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Rolfin's Orb
Book 6 - Ruby
Chapter 10

Drayton lifted his bloodshot eyes. The sun showed its first fingers, sending golden rays into the deep blue sky. Bit by bit the woods came alive with chirping birds and scampering squirrels. He wiped his eyes and walked down the loch, splashing the cool, clear water on his face.

His mind cleared and his eyes darted from side to side. “Where did they go?” He looked around and saw nobody. “ Probably got tired and ran home.” Taking a deep breath, he went back to the castle and stepped inside. He went to the main hall and stood looking at the table. Tired and weary, he sat down on it. 

Phelan appeared from nowhere. “What have you got to report?”

“It was a quiet night. Nobody came or went,” Drayton said with a yawn.

“Is that what you think? Follow me.” The wizard led him down to the room and opened the door. Screams and shrieks of anger burst forth, nearly deafening him. Phelan went inside and clapped his hands. The room went silent. He looked around. “Where is the man?”

They’d been so caught up in their arguments that they’d not noticed the escape. “Where did they go?” Deyab ran over to one of the sluaghs. “You did this. You let them escape.”

“Quiet! You’re all to blame. You’ve been arguing and you allowed this to happen.”

Anaxa sighed. “There were more than the one. There were seven men.”

“Seven? Who?” Phelan pulled a staff out of his cloak.

“It was the man who came through the time portal and others like him,” Anaxa said.

Phelan lifted his staff and a bolt of sizzling lightning shot forth and zapped Anaxa. Her cloak fell empty to the ground. He aimed it at each of them, one by one, cursing, “You failed me. You were assigned a task and you failed. You will all die now.”

When the last creature vaporized, the wizard turned to Drayton. He started muttering, “I didn’t see anyone. Nobody got past me. They must have come in another way. Don’t kill me.”

“I don’t expect anything from you any more, boy. You’re completely worthless. You also don’t learn very well. I’m afraid I will have to teach you another lesson.”

“Not those sand niarts again, please,” Drayton begged.

“No. Don’t worry about that.” He aimed his staff at Drayton. A stream of lightning wrapped itself around him, carrying him into the air. He screamed as the electrical bolt burned into his flesh. Phelan walked through the castle, toting Drayton behind him. When he got to the loch, he moved him over the water.

“Please, let me drop. I’m burning. It’s painful,” Drayton cried.

“As you wish,” Phelan said. He lifted his staff and the rope of fire disappeared.

Drayton fell into the loch. The cool water rushed over his body. He cried out in relief. From behind he felt a rush of water and turned to see the monster, the same one he’d taunted Mairi with, open its jaws and take him into his mouth. “Put me down.” The monster’s breath made him gag. It lowered its jaws dousing Drayton into the loch. It held him there until he was about to pass out from lack of oxygen and then brought him up. “Stop him. Don’t do this, please.” Feeling the neck lower again, he took a deep breath. IT held him down until he felt like his lungs were going to burst and then it lifted him up again.

“Have a good time,” Phelan said. He disappeared in a puff of smoke.

            The monster repeated this torture over and over again until Drayton didn’t have the strength to take another breath. It tossed him across the loch into the mud and disappeared. Drayton lay there, near unconsciousness as the sun raised high into the sky.

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