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- Madness Tunnel of Fate! -

It was cold down there; it was really, really dark and numb down there. It was really hard to breathe, for the air seemed as deadly as the shadows that surrounded him. Vladmir Antoniev Karkaroff, the Elemental Lord of Ice and Water was down there, trapped in a place which knew no time and space. He felt his body heavy as a large block of lead, struggling to even open his eyes.


“Where…Where am I?” He asked with a rough, painful voice. “Where is… Where is he?”

After a while, the Russian Warlock was finally able to stand on his knees, with his eyes half opened. He couldn’t see much through the heavy curtain of dark fog around him.

“Melchior!” He shouted, desperate. “Where are you?! Can you hear me?! Melchior!”

Ha, ha, ha, ha… He IS here, Ice Lord… But won’t be here for long, ha, ha, ha…”

Vladmir’s eyes got wider and his countenance changed from angry and confused to worried and shocked, for he recognized the voice which came from all directions of that strange place.

Mary Hellheim… I should’ve known.” The Russian Warlock concluded, clenching his fists in anger. “You just couldn’t leave the Half-Blood in peace, could you?”

As he talked to the shadows, he started looking to all directions with all his attention in order to spot something that would give him Hellheim’s position.

“I could not do it indeed… You know me very well, Karkaroff.” Hellheim’s voice echoed in the dark room again, showing complete disdain for Antoniev. “This child will work just fine for the plans I have in mind… And there’s nothing you can do to stop me, so chill out, be smart and join me, please.”

Nyet, thank you very much.” Antoniev ironically replied. “Why don’t you come out of the dark and fight? Are you so scared and rusty in your ways that cannot defend yourself without dirty tricks?”

HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!” Her laughter sounded louder and more devilish than before. “You amuse me with your na├»ve statements, Antoniev! It just hurts my feeling that you are playing for the wrong side though… And that will surely be the cause of your unfortunate death.”

“You sure? I want to see you try.” Antoniev defied Hellheim, shouting to the darkness around him. “I am sick of your games!”

So am I, Karkaroff.” Hellheim replied with a grim tone. “The time for dialogue is not nigh; if you are so desperate to find Melchior, I challenge you to come after me, but I warn you… It won’t be as easy as you think, dear Ice Lord…”

That said, the darkness around Antoniev became thinner and his next path was now clear; he was trapped in a cave made of dark and bright stone walls with some purple crystals embedded in it, giving the room a dim purple light. It seemed to have only one large way in front of him, and he could hear the growl of several other creatures coming from it.

“So… It seems I don’t have much of a choice.” Antoniev whispered to himself. “Hang on, Melchior… I am going to find you, and I hope I succeed on this quest.”


***


August 6th, 2013

Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia — 7:00 p. m.


Antoniev was trapped somewhere he did not know and to make things worse, he had no more notions of time down into Hellheim’s lair. However, the rest of the world did have time and space, and that notion gave exactly the amount of despair Soloyev had in the bottom of his heart and soul.
At that moment, Antoniev’s young an only brother was taking a train back to the capital of Russia, Moscow; his body was severely injured and one of his arms had been broken days before he boarded in.

It was all Mary Hellheim’s fault, and Soloyev could remember it well. It had happened just after Melchior’s battle with Antoniev ended, when the Ice Elemental Lord gave Melchior his training’s certitude of conclusion. He closed his eyes and everything came back to his mind.

He heard the growl coming from the depths of the earth; he felt the ground beneath his feet tremble in a way never witnessed by the Urals or the rest of Russia; he saw the snowy ground be fiercely and horribly torn in multiple scars from which the colossal Dark Elementals appeared. Three of those massive and strong beings went forward from the trench and came right towards Soloyev, who had no other option rather than destroying them. He remembered really well the agonized voices of Melchior and Antoniev coming out of the dense veil of darkness which kept them imprisoned. He would never forget the pain he felt when one of his water spells failed and gave the Darkness Elemental more than enough seconds to break his arm and severely wound his body before collapsing and fading away. Soloyev would never forget Hellheim’s laughter in the air as she moved Antoniev and Melchior downstairs and disappeared.

The Russian novice opened his eyes in awe and shook his head trying to get rid of the haunting images in his mind. Then, his cell phone started ringing. He looked into its screen and saw a familiar number and he answered quickly with his unharmed arm.

“Soloyev, are you there?!” The voice on the other side of the call asked, nervous.

“Nathalie! Thanks Lord you’ve called me back!” Soloyev replied equally nervous. “Listen, I am really, really trouble. It’s Hellheim — she tracked Melchior here in Russia and managed to capture both him and my brother!”

“What did you say?!” Nathalie replied in awe. “She captured both of them?! Weren’t you able to stop her or something?!”

“No…” Soloyev replied disappointed at himself. “Her Elementals gave me the toughest time in years and I wasn’t able to respond on the same level. She took them with her powers and went elsewhere, that’s all I know!”

“Damn it…” Nathalie replied quite angry. “She’s been looking for Melchior since she learned about his existence! Listen, I want you to get to your place and wait. I am going to contact Cynthia and Lunia and we will make haste to Moscow via Elemental Gates. We will take care of you and give our help to get Melchior and Antoniev out of Hellheim’s lair. Please Soloyev, take care, alright?”

“I will…” He replied in a gloomy tone. “Thanks for everything, Nat. I think I’ll use my Elemental Gate to get to Moscow quicker.”

“Just be careful, okay?” Nathalie replied. “I assume you are pretty injured from your fight, and this can make your crossing quite painful and dangerous!”

“I don’t have time to go through all Trans-Siberian Railway again!” Soloyev angrily and desperately replied. “My brother and his disciple are in great danger and each second counts towards the end of their lives! I need to do something besides stand here and weep over my wounds!”

“You are absolutely right, Soloyev.” Nathalie replied. “Sorry if I underestimated your will anyway… I’ll be there as soon as I can with Cynthia and Lunia, okay? Good luck, Soloyev. I am hanging off now.”

Nathalie ended the call, leaving Soloyev alone with his thoughts. He took a deep breath and put his cell phone back inside his backpack. Then he opened one of its pockets and took a strange, light blue chalk out of it; he closed the backpack’s pocket and placed it on the ground near him. He then stood on his knees and started drawing symbols on the floor; those symbols resembled the gentle, yet strong flow of water in rivers, restrained by a large circle drawn in the end.

Then, Soloyev placed his healthy arm’s hand slightly in front of his body with its palm faced down. He breathed slow and calmly as he got more and more focused; it took just a few seconds for magical water start flowing from his hand and reached the markings carved on the floor.

For the water that flows from all four corners of the World, going from North to South, from East to West… Open for me the way that lies ahead!” Soloyev said in an enchanting tone.

The water and the markings then became only one mass of pure energy, involving Soloyev and his belongings and dragging them elsewhere. He then opened his eyes once more and saw himself standing on the entrance of his apartment in Moscow. He got his keys under the rug and opened the door, heading inside and waiting. A few minutes after he arrived he saw a massive sphere of energy appearing in front of him. Then, the sphere shattered and Nathalie, Cynthia and Lunia revealed themselves standing in front of the blonde Russian Warlock.

Dios mio, Soloyev! You look awful!” Cynthia shouted, horrified. “Here, let me take care of this… Gaia’s Restoration!

Cynthia placed one of her hands over Soloyev’s wounded arm and let her energy flow and cure his wounds, making his arm healthy and unbroken once more.

“So, what are we going to do now?” Cynthia asked.


“We have to get to Hellheim’s lair. We must rescue them!” Soloyev replied inpatient.

“Well… She seems to be very familiar with the road connecting Western Europe to Eastern Europe…” Lunia reflected. “I believe that all Necromancer lairs are linked somehow. How did she reach you guys, Soloyev?”

“Through a hole on the ground which she opened with her own powers.” Soloyev replied.

“Great. An underground lair.” Nathalie ironically replied. “I think we’ll have to get back to Siberia, Soloyev… For me it seems to be the only option available now, for it was the place she ambushed you.”

“There’s another way…” Lunia said in a gloomy tone. “You see… I am slightly familiar with Necromancer’s ways, so I might be able to find her lair and teleport us there, but it won’t be a pleasant journey.”

“Do whatever it takes!” Soloyev replied. “I want to see my brother safe and sound, and so Melchior!”

“Fine, then.” Cynthia replied. “Lead us the way, Lunia, hurry! We don’t have much time!”

That said the four Warlocks left the place walking to the unknown. With their hopes lying on Hellhound’s guidance, they only knew one thing for sure — they were about to face one of their hardest battles of their lifetimes…


End of Season Eight.

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