(Notes: the Bardanians – Bardan’s soldiers; Bardan – the leader of the evil group)
Outside, the Bardanians had already broken into two groups, according to the plan they had well put up with Bardan. Leido’s team had to break through the main gate, and the other one, lead by Fulgerus, had to go through the entrance at the back.
With the nonchalance which had easily become a habit, two soldiers went to steal the keys from the guardians so everyone could get in. As soon as they laid their hands on the iron bars to climb up, they were sent backward by an electric shock. After shaking unconsciously for a while, they fell with a thud on the ground.
“What the hell?” Fulgerus exclaimed infuriated. “When did they set this up?”
“Eh, no worries. Such a simple trick won’t hold us back,” a soldier seethed, beckoning to one of his comrades to follow him.
They went to jump over the wall, avoiding the gates. They ended just like the other two. The electroshock system was placed all around the protection wall. Fulgerus gnashed his teeth.
A daredevil took a few steps backward and run to jump over it without touching it at all, but, although he was about to succeed as his squatted posture allowed him to roll over at a palm above the wall, he was sent back on the floor by a shockwave. He fell on the floor, groaning in deep pain.
“T’ what?!” Fulgerus barely got his chance to curse when he noticed a dark cloud of smoke rising from the base of the fence. The soldiers who inhaled this became unconscious.
As most of them were falling like the apples from a tree, Fulgerus retreated and dragged other two after him. Upon seeing what happened to the rest, the two soldiers thanked their leader with much gratitude.
“Don’t thank me, idiots!” Fulgerus shouted as anger was boiling inside of him. “Don’t you have the instinct to protect yourself?”
He took his hands from their shoulders and watched the anesthetic smoke rising and dissipating. Darn! That Waltario certainly is a crafty man. Leido was right about him. Curse him! I won’t leave until at least I’ve got the prisoners back. I can’t return to Father like this.
“We must find a way to reach inside,” he mumbled, eyes stuck to the castle.
“Something to blow this thing off,” said a thoughtful soldier.
Fulgerus retorted a face like a provoked dog’s. “Blow off, stupid! And what will you do about the people on the other side? Kill them? That would only make us subject to an investigation. Don’t you remember Father demanded we infiltrate without making any fuss? But why am I asking you? You’re a bunch of imbeciles!”
The soldiers bent their heads, leaving him to his own devices. Fulgerus thought out loud, “That electric wall can’t reach the skies. I’m sure it ends somewhere.”
He took some stones and started throwing them over the fence. The first three attempts were a failure. On the fourth try, he threw the rock at a meter above. That one went through and reached the other side. The sensors in the wall didn’t react anymore at that height.
Fulgerus gave a long sigh. He had to find a way to jump above three meters. “A poll would have been handy.”
“We’ll look after some rocks or something…”
“Don’t look any further!” Fulgerus cut his sentence. “Aren’t you two enough rock-headed?”
The two restored to piety figures.
“I’m talking seriously,” he continued and got closer to them. “You will help me jump. Hold hands!”
They placed themselves at a certain distance from the wall, under the young man’s guidance. Fulgerus took off his mantle, rolled it into a ball and threw it over as if to verify for the last time that was the right height he had to reach. He then looked at his subordinates, made a mental calculus drew them more steps away from the obstacle and went to take his own place before running to make the final leap.
The fear was on both sides. Fulgerus didn’t want to feel on his own the feeling of falling as struck by a lightning, nor did his soldiers wish that—Bardan would have given them a punishment three times more painful than his.
Fulgerus, in order to gain some courage, thought about his honor, his training as a warrior, his father’s words. It was a great moment in his life.
He gave a loud cry and went running. Three steps away from the two, he jumped on their arms and propelled himself with all his might. Reaching the high in the air, he squatted and rolled to pass over the fence.
The two soldiers, now lying on the ground as the lad’s powerful jump had made them fall, holding hands, were watching the show enthralled and also frightened out of their wits.
The tip of his long hair with green shades had touched the area of the sensors making them activate the electric wall. The soldiers gasped like the spectators of a circus risky number that was about to go wrong. But Fulgerus managed to land on his feet, bending his knees a little. It had been perfect acrobatics. The bardanians barely refrained from giving a loud round of applause.
The winner turned to them. “That’s it! I made it! Now go and inform Leido about the way to beat this thing. I shouldn’t be left alone on this mission. And hurry up! The spell won’t last forever!”
“I’m going to catch him!” Selunia said determinedly.
“No.” Soris stopped her and got up from his chair. “You must break the spell. That will make them run away and help us with the inspection. If this lasts even one hour, we’ll have a hard time getting away from the inspectors. I’ll go after him. He’s just one person. I can manage.”
They got out of the room, and after locking it back, parted their own ways. Selunia headed to a palace terrace. She had to find a method to break the spell as quickly as possible. After all, she’s seen on the screens she was sure the source wasn’t inside the building but somewhere outside.
Keeping a steady pace, she got on the terrace and peered all over the garden. The place had subsided again to a sinister silence like the one of a cemetery. The sky was covered with rosy clouds that gave hints of the upcoming Twilight. Every minute counted but the quietude was leaving the impression that the world had stopped in place. Selunia put on her magical gloves and tried to take control of the restlessness that tried to expand inside her heart. The will to fight gave her the much-sought courage she needed.
It didn’t take long to observe the string of magical stones that was twirling in the sky. After its long flight around the courtyard, the string had halted at a tower’s height and continued to spin in circles. “That must be the source of the spell!” she thought. “Good thing it isn’t that darn stick. I can’t risk starting a fight like the first one with that witch. It might kill me for real if I try that again.”
The bracelet gave the signals of a call. It was Dual. “There’s a strange snake in the air!” he groaned. “I saw it as I was closing the door. Oh, gosh, it was so frightening! Selunia, come here already and rescue us!” He paused to sob. “Oh, I hope it didn’t notice me!”
“Alright, Dual. I’ll be there in a minute.” Selunia closed the discussion quickly to focus on what to do next. The string, as if it felt she had caught it up, hid behind the crown of a tall tree. The girl let out a puff. “I must go down.” She started for the exit.
When she reached the anteroom, she saw Dual sitting in a squat, stuck by a wall, almost biting his nails. Dual popped up on his feet and went to greet the highly awaited savior.
“Dual, I’m going to step out,” she said, trying not to let his fear transfer to her. “You stay here and guard this place and call me if something’s wrong.” The lad nodded and clasped his hands with hope.
Selunia went out through the large wooden door, letting Dual close it behind her. The string had returned to its former place, ten feet above the inspector’s black car. The girl activated the gloves and aimed at it. The spinning circle seemed to wait for her move provokingly. Selunia squinted at it. “Let’s hope it won’t start lurching.”
The first bullet was sent and the string shifted its place in a blink. Selunia mumbled some curses then tried to take it by surprise pretending to ignore it for a while and then shoot at it vigorously. The circle slid gently in the air, dodging easily each attack.
With eyes on it, she arrived a few steps away from the garden. The string went opposite to her. Selunia didn’t want to lose its trace, so she started following it. A few steps and, before she knew it, a long whip had caught on her right ankle, tugging her and making her fall, face to the ground. “Ah!” she cried out of surprise.
She rolled over on her back just to notice a tall and stout man with arms long to the ground. His face and boy was well covered by ragged clothes. She started shooting at him, so he dodged and set her free.
Selunia just got back on her feet when a heavy net made from steel chains landed on her, covering her from head to toe. As she tried to get it off from her, her fingers slipped through the chain loops and so, the energy of her gloves spread through the metallic web. Fearing she might be surrounded, she started twirling in place. Now the net was behaving like a shield against the laser bullets that were hitting in loudly. The four attackers had good guns but they weren’t trying to shoot with precision. They thought her improvised shield would naturally let some bullets slip through the gaps of the web.
Selunia was able to create a protection the shape of a bell, but that would waste a lot of her energy. Her mind filled up with worries. After all, they’d found a way to get past the elaborate protection invented by Waltario. Four enemies were going to become ten enemies in no time.
~End of Part II~