Legend's II: Chronicle's

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Chapter 6

Malice had found the place she was looking for, and it was far from the giant manse she had expected the Sovereign to uphold. More like a dingy little cottage in the woods, just like Navina had described; surrounded in trees at the mouth of a cave, and overlooking a small creek that leaked from said cave.

Malice felt as if she were part of some horror movie, though there were other houses, and other people living in and about the small clearing. A tiny, odd looking village; and nobody wanted to speak with her.

They pointed her in the general direction without words; like they all knew who she was looking for. Dressed in her formal black silks and armor, Malice approached the door she had been told was hers, and just as she went to knock, she heard the neighbors begin to speak in fear filled tones at the end of the path.

Figures, nobody liked to approach her when she was as she was; but whatever, the Valkyrie grinned behind her mask, listening to them chatter about, as if they had actually expected something like this to happen.

Pointing and shaking their heads at the little brown cottage, nodding with an approving smile as Malice finally knocked on the door.

Were they ‘happy’ now, that she was here? Were they expecting her to remove the Witch from their little haven? Ha, she’d remove her alright, but she wasn’t keeping her. She wasn’t even allowed to kill her.

Pity, it would be nice to sit at Kember’s feet as she sat on the Bitch’s Throne of Power. She could get used to the royal life; but that would all come after, she had freed Kember from that horrid spell.

No one was answering, and after a third attempt at knocking, she turned and made her way towards a mother and a young female, both looking at her with reverence in their eyes. Okay, she had to admit, she did look all sinister and official, but she wasn’t here to seek revenge on anyone contrary to the village folk’s beliefs.

“This...” The child spoke, though her Mother tried to hush her. “... is what happens when you use your powers for evil. The evil that you do in life, must be paid for.” Malice actually had to stop looking at the pair and shake her head.

What was that? No, never mind.

“Those who use their powers to protect and help others, never need fear me, child. There are far worse things that could come of tonight, but mine will not be the hand that deals them!” Malice had surprised everyone, when she hadn’t kicked the door the first time she’d knocked.

Even Sax, had remained silent, sensing her mood and staying ready at her side as she returned to the door and politely, knocked again. This was getting her nowhere.

“My Lady? I have come to seek your help!” Malice called out, and again the villagers began to mumble to themselves. Again, nothing from inside the small cottage hidden in the trees. Was she even here?

“My Lady? Your daughter has had an accident, and she is in need of your help.” Malice growled, hoping to get her attention.

“Who, are you?” Came a feminine voice that sounded just like Kember’s.

Malice had to remind herself that this was the woman, who had tried to steal Kember’s powers, out of jealousy. She had tried to kill Kember, she was not, Kember. Malice couldn’t let her heart do the thinking this time.

“I am a friend of Kember’s. I am Malice, of the Valkyrie.” She sighed, and shook her head.

“The one you seek, is not here!” The voice replied from behind the door.

"Kalin, we don’t have time for this foolishness. Come out here. I’m not here to collect you, then again you don’t want me to come in there to get you!” Malice hissed at her then backed off about fifty paces.

She raised her hand, directly in front of the mother and child, summoning one of her bubbles.

“It looks like a soap bubble, Momma! The young female giggled.

“Kalin, you have to count to five to come out.”

On four, Malice blew gently on her palm to let the “soap bubble” drift toward the door. On five Malice snapped her fingers and the ball detonated with a brilliant flash and a thunderous boom!

Thatch rained down around then all as she smiled and the young female giggled some more.

“Do it again, do it again!” She squealed excitedly.

Malice grinned at her as the second sphere took shape, hoping to lure the Witch out into the open. Has she ever tasted the power of a Valkyrie?

“The next one won’t be a warning, Kalin!” She shouted, as the ball grew bigger. “You’ll lose more than your roof!” Malice blew in her hand and the bubble started moving again, but this time, it glowed an eerie violet as it approached the small house and a white flag appeared in one of the windows.

“Isn’t that cute!” One of the village folk let out behind her, but as soon as they heard her voice, her real voice.

“No more! By the Gods, I surrender already.” She didn’t sound frightened.

“Damn, that was just getting good.” Nyx complained, coming from the shadows to stand at Malice’s side.

“What are you doing here?” She grumbled at him.

“Helping! Trust me, you can thank me later!” Mia appeared as well, grinning at her as she crossed her arms over her chest.

Malice waited beside them as the entire village came out to watch the show. Nyx vanished from sight, only to reappear near the door, grabbing the female by the arm as she made her way out and into the light.

She was tall, with long black hair and multicolored strands and feathers, beads and jewels, adorning her head dress. Her eyes were burning an eerie blue, and the smug look on her face.

She looked at Malice, and then at Mia. Malice wasn’t sure who the female was more afraid of; if it even was fear, that she sensed. It was something though, and as Nyx brought her closer, Malice could smell the satisfaction.

The Witch was permeating, satisfaction? Mia sensed it too, it was written all over her face. She didn’t trust the female, and as her mate brought her even closer, Malice watched as Mia glared at her.

“I expected better treatment, from one of Lord Eroch’s daughters; but then again with the company you keep.” Kalin chuckled, walking every so slowly in her black and red gown.

“Now this is more like it!” Mia laughed,

“See? Always a female with class,” She sighed, and then glared at the Witch, “but if I find out that you had anything to do with Kember’s illness.”

“What illness?” Kalin snapped back, ignoring the rubbish the villagers spoke all around her.

“Don’t act, like you don’t know!” Mia grabbed the woman and threw her down to her knees.

You witness every act of magic, Kalin. You are their Sovereign!”

“And you, Valkyrie? What do you have to say about all of this?”

Kalin turned her gaze on Malice, who stood beside the female and child. The child tugged on the Valkyrie’s cloak.

“Don’t let her hurt the Witch Lady. When I fell from the tree and broke my arm, it was she who fixed it!”

Nonsense!” The Mother scolded her young, but the little female did not listen.

“Please?” She begged Malice.

From the mouths of babes.” Malice sighed as Mia grabbed Kalin by the hair.

“Gently, Mia! Gently!” She told her, which earned her a strange look.

“If you kill her, your Mother will be very disappointed. Or should we just go ahead and hold a trial now?”

“A trial? But you said Kember was ill, an accident involving magic? You said nothing of a trial. What bullshitery do you spew?” Kalin let out.

“And do not lie, I can smell her magic on you.” She eyed Malice. Malice laughed, nodding for Mia to let her go, only to have her hand wrap around the Witch’s throat.

“Personally, I’d hang you right here for your past deeds, but your daughter needs your help. She will die without it, and I don’t know enough about your kind of magic to do this myself. So you can help me, or die right here, right now! Refuse to comply, and I will have your neighbors judge you; and from the looks on their faces, you’re already guilty.” She laughed as she looked around.

Other than the young female and her mother, who among the crowd that had gathered, would save the Witch? None!

“You can try and save Kember, and maybe help us fight against the Order, and I may I ask the Lord and Lady for clemency. Or do you want to spend the rest of your worthless life imprisoned in the Null?”

“Thrash her but good! Stretch her neck!” Said an older female who looked like the young one’s grandmother.

“She’s done more harm, than good!” Another shouted. “Well, Kalin? Do I get a rope? There seems to be plenty of good sturdy trees around here.”

With that said, Kalin put her hands out in front of her, looking daggers at the Valkyrie and Malice nodded as Mia approached with the chains and they prepared to depart.

The Valkyrie walked over to where the trio of females stood watching, curtsying as she approached.

Malice smiled down at the young, holding out her hands for the young female to shake.

“Thank you for your help.?” She smiled again, and waited for the child to answer.

“Julia!” She giggled. “

Well, Julia, thank you for your help.” Malice smiled.

Malice led the way, as they brought Kalin to the portal of Sanctuary, where Nissa stood waiting for him.

Beside him, stood his mate, Madrina, shaking her head as the Valkyrie brought the female forth.

“Well I just lost my bet with Zahara.” She sighed, still shaking her head.

“What bet?” Malice inquired as she handed the chains to Nissa.

“She said the Witch would do something stupid, and you would be bringing her back in a box.” He laughed, and Malice grinned as she looked at Madrina.

They had set aside the differences between them, but Malice could feel that streak of jealousy;even now, as she and Madrina exchanged glances when the Angel started off towards the temple, with Kalin in tow.

“How is she?” Malice asked with a lump in her throat, following along beside Madrina.

“Her temperature is high and her breathing’s shallow.” Madrina sighed, on the verge of yet more tears.

“I’ve tried everything I know.” She added as they climbed the steps and made their way across the marble floors.

“She’s up here!” Madrina tried to smile, taking the first of many steps that would lead them to the very top.

Has she woken at all?” Kalin called back, just as they reached the last step.

“No!” Madrina replied, nodding for Nissa to open the door and allow them all in. It was bright in her room. White bed, white walls, white sheets... white face, Gods, she looked so pale against the black hair with its streaks of blue.

Almost like, Marena. Malice shook her head, trying to shake the image, make it disappear altogether, but she couldn’t help seeing not only Kember, but also Marena, lying in that bed.

Two totally different people, and yet Malice loved them both; but she felt the guilt rise as the realization set in. She loved them both, and looked where it had gotten them.

At least Reh and the children were safely tucked away with Folix and the others; but how long would it be before even the orphanage was declared unsafe?

Malice heard the gasp as the female stood at the foot of her daughter’s bed, though after all that Malice had heard, that horrid excuse had no right to call herself a Mother.

“She is getting weaker!” Zahara told them, as the rest gathered in the room. “

Her pulse is so slow, and she whimpers...”

“She can help!” Malice glared at Kalin.

“She won’t help!” Navina shot out, disgusted in the Witch’s presence.

“Look at her, she can’t wait for the light to fade, so she can steal Kember’s magic!”

“You, foolish child, if Kember dies, her magic dies with her!” Kalin rolled her eyes and shook her head.

“And disregarding what you, think, you know, I never once, tried to ‘kill’ my daughter!”

“No, but you’d kill her Father right in front of her!” Mia growled, and Nyx had to put a hand on her shoulder to ease her back.

“And why was that, Kalin? Did he find out what you had planned for his daughter?”

“His daughter?” The female shouted, “She was my daughter! Stavros, was but a shell! A seed donor, if you wish!” She laughed, “He could no more raise Kember, than your Demon could!”

Nyx let out a growl so deep that Kalin took a few steps back.

“You ever, refer to me and mine again, and I will gut you where you stand!”

If Malice had learned one thing, you never mentioned ‘kids’ to Nyx. The bastard loved them dearly, but could not be sure of his own; and the thought of someone using it against him like that.

“Simmer down, boy! Wouldn’t want to start a blood bath on these perfect marble tiles.” Kalin snarled at him. “Shouldn’t you be hunting something? Like the hound, you are?”

It was Mia who flew at her, Malice just stood back as the Witch’s face grew as pale as her daughter’s. There were no words exchanged, no threats or insults, just a gaze of death that lingered between them.

“You see? She is more interested in playing her games, than helping Kember!” Navina shouted at her, “You’re a horrible Mother, you don’t even deserve to be called a Mother! Won’t even help her own child.”

“And why should I? I have feelings for her, yes, but she has denied me and mine, since the day her Father passed.” Kalin managed to get out as Mia’s grip tightened.

“Because you killed him?” Navina spat back at her.

“He tried to take her...”

You tried to kill her...”

“Because of what, she would be...” But her words were fading, that light in her eyes almost gone. “

Just do it, Mia! She won’t help us!” Navina told her, but another voice intervened.

“She will help us, or she will forever find herself locked in the dungeons of the Null, and I will place another on her throne!” The voice echoed as she appeared in the doorway. A long white cloak, and hair with tips that looked as if they’d be dipped in blood, hanging from beneath the hood.

“Release her, Euphamia!” Mia hesitated, only for a moment, feeling Malice’s hand on her shoulder.

“She’d better not try anything sneaky!”

“Oh, she won’t!” Malice grinned, as she watched Kalin sit down on the bed beside Kember, and with a nod from Lady Ellaria, her eyes closed and her hands fell upon her daughter’s forehead.

“I can get her flows in order, but I’ll need some time to prepare; and I’ll need a few things from the palace!” Kalin let out after a time, folding her hands back in her lap.

It was Malice this time, who reached for the female’s throat, again wrapping her fingers so gently, that Kalin shuddered under her touch.

“You will tell Nyx what you need, and if you lie, or betray us in any way, I will give you to him, as a new plaything. You’ll be locked away in his dingy little dungeon, and I’ll be damned if I let you die before I say it’s time!”

“The Demon is a...” “Hound! Wasn’t that what you called him?” Mia spat at her, and Nyx couldn’t help but chuckle. “

Well that, Hound, is one of the best fucking trackers, I know!” “The Valkyrie! She will know what I need.” Kalin glared up at her.

“Fuck that!” Nyx shouted across the room, tempted to let his mate have her way with the abomination before them.

“The Valkyrie goes, or Kember dies!”

“Let’s make this simple, shall we?” Malice replied through gritted teeth.

“If she dies, you die, as slow and as lingering, as I can devise. And trust me when I say, I’ve had thirteen thousand years of practice! The common folk will speak of your fate, for centuries to come.”

“Malice?” She heard her name, and felt the urge for her to let Kalin go, as Ellaria cleared her throat.

“Why does she always have to spoil our fun?” Mia let out a mess of sighs and muttered words, and let her head drop to her mate’s shoulder.

“Enough!” Ellaria shot out.

“What is it that you need?”

“Malice will know where to get it...” The Witch started again.

“You will tell me now, and I will go myself!” Lady Ellaria glared back at her.

“You? But you can’t, it’s not...”

“It’s not, what?” “Malice, Mia? Out!” Zahara commanded, receiving the nod of approval from their Mother.

Mia grumbled as she took Valkyrie’s hand, and led her towards the door, but Malice hesitated. Nyx put his arm around her as he looked at the Witch.

“Mal, dearest? Since Zahara has taken over the roost, and will make sure...” He glared at his mate’s sister, “...that Kalin will do exactly as she’s told, and no more let’s go out.” He chuckled, and then walked her out the door.

“Let’s go have a drink? I have got a pocket full of gold and it’s got your name on it."

Malice sighed as she let Mia and Nyx lead her away, with their constant assurances that Zahara would call Malice, if anything changed. Anything! They were right, if she stayed here, she’d end up killing someone.

Navina stood at the foot of the bed, watching as the Witch played with her daughter’s hair. She was one of four who remained in the room, watching over what happened next with keen eyes.

One wrong move, and she would send the dagger she held in her hand, flying into the whore’s back; if Zahara didn’t beat her to it. Zahara was quick and strong, for a female; but then, being mated to a Vampire of royal blood, she was a bloody Queen in her own right.

You could also add to that list, the fact that she could read your thoughts, and see the truth in one’s aura. None could hide from her, she knew what you were, even before you did.

Except for Lync, who, she was told, had one ‘...fucked up web, that surrounds him, Father! I can’t really explain it, other than to say that it’s not like other auras. It’s brighter, and more... spikey!’Navina was still trying to figure out what she had meant by ‘spikey’ and hadn’t the courage, nor the time to ask for a doodle.

She had to wonder though, what Zahara saw when she looked upon the Witch, as a Witch could have one of many colors. From green to gold, red, blue, silver...

‘The trick is to look for the outline. If it’s black, then the heart is dark.Navina had learned much from Zahara, though not Euphamia, she had incredible things to show her; and she seemed to be able to calm Lync in a hurry, which alone was a Godsend.

Something about her, they just clicked, and that gave Navina a feeling of security. Lync could be a handful at times, his emotions could take control at any moment.

He was big, strong and mean when he was ‘upset’ and that usually meant trouble for everyone, but Navina; and now apparently Zahara too. “

The Valkyrie, Malice?” Kalin’s words were troubled.

“She truly cares for my daughter? It’s not just an act she puts on?”

Zahara looked up at her Mother, and then at Navina, and then shook her head and laughed; right before she turned back and slapped the Witch across the face.

“Yes, it would seem she does care, more than you do!” Well, now wasn’t that a welcomed surprise. Navina only wished it was her hand that stung at that very moment and not Zahara’s.

“If you ever had any feelings, you’d understand that.” Zahara grumbled as she went back to monitoring Kember.

“That female is an abomination!” Kalin spat back.

“I can feel the enemy’s hands all over her.” She hissed, rubbing at the welt on her cheek.

“Says the Witch whose hands are drenched in the blood of others!” Navina laughed.

“Malice may have been darkened for a time, but her standing has never faulted. Now give me the list of things you need, and get on with it!” Ellaria’s voice rose.

“The list... No I...” But the Witch’s words were muffled. “What was that?” Zahara let out. “There is no bloody list!” She winced in reply, as both Zahara and Navina made to strike her.

“And yet you would send Malice, on a quest to find, nothing?” Ellaria was growing angrier as the time passed. The Witch was stalling, but why?

“What have you done, Kalin?”

“I have done nothing, that wasn’t in the interests of this Verse!” She spat back at Ellaria.

“I do what I can, since you can’t seem to do it yourself!”

“And what is it exactly, that I cannot do myself?” Zahara took a few steps back as the fire flared in her Mother’s eyes, and Navina did the same. They weren’t about to get caught up in Ellaria’s mood.

“Defend your domain, for starters, and I am beginning to see why it’s become such a burden for you!” The Witch laughed.

“Look at the Valkyrie. She was lost to the darkness, to the enemy, Ellaria!”

“That was before, when her mind was weak and haunted. Things have changed, Kalin!”

“You can’t tell me you trust her?”

“And I trust, you? After all the blood that you have shed, after all the sacrifices.”

“She is a Monster!” Kalin shouted.

“She is a Valkyrie, and she can never lie! You have read the tales of her creation, you know of the pact between your kinds; bloody hell, Kalin.”

Lady Ellaria paused for a moment, and Navina and Zahara both bit their lips for what was to come next. Neither had ever heard the Lady swear before; this, was big.

“She is a traitor! Just like he was.” Kalin laughed, the insanity boiling in her veins.

“His blood, lies on your hands, for it was your voice that called for his death!”

“That is a lie, Kalin! I never said such words!” Ellaria protested, but the Witch Queen cut her off.

“Oh, but you did!” Her eyes flashed a deep red as she rose from the bed. “You, called for all traitors to be dealt with, so what if he was dealt with before the orders came! The male was a traitor nonetheless!”

“Who?” Navina blurted out, “You’ve killed so many, I’ve lost count!”

“You all think you know your beloved Stavros, an El’Terran of the utmost blah blah blah...” She laughed, “He’d blinded you all with his ‘I’m so good’ routine, the way he worked the lands and helped those closest to him; but it was all a lie!”

“No, Kalin! This is a lie!” Navina rolled her eyes. “You, will be silent!” Kalin’s words echoed off the walls as the floor shook beneath their feet.

She wasn’t sure where she was, but the sounds told her she was deep in the woods. Darkness had set in all around her, the beasts howling into the night as she carried on down what looked like a path. Further and further she walked, listening as the howls turned into shouts, and the shadowed cabin came into view. She could hear the screaming.

Heard the crash as something flew through a window, and watched as the young female opened the door, and made her way across the grass towards the small footbridge. She was running fast as the shouts grew louder, until they were bursting though the doorway after her; echoing into the night. She was a small female, with long black.

Oh Gods, it was Kember! Navina was helpless, unable to reach out and comfort Kember as she huddled next to a fallen tree; half hidden in the foliage as she covered her ears and rocked back and forth.

‘You leave her alone!’ That was Kalin’s voice, and the shudders ran through her.

‘Blasted female! I ought to take you to the Order and let them do with you what they will!’

Came a male’s voice, one she had never heard before, and yet it too, sent shivers down Navina’s spine. ‘Stavros, leave her alone! Just leave here, and all will be forgotten!’ Kalin shouted some more.

She will forget alright!’ The male chuckled, shadowed by the low hanging branches as he searched for Kember.

“She’ll forget her Mother, the wicked Bitch that you are! Gone, are the memories of the happy times. All she will remember is how you treated us so vile, and how you never loved her for who she was; only the magic you could gain from her!′

His laugh was so sinister, warped and... changing.

‘She will hate you, she will despise you; and she will lead our armies as we take this Verse!’ , what had he just said?

‘What have you done?’ Another voice could be heard all around her, and Navina was so confused.

Malice? Here? ‘Oh Gods!’ She gasped, as the fog began to clear and the vision faded away.

No, not yet!’ Malice had all but stormed into the bright white room, to find Navina in a chair, and Ellaria and Kalin looking over her.

“What have you done?” She shouted, her heart and feet racing at Kalin with her claws out and fangs bared. This bitch was totally getting the Full Fang treatment after this.

“What have you done?”

“Enough!” Ellaria called out, and as if a wall had blocked her way, Malice froze.

“Fuck! Why?” Was all Malice could get out, before Navina sat up in the chair, shaking her head.

“No, not yet!” She shouted, shaking her head some more.

“Shit!” She shouted, and then looked towards Malice, beckoning for her hand.

“We have to go back!” She blurted out, looking up at Lady Ellaria.

“You have to send us both back!” She was so insistent, so rushed to get back; but to where?

“Please?” Navina asked again, turning to Malice with her hand still waiting.

“I was so close!”

“Bloody hell!” Malice sighed, sitting down beside her. The moment their fingers touched, it was like Malice had been thrown through a wormhole, spun around and upside down and hung out to dry; but the things she had seen. Kalin and Kember.

A young Kember hiding in the bushes, listening to the shouts and screams.A male named Stavros!

‘You have no idea who I am, do you, Kalin? I’m just the fool from the fields, an El’Terran who had gotten back to his roots who loved too strong, the wrong female!

I loved a Witch, and sired a child, only to find that my child was not safe with her own Mother.’

‘That’s not true!’ Kalin shouted back at the male, and Malice felt the anger growing within her.

‘Oh, it’s true! You wanted nothing more than my seed, so you could spawn a whelp so vile, so sinister.’ He howled into the night, and the darkness grew darker, and the shadows seemed to dance all about them.

‘It’s not true.’ Kalin was fighting back her tears as she too searched for her daughter.

‘You only want her, for the magic within her; never for who she truly is! You’re a spiteful female, power hungry and psychotic!’ He taunted her.

‘You care for no one, nothing but the power consumes you.’

‘How can you spread such lies!’

‘Because I can! Because, no one would believe you if you said otherwise! Because, you fell in love with the enemy, Kalin, and you were too stupid to see it!’

His voice grew colder, and Malice watched as Kalin drew back in horror but only for a moment.

‘Stavros, you twisted son of a bitch! Give me back my daughter!’ She shouted at him, waving her hands as she worked the runes. ‘My name is not Stavros, you pathetic whore.’ He laughed at her, spat at her, and then turned to walk away his face melting into something new.

‘The male you knew as Stavros, died many moons ago, and had your mind been where your heart was, you would have seen me for what I truly was.’

And the image shifted completely, right before it raced towards her, aiming for her throat. Her hand was quicker than his eye, and the dagger she had conjured set forth on its journey through his chest, and the black ooze fell all about her feet.

There was silence for a time, before one by one, the village lights began to flicker in the distance, and she heard the little voice.

‘What have you done?’ A young Kember emerged from the foliage, and Malice had to hold back her surprise.

‘Where is my Father?’

Kember, I...’ Her Mother started, but no sooner had she taken that first step back, Malice watched as the young female fell to the ground, and another appeared above her, making his way to stand between Kalin and Kember.

‘You have no idea what you have done!’ The male’s voice was eerily familiar, ‘

They will not rest, knowing that it was you, who betrayed them!’ It chuckled, and Malice shook her head, wanting to shout out for Kalin to rip out its heart.

‘I betrayed no one, least of all an Order I refused to be a part of!’ The Witch Queen hissed at the thing.

‘They will come for her!’ Yeah they would, but Malice would be waiting just as she was now; waiting and watching.

‘She is my, child!’ Kalin whimpered, gazing at Kember as she lay there so lifeless.

‘She is only half yours, for the second half belongs to the Masters! They will come for what is theirs, Kalin; and until they do, you will watch your daughter grow up, despising every inch of your being.

She will remember nothing but the death of her Father, at your hands, and the greed for her magic that compelled you to do it.’ The voice laughed again.

Then a face emerged from the shadows, a face she knew. Malice thought she’d never find it!

“Welcome back!” Navina smiled from the chair across from her.

“You do that again without warning...” Malice groaned, her head pounding as if there were a jackhammer inside.

“I can’t take all the credit!” Navina grinned, and looked up at Lady Ellaria.

“I had help!”

“That’s cheating, Mother!” Mia let out, as she and Nyx appeared in the doorway.

“Someone fighting without me?” Nyx grumbled, taking a good look at Malice.

“What the hell, Home Slice?” Malice ignored all of them, letting them chatter among themselves as her mind went to work. She couldn’t have seen that right.

There was no way... Kalin had tried to protect Kember? From her Father? Because he was really...

“A Host?” Zahara blurted out,

“Sorry, your thoughts were hovering”

“He was!” Kalin sighed, but the fear remained in her eyes.

“And if I say more, then there has to be some sort of protection, because they will come for her...”

“Who will?” Nyx inquired, crossing his arms. “What the hell did I miss?”

“They mind fucked each other!” Mia laughed, but Ellaria shot her a look.

“Sorry!” She rolled her eyes.

“I saw him! I saw Pathen.” Malice choked out. “He was there, right after you killed Stavros.”

“His name was not Stavros, the male who went by that name disappeared from a village of the Northern shores, decades ago.” “And why did you not come to us?” Malice inquired, glaring at the Witch who now stroked Kember’s hair.

“He swore they would return for her, and so I tried to hide her; but she would not stay with me! She kept running off. She remembered nothing of the happy times we’d shared together, only the memory of my hands on that dagger. I had no choice but to watch her from afar, intervening where I could, but it was like they knew exactly when and where to attempt their abductions. They knew how to make it look bad, for me. One problem after another, until I had no choice but to let her hate me.”

She was sobbing by now, and Malice felt the tinge of emotion well within her.

“How did they know?” Nyx cocked a brow as he leaned against a bookshelf near the door.

“The Order!” Lady Ellaria let out.

“It is no secret that they have become a Hive of Pathen’s little heathens! It has been noted time and again, his infractions within space and time; but we cannot find him.” Her gaze turned back to Kalin,

“Do you know where Pathen is?”

“Vash!” Was all Kalin could say, as she sat down on the bed.

“I must tend to my daughter now, though I can’t do much to ease her hatred, I should be able to lift the spells cast, and give her back her freedom!” The female sighed, and once again, rested her hand on her daughter’s forehead.

It was a long while before Kalin opened the door, and those that waited in the hall, shuffled in. Lady Ellaria had waited long enough to see the process through, before she disappeared to more pressing matters.

It was hard to stomach, when Kalin approached Malice, eyeing her up and down.

“Believe me when I say, I have never tried to harm my own child, and though in her eyes I am poison, I will never, lift a finger to spread that poison against her, or you.”

“One can spew all the words in the world, Kalin, but actions will prove your worth in days to come!” The Valkyrie replied, and made her way to Kember’s bedside, leaving Kalin in the hall.

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