So as I said two days ago, since I’ve started a new series, I’ve given the title “Unmortal” to the old series. Here’s the next part, enjoy! 😀

Nephthys floated in the darkness, her blue eyes probing the space for the hooded figure. “Tou emoc!” she cried out in its tongue. “Uoy dnif lliw I!”

But you already have. Its voice reverberated even in the vacuum-like expanse, drilling into her head. I am everywhere.

It materialized in front of her, its hood drawn back. Its white skull gleamed in the faint glow of the white squares floating around them, dark cracks running across. The pits where its eyes should’ve been bored into her own eyes.

“The demon is not here,” she hissed. “Return us to the mortal world.”

The mortal world? it asked, amused. You want me to drop you off at, say, the Statue of Liberty? Or maybe the Taj Mahal? How about the Eiffel Tower?

“You will bring me back to where you attempted to perform the ritual,” she amended. “And then you will transport myself and my party to the Secret Sanctuary.”

And who will make me? The figure chuckled, raising a white bone hand, darkness clinging to the arm like the cloak did before. Surely you do not believe you can escape semi-death again. Remember, Nephthys, you are doomed to walk here forever. It is written in your fate.

Nephthys flew backwards, past several squares of white light. To her astonishment, she realized they were doorways; she caught snatches of events from all over space and time, across universes and dimensions.

Interesting, is it not? The figure drew closer to where she lay on a square of dull dark grey, almost invisible compared to the pitch black of the surroundings. Semi-death has two forms: one, where you sit and do nothing forever, and another, which is where we are now. This, as you see here, is a twisted reality, a passageway between worlds.

All of it is at my mercy.

“You will never win!” Nephthys growled, pushing herself up. She raised her own hand, and blue magic swirled behind her, conjured as a mix of light and darkness. She shoved her hand outward, towards the figure, pushing it back ever so slightly – but not enough. It forced her back again, slamming her over and over into an invisible wall, picking her up, and doing it again, without moving an inch.

Still think you have a chance? it taunted her. Still think you can triumph and go home?

“I may not be able to go home,” she sighed, “and I may not be able to triumph, but at least I can make sure you do not torment anyone ever again.”

You cannot win. It laughed harshly, picking her up and throwing her again with a wave of its hand. You have not the strength, nor the patience, nor the sanity.

“I never had sanity,” she responded drily, struggling to stand again. It knocked her over, stepping forward.

It bent over, its long fingers lifting her chin up. Such a shame, it drawled. You would’ve been a fine thing to keep trapped down here. We’d have such fun.

Nephthys began to despair. She knew she wouldn’t be able to do it, that she couldn’t ever defeat the mysterious creature. She’d be stuck fighting it forever. But at least I’ve bought the others some time, she thought.

Suddenly, a burst of green exploded in front of her, repelling the figure. It recoiled with a harsh hiss and dissipated into the darkness. Nephthys scrambled to her feet and whirled around, summoning her own blue magic.

The green magic swirled around her, distorting the image in front of her. “Who-” she started.

Never mind that. It was a voice she’d never heard before. You have power behind you.

“What power?” Nephthys frowned. “Not enough to defeat it.”

The figure began to walk away, the green magic following it. You have the power of hope behind you, and support from those around you. This determination will lead you forward.

Nephthys’s magic dropped, dissolving into the darkness around her. She could sense the skeleton figure reappear behind her, ready to fight again. The mysterious green-magic being had vanished.

Nephthys turned slowly to face the figure, thinking about the being’s words. This determination will lead you forward.

She could feel something faint stirring inside her, and for the first time, she felt that she wanted to return, not just out of need to assist, but because she had grown attached to the world. She brought this feeling out now as the figure sent out a blast of darkness, engulfing her.

The blue shield held up against the blow, and as it faded after what seemed like an eternity, she used the last of her strength to force her own magic upon the figure. It screeched inhumanely, disappearing, as Nephthys fell to her knees, exhausted.

As soon as she was able to calm herself down, she stood up and tried to find the doorway home.