— We need to warn your friend, paladin, — Riverey said, snatching a hearthstones.
The rest followed suit. Teleporting, they headed to the academy. But no one had a clue where to look for Lassara.
— Does anyone have the stuff of this mage? — Highgrave asked. — My wolf can easily find a mage by smell, unlike myself.
Of course, no one had anything. But here, to everyone’s surprise, Bolingar took out a magic cake from a satchel, which looked more like a dry cracker, but it was probably still edible.
The wolf instantly took the track and led them through the academy. None of the magicians passing by paid any attention to them: well, a couple of strange personalities were walking around the academy. There are a lot of such people in Dalaran. Soon the wolf stopped and quietly howled near one of the doors. The door was closed, but not locked. The paladin, remembering that you can’t break into the lady’s room, first knocked.
— Who is this? — a strange voice was heard from behind the door, and a night elf peered out from there …
He was dressed in an everyday magic robe worn by all students of the academy.
— You, I suppose, are looking for master Lassara? — She recently left for Exodar in order to see her relatives.
His gaze fell on the blue splinter.
— Do not disturb the master for such trifles, — said the elf, pointing to the stone. — Follow me, I will help you.
He slowly left the room and sauntered along the corridor. The group went after him.
After long wanderings around the tower of magicians, the elf led them into a spacious room with many different mechanical devices. Pointing to a table with a magic ball, he asked:
— You know how to use it? — but seeing the expressions of their faces, the elf understood everything without an answer. — Well, I’ll try to explain as clearly as possible. Although educating all kinds of adventurers is the work of the master of Lassara.
— Can I get a crystal? — with these words the elf held out his hand.
Riverey carefully laid a blue stone in his palm.
— This is a blue crystal, he, umm …. How can this be explained in simple language? In general, a mage can write his vision into it or broadcast something. For example, I can say with accuracy that this stone was used for covert observation. We have a lot of such stones hung all over Dalaran. And we can connect at any time and see a picture from them, — the elf paused, evaluating the heroes, whether his words were clear to them or not.
— And in between, why is there a spider web on it? — He asked, looking around the shard, but immediately distracted. — Well, I’ll turn it on and set it myself.
The Riverey was clearly not thrilled that someone else would look at what was clearly intended for her. But there was no other way.
The mage put a splinter in a small transparent blue ball, and it began to fill with haze, which immediately dissipated. The elf grabbed a small rod and put it on the ball. And then the blue haze returned, even becoming several times brighter.
— Nobody used it for a long time, so I had to charge it again, — the elf explained. — Actually, it remains only to touch him and hold his hand on him. I think you can handle it. And I went. The main thing is not to let go of your hand while the ball is working, otherwise it will be deactivated. And you can hardly launch it again.
Riverey removed her glove and put her hand on the ball. The haze immediately dispersed, and a clear picture appeared in front of them.
… dusk. Dark. Nerubians stood around, kneeling before the bearer of blue stone. The only thing that could be seen was the bone claws of the wearer. Lich went to the crystal.
— Prince Azar’erak. You have gloriously served the Scourge.
The lich wandered on further, the head of the Prince-Nerub, into which the crystal seemed to be mounted, turned sharply. Hassara stood right behind him under the supervision of two Nerubian guards: his whole face was covered in blood, his hand was somehow wrapped in bandages, cuts peeped through the holes in his clothes. It was a miracle that she could still stand on her own.
Lich went up to her and looked in her face. The worgen, standing in front of the necromancer, seemed ready to crash to the floor with difficulty keeping herself on her feet.
— Awesome stamina! — admired Leach. — We have been watching you for a long time. You’ve been going to us all your life without even realizing it, — Lich laughed. — You are drawn to dark magic, this is evident. Remember how in childhood you bought a couple of books on dark magic and necromancy for almost nothing? And the blade that you found in the forest? Do you remember him? — with these words, Leach pulled out a two-handed sword from under the mantle.
Worgen, as if spellbound, stared at him.
— Then you really liked him. He was like an extension of your hand. But you were afraid to take it to the house, feeling dark magic in it, — Leach continued. — Samiris has always taught you to be strong and hardy. Go forward, no matter what. Achieve victory at all costs. And of course, gain strength and power! — on these words, Leach grinned again.
He harshly and gently grabbed Hassara’s head with his bone hand, looked into his eyes and asked:
— So maybe it’s time to make a choice? — Gain the strength and power that your father so wanted to give you? Power over life and death. — Leach abruptly removed his hand and turned away. — You will not be a pawn of the Lich King. I have a separate role for you. You will be able to manage your power as you please. Just make the right choice.
Leach looked again at Hassara:
— Cretin, — the crystal owner grunted softly.
— The dead warriors commanded by the Lich King are not as strong as a knight who voluntarily went to the dark side.
— I see you and your desires. You want this power. You always wanted her. Exalt to ordinary mortals. Stand out from the gray crowd of heroes, prove yourself. I will show you the way. Waiting for worship and faith with you. Giving power in return. Take a step. The time has come for a change! — whispered conspiratorially Leach. — We will reveal the essence of the runes to you. You know the truths of darkness. We will give you the greatness of death. Hassara, we are waiting for an answer! — Lich’s eyes sparkled with fire.
He stuck a two-handed blade on the floor. Hassara slowly but surely walked toward the demonic blade that Leach thrust into the floor. And right next to him she fell to her knees. The words seemed to be stuck in her throat.
She grabbed the base of the blade with both paws. Pausing again, she made a choice.
At that moment, Hassara pierced the shadows. Her wounds instantly healed. Her old armor was saturated with dark magic and transformed into the black armor of the death knight. The old sword immediately crumbled to dust. The new blade shone with bloody runes, being in her clawed hand.
The lich simply shone with happiness, with undisguised pleasure watching the reincarnation of the death knight.
Her eyes were filled with bright blue light, exuding a dark aura that enveloped her whole body. Suddenly she bent, as if in pain, and, straightening upright, howled. It was as if a young ice dragon had burst out of it, freezing everything that was nearby.
— Yes! — did not hold back Leach joyful exclamation. — Finally. Feel the power of ice!
And only after that Hassara fell silent, as if getting used to new forces. The room shone with blood-purple colors. Hassara’s blade flashed red. She raised her sword again, and a bloody shield enveloped her. The bones danced around her in an insane rhythm and with incredible speed. These were not just bones. Ridges of people, skulls of orcs, bones of unknown creatures — all this swirled around her like an impenetrable spiky shell.
— Blood! Soon you will feel it on your blade, tearing blood and bones from enemies! — Lich laughed.
Suddenly, flashes of red disappeared, giving way to the sickening greenery that curled around Hassara. Her body exuded poisonous smoke. From her and exuded an aura of death, the inevitability of death and decomposition. The poisonous dome seemed to completely swallow her. However, on her face there was no longer the previous suffering and pain. There was an evil grin on her face.
— Great! — said Leach. — Let’s test your abilities. I just know one small fortress of the Alliance, and you too, — Leach smiled ominously. — Your first task: to erase the fortress of Courage from the face of the earth. I want only coals left in her place. And what about the army … — Leach smiled slyly. — I promised you power, Hassara. And I keep my word. From now on, Prince Azar’erak completely subordinate to you.
— WHAT?! — Roared the nerub. — She?! I have been serving you for several years, and you put the convert knight above me?! Are you kidding me? — The prince growled with fury.
— It is because of this bastard that I am now undead! — The Nerub continued again, pointing a claw on Hassara.
— Azar, Azar, Azar, — Leach said sadly, raising his hand.
Suddenly, the Prince of Nerubs collapsed to the ground, unable to rise. With dark magic, Lich raised a huge nerub a few meters and brought it down with force.
— You forgot again that you were obliged to obey me, no matter what the order was? Well, let me remind you. But now I give you and all your genus to her. Protect her at the cost of your life. And God forbid, even a tuft of wool will fall from her, — Leach said sternly.
— As you order, — the Nerub muttered displeased.
Hassara looked at Azar and smiled viciously at him …
The Riverey in horror drew back her hand, being unable to continue to look at it, from which the picture in the ball began to change many times faster. By a miracle, Bolingar managed to react and put his hand on him, so that he would not turn off. The ball slowed down immediately, but the scene has already changed.
— Damn it, I remember that he ordered me everywhere to follow and guard. But arriving with the nerub army in Darkshire is genius!
You’ll ruin everything like that. It will be easier for me to slip there alone. I’ll give you a break. You really wanted to get rid of me, at least for a while. And yes, Azar. I guess I went too far. Forgive me.
— Nothing, my lady. I deserve it, — said the Nerub, neatly bowing to Hassara.
When she took off and hid in the snow, the Nerub swore:
— What a bastard you are! I hope you get caught and executed there! And I even know how to send a couple of heroes to your trail.
With these words, the bone claw hooked and removed the crystal from the head. Bolingar saw the whole Nerub. Or rather, what is left of it. Snow-white bones covered with chain mail and armor. There was a crack on his skull. However, cracks were on almost everything that remained of his body; some bones were even broken. He hardly held a stone in a clawed paw so that it was all visible.
— Look, paladin, what kind of snake you warmed up, — after these words the stone enveloped the web ...
In horror, Bolingar realized that these words were addressed to him.
Highgrave looked at the Riverey and immediately understood everything:
— Yes. I’m already going to look for a mage who teleports you back to Stormwind.
But before he could move away, Riverey grabbed his arm:
— Not worth it. I will return my old stone, which led to the Silver Bor tavern.
— Believe me, my friend, I can convince her to return the spell to the stone, — Riverey smiled at the paladin.
In this smile, a threat to the bartender was clearly read, and maybe reprisal.
— Alas, but I cannot follow you into the Eastern Kingdoms. I will not be able to give up my work. Forgive me, — said Highgrave.
— Not scary. I’m glad you found a new place and started a new life. And here the matter is purely family. Rather, what is left of the family, — Riverey said sadly.
After leaving the academy, they said goodbye. Highgrave still exchanged a few words with the Riverey, after which he suddenly called up Bolingar.
As soon as the paladin approached the huge worgen, he immediately grabbed both of them in an armful and hugged him tightly.
— Don’t be lost, guys. I hope you can get her back, — he said, looking from Bolingar to the Riverey.
After parting with the hunter, they headed to the tavern. There, Riverey approached confidently straight to the elf. Alas, the blood elf did not manage to hide behind the counter before the hunter got to her.
— Be so kind. Give me back my stone, — Riverey said affectionately with a polite smile on her face.
— But I … I can’t … I already … — the bartender tried to say something.
Riverey put her paw on a rack and released her claws, driving them into a supple tree.
— Yes, of course. Now, — the elf disappeared for a few moments in the twilight behind the counter and immediately returned with a hearthstones.
— Thank you, — Riverey grabbed the stone from the elf’s hands.
Bolingar did not even have time to open his mouth to ask for his stone back, when the barmaid immediately pulled out a stone with the emblem of the Stormwind tavern from under the bar. The one that stands in the shopping quarter.
— I have many hearthstones to different cities, — the elf admitted, — but such a wasteland as Silver Bor is a rarity.