Kahrim stepped into the darkness beyond the village and stopped.
“What is it?” Kaleigha asked. She peered into the forest beyond, but saw nothing amiss.
“I don’t want to take you too far into the woods,” he said, slowly. We don’t know the effect the call will have on you.”
“Right,” she nodded, thinking of the sky high flames from earlier. “Maybe we should just look for her the old fashioned way?”
“We don’t, I mean, I don’t feel we have that kind of time,” Kahrim frowned. “I’m not sure why.” He finished.
“It can’t be any worse that me setting a stand of trees on fire,” Kaleigha smiled. “I think.”
“Here goes,” he said and turned back to the dark forest. Kahrim lifted his arms high and looked up into the black sky.
“Oh,” Kaleigha gasped as a deep rumbling filled her ears. The noise grew until it became a trembling in her being. She looked down at her body to see the lines of her body shake and blur. She closed her eyes against the sight only to be greeted by the vision of Kahrim standing in forest at the center of a metallic web with a million strings. All of the strings vibrated fiercely except two. One was a rich green and the other shimmered like a fiery opal. Kaleigha knew instinctively that the mildly undulating strings belonged to her and Ilma.
“Stop!” Ilma’s voice rang out in the darkness.
Kaleigha’s eyes flew open. The woman stood in the shadows glaring at them.
“The elders,” Kahrim dropped to one knee, his voice trembling, “Your children ask that you return to them.”
“Never,” Ilma spat. “They will not trap me in that shoddy crucible.”
“They long to see you face again,” Kahrim looked to Kaleigha for help.
“You will have my protection,” Kaleigha offered. “As Fadian.”
Ilma let out a thin trill of laughter that far more frightening than anything she’d said thus far.
“Your descendants will rejoice to see you so happy,” Kahrim got to his feet and stepped within the border of the village.
“The only offer I will accept is Fadian’s return to the real world,” Ilma said and melted back into the forest.