Matthias jumped them in close enough to Huldre’s hiding place that he and his family could attack the troll before he could react, but far enough away that Hannah could easily find a place to keep out of the way as she and her assistants tried to psychically wrestle the key from Emms.
She leapt back and began looking for a good place to hunker down as the four first dragons raced towards Emms and Matthias threw a wave at darkness at Huldre.
“There!” Halia pointed at another pile of rocks not far away.
“Yes!” Hannah quickly shifted them over to them, then settled down with the boulders between her and the fights and began to clear her mind.
She felt the others hunker down around her and very soon Ema, Jason, Caollainn, Darya and Kyle were pouring energy into her. Halia and the other dragons joined them quickly and Hannah was mildly surprised to find Lyrrekka among them, given how strong she was.
Aren’t you going to help with one of the fights? she asked.
If I’m needed. Lyrrekka said. But I have an inkling that you may stand more chance of success with my help and that may be more important to the result of both fights.
Okay, I’ll take any help I can get. She waited a moment longer, gathering herself and then reached for the key. You’re mine, come back!
She felt the essence of the key twitch and try to respond but Emms shut it down quickly. Though he didn’t seem to have noticed her yet, which was good.
Come back! she ordered it again and tugged on it forcefully with her mind. Again it tried to respond and again Emms shut it down. This time she felt Emms focus his attention on her so she dropped all attempts to hide and clung to the key. Come home! She gasped as she felt it in her hand momentarily before he pulled it back.
It’s not yours, girl! he said. Now stop that. I need to concentrate. He actually sounded like he expected her to obey.
Hannah snarled her defiance at him and called the key again. He stopped it again and she had to scramble to get her shield up as he threw a deadly bolt of mental energy at her. It wouldn’t have been enough but Lyrrekka’s shields wrapped around her and deflected it away.
Thank you! Hannah said and turned her attention back to the Key, pulling at it with everyone’s strength. Come to me! She had time to sense that it was in her hand and to cling to it with all her strength as it slithered around, trying to return to Emms, before a searing pain flooded her entire body and she collapsed back into Halia’s arms, sobbing. Get us out of here before he takes it back. I can’t fight him any more.
Do as she says, Lyrrekka said. I’m going to help Matt and the others. Hannah felt the dragon woman’s hand on her head. “You did good, Hannah, really good.”
“Thank you,” Hannah said as Halia wrapped her arms around her and jumped them back to Waldhafen.
They’d definitely managed to catch Huldre unaware, Daniel decided. By the time he managed to shake clear of their first barrage attacks and respond, the five of them had surrounded him.
Unfortunately he seemed mostly unphased by their attacks. He was bleeding from a few shallow cuts in his stony skin but they were closing before his eyes. They had to keep him distracted. Daniel lifted his hand and sent a bolt of swirling darkness racing towards Huldre.
This time the Troll didn’t even flinch. Instead he gave a rumbling laugh. “Foolish, you can’t stop him. You have no idea how strong we are now.” He laughed again. “I’d forgotten how exhilarating this was.” Shards of rock began rising from the ground around him. “I’m going to enjoy killing you a-” He broke off as Emms gave an outraged scream from the summit. His eyes narrowed and the storm of shards flew towards them before Huldre turned and lumbered towards his heart friend.