Chapter 87: Illusions

Cleamon and Metztli are running towards the source of the aura.

“Wait, what’s that?” Metztli says running past an open door.

“Did you see something?” Cleamon asks stopping in his tracks.

They enter the door and find a place full of old books. Bookcases along the walls stack-full up to the ceiling. Documents are scattered all over the tables in the center of the room.

“I wonder if this is real or just an illusion” Cleamon says.

He looks through the documents on the table and finds information on their group.

“This is…”

“She collected all that information about us in the small amount of time we were here. I guess her drive towards information is real, but the way she presented herself is just a lie”.

“Metztli if you find a spell let me know, I’ll try it out to see if the stuff here is real”.

Cleamon finds information about different races, cities and realms. Everything he looks through, he puts inside his bracelet. So far all the stuff he’s found is correct.

‘Why would this room be here anyway? It makes no sense to leave all this stuff behind for the taking’.

“Metztli have you found anything with something useful?” he asks Metztli who’s stuck with her head inside some books.

“Hmm no” she murmurs.

They spend another hour looking through all the stuff in the room.

“It’s weird… I at least expected to find some new information, but this is all stuff I already know. Did you find any information you don’t know yet?” he asks.

“No, it’s all things I’ve already known or learned when I was here”

“I thought so, we have to get out of here. This place is just a trap made to keep us away” Cleamon says.

“Another trap?” Metztli asks.

“It seems like this place is littered with them, we have to stay focused on the way there”

They leave the room and the hallway they came form has changed, the way they’re supposed to go is now.

“We’re too late, we need to find another way. Can you still sense that aura?” he asks Metztli.

“It’s faint, but I can still feel it”

“You lead the way, I expended too much mana already. I think we might end up in a battle at the end of this. I want to save my strength as much as possible” Cleamon says.

With Metztli in the lead she follows the shortest path towards the single points of mana. Again they have mana turns to make and sometimes run into dead ends having to back-track.

“This is just like a maze” Metztli mumbles while running.

———————————————–

‘What is this place? I have a feeling I’m running around in circles’ Andrea thinks.

She had been feeling the single point of mana and chased it like Cleamon and Metztli had. After an hour of chasing she finally gets frustrated.

“This is ridiculous” she screams out panting.

Next to her a door silently opens, inside there are many treasures. Gold, jewels, pottery, rare metals and weapons are scattered all over the huge room.

All of a sudden a spark catches Andrea’s eye and she turns her head.

Unconsciously her mouth starts to drool and her eyes turn into gold. She staggers into the room blinded by greed. As she enters the room she doesn’t even notice the door behind her closing.

‘I-I have to take all of this with me, I’m glad I brought all my storage items’ she thinks searching through everything. She stores every item she finds in her bracelet, slowly but surely the whole room becomes emptier.

———————————————–

Narae and Danmi are taking a slower approach and are making decisions slowly, but surely they move closer to the source of the mana. They concentrate solely on getting there, leaving all distractions on the side.

“I wonder where everyone went, this place feels cold and empty now” Narae wonders.

“It also looks like everything has changed, the room, the hallways, nothing seems like it was before. Should we try to just break through everything?” Danmi asks.

“Good idea, but what would we use? I don’t think we can transform here… It’s way too small to fit our bodies, we’re missing our fire breath as long as we’re in this form”

“We’ll try and use the fire spells our parents knew, we have some knowledge about them so we should be able to at least fire someone nice” Danmi says with a smile.

“Then let’s go for the concentrated fire beam, it should be powerful enough to blast through these walls” Narae says with a delighted look on her face.

“I had the same idea, guess we really are sisters!”

They both recite the Incantation a few times to get the hang of it. Due to their past memories some things are forgotten or just hazy. They need all their concentration to call up the proper Incantation.

“Ready? We’ll fire at that wall there” Narae points at the point directly leading to the source.

The Incantation takes five seconds, when both of them finished a highly concentrated beam of bright white fire shoots at the wall, within milliseconds the whole wall is on fire. Each of them draws half a circle and the cutout part falls out.

They walk through as they keep to spell up, cutting through each wall they encounter. They continue for an hour exhausting their mana.

When they run out, they take some rest.

“I don’t feel like we’re any closer” Danmi says exhausted.

Narae looks behind them, her eyes fill with shock and despair.

“We haven’t moved at all, we’re still where we started”

———————————————–

“Finally we’re getting closer” Metztli says.

“How far do we still have to go?” Cleamon asks.

“We’ll be there in five minutes at this rate”

They pass through the next door and the environment changes drastically.

They enter the training room where Lilia, Homian, Cecily and Resyana are training.

“Cleamon is that you? Where did you come from?” Lilia says as she runs and tries to jump into Cleamon’s arms.

Cleamon dodges skillfully, Metztli looks slightly surprised.

“Don’t fall for this Metztli this is another illusion, where do we do next? We have to dodge them while we can and run for the escape”.

Metztli nods and dashes toward the exit “follow me quickly” she says.

Before their other friends can intervene they leave the room, this time entering entering Cleamon’s classroom. Just like last time they run straight towards the exit ignoring all the illusions in the room.

“It’s after the next door” Metztli says relieved.

Entering through the door they feel a breeze, lush grass fields stretch out far in front of them. Behind them the entrance has already vanished.

In the distance a small white-golden orb can be seen, it’s kept in place by a pedestal. The orb is shining brightly.

“I didn’t think you would actually make it here. Why couldn’t you just agree to give me what I wanted?” Dina says as she comes floating from the sky.

“That wasn’t our deal, you tricked me. None of this is real, everything so far has been one illusion created by you. You’re not an angel are you?” Cleamon shouts out.

“Why do you think that?” Dina asks.

“This whole setup is not something an angel would do, also from the start you have been draining mana away from us. I didn’t notice at first, but while we were running around I could notice it. You wanted us to spend our mana so you created this maze, you hid all your cards from the start”

“Bravo, you’re the first person to actually figure it out. Most visitors just died after they expanded all their mana and got sucked dry of their life force” Dina says with a smirk.

“I’ve read about your kind, actually your own illusion made me remember. Thanks to you I could search my own subconscious, all the items, books and knowledge displayed in that library was mine. I know what you really are and how to beat you” Cleamon says with a smirk.

“Hahaha beat me, you’re just a puny human what can you do? Even if you use the magic you’ve been hiding it can’t beat me. Your mana is too low and your strength is insignificant, your cute pet has no spells to cast either. She’s strong, but useless in a fight with magic”

“You should watch your mouth, Metztli is not my pet. If anything you are the pet here, aren’t you. Stuck in this place unable to leave, I bet your last master left you locked up here because he couldn’t stand being with you” Cleamon says spiting Dina.

‘Metztli as soon as she gets angry, I’ll cast a spell. Don’t worry about what happens next’ Cleamon sends a mental message.

“How dare you!” she shouts angrily.

“You’re just a trapped little fox, caught in a snare set by your own master aren’t you. I bet he never loved you in the first place, no wonder with a personality like that” Cleamon continues.

“I killed that bastard myself, he took away my freedom and used me as an attraction! How can you possibly imagine being a slave of a disgusting creature like he was! In his death he cursed me and locked me up inside this place, you have no idea what I’ve gone through!” Dina yells.

“So that gives you the right to lure and trap people while stealing their life force? I should teach you some manners!” Cleamon shouts back.

“Pff what are you going to do? Use one of your weak spell on me? Do you think any of that has any effect one me?”

“No, but that has”

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