Lydia blinked furiously to clear her vision, peering in through the doorway her father had blasted open. She spotted Andrew immediately, Chained to a throne-like device with Kimi beside him. Emms was perched on the arm and it looked like he’d been trying to force Andrew to eat. The room was large, but Lydia had a sinking feeling they wouldn’t all fit safely with everyone who was already there.
Her father took in the size and must have reached the same conclusion. He jerked his head at Ystelyan’s goblins and the half dozen centaurs from Waldhafen. â€œNo way we’ll all fit. Secure the rest of the camp! We could do without being attacked from behind anyway. Everyone else, let’s go!â€
As they advanced into the throne room Emms rose to his feet and opened his arms in a mocking welcome.
â€œWell that took long enough! I expected you hours ago. Never mind, you’re just in timeâ€ He waved a hand at an asian woman working on a panel by the throne. â€œHow long?â€ he asked tersely.
â€œI told you ten minutes!â€ she replied. â€œJust hold them that long and we’re good to go.â€
He nodded and then jerked his head at the guards. â€œYou heard Laxmi. Don’t let them reach her.â€
In response, a group of circleted alfs formed up around her. The rest of the guards â€“ alf and human â€“ formed a wall between them and the throne.
Jayden Emms gave a mocking smile. â€œShall we dance?â€
Matthias didn’t reply, glancing at Naria. â€œWould you, dear?â€ he said.
â€œOf course, Matthias-idan.â€ She leapt into the air and took a small version of her dragon form, gliding over the guards between them and the throne. As she circled the alf’s gradually began falling to the floor. Several of the humans looked woozy as well.
â€œResist her, you idiots!â€ Emms yelled. â€œShe can’t take your energy without touching you if you fight her.â€ The humans responded by shaking their heads and gradually straightening but the instruction seemed to have no effect on the alfs. â€œWhat’s wrong with you?â€
â€œThey need to be able to think to resist, idiot!â€ Naria landed, resumed her human form and grabbed the nearest human’s wrist before he could react. He collapsed at her feet. â€œOf course, if they could think they’d be even less use to you because the ban would come back into effect.â€
â€œDon’t bother with these ones, dear.â€ Lyrrekka appeared beside her in time to block a knife blow aimed at Naria’s back. â€œYou should take out the other alfs and stop whatever that girl is doing.â€ She jerked her head towards Laxmi and her guard. â€œLet the rest of us cope with the humans.â€
â€œGood idea. Kyle-alran, watch my back please.â€ Naria leapt into the air again and flew over the humans towards Laxmi. The indian woman barely glanced at her, though a shield did distort the air around her. Naria landed in front of the alfs and held her palms outwards towards them. Kyle and Darya had raced after her and stood back to back with her, watching for any sign of attack.
Lydia drew her sword and looked around, trying to see where to attack to best effect.
We need to make a path through that wall and get to Jayden and Andrew before Laxmi finishes whatever she’s doing, her father said. He and Huldre are strong but we can swamp them together.
But try not to kill any of them, her mother added. Emms has duped them. They don’t deserve that.
Well, knock them out the way you put my fire out, then, Lydia suggested.
I- her mother began. Damn! That’s a good idea, Lyd. I’ll have to be careful though. A breeze swept past her as the air was sucked from the centre of the room. After a few moments the guards began gasping and clawing at their throats. Several of them dropped to their knees. Go! I’ll have to let the air back in once they collapse if I’m not to kill them.
Lydia raced forward and pushed her way through the incapacitated guards, vaguely aware that the others were following her. She summoned all her power, leapt in the air and swung at Emms with all her might. Huldre appeared between them and blocked her sword with one huge, stoney fist, but such was the psychic force behind her blow that the blade severed several fingers and bit deeply into his palm before it stopped. The troll yelled once, but then gathered himself and smirked nastily as his injury sealed over, trapping her sword within the wound.
His victory did not last long, though, as Karen leapt past her and severed his arm at the wrist, while Daniel shoved his spear through the troll’s ribs and her father ran past them to take on Emms directly.
â€œLaxmi! Hurry!â€ Emms yelled as he turned a blast of darkness from Matthias.
â€œI’m ready.â€ Laxmi said placidly, then stiffened as Naria, having finished disposing of her guards, embraced her from behind. The dragon girl clearly started to drain her, but then staggered back and made a wretching noise before falling to her knees.
Laxmi barely spared her a glance. â€œTaste something you didn’t like?â€ She placed her palm on the panel. There was a chiming sound, then Naria, Harindan and Elzaria all shrieked as the throne to which Andrew was chained and the hood contraption over his head began to glow.
Don’t forget that the first Haventon Chronicles Story starts serialising on Tuesday 4th October 2011.