PART THREE: TAMING OF THE SHTRIGA
Emre was stunned when the enemy who had been responsible for abduction and return of the Dawn for Rifters’ Organization beneficiaries back to the hellish Timelines they had originated from, would so easily provide information to save Avery from a purported curse she had incurred from traveling to an Alternate Reality.
“Assuming that is true, why would you even tell me this?”
“I tell you this because perhaps my only weakness is my willingness to help others,”
“Help others? You have been returning these helpless souls back to their hellish Timelines. How does that help them?”
“It is my responsibility to those who invoke my help,”
“Who is invoking your help? Why can’t you just deny them their request?”
“For it is a goddess’ sole responsibility to see to the fulfillment of the prayers of her faithful,”
“So now you are purporting to be a goddess? How deluded are you truly?”
“I grow weary of your delaying tactics. Out of my way, Son of Anna,”
“Wait! How does one go about becoming your faithful subject?”
The woman appeared stunned for a while and then shook her head. “You are a faithful devotee of Gaia. Do not presume to take me for a fool,”
“I mean it! If all it takes for me to save these innocents is to pledge my allegiance to you, then so be it,”
“You know not what you speak of but your devotion to your mission has deeply moved me. I shall spare this one,”
“Just the one is not enough for me. I mean it- I shall pledge loyalty to you if you spare all the Organization’s beneficiaries,”
“Request denied. I shall spare him. Now hurry back to your beloved before she truly becomes a monster,”
“How could you possibly know that my beloved is suffering from a curse?”
“Because I can read Life-Force Energy and my encounters with other worlds has taught me well just what type of creature would inflict such damage to it,”
Emre gasped. “You are truly deluded. No creature in this world has the ability to read Life-Force energy save for Messengers of the Creator,”
“You are right in your statement, Son of Anna. No creature from your world has such an ability,”
“There you go again assuming you aren’t from this world!”
“That is merely the truth, Son of Anna. I am not of this world but the time for your world to know of mine has yet to come. When it comes, you better pray to your goddess that you are amply prepared,”
“If you are not of this world, then where do you come from? Are your people our enemies?”
“You shall learn soon enough, Son of Anna. Now, please, for the sake of your family, rush home. Your son is in mortal peril even now. Do not forget to recite the incantation I gave you and to follow the instructions I gave you carefully. If you need my help, you need only mention my name- Ilya, daughter of Ull and I shall answer your prayer,”
The woman then disappeared and Emre and the man he had saved were both left staring in awe in her wake. Emre went to the organization and gave his statement on everything that had transpired. He left the shaken man that he had saved at the organization, undergoing counseling.
A few moments later, he returned home and what he witnessed would scar him for life. His son was lying across his mother’s lap and she was speaking to him in an unidentified language while she petted him like a dog with long, scaly fingers.
Avery’s hair was wet, resembling a soaked mop and her eyes were a blank, obsidian black.
“Ah- Avery?” he asked in shock.
She ignored him and continued petting their son as she would a dog, whispering something to him in her strange tongue. Emre slowly backed out of the room and called for help and what transpired was nothing short of a tale of sheer horror…
All agents that attempted to separate her from Blaize were easily incapacitated with lightning fast speed. Avery shrilled in an inhuman manner that was the stuff of nightmares, cursing them in her strange, newly acquired tongue…
Bones broke like twigs, screams of agony erupting from the room loud enough to wake the entire neighborhood. Even Alyona and Ark themselves were unable to fully incapacitate Avery and it became apparent that there was no end to their night of terror.
Emre recalled the words of Ilya, daughter of Ull then and hastily gathered as much salt as he could find in the house and dumped it on Avery in one swoop. Avery shrilled but was soon incapacitated for long enough for him to draw a Sacred Circle and enclose Avery in it using salt to complete the Circle.
Avery soon snapped out of her semi-conscious state and hissed angrily at being enclosed in the Sacred Circle cursing Emre for knowing her only weakness. All present in the room looked at Emre in awe even as he pronounced the words of the incantation Ilya had given him, praying that it would not spell death for Avery.
The moment the incantation ‘Plast Syri Keq’ was invoked, Avery began to cough violently and suddenly, a dark malevolent force violently erupted from her body in the form of a dark mist. The mist swirled above Avery’s head for a while before disappearing altogether.
Avery fainted but upon waking, she was back to her normal self. She wept in Emre’s arms, confessing her intention to drain Blaize of his life-force. Emre held onto her and comforted her as best he could, relieved that she was once more his beloved Avery.
While she slept, everyone wanted an explanation as to how he had known the exact incantation to deliver Avery from her curse especially since it was a spell not even Alyona and Ark, two of the most powerful and longest living creatures in the world knew.
Emre lied that it had been something Avery had constantly murmured in her sleep which he had memorized. He credited the part of Avery’s subconscious mind and solely appreciated the fact that she had wanted to save herself from the curse, which had turned out to be successful.
“But what about the salt? How could you possibly have known that it was her sole weakness?” Alyona asked suspiciously.
“I followed a hunch. I noticed that she adversely reacted to any salty foods she took and figured it must have been for a reason,”
“You were able to keep your cool for long enough to recall that minute fact? I’m impressed!” Alyona exclaimed.
Emre nodded. “Avery is my life. I take every single thing she does as very important and I am glad I could recall that at such a critical time,”
“You are clearly her ideal mate,” Ark stated.
“Thank you. That means a lot to me, Arken,”
“Sure. It is rare to see my kind not be of any help in any given situation. I mean who knows what would have happened had you not so masterfully averted this crisis?”
“Clearly the threats from Alternate worlds pose significant danger,” Alyona added.
“That is why I shall insist that Avery sticks to our Present Reality. She has suffered too much at the hands of these Alternate worlds,”
“I shall have to recall to add that incantation to my grimoire. What was it again?” Alyona stated.
“Plast Syri Keq,”
“Very well, thank you. What a blessing that you are such an attentive man, Emre,” Alyona stated. She shook her head and left Emre and Avery’s home still trying to wrap her head around the complex happenings that night.
Emre was glad to see everyone off and lay next to his beloved in bed knowing full well that it might very well be the last time he’d be allowed to do so. He recalled the strange words of Ilya,daughter of Ull and prayed that whatever world she had come from would not soon make contact with his own.
TO BE CONTINUED…
All’s well that ends well but you and I both know that this is but the beginning of the tale of the strange Ilya, daughter of Ull. What world does she hail from? Are Emre and his loved ones in mortal peril? Stay tuned to find out. Links to previous parts are outlined below. Enjoy!