216 Volaia’s Fate
"So, tell me about your sister."
Zoey's voice calling out to him made Markus jump in surprise. He had been getting increasingly nervous while Athena and Zoey were talking, because the rather large panther-dragon hybrid that Zoey had ridden in had been staring at him the entire time! He could still remember the sensation of being pushed off the cliff and passing out from fear last time he had met this feline, and did not want to repeat the experience. Nor did he want to give it a reason to turn him into its lunch, especially when it was looking at him so intently!
Zoey's question however, snapped him out of his nervous stiffness momentarily. She wanted to know about his sister, but Markus didn't know where to begin. After a moment of internal deliberation, Markus sighed, then told them everything.
First he told them her name, Volaia, a girl born on the slopes of a volcano, much like the one they stood near at this very moment. Then he told them of their younger days, when things were simpler and their older brother had yet to transform into the control-freak that he had become later on in life. They had been happy, ignorant of the sins their progenitors had committed to build the Rellen family into the powerhouse that it was.
All of that changed when it was revealed that Volaia was incredibly gifted when it came to her Heritage and magical gifts. Cornelius, who had by then become the de facto heir to the house, felt threatened by his younger sibling who was quickly surpassing him in strength.
Subverting the authority of their crippled father and the leader of their house, Cornelius had used his influence and ruthlessness to lure Volaia away from the family home where he had attempted to forcibly take control of her mind using his innate talent. His plan had backfired when it was made clear that Volaia was not all that she appeared.
The raw strength and power that had erupted from her that day was enough to destroy an entire city and one of the Rellen's strongest fighters in one-on-one combat. Desperate to contain the force of nature that he had set loose, Cornelius had used a Blood Soul Crystal to seal her away until the day she had been set free.
"When she transformed that day, she changed into someone who is not my sister. Whatever evil controls her, it is not the sister I knew growing up," Markus said as he recounted the events of that day. "I was terrified of her, and even now I fear the evil power that I saw that day… But, I still think my sister is in there somewhere… I knew her best, and she was a kind girl, not anything like the demon that she has become thanks to Cornelius."
Everyone turned to look at the volcano not too far away after Markus finished. They could all sense that there was an incredibly strong power somewhere on those basalt slopes, and that power did not feel nice. The sensation they all felt was one of chaos and evil, something unclean and dangerous. It was not nearly as foul as the corrupted that Zoey had faced, it was a different tinge of chaotic madness, and it was in no way weak. Zoey and Max had both faced Cornelius at his full power, a peak Rank 7 warrior in his prime, and both of them knew that the power radiating off Volaia was stronger by far.
Markus's story had them all thinking, if Volaia truly was still trapped in her own mind like he seemed to believe she was, then gods only knew if she was still sane after being trapped inside a Blood Soul Crystal for that long. Zoey and Max had been unfamiliar with what the crystals were, but a short explanation from Baiken painted a picture of pure hell for anyone trapped inside. Still, even if her mind still existed as it once had, the chances of them being able to somehow rescuing her was almost nothing considering her current state and strength.
Athena had been silent like the rest of them while Markus had told his story, but her attention had been elsewhere. In fact, she had been paying attention to her little friend Sammy, the small blue salamander peeking out from under her jacket. Zoey was the only one who noticed, but she said nothing, figuring that if it was important Athena would tell her eventually. Moments later, Athena was the first to break the somber silence.
"Well, since I'm the only one here that can match with her on any level, I will go see what she is up too. The rest of you will go back with Zoey to help her figure out a way off this place," she said in a matter-of-fact tone as she stood and dusted off her clothes.
Markus showed a defeated look on his face when he heard her speak. He wanted to go, to see his sister again, but his fear of that evil power and knowing his own pathetic weakness was enough to make him realize that he would just be a burden. He turned to Athena and spoke timidly, "If… If she is still… Still able to be saved, please show mercy… she was but a child."
Athena only glanced at him, and said nothing, her thoughts on the matter were unknown. Zoey on the other hand stepped forward and handed Athena an Eve bracelet that had been modified by her. She then sent a mental connection to Athena's comm-link, speaking directly to her mind.
Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
"Use this if you need to. Once worn it should be able to suppress all magic use."
Athena stowed the Eve away and nodded to Zoey, giving her one last wink before stepping off and disappearing into the distance in a flash. Whatever happened next was between Athena and Volaia, the outcome was beyond their reach.