The amphitheatre was all but destroyed, most of it had disappeared into the fiery pool below, the rest was nothing but broken pieces. The entrance which now seemed impossibly far away was lost under tons of rubble. One of the cultists, the young redhead who had given his knife to Jonathan earlier, lay dying on one of the last bits left of the theatre, his body half crushed by a boulder. He wouldn’t make it so Jonathan didn’t waste any thought on him.
“Well, if the heat won’t kill us, the magma will. I heard it’s fast. You die from shock when you touch it. Guess it’s good to know that Tariq didn’t suffer. If the bullets didn’t kill him, falling into this shit down there just snuffed him out. Just like that,” He snapped his fingers, “dead.”
“Why are you like that?” Velkan came over to him.
“Like what?” Jonathan snorted, “Accepting that this shitshow blew up in our faces? That a good man died because he was too stupid to take a hint and get out of my way? That you are going to die because you and your hero complex didn’t leg it when you had the chance? This is why I work alone, Velkan, because…,” he stopped, staring angrily at his feet, “whatever…”
“We’ll get out of here.”
“Are you hearing yourself? How?” Jonathan gestured around. “Look at this! We’re on an island in the middle of a rising pool of lava… say ‘magma’ and I’m going to push you in.”
Both stared at each other before they started to laugh. Velkan was still laughing as he sat himself down next to Jonathan. He put his arm around him and Jonathan allowed it. Why bother with keeping Velkan away now?
“This isn’t you,” Velkan said, pulling him closer, “you never give up.”
“As if you knew me,” Jonathan said quietly.
“I’d like to.”
Jonathan looked up at Velkan’s amber-coloured eyes. The wolf was smiling. Goddamn idiot. He was cute when he smiled. Jonathan chose to smile, too, if only a small one.
“Sap,” was all he managed to say.
“I mean it. When we get out of here-”
“If,” Jonathan corrected.
“When we get out of here, I want to go on a date with you. A proper date. Not just angry sex when we run into each other and try to ruin each other’s day.”
Jonathan couldn’t bear to look at him any longer. His gaze returned to his feet in those dirty boots. The only piece of clothing on his body that was actually his. Everything else belonged to Tariq. The thought hurt more than it should.
“Say something, please.”
“There is a way out,” Jonathan finally said. The idea just formed in his head. Something that he had forgotten amidst the chaos, “How much do you know about nexus points?”
“Focused areas of magic.”
“Basic, but correct.” Jonathan propped himself up against the coffin. “Nexus points are brimming with unfiltered magic from the Void. Some more, some less. This one is a bloody firework of energy. So much that I could try a spell which could teleport us out of here. Teleportation is incredibly complex, barely manageable, but I might be able to pull it off and transport us out of here along the Ley Line that runs through this place.”
“Here comes the but…,” Velkan said.
“But it’s dangerous. Tapping into those energies isn’t what the human body is made for, not even the one of a witch. The energy is so raw and intense, it might give me the power to teleport us out or it might liquify my brain.”
“You can’t do that!”
“What’s the alternative? Waiting until that lav… magma is so close that it will boil us in our skin? I have to try.”
Velkan looked heartbroken and Jonathan could see that he was trying to come up with a better idea but was drawing blanks.
“It will be fine, wolf, trust me.”
“Now there’s a new concept.”
Jonathan chuckled and leaned in to kiss him. Longer and more intense than he had intended. The kiss felt so good, he didn’t want it to end but it had to, eventually. It was like a dream and he had to wake up.
He closed his eyes and tried to calm down. He could hear his blood pumping in his ears, the fiery pool below bumbling as it rose slowly, Velkan’s shallow breaths. It had to work. And it did. The sensation was faint at first, like a thrumming in the back of his head but it grew with each second as the Void’s power flowed into his body. He opened his eyes. The tattoos on his fingers were glowing, pulsing with energy. And it was still growing inside him.
Velkan watched with an anxious look in his beautiful wolf eyes.
“Will you promise me something?” Jonathan said. Energy started to crackle between his fingers. It stung but felt incredibly good at the same time.
“Rue de la Martée four in Paris. Matthias Jacobsen. Tell him that I’m sorry. And Celeste, too.”
“What the hell are you on about?” Velkan straightened up. “Jonathan, what are you doing?”
“Saving you.” Jonathan grabbed Velkan’s arm and allowed the energy to flow. He had lied to the wolf. This wasn’t their way out, it was his, Velkan’s, way out. The spell needed incredible amounts of magic, it had to be precise and there was no way that Jonathan could teleport two people. It could only be one and he chose Velkan.
The wolf’s eyes widened and he opened his mouth to say something but it was too late. The moment that he realized what was going on was also the moment in which he faded away.
This is set before Jonathan and Velkan became a couple, hence the talk about going on a date.
My boyfriend, usually not one to comment on my work, had to slide in and go "They would be dead." and YES, I know that. This is not realistic at all *lol* StarEyedOcelet mentioned that this reminded him of "Lord of the Rings - Return of the King" and it's true, even though that's a total coincidence.
the cave in the very back is this: Cave Stock 13
Still a great image and a great story!
I agree that they'd be dead, but this is fantasy... if you can believe in magic and werewolves, why not non-lethal magma?
(Or, as we used to say way back in my D&D days: It's elven bloody magic, OK?)
Zuerst mal Hallo und nein, ich hab dich nicht vergessen. Ich habe einfach die Benachrichtigungen nicht gesehen bei diesem verdammten neuen Design!!!
REMAKE!!! Von meinem Lieblingsbild!!!! Ich liebes es!
I'm not so sure they would be dead, because we already know Tariq is an Ifrit. Who's to say he isn't already absorbing most of the heat around Velkan and Jonathan, or at least enough of it for them to survive? It could be intentional, or a subconscious result of his innate power, but either way, in a world of magic, witchcraft, werewolves, Ifrit and demi-gods, it's possible. 😉
I had the original draft in the comment at first but thought it was better to replace it with the existing scene even though the setup doesn’t match the illustration 🤣