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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

into a devastating combatant - for about fifteen minutes. Strength, armour, speed and yes,
even the power of invisibility was his to command. The only problem was he‟d never
tried this sort of thing before. Although he could read the cryp tic language that guarded
the secrets of wizards, one tiny slip- up could have disastrous results.
With no further distractions, Aiden took a deep breath and read out the first
incantation. The words sounded strange and exotic, but were infused with an esse nce that
was difficult to describe, let alone understand.
As he reached the end of the scroll, the inscribed runes vanished from the parchment,
which turned into a pile of smouldering ash at his feet. Aiden assumed that was supposed
to happen, and continued with the next one. He was halfway through reading out the
arcane script when the parchment itself ignited with a flash, momentarily blinding him
and causing an eruption of flame.
Aiden dropped the fiery parchment and flattened himself to the ground. He had
definitely mispronounced something in that convoluted incantation, and may well have
given away his position to the akorans as a result. The guards nearby were looking
around, as if unsure what they had seen. They held their positions, which was both a good
thing and a bad thing, as they were sure to be even more cautious now.
Aiden went back to reading the scrolls one by one, and after three more successful
incantations he looked down and noticed he couldn't actually see his body anymore. He
lifted his left hand in front of his face, yet it was completely transparent.
With unnatural strength surging through his muscles, Aiden raised the sceptre and
translated the odd inscriptions upon its length. He'd encountered most of the arcane
markings in his research over the years and it proved to be an easy study. Much like the
glove he had found in the mountains, the sceptre was activated by a single command
word, at which point interesting things would happen. What, exactly, he wasn‟t sure.
With rising confidence, Aiden stood and began softly creeping towards the cave
entrance. His heart thudded in his ears, for although he was truly invisible, the prospect of
passing within a few feet of the two fierce guards set him on edge.
Aiden quickened his pace, keeping tight to the side of the hill on which the cave
entrance sat. The akoran guards were watching the darkness intently, no doubt keeping an
eye out for any reoccurrence of the strange flash of light. Thus, Aiden was able to move
past them without their noticing. He held his breath over the final few yards, just in case
they might hear his breathing.
The gusting wind must have helped cover any noise he had made, for he managed to
get inside the cave without being noticed. Carefully drawing breath once more, he
noticed a piece of torn white cloth on the ground and recognised it as a piece of Nellise‟s
The cave extended for ten yards beyond the entrance before branching off. There
was no further sign of akoran guards as yet, something Aiden was silently grateful for.
Torches were placed every few yards along the length of the tunnel, making the place
seem as bright as day to his enhanced sight. He crept to the junction ahead, and after
checking for signs of life, moved to the right. Perhaps it was the result of the terrible cold
outside, or an after effect of the near-death experience he'd gone through, but he could
barely stop shaking.
Gathering up his courage, Aiden delved deeper into the complex. He had a distinct
advantage, for while they couldn't see him, Aiden was more than able to see everything