Once we had returned to the sitting room, Rheidan looked at Jakob and said, “You’ve done well.” Not sure what they were talking about but the air felt very heavy. Neither Jakob nor Kira would look at me.

As Rheidan turned to me, he said, “We’ve been looking for your father for a long time. Sorry that he had passed away but this worked out even better than we had hoped. You see … I promised Jakob that, if he brought you to me, I could help him return his daughter back into an elemental.” He turned to Jakob and said, “Sorry, Jakob. I don’t think so. See, I was the one who turned her this way. Now that you have delivered me the Artifact, I can finish my studies. I can also finish my work on Kira. My spies, the Shadow Elementals, have been watching your journey the entire time. I’m now convinced that the boy has the Artifact.”

At that moment, the walls shifted and Shadow Elementals poured into the room. These, however, weren’t the ones from my dreams. They seem to be able to push Kira and Jakob out of the way to get to me.

“Do you like them? I was able to create hybrids from Shadow Elementals and humans so that they could move in shadows but still affect the real world. However, the transformation is not stable. I need the Artifact to complete the process,” said Rheidan.