The Family Stone (Chapter 36)

Boon knows he’s near the entrance. The feeling he got when he was in Annwn is the same feeling he is feeling right now. It’s close. Vtl is also closer. They may die. He knows that his mother will never forgive him if he kills himself but he will die with Alex.
He hears the THUD louder this time. He’s trying to run faster than he had.
THUD. They can’t be that far now. Run faster, he tells himself. It’s not so far.
THUD, closer. He doesn’t dare look back, Vtl might surprise him and he might drop Alex. Alex will kill him if she finds out. For a moment, he thought it was amusing that he’s more scared of an angry Alex than a murderous Vtl.
THUD, she’s here. But where, he thought. One more forest clearing, a tunnel of trees and they will be safe.
He remembers the clearing well. It’s the last one you need to go through and on the other side is the entrance to Annwn. He hopes that Vtl doesn’t catch up to him before they can get into the entrance. They have to get through the entrance together. As he enters the clearing, Vtl is waiting for them, standing by tunnel of trees that leads to the entrance.
Vtl stands there with her legs crossed. She stands before him like she stood there waiting for them for a long time. ‘And where do you think you are both going?’ she asks slyly. ‘Do you really think you can escape?’
‘Let us go, Vtl. I am no use to you. You are already so powerful. And you cannot do this. You will surely die too.’
‘Do not tell me what to do, foolish Libra! You do not know what you are talking about. Only I know what the consequences of my actions are and I am willing to go through it. I have gone through so much to fail. I waited for so long. You think I will become anyone’s slave again? Think again! Becoming what I am today is glorious. And you – you are a coward for bonding with another human. Weakling! What is it with you Libras, wanting to impress low life like them? Don’t you feel suppressed? There are so many without intelligence. I have proof of that lack of intelligence. Take her ancestor for example. The only stupid human to ever think that she can turn me back into a Libra – poor Georgina! She was still a child, so naïve. It was easy convincing her. I told her I used to be a Libra and she took the bait. It was so easy to find her too. She was using up all her life essence even using obscure magia. I waited. I patiently waited for my time, to make my grand entrance. I made her think that she summoned from the cosmos itself! What a reckless child and it’s one of the things I’ve always wanted to encounter. Such sweet corruption of the mind. I was the Libra that she has been looking for. She and I will be the Balance that the world was waiting for. It was perfect, don’t you think? She believes in harmony, she does and all the good sparkly things that keeps you warm in a cold night. She also believes that she would go down in history as the first mage to successfully turn a Chaos back into a Libra. With her own doing. Her own power. Her own devices. What a fool! Although I have to say I was quite sad to see her go so quickly. I didn’t even get to play around yet. I think I was expecting too much too soon. I didn’t think she would retaliate so quickly. Too bad she had to fight me off. She could have just let me take over. We could have been the best team. She was intuitive, I will give her that. She took out Stella’s essence along with hers just to defeat me. That is why I only have partial of a beautiful face. She was a cunning fox. But that doesn’t matter. I will get my face back. Now, enough talk Boon. Let’s not get into any fight, shall we? We were once siblings. We still are – aren’t siblings always different from each other? And I don’t like fighting my own kind. Now, don’t be foolish like everyone else. Be a good Libra. I rather that you hand yourself over and perhaps, I will spare her life.’ Vtl glances at an unconscious Alex.
‘You lie. You will not spare her life. Do you think I’m stupid?’
‘Here we go again. Boon – you were my brother once. Don’t make me forget that. You can try and you can fight until your last but it will not matter. I will still bond with you after I rip you both apart. We will be very powerful Boon; we can even rule the world together if you like. I don’t think the Elders will mind.’
‘The Elders?’
‘You’ve been gone too long, baby brother. You have no idea about the world today. So many different ideas. Civilization has flourished, just as we have. We are many, Boon. I am just the tip of the iceberg. But with you and her, I may just be able to make this world mine. I deserve it. I waited long enough.’
Just as Boon is going to cast a spell, Vtl shushes him. Boon holds his throat frantically. He doesn’t have any voice. ‘Don’t worry handsome, it’s temporary. I wouldn’t want to have nothing to talk about. We have a whole eternity to know each other. You won’t feel a thing – maybe just a little burning on your skin. I can’t promise anything for your friend though. She might feel worse than the binding.’ Vtl chuckles and looks as if she’s forgotten something. ‘You know what, now that my patience has dried up, maybe I’ll reconsider having her for a meal, her flesh I mean. Of course, I will take her soul. That’s going to be the main course. And the rest of her will go to my dogs.’ She laughs maniacally.
She does a gripping action towards Boon’s throat and Boon felt the air come out him. He manages not to drop Alex, tightening his hold on to her. He is fighting to stay where he is standing.
‘You are pretty stubborn, baby brother. You still protect the petty human. Remember she will do nothing for you but I will!’ she says impatiently. ‘I’m beginning not to like you very much. Why do I always have to force people to give me what I want?’ she tightens her grip to his throat. ‘Maybe I should just end it right here but slowly…you know, so it’ll be more fun,’ she says as she runs her snake tongue around her mouth. ‘and I’d really like you to watch what happens when you are finally separated. Then I will make you watch me eat her flesh, just tearing it out and chew it slowly.’ Boon is edging towards losing his consciousness. He suddenly feels the grip loosening a little bit.
‘Did you tell her my name? I don’t really like my old name. It sounds odd. It doesn’t match my face now. Georgina is a nice name. I will make all creatures remember me as Georgina. But I guess it doesn’t matter how she found out.’ Vtl starts gripping his throat tighter. Boon can see black dots, knowing he’ll collapse soon.
‘Alex, forgive me…’ he thought. Then, he heard it. It is a sound of a small bell ringing when a smooth wind hits it.
Vtl looks around in alarm, ‘who’s there?!’ Vtl drops her hand, taking the grip from Boon’s throat. ‘Show yourself!’ Vtl looks around and her and when she sees what she was looking for, she starts to cackle, ‘Well, well, well. This is interesting. I haven’t seen or heard from you since the war. I thought baby brother is the last one around.
‘Stop calling me…baby brother…’ Boon says, struggling to get the words out.
‘Silence!’ Vtl shouts at him, not taking her eyes off at what she is looking at. ‘If I knew you were still alive, I would have hunted you down instead.’ Boon can see that Vtl’s preparing for an attack but is still. ‘Not talking now are we? You were not much of a talker since anyway. I guess you never liked me either. How did you hide yourself away, hmmm? What do you want? Do you want some of this merchandise too? There is no movement from the figure nor is there any reply. Vtl is beginning to look impatient. ‘I don’t like to repeat myself but I don’t think you heard me the first time. What is it that you want? Why are you here? Are you going to try and save the day? It is futile, Libra. You will never win.’ Vtl looks murderous, she is preparing to attack then suddenly; the figure speaks.
‘Incendere,’ a voice booms from above.
A powerful, concentrated funnel of light smashes onto Vtl.
‘What…what…is this…NO! NO! You can’t do this! I No! I’m BURNING! AHHHHH!! SAVE ME! SAVE ME!’ Vtl burns quickly and when the light fades, there is nothing left of Vtl.
Boon is still holding on to Alex and he can feel his body slack. He looks towards the direction of where Vtl was looking but he could not see the figure there anymore. He looks around and above him. He knows that voice well. Vtl was right. He hasn’t heard that voice since the war. Finally, he sees a woman with long brown hair that went past her height, standing on a large branch on one of the tree tops. He suddenly feels heavier, and collapses onto the ground, still holding on to an unconscious Alex.
‘Lulu…you’re…alive…’ he whispers, trying to say it out loud and then all he saw was darkness.

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