Chapter 9

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Ghemella had walked the area just outside the barrier for the better part of a half hour without finding any trace of Khyrhyelle and Uriel. Already in a frenzy, she began to panic even more when she couldn't find them. She was hesitant to locate them by reaching out with her mind, fearing the SoulSlayer might discover her. But she was losing time. It may already be too late. "Stop thinking like that," she said out loud.

The dark little witch thought she caught a glimpse of something through the trees. She headed in that direction, but saw no trace of the couple. The wind had become fierce and the cold of the air was mingling with the ice flowing through her veins. She suddenly felt another, isolated cold, the cold touch of magic, malevolent magic. With her dwarves sight, she was able to make out glowing scarlet spheres far in the distance.

Ghemella moved away quickly and silently. She stopped several times, listening for telltale sounds but heard nothing. She kept looking over her shoulder, trying to determine if there was any pursuit. She almost screamed out loud when, with her head turned, she ran into Khyrhyelle's back, sending both of them to the ground.

"Ghemella," the High Witch said, "whatever are you doing? Why are you here?"

The witch hugged Khyrhyelle, then swiftly regained her composure. She gave both her and Uriel a meaningful look, the held a finger to her lips. "Shhh. SoulSlayer," she whispered.

The High Witch did not waste any time. "The barrier, quickly!" she said quietly.

The threesome moved off in the direction of the barrier, using the trees as camouflage. Many times they stopped, hearing sounds that may have been their hearts beating in their chests, blood rushing through their ears or the footfalls of their adversary. Each time they could never be sure which it was.

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