Part 16

*Of grief, of revenge, of strength, of madness*

 

Hera knew the exact moment The Guardian died, she knew exactly how he died, where and by whose hand. Her skills with the sight were so fine, she felt it in her heart, witnessed it through her minds eye and throughout her grief remained silent as the caravan journeyed forth upon the trail back to the capital city, to the awaiting triumphant King and victory.

The Priest was a constant companion, he was her protector and no one dared harass the Witch in his care. This proved useful, yet also frustrating, his constant questions and demands upon her abilities were draining, but he was entertained with simple parlor tricks and slight of hand so Hera had no fear of letting any true magic fall into his hands. It also presented her with the opportunity to get close to events unfolding upon the road. The Princes insanity being the most pressing urgency, he played with his marbles and jabbered, drooling broken minded.

Hera had deduced that Fendor and Kane both held halves of the gem without one each others knowledge. Kane remained within the ranks of the common soldiers, hidden in plain sight, concealing the power he held. Though his fellow troopers clearly held him in high regards after he had so coldly dispatched of The Guardian, but even this had fallen under the attention of his superiors.

Fendor was of a stronger mind than the fragile Prince and when alone he would consult with the blue stone he carried. His logic overwhelmed his fear, he was not a superstitious man, yet respected magic even if he did not fully understand it.

So, he sat alone upon the humble bunk in his own caravan, off duty, relaxed with a sweet mead.  Fendor took the stone from his pocket and laid it upon the blankets before him, seated himself crossed legged and sprinkled the stone with mead, a custom he had witnessed his Mother enact many a moon ago. Though the details now escaped his memory, it felt like the right thing to do and the stone reacted, she shuddered, humming into life before his very eyes. A deep inner flame sparkled and pulsed, as the mead was absorbed, the offering gratefully accepted.

“Who are you?” Fendor whispered, initially feeling idiotic addressing a rock.

“I do not have a name.”

“I can not just call you blue stone, now can I?”

“What would you like to call me?” The voice was so sweet, musical.

“Beryl is blue, I shall call you Beryl.”

“Beryl.”

If a stone could smile, Fendor imagined she did.

“You said you wanted to be whole, when I first held you, care to elaborate?”

“I’m broken, there is a second half to me, scarlet and powerful. We were split when our host died, but we can not be whole again without another host.” Beryl wove her sad tale to the soldier, unaware of the danger she could be placing herself in, she trusted the man before her more than the weak minded Prince.

Fendor could be quite useful, she mused silently …

 

Anne Harrison 08.12.16

 

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