“We can go to the chief guard, Kirkland. I’m sure he can help us,” Laura said desperately.
“No, we can’t. He’s got to take care of Sasha. I’m sure if she could destroy a human soul she can break out of a few iron bars.”
“Sesily, she can only do that magic with whatever is in that box.”
Sesily suddenly remembered the small box now lying on Laura’s bed, next to the one which contained the letters. They were about the same size. Sesily was suddenly overtaken with an urge to open the box, but she quickly contained herself.
“I wonder what’s in it,” Laura said.
“It’s some kind of talisman that gives its holder immeasurable magic power, but you can only harness it if you address it by name. I don’t know a thing about magic, though, so I’m not even sure how that would work.”
“I remember the exact words Justin said when he described it to me. He said it could heal a person on the brink of death, it could summon torrents of rain to a desolate wasteland, and it could bring a ray of sun to the coldest
corner of the world . . . ”
“ . . . . and it can destroy living souls,” Laura carried on grimly. “Sesily, I think we should go down to the prison and tell Kirkland the full story.”
“How? Bring the box down there? We can’t leave it alone. Someone has to safeguard it.”
Laura paused, realizing that Sesily was right. They couldn’t risk bringing the box out into public air. It could get lost, stolen, or—
Or Sasha could get it. Then what would happen, Laura wondered. She’d no doubt break out of that cell and exterminate every person in the village, probably.
“We need to get to someone who knows something about this box, more than I do at least,” Sesily said.
Laura bobbed her head. “I suppose we could ask . . . no . . . ”
“Ask who?” Sesily interrogated.
“Forget it, it’s nothing.”
“A lot of people’s lives are at danger. There are people who had their souls stolen away from them and are now wandering around hopelessly. Sasha has done this before, so there could indeed be hundreds of people bound
by her vile power. Who?”
“You definitely know how to convince me, Sesily,” Laura whimpered.
“It’s just that I haven’t seen him for a long time . . . ”
“Who is it, already!?” Sesily was running out of patience.
“He is a wizard who goes by the name of Karsh.”
“Yes, he is a very powerful wizard at that. He saved my life . . . ” Laura’s eyes stared blankly into space. “I would have died that day, along with my parents, had he not stunned the killer, who was chasing after me as his next
victim. He was kind enough to give me shelter, but I didn’t want to intrude. I left after having dinner, and I never saw him again.”
“So you only knew him for a few hours?”
“A few days, really. His cottage was a few days’ march away from the remnants of my house. He told me quite a bit about magic, and he even mentioned some ‘Grand Treasure’ that was hidden in Turthia.”
Sesily glanced over to the small box on Laura’s bed. Could this be that treasure, the treasure the Turthians used to win the war against Balbodia?
“So you think he may have some knowledge on this nameless box?” Sesily’s voice trailed off.
“I believe so, but the road there is dangerous, and he might not even be there anymore.”
“It’s worth a shot, Laura,” Sesily said, as her fierce emerald eyes met Laura’s soft green ones.
Sesily walked over to the box and picked it up, examining it carefully. She turned it over gently, almost as if there was some fragile object inside that she didn’t want to break. Just by holding it she could faintly feel some sort of alien power course through her.
“Sesily . . . ,” Laura whispered. “If you need to speak its name to have the power activated, what could be the harm in opening it?”
Sesily thought it was a bad idea ever since she first held it, a little over an hour ago. Wordlessly, she set it down on Laura’s bed and clicked the golden latch up. She then reached her hands around the box and slowly began to
lift the top up.
“Sesily! Laura!” came a call from just outside the door. Sesily quickly flipped down the latch of the box and slid it under the bed, along with the letters. There was a loud rapping at the door. Laura replied with a sweet voice,
“Come in.” Sesily recognized the man as one of the guards who had taken away Sasha, but she did not recall his name. He wore a heavy chain mail and steel armor, but he looked out of place weaponless. It was a law that no weaponry was allowed inside of the Dearborn mansion.
“Officer Nash reporting to the Lady Dearborn.” The man saluted her.
“As you were, Nash,” Sesily replied casually. “Report.”
“Sasha Famini has been placed in custody and the General Maxwell of the Turthian Army is now interrogating her with a few of his men.”
“What?” Sesily said. Laura looked over at Sesily, too, and panicked. General Maxwell wasn’t in town.
“Nash, I would like you to please tell the general to stay away from my prisoner, and make sure that only guards from this village are assigned to guard her.”
“Ma’am?” Officer Nash replied, confused.
“I have reason not to trust the General Maxwell due to some . . . incriminating evidence found on him. If you speak a word of that I will have your rank and your job. Now make sure he and his men stay away from her, she’s a dangerous criminal.”
“Understood. I will do that now.”
“As you should,” Sesily said, giving him a glare. Officer Nash was only too eager to leave. Laura waited until she heard the man’s footsteps die away. She reached under the bed and withdrew the box, sitting down on the
bed and setting it next to her.
“What are we going to do?” Laura said. “If your suspicions were right, then General Maxwell—”
“It’s not General Maxwell. For now let’s just call him the imposter. As you were saying, if my suspicions are right, then the imposter might have already broken Sasha out and they are heading here right now.”
Laura’s eyes widened. “Even without her magic she’s still a potential danger to humanity. She has many soulless slaves who would gladly do her bidding,” Sesily stated.
“I have a feeling we should make ourselves scarce,” Laura muttered.
“I couldn’t agree more, but where would we go?” Sesily asked.
“Anywhere but here. Our lives are in danger.”
“But we’d be running away, leaving all of these people for dead.”
“We’re two young women, barely old enough to even call ourselves that. What else could we do?”