“Ho… how do we stop them?” Lilly asked.
“We’ll have to pull them apart,” Twila said. “Hopefully we can incapacitate them without hurting them.”
“Got it,” Reginald said. “Velvet, grab Axra and I’ll grab Bonnie.”
Velvet punched Reginald in the face. “Don’t tell me what to do! I’m so sick of you causing me extra work.”
“Damn Hybrid!” Reginald screamed. “I’ll bring you down for good!” He drew his sword and lunged at Velvet. Velvet shoved the blade aside with his palm and decked Reginald in the gut. He was about to punch Reginald again, but Reginald dropped and rolled out of the way.
“Why are those two fighting?” Lysara asked. She hugged Twila. “This is scaring me.”
“C… could the Psyren protection spell have failed?” Lilly asked.
“Impossible,” Twila stated. “If they had broken through the spell I would’ve felt something. They’d have to be being affected by something else… something distant.” Twila snapped her fingers. “The music!” She chanted for a moment and snapped her fingers.
“Do… do you sense anything?” Lilly asked.
“It’s definitely magic,” Twila answered. “It seems to be stimulating aggression.”
“So, we just have to stop the music!” Lysara declared.
Twila nodded. “And we have to stay calm or we could find ourselves losing control too.”
“Is… is it really okay to, you know, leave them like this?” Lilly asked.
“No,” Twila said. “Lysara, take Fang with you and find the source of the music. Lilly and I will stay back and try to stop the fighting.”
“Okay,” Lysara said. “Let’s go, Dragon!” She ran towards the sound of the music with the little dragon flying behind her.
“We’ll split Axra and Bonnie up first,” Twila said. “See if you can get them apart and keep them that way for at least thirty seconds.”
Lilly nodded. She brought out her bow. Axra and Bonnie were swinging their blades back and forth, trying to find an opening in the other’s defense. Lilly gasped as Axra barely evaded a thrust from Bonnie’s blade. Axra kicked the other woman in the gut immediately afterward, forcing her back several steps.
That’s when Lilly acted, firing several arrows between them.
“Stop!” she cried, keeping her voice as firm as she could.
“Stay out of this!” Axra ordered.
“I can deal with you when I’m done with her,” Bonnie threatened.
Axra glared at her. “You are so dead! No one threatens Lilly when I’m around.”
“Force chains!” Twila’s voice rang out and both Axra and Bonnie found themselves entangled in a mess of energy chains.
“Come on,” Twila said. “Now we have to stop Velvet and Reginald.
Lysara was getting close. The sound was coming from nearby. She just had to remember to stay calm, lest she lose herself like Bonnie and the others had.
She followed the melody to a building nearby. Inside, sitting on a pile of rubble, was a woman with gray, luminescent flesh. She was singing while rocking back and forth.
Lysara grabbed her chakram and started creeping up to her. She was around a metre away when she inadvertently kicked a stone. The woman stopped singing and turned towards Lysara. Her eyes went to the chakram and she ducked behind the rubble.
“Please,” she whimpered. “Take what you want, just don’t hurt me.”
Lysara froze. “But… you were casting a spell on us, weren’t you?”
“Was I?” The woman asked. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to. Please don’t hurt me.”
“Does this mean you aren’t a psyren using that song to turn us into food?” Lysara asked.
The woman shook at the mention of psyrens. She shook her head. “Please, don’t say their names. They… they’ll find us. What, what are you anyway? I’ve never seen anything like you.”
Fang flew down to Lysara’s shoulder and cocked his head towards the way they’d come.
“Can you come with me?” Lysara asked. She put her chakram away. “I promise we won’t hurt you. I’m Lysara Hart, and you are?”
“Derry,” she said. “Derry Homuja. I…” she peeked out from the rubble. “I have your word that you won’t hurt me?”
“You do,” Lysara said. “I swear by the great Zeus himself.”
Derry hesitated. “I… I guess he’ll do.” She slowly came out from the rubble. “I’ll come along.”