Some of you might notice that the final quarter of Chapter 9 has been changed. But then again, I wouldn't put any money on that, haha.
I was actually halfway through this chapter yesterday when I realised that Old Lady Melly needs to be a more brooding, darker character with some background rather than the senile-but-strong bit (think female Archiver) I first wrote.
Anyway, here you go - the twice-written Chapter 10.
"Stand back, boy." Old Lady Melly grabbed her cloak and pushed me out of the way.
"One on one?" Phocadis snorted. "Why don't you two take on me together? That sure would save time."
I wanted to step forward to help, but Old Lady Melly's body language indicated that she didn't want me to have anything to do with this.
"I do not believe we have met before. Who are you, and what do you want?"
"Ho, ho," he grunted. "I am Phocadis of the Scroll Assassins. He has enlisted me to capture and take you both back to Him. And that is all you need to know."
Old Lady Melly's glassy eyes didn't twitch. She seemed to be concentrating very hard on something.
Phocadis charged forward like a rampaging bull, aiming straight at her. He was surprisingly quick for someone of his build. She remained still where she stood.
"Old Lady Melly! Get out of the way!" I shouted at her.
Suddenly she raised her arms. "Freeze Frame!"
He froze six feet away from her. "What...is...this?" he roared through gritted teeth, trying to budge in vain.
Deep creases appeared on her forehead. She closed her eyes and started muttering something, as though trying to keep the spell under control. Her hands began to tremble.
"Not...as...power...ful...as...I...thought." Phocadis inched one foot forward. He was breaking her spell!
Her arms were stretched so high that they became almost skin and bone. However Phocadis was still coming to her, albeit slowly.
"Just too easy...just too easy..." he kept repeating.
No! I could no longer stand by and wait for my fate! I had to do something!
Without even thinking I raised my staff and charged at him. As he turned to face me with a vicious sneer, something strange happened. I could somehow picture very clearly in my mind a rectangular button. I knew it wasn't real, but there it was, as vivid as a bad dream. I imagined pressing it, and next thing I knew, I found myself fifteen feet in the air.
I had gained my first power - Shift.