A bit later in the day, Deryck was wandering around the castle, not sure what to do with himself now that Keara wasn’t there. He was constantly admiring the ring she had given him. He put it on a leather string and tied it around his neck as the ring did not fit him.
Artemis and his advisors were walking down the corridor, discussing some of the occurrences that took place during the day when they came across Deryck who didn’t even seem to notice them. Artemis took a look at his brother and told his advisors to meet him back at the throne room. He took in a spot by the window next to Deryck and stared out at the scenery for a moment, before looking at his brother.
‘You’re thinking about Keara, aren’t you?’
‘I can’t help it.’
‘You’re really smitten.’ Artemis said with a smile.
‘What? No, I. Um. Yeah okay.’ Deryck knew there was no point in putting up an argument.
‘They’ll be back, Deryck.’
‘I know. I just wish I could’ve gone with her; taken care of her.’
Artemis chuckled, ‘She’s a Dark Elf and a Raven, I’m sure she can take care of herself just fine.’
‘But you would still like to be the knight in shining armour.’
Deryck shrugged, ‘Can’t help it. I feel very protective over her.’
‘I’m sure she’s noticed. And I’m sure she’s thinking about you too.’
Deryck’s eyes twinkled, ‘I sure hope so.’
Somewhere in Ber Mara forest, the pace was much faster as Keara and her brothers were hastily making their way through the Wild Elves’ territory, dodging arrows and spears as far as they went.
‘Come on!’ Alexander yelled, ‘The sooner we’re off their territory, the sooner they’ll stop chasing us!’
They all urged their horses to go even faster as they came near the edge of the Wild Elves’ territory. As soon as they crossed over the edge, they passed through a strong ward that seemed to implode with their passing. It felt as though they stopped in time for a split second and then continued again. In that split second, to them, it felt like running into a solid wall of air that wouldn’t give way, but reverberated with their touch. Once on the other side, they all stopped to look at their chasers. The Wild Elves who were chasing them; who did so on foot on the ground and in the trees, stopped on the other side of the ward, glaring at them for a few hard seconds.
Once the Wild Elves were certain that these elves would not enter their territory again, they disappeared into the forest.
’Wild Elves aren’t usually this territorial.’ Alexander started.
‘Maybe it’s because of what happened in the forest recently.’ Keara suggested.
‘It could be.’ Alexander agreed, ‘No one will find out about it faster than those who live in the forest.’
‘Which means they probably know we were there when it happened.’ Joseph added.
‘They probably do.’ Alexander said.
‘Maybe it’s because Sharzak’s after the Dark Elves.’ Joseph carefully suggested.
‘It wasn’t Sharzak who came out of that hole.’ Keara pointed out.
‘I know. But whoever he was, he was working with Sharzak.’ Joseph said.
‘What’s your point?’ Michael didn’t understand what Joseph was trying to say.
‘Well, his quarrel is with the Dark Elves and it’s possible that all the others know it.’ Joseph said again.
‘If they know about what happened in the forest, they certainly know that he has a quarrel with us.’ Keara said.
‘Get to your point, Joseph.’ Michael grew impatient.
‘Maybe, the only reason the Wild Elves were attacking us, is because two Dark Elves just passed through their territory. And perhaps they’re afraid that whoever was in that hole and Sharzak might be chasing you and would destroy them to get to you.’ Joseph explained.
‘So, you’re basically saying that all the elves are turning against us because Sharzak and whoever else wants revenge.’ Keara stated
‘More or less, yeah.’ Joseph admitted.
Keara fell silent. She knew that Joseph was telling the truth.
‘But nothing evil is supposed to be able to pass through their ward.’ Jonathan said, ‘That’s the whole point of it.’
‘Well that’s true, but Sharzak used to be quite powerful.’ Michael pointed out, ‘And if he is still as strong as he used to be, he might be able to break down the ward, or at the very least, pass through it without it causing him any harm.’
‘You really think he’s that powerful?’ Alexander asked.
‘Maybe not right now, but if the stories hold up, yes.’ Michael answered.
‘And it’s not impossible.’ Keara added, ‘I don’t think it would be wise to underestimate Sharzak or whoever came out of that hole.’
‘Then maybe, we should disguise ourselves. Perhaps then, other elves wouldn’t attack us so easily.’ Michael suggested.
‘You could try that, Michael,’ Jonathan started, ‘but Dark Elves have a certain mysterious air about them. And no matter how well you two shield your auras, other elves will always pick it up.’
‘And also, both your features are a dead give-away. You have silver hair and blood-red eyes. It’s not something the surface elves see every day, but they will certainly recognize it, and Keara’s the most famous Dark Elf in history simply because she has pitch-black hair and intense purple eyes. Not to mention; you’re the only Dark Elves to ever become Ravens. That in itself is a dead give-away.’ Alexander added to the discussion.
‘What he said.’ Jonathan finished.
Keara looked at Michael, ‘He has a point.’
‘Well, that’s nice. We’ll be attacked everywhere we go.’ Michael gave up hope of passing through quietly.
‘The only way we’ll have a peaceful journey, is if we pass through quietly and remain unknown to watchful eyes.’ Keara said.
‘How are we gonna do that?’ Jonathan asked.
‘Stay alert and move quickly, but quietly. Try to attract as little attention as possible.’ Keara said.
‘You make it sound so easy.’ Jonathan said.
‘We’re the Ravens. It should be easy.’ Keara stated matter-of-factly and motioned Legacy into a fast paced run, hoping to avoid more danger.
‘Good point.’ Jonathan added and followed, closely followed by the other Ravens.