Chapter 14

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Eyrmysse wrapped herself in a protection spell, moved out from her small shelter and stood in the middle of the tunnel. Nothing happened. She took a doubtful step forward but that did not result in any action by the three beings. Another step and another again without any reaction. Eyrmysse was nearly halfway to the formation which hid the cloaked ones when a fireball exploded at her feet and filled the air with smoke. When the smoke dissipated, one of the cloaked beings, the one in white, stood before Eyrmysse.

The white robe, though she appeared to be solid, was of an ethereal nature. She was white as a ghost (which indeed she was), the hair, eyes or lips void of any color. But her face held a beauty that was almost severe.

"Uvhymme!" Eyrmysse spoke her name as she looked at her in disbelief. "Is it truly you?"

"It is I," said Uvhymme, though the lips did not move.

Eyrmysse started, confused. "Why… I do not—"

The voice of Uvhymme responded, "To gain the tunnel beyond us," here she indicated the others at her back, "you must defeat each of us in magical combat. I am your first adversary. Though I will not engage in any conflict with you, know that you must kill me to proceed."

Eyrmysse regarded the spectral figure. Uvhymme, dead for several centuries, was the most highly regarded white robe in the history of the witches. She was known for her unconditional dedication and single-mindedness, particularly in bringing about advances in the healing arts. Many initiates still used her as an example to aspire to. Eyrmysse, her previous anger dissipated, appealed to Uvhymme.

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