(Will Be Re-Written Separately)
Megumi smiles back at them as she leads them into a chamber. A malignant fire burns brightly in her eyes. If it wasn't clear before that her heart is tainted by chaos then it is now. She turns her back to them once more. The flames at their backs hiss louder and lead them to a specific place around a circular altar. Megumi joyously takes her place and glances over them all. She waves to her helper and his grip on Alimah loosens.
"I'm sure you're all wondering why I've brought you here," Megumi smiles sinisterly. "We're so far underground and no faculty member knows of this place… You could vanish and no one would find you. Would they even care to?"
"If you were going to kill us you'd have done it already!" Adrian bellows.
She scowls at him sinisterly. "You should know how to behave by now. I suppose it's not that surprising though, is it?"
A soft scuffling sound emanates from the back of the room. A shadow moves forward closer to the light. Yet no matter how intently they peer the person's features are never visible. The shadow moves slowly, turning their head to glance at Megumi. The notion of her having another ally heightens the terror in the room.
"I don't want to keep you waiting, Adrian," Megumi smiles, her expression suddenly kind. "Believe me; we all knew that this day would come. You wouldn't be worth the life that you have if you didn't."
"You're crazy!" Adrian yells at her; too angry to be subdued.
She sighs. "Why do you have to be my enemy? We could have been such good allies,"
Adrian snarls at her. His fists are clenched so tightly that the skin on his hands aches. He hisses in pain under his breath and prepares to lunge at Megumi. The sound of weeping halts him and he looks to find Alimah standing nearby. Her head is cradled in her hands and her body is trembling violently.
"It's alright, Alimah," Tala whispers, her voice breaking. "We'll get out of this. We'll be alright."
"I know," Alimah's muffled voice replies. "I'll be fine."
A wave of horror crashes over them. Alimah's trembling suddenly ceases and her arms drop back to her sides. She offers them a wicked smile and retreats to Megumi's side. The temperature seems to fall far below zero as realisation slowly sinks in. Their jaws hit the floor.
"Traitor…" Jasmine hisses spitefully.
Megumi pushes Alimah back and steps up onto a circular platform. "Alimah, won't you take care of Meredith? I have work to do,"
"Meredith? You took my sister?" Adrian roars.
Megumi ignores him. She lifts a book and places it carefully atop a circular pillar in the centre of the platform. The book's spine touches the golden stone first and its covers fall. Alimah smiles, realising what page its fallen open to. For a moment there is stillness and silence. Then the words glow bright vermillion. Megumi murmurs a chant inaudibly and they are all caught in a ritual. However, before anything can become certain a wolf lunges from the shadows. The book is caught in its open mouth and the creature lands gracefully.
The wolf spins around to snarl at Megumi fiercely. Its brilliant eyes are alight with searing hatred.
"We shall not fall to you…" Jenny mumbles at the edge of the shadows.
The wolf strolls by Adrian, Jack, Tala and Jasmine leisurely. The wolf's muzzle wrinkles and a loud snarl rips through the silence. Jenny falls to her knees and reaches out for the wolf. She pats the creature's head in an almost affectionate way.
"You do remember her, right? You were close friends," Jenny smiles slowly. "Adolpha hasn't fallen to your schemes like the others… Not like me… She's smart, becoming one of them… You almost won."
"Almost is never enough," Meredith snaps, wrestling out of Alimah's grip. "You have to take what you can and make it worthwhile! Adrian, help me!"
Her brother is quick to oblige. He pushes Alimah into Megumi and hurries back to his friends. Meredith leans against her brother weakly. She whimpers and sobs uncontrollably. Her hair is matted, her skin is dirty and sweaty and dark circles underline her dull eyes.
"You do know what comes of this, don't you?" Megumi smiles warmly. "You only have one fate left to you. You cannot fight what has been decided already. I can't help it if I have allies and you don't."
Meredith screams, her hands scrambling for her stomach. Blood floods out from between her fingers. Her legs collapse beneath her from shock and a shadow falls over her body. Jack throws his dagger to the ground at her feet. His glare is of contempt as he walks by without a hint of guilt. The unfortunate group huddles together closely, holding not simply one another but also their hopes and dreams, fears and lives.
"We need to get help," Adrian whines, his voice strained. "I need to heal my sister. I need someone who can make her better. Please?"
"We'll get out of here. We'll be fine. I promise you that she'll survive. Even if I have to die she'll come out fine," Jasmine forces herself to smile at her dying friend. "We're going to save you. Then we'll stop them and save the world and goodness knows what else."
Megumi claps her hands condescendingly. A cruel smirk adorns her features. By her side are Alimah and Jack who are equally filled with darkness. Their brutality is beyond any sane person's comprehension.
"You're going to die here so I hope you've bid your farewells," Jack grins malignantly.
"Never," Tala swears. "We won't die here; not by your hands."
Jenny's head slowly rises and her lifeless eyes gleam amber. "This means war…"
Author's Note: Like I mentioned at the top I will be re-writing this story separately. I think it will be under the title of Ancient Shadows; which was conveniently mentioned at the end of the video I was listening to whilst typing this chapter. The song is Sueño Muerto. I think it means 'my dead dream'. The re-write will, of course, go further than this point in the story. The reason that I'm doing this separately (other than because I'm a bit OCD) is that this story is pretty bad. I want to be able to look back at how far I've come and make it better for everyone. As two versions of the same story aren't allowed I will be changing some elements.
Souls of Suspicion will also be used as reference to various moments in Ancient Shadows. Please refer to the Author's Notes for when they may be needed.
Thank you for your time and your readership. I truly, wholeheartedly appreciate your continued loyalty.