The Forest Lord King took his seat again. “I have no news of your parents, Owen,” the King told Owen, his face drawn in lines of sympathy. “I’m sorry.”
“To answer your question about the rift, there are worlds beyond our own,” Alberick began. “In some places, the barrier between the worlds is weak and can be further thinned by those with power. Once the rift is opened, it takes a great deal of strength to close it, 0ften more than it took to create it. There are sealed rifts all across your world that lead to other realms. The rift in the Darkened Forest was opened when the Cumhacht ar Draigoini – The Power of Dragons Talisman – was created. The Unseleigh Sidhe, to you the Dark Fey, entered your world on the gust front of that breach. Our world sent the Forest Lords to contain them lest they ravage your world past repair.”
Alberick pushed himself up from his chair and walked to the edge of the glade that made up the left wall of his study. He clasped his hands behind his back and seemed to want to step into it. With a shake of his head and a weary sigh, he turned back to Aeden and Owen.
“Mymaridae are flying creatures that sting their prey, paralyzing them. The bodies are carried back to its lair and bound in an egg case for future use. Many call them fairyflies. This is the largest of such that we have ever seen. There is a smell of Dragon magic to this monster.”
Owen’s eyes were huge. “Does that mean that Sir Mathin and his men are dead?”
The King glanced at Owen and then at the others. “No,” he admitted. “Once the prey is paralyzed, they are alive until the fairyfly lays her eggs in the body or eats it.”
“The Mymaridae lair is close to the rift on this world’s side,” he told them. “The rift itself is perhaps six candle-marks from the Citadel.”
The servant returned carrying a tray of delicate glasses filled with amber wine. Each of those in the room took a glass. A throat was cleared at the opening to the room and someone sneezed.
The King motioned for the guard to draw back the silk covering the opening. Saleth and Samhanach waited until Alberick gestured for them to enter. Salethgave a short bow to those in the room. Samhanach’s golden eyes flashed from the King to Owen and came to rest on Aeden. He stared steadily at her.
“Welcome, Saleth and Samhanach. I have a mission for you,” the King greeted them. Aeden took a small sip of wine. Owen followed her lead. The wine was very sweet and tasted of plums.
Saleth’s face betrayed no emotion. “As you will, Sire. What is the mission?”
“You will accompany the envoy from Red Dragon’s Keep to the supposed lair of the Mymaridae and, if it is true that it has captured the humans, help them retrieve the men that they search for.”
Saleth’s lips thinned and his eyes narrowed as he contemplated Alberick. “I appreciate your confidence in my prowess, Sire, but I think more than just we four will be needed to complete this quest.”
Five, Navar’s voice reminded everyone that he was listening.
Six, chimed in OathKeeper.
Seven, added HeartStriker
“Seven,” Saleth conceded with a nod.
The Bell tolled seven times, startling those in the room, its deep reverberations seeming to shake their bodies. The ringing faded into nothing as those in the room traded glances.
“It appears that the Bell of Prophecy agrees,” Alberick said with a shake of his head and a raised eyebrow.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish