When Darkness Ends(Guardians of Eternity,book 12)(85) by Alexandra Ivy
“Do not lie,” he snarled. “You obviously trapped us.”
“Not us.” The druid gave a frantic shake of his head as his companions took a hasty step backward. “We are imprisoned as well.”
“Why should I believe you?”
The older man gave a helpless lift of his hands. “It was our leader, Anthony Benson, who created the labyrinth.”
Magnus studied the druid, searching for signs of deception. Despite the man’s seeming sincerity, Magnus refused to believe he wasn’t involved.
“Why would he place his own people in the spell?”
The druid grimaced. “Because we attempted to halt his crazed plan to destroy the demons.”
Magnus frowned at the unexpected claim. What sort of trick was this?
“What plan?” he snapped.
“He has a spell that closes the veils between dimensions,” the older man explained.
Closes the veils? Momentarily stunned, Magnus tried to imagine the consequences of such a reckless plan.
It went beyond the inconvenience of not being able to travel by portal. Or moving from one dimension to another.
The veils were arteries that fed magic from world to world.
If they were closed . . .
It would create a catastrophic ripple of death and mayhem.
And not just in this world.
“Impossible,” he muttered, his hands clenching into tight fists. “A human doesn’t possess the power to cast such a spell.”
“He intends to compel the Commission to perform it,” the druid said, his expression somber.
Magnus nearly laughed. A human capable of compelling the Commission was even less likely than closing the dimensions. Then he abruptly recalled his ex-fiancée’s insistence that she’d been commanded to help the Oracles.
Was this connected? He grimaced. It had to be.
“That must be what Fallon was hiding from me,” he muttered, a chill inching down his spine.
Tonya touched his arm. “What’s going on?”
He covered her fingers with his hand, his attention remaining locked on the druid.
“I’m not entirely certain, but whatever it is will have to wait until we are released,” he said, his gaze narrowing in suspicion. Whether the druid was being honest about Anthony Benson and the spell to close dimensions or not, Magnus was far from convinced that these men were innocent bystanders. “Remove the spell.”
Impatience touched the lean face. “I told you, we are trapped just as you are.”
“Or more likely you were sent to distract us,” Magnus accused.
“I assure you that we want nothing more than to get out of here so we can stop Anthony.”
As if Magnus would take the word of a mere human. They were notorious liars.
“I need more than assurances,” he said, reaching up to remove the priceless emerald pendant from around his neck.
Tonya sent him a worried glance. “Magnus, what are you doing?”
“Trust me,” he said.
She nodded without hesitation.
His heart gave a funny flutter. He didn’t know why it mattered that she believed in him, but it did.
Grimacing at his idiotic thoughts, he returned his attention to the druids.
“On your knees,” he commanded, waiting for all three men to cautiously bend down. Then he moved forward, touching the emerald to each of their foreheads, before he moved back to hold the gem up to the light. “Swear that you speak the truth.”
It was the leader who answered first. “I swear on the graves of my forefathers that I speak the truth.”
“Now you two,” he said, carefully watching the emerald as they swore they weren’t lying.
Magnus hissed as the color of the gemstone remained a clear, unclouded green.
“Damn,” he breathed, glancing toward Tonya. “They’re speaking the truth.”
She arched a brow. “You wanted them to be lying?”
“I can’t force them to break the spell and release us if they don’t know how,” he said.
“Ah, I believe that is my cue,” Levet abruptly announced, stepping forward to lift his hands in a dramatic motion. “Allow me—”
“No,” Magnus snapped, glaring until the demented creature lowered his hands and gave a flap of his wings.
Beside him, Tonya gave a sudden shiver, her brow furrowed as she glanced around in confusion.
“What is that?”
Magnus didn’t have to ask what she meant. He could feel the strange vibration beneath his feet. As if the ground was preparing to collapse.
The humans surged to their feet, the leader sending Magnus a glance of pure terror.
“Anthony has released the spell.”
“Surely that’s a good thing?” Tonya demanded. “We should soon be free.”
Magnus shook his head, grimacing as the air became heavy, pressing against him with a growingly painful force.
“The spell isn’t designed to dissipate.”
Her beautiful eyes widened as she watched his expression tighten with a grim fear.
It was the gargoyle who answered. “It’s shrinking.”
“Shrinking?” she whispered.
“He’s right,” Magnus muttered, damning Anthony Benson to the fiery pits of the underworld. Most spells were cast to dissolve once the magic-user released their hold on them. But on rare occasions they could manipulate the weave so that instead of melting to nothing, it would collapse like a black hole, destroying everything in its path. “The spell is pulling in on itself. If we don’t stop it we’ll all be crushed.”
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