Home > Rival Magic (Dragon Born Serafina #4)(13)

Rival Magic (Dragon Born Serafina #4)(13)
Author: Ella Summers


I’m…fine, Sera told her. Her muscles twitched, firing in erratic bursts.

I’m so sorry.

It’s not your fault. Her vision dimmed. It’s this place.

Sera shook herself. There would be time for a snooze later. Well, if she survived. The winged cat’s mouth opened, and it flashed her two perfect rows of pointy teeth. The beast expelled a vicious roar that would rival any lion’s. Sera grabbed two rocks floating in the air and chucked the first at the cat. It dodged. As it angled its wings down to dive at Sera, she slashed out with the second rock, tearing it through one of the creature’s wings. Then she slammed the rock down hard on the beast’s head. It fell limp, then dropped away. The dead seemed to fall faster than the living in this void.

Sera caught a flicker of movement at the corner of her eye. She turned, hardly believing what she saw. Kai was there, far in the distance, falling. But as he fell, he pushed himself forward, swimming against the stream of magic between them. His raw strength was unbelievable, the single-minded determination etched into his face harrowing. He came in fast, each stroke bringing him closer to her. He was almost within reach.

Kai slammed full-force against an invisible wall of magic. It bounced him back. Undeterred, he spun around and hit the barrier again. And again. And again. Each time he hit the barrier, he bounced back, but he just kept coming.

What is he doing? Amara asked.

Trying to break through, Sera told her.

Kai swam right up to the barrier and paused, his eyes panning up and down the invisible wall of magic between them, as though assessing it. His fist slammed into it. The barrier trembled but held. Kai swung his other fist around and hit it again. He kept punching the barrier. Left, right, left, right. Every punch splattered the barrier with blood. His blood. He stared at her the whole time, his blue eyes burning in agony. He hardly noticed the blood. She—the fact that he couldn’t get to her—was the source of his pain. Sera felt it in his magic, magic that permeated a barrier that should have bounced it back.

She extended her hand, pressing it against the invisible wall between them. It scraped off her skin as she fell, but she kept her hand right there. Her chest trembled as she began to realize that they were probably falling to their deaths.

“I love you,” she whispered. That’s what she felt. That’s what was permeating the barrier, flowing from him to her. Love.

A ledge waited below Kai. He’d only have to swim toward it, and he’d be saved.

“Go there,” she told him. “I don’t want you to die.”

His eyes never left hers, even as the ledge passed by. “I’m not leaving you. Not ever.”

Tears streamed down her cheeks. “There’s another one. Quick.”

He punched the barrier again. “No.”

“But then you’ll die.”

“I am not giving up on you.” He pounded harder against the barrier. His hands were coated crimson, dripping his own blood.

Sera wound up her arm and punched it too. Their fists collided. Magic sparked, gold and red, and this time it didn’t backfire. A flat crunch stilled the barrier, then it broke, splitting upward like a series of shattering mirrors all the way to the top.

Kai swam forward, drawing her toward him. His arms closed around her like a protective shell. There were no ledges in sight, nothing to catch their fall, nothing to save them. Nothing but each other. They held onto each other as they fell into the abyss. If this was their time to die, at least they’d do it together. And they wouldn’t go out without a fight.


Post-apocalyptic Nightmare

AS THE FINAL, distant piece of the barrier shattered, the spell snapped. Sera and Kai hit the ground of shiny tiles. They were right back in the cave where they’d started. Sera rose to her feet, shaking off the lingering shivers of their hellish fall. She had no idea how much of it had been real. Besides the weight of exhaustion, she didn’t feel any wounds. Her clothing, however, was torn right where the monsters had hit her.

Kai set his hands on her arms, looking into her eyes, as though he couldn’t believe she was really there in front of him. Agony pulsed in his eyes—that same agony she’d seen as they’d fallen, separated by that barrier.

“I’m ok,” she assured him, lifting her hand to squeeze his.

Kai nodded, then turned his eyes on Finn, agony boiling over into rage.

He wasn’t the only one. Surrounded by Alden’s soldiers, Alex had found a weapon, a battle axe her slender arms barely looked strong enough to hold. But she moved with ruthless fluidity, as though it weighed nothing. Her magic bloomed with scarlet rage. She slashed and cut, hacked and slaughtered. Beside her, Logan cut through the soldiers with cold efficiency. He was the ice to her fire.

Alex moved without mercy, blood dripping from her long dark hair as it whipped around. She lifted the axe over her head, burying it in a vampire’s chest, the final soldier standing. As she kicked him off her weapon, her eyes met Sera’s. The eerie glow in them went out. She looked down at her blood-stained hands. Horror washed across her pale face, and she tossed the axe aside.

“Sera,” she said, her voice scratchy.

Sera opened her arms, and Alex slammed against her, hugging her like she’d been gone for years, not minutes.

“You disappeared.”

Sera squeezed her sister. “I’m here now.”

“You’re safe,” Alex said, as though she couldn’t believe it.

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