"Nyx, I call upon you in this dire time of need to provide me with the strength to heal this broken mind. To be able to give Derek the freedom that he is fighting for." I closed my eyes and took a couple of deep breaths, taking in the energy and strength that began surrounding my being. I could feel the power surging through my veins.

"Spirit, I call on you. I need you to engulf Derek with your essence. Provide him with the necessary relief, so he is no longer feeling the pain and anger that has taken over his being." I reached my hand towards him, aiming towards his forehead so that the energy could flow from me into him.

Before I reached him, Derek began to laugh maniacally, in a way that threw everyone off balance. Suddenly, he vanished. That is when all hell broke loose.

A yellow mist, almost sickly in color, had begun to undulate down the cracked stone stairs and seeped from the building's aged walls. At that moment, we knew that we were not alone. A strange noise appeared, almost as if whispering threats were lightly bouncing off the walls as the stifling mist grew thicker. The scent was similar to rotting flesh, leaving us gagging from both the heaviness and the stench.

"Is everyone alright so far?" I said, just loud enough for those in our immediate surroundings to hear. Something else seemed off, and after what has happened thus far, it was practically guaranteed that worse things were soon to follow.

"Yeah, I think that I am good," Aria whispered. "Samuel…are you still with us?" Aria's voice began to shake.

"Yeah…I am…" Samuel says as he lets out a few short, raspy coughs. "My throat is on fire though." His coughs grew worse, and I realized that the mist was poisoning us more with every breath that we took.

"All right." I took a deep breath to center myself; my lungs had begun to burn. "Listen, we need to get out. Follow me, whether by sight or sound." I then began to step loudly as the mist became thick enough to blind us.

Slowly and carefully, we started to run our hands along the walls, feeling our way around to find the true postern gate, not the blown-out piece of wall. The longer we stayed in the castle, the harder it was for any of us to breathe. It was almost as if whatever, or whoever, was trying to poison us was also trying to make sure that none of us made it out alive.

Suddenly, it dawned on me. I needed to call upon Air. Otherwise, we might not make it out of this death trap.

"Hail the Guardians of the East! We are summoning the powers of Air once more. Air, we ask that you fill our lungs with breathable oxygen as we try to find our way out of this mess. We invoke you to relieve us from this slow and painful agony."

Aria gasped, "oh my…" she nearly moaned with relief, and had almost immediately begun to chant with me, using her connection with Air to strengthen the cleansing that was taking place.

"C-can you guys feel that, too?" Samuel said, still winded from our battle with the sickly mist of death.

It was like taking in a nice deep breath of pure energy. As we drank in the essence of air, we could feel our dying cells being resurrected. Air was not only providing us with safe breathing air, but it was healing the damage that the poison had done to us. My body began to tingle all over, sensitive to every ray of sun that was hitting my olive. It was almost erotic.

"Mmm…yes, and it does feel utterly amazing, but now we don't have the time to indulge in this pleasure, nor to discuss the evils that have threatened to destroy our home. Now, let's get the hell out of here." We hurried towards the doors, flinging them open and causing a commotion as the yellow mist is expelled from the castle.

To be continued...