A/N: This one... is also... slightly longer... =)
Last Line(s): And we can only get Half-Wizard help.
With that, everything went black.
Back in the room, Audrey and Will were still sleeping. Dreamlessly.
A few rooms and flights of stairs away, Akol was pacing in his room, panicked. His older brother, Askel, was sitting on the leather couch, head in his hands. He was still dressed in his royal clothes. Fiery red tailcoat and black pants. Simple, comfortable and fancy. Just the way he liked it.
He had just heard everything Akol had to say and he almost slapped him. But as his older brother, he needed to pull himself together, put himself in his shoes and try to understand that these sort of things happen.
King Akolxohez had strong feelings for Audrey Emmerson.
“I… I always have this weird feeling in my chest when I see her,” he explained, waving his hands around vaguely.
“I told you to get married as soon as possible.” Askel sighed.
"Askel, you know it’s hard for me to marry a Devil. I’m not… I’m not attracted to them. I’m only attracted to half-Humans for some reason.” Akol sat down on his four-poster-bed, eyes wide in fear.
“If you fall in love, Audrey’s soulmate will die. And the Ditch won’t be able to be saved. This was a dangerous task.” Askel looked up. “I told you.”
Akol looked up at her with watery eyes. “I’m confused about everything.”
“I know you are.” Askel got up and sat beside him on the bed. “I know it’s hard being the King. Father made a good choice though. You’re a great king.”
Akol laid down on his side and put his head on his lap. “I miss him. And Mother.”
Askel patted Akol's head and laid his back on the bed. “I do too. But stay strong. I know you can.”
“I can’t.” Akol blinked away his tears furiously. “I can’t do anything. Audrey… she… I like her. She’s so kind, funny -”
“Enough. Her soulmate will die if you admit it. Okay? And no one will be able to save Pluto. Stop. Forget her.” Askel had probably said this about fifty times already. Akol jumped up and stumbled onto his feet.
“I can’t!” he yelled. He clenched his hair in his balled up fists and squeezed his eyes shut. “I just can’t!”
Askel frowned. “There’s thousands of other women out there on Earth who I know you’ll admire.”
“Never.” Akol turned away and stared out the window. He stared at his reflection. His eyes were getting watery again.
“The Ditch will perish if you go by your words.”
“I can’t let that happen.” And the tears fell. All of them. He started shaking, sobbing. Askel embraced him, and he cried into his shoulder. “I’m tired.” Akol sniffled. “It’s hard. Love is hard. I hate it.”
“Let it all out.” Askel patted his back.
“How did you get married to a Devil? How was it so easy?” he asked, backing away from his brother and pinching the bridge of his nose.
“Let’s not talk about that,” Askel said, pinching the inside of his cheek and controlling his loving smile he was about to give to the memory of meeting his wife for the first time. “I should go now. You take some rest, okay?” He hugged him one more time, gave him a smile which Akol returned, and left to his own room.
Akol turned once again, to look out the window. A raindrop fell from the sky and onto the window. He ground his teeth and glared out at the moons shining down at the clearing. There were only a few of those tall, looming trees. He remembered when the trees used to be full of lush flowers and leaves.
“I won’t let you perish,” he said, looking at the trees. Then he looked up at the skies and growled. “I’ll make sure you never harm us.”
“Are they awake yet?” Akol called out to the group of children gossiping in the far corner of the dining table. He was having lunch alone with the kids, as he requested. Zoya, who was nearest to him, turned her head to look right at him.
“We told you, dear King Akolxohez, they have not woken up yet,” Zoya spelled out.
“It’s been three days!” Akol scowled.
“Pluto is most likely preparing them for the task that is to come,” she said, crossing her arms and mimicking the scowl that was on his face.
Akol flushed. “Just because you’re my personal advisor doesn’t mean you can be so frank.”
“You don’t even come to me for advice.” Zoya threw her hands in the air. “It’s always, ‘oh brother, please, what should I do? Oh, Askel, tell me! Oh -’”
“You’re horrible with kids.”
Akol rolled his eyes.
Ujalaa, from behind Zoya, let out a silent snicker. Zoya huffed, got off the cushioned chair and stormed out of the dining hall, slamming the huge doors behind her. The other kids continued gossiping while Akol continued eating.
The doors flew open a few minutes later, showing Zoya. “Never mind!” she screamed at the top of her lungs making Akol cringe at the sudden noise. “They’re awake!” Zoya whirled around. "Here they are!" She shuffled to the side, standing right beside the doors while Audrey and Will walked in.
The couple looked from Zoya to Akol, confused.
"I feel like royalty?" Audrey said. It sounded more like a question.
"Um." Will cleared his throat. "What's the time?"
"Two fifty one," Akol said. He got up and walked right in front of Will. He patted his collar down and smiled calmly at him. "You've been asleep for three days."
Will blinked. "Oh. Wow."
"Kids, all of you, outta here, I need to talk to these two." Akol announced, folding his arms behind himself.
All the kids, quietly, rushed out of the dining hall, swarming the three adults. One specific boy even tipped his hat at Will, making Will tip his own imaginary hat at him. The boy grinned and ran up to a couple of other kids and whispered excitedly.
Akol shut the doors and gestured for the couple to take a seat anywhere. They sat down on the chairs closest to them. Akol took the seat where he was sitting before. He propped up his elbow on the table and held his chin in his hand. "So. What did you see?"
"We saw a lot. We saw the Angels coming to attack the Ditch. And we saw the whole galaxy. It was very dark, but Sweztyn had a lot of light," Audrey said, then took a piece of bread that was in front of her. "I'm hungry."
Akol snapped his fingers and an empty bowl appeared in front of the couple.
Audrey grinned. "Thanks!"
"Hm. I know I asked you this before, but are you ready to help with saving the Ditch?" Akol asked, his brows furrowed.
"I mean, if it helps with keeping Earth safe and sound, then yes. For sure," Will said.
Akol smiled, pleased. "Let me explain what you'll have to do." He snapped his fingers again and a huge whiteboard appeared, floating above them. Will gazed up at it. Audrey continued eating. She nudged her husband, telling him to eat, and he did so, because his stomach had started growling.
"To stop the Angels from entering the Wizards' land, you have to go down…" Out of thin air, a red marker appeared in his hand and Akol drew a perfect picture of the planet, cutting it down from the middle, to show it's sections. He circled the Underground and tapped the board. "Here. You'll have to somehow stop the Angels, negotiate, use your magic, do something to stop the Angels from entering. Alright, next -"
"Hold on," Will interrupted. "You don't have an actual plan for us? We're literally supposed to waltz into the jaws of death? Aren’t these Angels deadly?"
"What?" Audrey shrieked.
"Relax. Just do what they tell you to do."
"Who's they?" Will asked.
"Your instincts." Akol jabbed a finger in Will's chest, making him scowl.
"Hey!" Audrey moved Akol's hand away.
"Anyways," Akol turned back around and faced the board. He pointed a finger at the skies. "Once you're done securing the area, you go up to the skies, and do something with the Angels. Figure out how they're killing the Wizards, and take away that skill."
"What do you mean?" Audrey asked.
"You have to go up to the skies, where the Angels live, and figure out how they kill the Wizards. If they use swords or whatever, then get rid of the swords," Akol explained, sitting back down on his chair.
"Now that I come to think of it, The Voice didn't tell us how they kill," Will said, suddenly sitting up right.
"She didn't?" Will had Akol's undivided attention now.
"No. The Voice... She just said it takes twenty five hours to kill a Wizard. But the wiser the Wizard, the longer it takes to kill." Will took some more food.
Akol looked dumbfounded. "But she knows everything!"
"I dunno... I guess she just..." Will trailed off, then shrugged. "I don't know."
There was silence as Akol stared off into space and squinted through the windows. The couple continued eating. Moments later, Akol clapped his hands. "Alright, questions?" he asked.
"Are you coming with us?" Audrey asked.
Akol flushed. "No."
"Is anyone coming with us?" Will asked desperately. Neither of them knew this planet much - that was obvious. They couldn't exactly go from one place to the other without getting lost in a second. Neither of them had the best sense of direction.
"You can take one or two of the slaves."
"Kids," Audrey said sternly.
"Kids, whatever." Akol shrugged, and leaned back into his chair and propped up his feet.
Will looked at Audrey. "Zoya and Ujalaa?" he asked. Audrey suddenly brightened, and nodded eagerly. The girls were absolutely adorable and Zoya was a genius. Surely she knew exactly where to go.
The couple got up in unison. Akol was taking a sip from his drink - it looked like wine. "We'll ask Ujalaa and Zoya if they want to come with us."
Akol nodded. "Okay. Go, now, ask. But Ujalaa is only ten years old. Do you think she'll be okay travelling so much?"
"Now that I come to think of it, probably not. She's way too young." Audrey tapped her chin. "How old is Zoya?"
"Oh! She should be okay then," Audrey mused.
"Why are you saying this to me? Go ask her."
"Why are you being so rude?" Audrey folded her arms, annoyed. Akol and Will shared a look. Audrey noticed and sighed. She raised her hands in mock surrender. “I don’t even wanna know now.”
“Anymore questions?” Akol asked.
“No.” Audrey said flatly. “We should go ask Zoya now, if she wants to help.”
Audrey pulled Will out of the room. She was a hundred percent sure that he and Akol had talked about something - something about her. And she didn’t like that her husband was keeping secrets from her. She would make him talk about it sooner or later.