A tiny bit more towards completion:

The trio made their way back into the mouth of the mine, scanning as they went, the numerous dead bodies looking for that of the thief. He wasn’t at the entrance, and so they pushed on further in.

“I’m not seeing him,” said Jax

“Nor I,” replied Rohlen. “Do you not have a spell that would aid us?” Yulien looked at him shaking her head. “Then we push on a little further.”

“We have no idea as to when that ‘thing’ killed him and took his place. How far back do you suggest we go?”

“Alas you are right. We should be venturing forward, not retracing our steps.”

“Melvin!” proclaimed Yulien pointing a little further ahead.

The figure of the thief emerged from the shadows. He was clinging to his mid-drift, a near fatal wound oozing blood freely, almost robbing him of his consciousness. Yulien ran to his aid.

“Wait!” shouted Jax abruptly. “How do we know it’s him?”

“Jax, he’s severely wounded and without my help he will die.”

“He’s right,” said Rohlen. “We have seen first hand the changeling’s ability to mimic the thief, and let us not forget the wound Jax inflicted upon it.”

Yulien began to slowly step away, however an outstretched arm grabbed her wrist and pulled her close.

“Heal me!” Melvin spluttered through pain soaked lips. “Heal, me!”

“Unhand her,” urged Jax, his sword ready in his hand.

“Heal me!” he repeated.

Rohlen’s arms began to pulse with fiery orange and red arcane energy, something that didn’t go unnoticed by the thief.

“So be it,” he hissed as talons quickly replaced fingernails. With a quick thrust they punctured Yulien’s lower back, and she screamed as they racked upwards still deep within.

Jax lunged foward his blade connecting with the upper chest area of the once again transforming changeling. Rohlen unleashed magical bolt after magical bolt. Even after the creature had slumped to its demise, the mage consumed by anger, continued with his magical barrage.

“Rohlen stop!” begged Jax wanting to get to Yulien’s side. She was on her knees grasping for air, her lifeforce ebbing away with every attempted breath. “Stop!”

The mage, tears streaming from his eyes, also fell on his knees staring at his sister. She slowly shook her head,

“Not this time brother.”

Jax caught her as she fell forward, her last breath taken. Tears too welled in his eyes as he placed a kiss upon the top of her head. Picking her up in his arms, he began carrying her towards the mine opening. Rohlen, picking up Jax’s fallen sword, slowly followed. No words were spoken.

Copyright: authorchrisbrown


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