The Traveler Chronicles 1

AURORA’S TALE

PART THREE

Aurora wore the Avala Mental Wellness Hospital electronic key card she had received from Protector Leal around her neck and walked towards the Travelers’ Port where all travelers to Avala by any available magical or non-magical means were automatically routed to where a mandatory security clearance was performed before any of them was allowed passage to any destinations within the Island country.

The Protectors’ Agency of Avala was in charge of overseeing the security clearance and ensuring no unauthorized travelers were given passage as was the case with many other countries were the Protectors services were engaged due to the reputation the agency had built throughout their tenure and for their thoroughly strict and uncompromising ways…

She was astounded at how willingly these Protectors, some of whom had been in Leal’s graduating class and were known for their usually keen attention to detail, didn’t seem too bothered about checking her story out as thoroughly as they usually would have done (despite knowing her intimately enough) and knew that Leal would never leave her to go off on her own without him. They didn’t even ask her why she was there alone and where Leal was at that time.

Come to think of it, Aurora wondered why her Protector had left her to go off on her own when he was usually  so insistent in following her even for the most mundane tasks. However, she took this to mean that Leal was growing to trust her more and glowed in the knowledge that he was learning to accept her just the way she was.

Meanwhile back at home, Protector Leal was getting ready to call it a night when he decided to try his luck one last time at getting his charge, Aurora to crack up. He knocked on the door and let himself in, finding her standing by the large transparent window with the moonlight streaming in through the glass giving her an ethereal glow. She was a vision and his breath caught on his throat as he observed her in awe…

Strangely, he didn’t feel the pull to walk up to her. It was surprisingly satisfying just looking at her from afar and what was stranger still was that after a while, he began to feel uneasy gazing at her. She sighed and turned to face him and he stared at her longer. “Leal, can I ask you something?”

“O-Of course, my love. Ask me whatever you like,”

“Does it ever bother to think that we’re not married?”

He was stunned and taken aback by her question.

“For me, I think it’s because I’ve never been one to favor a pomp and flair ceremony but what about a simple visit to the AG? Surely we could do that?” she asked thoughtfully.

Leal continued observing her suspiciously and then slowly walked towards her.

“I’m ready to head on down to the AG whenever you are, Aurora,”

Aurora chuckled. “It’s not just about me, Leal. You matter too. You forget that so often. You don’t know when to stop giving,”

“Isn’t that one of the things you love about me?” he asked finally just mere inches  away from her.

She smiled. “No one likes a martyr, Leal. Live a little,” she said with a little chuckle.

He quickly grabbed her wrists and violently twisted them behind her back, roughly slamming her against the library table.

“Who are you and what the hell have you done to my charge?”

“Hear that, Leal? She is just your charge. Why is she not your wife?”

“That doesn’t answer my question. Where is she?” he bellowed angrily.

The woman simply giggled cheekily as if they were playing a game.

She then burst out cackling and the next thing Leal felt was a searing hot sensation burning inside his head that caused him an agony he had never experienced before then. It was as if this mysterious intruder had set a blowtorch on in his mind and nothing, not even trying to push the pain to the back of his mind worked.

Leal was soon writhing in in pain on the ground shocked that the strange but certainly wicked woman he had thought apprehended was able to breach the magical protections of the pocket dimension and perform the infamous lethal strike all Alison clan witches were capable of.

In mere seconds, Leal found that he was unable to think at all as the pain was too intense to do anything but roll all over the floor as if he were physically on fire. “Where-Aurora-” he managed to murmur through gritted teeth. At some point, he could have sworn that he was screaming but it all seemed far away like a distant dream and the only thing that remained was the hell generated by the woman’s attack.

“Oh, I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear that on account of your screaming in pain and agony. Would you please be a dear and repeat that?”

He felt as if his mind was melting away with all traces of sanity slowly fading.

“Oh well, your Aurora is busy doing the exact thing you tried so hard to keep her from doing. The fool simply couldn’t listen to you and leave the dangerous things to you and yet here you are, in your dying moments, thinking only of her…”

“I’d find it sweet were it not absolutely ridiculous and totally pointless because after all, she gave you a chance to get away from this but you dove head first into the mire. You chose to give your life to a woman that in spite of having a Protector still insists on making things stay that way- she will never marry you, by the way, while we’re on the subject…”

“She looked at her father’s killer straight in the eyes and did nothing- watched as that same murderer escaped justice- saw her mother suffering and witnessed her descent into madness and all for what? A misguided notion of good and evil or was it the delusion that she was a hero? What a fool…”

“Anyway, I can’t say I really blame my doppelganger for not marrying you. You are so weak. I thought I had to up the ante with you but look at how you roll on the floor weeping like a child. Pathetic,” the woman admonished him.

The woman watched as Leal suffered, constantly rolling on the floor and weeping uncontrollably in agony. “I should have done this from the start. Why did I have to send those brainless golems after you during your graduation? This is way more fun! Oh how I wish I could astro-project and watch as Aurora meets her fate…”

“No doubt Era will want to do it with her own two hands. How does it feel, Leal, knowing that your darling Aurora is going to die and there is nothing you can do about it? I’m tempted to prolong your pathetic existence long enough for you to really feel it- perhaps to have you beg me to kill you. Yes, I think I’ll save you for that- to suffer, to torture you so that every time you look at me, you’ll remember your foolish charge and your inability to save her,”

Suddenly, Leal had some reprieve from the mental torture but he was so weakened, all he could do was crawl away from her. Her evil cackling followed him as he crawled towards the door but then he felt her spiky high heeled shoes jab at him painfully on his back over and over again. He was sure that some of his blood remained on her shoes but he really couldn’t think too much into it.

“I think Avery deserves stronger parents than you two can ever be. My husband will retrieve her and we can give her a proper home and of course proper training to unleash her true potential,”

“No!” Leal screamed bitterly only to get a kick at the back of his head which made his vision even cloudier than it had been during her torture.

“Avery is ours now. Find a way to deal with it,”

“No! You leave her alone! Leave Aurora alone!”

The woman cackled and said, “It is far too late for your Aurora, fool…”she said kicking him repeatedly until he couldn’t breathe any longer. None the less, he bravely continued crawling across the floor tried with all his might to open the door but couldn’t reach the door handle no matter how hard he tried. The evil Aurora’s cackling mocked him.

She taunted him, reiterating how weak she thought he was and how his Aurora was being tortured and killed as they spoke. Suddenly, a strong gush of wind blew the door clean off the hinges and slammed the evil woman painfully against the furthest library wall knocking her out cold.

Leal looked up and saw Ember. During his final moments of consciousness he simply panted,”Save-them-” before passing out as Ember tried to apprehend the evil Aurora that had been knocked out cold by his spell. Unfortunately before Ember could conjure chains to imprison her, the evil Leal appeared out of one portal, grabbed his unconscious wife and quickly disappeared through another portal.

Meanwhile, Anna, who had remained safely hidden with baby Avery, quickly called for a healer to come and administer immediate medical care to Protector Leal while her husband hurriedly opened a portal to travel to the Hospital where he would find the mysterious stranger that had called him by his name and had mentioned Anna, Aurora and Leal as well.

When he got there, the Protectors at the Port were as thorough as ever and by the time he arrived at the hospital, there was some kind of commotion going on right in the middle of the waiting bay. He was surprised to find two women struggling with Aurora being sprawled out on the floor with a patient on top of her holding her neck in a vise-like grip squeezing the life out of her. Nothing Aurora or the staff there trying to break the fight did was sufficient to make the patient release her grip.

It was then in the moment of panic that Ember recalled the patient’s name and called out to her, “Erabelle.”

Era upon hearing her name from a voice she could never forget and would recognize from anywhere, turned to see Ember and forgot about the woman she was attempting to murder, getting off her and tearfully rushing to him and embracing him.

Ember embraced her as a father would. Instinctively, he guessed that the woman had rushed to him that way because of one of the strongest bonds shared between mortals and immortals alike- the love of a daughter to her father. She confirmed it by saying, “I know you’re not really him but… I- I missed you, father,”

He held her tighter. There was no telling what this poor soul had had to endure. For that moment, he resigned himself to being the father figure Erabelle truly needed.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Hi! Please find previous entries below:

  1. The Traveler Chronicles 1: Aurora’s Tale Part 1
  2. The Traveler Chronicles 1: Aurora’s Tale Part 2
  3. The Traveler Chronicles 3: Erabelle’s Tale Part 2
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