"Oh... Cool..." Evlin mumbled sarcastically, "It's my favorite place in the whole world..."
She was, of course, referring to the empty space covered with nothing but white no matter where she looked known as the white void, a location that gave birth to many of Evlin's most painful memories.
"Man, I sure missed this place... It's not like I've been stuck in here for God knows how long and almost lost my bloody mind the longer I stayed here not too long ago... Good times... Good times..." she whispered while being on the verge of smacking her own head against the floor, but decided not to as she remembered that one cannot get hurt in the white void.
She began to turn her head around wondering if she could spot any signs of the door to the dark void or her living powers coming after her one more time, but it seemed like she was completely alone this time.
"Thank God..." she whispered as she dropped on her knees and took a deep breath once she realized she was not in danger.
She still found it odd though. The only times where she would be sent to the white void were when Xadi tried to trap her or when her soul would try to connect with someone else, which means there must be someone trying to connect with her right now.
"Hello...? Is anyone there...?" she shouted.
Suddenly, she began to hear footsteps coming from afar. There was someone there after all. She began preparations to face whoever it was that was trying to reach her, but once she turned around, she was literally hit by a surprise.
"What the- WAAGH!!" she gasped as she was grabbed in the stomach by a young girl with long black hair, blue eyes, and with a missing hand.
"Aunt Evie!!!" Ellie shouted as she headbutted Evlin's torso and grabbed her in a bear hug.
"Ellie!!??" Evlin gasped again, "the hell are you doing in the white void???"
"This place! This is the white void! It's a place where souls connect with each other..."
"Oh... I see..."
"... You do...?"
"No, not really... I have no idea where we are..." Ellie admitted while locking Evlin in another hug, "I'm just happy I get to see you again!!"
"Ah... I see..." Evlin replied while hugging her niece back, "I'm glad to see you too, my little hero... I'm glad you're ok!"
"... Why would I not be ok...?"
Evlin's expression became cold, "Hana disappeared... West told us that she was banished back to the divine realm because her temple was destroyed..."
"What!!?? No!! I was in the temple just a while ago!! Me and Detra were fighting some weird fire guy!!"
"Weird fire guy...? Someone did attack the temple??"
"Yeah, but Detra and I defeated him... I mean... I think we defeated him... The last thing I remember was running out of strength and dropping on the ground..."
"Funny... The last thing I remember was getting filled with strength and dropping on a bed... I think you must have activated Gustav's power again and forced us into this place..."
"Oh... I'm sorry..."
"Hey, it's ok! I don't mind it at all! I'm always gonna be happy to see your adorable face!!" Evlin admitted while grabbing Ellie's cheeks.
"Thanks... But... What do we do now...?"
"Well... We are here because of you... I think we should be able to leave once you wake up..."
"Oh... That might take a while... I remember being reeeeeally tired..."
"Yeah... I've been there before... Magic exhaustion can be really annoying..."
"Did you get magic exhaustion a lot when you lived here...?"
"At first, yes... But I learned to use my head more often and stopped releasing spells that would drain me so easily... I mostly would use my strongest spells to finish off my opponents or to take care of something easy faster..." Evlin talked, but suddenly stopped when she glanced at her niece staring at her with wide eyes, "what...?"
"Nothing, it's just... This is the first time we talk about magic after I became a full mage... It just feels like we got a little closer... And also nostalgic to when you used to tell me stories..."
"Yeah..." Evlin whispered while staring up, once again seeing nothing but white, "I miss those simpler times... A lot of things happened ever since you became a mage huh?"
"You have no idea..."
Evlin wanted to stay there and chat with her niece a little longer about throwaway topics, but they still had a couple of problems that needed to be addressed.
"Listen, Ellie... The fact that you're here must mean that your body is ok... But something did happen to the east temple, so you probably are still in danger... I need you to contact me as soon as you can and let me know your location so I can come and find you!"
"O- Ok... But what about you? Are you still on the west temple? Should we go to meet you there?"
"No!! The west temple got attacked too!"
"No... It was by two of the six demon leaders... I think Knucker is their ally or master now... They all seem to have gained dragon powers from him..."
"Ah! The guy that attacked us could breathe fire!"
"And the ones that attacked us had dragon scales and dragon wings..."
"So Knucker has turned the demons into dragons and sent them after the temples?? Why??"
"... Why??? Wouldn't a better question be how??"
Ellie just shrugged, "We are in a world where magic is a real thing... Nothing surprises me anymore... Heck... Your main power is the ability to transform things!"
"Eh... Fair point..." Evlin admitted, "I don't know what this guy wants but I know he wants us out of the picture... You remember what Hana said, right?"
"That Knucker is afraid of us, for some reason?"
"Exactly... And when people are afraid... They can be very dangerous..." Evlin commented while thinking about Mia and all the things she did to try to get away from her empty existence.
"So... I guess we really are going after him in the end..." Ellie noticed.
"... ... ... No..."
"Nothing changed, Ellie... This is still too dangerous for you to deal with... I'll go after Knucker and face him... You just need to stay out of danger!"
"But... But... I can fight!! You know I can! You saw me facing Mia!"
"And I also saw you almost destroying your body doing so..."
"But I got the hang of it now! I can control my power and stop it from breaking my body!!"
"Please!! You need to trust me!! I can do this!! If we work together, there is no dragon we can't beat!!" Ellie stated while raising her fist and trying to show an expression of victory.
Evlin however could not wrap her head around it. It didn't matter if Ellie defeated a demon, a dragon, or a god. To her, she was still just her niece, and the idea of putting her in danger was something that was just too hard to stomach.
If anything, Evlin wished she could just send her back home right now, but with the gods gone, they all were stuck in this world.
If Evlin wanted to return her niece back home safely, she would need to get the gods back, and for that, she would need to take down the demon sins, and probably Knucker as well.
She began to find it amazing how one guy she never met could cause so many problems in her life. The closest thing she ever had to that was her father after he left her family when she was just a kid.
"Look... We can talk about this later... Just promise me you won't try to do something crazy like going after him on your own..."
Ellie shivered as her aunt reminded her of the time she tried to fight Mia by herself.
"I... I promise..."
"Good! Our top priority right now is to get reunited... Once I'm up, I'll ask Ria to teleport us to wherever it is that you are..."
"And I'll find out where we are and send the location to you..." Ellie replied with a low spirit. She felt less like she was making a battle strategy with her aunt and more like she was calling her mother to pick her up from school. She wanted to face the enemy, not run away from it.
But she had already learned that there were times where running was the best option. She didn't run from Mia and ended up losing her aunt. She didn't run from Flora and lost her hand.
She was reaching a point where losing anything else would be just too much for her to handle. She needed to start playing smart, and that meant putting more faith in her aunt, and believing her aunt would put more faith in her when the time was right.
"Ok aunt Evie... I'll stay put and wait for you..." Ellie finally replied.
"Good girl... Now let's just wait until you wake up so we can get out of here..." Evlin commented while hugging her shoulder.
Ellie noticed her expression, "do you not like this place...?"
"Too many memories..." Evlin whispered, "bad memories..."
Being challenged by Xadi, being threatened by Marcus, being imprisoned in her sleep while her sister had her body possessed by a dryad, all the time she spent with Mia. Being surrounded by the lost souls, and getting dragged to the dark void by her own energies. The more she thought about it, the only time Evlin ever had a happy memory in the white void was when she met Marceus, and that was right before he died. This place was basically a gateway for bad experiences.
Ellie then gave her another hug, "don't worry... I'm here!"
Evlin did not say anything and just hugged her back.
The two stayed there for a little longer keeping each other company until they finally started to vanish, showing that Ellie was finally about to wake up in the real world.
"Good luck... Mirror mage!" Evlin whispered.
Ellie smiled, "You too! Crossbow mage!"