"Do you know how to break a binding spell?" Agatha whispered as she peeped ahead at the hall.
She was the one in charge of the lookout as Elize tried the various keys into the keyhole of the door of the basement.
They had come down a while earlier back to the drawing-room, only to find half the witches gone including Aileen and Irina.
The few who were in the house were either reading from their grimoires or cooking food for dinner. One of them had informed the two that the rest of the witches had gone in search of some rare plant for the ceremony. They were to return by sunset.
That gave Elize and Agatha enough time to see their rescue mission through. The two had wasted no time, stealthily sealing one part of the house so that they'd have no interruptions during the process. What they didn't anticipate was that they'd have to try on at least thirty charmed keys in order to open the door to the basement.
The lock clicked open. Elize let out a sigh of relief and opened the door, revealing a flight of stairs leading to a fully dark basement.
"No clue. But I'm hoping that you'd know since you knew how to do sealing magic." Elize replied as she stepped inside.
Agatha rolled her eyes as she closed the door behind her. They were suddenly enveloped in darkness.
"Et erit lux." Agatha chanted.
Slowly, fire orbs materialized against the left side of the stone wall. It lit up the way as they descended the winding stairway.
"That was cool," Elize said, looking at Agatha with pride.
"Small trick." Agatha winked at her as she led the way.
The lower they went, the colder the place became. Elize shivered. Something about the place was giving her the chills. The only thing that kept her from running back upstairs was the thought of Zack shivering in a cold cellar.
"So is Latin a compulsory language for magic?" Elize asked, trying to make small talk.
"Not really. Any old language would do. Nyala does her spells in Amharic, Irina does hers in Old Slavic. Each coven sticks to a language and they teach it to their young ones. It's pretty simple that way." Agatha replied.
Elize could now hear a faint heartbeat from somewhere. The mark below her collarbone tingled, ensuring her that Zack was near.
"Ugh" Agatha grunted as she stopped.
"What is it?" Elize asked.
Agatha raised her finger to her lips, signaling Elize to keep quiet."Shh. I think I smell demons." She whispered.
Elize rolled her eyes. She would have believed if her friend said vampires- that was plausible given the number of supernatural creatures around her. But demons- that she could not believe. Agatha was probably trying to pull her leg.
Elize pushed Agatha to the side and continued her descent downstairs despite her protests. She knew that she was close to Zack. She could feel it in her bond.
Her heart yearned for her mate. She wanted to save him from her kind. He must have been all alone in the dark place. It was all her fault that he ended up here, Elize thought to herself.
Agatha was close behind her, muttering something under her breath. They had reached the end of the stairs and were now proceeding along a narrow corridor.
"Stop cursing me." Elize's voice seemed so small in the place as if the walls were sucking out her sound and refusing to let it reach anyone.
"I'm cursing myself for following you down here," Agatha whispered.
"I don't know why you're whispering."
"Because-" Agatha drew a sharp breath in, while looking beyond Elize "Oh, great."
Elize turned around to where her friend's vision landed. The corridor had led them to a large open space, at the end of which laid an unconscious Zack. She finally found her mate!
Elize was suddenly dragged back a step by Agatha.
"What was that for?!" She hissed at the older witch.
"Look! Don't you see the wraith beside him?!" Agatha pointed at the area above Zack's body.
Elize looked. She couldn't see anything. She was irritated with Agatha trying to prank her in the middle of all this. She turned to Agatha, glaring at her.
"Can you stop with this nonsense?! I don't have time for this now!" Elize hissed between gritted teeth.
Agatha rolled her eyes. She placed her hands on Elize's head and whispered "Fateor Visum."
She then turned Elize back towards Zack and pointed at the same spot again.
Elize drew a sharp breath in. She could see it now. A dark presence was floating right above Zack. It held a translucent chain glowing red, that extended all the way down to Zack, binding his limbs with it.
"What is that?!" She whispered to Agatha, clearly shocked.
"The wraith is a demon that guards prisoners." Pointing to the chain which bound Zack, Agatha continued, "The chain is tied to your mate's soul. If you go near him the wraith will consume your soul, turning you into a wraith. The only way to get him out is to find the spell to undo it."
"So undo it then! What are you waiting for?" Elize prodded.
"I can't. Besides, the wraith won't harm your mate or let anyone harm him. He's the safest prisoner right now."
"What do you mean you can't?! I need to get him out of there. I can't see him like this." Elize said.
"We need the binding spell."
"I hope by heavens that you know the spell, Agatha. I'll distract it, while you free him." Elize didn't want to waste any more time. Every second spent thinking was another second that her mate was lying next to that creature.
Agatha sighed. "It's not that easy Elize we need-"
Before she could finish that sentence, Elize turned around and ran towards Zack.
The wraith shrieked in rage the moment it spotted her. She could see the creature flying towards her with its mouth wide open, darkness traveling with it enveloping every space it went through. Although she felt the tendons of fears gripping her limbs, Elize knew that she couldn't back down. Saving Zack was the only thing that mattered at the moment. If in the process she died, she'd die trying.
Elize heard Agatha scream behind her as the creature drew close to her. As she kept going she heard her friend chanting something in Latin desperately. She hoped that whatever it was would work. Elize reached the middle of the dark hall when she felt darkness descending down on her.
She looked up to see the wraith's face inches from her own.
Fear gripped her. Elize closed her eyes shut and raised her hand to shield herself from it.
"Chosen one." A deep voice boomed through the hall.
Elize slowly opened her eyes. She couldn't believe what was happening in front of her.
The wraith bowed low in front of her as she stood there stunned.
"Uhhh..." Elize turned back to where Agatha stood slowly, all blood drained from her face. To her utter dismay, Agatha along with the stairway was gone. In its place was a wall of darkness, sucking in every bit of light into it.
"I bow down before you. State your purpose." The wraith's voice echoed once again.
Elize turned back to the creature. It seemed to be submissive. As it lay low before her, it almost had the shape of a man, one who was emitting darkness from within.
"I-" Elize's voice faltered.
"Your purpose, chosen one. Your wish is my command." It said.
Elize steadied herself. Yes, she came here to save her mate. She had a purpose.
"Release the wolf," Elize commanded, her voice clear and steady.
The demon chuckled. "I cannot, oh chosen one. If you have a spell to undo the binding, you may have him."
"I do not have a spell. But if you can tell me something else that you want, maybe I can get that for you?" Elize said, hoping to come to an agreement with the creature.
It suddenly sprang up and leaned in closer to her. Elize could feel the cold that emanated from its body. She wanted to shrink back, but she held her ground.
"Thirsssssstsyyyyyy!" It hissed into her ears.
Elize shivered at the demand.
"Wh- What?" She asked, stuttering. This was going to be harder than she thought.
"One. Drop. Blood." It said, slowly tracing each word.
"Fine. You can have mine if that's all that takes." Elize said, extending her right hand towards the wraith. She tried her best to mask the fact that her hand was shaking.
It sprung upon the opportunity and grabbed her hand.
Elize shivered at the touch. It felt like death- a mixture of fear and silence. As she watched, the demon cut her wrist with claws that materialized out of its folds. Elize flinched.
Blood oozed out of the wound slowly, as the wraith placed its hungry mouth on it. She closed her eyes, hoping that this would end soon. As soon as she closed her eyes, the demon pushed her away.
"It burrns eeeeeeeeeeeekkkkk!!" The demon shrieked.
Elize opened her eyes, not understanding what was happening. The demon was convulsing on the floor in front of her, clutching its neck. As she watched, blue flames enveloped it, consuming the wraith in its heat. The demon's screams pierced through her, as it slowly disappeared into nothingness, dragging the darkness it carried with it.
Suddenly the room was clear again. Elize could see Zack slumped in the corner of the room, still unconscious. She ran to him and shook him slightly, hoping that he'd wake up.
"What was that?!" Agatha asked coming behind her.
"I don't know. But he's not waking up." Elize was still shaking Zack. Why was he not waking up?
"But none of my protection spells worked! How did you kill it?!" Agatha asked again, her voice raised in a high pitch.
"I don't know Agatha! It died! Now can you help me wake him up?!" Elize shouted, annoyed at her friend.
Agatha was taken aback. She shook her head and leaned down next to Zack's body. She felt around his neck, checking for a pulse, and turned to Elize.
"You'll have to put a healing spell on him," Agatha said.
"I don't know how. You do it."
Agatha took her friend's right hand and placed it on Zack's chest. "Concentrate on your bond and will him to heal. It will help him wake up quicker."
Elize protested "But I-"
"No buts Elize. Waking him up any other way could damage his soul."
Elize sighed and then closed her eyes. Slowly, she willed her magic into his body, willing it to heal him. She could feel a faint warmth through their bond.
'Zack? It's me.' Elize reached out to him through the bond.
There was no answer. But she could feel a wall coming down slowly as the magic entered his mind.
'Zack? Are you there?' She called out again, this time forcing her way further into his mind.
Zack grunted. His hands found hers soon after.
Elize opened her eyes to see her mate staring back at her with amusement. A slow smile crept onto her face as she knew that the worst was over.
"I love you," Zack whispered to his mate.
"I know," Elize replied, a tear running down her cheek.
"Yeah I get that but we need to get out of here before the witches come searching for us," Agatha said as she rolled her eyes at the public display of affection.
Zack chuckled as he got up from the floor and pulled his mate into a tight embrace, leaving Agatha gaping at them.