Chapter Twenty Eight
Mere days after Sharzak’s rampage, the Ravens arrived at Varden Castle. Zarra had stayed behind to provide some safety to the family.
Everywhere they turned, they received disapproving looks. It was something they had grown accustomed to, however it seemed that the people around them had become much more hostile. Something had clearly gone very wrong.
‘The people seem more hostile towards us than usual.’ Michael said, once they were in King Artemis’ study.
‘They have good reason to be, Michael.’ Artemis replied, ‘Strange stories have emerged from the villages in the last few days.’
‘What kind of stories?’ Alexander asked.
‘Stories of attacks; rampages through the villages. Their protective wards poisoned and destroyed. Almost none were left alive.’ Artemis explained.
‘Who attacked the villages?’ Jonathan wanted to know.
‘Shadows.’ Artemis paused for a long moment, ‘Lead by Keara.’
Every one of the Ravens grew pale at the mentioning of Keara.
‘I don’t believe it for a second.’ Deryck stated firmly by the window.
‘Deryck; you can’t disregard the word of so many villagers.’ Artemis started.
‘But Keara would never harm anyone!’ Deryck persisted.
‘Not off her own free will.’ Michael explained, ‘But unfortunately, Keara doesn’t have any control over her actions. Sharzak performed a Resurrection Ritual on Keara; which means his life-force now feeds a great deal of hers. She has no choice but to obey him.’
‘How can you be sure of that, Michael?’ Artemis wanted to know.
‘Because we were also attacked by Keara.’ Michael stated.
‘What!?’ Artemis and Deryck exclaimed.
‘After she was killed by the Shadow, we went looking for her.’ Joseph explained, ‘We found her at the Haunted castle; that’s when we discovered, she’s alive. He ordered her to attack us; and attack us, she did.’
’But she didn’t try to kill any of us. Which means that Keara still has to be in there, somewhere.’ Michael finished.
‘The question is, how do we get her out?’ Jonathan said.