Heart Stone - (The Dagger of Dragon Rose Book 2)

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We created a monster - Ularen Hope

The strain was clear on Morganna’s face. It was clear that she was trying to maintain the spell om her own, not relying on her staff’s energy. Dark circles hung under her eyes, as if she had not slept in weeks.
Shaunna wrapped her arms around the tired mage. “Oh, honey, let’s take care of this so you can rest.
Morganna nodded. Grabbing her staff she sat cross-legged, directly across from the small circle.
“Are you sure about this? Last time you got hurt.”
The staff flashed several times.
“Okay.” Looking at Tarea and Hope, Morganna began to give instructions. “When the light is brightest, push the two of them together. There will most likely be resistance, but this needs to happen. If they stay separated much longer they could both die.
With eyes closed, she began to chant. The engulfing the joined hand flared, and continued to grow in brilliance as the words flowed effortlessly from her lips.
As the light reached the zenith of its brightness. Na’el pulled hard, separating his hand from that of his other half. In one swift movement, he drew a dagger from within his tunic, stepped forward, and plunged the blade into Ne’al’s heart.
Ne’al stood for a moment staring at the hilt protruding from his chest. Bewildered, her looked up at Na’el. Blood flowed freely from the wound as the evil half sank to the ground. His lips moved, indicating he was trying to speak, but no sound left him due to Oran’s silence spell.
Less than a minute later. Na’el looked upon his other half. “Good riddance.”
“Good riddance? You just killed yourself.” Morganna surveyed the scene in horror
Na’el just nodded, sitting on the floor. “I would rather die than risk becoming his prisoner again.” He looked at Shaunna, then at the three sisters. “Thank you for your help. I am sorry for the roll I played in the king’s death.”
Tears flowed freely from the girls’ eyes. Tarea crouched. “You have done much for us. Thank you. I…We forgive you.”
Na’el nodded as the light in his eyes went out, the breath left his chest, he died.

Rain fell on the group as they shoveled the last bit of dirt over the corpse of Paron’s apprentice. No words had been said. No tears had been shed. Sadness was felt through the mental link with the Crystal Blades. It was always difficult when a wielder died.
“Now what?” Hope’s mood mirrored the weather.
“We have Cyan, now we need to find Taren. He’s out there somewhere.” Shaunna finished packing Na’el’s gloves. “We also need to find a new wielder for Em.”
“What about the other one,” Tarea asked, sitting on the bench outside the cottage.
Shaunna Shook her head. “I don’t know. We don’t know enough about it to make an intelligent decision.”
As she finished packing Em into her bag, she turned to the identical glove laying on the ground next to her. “What do I do with you?”
“Might I possibly offer some assistance?”
She started as a massive sword floated over to her, “Maxx, I forgot you could talk to other wielders,” She shook her head, laughing slightly, “I know it’s silly.”
“Not at all. I don’t do it very often. However, it also means that I should be able to speak to our new friend here, despite their not being tuned into our racial mind link”
Shaunna watched as the stones in both weapons flashed as, she assumed, they communicated with each other.
“Hm… She’s just as confused as everyone else. She doesn’t know who she, or even what she is. She has no past. She is, quite literally, a blank slate.”
Shaunna thought for a moment, “What does she want to do?”
She doesn’t know what her options are.”
A short laugh escaped Shaunna’s lips, unbidden. “Me neither. Erik,” She turned to the small crossbow that moved in a wide circle around the edge of the clearing.”
“I will accept your decision,” Erik replied.
Nodding, and steeling herself, she placed the glove on her left hand. As the weapon settled into place her hand clenched, and a warmth began to creep up her arm. She remembered the sensation of Erik’s bonding. While this was similar, it was not the same. It felt… wrong somehow… almost incomplete.
The new glove’s mind was a slight discomfort in Shaunna’s head causing her to wince when the words slid into her awareness, “What do we do now?”
Shaunna shook her head. “I don’t really know.” First we need to decide what you’re going to be, You have a choice to make.”
“Where did I come from? It’s like I just appeared; sprang into being from a dark nothingness.”
Shaunna’s smile grew sad. “You’re not far wrong. You did come from a darkness.”
A deep sadness flowed from the small glove. “Please tell me.”
“You were created when a man was magically split in two. He had dual personalities, and the bad personality had taken over. We needed the other personalities help, so we split the personalities apart. We left the two joined at the hand. After we received the help, we went to put the two back together. However, the good personality had other plans. He completely separated himself from the other, and killed it.”
“So I was on the hand of the bad one. Created from the other glove when the separation was completed.”
“Why would you want to bond with something that was created out of evil?”
“To show you that you don’t have to be what you were born to be. This is the choice I mentioned. You can choose to do good.”
“I don’t think I could ever be completely good. I have to fight myself so I don’t hurt you more than I am. I’m sorry.”
Shaunna’s gaze fell to the ground, “Then I think we will be perfect for each other.”

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