The Faet Within

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Chapter 18

Austin

To say that Austin is conflicted would be to put it lightly. He's pissed that Isobel didn't tell him about the dreams, but whenever he looks at her with the bandages or hears her whimpers of pain whenever he cleans the wounds, his heart breaks.

After they've eaten dinner, there's a knock at the door. He walks over and opens it to an older man that was carrying several books.

"You must be Daniel."

The man nods, bowing to him. "I am. I have to say, when you called I was surprised to say the least."

Austin lets him into the flat. "I know. And I'm sorry I didn't give any details. It's a delicate matter and we didn't want to risk it getting out."

"We?"

Austin shows him into the living room where Isobel is laying on her stomach. "Daniel Jones, this is Her Royal Highness, Princess Isobel of the Eastern Kingdom."

Daniel's eyes grow wide as he bows, "Your Highness."

"Isobel is also my fiancé."

Daniel's head whips to Austin then back to Isobel. "You triggered the curse."

Austin and Isobel exchange a look. "What do you mean?"

Daniel takes a deep breath, sitting on the coffee table across from Isobel.

"A thousand years ago, our kingdoms used to be one. Like it is for the humans. The Queen and her husband ruled peacefully for almost 20 years. Keeva, the Queen, discovered that her husband and younger sister had been plotting against her. She disappeared and from that point on the kingdom was split with each side hating the other. There were rumors of course about what happened, but only a few people knew where to look for the right information.

The tree in your dream exists. It is an oak tree that Keeva and Dubhlainn planted together. She had a nature affinity and spelled the tree to grow and never die. The idea being that their love would never die. When Keeva was betrayed, she put a curse on the tree and the kingdom that they would forever be split. She's said to have had a secret hideaway with all her spellbooks, but I've been to that tree countless times and surveyed the land with whole teams and never found anything."

While he spoke, Austin moves so that he is sitting next to Isobel. "So what does this have to do with my Isobel?"

Daniel meets his gaze, "The curse is meant to keep the kingdoms apart. You're bringing them back together. The curse is fighting back. By the looks of the bandages on your back, Your Highness, Keeva has been tormenting you for a couple weeks now. If you'll allow it, I'd like to hypnotize you. You have a straight line to Keeva's memories. I'm confident that if we can find her castle, we can figure out a way to break the curse."

Austin and Isobel share a look, quietly communicating. Her voice comes out as barely a whisper, "I'll do anything."

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