Read Horizon, Soul Guardians Book 3 Online

Authors: Kim Richardson

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Horizon, Soul Guardians Book 3 (20 page)

BOOK: Horizon, Soul Guardians Book 3
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He didn’t take being
banished lightly. Asmodeus was a proud archangel, and the strongest
amongst us. I saw the hatred in his eyes when he departed. I knew
then, it wouldn’t be the last we’d see of him. I just never
imagined it could be like this.”

Gabriel slammed his fist on the great
table. Kara and the others jumped. “He will pay dearly for what he
has done!”

Camael shook her head. “I cannot
understand how he could consume all those archangels’ souls—and
still live. His body shouldn’t be able to withstand it. We
creatures were not created to endure so much power. He must have
learned something that we are ignorant of. It makes no sense to
me.”

Michael turned to Gabriel. “Get the
troops ready. We leave in fifteen minutes. We must act now, while
there are still some of us left who can.” He sheathed the blazing
blade in a leather sheath wrapped tightly around his ankle. Kara
couldn’t see the flames anymore. He straightened and shared a look
with Gabriel. “We know where he’ll be. It’s time.”

Gabriel nodded in silent agreement. He
turned and addressed the others. “Guardians, follow me. We’re going
to meet with the rest of the troops in the atrium—no, not you
Kara.”


What!” Kara’s voice rose
before she could control it. “I’m a guardian. I’m coming
too.”


No, you will stay with
Raphael—”


I’m not staying behind!”
Kara’s temper flared. She saw the irritation in Gabriel’s face, but
she couldn’t control herself. She had risked her life to get here
and fight alongside her friends. This was her fight, too; they
couldn’t take that away from her. “I’m going.”


No.”


Why not? This is
crazy!”


Because we know Asmodeus
intends to kill you. You’re safe here.”

Kara clasped her shaking hands into
fists. “He intends to kill everyone! I’m not going to stay here and
hide like a coward.”


We need you safe,
Kara—”


I’m going! He used me to
kill all those mortals, and now angels. And you expect me to sit
tight? You don’t know me. I’m not staying behind.”

Michael pushed past
Gabriel. His eyes fixed on Kara. “Can you imagine what would happen
if he killed you and ingested
your
power? Camael tells us that he is absorbing the
essence of archangels. What if he is planning on embracing yours?
What would happen if he succeeded? Can you think of the devastation
he could cause with elemental power surging through him? He would
become a creature that no one would be able to vanquish. Not even
an inferno blade could harm him. We would all perish.”

Kara could only stare. She hadn’t
thought of that. Although it hurt to hear it, she knew Michael was
right. She would have to stay behind. Kara pressed her lips into a
hard line. She caught David staring at her. He gave her a weak
smile. Kara stared at the floor.

Satisfied, Michael walked past her
without another word and vanished behind the chamber’s
door.

Gabriel stood by the
doorway. “Danielle. David. You’re coming with us. It’s time we paid
a little visit to my long lost
brother
.”

Kara’s mother went to her and embraced
her. “Don’t do anything stupid,” her mother whispered in her ear.
“I know you, Kara. Be careful. I’ll see you soon.
Promise.”

Kara hugged her mother tightly for a
moment, and then let her go. She forced a smile.

David tried to catch Kara’s attention,
but she didn’t look at him. She was angry and ashamed. It wasn’t
fair.

With tightness in her chest, Kara
watched them disappear behind the door.

 

 

 

Chapter 16

Down Under

 

 

 

K
ara paced around the chamber for what felt like an hour.
Raphael repeatedly tried to get her to sit, but Kara was restless.
Every time she sat down, she would jump back up, with images of her
mother and David being torn apart by demons overwhelming her mind.
She thought she was going mad.

Kara shuddered at the image of a grey
and solemn Horizon, with nothing but dark ashes rolling away in
gusts of wind. No. She would never let that happen.


Kara, please sit down,”
pleaded Raphael, as she fidgeted at Camael’s side. “You’re making
me anxious. It won’t do any good to fuss about. You need to calm
yourself.”


I can’t,” grumbled Kara.
“This is all my fault. And I’m stuck here, helpless. How would you
feel, if you were me? It’s not fair!” Kara kicked a chair. She
realized how childish this was to the archangels, but she didn’t
care. It felt good to vent.

Raphael pressed her hands
on her hips. “Well, it’s
not
your fault. You have to stop blaming
yourself—”


It
is
my fault. Without me, none of
this would have happened. Asmodeus wouldn’t have been able to use
the Mirror of Souls to strike the mortal world, and use it as a
diversion to attack Horizon. Don’t you see? This is my
fault!”


You are not responsible
for a madman’s plan. He is doing this, not you. It is his desire to
dominate all things—that’s the cause for all of this madness. You
were not abetting him, Kara. You tried to stop him—”


Exactly. I tried and
failed.” Kara slumped into a chair. She thought suddenly of Jenny
and Peter. “Raphael, do you know if my friends Peter and Jenny made
it back safely?” Kara glanced at the archangel
anxiously.

Raphael, who had gone across the room
to fetch a vial of purple liquid for Camael, returned and sat down
next to Kara. “I know that they were still on their mission when
all this mess happened. They’re probably on the eighth plane with
the rest of the stranded guardians. They’re safe Kara, I’m sure of
it.”

Kara nodded. Part of her relaxed with
the assurance that her friends were safe—at least they would be
spared, if things went terribly wrong. She wondered if Michael’s
special blade would be strong enough. Her powers might have been of
some use to them. She could have found a way to help them, and not
get caught by Asmodeus; she was sure of it. She should be there
with them, fighting. Anything was better than sitting here useless,
with the invalids. This was hopeless. Kara gripped the chair’s
arm-rest. Her fingers dug into the soft wood. Her mother and David
were out there—probably getting killed—while she sat and played
house with the giant healer. It was wrong. It felt wrong. She had
to do something.

BOOM!

The chamber door flew open. An oracle
stood on his crystal ball behind the doorway. His wispy white hair
stood on end on the top of his head, as though an electric current
ran through his body. With crazed blue eyes he searched the room.
He danced nervously atop his ball, his silver robe rippling around
him. Finally, he found Kara.


Ah! There she is! Quickly,
quickly, Miss Clara!” He waved his arms in the air theatrically,
and Kara was certain he would slip and fall off his crystal at any
moment. “We must make haste, we must make haste!”

Kara jumped to her feet and ran up to
the oracle. “What is it, oracle? What’s happened? Is my mother all
right? Is it David?” Dread filled her mind. The image of a higher
demon’s gaping jaw tearing out David’s soul haunted her. Coldness
swept through her.

The oracle tugged at his beard
nervously. “Terrible things, terrible things, Miss Clara. We must
go now. Quickly. There is no time to waste.”


But where are we going,
oracle?” But somehow Kara already knew where.


To the High Council. We
must hurry. They need you.” The oracle was hysterical. He kept
glancing over his shoulder as if expecting someone were following
him.

Determined, Kara stepped forward, but
Raphael pulled her back.


No, Kara,” said Raphael,
her face set. “You heard what Michael said. If Asmodeus means to
kill you … and he exploits your powers, all is lost. I cannot allow
you to go. You must stay here with us.”


No!” The oracle grabbed
Raphael’s front robe hastily. “She is meant to be there. I have
seen it! It is how it’s supposed to be. She is the one. She will
save us from this evil. If Miss Clara is not permitted to go …” the
oracle let go of Raphael’s robe and stared above their heads to
nothing in particular. “Then all shall be lost.”

A shiver passed through Kara. What was
the oracle saying? Kara was at a loss. She knew oracles could see
into the future—and this one had seen her at the High Council. It
was a sign. She had to go.


I’m going with him.” Kara
stared into Raphael’s beautiful face. “You heard him. I’m supposed
to be there. It’s important, Raphael. They need me.” She prayed the
oracle’s foresight was enough to convince the archangel.

Raphael’s worried expression made Kara
more nervous. She could see the woman struggling with something
internally. At last she spoke. “If it is as the oracle has seen it,
then it shall be. I cannot change what is foretold by the oracles.
Go, Kara. And may the souls protect you.”

Kara jumped into the woman’s large
arms and hugged her as best she could, even though her arms
couldn’t wrap themselves around Raphael’s extra large shoulders.
She kissed her on the cheek. “Thank you.”

Without another second to waste, Kara
followed the oracle out the door.

Kara ran alongside the crystal ball up
a dirt path leading away from the mountain and down to a lush
valley of green and yellow hills. The loud crushing of rock coming
from under the crystal ball silenced the sound of her boots hitting
the ground. She struggled to keep up with the oracle. He was
surprisingly fast. His enormous crystal rolled up the hills
effortlessly, without slowing down. Soon they had crossed the
valley and found themselves in a dense forest.

A flicker of movement appeared in the
corner of Kara’s eye.

A large creature charged from the
trees. Before she had time to react, it slashed at her face. Pain
exploded from her head, and she was knocked to the ground. She
rolled over and looked at her attacker. It stood on two muscular
hind legs with hoofed feet. It had long arms and hands thick with
razor-sharp yellow claws. Its skin was wet and raw, as though only
flesh covered the bones without the skin. Black liquid spilled from
a large gaping maw in the center of its bulky chest. Much to Kara’s
horror, it had no head.

The demon leaped into the air. Kara
sprung to her feet as the creature landed inches before her. The
scent of decay reached her nose. Its large claws lashed out at her.
Kara jumped back. With her soul blade clutched in her hand, she
struck out at the creature—and missed. The demon eluded her attack
easily. With its powerful legs it moved unnaturally fast. It came
at her again, its mouth stretched wide. Kara could see hundreds of
pointy yellow teeth with flesh wedged in between some of them. She
sidestepped and thrust her blade into the creature’s abdomen. She
yanked her arm across in an arc. The cut was deep. The creature
wailed in anger. It fell to its knees, cradling its wound. She
walked towards the creature, her blade at her side, ready to finish
it off—

Suddenly, the oracle’s giant crystal
ploughed over the demon. Kara heard a muffled cry and then only the
crushing sound of bones turning to dust. Kara stared at a flattened
mess of flesh and bones. There was no way to determine what part of
the creature she was looking at. She glanced at the oracle in
surprise. His face was set in a hard line.


Dirty little beasts. All
of them, dirty, filthy beasts! Think they can come here and destroy
our home! I don’t think so!”


Wow … you really showed
him, didn’t you,” laughed Kara. She looked over the ball to see if
it were stained with some of the demon’s remains. It wasn’t. It was
perfectly clean, as if it had never crushed through
flesh.

Kara heard a twig snap. She whirled
around. Ten more headless demons came thrashing through the forest.
Their angry limbs flailed as they scampered towards them. Kara
froze. She tried to call forth her elemental power, but there was
nothing but a dull ache inside her chest.

There was a sudden pop, and a tiny
round door swung open from the crystal ball.

The oracle jumped down and pointed
hastily towards the door. “In you go! Quickly, Miss Clara! We don’t
have much time. The beasts are coming.”

Kara gawked openmouthed at the
perfectly cut round hole on the giant crystal. The edges were
smooth, as though someone had cut it with a laser. She had never
noticed a door before. But now it stood ajar like a well-hidden
secret.


You want me to go in
there?” Kara picked at the edges with her blade.

The oracle looked nervously down the
path towards the oncoming horde of demons. “There’s no time to
argue, Miss Clara! There are too many of the nasty
beasts!”


How am I supposed to get
though? The door’s way too small and I’m way too big to fit in
there—” She poked her head in the glass compartment. It looked
exactly like the inside of a large bowl. The sun’s rays shone
through the smooth surface and reflected a myriad of colors along
its curved walls. Brilliant little rainbows blinked into Kara’s
eyes. It was beautiful inside and she wondered if the oracles slept
in there.

BOOK: Horizon, Soul Guardians Book 3
6.4Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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