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129 Controlled

    Jareth stopped speaking when he heard the humming. At once White-Fire stopped flying forward and listened.

    Astrid noticed their abrupt stop at what they were doing and felt the need to ask. "What is going on? Why did we stop?"

    "Wait," he hushed her, his ears twitched and his eyes squinted as he paid close attention. "This is bad."

    It was at this point Astrid heard the humming and the next thing they knew, the White Tiger-Phoenix Beasts' eyes changed and soon, Little White-Fire started being aggressive.

    "What is going on? Jareth, something is wrong."

    "They are being controlled, that sound of just now, someone is controlling all the beasts within this range of the forest."

    Little White-Fire struggled from Astrid's grip; it was ready to jump and fly off. White-Fire on the other hand, started struggling and shaking its head, shaking everyone and almost dropping them in the process.

    "Jareth, if we fall from this height, we may not survive it," Astrid called out, fear and panic written all over her and could be discerned from her voice.

    "Can you reach out to it?"

    "I think I can."

    White-Fire shook its head and body again as it struggled.

    "Ahh!"

    "Astrid, whatever you are doing, do it now and do it fast."

    "Okay,"she said and quickly shut her eyes, reaching out to the beasts underneath her.

    With her free hand, she touched the beast and used the other to hold the little beast tighter against herself, while Jareth used one hand to wrap around her waist and the other to hold White-Fire as he leaned down for support.

    This action only made the beast more aggressive putting Astrid in a hard spot and all of them in danger.

    It wasn't easy; on one hand she was fighting hard to concentrate and break through the barrier blocking their minds and on the other, she had to keep the little white tiger in place.

    "Astrid come on," he called out to her.

    "I'm trying, but something is preventing me from reaching her mind and you are not helping if you keep calling out to me like that," she yelled at him.

    Realizing what he did, he kept quiet, but it wasn't easy doing so. He gritted his teeth in anger at their current situation.

    Astrid focused and tried blocking all the distractions out, but still she couldn't reach out to it.

    "Damn it, this enchantment or whatever is strong, but I am stronger," she said in her head.

    White-Fire shook its head again and at that moment she was a faint white light in her mind, she reached out and touched it, and felt a tug on the beast's mind, but as quickly as it came, it disappeared.

    "White-Fire is trying to break free from the enchantment. I just have to find a way to help it." An idea popped up and she half smiled. "I know what to do, let's hope it works."

    She removed her hand holding the beast and raised it into the air. Jareth was shocked by her action, but didn't say anything and watched her. In his heart, he hoped that whatever she was doing was going to work.

    She reached for her powers in her mind and felt the wind tug on her, she seized control and immediately the air around them changed, blocking out the humming sound.

    The next minute, she erected a barrier to keep the sound wave out and tried again to reach White-Fire.

    "You can fight it, break the hold, you are under their control. White-Fire!"

    She didn't get a reply but saw the same faint white light again, this time se called out louder.

    "White-Fire, White-Fire, answer me."

    "Astrid?"

    "Yes, yes, I can hear you. Fight it, please."

    She reached deep into their consciousness and pulled the beast. "Break free, come back to me, please."

    While she was busy, she didn't notice the onslaught of wild birds heading in their direction. Jareth looked up and saw the impending danger.

    "What am I going to do? I shouldn't break her concentration, but of these birds get to us, I should kiss her concentration and our lives goodbye. It would be one heck of a fall if we survive their attacks," he thought.

    He was battling with himself and finally came to a conclusion. "It is her yelling at me or our lives, push comes to shove and she can use the barrier to bring us down," he concluded within himself.

    "Now or never... Astrid!! We're under attack!" He yelled at the top of his voice.

    Instantly her eyes flew open and she looked ahead, in front of them.

    Yup, he had successfully broken her concentration, but right now that didn't matter. What he didn't know was that she had successfully broken White-Fire out of their control.

    The little White Tiger Phoenix Beast also broke out with Astrid's help and stopped struggling. In its own case it was quite easier than the mother's.

    "White-Fire, we must get back down now," she panicked at the sight.

    "Astrid! You did it," he praised her when he noticed the White Tiger-Phoenix Beasts didn't struggle anymore.

    "Yeah, we must leave, hold tight."

    Her hand was still raised in the air, "Jareth hold it," she handed over the beast to Jareth and shifted forward creating room for them.

    There we're over hundreds of birds in the air. Different kinds of winged creatures, even the Hypogriff was there.

    "Can you maintain the barrier?" White-Fire asked her.

    "I can try," her voice came off a bit shaky. They were a short distance away from the onslaught of mind controlled birds, she couldn't help but gulp.

    "Good, because we are going to need it."

    She steadied her shaking hand, she already felt tired from controling the barrier with one hand, now she had to hold it some more.

    Spreading both hands by her side, she closed her eyes. She tugged on her power more than before, controlling the air around them and using it as a shield, she finally strengthened her hold on the barrier.

    Not informing them, White-Fire dove down at an alarming speed, just as the wild birds came crashing in on them, causing some of them to fall from the impact.
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