Chapter 46 - Emmalyn
For two whole days Kell did nothing but rest, before he’d had enough. He thought he’d done well lasting that long, but he was miserable. A warrior like him couldn’t sit still, it wasn’t in his blood. He needed to keep busy. He needed to be outside with his men. And he needed everyone to stop fussing over him. Kell understood dying and coming back was a little over the top, but he was here now, and he was ready to lead his warriors against Connor and his men. It was time to end this.
For the two days he was down he had a constant stream of visitors. Behr and Oryn were in almost every hour, keeping him appraised of everything happening outside, and helping him make plans. Torin was even worse, coming in to check him every half hour in concern. And his wee warrior refused to leave his side, which he couldn’t fault her for. But it was difficult to spend any quality time with her, with his men always interrupting. Every warrior wanted to come in and wish him well and assure themselves he was truly alright.
They had their nights though, and Kell made every minute count. They made love, they talked, and they learned everything they could about each other. Both understand things could have turned out vastly different, and they were taking this second chance seriously. It was a tender time, and one Kell relished. He loved his girl, and he made sure she knew it.
After those first two days, things thankfully got back to normal. Kell was back outside training with his men, and he was almost completely at full strength. Everyone seemed relieved about that, including him. He would never admit he had been scared, but he had been. His death had affected him greatly, and it most likely would for a long time to come. His only recourse was to push it to the back of his mind and keep going forward.
With his warriors help, they came up with a plan. It was a solid plan, and one that didn’t need a lot of strategic planning. He would send small groups of men into his Kingdom, in hopes of discovering the enemy still searching for them. They would take down them down and steal their clothes. When they had enough, his warriors would don the clothes and slip into the castle grounds. Some would go after Thane and his mother, some would release the warriors captured, and others would place themselves in strategic positions where they could do the most damage.
When the attack came from Kell, they would strike from the inside as well. The enemy would be brought down from both the outside and the inside. It would be extremely effective. Kell and Emmalyn would both be in the fight, although that had not been Kell’s choice. He had nearly lost his mind when Emmalyn declared she was going into battle with him. He didn’t want her hurt, and after dying himself, he was terrified of something happening to her.
Her argument was that they were safer together, and he couldn’t discount that. With her by his side, he wouldn’t be worrying over her protection, and he could concentrate on the fight. Both would be wielding their powers, and he knew they had grown considerably in power. He’d watched as Emmalyn practiced with Darrow and Abrielle, even though she was trying to do it without his knowledge. She wanted to contribute to the fight, but she also wanted control over what she could do. Each day she got stronger and stronger.
Kell was near the cabin this morning, once more training with his men, when the sound of hundreds of horses hooves shook the ground. He wasn’t concerned, as the Elements hadn’t warned him of a threat. Kell shoved his sword back in its sheath and held up his hand to stop his men from taking up positions of defence. Then he patiently waited as the horses drew near, not surprised when Behr and Oryn both moved to flank him.
When the horses broke through the trees Mathias was in the front, and all the warriors relaxed. It was easy to see he was there to aid them, both from his armour, and from the amount of men he had with him. As he dismounted, Kell moved to greet him.
“Mathias, it is good to see you,” Kell grinned as he gave him a half hug. “And I appreciate your support.”
Mathias scoffed as he slapped him roughly on the back. “I wouldn’t be anywhere else. I would have been here sooner had I known it was the King who was the threat. We could have stopped this long ago.”
Kell nodded, completely in agreement. “He hid it well. I had no idea.”
“I am sorry,” Mathias grunted. “It must be a blow to have discovered all that you did. And to have the threat be someone so close to you. It is abhorrent to think about all Connor has done.”
“I do not wish to dwell on it,” Kell growled in response. “Now is the time to eliminate him and take back what is rightfully mine. I will take his head and avenge my father for the betrayal he suffered.”
“We are with you,” Mathias vowed. “My men are yours to command.”
Then a squeal had then covering their ears, as Emmalyn broke from the trees at a dead run and threw herself at her guardian. Mathias grunted when her tiny body slammed into his, but he took the blow easily and only rocked back momentarily on his feet. It was clear for all to see how close the two were. They embraced for some time, and Kell could hear his bride’s quiet sobs. When they finally pulled away, it was to see both wiping at their cheeks.
“I’ve missed you,” Emmalyn declared when she’d gotten herself back under control. “I can’t tell you how happy I am to see you.” She moved back to Kell’s side and grinned up at him as she latched onto his arm. “Mathias is here,” she happily declared, pulling a chuckle from him.
“I can see that,” he grinned back. “And I am honoured to have him fighting by our side.”
“There’s one more thing,” Mathias began, before a commotion caught their attention.
Both looked to the men behind Mathias, when they suddenly parted to reveal someone decked out in full battle gear. He He was awkward as he made his way towards them, and stumbled several times, causing a snort to come from Mathias.
“Jesus, you’re going to break your neck. Why you insisted on wearing all that I’ll never know,” Mathias huffed as the man reached their side.
“I’ve always worn this into battle,” the man grunted, as he attempted to raise the ridiculous headpiece he was wearing.
Mathias watched his unsuccessful attempts for a few minutes before shaking his head and stepping in to do it himself. “You haven’t been in battle in over twenty years,” Mathias scowled, as the mask finally lifted.
Then Emmalyn was squealing again, as she launched herself at the newest member of their group. Her father faltered for a minute when she hit him full on, but Mathias was there to prop him up.
“Surprise,” King Lorian choked as he fought to hold his emotions in. It was a losing battle with his daughter sobbing against his chest. In seconds his own tears were falling. “It is good to see you my precious girl.”
“You too,” Emmalyn grinned as she pulled back. “But I think we need to find you more suitable attire. I bet you can’t even see out of that helmet, let alone move comfortably.”
The King dropped his head in defeat, causing all of them to laugh. “It is a tad difficult,” he conceded.
“Come,” Kell interrupted, taking charge of the situation. “My warriors will see to your horses and we will get some hot food into you. You made good time, so I’m assuming you rode straight through?” Mathias nodded, so Kell continued. “You can sit and eat while we discuss our plans.”
“And I’ll help you out of that contraption,” Emmalyn sighed, taking her father’s arm and helping him maneuver to the large campfire they had set up in a small clearing.
By late afternoon, another group had arrived. It was led by Rayme, and he had hundreds of men from Kilharbor with him. Kell was pleased, as their numbers had now grown to the thousands. Over the last few days more of his own warriors had tricked into their camp, and he now had an army behind him. It would make the battle an almost even one.
Plans were discussed, food was handed out, and Kell was forced to tell his story, hopefully for the last time. It was a long afternoon, and soon the afternoon bled into the evening. More shelters were erected and bedrolls were laid out. The King stayed outside with the men, even though Emmalyn and him fought viscously over it. In the end, Lorcan won, and Emmalyn and Kell still had the cabin to themselves. Kell couldn’t be happier. It was their last night together before they descended on the Kingdom. Some of his warriors had already left to assert themselves into position inside, and tomorrow before the sun rose, the rest would follow. They wanted to hit the castle at dawn, just as the sky was breaking with the first hints of light.
Kell and Emmalyn were just getting settled when there was a pounding at the door. Growling in frustration, Kell slipped back into his cloths and headed for the door. Emmalyn quickly dressed and followed on his heels. When Kell opened it, Behr was standing on the other side, and his scowl told Kell he wouldn’t like what his friend had to say. His words seconds later confirmed that.
“You need to come outside. We had another visitor while you were inside, and it’s someone you’ll want to deal with personally,” Behr grunted.
“Just one?” Kell questioned, on edge from the carefully controlled way Behr was holding his body. It was obvious the warrior was ready to blow.
“Just one that you need to concern yourself with,” Behr confirmed. “There were two of them, but the second one we doubt is a threat.”
Kell raised his eyebrows at the cryptic wording and motioned for Behr to lead the way. He led them to the main campfire and saw most of the warriors had gathered around. The first thing Kell noticed was the men standing menacingly in a circle, all with their swords drawn.
“Move,” Kell demanded as they glanced his way.
The warriors did as he asked, but Kell could see they weren’t happy about it. He scowled, then roared, as his whole body lit with a fire he could barely contain. There in the centre of the circle, looking defeated and broken, was Seraphine. And with one look he knew she was about to reveal something he didn’t want to hear.