Once Walked With Dragons

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Chapter Twenty Two

That night, her entire family held a funeral for her in the forest. Dozens of candles illuminated the darkness. No one said a word, the expressions on their faces said more than enough. They had created a shrine by the water dedicated to her as was tradition in the Raven family. Michael walked into the water with a handful of Keara’s favourite flowers that had been tied together. A small candle had been placed in the middle of the flowers. Slowly he placed it the water and watched it drift away with the current, all the while tears silently rolling down his cheeks.

Before long, the Shadows stood before Sharzak with Keara. They laid her down before him.
‘Well, well, well.’ Sharzak started, ‘A Raven. And a woman.’
Sharzak looked Keara over.
‘Take her to the dungeon. The other Ravens will be coming for her soon.’
The Shadow picked up Keara’s lifeless body and proceeded to the dungeon.

The house of the Ravens was uncomfortably quiet. No one said or did anything.
After a few moments, Joseph asked, ‘What do we do now?’
‘There’s nothing we can do, Joseph.’ Jonathan answered.
‘We have to avenge our sister’s death.’ Joseph started.
‘Keara was killed by a Shadow. If she wasn’t even strong enough to defend herself against one of them, we stand no chance against Sharzak.’ Michael said.
‘But we can’t just sit here and do nothing.’ Joseph replied. Then standing up with new determination, he picked up his weapons, ‘I’m gonna avenge Keara with or without you.’ he walked out the door.
The others sat there for a moment, feeling despair.
Joseph was saddling up his horse, when his brothers joined him. He just looked at them.
‘We’re all in this together.’ Michael stated, ‘Keara would’ve done the same for us.’
Joseph just nodded.

Deryck had gone back to Varden castle, to his brother. He was torn with the news of Keara. He did not want to believe it, but the truth was inevitable.
It was nightfall by the time he had arrived at the castle. He entered the study without knocking, hoping that he would find his brother there.
Artemis looked up from his desk, ‘Deryck, you’re back.’ he said excitedly. However, his excitement quickly turned to concern when he noticed the painful look on Deryck’s face.
‘What’s wrong, Deryck?’
For a moment, Deryck could not say the words, ‘Keara;’ he breathed heavily, ‘Keara’s dead.’
‘She was killed by a Shadow.’
‘A Shadow? I thought they were just a myth.’
‘Sharzak resurrected them.’
‘I’m so sorry, Deryck.’ Artemis said and embraced his sobbing brother.

The Ravens searched for Keara with furious determination. Even if their sister was dead, they would not leave her in the hands of Sharzak. Though, despite what they had witnessed happening and the funeral they had held for her, they still believed that somehow Keara would come back from the dead.

That night Deryck could not sleep. He kept having dreams of Keara. She was in his arms, sharing soft kisses and loving smiles. It was exactly how he had imagined their lives together, but then everything went wrong. He kept seeing Keara die. The Shadows standing over her lifeless body. He screamed, awakened by the sight. Covered in cold sweat, panting. He could not put the image out of his mind. He had never loved anyone the way he loved her and now she was gone.

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