PART 23: BY LUCY HALLAM
‘No!’ Ferocity screamed, at the same moment that the Lord of the Beasts roared ‘Yes!’ The crimson spell stopped in its tracks and then receded before disappearing in a puffof mist. The Lord of the Beasts turned and raced towards the voice, completely forgettingabout the spellcasters. Ferocity went to race after him, but Trick held her in place. ‘What are you doing?’ she cried. ‘We can’t go after him,’ he told her. ‘He’s too strong and he’s got all of those beasts defending him.’
Ariella, Aida and Guggalugs were nodding too.
‘But we can’t let him get the banisher,’ Ferocity sagged in Trick’s arms. Deep down, she knew he was right.
‘So what do we do?’ Aida asked quietly. ‘If the Lord of the
Beasts gets his hands on it, we’ll be banished… forever.’
There was an ominous silence. None of them could think what to do. Then a victorious roar pierced the air.
‘The Lord of the Beasts,’ Ariella whispered. The five glanced at each other, and then, coming to a silent agreement, they pelted towards the voice.
They sneaked silently through the maze, turned a corner and there he was, the Lord of the Beasts. Wreathed in shadows, he looked more dangerous than ever. A pillar of pure white light writhed before him. He reached into it and withdrew a long, thin staff.
‘Merlin’s staff,’Ferocity whispered, awed.
‘Yes, my dear,’ the Lord of the Beasts hissed, looking right at them.
The shadows around the creature sank into him, and he revealed his true form. A mop of red hair. Big, green eyes. Betrayal and shock clenched Ferocity’s heart in a vice. ‘Father?’