Wednesday, May 22, 2019
The Return: Shadow Souls Chapter 12
Elena checked the edges of the hotel rooms draperies for signs of dawn. beautiful was curled up, drowsing in a conduct by the window. Elena and Meredith had been up all night, and now they were surrounded by scattered printouts, newspapers, and pictures from the Internet.Its already spread beyond Fells church, Meredith explained, pointing to an article in oneness of the papers. I dont hunch over if its following ley lines, or being controlled by Shinichi or is sightly moving on its own, like any parasite.Did you try to contact Alaric?Meredith glanced at cleans sleeping figure. She spoke softly, Thats the good news. Id been trying to get him forever, and I finally managed. Hell be arriving in Fells Church soon he barely now has one more stop first.Elena move her breath in. One more stop thats more important than whats going out-of-door on in that town?Thats wherefore I didnt tell Bonnie rough him coming. Or Matt either. I knew they wouldnt chthonicstand. But Ill give you one guess as to what kind of legends hes following up in the Far East. Meredith fixed sinister eye on Elenas.Notit is, isnt it? Kitsune?Yes, and hes going to a very ancient place where they were supposed to have destroyed the town just as Fells Church is being destroyed. Nobody lives there now. That name Unmei no Shima means the Island of Doom. Maybe hell find something important about fox spirits there. Hes doing some kind of multicultural independent study with Sabrina Dell. Shes Alarics age, but shes already a famous forensic anthropologist.And youre not jealous? Elena give tongue to awkwardly. Personal issues were difficult to talk about with Meredith. ask her questions al musical modes felt like prying.Well. Meredith tipped back her principal. It isnt as if we have any formal engagement.But you never told anybody about all this.Meredith lowered her head and gave Elena a quick look. I have now, she said.For a moment the girls sat together in silence. Then Elena said quietly, The Shi no Shi, the kitsune, Isobel Saitou, Alaric and his Island of Doom they may not have anything to do with each other. But if they do, Im going to find out what it is.And Im going to help, Meredith said simply. But I had thought that after I gradatoryElena couldnt stand it anymore. Meredith, I promise, as soon as we get Stefan back and the town calmed down, well pin Alaric down with final causes A through Z, she said. She leaned forward and kissed Merediths cheek. Thats a velociraptor sisterhood oath, okay?Meredith blinked twice, swallowed once, and whispered, Okay. Then, abruptly, she was her old efficient self again. Thank you, she said. But cleaning up the town might not be such an easy job. Its already heading toward mass chaos there.And Matt deficiencyed to be in the middle of it all? Alone? Elena asked.Like we said, he and Mrs. Flowers are a hale team, Meredith said quietly. And its what hes chosen.Well, Elena said drily, he may turn out to have the better d eal in the end, after all.They went back to the scattered papers. Meredith picked up some(prenominal) pictures of kitsune guarding shrines in Japan.It says theyre usually depicted with a jewel or key. She held up a picture of a kitsune holding a key in its mouth at the main gate of the Fushimi Shrine.Aha, Elena said. Looks like the keys got two wings, doesnt it?Exactly what Bonnie and I thought. And the jewelswell, take a close look. Elena did and her stomach lurched. Yes, they were like the snow globe orbs that Shinichi had utilise to create unbreakable traps in the Old Wood.We found theyre called hoshi no tama, Meredith said. And that translates to star balls. Each kitsune puts a measure of their power into one, along with other things, and destroying the ball is one of the moreover ways to kill them. If you find a kitsunes star ball, you can control the kitsune. Thats what Bonnie and I want to do.But how do you find it? Elena asked, ablaze by the idea of controlling Shinichi and Misao.Sa Meredith said, pronouncing the word sah like a sigh. Then she gave one of her rare brilliant smiles. In Japanese, that means I wonder hmm wouldnt want to comment my gosh, golly, I really couldnt say. We could use a word like that in English.Despite herself, Elena giggled.But, then, other stories say that kitsune can be killed by the breach of Regret or by blessed weapons. I dont get by what the Sin of Regret is, but She rummaged in her luggage, and came up with an old-fashioned but serviceable-looking revolver.MeredithIt was my grandpas one of a pair. Matts got the other one. Theyre loaded with bullets blessed by a priest.What priest would bless bullets, for Gods sake? Elena demanded.Merediths smile turned bleak. One thats seen whats happening in Fells Church. You look on how Carolean got Isobel Saitou possessed, and what Isobel did to herself?Elena nodded. I remember, she said tautly.Well, do you remember how we told you that Obaasan Grandma Saitou used to be a shrine maiden? Thats a Japanese priestess. She blessed the bullets for us, all right, and specifically for killing kitsune. You should have seen how spooky the ritual was. Bonnie almost fainted again.Do you know how Isobel is doing now?Meredith shook her dark head slowly. Better but I dont say she rase knows about Jim yet. Thats going to be very tough on her.Elena tried to quell a shudder. There was secret code but tragedy in store for Isobel even when she got well. Jim Bryce, her boyfriend, had spent only one night with Caroline, but now had Lesch-Nye disease or so the doctors said. In that same flagitious night that Isobel had pierced herself eitherwhere, and cut her tongue so that it forked, Jim, a handsome star basketball player, had eaten away his fingers and his lips. In Elenas opinion they were both possessed and their injuries were only more reasons why the kitsune twins had to be stopped.Well do it, she said a out loud, realizing for the first time that Meredith w as holding her hand as if Elena were Bonnie. Elena managed a faint but located smile for Meredith. Well get Stefan out and well stop Shinichi and Misao. We have to do it.This time it was Meredith who nodded.Theres more, she said at last. You want to hear it?I indigence to know everything.Well, every single source I checked agrees that kitsune possess girls and then lead boys to destruction. What kind of destruction depends on where you look. It can be as simple as appearing as a will-o-the-wisp and leading you into a swamp or off a cliff, or as difficult as shapeshifting.Oh, yes, Elena said tightly. I knew that from what happened to you and Bonnie. They can look exactly like someone.Yes, but always with some small flaw if you have the wits to notice it. They can never make a perfect replicate. But they can have up to nine tails, and the more tails they have, the better at everything they are.Nine? Terrific. Weve never even seen a nine-tailed one.Well, we may get to yet. Theyre supp osed to be able to cross over freely from one world to another. Oh, yes. And theyre specifically in charge of the Kimon accession between dimensions. Want to guess what that translates to?Elena stared at her. Oh, no. Oh, yes.But why would Damon take us all the way across the country, just to get in through a Demon Gate thats run by fox spirits?SaBut when Matt told us you were headed to someplace near Sedona, that was really what pertinacious Bonnie and me.Great. Elena ran her hands through her hair and sighed. Anything else? she asked, feeling like a rubber band that had been stretched to its utmost.Only this, which ought to really bake your cookies after all weve been through. any(prenominal) of them are good. Kitsune, I mean.Some of them are good good what? Good fighters? Good assassins? Good liars?No, really, Elena. Some of them are supposed to be like gods and goddesses who variety of test you, and if you pass the test they reward you.Do you think we should count on finding one like that?Not really.Elena dropped her head to the coffee instrument panel where Merediths printouts were scattered. Meredith, seriously, how are we going to deal with them when we go through that Demon Gate? My Power is about as reliable as a low battery. And its not just the kitsune its all the different demons and vampires Old Ones, too What are we going to do?She raised her head and looked deeply into the eyes of her friend those dark eyes that she had never been able to classify as this color or that.To her surprise, Meredith instead of looking sober, tossed back the dregs of a Diet Coke and smiled.No Plan A yet?Wellmaybe just an idea. Nothing definite yet. What about you?A few that might qualify for Plans B and C. So what were going to do is what we always do try our best and fall all over ourselves and make mistakes until you do something brilliant and save us all.Merry Meredith blinked. Elena knew why she hadnt used that diminutive for Meredith for more years than she could remember. None of the three girls liked pet names or used them. Elena went on very seriously, holding Merediths eyes, Theres nothing I want more than to save everybody everybody from these kitsune bastards. Id give my life for Stefan and all of you. Butthis time it may be somebody else who takes the bullet.Or the stake. I know. Bonnie knows. We talked about it while we were flying here. But were still with you, Elena. You have to know that. Were all with you.There was only one way to reply to that. Elena gripped Merediths hand in both of hers. Then she let out her breath, and, like probing an aching tooth, tried to get news on a sore subject. Does Matt did he well, how was Matt when you left?Meredith glanced at her sideways. Not much got past Meredith. He seemed okay, but distracted. He would go off into these fits where hed just stare at nothing, and he wouldnt hear you if you spoke to him.Did he tell you why he left?Wellsort of. He said that Damon was hypnotizing y ou and that you werent werent doing all you could to stop him. But hes a boy and boys get jealous No, he was right about what he saw. Its just that Ive gotten to know Damon a little better. And Matt doesnt like that.Um-hm. Meredith was watching her from under lowered eyelids, barely breathing, as if Elena was a bird that mustnt be disturbed or shed fly away.Elena laughed. Its nothing bad, she said. At least I dont think so. Its just thatin some ways Damon needs help even more than Stefan did when he first came to Fells Church.Merediths eyebrows shot up, but all she said was, Um-hm.AndI think that really Damons a lot more like Stefan than he lets on.Merediths eyebrows stayed up. Elena finally looked at her. She opened her mouth once or twice and then she just stared at Meredith. Im in trouble, arent I? she said helplessly.If all this comes from less than one week riding in a car with himthen, yes. But we have to remember that women are Damons specialty. And he thinks hes in love w ith you.No, he really is Elena began, and then she caught her lower lip between her teeth. Oh, God, this is Damon were talking about. I am in trouble.Lets just watch and see what happens, Meredith said sensibly. Hes definitely changed, too. Before, he would have just told you that your friends couldnt come and that was it. Today he stuck around and listened.Yes. I just have to to be on my guard from now on, Elena said, a little unsteadily. How was she going to help the child inside Damon without getting closer to him? And how would she explain all she might need to do to Stefan?She sighed.Itll probably be all right, Bonnie muttered sleepily. Meredith and Elena both turned to look at her and Elena felt a chill go up her spine. Bonnie was sitting propped up, but her eyes were shut and her voice was indistinct. The real question is what will Stefan say about that night at the motel with Damon?What? Elenas voice was sharp and loud enough to awaken any sleeper. But Bonnie didnt stir. What happened what night at what motel? Meredith demanded. When Elena didnt answer immediately, she caught Elenas arm and swung her so that they were face-to-face.At last Elena looked at her friend. But her eyes, she knew, gave away nothing.Elena, whats she talking about? What happened with Damon?Elena still kept her face perfectly expressionless, and used a word shed learned just that night. SaElena, youre impossible Youre not going to motherfucker Stefan after you rescue him, are you?No, of course not Elena was hurt. Stefan and I belong together forever.But still you spent a night with Damon where something happened between you.SomethingI guess.And that something was?Elena smiled apologetically. SaIll get it out of him Ill put him on the defensive.You can make a Plan A and Plan B and all, Elena said. But it wont help. Shinichi took his memories away. Meredith, Im sorry you dont know how sorry. But I swore that nobody would ever know. She looked up at the taller girl, feeling te ars pool in her eyes. Cant you just once let me leave it that way?Meredith sank bank. Elena Gilbert, the world is lucky there is only one of you. You are the She paused, as if deciding whether to say the words or not. Then she said, Its time to get to bed. pervade is going to come early and so is the Demon Gate.Merry?What now?Thank you.