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After Bevern was taken away from the prison Tyght heard the voice of the figure in his mind again, “Good, now we’re not likely to be interrupted.”

Tyght responded to the figure using thoughts alone. Why haven’t you helped us? You helped us with the pirates and the troll, why not with the soldiers?

“Patience, Tyght, patience. I wanted us to be brought on board this ship, and I didn’t want to reveal our strength to the Empire too soon. We need this ship, and now that we’re here the Empire will unwittingly help us. The Earth Crystal is in the Empire, and this will be the best way of reaching it. They’ll be taking us there soon enough. Once we land in the Empire then we will reveal ourselves.”

What happens to the others whilst we’re being taken to the Empire? What’s happening to Gaian and Bevern?

“Why are you asking me when you know perfectly well what is happening? They are being tortured for the information that they know about the Crystals. I dare say that Gaian will hold out to the last, but Bevern is likely to crumble before they’ve even laid a finger on him.”

How can you let that happen? Haven’t they helped us? And don’t we need them? Surely we can save them! And then we can take control of the airship ourselves! We can fly it straight to the Crystal!

“What did I tell you about questioning me?! It does not matter what happens to them here! The General won’t have them killed until we’ve reached the Empire, and so as long as Gaian stays alive for now our plans are not threatened. Do not become sentimental to these people, Tyght. Remember, Gaian has the power of the Fire Crystal, a power that we, at some point, will need to take from him. And the only way that we can do that would be if you kill him with the staff.”

This last sentence gave Tyght a shock. Surely there’s another way. If I speak to him, tell him what it is that we plan, maybe he’ll give up the power willingly.

“There is no other way! The Crystal has already given him its power. He couldn’t give it to us even if he wanted to. No, the only way that we can gain its power is by us being in his vicinity when he dies. Once the life leaves his body the Crystals power will transfer to the nearest ‘Warrior of Light’ that it can find. And if you are the one to kill him, you will be the one to gain its power. Accept the fact that Gaian is going to die.”

And what of the others? Why do they have to suffer?

“Because they do not matter. And if we concern ourselves with things that do not matter, we become distracted from our goal. Now, remember Tyght, hold still until we reach the Empire. Then I will increase your strength to free us, and we’ll be able to reach the Earth Crystal with ease.”

Tyght didn’t know how to respond, and so his thoughts remained silent. The figure also had nothing further to say.

After about an hour the prison door was opened once more, and this time the soldiers came to take Sianna away. After they had gone Tyght wondered what had happened to Gaian and Bevern, and what was about to happen to Sianna. Were Gaian and Bevern still alive? Had they told them anything? He guessed that they may have done, and the airship’s movement was the General reacting to what they had told them, probably taking them back out over the Maelstrom, where they may attempt to find a way through to the Water Crystal.

But what were they going to do to Sianna? He didn’t think that the soldiers were going to do to her what the pirates had threatened to do, that wasn't the Imperial way. But if either Gaian or Bevern had told them anything, what more did they expect to get from her? And wouldn’t it be dangerous to remove her gag? Wouldn’t she be able to use her magic?

Tyght found himself concerned for her. Whilst he didn’t approve of the form of magic that she used, he could tell that she always used it to help them when they needed it, and that her heart was in the right place. He wanted to try and somehow save her from whatever the General had planned for her, if he could.

A short while later, the whole place juddered, and what sounded like an engine could be heard. A few minutes later it felt like the whole place was moving, and Tyght concluded that the airship was taking off, although he couldn’t tell if it was heading towards the Empire or not.

He then heard a voice in his head, but it wasn’t that of the figure. It was the soft, gentle voice that he had heard from the Water Crystal, “Warrior of Light, remember, you and you alone are in control of your own destiny. You can enforce your own will...”

There was nothing more. The figure also wasn't saying anything, and so Tyght assumed that he hadn’t heard what the Crystal had said.

Tyght wanted to save the others, but the figure didn’t want him to. But what the Crystal was saying was quite clear, he doesn’t have to do what the figure tells him to do.

He stood up and walked towards the bars of his cell. “What are you doing?” said the figure.

Tyght answered out loud, “I am taking control of my own destiny.” He then held onto the bars and concentrated. He looked into his mind, where the figure was lurking. He needed his power, but it was clear that he wasn't going to give it up willingly.

His mind appeared to him as corridors that he was walking down. He could sense that the figure was ahead of him, and that he was chasing him. He had to corner him somehow, but the corridors seemed endless. But then he realised that this was his mind. He concentrated hard to try and sense exactly where the figure was, and then he placed walls around him. He then rose up above these walls, and looked down on the figure. The figure was looking up with is palms towards the sky. “Only I can give you this power! You can not take it from me!”

Tyght looked ahead of him, and he saw the Water Crystal in the sky. He pointed his arms towards it, and found that he could pull energy out from it and direct it towards the figure. When it hit the figure he cried out in pain, and Tyght opened his eyes to find himself back in the airship once more.

He could feel that the figure’s power was now his. He was able to prise open the bars with ease and then pass through them.

He walked up to the prison door and was able to effortlessly lift it off of its hinges. Outside there were two soldiers, both with a look of shock on their faces. Quick as a flash, Tyght punched them in the head. It was enough to knock them out cold without doing them any more harm than that. Tyght had decided that he wouldn’t kill anyone unless it was absolutely necessary.

He didn’t know which way to turn at this point, and so he started walking in random directions. He opened each door that he came to, but this part of the airship appeared to be deserted.

However, one of the doors that he opened revealed the weapons that the soldiers had taken from them. He secured his staff to his back, and held Gaian’s and Bevern’s swords in his hands, and then continued on his way.

Eventually he saw two soldiers guarding one of the rooms. Obviously there was something important inside of it. He literally flew down the corridor, kicking both of the soldiers out of the way. The door came away easily, and inside he found Gaian and Bevern.

Gaian was holding his head, and Bevern was shivering. “Tyght!” said Gaian, “Thank goodness! Do you know where Sianna is?”

“No, the soldiers took her away. We should go and find her.” He threw Gaian his sword. He looked at Bevern and said, “Is he OK?”

“Not really, but we need to get out of here. Bevern, do you think you can make it?” Bevern nodded, and he stood up and walked over to Tyght, who passed him his sword. Tyght then took his staff in his hands once more.

They exited the room and continued down the corridors. As they did so the noise of the engines got louder. “We must be getting near the engine room,” said Tyght, “I wonder how they power this ship?”

They followed the noise, and they encountered some more soldiers along the way. Fortunately, they only saw them in groups of no more than three, and as Tyght was still able to tap into the figure's power they provided little resistance.

Eventually they found the door to the engine room. Once Tyght had dispatched the soldiers that were guarding it he prised open the door and the three stepped inside.

There they saw, to their surprise, General Catrix and Sianna. She was tied up to a post and facing what was clearly powering the engines, which was shining a bright green light towards her.

At the heart of the engines was what was undoubtedly one of the Crystals.

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