Halia closed her eyes and began to glow softly. The light flowed from her hands and seeped down into Xania’s skin and began to flow outwards until her entire body was suffused with light.
After a few minutes, Xania groaned. Her eyelids fluttered open and she tried to sit up. Alaryia gently pushed her back down.
“Stay put, girl. You’ve burned through your essence. We’re healing you but it will be several hours before you can shift too much and several days before you should even think about using your power again.”
“Ug,” Xania said. “I remember. He’s really strong. I had to channel everyone’s power to break that thing he’d done.” She groaned again. “Damn that hurt. It hurt a lot.” She was silent for a moment. “It still hurts. Not as much as it did but it hurts.”
“I know,” Alaryia said. “We’ll have that fixed up soon.”
“You should try sleeping, honey,” Sonia suggested. “If you can. It will help you heal.”
Xania looked at her and sobbed. “I don’t think I can. Not without help anyway.”
Sonia knelt down by her head. “I can help if you want.”
Xania closed her eyes and seemed to be thinking. Then she opened her eyes and looked back at Sonia. “Please, I’d be very grateful if you would. This is too much.”
“I know. I had essence burn for fourteen years,” Sonia slid her hands into the nymphs hair.
Xania’s eyes popped open. “Fourteen years! How did you stand it?”
“It’s a long story and in the end you stand what you have to. Now, shhh, go to sleep.” She continued to murmer soothingly until Xania fell asleep again. Then she returned to where Andrew was sitting on the steps with his back against the throne. He looked up at her with pained eyes.
“When can we get out of here, mum?” he asked.
“Soon,” she promised. “We need to wait for the others. But while we’re here, there’s something I want to do.” She looked at Lucas. “Help me move Drew away from this thing.” She gave the throne a disgusted look.
“Of course.” Lucas and Sonia eased Andrew to his feet and took him down the steps, seating him against the wall. Then she turned and glared at the throne once more.
“Is it safe to destroy that thing?” she asked in a grim tone.
“What?” Alaryia looked up at her. “Oh, yes, it should be. I powered it down completely, but put up a screen when you do. It’s liable to be explosive”.
“Of course,” Sonia said. She turned back to the throne and threw her hand out towards it. There was a whoosing sound and a concentrated blast of wind hit the throne and shattered it. Pieces of crystal flew everywhere, but a wall of wind swept them away from everyone. “Yes!” She looked around and then closed her eyes. “I’m going to see how Matt and the others are doing.
Lydia pulled herself back to her feet and shook her head to clear it. As the ringing in her ears left by the explosion faded, she heard Emms laughing and looked up.
He was floating above the shattered crystal and his skin was cracking and tearing as spikes of rock broke through it from the inside. The spikes and wounds were lasting only moments before the rock drew back into his skin and the wound sealed behind it. Power was seeping off him in terrifying amounts.
“Thank you,” he said. “You’ve all made this a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. I was afraid my own instincts might get in the way.” He floated down and walked over to Hannah who was on her hands and knees gasping from the effort she’d just exerted. He smirked down at her, then his eyes widened. “And you’ve brought something else to make my task easier.” He reached down, hauled her to her feet and tore the pouch from around her throat. “I never thought I’d see this again. I assumed they destroyed it.” He tossed her back to the floor. “How foolish of them not to. Just for that, I’ll let you live. The rest of you won’t be so lucky.” He tucked it into his pocket and opened his hands. Two jagged rock swords appeared in his hands. “After all, unlike her, most of you are strong enough to be a danger to me even now I have my true strength back.”
A/N: The Storm Child Book is coming together. I’d be grateful if readers could take this quick survey. Especially peeps who contributed to the “Land of Myth” Campaign. Thanks.