Ch. 46, What Hides in The Darkness

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We walked for what felt like too long, but must have only been the distance across the field and then beneath the school. Once we got under the school, the tunnel opened up enough that I could at least stand with my head bent over and back hunched.

Now that we were deeper inside I could feel it; the deep, forbidding pulse of the magic. I sometimes felt it in the forest, like a deep, heart-beat, whispering for me to come closer. It was so strong I wondered how I hadn't felt it beneath me before.

The tunnel in front of us split in two and I shown my flashlight down both paths.

"Which way?" Rell whispered.

I closed my eyes, seeking it out. Then I strode forward. "This way."

Rell followed me as I led us through the tunnels. She held her dagger up at the ready, which seemed a much better weapon choice than a sword in these close quarters. Still, I was glad for the weight of the cool steel.

The pulse grew stronger.

"We're close," I whispered. I turned a corner, and then froze.

A body lay on the ground before us.

Rell moved forward, and knelt beside the body, turning him over.

"Carter." His face was pale, and I held back. "Is he..." I trailed off in horror.

"No. Not dead." Rell dropped her fingers from his neck. "But his pulse is faint. We'll come back for him on the way back. We need to find the Rose first."

I nodded, staring down at Carter. She was right. We needed to stop the source before we treated the victims. But I undid my cloak and covered his body before I moved forward.

Rell followed behind me. Every step forward the pulse began to sing, to pound in every vein of my body. It was like my blood longed for it.

A red glow lit the tunnel before us, and together we turned the corner.

And finally, the Blood Rose lay before.

It floated in the air, it petals the deep crimson color of blood, the blood as large as my head, and the stem covered in razor sharp, deadly thorns.

At its feet lay bodies. 

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