242 Out of the woods
"Well... Damn..." Knucker whispered while gazing from the top of a mountain at the path of destruction Evlin carved during her fight with Wrath, ranging from the city of the west all the way to the middle of the forest.
"Yeah... No kidding..." commented a female voice behind him, "you sure Stick-girl isn't a threat as well...?"
The white-haired man nodded, "pretty sure..."
His eyes suddenly began to glow with an orange light, making it look like his face was on fire.
"I've seen many possible futures, and that mage never proves to be a problem I need to deal with by this point... My only concern is always only those three..."
"She just stomped Wrath like he was a bug... How is she not a problem we need to deal with??"
Knucker then began to smile, "I never said 'we'... I said I don't have to deal with her..."
"You have to have more faith in your friends, Dria! Now come on! We gotta get things ready for the meeting with the king!"
Gustav and Marcus were placing Daren and Leona on top of Sphinx so the griffin could return to Auren so she could receive some treatment from him since the woman still refused to let the earth mage touch her.
Once they left, the two lads began to stare at Evlin.
"Tell me again what happened..." Gustav asked.
Evlin looked down, "I told you... All I remember was fighting that dragon guy and next thing I know I was one step away from killing Daren and Leona..."
"For some reason, when I was in the white void, chains started to appear and made me unable to leave, all while Evlin kept screaming from that dark room..." Marcus added.
Gustav began to hold his chin, "that dark room... what exactly was that...?"
Evlin rubbed her arm as if she received some chilling sensation crawling her skin, "the dark void..."
While they were in the middle of their discussion trying to grasp what had transpired, they suddenly heard a voice coming from not too far away.
Evlin, Gustav, and Marcus all began to shiver as they turned around and noticed Wrath getting out of the boulder and approaching them with soft steps.
Gustav grit his teeth, "you gotta be kidding me... This guy is still alive!!??"
They all assumed battle position but Evlin immediately fell on the ground as she used way more energy than she expected and realized she had no strength left in her body.
"Oh, great..." she whispered as Gustav hurried to catch her.
Marcus was the only one of them that had any fighting chance at that point so he moved to stand between Wrath and his friends while raising his blades.
"Stay back!!" he warned.
"Mmm...?? Oh! Young man!! Could you be a good boy and tell me where the church of the west is?"
"I'm warning you!! Stay back!!!" Marcus shouted.
He tried to look brave but he had no idea how he was going to fight someone that took the full power of Evlin's terminal howl and just got up as if nothing happened.
"No need to be so rude... I'm just looking for directions..." Wrath replied while rubbing the back of his head.
"What do you want with the west temple??"
Wrath just stared at him while holding his chin, "That's a good question... Why am I looking for this temple...? Ah!"
He was about to search for his special piece of paper that had instructions in case he forgot what he was supposed to do, but everything got burned by Evlin's terminal fire during the battle.
"Oh, dear... This is a problem... I have no idea what I was supposed to be doing..." Wrath confessed.
"Then... Maybe you should go home and stay there until you remember!" Marcus suggested while shivering in fear wondering if this would work.
"Mmmmm... Maybe... I do feel rather tired right now... And I do seem to be missing a hand for some reason..." the demon commented while finally noticing his arm.
"But I think Knucker told me to not leave any survivors... Are you a survivor?"
Marcus could not stop sweating, "... ... ... No..."
"I see... And those two?"
"... ... ... Also no..." Evlin and Gustav replied.
"I see... Then I guess I have no choice then... I suppose I'll have to return later..."
"Wait!!" Evlin shouted, which made Gustav and Marcus want to strangle her, "before you leave... Who is Knucker??"
"Knucker....? Mmm... How strange... I usually tend to forget things quite easily... But I can clearly remember who Knucker is... I wonder why is that..."
The three of them just stared at Wrath terrified of what his next move would be.
"Ah! That's right!" the dragon gasped.
Wrath then began to glare at the three of them, "I remember he told me to eat anyone that mentioned his name!"
The three began to tremble even more as Wrath started to charge at them.
His red claw was a couple of seconds away from grabbing Marcus, but in the last second, a silver portal appeared out of nowhere right in front of Wrath.
"Oh dear..." he gasped as he realized he couldn't stop his momentum and dived into what appeared to be the middle of the ocean.
Evlin, Marcus, and Gustav just heard a 'splash' sound as the portal closed and vanished with Wrath.
"... What just happened...?" Evlin wondered.
A pillar of light appeared right in front of them, and from it, Hana stepped out glaring very harshly at the crossbow mage.
"What the hell do you think you're doing??"
Evlin, Marcus, and Gustav reunited with Auren, who was waiting for them at the entrance to the city looking worried sick.
"Ah! You're back!!" he gasped with relief.
Evlin gazed around at all the destruction that was caused and at all the citizens who looked concerned with how long it would take to fix all this.
"I'm so sorry, Auren... I promise that I'll fix everything once I get my strength back..."
"Don't mind that now... Are you ok??"
"I'm not sure..."
Auren noticed the angry-looking lady wearing a white dress and glaring at Evlin, who was being carried on Gustav's back.
"Auren, meet Hana..." Evlin introduced while noticing the man's stare, "she's the new East goddess..."
"Oh... H- Hello..." he replied. Auren wasn't sure how he should be feeling.
"She's also the reason magic exists in this world..." Evlin continued.
"And she's the one that asked us to kill the dragon Knucker..."
"Yeah... It's a long story... I'll catch you up on the way..."
Evlin then started to chat with Auren, who was just drowning in questions right now, about all the things that had happened. About Mia, about Ellie, about Hana, and now, about Knucker.
Gustav and Marcus were amazed at how Evlin was managing to keep talking like that after what just happened, but the truth was, Evlin was desperately trying to not think of what happened.
She kept saying that all she remembered was fighting Wrath one second and then attacking Daren and Leona the next, but in reality she remembered one more thing.
She remembered being in the white void with Sphinx and Marcus, mere seconds before Wrath landed his fist on her.
She remembers how all of sudden her emotions began to build up inside of her and boost the power of the terminal energy that was sleeping inside of her body.
It wasn't much at first, but the more her frustration continued to grow, she could feel the power growing stronger as well. Not helped by the fact that she also had a monster and a champion with her at the time.
And all of sudden, the three forces began to take a shape inside the void, all looking like different versions of her.
A red Evlin made of cursed energy in the shape of her Myriad form from when she combined with Mia.
A green Evlin made of magic energy with wings and a tail from when she would combine with Sphinx with her re-creation power.
And a silver Evlin made of blessed energy looking like her regular self from when she was eighteen, the age in which she performed her fusion with Marcus, wielding a pair of crossbows.
There was also a fourth Evlin made of terminal fire with massive wings on her back, representing Evlin when she faced off the demon leader.
The real Evlin just kept looking while all the forms of energy stared at her in a circle. It felt like the energy in her body was coming to life for some reason.
They started to approach her and before she realized it, Evlin was back in her seven-year-old form, the age in which she suffered her greatest trauma, where she found herself surrounded by people who wished for her to disappear.
Evlin found herself frozen in place as all the forms of energy grabbed her and threw the girl into the dark void, all while Marcus and Sphinx completely ignored her due to being so focused on the demon dragon.
The next thing she knew, she was inside the dark void, unable to move, frozen by fear, all while her energies proceeded to hijack her body and take control of it.
Evlin wasn't sure how or why, but it seemed like her own power had become her enemy as well.
"We're here..." Auren commented, bringing Evlin back to reality and away from her terrible memory.
They had entered a massive palace that was located in the deepest corner of the city and roamed its long hallways until they were now standing in front of a huge white door covered with golden details.
On the walls, Evlin could spot a painting of West hanging in it, very similar to the one she saw from Hana.
The goddess mumbled before that they couldn't get her nose right, which made her think just how in the world did these pictures even came to be.
She couldn't see either West or Hana sitting on a chair just waiting for someone to paint a picture of them considering how impatient these two were.
Auren oppened the doors to the room that he said was reserved for people who were being treated and taken care of, and revealed a beutifull young woman with dazzling black hair and chestnut skin holding an infant in her arms laying in a bed surrounded by the other members of their group. She was covered in sweat and looked exhasuted.
The woman spotted Evlin behind Gustav and began to chat with her baby, "Look, sweetie!! Aunt Evie is finally here!!"
Evlin just smilled at her, "Hi, Ria..."