "Stop her!" He shouted angrily. Mut was nearly on her. Lowenna held her arm out straight and with all of her strength slammed her crystal into the collar again. The collar cut into her skin causing it to bleed, At that moment Mut grabbed her arm, but he was too late, Lowenna heard a little clink, the stone in the collar had cracked.

Lowenna suddenly burst into flames. Mut started screaming but didn't let go as the fire spread all over his body. Lowenna was looking straight at Saxton, hovering a just off the floor, as the chain and collar melted away and her clothes were turned to ash "You dare imprison a Lowenna," She shouted in a deep unearthly voice. Her eyes flashed black, As she pushed her arms sideward discarding Mut's dead body, and all of the drapes and chairs in the room burst into flames.

Mr Trott had seen enough and was running for the door when Lowenna pushed her fist towards him. A stream of pink flames erupted from her hand enveloping Trott. He screamed breathily before falling down dead.

Saxton had backed up to the only part of the wall, which wasn't on fire, "You wanted to break me? Rape me!?" Lowenna asked, already knowing the answer.

"P, p, please, don’t kill me," Saxton begged as he fell to his knees. "No one has seen a Lowenna in a long time, people would pay a lot for a Lowenna, it wasn't personal, only business," he cried pitifully trying to justify what he had done and what he had been about to do.

"And what about all the others, was that just business?" Lowenna growled as she hovered, grey and pink flames surrounding her body, her face fierce, her eyes glowing black.

"Yes," Saxton said, "just business..." Saxton had stopped talking Lowenna had pointed two fingers at his, and a thin line of magic was hitting his chest, it felt painful. Saxon watched as Lowenna moved her hand to the side before swiping it like it was a sword across him.

The light beam had passed under Saxton's chin. At first, he didn't know what was happening. He couldn't feel anything. His body fell to the ground, and his head rolled across the floor.

Lowenna collapsed to the ground, and the magical fire went out. Her hands were shaking as she breathed slowly, trying to get her heartbeat under control. What did I just do? She asked herself, guilt and anguish entering her mind. She closed her eyes, but it didn't help. All she could see was Saxton's face at the moment he had realised he was as good as dead. That look was burnt into her memory forever. She couldn't remember much else. She had killed Mut because he was holding on to her, Trott because the had run and had tricked her into the alleyways but Saxton… She had enjoyed that kill.

He was evil, how many people had suffered because of him she thought but this gave her very little comfort. She was a monster, a murderer. She suddenly remembered the girl. Dumar still had her. She had to save her. That is why she was here. Four people had died by her hands this moon. She had to save the girl. Something good had to come out of this.

Lowenna looked over at her cape, which somehow was not on fire, grabbed it put it on and ran out of the burning room chasing after Dumar.

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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