The Sentinel of Cassendar: Navalia

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Chapter 9

Chapter 9

“So, you really think this could work?” asked Prince Leal looking at Galen in the large parlor at the back of the first floor of the palace.

“I do in a way,” said Galen. “If I can find a way to help the High Captain bond the Navalian magic within her when she feels an attack, it could help her cut them off before they get bad. I can’t withdraw the magic completely from her, not without knowing the consequences first, but I can help create a way for her to get some relief.”

“How do you think it will work?” asked the prince.

“The other day your sister was able to draw out a parasite in a plant and move it to a vial of water. I think it could work just the same. The magic is like a parasite in the High Captain. I wish we could draw it completely out, but we can’t. I think when it is activated it must grow in her in some way. I believe there is a way to draw out the part that is active while she is being attacked.”

“So, if she is able to draw it out, where would the magic go?” asked the prince.

Galen thought for a moment. What could be used to hold magic? If she did draw it out, what would stop it from going right back in her if they didn’t contain it or destroy it somehow?

“When I drew out the parasite, we put it in a solution in the vial that would kill it,” said Lexine. “Dracia would need somewhere to put the magic that would stop it from hurting her, or better yet, destroy it.”

“What could destroy Navalian magic?” asked Roderick.

They were quiet for a moment, all looking around at each other. Galen tried to scan his mind, thinking if he had seen anything in the many books he had read about Navalia and their royal families. He could think of nothing useful.

“The Cassendar power can destroy Navalian magic,” said the prince after a moment. “I was able to withdraw it out of Dracia before when she was attacked by Prince Fannar. I have also been able to stop attacks when she was having them.”

Galen looked at his brother, thinking of Fannar attacking Dracia. He wondered what Prince Fannar had done to her. It must be why Prince Leal didn’t want Dracia around Fannar at all. His mind then turned to the fact that the Cassendar power could destroy Navalian magic.

“So, if you or Lexine were near her, she could withdraw it to one of you?” asked Galen.

“Yes, but what happens if one of us isn’t near her,” said Lexine. She looked at her brother. “I know you would be by her side at all times if it were up to you, but you must see that isn’t possible, especially in Navalia. They will find ways to separate the two of you to attack her if need be.”

“What other option do we have?” asked Leal. “I will stay by her the whole time no matter what our father or the Navalians do. If something happens to me, you would have to step in Lexine.”

“It’s still not a good solution, Leal. She needs a way to protect herself,” said Lexine.

The prince put his head down for a moment before he raised it and looked at Lexine. “What about her locket?”

Lexine cocked her head and looked thoughtfully at her brother. “Do you think it has a chance of working?”

“You know what it contains. It should have some of our family’s power in it, shouldn’t it?”

“If that were the case why is she attacked at all if she is wearing it?” asked Lexine. “Wouldn’t it already have protected her?”

“I have though much over it the last few months,” said Leal. “I haven’t come to a decent conclusion on the matter, but I wonder if it does not give her at least a little protection. We don’t know when or how strong the attacks really are when Lilith decides to throw them at her. What if the locket lessens them in some way?”

“I think you might be right,” said Roderick quietly. “Dracia hasn’t been telling you the whole truth of her attacks. She has several each day.”

“Are you serious, Roderick?” asked Leal angrily. “You are telling me Lilith is attacking her every day?”

“More than once a day, usually. Dracia says she can withstand almost all of them, they just cause slight dizziness. What if your locket is helping to protect her? What if Princess Lilith knows how successful her attacks are, and that is why she keeps attacking her so often? She might be getting frustrated to the point she is unleashing very strong attacks.”

“I think you might be right,” said Lexine. “If Princess Lilith has to use a very strong attack, it could drain her energy, so she can’t attack as strongly for at least a few days.”

“So, the locket might work for our purposes,” said Galen. “It will be worth a try. I can explain it to her today at the start of my lesson. Lexine, you should come as well if you can. If she is having attacks throughout the day, she will be able to try it soon.”

“Leal, where are you going?” asked Lexine. Galen looked up to see Prince Leal was headed towards the door. He stopped and looked at Lexine.

“I’m going to the Fortress this moment to ask why she wouldn’t tell me she is being attacked so often,” said Leal.

“Wait, your highness,” said Roderick jumping up and walking close to Prince Leal. “Do not give her a hard time about this. She did not keep it from you to hurt you or anger you.”

Prince Leal stayed in the room, crossing his arms, and looking at Roderick. “Tell me why she wouldn’t tell me.”

“She sees how you worry about her constantly. She sees how tired you are most of the time. She didn’t want to add to your burdens. You know who she is, and you know how important it is for her to appear strong. She wouldn’t have told me, but I started noticing when she would act strangely for a few moments.”

Leal put his hands down to his side and hung his head. “Now I feel ashamed of myself. You notice something was wrong with her, and I had no idea.”

“I am able to be around her more often,” said Roderick. “She also takes more pains to hide any attacks from you if she can help it.”

The prince walked to the nearby window, muttering to himself.

Lexine looked at her brother with concern before turning to Galen. “Do you think Sarin might know if this would work? Before we tell Dracia and give her hope, I would like to be sure.”

“I suppose we could ask him general questions about it. We could say it was for our work in kingdom history,” said Galen, thinking.

“Sarin knows of our problem,” said the prince turning slightly form the window. “You should go speak with him before you go back to the Fortress. I don’t know how much he will be able to help you, but it could be good to get his opinion.”

“Then we need to go to the academy now, Roderick, so we can get back to the Fortress before lunch is over,” said Galen standing up. “Lexine, if you can, come to the Fortress at the fourth bell of the afternoon. I will meet the Captain at the far end of the field by the tree line.”

“I will come,” said Lexine as she looked over at the prince. “I imagine Leal will as well, if he hasn’t made his way over there before then.”

Galen and Roderick left the palace and walked the short distance to the Royal Academy. Galen led Roderick to the tower to the left and up the stairs to the top. He knocked on the door found there, hoping Sarin was in.

After a few moments, the door open and Sarin peeked out. “Galen? Do you need something urgently? I am trying to pack for the trip to Navalia.”

“It is urgent, sir, and it will not take long,” answered Galen.

Sarin opened the door wider and let Galen and Roderick into the room. Sarin looked at Roderick, his eyes slightly narrowed as if trying to figure out what they both could want.

“I need to speak with you of the High Captain’s current problem. The prince said you knew about it.”

Sarin’s eyes widen in surprise, looking at both Galen and Roderick. “You know about this, do you Galen?”

“Yes, and I have been working for some time, trying to find a solution to the problem,” said Galen.

“I have as well, but it is tricky. Navalian magic is very mysterious. There isn’t much information out there on it, not real information.”

“I know,” said Galen. “But I have found some books on it. I believe it and all royal magic is based on Mystics originally. What I have read makes me think Navalian magic is water based.”

Sarin looked up as if considering the information. “I could see that being true, with its healing nature.”

“If we know it is based on the water Mystic, we should be able to draw it out. The other day when we were working on plants, Princess Lexine was able to draw out a parasite of one plant using water Mystics.”

“You could try, but it is very risky, Galen. We don’t know what affect it would have on the High Captain to completely take all the magic that healed her out of her.”

“I don’t want to withdraw all the magic, sir. I do not think it would be wise for a few reasons, but when she is suffering an attack, I believe the magic may grow somewhat. What if the High Captain could bind the part that is attacking her and draw it out.”

Sarin looked at Galen with his mouth drawn up to one side. His dark eyes staring into Galen’s blue ones. “That is very clever, Galen. I think it could work if you have somewhere to put the magic.”

“Or a way to destroy it,” said Galen.

Sarin raised his head higher and looked a little surprised. “You believe there is a way to destroy Navalian magic?”

“I do,” said Galen.

“Do you plan to tell me?” asked Sarin.

“He does not,” said Roderick quickly. He glanced at Galen with a meaningful look. It was a look Roderick had given him when he was younger, and they had both done something they shouldn’t tell their mother about. Galen knew to keep his mouth shut.

“The prince has asked him to keep it a secret for the moment, Sarin. I know he means no disrespect, but it is very sensitive information, and if the wrong ears were to hear, it could be bad for the High Captain.”

“I hope the prince knows I am trustworthy,” said Sarin with concern.

“I am sure he does, but we have our own orders from the prince. When next you see him, you should ask him to tell you, if you need to know.”

Sarin looked a little angry, but he quickly gained control of his features. “Very well, though if you want my full opinion, it would be helpful to have all the information.”

“This is all the information we can tell you, I am afraid,” said Roderick.

Sarin sighed. “Then I believe if you have a way to destroy the magic or contain it somehow, what you are saying could work. I believe the High Captain is gifted enough to accomplish it, though it would be best if she did not try it alone the first few times.”

“Thank you, sir,” said Galen with a slight smile. “It is comforting to have your assurances this could work.”

Sarin nodded. “This is very impressive work, Galen. I have long thought you were the most promising student I have ever had, and I believe this might seal it.”

“I owe most of this to Princess Lexine and her work from the other day,” said Galen.

“Yes, the princess is very intelligent, but your mind and skill are above anything I have ever seen. I know you seem to be set in becoming an Elite of the Sentinel, but you really should think of joining us here eventually, even if it means I lose my position sometime in the future.”

“Your position is secure from me, sir. I believe I know my path,” said Galen.

Sarin nodded. “I am glad you seem certain, Galen, but remember paths can change on us in surprising ways.”

Galen and Roderick headed back towards the Fortress. As they entered the trees, Roderick turned to Galen as they walked

“You need to keep anything associated with the High Captain’s locket secret, Galen.”

“Why?” asked Galen. “I’m not saying I won’t, but I would like to know why.”

“I can’t tell you all, but it is clearly a piece of jewelry from the royal family. It does not need to be known by many that she is wearing it as it could lead to all kinds of questions. It also holds something very important, and only a very few people know what.”

“What is in it?” asked Galen.

“I cannot tell you. I have sworn I would tell no one. It is not that I don’t trust you Galen, but this is something that I really can’t share with anyone.”

Galen was silent for a moment, his curious brain almost aching to know what it could possibly be.

“Can you tell me if what is inside is what could hold the Cassendar power?”

“Yes, I believe it is,” said Roderick. “But that is all I will say.”

“Very well, I will keep the knowledge of the locket and the unknown object to myself,” said Galen. “Though I can’t promise I won’t try to puzzle out what is inside of it.”

“I have no doubt, Galen, but please do it in your own mind. Do not press the High Captain or the princess.”

“So, the princess knows?” asked Galen

Roderick only sighed and was silent. He did not speak again as they walked.

They made it back to the Fortress to find all the Elites and Novices in the middle of lunch. Galen spent the whole afternoon participating in the Disciplines. He was already excused from the Royal Academy for his upcoming travel. His instructors had given him books and things to study and practice while he was gone. Lexine had gotten the same instructions, and they planned to work together on their trip to complete all their work.

Galen did not see the High Captain during his sessions. He endured a weapons lesson being led by Darron. He was pestered the whole time by Bax and Bolton as Tomas and Cara stood near him, throwing their own barbs at the two. Darron yelled at them for interrupting the lesson, seeming to ignore Bax and Bolton and their part in starting the commotion. Galen would miss Cara and Tomas on his trip, but he would be glad to be away from Bax and Bolton. He hoped he could avoid Darron as much as he could on the road to Navalia.

At the end of the session, Galen started to walk towards the edge of the field as the other novices made their way back to the Fortress.

“Novice Galen,” said Darron as Galen walked by him. Galen stopped and looked at Darron. “I will have to tell the High Captain and your brother of the interruption you caused today.”

Galen knew he should just nod his head and walk on, but instead he smiled slightly and said, “I am going to meet with the High Captain right now if you would like to speak with her about me, or if you like I could tell her what happened.”

“Are you talking back to me, novice?” asked Darron furiously as he stepped closer to Galen.

“No, Elite, I was merely offering an opportunity for us both to talk to the High Captain about my behavior.”

“You should watch yourself,” said Darron talking very harshly and close to Galen. “You might think things are going all your way now with the special time you spend with the High Captain and your brother always by her side, but things could change quickly, novice, and then you will find yourself wishing you had shown me more respect.”

Galen narrowed his eyes, not liking the sound of what Darron was saying. Galen wanted to say more, but he knew he needed to get to the High Captain for their training. He walked away, and Darron did not detain him further. Galen walked swiftly to the far side of the field, as he got close, he saw the High Captain standing with a tall Elite, he could now recognize as Prince Leal.

“You shouldn’t keep things from me,” said Prince Leal as Dracia stood close by him with her arms folded against her chest.

“It wasn’t a big deal,” she said. “The attacks were practically nothing. Sometimes they were so subtle, I wasn’t sure they were even really happening. If they had been anything significant, I would have told you.”

“Do you not understand that I want to take care of you, Dracia?” asked Prince Leal. “I know I cannot do it as I should, but I would like to help you when I can.”

“You do take care of me when it is necessary,” said the High Captain. She uncrossed her arms and put her hand on the prince’s arm. “I want to take care of you as well, and if I can spare you any unnecessary stress or worry, I will.”

The prince sighed and shook his head a little. “Please promise me you won’t hide it from me if you are in pain, even if it is slight. I cannot be with you as I would like at the moment, so I need you to be completely honest with me about what is happening to you.”

“I will try, Leal,” said the High Captain quietly. She looked up and spotted Galen. “My novice is here, so we will need to talk about this later.”

Prince Leal looked up and behind Galen. “And my sister is coming this way as well. I hope what they have to tell you will be helpful.”

“I am willing to listen,” said the High Captain as Galen walked up to her. “I hope we will still have time to practice today, novice. I know you are anxious to learn more.”

“I am always ready to learn from you, but helping you is more important, High Captain.”

Lexine walked up, and she and Galen explained how they thought it could work for the High Captain to draw out the magic when she was being attacked. She had a few questions, but in the end, thought it could be useful.

“You will need to be careful when you do draw it out, to make sure you only take out enough to stop the attack,” said Galen. “Since you were healed with the magic, I am not sure what will happen if you take it out completely. Princess Lilith might also be able to tell if you are taking away your link and attack you severely if she feels she is losing her bond with you.”

Dracia nodded, “I understand. It is a lot like when I bind Mystics to the tree or a flag. It is all about balance or the tree will die from being overwatered, and the flag will be torn to shreds.”

“Yes, that is it exactly,” said Galen.

“This means you will need to wear your locket at all times, Dracia,” said Prince Leal. “It doesn’t need to leave your neck at any time. I don’t care who notices you wearing it.”

“I understand,” said he High Captain. “I will try this as soon as I am attacked again and let you all know how it works. I believe I should be able to do it. Now, I need to get on with Galen’s lessons before dinner. We do have a little time left to try a few things.”

“Lexine and I will head back to the palace,” said Prince Leal. He moved very close to the High Captain. “I would like to come see you later this evening if you will let me.”

The High Captain looked at him for a moment and then nodded her head. The prince smiled at her as Lexine turned to Galen.

“Do you think you will have some time tomorrow to speak with me for a while, Galen? I thought we might go for a walk in the hills.”

“I believe I can meet you at the fourth bell of the afternoon, if the High Captain will allow it.”

“She will,” said Lexine with a smile. She looked around, seeing no one, she leaned in and kissed Galen’s cheek. “I will look forward to seeing you tomorrow afternoon.”

Galen smiled watching her walk away with her brother.

“Novice, if you are ready, I think we should get started,” said the High Captain.

Galen turned and looked at the High Captain, his face feeling hot. She smiled at him before starting their lesson.

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