IR³ – Chapter Two
For a split second, Jeneveve watched her length of rope plummet recklessly towards the earth. The way it writhed and twisted while still falling, there was a minor piece of poetry in that, she thought. No sooner had that idea sprung to mind however, than she was casting herself off of the building without a second chance to rethink her decision. The roar of wind by her ears was just enough to drown out the sounds of chattering below. This might have been a busy bustling city, but it was still rather quiet at this time of the morning. Much to their relief as it were.
Hardly a second after their free fall began, Jeneveve turned her gaze over to Xora expectantly. “HAVE YOU GOT IT?!” she shouted. The pair were hardly a few feet from each other, though at this rate of speed, they might as well have been across the city. The only thing with any hope of stopping their decent if Xora failed was this rope they had tossed over, and a metal rung connecting it to a belt around their waist.. Not exactly the safest way to ensure a safe landing, but it was the only other plan B they had. This moment, this very inch in time took weeks to plan, and months to verify beforehand.. They didn’t have time to take the back stairs (since the door on the roof had been locked from inside that evening), and it would have been far too risky to lurk about in the streets until morning. With the constables and such roaming about.
“XORA!” Jeneveve shouted again. “HAVE. YOU. GOT. IT?!” they didn’t have have too much longer to fall before they met the pavement with bone crushing force.
In the entire fall, Xora had been silent, her eyes half veiled as if searching for something deep inside herself. Her brows were slightly furrowed, and knitted even more with every passing second. Her right hand lay flat on her chest; her long slender digits slowly flexing; her fingertips slowly pressing into her skin. Harder and harder until they began to sink in to her chest, like a scalding hot knife through butter. Inwards and inwards they pressed until she got to the natural end of her fingers, leaving only the knuckles and center meat of her hand visible. All the while, that serene look on Xora’s face changing not. She simply looked half caught between sleep and consciousness.
As soon as her fingers sunk completely into her chest, they closed around something tangible and began to pull back out. It resembled to Jeneveve like one of those silken handkerchiefs people pulled out of their sleeves to give to someone else; the same manner in which magicians pulled out their brightly colored pieces of fabric for their tricks. Save it was no piece of fabric or handkerchief Xora pulled upon, it was a threat of something silky and wispy.. As if she had plucked a silver cobweb from a corner, only much brighter and much softer. It flickered and it undulated as she pinched it between her thumb and forefinger for just a half a second. With a sigh Xora released it, and this shiny, sinewy thing flew away, twist and turning violent on its sudden plunge to the ground. All of that must have taken place in a matter of just a few fleeting moments, but to Jeneveve and Xora, it felt like hours.
The silvery cloud-like mist sped down past them, racing towards the ground only to explode with a sudden gush of upwards rising air that caught Jeneveve and Xora like two giant invisible hands, gently guiding them back to the ground and depositing them as though they were delicate gifts. It felt just like stepping off of a stair to Jeneveve, who sighed in relief as she glanced around when her feet were deposited onto the ground.
“Not too bad eh?” beamed Jeneveve quietly, her gaze shifting to Xora who looked rather relieved herself, albeit a tad winded. “Hey… are you alright, *i’Yosh?” Laying a hand on Xora’s forearm in concern.
“Oh, yes, I’m quite fine, love.. Just… rather surprised, I suppose.. That was a bit of a close call, wouldn’t you agree?”
Jeneveve shrugged gently.
“It could’ve been worse. Were you distracted or something?” cocking her head to the side then slightly, while keeping an eye on the surrounding street traffic out of the periphery of her eyes.
“No.. Nothing such as that.” Xora returned quietly, but sweetly. The momentary flush now gone from her face, replaced with that usual healthy pink. “I think I started to panic that there wasn’t enough time to Call and Cast. I worried we picked the wrong, but only building tall enough from which to do this, I worried I wouldn’t be able to Call at all.. But when you spoke to me then, the first time, I mean, I forgot about all of that and opened my self to do what needed to be done.” flashing another smile.
“Good.. I honestly worried there for a moment.. Now come. We haven’t a moment to spare.” Jeneveve breathed and darted across the road with Xora at her heels. It was moments such as this that made her glad she had chopped her locks so short. It seemed to Jeneveve that hair so long as hers had been would be doing nothing but weighing her down at this moment when speed and agility were precious.
With Xora at her heels and that building coming closer and closer, Jeneveve reached into a small pouch hooked to her belt and extracted three marble sized objects, a golden amber in color with a small black circle upon it. While holding them betwixt her fingers, Jeneveve swung her arm in a smooth, fluid, horizontal fashion, as if she were going to skip rocks across a pond; though at a slightly upwards angle, and cast those three metallic amber spheres towards the front of the structure, one but a heart beat before the second and then the third. Again it felt to her as if time slowed, and as she and Xora paused in the middle of the street, hands clasped tightly, they observed the spheres flying closer and closer towards the building until they at last collided with an almost ear drum popping explosion.
The second the first small ball hit the building, Xora had drawn up another silver wisp, it danced upon her middle and forefinger tips like a flame upon a wick for a couple seconds, then it too was sent flying towards the building. The second that first explosion began, followed quickly by the second and then the third, each with its own concussive force, that silver wisp spread as a shield in front of it, containing all the force of those blasts and directing them inwards, increasing the force of those blasts ten fold, all while muffling the noise to a mere three loud snaps, which might have been anything. A wheel falling off a carriage, someones kiosk falling over, the baker dropping his pans of hot buns. Either way, it would give them some time before the police showed up with any luck.
Either way, Xora, for one, was rather pleased of this new skill. It had taken her and Jeneveve months upon months of scouring old texts and tomes to find it and then to perfect it. Sometimes it felt as if either of them hadn’t ate, slept or breathe anything but this day, this moment for months; that there was no time for each other in all this planning..
But then they had the nights. Curling up beside Jeneveve and vice versa was as close to joy and perfection that one could get in this day and age.. Every night, in fact, when she was able to crawl into bed beside Jeneveve was a good night in her book, because they had come so close on many, many occasions to being unable to do so.. Xora almost shuddered to think of those times, or to what had lead to all of this… Of course in the heat of this moment there wasn’t time to do much of anything but follow their predesignated plan to the letter.
Once the wisp had been sent free and the concussive force of the blasts been directed inward, effectively blowing apart not only the plain brown structure they had come for, but the two adjacent buildings as well; Xora and Jeneveve waited a moment for the smoke to clear a little. This was the moment that they had worked so hard for.. One of them anyway, within this building were the artifacts and the Seal.
With the smoke cleaning, Jeneveve looked over to Xora and smiled warmly. Her heart was pounding almost out of her chest. She couldn’t believe in the space of a few moments, they had jumped off several story high building with only a rope around their waist to catch them if Xora’s gifts failed her after having camped out on that damn roof for almost a week beforehand. Now they were getting ready to charge into the broken remains of this ‘store’. Jeneveve reached her hand out then towards Xora, who took it in her own and squeezed it.
“Ready for this?” Xora inquired with a soft smirk playing on the corner of her mouth.
“As I’ll ever be.” Jeneveve returned, brushing her companions hand with her own. “I adore you, you know..” she whispered then.
“I know you do.” Xora smiled adoringly.
With a mutual look of warmth between them, Xora and Jeneveve raced into the formally nondescript brown building, with Jeneveve’s fingers sliding around the hilt of that dagger strapped to her thigh and deftly plucking it from it’s sheath. Neither of them quite knew what to expect from this moment forward, but they had to prepare for anything or all of this work was for naught..
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* = i’Yosh = (My) ‘Beloved’. I’ve used this before in one of my other novels, but the Keva are in no way related to this story.
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Name idea: Jeneveve