Nine

“I don’t like this,” Yun said. She had taken one step outside before the lights had come back on, without warning. Almost as if they were never off in the first place. It instilled her the same feeling that gnawed at her whenever she was checking her journal. Whenever she thought about the end of the journey. 

“That was certainly odd,” Adelaide said, looking around, as if to make sure the lights had gone off at all. 

“WHAT WAS THAT?” Sykora’s orb had been placed on a wrapped scarf on the table in the cabin, giving the impression of a twisted fortune teller’s ball. 

“Unsure. Nothing good, I can tell you that.”

“HOLD. THERE IS AN UNSAVORY MAGICAL PRESENCE IN THE CARGO HOLD. STAINED SOULS CORRUPTED BY FORBIDDEN MAGICS.” 

“Just my luck.” Yun groaned. 

The train was awash with the sounds of confused passengers, discussing the small gaps in their memory, almost drowning out the sound of the movements of the train itself. Crowding into the halls, flagging down attendants, conversing with other passengers. Yun slipped through the crowd towards the cargo car hooked onto the back of the train. Adelaide did her best to follow, while holding Sykora, having to push a little to get people to move out of her way. A string of ‘excuse me’s and ‘pardon me’s trailed behind her. 

Yun knew her journey wasn’t going to be peaceful, but upon opening the door to the cargo train, she wondered if the divine creator really did have it out for her. Before her were two familiar sights, a dragon with a very recognizable scale pattern and a woman holding a bow, standing over some unconscious masked figures. They locked eyes, the recognition in the woman’s eyes burning the second they did. 

“Watch it!” Yun said, sidestepping the second an arrow was loosed. 

Adelaide, having caught up, registered the words just quickly enough, catching the arrowhead on her sword. It generated sparks before being redirected into the ground, still managing to pierce the floorboards enough to stick perfectly. 

“Ruinbringer.” The woman said.

“Olivia.” Yun replied, rapidly assessing her surroundings. “Not much for talking, are we?”

“Not with you.”

“Is Grisly with you?” Yun looked over at the dragon eyeing her.”

“It’s a coincidence. You know how he is.”

“And these guys?”

“None of your business.” Olivia drew another arrow, shooting it at Yun’s feet, a blue light enveloping it. Knowing what she had up her sleeve, Yun threw down a slip of paper. The arrow caught it, the blue light fading out harmlessly. 

“I’ve always hated you.” Olivia said, nocking another arrow. 

“I know.” Yun looked back at Adelaide and Sykora, smiled, then jumped off the train into the darkness of the outside.

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