128 Going back
The two girls continued to walk through the desert. There were no signs of footmarks in the sand as the wind would quickly blow it away, so the only thing they could count on for where they were. Was the map and the trail of black smoke in front of them.
"Wait up! Erin slow down, It's really hot out here." Layla complained.
While Layla was struggling with the heat and wanted to walk at a standard pace, it seemed like Erin was power walking through the desert. It was to the point that if she was walking any faster, she would actually be jogging.
"I can't let them take our crystal, if they hand them in and we lose our points then that means we could lose our place at number one."
"So what? It's not worth risking our lives over, even without those we should still get a pretty good position. Why do you need to be number one so much?"
For the first time, Erin had paused and stood still in the sand. Her fist was clenched and just as she was about to say something, she bit her lip to stop herself.
"Come on, we're not too far off."
By now the black smoke had covered most of the view in front of them. It was hard to make out where it was coming from. But what they did know, was that there was far too much smoke for it to be someone else's ability and they were in the desert.
'There wasn't a lot of things that could be caught on fire, so just what on earth was making that much smoke?!' Layla thought.
Then as they were walking Layla suddenly sped up as she spotted what looked like a small black spot in the sky, as it got closer she noticed it looked ball-shaped and saw that something was dripping from the bottom of it.
"Hey what is that!" Layla asked.
"I don't know, it might be someone's ability or something," Erin replied. "Maybe you can catch it."
Layla planned to do just that. Before the object could hit the ground or come towards them she would try to stop it in the air. Although Erin was also prepared in case the object was too heavy for Layla to control.
Finally, when it was a few meters in the air, Layla managed to stop it and slowly brought it over to their location. But a few seconds later, she forgot about everything and immediately dropped the object onto the floor.
A thump sound was heard and it rolled onto the sand towards them, with it a trail of red was sinking into the sand.
"That was definitely a head." Layla said with her voice all shaky. "I'm not seeing things, right? It was a head?"
"Was it a beast, or maybe something else even, it could even have something to do with the black smoke," Erin said calmly.
"How are you not affected by this. Come on we need to get out of here. Our lives are worth more than some stupid crystals!" Shouted Layla. "Let's get back to the well and tell the others."
But Erin stood there deep in thought.
'If its an intermediate beast and I use my full strength I should still be able to take it out?' She thought.
"Now is not the time to be playing games, look Erin, I like you and usually I would just leave someone as crazy as you here but I'm telling you we have to go." Layla continued, despite the silence.
But then, in the distance, a tall figure could be seen coming towards them. Its tail slowly moving to the left and right.
"What is that?" Layla asked. For the first time, Erin didn't seem like her confident self. In fact, Layla had never seen her back down from a challenge. Even when Vorden was facing off against one of the big four. Although she said she was weaker, she had never displayed a hint of fear.
However, right now she was different. She had crossed her arms over her body, hugging herself and shivering in the desert heat.
"Mommy please save me." She said ever so quietly, that the only words Layla could here was mommy.
Now that the creature was even closer Layla could finally see what Erin could see. It had appeared many times in many textbooks as they grew up. Constant videos had been shown to them of their appearance all throughout their school life, it was a Dalki.
But it wasn't alone. As it walked it seemed to be dragging something along with it.
"Oh? is that another two I see." The Dalki said.
He then looked at Ben's body which he had been dragging with him, it now had no head but the rest of its limbs were still intact. He placed his foot on the body and pulled on the arm ripping it from its socket.
"It's a bit closer than last time, but it's not as easy to throw." The Dalki aimed at the two in front of it, leaned back and speared the arm through the air.
It left at an amazing speed and power that it seemed like the wind around it was having no effect.
Seeing the arm coming towards them Layla knew this one was too fast for her to slow down with her ability. They barely managed to dodge it, with Layla pulling Erin away from the area.
"Erin, we're getting out of here." Drawing her hand back she slapped Erin across the face leaving a red mark, as she spoke.
But it seemed to have worked. Erin was no longer shaking and she knew the danger the two of them were in.
"Ice path!" She created an ice path in front of her and then formed blades below her feet.
"Do you know how to ice-skate?" Erin asked.
"Then hold on." Lifting Layla onto her back Erin started to skate down the ice path at amazing speed. Every time they would reach near the end of the path, she would extend the ice in front of her. It was several times faster than the two of them running and they were able to create distance between the two.
"The best thing to do would be to head to the shelter and get another ship." The Dalki thought. "Those two girls were probably heading for the shelter. If so, it would be bad news if they warned everyone before I got there. I guess I better stop them."
Unluckily for the two girls, if the Dalki knew they were not heading for the shelter, he perhaps would have left them on their own. Their destination was actually for the Well, hoping to warn Vorden and the others.
Not only that but the Dalki was actually blocking the path back to the shelter.
They could go around but it would take too long and Erin was afraid the Dalki had already set its eyes on them. So, the only option she felt like she had, was to rely on Vorden.
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