Visions III: Revealed - Part Four
There was only a short distance before Nil reached the building Jazan was in. Naturally, her vision couldn't wait until she was safe inside. It just had to happen out in the exposed alleyway where anyone could stumble upon her. Jix himself could find her there and then what?
The vision was quite insistent, though, as if it carried vital information. She let it enter and it immediately exploded in her mind.
She stood before Jix, holding a wooden staff in her hands. He held a sword and he looked furious, his eyes glowing a dark purple.
"It's over," she found herself saying. "Give up already."
Jix flashed a smile and said, "Not a chance," before blowing the staff out of her hands with a powerful strike she could feel in her arms.
Nil stepped back, dimly aware of her physical form jerking slightly. She felt pain, real pain. Her body was experiencing it as well as her mind. In the vision, she tried to back away from the Wocky. It was clear that he was still at an advantage, but if she could manage to slip away somewhere, perhaps she could have the advantage.
"This is for stopping me in Altador," Jix said, raising a hand and shooting a bolt of black lightning at her chest. It stung and burnt, making her back up a pace.
It's just a vision, she reminded herself. Still, it felt real. This was one of the most vivid visions she ever had, if not the most. She tried to pull away from the scene and back into the real world, not wanting to feel anything more.
At first, nothing happened. Then, the scene faded away and she was panting heavily in the alley once more. She checked her shoulder and stomach, but there was no sign of injury.
For a while, she sat there, trying to understand what it meant. The vision left too quickly for her to gather how it ended.
They've never done that before, she realized. Her fright had caused it to leave, and now she wouldn't know if she survived or not. Way to go. You acted like a scared little kid.
She shook her head and stood, checking that everything was still with her. It was, though some of the food was slightly damaged. Most looked edible still, and a few weren't beyond a few bites.
Nil started off again, striding towards the building. I just hope the King isn't picky.
Karan searched most of the city for Nil before finally resolving to check the palace, just in case she had gotten arrested. He stuck to the shadows and watched out for guards, constantly alert. Qasala was nothing like Altador, and he didn't know the guards' movements. Still, it seemed similar to the way Altadorian guards moved about, save a few times he was nearly spotted. Still, he doubted the guards would pay any attention to him.
He reached the palace without incident, but he was faced with another difficulty: there was no telling where the dungeons would be. They were most likely underground and far away from the King's chambers, like it had been in Altador, but he wasn't completely sure. King Jazan was powerful, and he doubted any crook would dare to cross his quarters.
I should have checked with the King himself, he thought, trying to figure out a way inside. Two guards stood at their posts right at the front entrance and there seemed to be no other entrance as far as he could tell. There has to be another door for emergencies. They can't honestly believe that a single door is enough for all the servants and guards in the palace. His eyes widened and a smile crept up on his face.
"The servants," he whispered, and took off towards the rear of the palace.
It was dimly lit, and he tried to see through the darkness. No one seemed nearby, though he kept alert to any sounds around him that could come from another living thing. He found a small garden at the rear, much to his surprise. It was lit by torches that flickered in the darkness, attracting a manner of bugs to the flames. It seemed to follow the pattern of a scarab, like the tattoos that he had glimpsed on some of the thieves he spotted.
The best part of the garden, though, wasn't in the exotic array of flowers or the small gazebo at the end of the path. It was the door that led into the palace.
Karan stepped into the candlelight and headed for the doorway just as a pink Ixi opened the door and stepped out, immediately spotting him. He quickly ran up to him and clamped a hand over her mouth.
"Listen, I need to find out if my friend has been arrested, that's it," Karan explained. "Can you tell me that?"
The Ixi nodded and he released her mouth.
"Who's your friend?" she asked.
Karan realized that he couldn't reply honestly without giving himself away. "She's a Kyrii," he decided on. It was vague enough, though he wasn't sure whether or not the Ixi would realize who he was talking about.
The Ixi smiled. "She isn't that Kyrii trying to kill my husband, is she?"
"No," he replied, returning her smile. "Can you tell me if she was arrested?"
"What does she look like?"
"She's..." He thought for a moment, but came up with nothing.
The Ixi looked at him curiously. "Well, if it's any help, I haven't heard of any Kyrii being arrested recently."
Karan smiled. "Thank you. Oh, my name's Karan by the way. You're Queen Nabile, right?"
She nodded. "Well, I have to go find my husband."
"I need to go find Nil. It was nice meeting you, Your Highness." He bowed to her.
"Just Nabile's fine, really." She blinked at him. "Wait, Nil?"
Karan smiled quickly and ran off. "Thank you!" he yelled over his shoulder, and disappeared into the shadows.
If that was her friend, why didn't he try to hurt me? Nabile wondered, staring at the place the Xweetok had disappeared. Is Nil really the one trying to kill all the others?
"Let me get this straight," Hara said, looking between Jix and Misha. "Your son, who you never told me about, by the way, has been trying to kill the people involved in all this? Why are you so happy to see him, then?"
Misha smiled. "I don't want everyone to die, if that's what you think. Jix grew up with me, since his father wasn't exactly..."
"The best mentor at the time," Jix finished. "His name was Magax, and when he left Hubrid's ranks, Misha told me about him. I became independent a few years ago and moved to Altador. I found out something had happened to the faeries, so I followed King Altador to Faerieland. From there, I found out all that had happened and, incidentally, ran into Hubrid Nox. I thought of killing him, because of what he made my father do, but then another Hubrid Nox ran into the Hubrid Nox I had been following, and one killed the other. The one who lived transformed into Xandra, and I barely avoided her.
"When she left, I went over to Hubrid. He was still alive, though just barely. He looked at me and he thought I was my father.
"'Come to make sure I don't turn into a ghost?' he asked. 'It's strange you're here, though, Magax.'
"'No,' I replied. 'I am Jix, and I've come to make sure you never bother my father again.'
"His eyes grew wide. 'Magax had a son?' he asked, and those were his last words."
Hara shook her head. "I still don't believe it. I'm reporting you to the guards." She turned and was about to leave, when a fireball struck her square in the back. Hara fell forward, bringing her supplies with her.
"I'm not being arrested, not until my task is complete," Jix replied, bending down next to her.
"Stop this," Misha insisted, but Jix waved her off.
"Now, tell me, where is Jazan?" he whispered so that only Hara could hear.
She slowly got to her knees and glared at Jix. "I'm not telling you, no matter what."
"So be it," he replied, and stood. He began building a fireball in his hands and Hara waited for it to hit her, but Misha intercepted it just as Jix threw it. The Acara fell on the ground and Jix ran to her side, staring in disbelief of what he had done.
He shook her body, yelling, "Mother! Mother!"
Hara pushed him aside and examined Misha. "She's badly injured, that's for sure. If we--"
"Go away!" Jix yelled, shoving Hara to the ground. "I can take care of her. Just leave." He looked back down at his mother and began muttering a spell, one she didn't recognize.
Hara stood and left. The Wocky didn't even react as she exited.
I hope she'll be alright, she thought, and left, headed towards the building once more. What I wonder is what will happen next.
To be continued...