It wasnâ€™t hard to track down his quarry. The Dark One was astoundingly self-confident for a mere second-level sorcerer, and hardly bothered to hide his powers at all. Ilya, masking his own powerful essence, had followed the Dark One for days, and the man had no clue that the Light One was even nearby. Once again, Ilya fingered the items the Moscow Night Watch had given him for his mission. These were extremely rare, valuable items, but the Night Watch had deemed it extremely important that the Dark Oneâ€™s cargo never be delivered, so the bracelet, sphere, and key came along with Ilya.
He glanced over at the Dark One sitting in the seat across the aisle and four rows ahead of him. The sorcerer appeared to be trying to sleep, an effort which baffled Ilya. One of the best things about becoming an Other, in his opinion, was the drastically reduced necessity for sleep. Ilya had always considered sleep an unfortunate, but necessary, waste of time. Now that he no longer required it, except on rare occasions, he had many more hours to spend on activities that interested him more. Intriguing that a Dark One, so concerned with freedom of action, would waste valuable time doing absolutely nothing.
Ilya had been gradually influencing the human passengers to move to a different car, and as the last one exited through the rear door, he deemed it time to make his move. He stuck his left hand through the bracelet, and opened a Light Portal right next to the Dark One. He jumped out of his seat and charged at his opponent, tackling him and forcing him through the Portal he had just created. The world went topsy-turvy for a moment, and then the two Others were through the Portal. Hoping to end things quickly, Ilya shot a blast of light at the prone Dark One, but the man was too quick and rolled out of the way. Ilya took a step back and prepared to release the power within the key, but noticed the manâ€™s outstretched hand and opted to channel his power into the bracelet instead. A crystal shield appeared in front of him, and he gasped as he felt the force of the Dark Oneâ€™s spell hit the barrier. He was afraid for a moment that the spell would break through, but fortunately the shield held, and the evil grey coils dissipated.
The Dark One was clearly in shock that his spell had not worked. Ilya hoped that his own trepidation didnâ€™t show as he took a deep breath and addressed his opponent. â€œGoodness, I certainly wasnâ€™t expecting such a powerful counterattack. You must have been granted an item by your superiors, because I know of no second level sorcerer who could cast the Grey Prayer at all, much less remain standing after doing so.â€ The Dark Oneâ€™s face remained impassive and guarded as he observed Ilya carefully. Casually, Ilya raised his shadow and stepped into the Twilight. The Dark One quickly followed, still in a defensive posture, and Ilya took a deep breath as he managed to snag the edges of his shadow and step into it once again, plunging into the second level of the Twilight. He watched the Dark One move as if in slow motion before finally succeeding in finding his own shadow and stepped into the second level as well. Ilya was tempted to face the man in the second level, as he was clearly too weak to defend himself properly, but deciding to leave nothing to chance, he grasped the grey sphere in his hand and walked towards the Dark One. As he shattered the sphere in his fist, his shadow suddenly became very visible, and he raised it easily and moved into the third level of the Twilight.
Instantly, his power began draining from him. Only Great Ones were supposed to traverse this level of the Twilight; the only reason he could even come here was the artifact he had been given by the Night Watch. He only had seconds before the Twilight would consume him, so he stepped quickly behind the Dark One, who seemed to be barely moving at all, and burst back into the second level of Twilight like someone erupting out of water for a gasp of air. He pulled out the key artifact and sent his waning power through it. Suddenly, he was holding a sword of purest light, and he wasted no time thrusting it through the heart of the Dark One. As the man fell to the ground, Ilya felt a profound sorrow as he relinquished the power of the key artifact. An Other killed in the Twilight, particularly the second level, would be caught in its darkness forever; a fate that, despite the Dark One being his enemy, he would never have wished upon him. He searched the clothes of the rapidly dying Other before him, and grasped the item he was looking for in his right hand. He quickly left the Twilight, not wishing to see the final torture of the soul of the Dark One he had killed. He held the opaque cylindrical object to his ear and shook it a few times, hearing the slosh of liquid within it. Satisfied, he opened a Portal to New York City, and stepped through to complete the final phase of his mission.