Edmond walked over to the door and tapped on it with a paw. It still looked like the rest of the wall to me, at least until I came closer. I saw the very faint hint of a line going up the right, across the top, down the left. No handle. Magic sealed it closed -- but at least we knew where to concentrate so we could get inside.
Ellin brushed his hand over the surface and frowned. "The magic is so strong that I can't sense what is inside, even standing right here. Are you certain?"
I looked at him trying to figure out how best to say this. "I've no practice at this sort of thing, you know. I've only met my father once and we were under attack then, too. So I have to go with no, I'm not certain."
Ellin stared at me. Then he laughed. "Well, we're here. We might as well do it."
He kicked the door and with enough force that it didn't simply open -- it flew out of the doorway and landed several feet inside the dark room.
I saw nothing inside beyond the little light that came from the opening. Everything was so dark that I was reminded of a cloak that once tried to swallow me in the dark abyss.
But I also thought I felt the presence of Lord Cayman far stronger now. He and Edmond stepped inside and Ellin and a few fae followed, though others stayed by the door to guard against the griffins. I could hear their cries of anger which gave me a little more hope that we were in the right place. I took several steps forward, squinting to try and figure out which way to go --
I heard the gasps of several elves and looked back to see all the ones who had followed me in had gone to their knees.
"What the hell --"
"No -- magic," Ellin said and struggled back up, though he swayed badly and didn't look as though he would stay there. "Draining fae magic from us."
"I felt a tingle," I said, frowning. "Edmond? Has it affected you?"
"Oh hell --"
"Ha, ha -- just joking," the cat said with a smirk. "I don't notice anything more than a little tingle, maybe because you and I aren't fae, Mark. We have some fae parts, I guess -- but whatever magic is being used against the fae doesn't see us. And that makes us very dangerous -- as long as no one gets here too soon."
"Get back out," I said and nudged Ellin towards the door. He stared at me, as though he couldn't quite understand words. "Go. I'll look around and see what I can do."
"Yes," he agreed. He helped another up. The others were retreating. "Out and make certain on one comes in the door. We'll guard."
"Thank you," I said with a bow of my head.
He disappeared back out and I could hear Ellin shouting for fae to take up positions all around the building to make certain nothing got in any other way, either. Good.
"So, we're on our own," I said softly.
"Did you really expect it to be any other way?" Edmond asked. "It's kind of been you and me from the start most of the time."
"You are right there," I agreed. I closed my eyes and tried to force myself to calm. "This way."
Edmond didn't ask how I knew. We just moved off to the right. The place was dark and I didn't want to try and create magical light. I thought anything that might draw attention wouldn't be good. We walked quietly and I realized I could see a hint of light ahead.
I also heard trouble behind us. The fae were in another battle. If I got Lord Cayman free, we could go back and help them. That made me move a little faster.
A door stood before me. I could see the outline of it this time because of how the light leaked around it. The feel of Lord Cayman -- of my father -- being very close came so strongly that I wondered if I should trust it at all.
"Let's do it," he said.
I don't know why I kept listening to the cat, but I did. I shoved the door open and we rushed in.
Misty things -- after a blink or two, I realized we faced the same sort of things that had pushed me off the bridge and into the jungle. Edmond yowled and leapt in with all claws ready and the creatures began to pop like balloons.
I left him to it, only dealing with the ones who tried to catch hold of me. I didn't carry anything sharp, but Edmond stayed close by and clawed and bit anything that tried to grab me. We made a good team. When something finally got hold of him, I yanked him out of the misty hold and slugged the thing. Apparently I didn't need claws because that one exploded rather nicely.
The room proved to be huge, but as we fought our way in, I could see a column in the middle made of light. And inside that light stood Lord Cayman.
I still had trouble thinking of him as my father, but I couldn't deny the pull that drew me across the room. I stood before the light and looked at him, thinking there was some resemblance. He had his eyes closed and his hands held out as though he fought against something inside there.
I put my hand to the glass and he opened his eyes, surprised. A faint smile played at his lips. Good. I started looking for a way to get him out.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you," a woman said from somewhere the other side of the room.
"Why not?" I asked.
"Because if you get him free, the entire city is going to drop like a rock."
To Be Continued. . . .