I would've liked to say I had a peacefull rest, but the moment I closed my eyes I was back in that room with Mevolent. Initially I hadn't remembered any of the things he had done to me, but now they were coming back. I was re-living every moment of it. I gasped awake, in a cold sweat, and found myself clinging to Croatoan like my life depended on it.
"Kid. Get off me." He murmured uncomfortably.
"Sorry," I said, but I didn't move. I didn't want those memories. It was hard enough going through everything the first time, and I just... Couldn't, not again.... I didn't even notice the tears that were beginning to form streams down my face. I stared intensely at nothing, horrific scenes flickering in and out of my view.
I saw the light shining off of serrated blades, the gleam of malicious glee in Mevolent's eyes as he made long, slow incisions into my arms, legs, face, neck... I remembered the struggle to breathe, my desperation as I fought against the straps tying me down, and failed miserably. I heard myself screaming, more intensely than I ever had before, and Mevolent laughing at my pain. He had a jar of maggots and every now and then he would drop some so they could chew into the deeper cuts. Once he even gave his own finger a tiny cut and bled into my mouth, mixing his blood with my own, because he knew I couldn't attack his blood without attacking myself also.
"You remember, don't you?" He asked in his softest voice. I was shaking and crying into his shoulder now. I made a sort of wimper that resembled a yes.
After about half an hour, I started pulling myself together again. I focused on steadying my breaths, finally let go of Niccolo, and wiped my eyes with the dirty sleeve of my torn jacket. It didn't help much. I was still covered in blood, and my clothes were torn, but there would be time to fix that later.
"Did you see if Mevolent captured anyone else?" I asked once I had got myself under control.
"Didn't you say you knew a Maralie Lily Charm?"
"She's my friend," I said quickly, my heart rate picking up, "Why?"
"He has her." It was amazing how emotionless he could be sometimes. At times like this it was incredibly irritating- but that was just who he was, and I had accepted that long ago.
"Take me back there," I demanded, pulling myself off the forest floor. For a moment black spots danced before my eyes, but I didn't falter. Niccolo stepped in front of me, blocking my path.
"No. Look, I know you're completely insane, and I know you don't-"
"I can't just stand by while he captures and tortures my friends!" Tears welled up in my eyes again. "I know the things that Mevolent does. Firsthand. I can't let that happen to Mara. And I'm pretty sure I heard Death Rose say something before I blacked out. I mean, there's a chance that she's on their side, but she could just as easily be a prisoner too. Now, take. Me. There." There was fire in my eyes- he knew he couldn't win this. He would have to take me, whether he liked it or not.
He teleported me to the basement- the same corridor of cells as the one I had been locked in. I summoned a small flame into my hand, and began searching. "Mara?" I called into the blackness. "Maralie, are you here?"