"Lizzie?" Feliciano asked worriedly as he stepped into the room, Marcello following. I let out a relieved breath that I hadn't realised I'd been holding and moved to usher the two in.
"What are you doing?" I asked. "I thought they had evacuated."
"They did, but they called me back in. Something to do with the kitchen," he murmured.
"They let us stay since the mansion belongs to our family." Marcello added, staring in confusion at Arthur.
"Honey," Elizaveta said as she went over to Feliciano. "Could you bring me some bleach and two cups of water? We can't be caught out there. Make sure that no one else comes in here, too."
Feliciano nodded and, after a quick, teary-eyed glance at his grandfather, ran off to do as she had asked. Marcello followed after him, leaving to go keep the cops busy. I grinned at my two companions.
"Well that was lucky," I said. Elizaveta nodded. Soon, Feliciano returned with the cleaning products and a bucket, presumably used to having to clean something like this. Elizaveta mixed the bleach and the water together, then grabbed a white shirt lying nearby, saying that she needed a cloth. Feliciano whined at the action but she shushed him and soaked the shirt before scrubbing the floor with it. Soon, the stain was gone and she handed the shirt to Arthur
"Will this do?"
Since he was facing the window, I could see his face even though he was still wearing the hood. He scowled at the product mixed in with the dye, but nodded. "It should work."
"Is that everything then?" I asked. He nodded again and I turned to Feliciano.
"Is the hall clear? Cops still occupied?"
"Yes," he answered. "What are you going to do now?"
"To be honest Feli, I don't quite know." I had never had any sort of supernatural assistance on a case before. This was definitely bizarre, and I wasn't even sure if it would work, but if Arthur was confident that it would, then that was good enough for me. Saying a quick goodbye to Feliciano, we left the room and then exited the mansion the way we had come.
x x x
Once we were back at Arthur's house, he quickly made his way to the living room, not caring if Elizaveta and I were even following. We were instructed to sit on the couch and not touch anything - he had given me a pointed glare - while he ran around the shack and collected what he deemed were the necessary materials.
We didn't have to wait for long before we were called down to the basement. As we made our way to the staircase, I noticed a strange golden glow emerging from between the floorboards.
"Candles?" Elizaveta suggested with a shrug, having noticed what I was staring at.
"Who knows," I answered. We walked down to the basement where Arthur was waiting, the steps bending as we walked down them. It was dark, so I couldn't quite see where we were going, but that changed as soon as Arthur clapped his hands and every candle in the room suddenly lit up. We entered what was quite possibly a makeshift realm made specifically for the black arts.
"Holy-" I managed to get out before Arthur shushed me, insisting that nothing should be said unless it was to do with the ritual. He motioned for us to stand back and not get in the way before he went to crouch down before a squared paper that had already been laid out on the floor. On it, there was a circle with a triangle inside of it, and by each of the triangle's three sides, there was an odd symbol. Different symbols could also be found in each corner of the paper.
I let my gaze wander around the basement for a moment, taking in everything that I hadn't noticed earlier. The walls were painted black and were lined with shelves, whereas the floor was more of a greyish colour. I found that the room lacked the drawings that the rest of the house seemed to be full of, which seemed kind of ironic considering what this was. Candles covered tabletops that were stacked with books, jars, and who knows what else. There was even a cage that housed some sort of black, beady-eyed bird, which seemed kind of comical.
My attention was drawn back to Arthur as he did his best to wipe the dye from the cloth onto the middle of the triangle. After it seemed that no more could be done, he placed a bowl of herbs that I hadn't noticed before beside the strange mess of objects. He then set down a lit candle at each corner of the paper and stood back to admire his work.
"Amate spiritum obscure," he began to recite all of a sudden. Elizaveta and I exchanged a glance as the flames on the candles diminished, the room dimming quickly. I wondered how he did that - the way that his surroundings were constantly changing around him made it seem as though they were a part of him that he could control whenever he pleased. The way he spoke so confidently, without even glancing at a book, made me wonder whether he did this sort of thing often. "Te quaerimus. Age ostende mihi teipsum!"
With his last words still echoing around the room, Arthur brandished a lit matchstick from seemingly thin air. He tossed it onto the paper at the same time that every candle went out, though it wasn't dark for long. The paper burst into flame, sending sparks flying in all directions. My mouth fell open in shock, and I could see that Elizaveta was having a similar reaction. The orange light danced across her face, illuminating it in crazy ways.
Arthur waved us over, and hesitatingly, we approached him and the large fire in the centre of the room. I didn't know what I was expecting - probably something cliché and cheesy, like you see in the movies. We stared deep into the fire, yet the flames didn't form a face or anything, like I'd have thought. In fact, nothing happened at all. The only remarkable thing I could find in the sea of flames was that no heat was being emitted from it. The cloaked blond on the other hand, was facing the thing as though he could see all the secrets of life being revealed in it.
The flames rose up to a large height, licking at the air around them as though searching for something to get a hold of and burn. It reminded me of a raging forest fire and I feared that it would end up burning the place down.
However, that didn't happen and the fire died down after a few minutes. Elizaveta was the first to move, backing away from the ashes that used to be paper. Even though the flames didn't seem like they had been hot, they had still managed to completely scorch the area around them, blackening the floor and eating away at the paper and herbs.
I followed after, wondering if the ritual had even worked. I wanted to speak, but didn't know if it was appropriate to do so yet. Normally, I would've taken the chance, but after what had just happened, I was a bit stunned.
Arthur turned around to face us and pulled off his hood. His mouth was in a straight line and he had a wild gleam in his eyes. The candlelight accentuated the lines around his eyes and made his ruffled hair appear to glow.
"What?" Elizaveta asked, voice hoarse."Did something happen?"
Arthur nodded. "The ritual was a success. I was rather… Taken aback. The fire wasn't meant to get that out of control. The man is quite malevolent."
"You mean you know who did it?" I questioned. "Did you see him or something? What do we have?"
Arthur let his gaze slowly travel to meet mine before answering. "We have a name."
And the supernatural is in! Ugh, I was going to make this a serious story at first but let's face it.. I can't do serious.
Thanks to idioticwrites for helping out. Please review, you'll make my day :D