Part 1 here.
They took the rest of the day to prepare and send out the pigeons. The next morning, Delia put on her own clothes, washed and repaired by Phara. Phara had made them a big breakfast and then went out with them to saddle up the horses.
“Be careful,” Phara told them as they settled into the saddles. “Come home to me.”
“We will,” Aduello told her.
Kaya blew her a kiss. “Stay well, Mother.”
Phara blew one back. “You as well. And you, Delia.”
Aduello kicked his horse forward. Kaya and Delia did the same. Delia waved to Phara. Then settled into the ride. The trip took just two days. Much better, Delia thought, than the five-day slog had been to Aduello’s.
They made camp in front of the gate. After they had supper, Aduello stood, staring at the gate. “It’s very complicated.”
Delia stood beside him. “Yes. And strong. It took both Kaya and I to break the one at Iyunno’s.”
“Before you knew about fire.”
She nodded. “Yes. Tomorrow will be interesting.”
In the morning they packed everything onto the horses and Kaya led them up the road a little way and hobbled them, so they could graze. When she returned, her father and Delia were building up the campfire. They all brought wood from the forest and threw it on until it was taller than Aduello.
“That should be enough,” Delia told them as she brushed her hands off. She took a sip of water and stared at the gate then sighed. “Time to do this. Kaya, build a shield please.”
Kaya nodded and began to mutter under her breath.
“What shall I do?” Aduello asked.
“Keep watch. We’re going to be focused on the protection spell. I don’t want anyone sneaking up on us.”
Delia took a breath and looked at the fire. She urged the fire to come to her, just like she did in Iyuno’s. The warm glow reached her, and she began to feel stronger. More, more, she thought. The fire filled her. She felt invincible. Maintaining the connection with the fire, she turned to face the gate. Kaya had the shield up, large enough to cover all three of them. “I’m starting.”
She raised her hands and using a spell slightly different that the one the Mage taught her, began to try and take down the protection spell. It was hard, and a trickle of sweat rolled down her temple and another down her spine.
“You’re doing it, Delia! Keep it up,” Kaya said.
The yellow tendrils were unravelling but there was a long way to go. She wondered if she’d have to take out every single tendril. The gate was nearly clear, but she wanted the whole spell removed.
“The fire is going out,” Aduello told her.
“I don’t know how long this is going to take. Can you find more wood?”
“I’ll go now.” He hurried off.
Delia kept working. More and more of the yellow tendrils disappeared.
Aduello came back and threw more branches on the fire. He stood beside his daughter. “Shouldn’t it break soon?”
“We don’t know, Father. The last one blew back on us.
“I can feel it weakening,” Delia said. “But it’s putting up a fight, just like last time.”
“Shield is ready,” Kaya said.
Delia pulled as much power as she could from the fire. Sweat dripped from her chin as she took more and more of the yellow tendrils out. She could feel the protection spell tremble. “Get ready!”
Just as she yelled the words, the protection spell snapped. The shield Kaya made protected them from most of the blast but still they were all knocked down. Kaya lost the shield spell. Delia lay on the dirt of the road, eyes closed.
“Are you alright?” Kaya hurried to Delia.
“Yes. Just resting.” She opened her eyes and rolled to her feet. “Aduello? Are you alright?”
“Yes. Fine.” He got up. “That’s quite the blast.”
Delia dusted off the back of her trousers and shirt. “Well. Let’s take a look, shall we?”
Aduello and Delia, kicked dirt over the remains of the fire while Kaya went for the horses. By the time she got back, the fire was out and the rocks of the fire ring were kicked back to the side of the road.
They mounted up and rode inside.
Thank You! Come back next week for Part 39.