‘From the corner of my eye I saw a person come out of the woods’

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Chapter 1 (3)

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“We Had a Recent Case of Disappearances, Townspeople Are Worried”

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Chapter 1 (2)

Break

I have to take a short break in publishing The Mouth of Serpent due to some life changes that I am going through but when the conditions are more favourable, I will return. I will also post some quotes from time to time.

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Chapter 1 (1)

Chapter 1 (18)

Master Orthus closed his eyes and was silent for a while.

‘We have to bring them to the Temple’, he finally spoke. ‘Both Ailintho and I.’

‘No, Master, your health will not let you to travel so far’, I shook my head immediately. ‘You won’t go, no way! I won’t let you!’

‘And I will not let you go alone all the way to the Temple’, he was equally stubborn. ‘This land is full of dangers, you need to have someone who will accompany you.’

‘Master, please listen to me!’, I took a deep breath and was attempting to convince him to change his mind when suddenly the warrior spoke

‘I can go with Lady Ailintho.’

We both looked at him surprised.

‘You are right’, Wanlorn continued. ‘Master Orthus is not physically strong enough to travel for so long but you cannot go without someone to protect you.’

‘I can protect myself’, I answered hastily. ‘You saw yourself that I can control Energy.’

‘I did see your skills’, he nodded his head slowly and kept staring at me attentively. ‘But I also saw how exhausted you were after spending so much of your own powers to keep it in balance. No matter how big, your skills are not enough. You will need a warrior.’

I had to admit his words sounded reasonable. Gems could not stay in the forest and had to be returned as soon as possible. Apparently the only people who could take up such a dangerous task were the warrior and me. I barely suppressed the sigh of displeasure. Events have been unfolding fast, too fast for me. Living in a quiet forest and sticking to a regular, leisurely rhythm of nature, I was not accustomed to receiving so many stimuli nor making quick decisions. I only met the stranger yesterday and now I was to set off for a long and dangerous journey with him. I didn’t like that. I didn’t like that at all.

But I knew I had no better option so I nodded my head and said,

‘Fine. We’re going tomorrow in the morning.’

Wanlorn’s face showed no emotion, I bet he experienced many dangerous journeys and this one didn’t make any impression on him. He moved toward the door and said

‘In this case let me please move to my room and prepare for the travel.’

We both bowed slightly as the warrior was leaving the room. As soon as the door closed Orthus asked me,

‘Ailintho, if you don’t want to go, I’ll send someone else.’

‘No Master’, I shook my head. ‘There is no one in the community who has enough knowledge to do it. If there is any druid who can complete this mission, that’s me.’

‘I’m not talking about the journey only, I want to know if you trust the warrior. If not, I’ll find an excuse to send someone else.’

I said nothing and came close to the window. Children were playing hide-and seek among the trees and Lendra was shouting their names to make them return to the hall. The sun was setting slowly announcing the time for rest.

‘Can you trust him Ailintho? Can you entrust the jewels and yourself to his protection?’

The image of Wanlorn carrying me came to my mind, I recalled his pulsating and alerted yet positive energy and nodded.

‘I think I can. Although I predict he won’t be a good companion’, I smiled ironically.

‘I’ll be praying to God and Goddess to protect you on your way’, Master sighed, his eyes were sad. ‘They know that sending you to Theria is the last thing on my mind but I believe in you, my child. I taught you everything I know myself and trained you in all the Druidic craft that had been passed generation after generation. There is no better candidate to fulfil this mission than you, Ailintho. Osla would be proud of you.’

I closed my eyes to prevent tears that suddenly appeared from falling. I took a deep breath, smiled and turned to Orthus.

‘I’ll do my best, Master’, I said quietly. ‘I’ll go prepare myself too. Good night Master’

He smiled to me and sent me the wave of good energy. I was still smiling when I left the room and went the corridor to the residential area of the building but as soon as I entered my room and closed the door, I burst into tears.

Leaving the forest seemed like the biggest nightmare in the world and I was about to do it in just a couple of hours.

I fell on the bed and began to cry, I was weeping so bitterly and so long that I finally fell asleep.

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Chapter 1 (17)

CHAPTER I

(Ailintho)

‘What is that, Ailintho?’, he whispered. ‘What did she steal?’

‘See it yourself, Master. If this is what I think of, then we are in big trouble.’

He took the jewels out of the bag, his face became pale and he put the gems back into the bag right away.

‘My God and Goddess!’, he was still whispering. ‘It can’t be true!’

‘So it IS what I thought of…’, I sighed. Master nodded his head and heavy silence fell upon the room.

‘And what is it?’, the warrior wanted to know. ‘Why is it so dangerous?’

‘These jewels belong to the Temple’, Master Orthus said when he calmed down a bit. ‘They used to be placed on the statues of God and Goddess and believed to be powerful talismans, it was rumoured that the deities themselves gave them to the temple as the sign of their grace. However, despite watching over them by the priests and the guards, one day they simply disappeared and no one has seen them again. Until now…’, he looked at the bag anxiously and became silent.

‘Priests have suspected that it was the King who ordered to steal them’, I added. ‘And now that we know the thief stole them from the house of the secret service chief, we can be sure that they were right.’

‘I can sense great force coming from these artefacts’, Wanlorn said observing the black bag all the time.

‘These gems do not only increase the energy and ability to perform magic, they enhance the unconscious powers within the owner. They can notice and multiply your inner thoughts and feelings so if your psyche is in disorder, they will bring it out to light and make you behave erratically. If your soul is covered with dark web, these talismans will begin to influence your mind by making you believe in illusions they send. You may become dangerous for yourself and for others. In fact they were never meant to be worn by human beings, no mortal can bear such amount of supernatural force.’

‘I see’, the warrior nodded. ‘No surprise the girl became possessed right away.’

‘And this is why I thank God and Goddess for not allowing these gems to fall into the wrong hands. But I am not happy with having them in the area of our forest neither’, Master sighed heavily. ‘The necklace and the belt belong to the Temple, they should be placed on the statues, not on the necks and hips of random people.’

‘We could send a messenger to the priests to let them know the jewels are here and ask them to come here to get them’, I said but the Master shook his head.

‘I doubt they would send anyone here, that would be too dangerous even if they were in disguise. Besides I would not entrust these jewels in the hands of people I do not know in person…you saw yourselves what they can do with a person of a weak soul.’

‘What shall we do then?’, I asked. ‘Jewels cannot remain here, they would attract secret service to this place sooner or later.’

Master Orthus closed his eyes and was silent for a while.

(to be continued)

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Chapter 1 (16)

CHAPTER I

(Ailintho)

Just as we were approaching the druid seat I thanked Wanlorn for supporting me all the way and moved for a safe distance, I did not want the members of community to see us being so close. The moment we entered the building, I ordered to call Master Orthus as soon as possible and led the warrior to the room where the last meeting took place. I placed the bag with artefacts carefully on a table and sat in a safe distance from it.

‘Sit down, please’, I spoke to the warrior but he shook his head.

‘I better stay away from that object’, he said and leaned against the window jamb.

He might not have known what these things were but he could clearly sense their energy. They were still hidden inside the bag and yet clearly emitting powerful waves. We were both staring at it with anxiety until Master Orthus came in.

‘We have news’, I said immediately. ‘Please, sit down.’

Master looked at the object on the table, then at me and the warrior but said nothing, he leaned his staff against a chair and sat down.

‘It was human indeed’, I spoke first guessing that Wanlorn won’t do it himself. ‘A young female thief from the capital city.’

‘Here?!’, Master raised his eyebrows in astonishment. ‘She got so far being crippled?! Why?’

‘Because she’s a thief’, I was positively surprised that my companion joined the conversation. ‘She was fleeing with the things she had stolen and reached the forest until she had no power to escape any further.’

‘Why was she escaping? Did you find out?’

‘Because ot this’, I turned my head in the direction of table, pointing at the bag. Master looked at me suspiciously but touched it carefully to check its vibrations. He raised his eyebrows even higher when he felt its energy.

‘What is that, Ailintho?’, he whispered. ‘What did she steal?’

‘See it yourself, Master. If this is what I think of, then we are in big trouble.’

He took the jewels out of the bag, his face became pale and he put the gems back into the bag right away.

‘My God and Goddess!’, he was still whispering. ‘It can’t be true!’

‘So it IS what I thought of…’, I sighed. Master nodded his head and heavy silence fell upon the room.

(to be continued)

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Chapter 1 (15)

CHAPTER I

(Wanlorn)

I was carrying her in my arms as we made our way back to the druid seat. The fabric of her clothes was surprisingly soft under my hands and her weight was next to nothing. At first I planned to simply use a telekenisis spell to carry her but she appeared so comfortable that I didn’t have the heart to do it. Her eyes were closed and she was breathing slowly, I started thinking she fell asleep and it began to affect me, the battle effort was starting to take its toll and I had to struggle keeping my eyes open. Her presence was relaxing and my eyes closed for a brief moment, even though short it was enough to make me stumble. I came close to dropping her to the ground but managed to keep my balance. She asked me to set her down because we were almost there and even though I liked the feeling of holding her, my arms were getting numb.

There was a smile on my face as I looked at her, to her question why was I smiling I replied nothing but my smile deepened as her arm went around my shoulder for support.

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