CHAPTER 9

But the shadows didn't jump at Milla; they jumped at the two Freefolk grabbing them around the necks.

"Oh, but you will give in, or else these two won't live to tell of how you betrayed them!" one shadow laughed.

Milla was struggling with what to do, give in and let Tal be killed or let Ferek and Gill be killed, which one! Then Milla had an idea.

"I will give you Tal, if I go with him wherever you take him" Milla offered.

"Fine, the master will repay us with you as a little snack once we've brought in this boy" the shadow replied with a grin on its face.

Some shadows went over to Tal and picked him up and a shadow wrapped itself around Millas hands where the Talons of Danir where. They couldn't fight.

Tal and Milla were taken out of the room by the shadows.

They were taken down into the former Underfolk levels back to the huge chamber. Sharrakor was waiting.

"I see you've finally given in, War Chief, finally given me my vengeance!" Sharrakor exclaimed standing right near Millas face, Milla responded by spitting in his face.

Sharrakor roared with displeasure.

"Don't worry, you won't be so cocky when you kill your own friend, or watch him die, it's your choice" Sharrakor said with an evil grin on his face.

Sharrakor ordered the shadows holding Tal to put him down in front of him. Then Sharrakor formed a shadow sword from one of the other shadows and raised it above his head.

"It's your choice, but I'm only giving you thirty seconds to think" Sharrakor said.

This was a really hard choice for Milla, she used to want to kill Tal, but now she didn't. And she wouldn't watch him die either. But Sharrakor would kill him either way, but if she killed Tal with Sharrakor inside him Sharrakor would be dead.

"Time's up!" Sharrakor roared bringing the blade slashing down towards Tal, but Tal rolled away!

"Stay still!" Sharrakor roared angrily slashing at Tal but Tal kept rolling away from the blows.

Then shadows came down and held Tal in one spot.

"Now you die!" Sharrakor yelled.

"NO!" Milla screamed.

Then a violet bird came swooping into the chamber and landed with its claws out on Sharrakors face. It was Seven! Tal thought, Ebitts bird.

Then Ebitt came walking into the room. He saved Tal and Milla again.

Tal jumped to his feet and so did Milla and they all ran off with shadows at their heel. They kept running until they reached the top of the Violet Tower, but the shadows were still hot on their heels.

Then Sharrakor flew up onto the top of the tower in front of Tal.

"You wont get away" He said in a sly voice and grabbed Tal by the throat, and hurled him off the tower!

Tal grasped at the edge and managed to grab hold.

Milla ran at Sharrakor but he knocked her back. Then he walked over to Tal and stood on one of his hands.

Then Tal reached up and got hold of Sharrakors arm and jumped back onto the tower.

Tal lunged onto Sharrakor and tried to raise his sunstone but Sharrakor was too strong and threw him off.

Tal clutched his stomach in pain as Milla swung her talons at Sharrakor, but it didn't affect him more than being knocked back a few steps.

Seven flew up and clawed at Sharrakors face again, but Sharrakor just knocked him away.

"Give up! There is no way to defeat me! I am more powerful than you will ever imagine!" Sharrakor roared.

Then another shadow leapt onto Sharrakor and bit into his neck time and time again, it was Rister the snake shadow!

Rister continued to bite him until Sharrakor was next to the edge of the tower, where Ebitt shoved him. This wouldn't kill him but it would give them time to escape. Rister jumped off Sharrakor just as he fell and unfurled his wings.

Everyone ran and the snake slithered as fast as it could away from Sharrakor. He roared and started to chase them.

Tal could hardly run because of the pain but fear made him sprint faster than he ever had before. They took shortcuts and wrong turns to shake off Sharrakor and it worked!

They finally came to a stop outside the Throne Room where Tal fainted from exhaustion and his multiple wounds.

They carried Tal back into his bed when all the original Freefolk children burst in, including Crow.

"What happened, we heard that you guys were fighting Sharrakor on top of the Violet Tower!" Crow panted.

"We were" Milla said slowing her breathing so she didn't pant.

"What! How is Emperor Tal?!" Ferek exclaimed.

"I'm fine, and stop calling me Emperor Tal, just call me Tal" Tal said quietly from his bed, startling everyone by speaking because they either thought he was dead or unconscious.

Milla told everyone what happened with occasional outbursts by Ebitt or Crow while Tal lay motionless on the bed.

After Milla explained all this she noticed Tal had his sunstone in his hands that were on his chest, he had gone to Aenir!

Milla quickly left the room while everyone was talking about what she had told them and went to her own room, and entered Aenir as well. She just hoped she would end up in the same place as Tal. She didn't know what he was planning on doing but he would need help, or someone to make sure he doesn't get himself killed which was much more likely.

She thought of Tal and got a mental image of him, and for some reason his eyes sparkled mischievously.

When she appeared in Aenir she was on top of the Old Khamsoul. Oh no! Milla thought, I've gone to the wrong place!

Then she saw Tal next to the edge of the rock.

"Old Khamsoul, I wish to ask you my question now!" Tal yelled over the roar of the wind and the booming reply came back, "Ask away."

"What should I do, I'm in no shape to fight and all of my people are cowering from the shadows, but they will take over the Dark World if I do nothing!" Tal explained.

"You should lead your people into battle once again against the shadows, but I must tell you two things." The voice replied.

"What?" Tal asked.

"First, Sharrakor is not the only master; there is one that rules him. And secondly when I send you back to your own world you will feel your pain much more than you did before because in Aenir it has almost disappeared, so ready yourself."

"You can send me back?" Tal asked.

"Yes, but I will in a minute or so because you have much to plan with the Icecarl War Chief."

Tal spun around and saw Milla slowly walking towards him.

"Why are you here?" Tal asked Milla.

"I followed you into Aenir after I realized you had gone" Milla replied.

They started to discuss battle plans when it started to rain. And a white light flash of light returned them to their own world. The minute Tal was back the pain returned and he rolled into a ball in pain. Luckily everyone but Ebitt and Gill had left.

"What happened?" Ebitt asked, and Tal explained to them what the Old Khamsoul had said.

"But I will not lead them into the fight, I will be already fighting Sharrakor by the time anyone attacks, or dead" Tal replied with a groan of pain.

Then the mirror slipped from in his sleeve and landed on the bed, Ebitt quickly grabbed it and looked into it.

"Where did you get this?" Ebitt asked.

"In the Chambers under the ice, what's the matter?" Tal asked.

"This is the key to the Netherworld!" Ebitt replied, "The only way to free the only thing more powerful than Sharrakor!"

"What! Uncle, why didn't you tell me this before?!" Tal yelled.

Ebitt was on his own world again stroking Seven under his chin and making bird sounds, which the violet bird replied.

Milla walked in the door and stopped when she saw Tal running out of the room as fast as he could, so she followed him.

When Milla caught up to Tal he was at the top of the tower again next to a chute.

"What are you doing?" Milla yelled to Tal who was making a long rope of light.

"Light diving, want to come?" Tal asked with that familiar mischievous look in his emerald green eyes. Milla found herself staring into his eyes.

"Where are you going?" Milla finally asked.

"I'm going to find Sharrakor, and then I will kill him. He leads the shadows and without him we will win" Tal explained still making the rope.

"But you're injured! How do you plan to kill the most powerful being in any world?" Milla asked.

"Ah, but he isn't the most powerful being, but this will be nearly impossible if I have to do it alone, so are you with me?" Tal asked.

A few minutes later Tal and Milla were strapped around the waist with a rope of light that was attached the top of the chute.

Then they dived, and they both hoped the rope was just long enough so it wouldn't leave them dangling or make them collide with the bottom of the chute, but this was the deepest thing Milla had seen, it went from the former Violet Seven down under the former Underfolk seven!