Chapter 92

Andie hit one of the many platforms in Dyllan’s mindscape with a thud. With a predatory gaze, her eyes scanned her surroundings for threats – anything that might be keeping her from Dyllan.
No obvious enemies presented themselves, but clear signs that something was wrong were everywhere. Almost every building was in ruin. Not that it was uncommon to see an abandoned district or two in the minds of most adults, especially the sort that became patients of Andie and her friends – but there were way too many central structures left dead and hollow, and it was clear that most of them had been ravaged by something more than just time. Bestial claw marks were scattered throughout their interiors, leaving behind nothing but rubble wherever they could be found… which was just about everywhere.
The place wasn’t totally dead, though. Peaceful greenery grew everywhere, and the scraps of broken weapons and torn propaganda posters had been mixed with sand from shredded sandbags to form oddly beautiful zen gardens.
…but even there something was wrong. Dripping black ooze slipped into the cracks to poison whatever plants took root, and more than a few of the sand gardens had been scavenged through by the same claws that had torn apart the ruins – though these marks were much fresher.
A flicker of darkness caught Andie’s attention, lingering in her peripheral vision for just a fraction of a second before it disappeared. “Come forth, my Courage.” Andie’s sword appeared in her hands with a quick flash of light, skipping the usual theatrics. Slowly, she approached where she had seen the passing shadow. There, she found a stairway leading up to the central platform.
Andie scanned her surroundings again. The platform was totally empty save for the rubble of what had once been a grand statue. The rubble itself was old, but it looked like someone had started to repair it recently… only to see it wrecked again.


A note from the author ninja:

Andie may have the strongest ego… but Dyllan has the strongest Shadow.

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