Aila made quick work of the cart, lengthened it, and increased the height of the side boards. She quickly filled it with food from their storage, bound the silver coins into a pouch, hid it underneath, and put the bedding on top.
"Elena, take everyone to town, warn Toril and Rirn. Then take the cart and head south." Elena sniffed, while Ellie looked at her with sad eyes.
"Master? Aren't you coming with us?" She asked. Aila shook her head.
"That volcano will destroy our home. The forest will survive, but if I don't calm it down, not only our home, but a lot of people will die. Including my most precious people." Aila said and hugged her. Ellie's tears rolled down her cheeks.
"Everyone. If you're not climbing onto the cart, start walking. Elena is strong enough to beat a stone bear. Ellie is strong enough to destroy any wolf. I don't know if stronger beasts will come along, but if you don't leave, you might be overwhelmed. Get going." Ellie held onto her.
"I'm staying!" She cried. Aila smiled gently, and kissed the top of her head.
"Do you want me to die?"
* * *
Nadya held Ellie in her arms while she silently cried. Aila would not let them stay, even if they wanted to die with her.
"Why?" Ellie asked. Elena growled.
"Are you stupid or something?" She asked angrily as she pulled the cart towards Aros.
"Sister?" Ellie asked in shock.
"She can absorb all the elements." Nadya said gently. "She can absorb lava, but she's not skilled at it. If she's distracted while trying, she might die. That is a volcano. If we are nearby, she'll worry about us. If she's worried about us, she won't focus." Elena nodded.
"If she can't focus, our Master will die." Elena said firmly. "You think any of us want to leave?" Ellie sniffed and sobbed. "Master gave us things to do, and for the first time, they are orders. I have to obey her." Ellie slowly nodded.
"I know, but that doesn't make it any better." Ellie said miserably. Nadya lightly slapped her side, and hugged her close.
"Of course it doesn't. Our Master is going to fight a volcano, and we are too weak to help." She swallowed her sadness, and hugged her tight. "Which means we need to get stronger in the future, so she won't worry about us being near when there is danger."
* * *
"We have to go." Elena said as she pulled the cart out the gate. They didn't waste much time, but each minute was precious.
"Rirn, Toril and Toral have all been told. We've let the guards know as well, but the word is spreading fast." Nuri said as she climbed onto the cart, and held Alara and Ivadra to her side. Nadya held Ellie firmly, so she wouldn't run off back to the house.
"Master must be angry." Ellie said softly.
"No doubt. She worked hard to repair that manor, and it's getting closer and closer to winter. All our preparations have gone down into the pit." Nadya said, and kept Ellie to her chest.
"The rumbles are getting closer together." Shaala said as she walked beside the cart. "Wind elements are getting stirred up as the lava agitates the surface."
"So are the flame elements." Kaala said. "See if you can hold onto the cart as a guide and absorb the elements while you walk. Nadya, Alara, do the same. Nadya, do not let Ellie go." Ellie pouted.
"I'm not going to run off!" She said firmly.
"We all love Master, Ellie." Nuri said softly. "I'm supposed to take care of her body when she sleeps. You're meant to wash her. Nadya and Alara are meant to bathe her skin in light, to keep her healthy. Ivadra is meant to commune with her in the dark depths of the night. Shaala and Kaala keep her warm, and cool. We each have our place beside her, and now she faces a danger where we can't be near her." Ellie's face cracked, and she started to cry again.
"Will we see her again?" She whispered. Nuri looked at the sky above, and smiled serenely.
"She is Master. We'll see her again."
* * *
Aila ran towards the mountain after she was sure her people left the forest. The ground rumbled a bit, but the closer she got to the mountain, she realized how serious it was.
"Water pythons have swum further down the river. Black panthers are already moving towards Aros, while the flame and storm wolves are flowing further into the kingdom. Stone bears have already passed Aros, as did the family near the manor." She could read everything based on the life signatures nearby.
"Even those treemen have all left. I thought they were more plant than beast, but they have some sense of self preservation." She concentrated on the path ahead, and ran up the mountain.
Halfway up, she found signs of disturbed ground. She continued onward and upward, but even she had to slow down as the angle and the terrain made it hard to climb. She could move at extremely fast speeds on level ground, but on unstable ground, her speed would cause her problems, so she kept her pace reasonable, and much lower than she was used to.
As she got closer to the top, the air grew hotter, the soil more stirred up, and the smoke looked much thicker. It was at the top that she finally swore.
"Oh fuck." The expected volcano, like what she had seen on a movie wasn't there. Lava bubbled up from a ten meter wide hole, and as it spilled over the sides, it dislodged the soil.
"It's still a young volcano, which means it might explode, or it might be letting off steam." Aila rolled her eyes. "Whether old or young, big or small, I can't just take the heat out of the top and plug it up, or it will blow! Fuck!"
She had to stand there, dissolve the lava by taking the energy a bit at a time, and hope it didn't explode in her face.
She was playing with a live temperamental bomb that every country on planet Earth feared. If a volcano formed anywhere, it was not a good thing, as the smoke it belched out could change the temperature of the area. It could create a harsh winter, kill plant life, and destroy crops.
If it exploded, it could bury entire cities in ash and lava, while the cloud of ash and superheated air traveled in all directions. It could contain lava blocks that were thrown from the volcano, steam, soot, ash, hot gasses that can reach up to a thousand degrees, and move at insane speeds.
A volcano was nature's nuclear bomb without the nuclear radiation, but just as deadly. Which was also why she had to send her precious people away.
Indulgence could cause disaster.