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from The Unforgiven (First Draft.) by Leila Miller

Chapter 7

Roth followed Lycargus down into a cave. Light from torches bounced off the wall, casting shadows along the wall. Every small hair on his body stood at attention. There was a murmuring in the air. So quiet he wasn’t sure he didn’t imagine it. It seemed to be calling him, pulling him toward deepest recess of the catacombs. 

They followed a well worn path, kicking up what little dust there was. The smell of rot and decay traveled with them as a willing companion.

“What is this place?” Roth eyed a shadow on the wall. He could have swore it reached out to touch him, only to disappear when he turned his gaze toward it. 

“In the past this lead to the Gates of Horn and Ivory.” Gus answered. “The Oneiroi used them before the war to enter the mortal dreams. The war changed that.”

“How so?” Roth asked, keeping to the center of the path. He was sure the shadows were alive. Or maybe he thought, your imagination is running in overdrive. Either way, he wanted to avoid them.

“Zeus. When he and Morpheus used the Oneiroi in the war, neither knew just how powerful a weapon we could be.” Gus swatted at what Roth hoped was a web, the Gods only knew what made this place it’s home. “After the war, Zeus moved the Oneiroi to Mt. Olympus, to keep an eye on them.”

“I would imagine that didn’t go over well.” Roth smiled.

“No, it did not.” Gus shrugged. “Zeus made a promise the Oneiroi would stay neutral, and in doing so removed all magic from us.” From the sound of it Gus did not agree with that idea. “The Oneiroi were the only ones able to use these gates. And to my knowledge they still are the only ones.” 

 The walls of the cave seemed to be getting closer and closer together the further they moved into it’s depths. The air shifted, and the cool breeze ran into the heat from below. 

The climb down to the gate looked treacherous, feeling Roth with dread. In the hours leading to this instant, the task he took on didn’t feel so...

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