The Adventures of Trina: The Glass Key: Part Eleven
I’ve never gone down so many stairs in my life. By now I must have ran down at least thirty floors worth of white walls and white stairs—each floor indistinguishable from the last—and there was no end in sight. Finally, I came to a door. I figured that even if it’s not an exit, it would be a nice place to hide and regain my energy.
I staggered down a narrow white hallway that continued for several minutes. I passed by several other doors but they were all locked; my key didn’t work on them. The more I pressed forward, the sweatier my palms became. With the end of the tunnel just up ahead, the air was now sweltering. For some reason, the walls were warm.
Finally, I emerged from the hallway and into a frying pan. It might as well be literal, because the room was seriously hot. But it was hardly a room at all, more like a cave. I walked around a flat cliff in the center of the room, the only platform there was. The cavern-like ceiling ascended for a several dozen feet. Reddish-brown rocks made up all of the walls. Streams of lava oozed from the ceiling and trickled down the rocky walls like slow moving waterfalls. The lava glowed yellow-orange. Upon a closer look, it was not lava at all. The streams were gold and shiny, growing more orange as they continued downward. I leaned over a ledge and instantly my face was overwhelmed by the heat. The molten gold gathered in a pool hundreds of feet below.
There was something magical about this place. After all, if it was as hot as molten rock I would not have been able to enter the long stretch of rock before me. There was no way this was Moltara, right? I was mesmerized by this impossible sight.
My attention broke by a sharp metal sound. Behind me, Evrilin was a few steps away, pointing his sword at me. I swung my wand across my body but nothing happened. The heat must be messing with its ice powers, I concluded.
“We don’t have to fight,” I said quickly, with the ledge in the corner of my eye. This was the worst place for a battlefield and there was no time for this. That Skeith is waiting for me to get her out of here.
“That’s right,” he said with his eyes fixed on me. “You can surrender. Then I’ll take you back to the islands in one piece. Your choice.”
“Or you can just leave. Do the right thing for once and move on with your life.”
“Oh I’m not going anywhere,” he said darkly. “Not after you took everything from me. Me, my comrades, my entire land is suffering because of you, because of what you did! I lost everything because of you! Now, here we are, alone, and I can finally return the favor.”
“So it’s my fault you chose the wrong side? You’re seriously delusional! Mevolin was a monster—anyone can see that! He was even going to fire you! You may have been loyal to him, but you were nothing but a pawn to him in the end. If I hadn’t stopped him when I did, he would’ve thrown you away. Why would you defend someone like that? You meant nothing to him.”
“You’re nothing,” he hissed.
“And yet you chased me all the way here,” Trina smirked. “Do you really want to sink to Mevolin’s level? Do you want to be a monster, Evrilin? Is that what you want to make with your life?”
“My life is none of your business!” he snarled. “Now, last chance. Drop your wand and surrender.”
“Not a chance!” Trina laughed. “I’m not afraid of you, remember? Even if you do defeat me, your life will still be a total wreck. No, it’d be far worse than that once my friends find you. Fighting me here is pointless. I haven’t done anything to you, Evrilin, but you’re too blind to see that. It was all your doing, and Mevolin’s. So, no, I won’t be joining you. I’ll be going now.”
At once an explosion of green light emerged from his sword and I ducked just in time. I tried to slip toward the exit but he remained in front of me. His continuous barrage of magic was terrifying. It reminded me of the fight between Master Iko and Mevolin but more wild. It was unreal how powerful he was, just like before in the artifact room. At this rate he could blow a hole through the cavern. Every burst was several arms’ lengths in height, travelling erratically across the room. The green streams of light crackled as they passed by me, their heat waves alone nearly singeing my pelt. In rapid succession they hit the wall and sent rocks falling below. The ground shook as I fought to remain light on my feet. I leapt, jumped, dived forward over and over again as he fired effortlessly, yet I could not advance.
I crept along the edge of the cliff and he stopped firing. If he intended to take me to the islands, he wouldn’t be that reckless. Now he swung his sword at me at close range, but I read his movements in time. I dodged while spinning around with a kick, and he fell on his back. Immediately I snatched his sword and dashed toward the exit. I was seconds away when I felt a burning, tingling sensation overcome me, and I collapsed to my knees unable to move. Flowing from his sword in my hand, a thin layer of green threads was wound tightly around my body, a paralysis spell.
“A pirate’s weapon always has defense mechanisms against theft. It’s a shame you never took the time to learn that.”
I could only watch helplessly as his grubby fingers pulled my wand from my pocket.
“Clearly you’re unworthy of yielding our magic,” I heard from behind me. “The magic you stole from pirate lands. This doesn’t belong to you.”
I manage to turn my head just enough to see the unthinkable. With one motion of his arm, he tossed my wand behind him and it fell down the cliff, where it would land in the molten pit below. I screamed. I screamed and screamed because there was nothing else I could do.
“That’s how I felt as I watched everything I ever worked for get destroyed—by you. Thanks to you, I have nothing left to lose.”
“I do!” said a deep voice.
I turned to see a Wocky had just burst into the cavern, sending a beam of purple light over my head. Ruthlessly, he sent a flood of black and purple disks at Evrilin, who then retrieved his sword and shielded himself. The curse on me was lifted. I started toward the exit until a glimpse of the Wocky stopped me in my tracks. He was a shadow against the fiery chaos, his features outlined by the green glow, but something about him seemed…familiar.
Could it be…? No, it was impossible. Yet the Wocky shared the same familiar features as my father. The hazel eyes, stern eyebrows, bushy brown hairs, brown painted fur. This was all a hallucination—it had to be. Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was him.
A massive green fireball sped toward me and before I could react, the Wocky leapt in front of me and redirected it. It struck the wall and sent rocks raining down around me.
“Get out of here, Trina!” it said with concerned eyes. It was a deeper voice than I remember, gruffer, angrier, but I recognized it…how could I not?
“D-dad?” I stuttered, dumbstruck. My body was shaking. It couldn’t be…
He nodded. “There’s no time. I’ll hold ‘im off! Go!”
But I couldn’t move. I was frozen in disbelief, breathless. After all this time…ten years…he was alive? He was back? Was I hit with a rock and ended up in a dream? A hallucination trigged by the boiling heat?
“Get out of here!” he repeated. “I’ll be fine!”
Amidst the ground consumed with green and black flames, I stepped forward.
“Not this time,” I said, forming a fist.
“Then you’ll need this.”
He tossed me a black wand and I caught it midair.
Evrilin was going down. * * * * *
The battlefield was littered with rocks and flames as we raged on against Evrilin. Fireballs were being exchanged across the scene with battle cries, while the sound of explosions was almost deafening.
“I’ve fought your kind!” my father yelled. “You pirates are nothing special!”
“Pfft, I’m not like the others!” he retorted.
I did my best to fire orbs in the Mynci’s general direction, but the flames were so bright I could not see if they reached the target. This wand was hard to control, but I depended on it.
Suddenly, my father rolled over the edge of a cliff and my heart skipped a beat. His upper half of his body was the only thing supporting him; his legs dangled over the fiery pit hundreds of feet below. Evrilin leapt over to him as he struggled to pull himself to safety. He raised his sword.
“He’s not what you want!” I cried. “I’m right here.”
Impulsively, I dropped my wand and raised both hands above my head. It got his attention and he staggered toward me. My father crawled up the ledge and fired once more but he wasn’t fast enough. A beam of green light threw me off my feet.
“Finally,” I heard Evrilin say. * * * * *
“TRINA!” I called as she slumped to the ground near the exit. She did not move. I ran toward her until a wall of tall flames blocked my path. “How dare you…”
“Don’t worry,” he panted as I tried to fan the flames. “I went easy on her. But you won’t be so lucky!”
Both of us were wheezing now and dripping with sweat. This kid was adamant, determined, and worse, extremely powerful. The sheer fact that he could still expel massive firepower was frightening. He was right—this was no ordinary pirate. This was an incredible wizard. I had to put an end to this now.
A stream of yellow light soared past me. I turned to see the jelly Scorchio enter the room, armed with his wand.
“You!” he said viciously. “WHAT’D YOU DO TO HER?”
“Tomaru, grab Trina and get out of here! Forget about the battle!”
“Right!” he nodded. But before Tomaru could reach her, he was halted by a wall of flames.
“Don’t hold back!” I yelled. “Give ‘im everything you’ve got!”
Together, we barraged him with powerful orbs, and once more he cut them away with his sword. Tomaru held his own, deflecting his attacks and dodging flawlessly. His feet were constantly at work, his arms twisting and bending to send orbs through small openings in his defensive flames. He, too, was no stranger to combat. Evrilin had to work harder to keep up the pace, and even stumbled a few times. Between flashes of light I could tell we were pushing him to his limit. His face burned with rage.* * * * *
My job was to protect Trina from Evrilin and I completely blew it back at neoschool. But I, Tomaru, Master Iko’s greatest apprentice, could still save her.
I sent at least five spells simultaneously at the Mynci, but they instantly dispersed when singed by his fiery green scimitar. He responded by spinning the blade over his head and sending MASSIVE ten or so foot long flames in all directions without ever removing his eyes from Rorren. Trina warned me this kid was strong, but this wasn’t strength, this was a maniac.
No, far worse that that…a wizard that has lost control. The more waves of neon disks or whirling fireballs we took, the clearer it became. He’s counting on his rage to win. For each defensive charm I cast, the kid was ready with twenty more destructive spells. There’s no chance I could advance toward Trina while he’s in this state. But I can use this to my advantage. There’s no way he could cast anything with the finesse or level-headedness needed for complicated magic.
Suddenly, a bundle of green light emerged from the tip of his sword, lingered there for a moment, then twisted forward through the air with the stringy tail. I slid around it like I had done a hundred times before. But this should have been impossible. I recognized this spell as Flight of the Moltenore, where bursts of magic takes the form the creature, then dives towards its opponent as if it had taken a life of its own. The only one who was ever capable of this spell was Master Iko.
“That move!” I panted. It was Master Iko’s signature move. No one could possibly know how to imitate it. “Where did you learn that move?”
Evrilin only sent more orbs my way, but these ones were weaker and easily blocked by a shield of light.
“THERE’S NO TIME FOR THAT!” I heard Rorren shout at me.
“Right,” I nodded. At least that move should have consumed the rest of his energy. I dashed across the battlefield with Trina directly in my sights. Suddenly the Mynci stabbed the ground with his sword and it sent a shockwave running through it. It broke the rock, splitting in places, chunks flying in every direction.
I spoke too soon. * * * * *
My foot got trapped in a crevice, and while I tried to wiggle free more rocks emerged from the ground and rose to shoulder-length. This time they squeezed against my body on both sides, giving me no room to free myself. On my knees, I was luckily still able to defend myself with my staff, and nothing he sent at me could reach me. I turned to see Tomaru face-first on a rock. He was still moving, but defeated.
Finally he sheathed his sword and paused to catch his breath. I wasted no time aiming for him, but he had enough energy left to dash over to Trina. He scooped her up and held her like a puppet, using her as a shield. Slowly, he backed toward the exit with a smirk as I lowered my staff.
I wasn’t going to let him get away. I couldn’t let my rescue mission fail—not again—and to a pirate! It was time for my last resort. Trina, the Keys, everyone would hate me for this, but I had no choice. It was the only way. And I only had one shot.
I rehashed the spell in my mind. I could feel the magic charging through my veins, collecting in my palms, begging for release, freedom. After years of waiting, I was ready. I inhaled a long breath and let it loose.
A continuous stream of white light struck Evrilin directly, and then I noticed it, Trina was gone. A flash of yellow burst inside, wrestled with the Mynci, and pushed Trina out of its path. Soon the light vanished, and the room fell silent. I was horrified at the sight of a Yellow Usul on the ground beside Trina. The light had passed through both Cassie and Evrilin. I remained frozen, speechless at what just happened. It was an immensely powerful blast—the most powerful I ever summoned. I knew Trina had the capacity to handle it, but this one?
Evrilin slowly stumbled to his feet, slouched over and grasping his head. “What…what did you do to me?”
“I removed your powers. That is, every last ounce of your ability to perform magic. You can never use magic to hurt anyone ever again.”
He stared at his palm in disbelief. He brought out his sword, swung it, and nothing happened. His face went blank—he was completely stunned.
I tried to lift my staff but my arm could barely move. That spell took everything out of me.
With his mouth wide open and his body quivering, he hobbled into the corridor and fled. In his condition, he couldn’t go far. Hopefully, another Key will catch him.
I remained trapped. I could not even reach for the water vial in my pocket to teleport. But even if I could leave, I had no idea what I would tell the Keys. I saved Trina, but beyond that, the mission was a failure. Worse, I was a failure. More promises had been broken. Our only hope faded away with the firing of the cleansing spell. In the end, it was wasted on a dirty pirate. Without the Staff, how could I face them?
To be continued…