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Elysia stumbled back and tried to catch her breath.

“I can’t,” she said between breaths. “I can’t do anymore. Wasn’t Obadai right behind you?”

“Obadai isn’t coming,” replied Nenshe. “Or maybe I should say,” he stepped into the place Elysia had vacated a moment earlier, “by the time he got here, it’d be too late.” He tried to stave off the attack of the next spirit-wolf, but without Elysia’s magic backing him up, they came at him more quickly than he could dispatch them.

Elysia put her hands on the side of her head and shook with disbelief.

Illyra, who looked the worse for wear by this point, stepped forward too, to shield Elysia from a lunging spirit-wolf. “Honey, we need you back in the fight, here.”

Suddenly, the magic in the immediate area began to tense and flex. Elysia and Illyra, and even Nenshe to an extent, could sense the Clamor grow steadily louder until it was almost physically audible, and Occela’s spirit-twin stepped through the Veil and into the world of the living. The normally faint, delicate image of Occela bore a strange, feral look, and it turned to face the nearest wolf.

The spirit-twin changed again, it adopted a warrior’s stance and a hunter’s spear appeared in its hands. Its facial features took on a much more predatory look, and it skewered the wolf with confidence. It withdrew its spear as the wolf dissipated and resumed its stance. It fixed the next enemy with a cold stare, and even the lifeless, emotionless wolf-specter showed hesitation to attack.

Illyra looked to Elysia, “Occela’s in the fight, now. She’ll watch over us. Are you back?”

Elysia shook her head. “I can’t believe he isn’t coming.”

“You can chew him out later,” said Nenshe. “I’ll hold him down and you can beat him.”

They could all feel Occela’s guidance through the aether, it whispered the secrets to victory and filled their hearts with courage. Elysia stepped past Illyra, taking her place at the front of their huddle group again, and refocusing her energy on using her magic. “We can do this,” she said. “I can do this.”