Reclaiming The Old
In North Alexandria Lola the Black walks through misty woods. She had left Centra the capital of Alexandria two days ago to visit her old master. The one who trained her in the arts of fire. Lola had just recovered from an illness that she thought would send her soul to Necrovania where she would rest with dark spirits and fiends. After her recovery Lola had an epiphany as if Omegus the god himself had helped her open her mind. A calling from beyond what one could hear. Something only the soul could comprehend and with just that simple awakening Lola now headed north to the hidden mansion of her old master.
She was sure to return to the capital city again in a few days to rest and search for employment. She lived the life of a drifter moving from town to town with her black wolf named Dougal. Her wolf is an intimidating creature. Its fur pure black with ram horns on the side of its head and two tails wagging behind him. As fierce as Dougal might seem he is a tamed animal and loyal to Lola but she had not trained the wolf. Dougal was once human. He was a very important person to Lola. They take odd jobs together and with Lola’s beauty they had no problem finding employers. She had long raven black hair, milky pale skin, green eyes, full lips that she painted cherry red and the top lip black. She is eighteen and a mage that made a great living in the capital city. A mage with a fire nature and essence of darkness as well as Dougal. For three long years they lived this life of freedom. No one tells them what to do or where to go. They move as they please without mischief, without worry or obligations only to each other.
Three long years as a drifter. The best years of her life since she left her old master. A life of freedom with Dougal by her side. Lola is always happy and graceful where ever she would go but today was a different day. The misty woods in which she walked brought back uncomfortable memories. Her long skirt of black bird feathers rustled over the dirt and gravel. Dougal walked beside her, breaking twigs with his paws and sniffing the air hoping to find the scent of those he once considered friends.
“I sense a dark mana ahead.” Dougal told Lola.
“I sense it too.” She responded. “It is strange. These woods once felt safe but now they feel as though fiends have been lurking here.” Lola swirled her red rod that she wielded in her right hand. As she spun it, it spread her mana to help her sense other creatures that lurked in the shadows. Lola had many experiences with the darkness. Creatures of the dark did not frighten her. She had killed many in the past as part of her odd jobs.
Fiends had a way of appearing wherever she went, an occurrence that happened far too often for Lola’s liking. For the past three years she has encounter fiends on the road and cities, hunting her down with no explanation. Lola thought it was a curse or some sort of grim spell of darkness. Either way, she was determined to find answers. Dougal always kept her safe and helped her fight the darkness. The black wolf was a fiend himself. With his keen sense of the world of the dead he too could sense malice creatures of the dark.
A chilly wind blew lifting Lola’s skirt. The front of her skirt was up to her knees and the back billows like wings of a black bird. The cold wind blew a smell of rot and dead bodies. As if an animal was feasting on prey that it had capture just a few feet ahead but it was getting dark and it was hard to see. Dougal had no trouble seeing for his blue moon eyes could see in the dark.
“It seems like we are not the only ones wandering these woods.” Dougal said with a cocky tone.
“It seems like the appropriate place for fiends to lurk. I always found these woods creepy.” Lola added with a smirk on her face.
“I like your attitude my dear.” Dougal said and began to walk in front of her like a guard dog growling and his eyes glowing blue like the second moon. As the two walked deeper in the misty woods they heard small growls and grunts. They heard the sound of flesh being torn. It was the sound of someone chewing their food. “It’s a wild fiend.” Lola stated. “Do you think it would be kind enough to point the directions?”
“If it’s not hungry for a pretty human girl.” Dougal answered.
“I am willing to take a risk.” Lola raised her red rod and its top ruby gemstone lit up with fire crackling over it like a lantern. It illuminated the woods. The rod’s light spread far enough for Lola and Dougal to see the fiend tearing the flesh of a unicorn with its sharp shark like teeth. The fiend was of a dusty white color. It had no eyes and slids for nostrils. It bit the neck of the unicorn and drank its silvery blood. It did not seem to be bothered by Lola’s light. It ignored them and continued to feast on the unicorn savagely.
It sickened Lola to watch the fiend chew on a harmless unicorn so violently. She had seen worst thanks to Dougal. “Perhaps we should leave it alone” Dougal suggested and began to walk away from the sight of the fiend. Lola went on and approached the white fiend.
“Don’t be foolish Lola.” Dougal snarled at her, maw clenched.
“Unless you remember the way to Perim, why not ask this little one.” Lola persisted. “He might actually know something.”
Dougal snarled and joined her. He always tried to prevent Lola from venturing on her own. He gave a nasty snarled as they got closer to the white fiend. Suddenly the white fiend stopped chewing on the unicorn. Its mouth dripped silver blood. It wiped it with its boney hand of three fingers. The white fiend stood up and he was a foot shorter than Lola. She saw its skinny legs with feet like that of horse. The fiend snarled and hissed at Lola like a wild cat. “Can’t you see I am busy?” It simply said with a cold voice like of a dying man. “Are you not frightened by me. Human?”
“I am not afraid of fiends and I hate to disturb your meal but I need to know which way is Perim’s mansion located?” Lola asked the fiend. It was difficult to determine if it would attack or speak since it had no eyes, only a forehead and twitching lips for a face.
“Perim” the fiend repeated. “Why would a lady such as you would be looking for Perim? What business do you have with Master Perim?”
“You called him ‘Master’.” Lola said suspiciously. “Perim is working with fiends now?” Dougal questioned with surprise.
“What are you to Master Perim?” Asked the white fiend stepping away from Lola and Dougal.
“We were once his students and ….”
“Ah!” The white fiend flabbergasted. Although he had no face to show emotions. Lola could tell he was frightened abruptly. He continued to step away and Dougal began to snarl louder. The fiend then began to chuckle showing his sharp teeth and dripping silver blood of the unicorn from its mouth. “I know who you are hehehe.” It laughed so high pitched that it irritated Dougal’s ears. “Master Perim put a bounty on your head. Lola Raven.”
“My name is Lola the Black now.” She corrected the fiend. She had left that name Lola Raven after leaving her master. A name that resembled her nature. “Where is Master Perim?” Lola demanded again but the ugly fiend only chuckled with its boney fingers over its foaming mouth.
“Why would I tell you when I can collect the prize for your bounty?” The white fiend said.
“Tell me where Perim is or me and my black wolf will make sure you have a bloody trip to Necrovania.” She threatens. “Point out the right way or I will make sure you suffer.”
The white fiend only laughs at Lola’s threat. She becomes annoy at the ugly creature and tempted to launch a burning spell at it. “We cannot trust him at this point.” Dougal suggested. “Let’s go Lola.” The wolf bites her feather skirt and pulls her away from the creepy fiend.
“Where do you think you are going?” The white fiend asks with a screechy voice this time. He clenches his teeth lustfully with a sudden desire for Lola’s flesh. Its small lips twitched and it spat unicorn blood. “You know what I love more than juicy, salty, warm unicorn blood.”
“I had no idea that fiends felt love. Would you like to explain?” Lola said sarcastically, fearlessly, waiting to see what the fiend would do. Trouble always excites her although she never seeks it.
“You are a feisty human.” The nasty white fiend commented. “Human blood and flesh is better than unicorn blood in these woods. Master Perim promised me to turn me into a powerful fiend, if I bring your head to his mansion. Fortunately for me he did not say to bring you back alive. Hehehehehe.”
“Perim has some guts promising what he does not have. Stupid fiends like you are nothing but pawns in a game of chest for Perim.” Lola told the fiend and walked away. When she spun away, there was another white fiend standing nearby. A dusty white fiend with no face only teeth and a long forehead. Long nasty boney fingers with pointy nails sprouting out.
“I told you we should have left him alone.” Dougal reminded Lola. He was always so sure of himself and always found that Lola would get them in dangerous situations. “Why don’t you ever listen to me?”
“Shut it Dougal. You act as though you fear these creatures.” Lola answered annoyed. “They seem frightening but I bet they will die with one spell.”
“In case you have not sense them already. There are dozens of them closing in on us.” Dougal explained. Then Lola realized. She heard their steps getting closer and the rustling sound of leaves. Hissing sounds like that of wild cats echoed through the misty woods. Dougal growled and blue smoke left his nostrils. They emerged from the darkness of the misty woods. There were dozens of them. Perhaps thirty or more. It did not matter to Dougal for he has killed worse. The white fiends snapped their teeth like guillotines as they got closer. They emerge from behind every tree in sight with blood dripping from their mouths that foamed with saliva. They swiped the tree trunks with their sharp nails and snarled louder moving towards the area lit by Lola’s rod.
“I will feast on you with my brothers and sisters.” Said the white fiend that stood near Lola. “I will make sure they leave your head so that I can deliver it to Master Perim and as for your pet. We will have fun drinking wolf blood for the first time.”
Dougal could not wait any longer. From his mouth he shot a bullet of blue flames. He sneezed it and it flew across the misty woods and hit one of the fiends. The creature screeched in pain so loud that it could rip the insides on one’s ears. It caught fire and died in seconds. They all leapt at Dougal and Lola. The white fiend that was feasting on the dead unicorn fled. It seemed to be their leader. “Lola don’t let him get away!” Dougal alarmed. Lola ran after the white fiend but another one jumped in her way, its teeth snapping, it’s long sharp nails about to swipe her. “Pikan Fahiah!” Lola yelled and a bullet of fire left her rod as if it had been launched from a crossbow. The white creature gave an irritating screech. Lola then smacked it aside with the end of her red rod and the fiend caught on fire, it melted and kicked on the grass.
Lola ran after the one white fiend that knew the direction to her old master but more of them attacked. There were three of them. One jumped at her and Lola whipped it aside with her rod, setting the creature on fire. Another one swiped its long nails at her. “Pikan Fahiah!” Lola cast her spell on it and set it on fire. The third leapt and swung its sharp nails at her. It wounded Lola cutting through the tight sleeves of her black blouse. Lola cussed and kicked the ugly beast. “Pikan Granda!” She shouted and launched a larger bullet of fire. The fiend shrieked in pain and Lola watched its flesh melt right off its bones. It died within seconds and Lola was glad to see it die. “I worked really hard for this dress. Stupid fiend.”
Lola looked back and saw Dougal incinerating fiends with his blue flames. Dougal burned them and tackled them with his ram horns and pushed them against the trees. With his fangs he bit their small necks and decapitated them. Dougal quickly glanced at Lola and bellowed “don’t let him get away!”
“Oh yes. I almost forgot.” Lola remembered. She turned east in the direction of the white fiend who had killed the unicorn. She saw it running from far away. It laughed hysterically as it fled cowardly, like a child who had just stolen goods. Lola pointed her rod at it; she took aim at the fiend’s legs. “Pikan Ray”, she whispered and a red beam was sent from the end of her rod. The red beam flew across the misty woods until it reached the cowardly fiend and pierced its right leg. The white fiend crippled and gave a hissing scream. It tried to crawl away as it watched Lola pacing towards him. It knew it had nowhere to run now. When Lola reached the ugly creature she stomped on its face with her boots and press down on its cranium with her heels. “No please!” It shrieked. “I will tell you where he is, just don’t kill me I beg you.”
“As cowardly as I thought.” Lola stared down at the ugly creature.
“You better give us the right directions. Ugly little beast.” Dougal insulted as he approached. Blood dripped from the sides of his maw and blue smoke left his nostrils. His ram horns were tainted with blood as well.
“Ugly beast you say. Someone has not looked at his own reflection.” The white fiend teased then Lola stomped on its face again with her high heel boots.
“I am running out of patience. Tell us which way is Master Perim’s mansion?” She demanded an answer for the last time.
“As you wish. I will tell you.” The white fiend said and moaned in pain at his leg that had been pierced by Lola’s fire spell. “Find the stream east of here then follow it north. You should find his mansion and once you get there you will die by Perim’s apprentices.”
“Is there anything else that we need to know?” Lola asked politely making sure nothing is left unsaid by the creature and she would successfully find her old master’s mansion.
“Oh yes. I will see you in Necrovania.” Were the fiends final words and Lola yelled “Pikan Fahiah!” The fiend’s body was set on fire. Lola and Dougal watched it burned. Its stench was viler than a dead rat or rotten rations. They watched the rest of the fiends burning in the misty woods. Dougal had killed most of them with his blue flames.
“See you in Necrovania.” Lola paraphrased. “Where do fiends go after you kill them?”
“They don’t die so to speak. Their bodies may vanish but their souls return to Necrovania.” Dougal lectured. “There is a possibility that these fiends may haunt us however I highly doubt that. I don’t think they have any authority in the world of the dead if they were following Perim.”
Lola stared up at the night sky over the naked autumn branches. She noticed the white and blue moon were behind her. The moons and sun rise from the east, she thought and turned in that direction. Dougal walked by her side. She was not sure if the white fiend had told her the truth. If it had given them the right directions but Lola was willing to try. Anything to finally see Master Perim. They walked east as instructed. The woods were silent with only the hoot of owls and crickets. Despite the silence Lola understood that there could be more fiends lurking in the shadows of the woods. “The vibe of these woods has changed.” Dougal said as they walked to their destination.
“In deed.” Lola agreed. “I always thought Perim was a strange man however what caused him to work with fiends.” Lola waved her rod and the ruby stone at the end lit up, illuminating the way. Soon they reached the stream. It was a beautiful stream. Lola ran towards it as soon as she saw it. She kneeled down by the edge of the stream, lifted her skirt and dipped her hands in the water. At the bottom of the stream, the rocks glow of turquoise, vivid greens, blues and yellow colors. Tiny fishes jumped from the water catching flies. Lola washed her face with the water. It was cold but refreshing. She sat there on her knees gazing at the stream and lovely aquatic creatures below. It brought back sweet memories.
Dougal joined her and brushed his ram horns on the side of her left arm. “Do you remember this stream Dougal?” She asked him.
“Yes I do.” He said in a low tone. “I am no longer human but I still remember this stream. We use to sneak out during the night and sat by this stream under a tree.”
“It was the only escape we had from that prison.” Lola muttered.
“Sorry my dear but this is not the time.” Dougal said, intending to disrupt Lola’s moment. “We will have time for sweet memories later. Let’s focus on finding Perim’s mansion.” Dougal then walked away from Lola as she sat there by the stream. She gazed at the black wolf walking away. That form has changed you, Dougal, she thought with a heavy heart. I understand your pain. I promise you I will find a way to turn you back into a human again. Lola then stood up and followed Dougal.
The white fiend said to follow the stream north. As Lola walked behind Dougal alongside the stream, she thought of the old days. She thought of her friends at the mansion and wondered if they would be glad to see her again. It has been three long years since I have seen them. I wonder.
The time passed and the moons moved over the night sky. Lola gazed up at the two moons, an hour or so has passed, she thought. Although she remembers the stream going into the direction of the mansion, she does not remember it being such a lengthy walk. Then finally.
“I see it!” Dougal growled. Lola ran to him with excitement. They stood side by side staring up at the mansion that dwelled behind large gates and stone walls about thirty feet high. It was at the top of a plateau and below it, the stream turned into a river. Across the river was the area where Lola and her friends trained in the arts of fire, she can still see and smell the burned lumber from afar. The mansion had three floors. The third floor was all for master Perim. No one but his servants was allowed up there. The second floor was where all of Lola’s friends’ bedrooms were located. The mansion had not changed since Lola and Dougal left. It had statues of Dragons everywhere outside and on the rooftops. Goth belfries with dragon statues snaking around it. Statues of knights of North Alexandria stood by the entrance, after the gates.
“So what do we do? Just walk up and knock on the door.” Lola said sarcastically. She squinted and noticed the lights of the third floor. He must be up there by himself as usual, she thought.
“Lola look! By the gate.” Dougal alarmed. Lola gazed in the same direction and by the gate of the mansion she saw them. It was her old friends. Five of them chatting by the gate. Two boys and three girls. Two blonde girls, both were slim wearing long skirts and corsets. One wore a blue long skirt with floral patterns and the other a long red skirt of pointy leaf ends. A brunette girl wearing a black gown sat on a boulder that protruded from the grass. The two boys were clad in red and brown tunics. They were all the same age as Lola. Nineteen or perhaps a few years older. They laughed by the gates, conversing and they all wore a headband on their forehead with a gemstone that looked like black onyx.
Lola was somewhat nervous to approach them but she had not come this far from the capital city just to flee out of fear. She was going to confront them whether they still accepted her or not. “What are they doing outside this time off night?” Dougal asked the abyss as he crouched.
“They are probably just killing the time in this boring place. It’s what we used to do, remember.” Lola snarled. “Come on then. Let’s say hello to our old friends.”
They walked up the sloping path. Lola was nervous and Dougal seemed to have his senses all together. He never showed signs of fears even when he was a human or at least that Lola remembers. Up the slope path they went until they reached the mansion’s gate. The five people that chattered by the gate jerked their heads to Lola and Dougal at the sound of their steps. Immediately they raised their guards. They all raised their rods. They were all mages like Lola. They gave her a vile stare. “Who are you?” Shouted the blonde girl in red. “Don’t come any closer.”
Lola paced towards them with her arms raised, holding her red rod with her right hand. “I come in peace.” She declared. “Don’t you remember me Lynn? It’s me Lola.”
The blonde girl raised her eye brows and her eyes bloomed as memories of Lola returned. The rest of them lowered their rods. They all stared at Lola, not surprised but with realization. None of them spoke on regards to Lola’s return to the mansion. They remained silent staring at each other. It was awkward for Lola. In times like these Dougal would take charge and respond but this was different. “Well. Say something.”
“It’s been such a long time.” The blonde girl finally answered. “We didn’t think you would ever return.”
“It’s nice to see you again too Lynn.” Lola responded sarcastically. She could sense that she was not truly welcome here. However she only hopes that she could at least speak to Master Perim with no hard feelings.
“Weren’t you the one that escaped?” Asked one of the boys whom had chestnut hair. “And what is that beast by your side?” Asked the other boy of light brown hair rudely pointing at Dougal.
“I don’t blame you for not remembering Dougal.” Lola answered. “Last time you saw him he was human. We were both students of Master Perim training under the arts of fire. We came to visit the mansion to speak to Perim.”
“By the moons” Said the brunette girl with a gentle voice. She stood up from the boulder she had been sitting on and slowly walked towards Lola. “Lola you have grown beautifully.”
“Jazelle is that you. Great Omegus you are a beauty yourself.” The two girls ran towards each other with open arms and embraced each other tightly. Jazelle was Lola’s most trusted friend in the mansion above everyone else. While everyone was unfair with Lola, Jazelle was always there to light a candle in Lola’s darkness. Jazelle filled that lonely spot in Lola’s heart when she first became part of Perim’s agency of fire mages. Why did you return, Jazelle whispered in Lola’s ear remembering that horrible night when Lola escaped with Dougal. Lola did not answer her instead she gently pulled away from the embrace. “At least someone is happy to see me. What is wrong with the rest of you?” Lola challenged them.
“You dare ask us what is wrong.” Said the boy of chestnut hair, moving towards Lola. He stood three inches taller than her, looking down at her. Lola stared at his green eyes fearlessly. “I still remember the night when you escaped from our home.” He said and Lola giggled.
“The past is behind us, Daniel.” Lola told him.
“Tell that to Master Perim and remind him how you tried to steal one of his artifacts that was trusted to him by King Alexander himself.” Then Daniel looked down at Dougal. “That is why Master Perim cursed Dougal with that ugly form that he is in.”
Dougal then growled and barked fiercely. Blue smoke left his nostril. Suddenly he felt the malevolence to bite on Daniel’s neck. He remembers the boy. Daniel was a tattle tale. A snitch and a liar as well. He would get away with many things and got Dougal in trouble so many times. “Daniel.” Dougal growled as if he chewed on gravel. “You ass kissing tattle tale son of a wanton. As much as I want revenge now that I am free, that is not what I came here to do. Let us in to the mansion. All we want to do is speak with Master Perim.”
“Follow me.” Said Lynn. “I will take you to Master Perim.”
“What makes you think that Perim will want to see their faces again?” Daniel snarled.
“How about if you let master decide on that?”
“He instructed us to…Ouch!” Daniel could not finish his sentence with Lynn’s elbow in his ribs. Lola noticed Lynn’s left eye blinking. At that very moment Lola understood who was still on her side. She glanced down at Dougal and he nodded his head. Things had not changed. They are still the same bastards as they have always been. Especially you Lynn. You naughty little harlot. I will keep my eyes on you.
Lynn walked towards the gate and stood before it. She stretched out her rod and placed it just before the lock that began to flicker a feeble light. Lynn twisted her rod as if to turn a key inside a keyhole and with a thumping sound the gate opened. “Follow me. Master Perim waits.”
Lola could only grin and follow behind the five of them. Jazelle looked over her shoulder at Lola. Her eyes were wet as if she were to cry. Lola understood and did not want to endanger her only friend. Lola then felt Dougal’s rough horns brushing against her lower left leg. “What is it?” She asked.
“It seems like Jazelle is the only one on your side.” He stated.
“Yes. If she wants I will take her with me and get her out of this prison.” Lola whispered. She remembers hating the insides of the mansion. As luxurious as it was, it felt like more of a prison for the four years that she had reside here. She walked into the mansion. The gates closed behind her. That same feeling came back and memories began to slithering in her mind. Memories of the first day she walked into the gardens of Perim’s mansion when she first joined the fire mages agency.
She was only twelve years of age. Her father who worked for the chancellor of North Alexandria was unable to pay off his dept. The chancellor took her father’s piece of land. The small farm they had and the hut in which they lived was taken marked as a property of the chancellor. Her father rebelled against the chancellor but the knights of the north came and forced him out of the lands. His daughters would become servants in the castle of the chancellor. Lola and her sister Leishla ran away. Leishla was captured first and Lola ran into the wilderness till the knights of the north found her weak nearly dying. Lola was separated from her sister. Thrown in the back of a caravan she was taken to the chancellor in the large city of Draken Dess. On the road, the knights who had seized Lola tried to take advantage of her before taking her to the harem in Draken Dess. Twelve year old Lola ran out of the caravan. The sinful knights chased her and caught her. Lola had no one to protect her. Back then she was still not trained in the arts of fire. She only carried a rod that her father gave her but did not know how to use it. Lola did not know how to use the rod. She had a knight on top of her, forcing her against her will in the wilderness of the north.
Then someone saved her. Somehow Omegus had heard her prayers and sent a hero. It was Perim and his apprentices. They had found the caravan heading south. They saw the perverted knight on top of the innocent farm girl. Perim punished the two knights who tried to abuse her and set Lola free. “You can come with me and learn the arts of fire or do as you wish?” Perim gave her two choices and of course she followed him. She did not want to be alone walking through the wilderness, woods and forest of Alexandria alone and risk of being attacked by opportunist. She went with Perim to his mansion and Lola had never felt safer ever since. However things were not always as well as Lola imagine they would be.
She was safe but Master Perim and his apprentice were difficult. Training in the arts of fire was rough. Her body endured much pain and burns. Her fellow apprentices would challenge her but Lola strived and never gave up. Perim would make them duel with fire magic, mercilessly. Lola’s power increased every day and surpassed many of the apprentices in the mansion. Thirty of them and all came to respect her. Four years training under the arts of fire with Master Perim. She became his favorite student, so much that one day he made her an offer she could not refuse. He told Lola that she would have to leave the mansion unless she gave herself to him every night. Many of the apprentices wanted Lola out of the mansion and Perim would only reject their request if Lola did as he told her. Of course she agreed. Where would she go? The mansion was the only place she knew. The only home she ever had after the chancellor took her father’s land. Lola hated Perim ever since.
I will kill him with my new powers, Lola thought. He will pay for what he did to me. I am no longer his. I am free and more powerful than ever. I will strike when the time is right and those who made me suffer in this mansion as well. That means you Lynn. Lola and Dougal walked between statues shaped like the knights of North Alexandria. Studded steel armor with spikes running along the upper body. Helmets shaped like a dragon’s head, spears on the left hand and right hands on the hilt of their swords that hanged from their waist. The autumn leaves fell on the statues from the tall oaks above. The leaves dance around Lola as they fell. She caught one and stared at it. She then looked down at Dougal walking by her side and smile.
“What is it?” He asked.
“Nothing. Just memories.” She answered. After they passed the statues they then walked on the path of the vast front courtyard. The trees grew tall and some had naked branches. Fireflies flew in the night and their small light was enough to brighten the whole yard. The path was made of round cobble stones. Red roses danced with the wind in the garden by the front of the mansion. The scent in the air was a fresh vanilla that reminded Lola of snowy winter nights. The mansion seemed a mile far from the entrance. Perhaps it was the large field between the entrance and the mansion that made it seem so vast and spacious like a coliseum of grass and flowers. Lola always found it odd that Master Perim kept flowers in his yards being a fire magus but she was also suspicious of him knowing more than one elemental art of magic.
Up ahead Lola saw the front large door of the mansion. It had a glass stained window with crucifix. Lynn waited by the door with the other four apprentices. Suddenly the door burst open startling Lynn and the others. Out came a tall man of blonde hair. His hair was so blonde and vivid that it almost seemed white. His nose was a beak pointing down. He was clad in black, red and orange. Lola remembered who he was right away at first sight. He was one of Perim’s high magus. Those who have reached a mastery level don’t use rods or wands to perform magic. He walked towards Lola with a scowl. Behind him more apprentices of Perim followed him. They were all in robes and tunics, mostly reds, gradients of orange colors and different shades of black. They wielded a rods except the one of blonde hair. Kasco was his name, Lola remembered. She never had faced him in a duel when she trained with them but she had seen his magic. His spells were explosive. She once feared him but now she was ready to take on him or all of them if they were to challenge her.
They all wore a headband that held an onyx gemstone. They marched out of the mansion following Kasco. Their boots thumped on the cobblestone. Lola took a deep breath and gripped her rod tightly.
“You must have nerves of steel to show your face around here.” Kasco told her as he came closer.
“I wish that were true.” Lola responded with a cocky tone in her voice and a wide smirk. “High magus Kasco. You don’t seem so happy to see. I thought we were on goods terms despite of all that had happened three years ago.”
Kasco stopped just about a dozen feet away from Lola. She took that offensively as if she reeks so much he dare not go near.
“On good terms?” Kasco spat on the cobblestone path of the courtyard. “The chaos you left before your sudden departure is not something one simply forgets. You and your little horned pet caused Master Perim fortunes and shook the trust that the king had on our organization. You put us at risk.”
“All I wanted was freedom.” Lola snarled before Kasco could go on. “I do not regret what I did three years ago and I do not expect you to forgive me nor do I expect you to understand. I came here to speak to Master Perim. I do not wish to cause any trouble. Once my mission here is accomplished I will leave and you won’t have to see my face here anymore.”
Only the sound of the wind blowing was heard in the night. Kasco breathe deeply as if he struggles to hold his anger. His eyes narrow and would not take his eyes of Lola. He leered her like a fiend but Lola did not fear him. In fact she was so eager to use her new powers she was hoping Kasco would snap. She has eager to burn him with her fire for so long. Not just him but many of Perim’s apprentices. Those who stood behind Kasco leered her as well.
“He does not want to see your face. Lola Raven.” Kasco said.
“It is Lola The Black now. Memorize it.” Lola corrected him with a smile on her face that seemed to make Kasco seethe even more with anger.
“He wants you dead.” Kasco stated, his voice cold.
“Actually he wants me alive according to the fiends that tried to attack me in the woods.” Lola informed him. “What else has Perim been doing besides working with fiends?”
“That is none of your business?” Kasco spat on the floor again. “You are no longer part of the agency. What we do is no longer your concern. Unfortunately we are no longer accepting new members.”
Then Dougal started to brush his ram horns on Lola’s leg again trying to get her attention. “What is it?” She said annoyed.
“There is absolutely no reasoning with them Lola. I believe we have walked into a trap.” Dougal remarked. Lola stared down at him and understood. A part of her knew that no one in the mansion would allow her to get close to Master Perim. She was surprised they allowed her through the front gate. All the apprentices with rods at hand began to slowly form a circle around Lola, surrounding her. “You are naïve to believe they would be kind to you.” Dougal told her. “Look how they leer us. Their eyes seethe with vengeance Lola. They are committed to Perim like we once were.”
Lola raised her rod. The ruby gemstone lit up with a volcanic light. Perim’s apprentices circled her. Lola knew they wanted to harm her. Their past with her was a game of status and gaining the approval of Master Perim. “What a bunch of sad orphans. If only you knew the taste of freedom.” Lola whispered to herself not caring if they heard. “Master Perim has brain washed you. That head band you wear on your foreheads has some manipulative spell on it.”
“Did you just discover that now?” Dougal asked her sarcastically.
“Walking in here willingly was a big mistake Lola.” Kasco told her with a long dirty smirk. “We never dueled when you were here. Unfortunately I am not the only one who wants a piece of you. Lucky for you Master Perim wants you alive. Whether if you are an inch away from death or unconscious.”
“How sweat of him. Tell that pervert I send him my regards.” Lola responded. She notices Jazelle and the other apprentices that had escorted her, hurried inside the mansion. I will take care of them later, Lola thought and turned her attention to the dozens of apprentices surrounding her. They pointed their rods at her, gemstones shining red and orange colors. They all studied under the art of fire. The only magic they learned from Master Perim.
“I knew you would return!” Lola heard a familiar voice coming from third floor of the mansion. All the apprentices turned their heads to the mansion. On the balcony of the third floor he stood staring down at everyone in the vast courtyard. It was Master Perim. He wore a black cloak, underneath a red turtle neck tunic, a sword hanged from his waist. Perim was blonde, his long hair in a ponytail showing his forehead. Blue icy eyes and small. He stood at the balcony with arms crossed. He chuckled as he stared down at Lola from up high. Lola could only smile back with her own long nasty smirk. “My dear Lola” Perim’s voice echoed in the courtyard as if it were an indoor grand hall. “I was just about to go on a trip to see his majesty King Alexander. But I sensed a disturbing mana around the mansion and it turned out to be you. I had a feeling you would return to me my dear Lola. Tell me, how is the cruel outside world treating you?”
“Better than I imagine it to be.” Lola answered loudly. “Even the wilderness of Alexandria is better than this prison.”
“Just say the words Master Perim and we will end her.” Kasco interrupted, eager to hurt Lola with his volcanic spells.
“Now now settle down.” Perim said, politely. “I would like to know why our runaway apprentice has returned so spontaneously. Tell me my dear Lola. What has brought you back to me? Was it too hard to live out in the world without the security that I provided you?”
“Like I said anywhere in Alexandria is better than this prison.” Lola answered annoyed and eager to finally curse him and take her belonging. “I simply came here to take the magic rod you have been hiding from me. The rod my father gave me. The rod that would have helped me awakened my powers at an earlier age. You know what I speak of.” Lola took another look at the apprentices that surrounded her. They did not take their eyes of her. They were ready to fire and burn her to ashes if Perim commanded them to. Lola was certain that Perim would not spare her. The danger made her heart pound faster with excitement.
“We rather do things in a peaceful manner.” Dougal said, his voice deep and cold. “However if you prefer violence then I will gladly spill the blood of these imbecile orphans.”
“Oh! I was wondering who the furry horn beast was.” Perim mocked and laughed. “I assumed Lola found herself a loyal pet. I had forgotten I turned you into an ugly beast for your attempt to steal my wonderful artifact. Dougal”
“The rod is not an artifact.” Lola snarled. “It belongs to my father. You lied to me Perim. You told me the rod had been lost but you held it all this time. I will now take it back with either words or with blood.”
For a moment there was silence. Lola glared up at Perim waiting for his response yet she expected no sympathy from him. It was worth a tried, she said to herself.
“My dear mage apprentices. Get rid of this runaway student who dares show her face in my courtyard. Rape her, beat her, cripple her, do with her what you will just make sure she never returns here again and don’t ruin my garden.” Perim spun and walked from the balcony to a room in the third floor.
“Are you satisfied?” Dougal asks Lola harshly wishing that for once she would listen to him. “At least we got to meet our old friends again. Aren’t you happy Dougal?”
“I will be happy when I see them turn to ash.” Dougal said with blue smoke coming from his maw.
“Enough talk!” Kasco yelled and without hesitation, from his bare hands he launched a ball of fire. Lola quickly slapped it away with her rod. The fire ball was heavy but she managed to push its weight. It reflects towards one of the apprentices to her left. The apprentice ceases the fire ball. Suddenly all the apprentices began to shoot fire at her from their rods. Twenty of them. They launched their flame at Lola and Dougal. Lola spun her rod with one hand and then swung it around her area capturing their flame and forcing it dance around her. They all launched fire at her but Lola’s skills were great. She could capture fire and manipulate it with her mana. She redirected their fire and shot it back at them.
Dougal dodge their fire rapidly. He was fast, fierce and a small target making it difficult to hit. He spat his blue flames, it seems as though he sneezed it from his maw. The blue flame bullet was too fast for some of Perim’s students. Some reflected it with their rods and some burned and screamed and panicked. Dougal pounced at them and bit their arms, legs and necks. “Have you become weaker or am I just too strong!” Dougal yell. “Blame it on your Master for turning me into this curse beast.”
Lola was busy with six of her old fellow apprentices. She reflected their spells. Some fell and their souls dropped to Necrovania. Lola cast a fire wall around herself and as they shoot fire her wall would grow larger and larger. “Hasn’t Master Perim taught you anything new?” She taunted them. “You were always a cocky little good for nothing brat Lola.” One of the female apprentices told her. Lola released her wall of fire. Her fire spread burning them, disarming them. Some knew how to defend themselves but had burned to death. Their skin melted off their flesh. Their clothes incinerated.
One of them ran behind Lola. She spun to cast a spell. “Pikan Fahiah!” She yelled. The daring apprentice had dipped and tackled her to the ground. She recognizes the boy. She remembers dueling him. He loved to fist fight and dare hit a girl. He throttled Lola and she gasped for air. “I got her!” The boy yelled alerting his comrades to take advantage. Lola struggled but she managed to hit him with the apex of her rod. She wacked him on the cranium hard enough to heard a thud. She kicked him off and got to her feet. She stomped on the boy and pointed her rod at him. “Pikan Ray!” She shouted. A red beam jetted from rod and pierced the heart of the boy.
“You monster!” Yelled another apprentice. It was girl that used to bully Lola when she first arrived at the mansion. “You have become a monster!” Yelled the girl.
“I will never be as good as you.” Lola responded. The girl launched the same spell on Lola. “Pikan Ray!” And Lola absorbs the spell with the ruby gemstone at the end of rod. Her rod absorbed all the mana from that one spell. The girl gasped in awe at Lola’s new skills. “Had you not bullied me I would have spared you.” Lola told the girl. Suddenly Lola’s eyes turned pale white as if she had become zombified. Her pupils became a vertical dash in her eyes. “Burn in the deepest pits of Necrovania. Harlot!” Lola thrust rod and a black foggy sphere left her rod and swirled in the air towards the girl that had bullied her in her youth. The sphere was unavoidable. It struck the girl and she immediate caught on fire. It was no ordinary fire. It was black fire. It burned quickly and consumed faster than regular fire. The black fire devours the girl and she screamed and squeal like a pig being slaughter. Within a few seconds the girl’s body was nothing but burning flesh and the black fire would not stop. Lola watched as the girl burned with a solemn face. Like watching the fireplace by a hearth with no emotions or facial expression. A part of Lola immediately felt regret and yet satisfied. She felt her hunger for revenge fading away.
“You will pay!” Lola heard Kasco shout from her right. She turned to face him. The time was perfect. Most of the other apprentices had either run away or died. Dougal had finished most of them. Burned bodies lie dead on the grass of the courtyard. Some of the statues by the entrance had caught fire. The garden by the front of the mansion had been utterly burned. Dougal growled at Kasco but Lola held her arm out to stop the wolf from making any moves. “He is mine, Dougal.”
“As you wish.” Said the wolf and stepped away from Lola and Kasco.
“You will pay for every life you have taken here today Lola.” Kasco threatened. “I will make sure you suffer for everything that you caused since the day you decided to run away from the very man that raised you with his love and security.”
“The way I see it. Death is better than this prison. Not only that but the boomerang is returning for all those times you made me suffer.” Lola’s voice was cold and deep. She said it as though she had been holding it for so long. “Remember how everyone in the mansion would humiliate me. The girls would steal my clothes and I would walk around naked around the mansion. They would hold me down and give me embarrassing haircuts. The boys would verbally abuse me. I was shy, timid, scared and on the edge of suicide. I would try to tell Master Perim about all that my fellow apprentices would do to me but he would either not believe me or everyone else would frame me. Had it not been for Dougal I would have killed myself. All you orphans are miserable children. Perim only uses you so that he can profit from the king.”
Kasco hesitated to speak but he remembers what his friends would make Lola go through. He was one of them. He felt fear slowly rising in his body. A chill moving up his spine that made him nervous to look at the Lola. “No one liked you. You were a brat. A liar and a….”
“Spare me the rubbish!” Lola bellowed not allowing Kasco to end his sentence. “Everyone in this cursed mansion is a liar. You are all too scared to leave this mansion. Regardless of everything that Master Perim has given us, it was all for his own benefit if you know what I mean.”
“Shut up!” Kasco yelled launched a red beam at Lola. She quickly absorbed the spell with her rod. She drained Kasco’s mana. The spell ceased and Kasco stared at Lola with eyes filled with fear. He ran towards her and Lola shot a bullet of fire. Kasco deflected the spell and grabbed Lola by the neck. He knocked away her rod and throttles her. Dougal pounced at him to defend Lola but Kasco shot a red beam and pierced the wolf’s shoulder. The black wolf fell on the stone path of the courtyard. Dougal struggled to get up. He moaned and howled in pain. “Lola!” He yelled helplessly and limping.
“I won’t…die…by your hands…Kasco.” Lola gargled with Kasco’s hands tight on her neck. She felt her mana being drained by Kasco. He was using a draining spell. Fire magic ruled by the sun, the largest source of energy. Fire magic can also drain the energy of other living things and certain objects. Fire consumes and so does its spells. Lola was experiencing a dangerous and slick side of fire magic. She becomes weaker and not only does her body loses its strength to move and walk but she was also being stripped of her mana. Lola did not fear such spells. She was aware of the power of fire having studied it for so long but she had an even more powerful weapon that she had fused with her new powers.
“You…will…burn…with the flames…of …Necrovania.” She gargled. Kasco saw Lola’s eye’s change. Zombified pale white eyes with a vertical dash for pupils. He noticed fangs in Lola’s teeth as she clenched her jaw. Suddenly his tunic caught fire. It was no regular fire of volcanic red colors but black fire that crackled and consumed his clothes. It was a terrifying sight. It was as though darkness itself was trying to devour him.
He let go of Lola, freeing her. He tried to stop the fire but it quickly burned his clothes. He dropped and rolled on the grass. The grass then caught on fire and the black fire spread even more. The grass only stoked the flames. Kasco screamed desperately and squealed with pain. He then rolled on to the cobblestone path trying to stop the flames but it was futile. Lola and Dougal watched him burn with stones in their heart. No expression on their face but a cold stare like that of a statue.
“He always did think he was the best.” Dougal remarked in a low tone as he watched his old rival burn. “I only wished it was my fire that burned him.” Then finally Kasco’s screams ended and his soul fell to Necrovania with the rest of his friends. Lola called back the black fire and her eyes returned to normal.
“It did not have to be this way you know.” Lola said voice low with regret.
“You prefer they burn you alive.” Dougal replied. “You saw what they were going to do to us. It was kill or be killed. Don’t get soft on me now. We are going to need that rage of yours today. Better yet your tantrum.”
“You know me too well.” Lola smiled and surveyed the courtyard. Dozens of them lay dead on the floor. Bodies burned to crisped flesh and ashy bones. I only wanted an apology but they wanted blood. She turns away and heads for the front door of the mansion. Dougal walked by her side.