Excerpt from Nemesis of Nightmares

 
Book Two of Royal House of Galadin

 

Mina just shook her head slightly before she disappeared into the small thicket of trees. Conalai continued to sit on the ground for a few more moments, completely shocked at Mina's response since never in all the years they had been together had she just up and run away like this. No, Mina had always eventually spoke up, even when the situation was dire. Which meant that, this was totally out of character for her and instead being annoyed by her reaction, Conalai actual felt fear race through his veins because it reminded him of that terrible day that Mina had been attacked, all over again.

Immediately, Conalai panicked as he scrambled up onto his feet, chasing after her.

“Mina! Mina!” He roared as burst into the small thicket.

Though he really hadn't had to go far, since he found Mina on the ground in a crumpled heap no more than ten steps ahead of him. Conalai felt his panic turn to absolute horror as an icy chill raced through his veins, causing his heart to stutter painfully.

She looked as still as death, which caused him to look wildly around for an attacker but then some rationality kicked in as Conalai realized that if there was an attacker he didn't sense one since there was not a living soul close to their location at that time.

Moving forward quickly, he bent down to checked for a pulse and he was relieved when he was met by a strong pulse. So he moved to stroke her cheek in order to wake her up but that action caused Mina to react strangely. She started thrashing around in her sleep as if she was trying to fend of an attack and by the looks of it, she wasn't winning.

“Mina, Mina my love wake up,” Conalai said reverting to his native language, Irish Gaelic, as he tried to shake her awake instead.

Mina didn't respond directly to him as she instead, started fighting harder. Conalai then, tried everything he could think of to wake her up but eventually he realized Mina was trapped in a nightmare and there was nothing he could do to free her.

Unwilling to accept that though, Conalai did something he hadn't done in his entire life, he sent out a pulse of magic to summon his siblings. Though as soon as he did, Conalai's own mind called him a fool for he didn't believe for a second that they'd actually come to his aid.

However he was soon proven wrong, as instantly, Raven, Wulf and Felix popped into view a few seconds later.

“Conalai, what's wrong?” Raven asked, sounding concerned.

Conalai looked at her, still in a complete state of shock and horror, before he mumbled his answer.

“She won't wake up.”

“What do you mean by that, Lai? She's alive I can feel that from here,” Raven said in a gentle tone, that Conalai had never heard her use before.

“I've... I've tried everything, she's... she's stuck in a nightmare. I can't... I can't do anything... again,” Conalai rushed out in an almost incoherent jumble as he held Mina to him.

Raven looked at Wulf for a brief second, as if she was mentally asking him a question which caused him to nod towards her in response.

“I might be able to pull her out the nightmare Conalai,” Raven whispered hesitantly.

“Might?” Conalai echoed, fearing that word.

Raven sighed, “Well I don't know for sure because it's a gift I haven't used in a long time. In fact I lasted used it before I became a Vampyr, so I don't know if it'll have the same effectiveness as it did back then, though I'm truly willing to try if you're willing to let me.”

“Please... please do and I'll trade you anything for it,” Conalai pleaded.

Raven shook her head, “No favour is necessary Conalai, for I'm your sister and I may not be the best one in the world but I'll never stand back and let you needlessly suffer.”

Conalai nodded as he held Mina tightly to him.

“Now, I know this is hard but I need you to let go of her and lay her down on the ground. Please Conalai, it's very important.”

Conalai squeezed his eyes shut for a moment before he reluctantly did what Raven had said and placed Mina down on the ground. Raven knelt down on the ground and picked up Mina's left hand. Holding her hand tightly, Raven started whispering a spell in an ancient language that Conalai had never heard before, which caused nature and the trees surrounding them to both groan and sway, as the winds howled through them in time which the ground shaking below them.

Conalai ignored all that as he instead intently watch his sister in horrid fascination as he saw Raven struggle to fight off something off and Conalai honestly couldn't tell if she was winning or losing. However when Phoenix, Raven's husband, suddenly appeared, Conalai realized that she was just barely keeping the demon attacking Mina at bay.

“Just what the hell is going on here?” Phoenix demanded suddenly.

“Phoenix, calm down this is necessary,” Wulf said at once.

“Necessary? Are you joking me, Wulf?”

“I mean what I say, Mina is trapped in a nightmare and Raven is working to free her from it.”

“My Iona battling a fully fledged Nightmare on her own and not one of you has even attempted to help her?” Phoenix demanded as looking like he was about to do some damage to someone.

“You know why we can't help her!” Wulf snapped back before continuing, “Only Raven and Conalai possess this gift, though Raven was the only one taught how to use it!”

“What?” Conalai demanded.

“Now is not the time to explain that,” Phoenix declared before he sat down behind his wife and said to Wulf, “I'm so pissed off at all of you right now, since any one of you should have called me before she attempted this! But no, you didn't and it's not like I'm her bloody soul mate or nothing! Good Light above! I'll be damned if I let some two bit punk Nightmare hurt my Iona!”

Phoenix swore again before he sat down and wrapped his arms tightly around Raven, infusing her with his own power and almost immediately she stopped struggling.

A few moments later a fiery form of a phoenix suddenly emerged from Mina first, which was soon followed by a dark smoky raven. They both flew around Mina in a intricate pattern and Conalai realized that they were both pulling something from Mina and trying to trap it at the same time. That 'something' soon emerged too, as a dark Horse that was made of dark mist with flaming red eyes, jumped out of Mina's chest like a mad beast as it frothed at the mouth. Though as it left her body Mina suddenly awoke, gasping for breath.

“See! I told you, nobody messes with my wife,” Phoenix said once he opened his eyes and continued to hold onto Raven.

Raven opened her eyes too but she looked exhausted, vulnerable and beat down, all of which caused Conalai to feel terrible but he still never regretted his decision.

A noise drew Conalai's attention back to the Nightmare as it took the shape of a man. Though that was a term he really used loosely, since the monster in front of him was not a man at all in Conalai's opinion. No, he was a vile wretched of being whom Conalai had attempted to finish off many times before, though somehow the man had also managed to slip Death's icy grip by becoming a fine mist and disappearing like the coward he was.

“Eogan,” Conalai hissed as he stood up, itching to tear this man limb from limb for all that he had done to Mina only moments before.