Chapter One Child of Prophecy
“Helen,” a man’s voice whispered faintly into Helen’s dream, calling out to her.
“Helen,” the voice called, echoing through the bed chamber louder, more insistent than before.
“Who is it?” Helen asked, searching her dream for the owner of the voice. Who was calling her name?
Suddenly, her dream turned into swirling colors of blue and black and a man appeared. The man’s face hid inside of his cloak. He had a tall muscular frame and wore magnificent robes adorned with stars, moons and a sun. Helen watched in awe as the robe sparkled and the sun and moon orbited across the fabric. It felt like she was watching the universe shift with the flowing fabric. She stared into the shadows of the cloak, but all she could make out of the man’s face, was his sun-kissed chin.
“Helen,” the man called again and his tanned hand beckoned her to follow him.
Helen sat up in bed, blinking. The man’s voice echoed inside her mind. A faint light blue glow filled her bedroom and the cloaked man stood in front of her, floating in the glow of the light. She felt an overwhelming feeling of respect sweeping over her. Her breath quickened as her mind struggled to comprehend the being that stood in front of her.
“Panguadian,” she whispered, her eyes filled with awe as she realized who the man was. She glanced at her husband, Joren, who lay sleeping beside her, unaware of the honor they had been granted. She grasped his shoulder and shook him, hoping that he would confirm her vision and tell her she was not dreaming.
“What?” Joren mumbled, his voice muffled with sleep. Glimpsing the faint light blue glow in their room, he jerked awake, throwing the covers off the bed and sitting upright.
It isn’t just a dream, if Joren can see him too. Helen motioned for her husband to remain calm and he relaxed his tense muscles.
It took a moment, but finally he realized what he was seeing. “Panguadian,” he stared with wide eyes at the god floating at the foot of their bed.
Helen looked back to Panguadian. The god raised his tan hand again, beckoning her to come to him. Without taking her eyes off Panguadian, Helen climbed out of bed. She stepped towards the faint light blue glow. She didn’t pause to pull on her robe or slippers. Though she was nearly naked, she felt neither shame or embarrassment before this being. Her husband quickly stood and followed her.
Panguadian held out his hand, smiling. Slowly, Helen reached for it. At Panguadian’s touch, purity washed over her, taking her breath away. She closed her eyes, feeling the power cleanse her mind and body while it flowed over her.
The god let go of her hand and turned, his flowing robes shimmering. Helen knew somehow that he wanted her to follow him. Taking Joren’s hand, she stepped forward into the faint light blue glow. After only a moment, the glow faded away and she found that they had been teleported. Helen was now standing beside a tranquil pool. She looked around herself, surprised. There were not pools of water on the palace grounds; they must be several miles from their home. The light blue glow had teleported them far in the flicker of a moment.
Panguadian was gone and the night air was cool and dark. Trees clustered around the tranquil pool and above clouds danced across the sky, blocking the moon and the stars. The only light available came from the lightning bugs fluttering around them and a faint shimmer coming from their light reflecting off the smooth stones lying beneath the water’s surface.
“Why are we here? Where did he go?” Helen asked, her voice breaking through the serene silence. She longed to feel Panguadian’s divine presence again.
Joren merely shrugged and ran a hand through his blond hair. “I didn’t see him leave, but,” he pointed at the tranquil pool with wide eyes, “I think he wants you to go into the pool.”
Helen turned, her hand covering her gaping mouth. The pool of water was glowing light blue and the rocks beneath the surface cast a blue light around the entire area.
Joren bent down, dipping his fingers into the pool. He looked up into his wife’s face. “It is warm.”
Helen touched the water and it swirled around her fingers. It was something more than warm. She felt as if it was calling to her soul. She felt herself being drawn to the water. Joren was correct, she should enter the pool. Without another thought, she slipped off her thin nightgown and stood naked in front of the pool. The water felt warm as it swirled around her ankles and she felt a the cleansing feeling sweep over her again.
She turned and looked at Joren one last time, standing at the edge of the pool. She took a deep breath, allowing herself to become submerged in the water. Helen floated, but she did not float in water, but in the faint light blue glow and was easily able to breathe. The glow felt cool and thick as it entered into her lungs. It felt pure and fulfilled the longing of her soul.
Panguadian suddenly appeared in front of her and the glow dimmed. Around them an endless desert spread in all directions to be lost in the far horizon. Stars covered the cool night sky and she wiggled her toes in the sand. A warm breeze blew her dark hair out of her face.
Panguadian smiled and pointed towards her stomach. Helen looked down and was baffled to see she was heavily pregnant. She laid a hand on the firm roundness that was her stomach. “Am I pregnant?” She asked, barely above a whisper. She felt overwhelmed with joy and love for the child she carried.
“Yes.” He answered her simply.
Helen thought back to her to night that she and Joren had spent out under the stars; it had been their second anniversary. They were two joyful lovers planning their future together. She remembered that she had felt something change and she had wondered what it was, but had forgotten about it. “It is a girl isn’t it? Somehow I feel connected to her.”
She glanced from her stomach to the god who stood smiling before her. “What have I done to earn your blessing? Why would you honor me so?”
“I have come to warn you that you must be on guard. The hero is coming.” Panguadian told her in a quiet deep voice. “Evil lurks all around, watching in the darkness and it knows that the child of the owl will come. Evil is coming because of what your child will be able to do.”
Helen frowned, feeling as if the god had placed a burden on her shoulders. “Who is the hero?” She did not understand what he was trying to tell her. She was embarrassed that her mind was so simple.
“Your child is the one that the prophecy spoke about thousands of years ago. Look to the prophecies for they do not lie. Protect her so that the light will be able return to Panguardia.” Panguadian said, “Without her, there will be no chance and darkness will cover the world.”
Helen was about to ask more, but a sudden cold breeze flowed over her, making her gasp. In the sky above her, a hideous black shape zoomed across and wrought a giant swirling black hole. The black vortex sucked the stars and the moon into itself. As the dark hole opened, her heart was filled with fear and terror took over her mind. The feeling of evil it brought made her shudder.
The wind blew harder, whipping her long brown hair into her face. “Panguadian?” she asked, wanting to be back in the god’s presence. She was scared to be alone under the swirling black hole in the sky, but the god had left her.
A strangled sound emerged out of the black hole and crimson clouds erupted from it. Shadow creatures appeared in the clouds by the hundreds. They growled and sprouted wings and spreading them wide their long bodies filling the sky.
They screeched, the sound filling her mind as she froze in fear of the shadow creatures. Her legs shook and her body trembled. She staggered backwards trying to figure out where she could hide. Where could one hide in a desert? How could she defend herself against the hundreds of shadow creatures?
Helen screamed as lightning broke the dark sky and thunder rolled tumultuously around her. As the crimson clouds filled her vision, she remembered the Ancient One’s description of what had happened when the shadow creatures first sought to take over Panguardia. They had invaded her homeland, destroying everything and burning every person. The skies above envisioned the Ancient One’s words. the crimson clouds surged across the sky and wrenching the lands into the darkness.
She turned and as she did, she was standing in another place. The endless sea of desert was gone. Instead she stood in front of the palace in Synchrony where she and Joren made their home. The crimson clouds and winged shadow creatures still filled the sky. People ran screaming into the woods and hills in the surrounding lands, but there was nowhere they could hide. Helen knew there was nothing that could save them from the darkness chasing them.
She was horrified as she watched the shadow creatures descend from the swirling black hole riding on manticores. Steam rose from their nostrils as their flames engulfed the fleeing people, their homes, and the land. The roar of the flames muffled their screams and she felt her bare skin being scorched from the heat. She watched while more shadow creatures burst out of the flames. They pounced on anyone who managed to escape their fire. A woman screamed as a shadow creature over took her, running its long claws down her back.
Helen turned her eyes away as the woman’s body was ripped into two. Tears flowed down her face and Helen followed her people and ran. She was startled to realize that her heavily pregnant body was not responding as she had expected. Her breath came in pants as she heaved herself over scorched and burning bodies scattered on the ground. She felt eyes tearing into her soul.
“I have found her,” A voice bellowed through the air. Helen looked up, but she wished she had not.
Out of the black hole, a woman came riding on a manticore that was larger than any she had ever seen. Her hand rose and Helen felt her stomach sear with pain and she dropped to the ground writhing in agony.
“No!” she screamed as she grasped at her stomach, feeling the child’s vitality drain from within her. Flames filled her abdomen, incinerating her child and engulfing everything around her.
“Helen.” Panguadian’s voice echoed in her mind, filling her with urgency. “Protect the hero to be born.”
The water in the tranquil pool swirled around her, cooling her seared flesh as it doused the flames and soothed the agony in her mind and body. Helen flailed in the pool unable to breathe and trying to find the surface. A strong hand grasped her shoulder and pulled her up, helping her to sit on a rock at the edge of the pool. She clung to Joren’s hand as she gasped for air, shaking while the water swirled around her.
Helen dropped a hand to her stomach. She was filled with relief that it was still flat and painless. She could still hear the roar of the manticores and their flames in her mind. Her heart wrenched with fear for her unborn child.
She became aware that Joren was rubbing her shoulders and she blinked looking up into his face. His blue eyes were worried and his brow furrowed. He took both of her hands and helped her to stand and step out of the pool. He wrapped his robe around her and rubbed her arms filling her body with warmth.
“When you are feeling better, I want you to tell me everything that happened.” He pulled her into a tight embrace.
Finally, when she had calmed her heart and she was able to breathe easier she began to speak. “It was amazing and terrible,” she pulled his robe tighter around herself, still trying to understand what she had seen.
“I am pregnant and our child is destined to fulfill a prophecy.” Helen closed her eyes trying to remember the overwhelming feeling of maternal love that had overcome her at the great being’s touch.
Joren kissed her cheek and chuckled. “I had thought you had been acting odd recently.” He smiled down at her. “Well, more odd than what is normal for you.”
Helen laughed at her husband’s joke. She felt his love washing over her and she could see the excitement sparkling in his eyes. She looked away as her heart was filled with the terror of the last visions.
“Something evil knows about our child. I don’t understand it all, but she is coming for us. She is going to kill us all. We need to run and to hide. We need to do it soon.”
Chapter Two Nightmares
“The orbs will not be able to protect us from the swirling black hole in the sky. The day is coming when these orbs will not be of any use to us at all.” Helen watched the glowing light emanating from the orb sparkle across the sea. She was startled by her words, unsure of why she had said them. It seemed like words of truth simply flowed from her mouth ever since she had entered the tranquil pool of water.
“What would a queen actually know about the power of the orbs?” Curio frowned, his dark brown eyes strangely guarded and his lips set.
His tone did not bother her and she turned from the open window shrugging.
“The truth is obvious to me is all.”
Karline seemed perplexed by her words and turned back to her husband. She was much older than Helen. Helen knew that she shouldn’t have intruded into their home this late in the evening. She had interrupted conversation between the two. As fate would have it, she had come to their home because she had forgotten her diamond ring.
She had come to their home earlier in the day to have Karline check on her well-being and that of her child. It was customary for the royal family to visit the master enchanter and healer during a pregnancy. Karline had asked the Queen to remove her jewelry. She checked Helen’s fingers for swelling before laying her hands on the Queen’s stomach to check her child. Helen had forgotten her diamond ring, her most prized possession. She had known that Karline would still be up, despite the hour. She had decided that she would return rather than take the chance it would get lost. She ran her finger around the ring she clutched tightly in her hand, remembering the moment when Joren had given it to her. She slipped it on her finger.
Curio continued his conversation with Karline, completely ignoring her. Helen did not take it personally, the man was difficult and that was simply just how he was. Still, his dislike for others confused her as she had heard him talking with his wife with the utmost respect. He had returned to Synchrony with a message from the elven king. The King was requesting aid for his wife who was very ill. Helen was not privy to any more information than that and she was too well bred to pry into matters that were not of her concern.
She stared out the open window and was baffled by the beauty that lay outside. Silvery moonlight shimmered off the Raging Sea. Her mind was still filled with worry from the repeated nightmares of her dark visions. The glittering light mesmerized her and soothed her aching thoughts. She knew that she should return to the palace and sleep. Let Karline and her husband talk, that would be the polite thing to do. She knew that if she slept the shadow creatures and their manticore would return in her dreams.
Helen could hear several voices beyond the low bushes that bordered the couples garden. She strained her ears, trying to make out their words. She wondered who would possibly be out and about at this hour in the evening?
“There it is again, how do you not see it?” A woman’s voice called tinged with fear.
The voices became muffled again, then a man’s shaking voice broke through, “Over there. Above the Raging sea! The sky is tearing!”
Helen grasped the window sill and leaned out. She tried to see where the people were and what they were talking about. She could hear their words, but she could not see who they were. She peered intensely up into the sky and saw that it was glowing in an unusual manner. The breeze wafted in the window. Her long dark hair blew softly across her face and large clouds rolled in front of the moon.
She stumbled back in horror. They were not normal clouds, they were crimson! The moonlight reflecting off of the Raging Sea had turned crimson. It looked like blood flowing from an open wood wound. A screech pierced the air and terror struck her heart. Screams could be heard all around as if she were surrounded by people that she could not see.
The sky flickered like it was struck by lightening. Thunder crackled through the night air. Helen’s heart leapt into her throat. Shadow creatures came pouring out of the clouds by the hundreds.
Oh Panguadian. Oh great goodness above, it is happening. Telima had sent his army of shadow creatures and they were looking for her. It was too late for her to run and hide. Her body shook and she felt sick to her stomach. The screams of people dieing filled the air. Fire filled the sky from the nostrils of the manticores and she felt herself falling as she fainted.
“Helen?” Karline’s hand was cold, as she rubbed the Queen’s arm. She wore a worried look on her face. “My goodness, you are covered in sweat and feel as if you are burning up. Are you feeling all right?”
Helen shook her head and coughed as she tried to speak. “You saw them? You heard them coming?”
“What was she supposed to see?” Curio asked, coming towards her. His normally handsome face wore a hard look and she felt him reach towards his magical energy. He was ready to summon upon his magical power to do her bidding if needed. Having the powerful man stand by her side immediately made her feel better. He might be hard to get along with, but he had come to her aid at once and was ready to protect his Queen if necessary. She respected him for that.
Helen took a deep breath before she spoke. “The sky shattered, it flickered and was Withd with a swirling black hole. Crimson red clouds covered the sky and shadow creatures riding on manticores poured out. People were running and screaming while the manticore’s fire engulfed everything and everyone. I watched it all.” She glanced outside, but now she could see there was nothing but the moons light shimmering across the Raging Sea.
“Thank goodness, the sky is fine.” Karline stared into the sky, not even trying to hide her fear.
“We did not see any of that.” Curio’s eyes followed his wife’s gaze.
Helen shook her head. It had not happened yet. She did not want to cause them to panic, it might not even happen if she left the kingdom. “I am sorry, I am exhausted. I have been having nightmares almost every time I fall asleep. I imagine it is the hormones from the pregnancy causing me to worry.”
Karline nodded. “All first time mothers are filled with worry.” Her tone was soothing as she placed a hand on the Queens shoulder. “Why don’t you try to rest and we can talk more about it tomorrow. You may be able to better understand your vision after you have had some sleep.”
“Yes, I believe that you are right.” Helen sighed and turned to hide her still shaking hands from the couple. “I probably should be resting more anyways, now that I am carrying a child.” She wrapped her cloak more tightly around herself and walked towards the door.
“I will escort you to the palace. It is very late.” Curio reached for his own cloak. “Karline, we can continue our conversation in the morning, go ahead and go to bed without me.”
Curio opened the door and waited for Helen to pass through first. She clutched her cloak against the shivers that came from inside, not the cool night air. She stepped outside, grateful that she would not need to walk alone after her vision. The night air was cool and calm making it hard for her to believe that she had witnessed it full of flames and beasts only a few moments before.
Curio was silent as they traveled down the narrow road between the small homes. He appeared to be lost in his own thoughts. No light flowed out of the windows of the dwellings they passed, the village appeared to be asleep. He turned to look at her. “Why did you say what you did about the orbs?” He sounded as if he had been trying to hold back his question.
She lifted her eyes to meet his gaze. “Because I believe that it is true. The orbs will not be able to save us. We need something more powerful, but I have no idea what.” She wished she knew what it was, but she did not.
Her answer seemed to perplex him and he rubbed the stubble on his chin. “If we had all the orbs, perhaps it could save us.” His tone was dark.
“I do not believe that the darkness coming is Telima alone, or that it is from Panguardia. I think it will take something greater than the power we have to face the darkness, but I do not know what it is. I can only pray that Panguadian himself does and will point us in the right direction to find it.”
He halted, grabbing her arm, forcing her turn to face him. “Are you an oracle?”
She stared at him coldly for he had no right to treat her thus. “I am not a seer and I don’t claim to be able to read minds or see the future. Now that I am pregnant, I have had visions. You seem to be a troubled man, Curio.” She said realizing how bluntly she spoke to the man.
He gave her a soft look, “You seem to be troubled as well, my queen.”
She nodded. “Every night I dream about shadow creatures and manticores. They destroy Synchrony and it leads to the fall of our people, the symbols. Every morning I wake, feeling as if I have not even slept. I am exhausted. I am troubled, though I have sent word to the known psychics and seers and no other has had visions like mine.” She was tired and she was not sure why she even bothered telling him. He was listening intently, despite his normally difficult manner.
“Perhaps, only for you, Synchrony will be ruined.”
Helen’s heart fell at his plain but hard words. She had not told anyone but Joren about the words Panguadian had spoken to her. Could Curio somehow know that she was scheming to leave the kingdom in secret? Surely, no one could suspect what she planned. He could not possibly know how his words rang true to her ears.
“What other meaning could there be?” Curio shrugged and they continued their walk. “It could be figurative instead of literal. King Elner himself also has nightmares, they involve his wife. I am used to royals that have troubled dreams.”
She gave him a small smile. “I have only been having nightmares since I learned I was with child.”
Curio wore a look that told her words were on the tip of his tongue, but out of respect he held them back. She was sure that if he had not, he would have told her that the dreams were connected to the child.
“Karline thought originally that I could help with King Elner’s wife. Her health continues to degrade.” They slowed down as they arrived at the palace gates and the path leading to her home. “I am not sure now, in my condition that it is wise to travel so far from home.”
Curio ran his hand through his hair. “I would have liked to have heard more about your nightmares, but that will have to wait. It is a shame, but you are probably right not to travel now. I leave the day after tomorrow to return to King Elner’s side.”
“Do you believe that there is something more to my nightmares then?”
“Almost positively,” he replied. “Perhaps you will be able to manage a short visit to Plume Village soon. It would be a nice change of scenery for you and King Elner welcomes the people of the symbols.”
She nodded in agreement, “Thank you, perhaps I will.”
Curio bowed and turned away, taking the path away back toward his home.
Chapter Three Darkness is Coming
Helen climbed into bed next her sleeping husband and he unconsciously wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into his chest. She snuggled up against him, but despite her exhaustion, she could not fall asleep. Instead she lay watching the moonlight streak with shadows as it streamed through the closed balcony doors.
She must have finally fallen asleep, because jerked awake, her eyes wide and staring in fear. She lay in their bed with Joren’s arm wrapped around her, wondering had awoken her from her slumber. She heard nothing but silence and the quiet breathing of her husband as his chest rose and fell beside her. She closed her eyes, but glowing light beyond her lids caught her attention. She snapped them open again and stared up at the ceiling of the royal chambers.
In the midst of the wood was a swirling blackness. She squinted and the shadows from the corners of the room moved. The shadows swirled into the blackness and made it grow. Quickly, the blackness grew to be the size of an apple then cantaloupe. Her heart pounded and she tried to reach over to shake Joren’s shoulder to wake him, but she was unable to move. Fear gripped her and more shadows drew into the blackness as it continued to grow in size.
Helen opened her mouth to scream, but she was not even able to let out a gasp. She reached toward her inner magical energy, but all she was able to find was emptiness. Her magic was gone and its stead darkness flowed. She began to panic, her pulse quickened and sweat ran down her face. The swirling darkness above her was now larger than her bed and still it grew.
The black hole soon covered the entire ceiling and light glowed and flickered within it. The light oozed like blood of the souls the Telima had massed to obtain his immortality. The darkness spun faster at its center, then suddenly lurched upwards and away from her. A face pushed forwards from the darkness and Helen tried to scream, but she could not. She tried to close her eyes, but she was not even able to do that. The face was soulless. It was beautiful yet not of Panguardia, with flawless white skin and crimson lips its large eyes were much too big for its female face. It was not Telima.
The face lunged from the swirling blackness and its eyes fluttered open, making Helen try to scream again, but nothing came out. Her heart still pounded as she looked into the large black eyes staring at her as if she were its next meal. Tears welled in her own eyes and she prayed to Panguadian for protection over herself, her husband and her unborn child.
The face opened its perfectly formed mouth and spoke in a tongue she that was unfamiliar to her. The words wielded control over the darkness swirling through her magical power. The dark swirling mass above her lunged in her direction and black liquid seeped from it and ran down the walls, doors and windows. It slithered its way onto the bed and disappeared into their covers. Helen tried to scream as its icy cold tentacles touched her legs and then pierced her skin with icy needles. She tried to kick them off, but paralysis overcame her and she was not able to scream, or even shake.
The dark tentacles coiled around her legs and wrapped around her stomach. They were so icy that she could feel the vitality draining from her body. The bed shifted and she hoped that Joren had awakened. The tentacles shot up around her neck, choking her. The darkness seeped into her mind and became all that she could see. She felt suffocated and she began to fall into a dark void.
A voice called out, echoing all around her. In the darkness a bright blue glow erupted and lunged towards her. Furious shouting came from somewhere, but she could not determine where, or the voice belonged to. She was unable to see. The bright blue glow flickered and grew even brighter pushing out the darkness. As it grew her breathing eased. She heard a voice singing. It was Joren, his voice rang out all around her. The darkness detested the words he sang and it oozed back from her.
A sudden snapping sound came and she felt herself wrenched from the darkness. She blinked as she stared up into Joren’s worried face. His symbols glowed a faint blue. She stared up at the ceiling, but the darkness was gone. She groaned and he pulled her body tight against him and his heart thundered against her chest.
“They are coming after me because of our child, Joren.” She whispered, feeling her vitality slowly seep back into her body with the warmth of his touch and love. I don’t know who it is, but it was not Telima this time. I don’t know how they know where I am or how it is even possible. It felt even more evil than Telima. I have to now. I waited too long and they know where I am. I do not want my visions to come true and our kingdom to suffer.
“I will come with you. We can leave immediately.” He gently brushed her hair from her face with his hands, trying to calm her trembling body with his gentle words and touch.
She grabbed his hand and pressed it into her face. “I cannot expect you to leave your kingdom… your life here. You have worked hard and the people will need you to lead them in the times to come.”
“How could I ever let you leave me?” He murmured fervently as he smiled down at her. “That was dark magic, stronger than any I have ever encountered. It resisted my powers, but it came from somewhere. The black swirling hole was a portal to somewhere else. Somewhere horrible.”
“To the underworld,” Helen said, her voice barely breaking a whisper. Joren looked down at her for a long time without saying anything. Finally, he nodded. “Whatever it was will be back for me.”
Joren stood and went to the balcony, shifting the curtain so that he could peer out. The glow of his symbols began to fade. “Yes I know they will. They will hunt us down no matter where we go.”
“It wasn’t Telima.” She sat up, wrapping the sheet around her. “It was someone else, something darker and entirely different. I am scared she is even more evil than he is. We need to leave now. If we don’t, our entire kingdom is in danger.”
“I know that you want to leave in secret, but we cannot. The entire kingdom will notice our disappearance. Someone will discover where we have gone.”
She sighed. “I know you are right. Somehow someone will find out.”
He looked at the symbols on his wrist. A swirl in the shape of a butterfly that stood for loyalty, laid in a bigger shape that was an old elvish symbol representing Panguardia. Everyone was born with their own symbols. Their shapes each meant something and glowed faintly when they used their magic. They looked as if they had been expertly tattooed on the wrists.
His face was pale even with the moonlight streaming over him. “I am afraid that even if we left in secret right this moment, Telima and that thing would return here and destroy the palace and then the entire kingdom on the hunt for you. You know that Telima’s psychic is able to pull the memories right out of people’s minds.
“What should we do then?” She asked, afraid that he would speak the words she already knew in her heart.
He looked back out through the balcony doors, the moonlight flowing over his bare chest. “We must cast a spell that will cause them to forget we were ever here.”
Helen squeezed her eyes shut. “Oh great Panguadian, I was afraid you would say that. That is dark magic Joren.” She swallowed, “There is no greater deception than to steal someone’s memories. It is forbidden.” She felt ill. Their magical abilities would be ripped from their bodies, if anyone suspected. It was the only true punishment that could detour a person from using such dark and horrible magic.
Joren ran his tongue along the inside of his cheek in thought. He knew entirely too well the punishment that they would face. “If your life and our kingdoms did not depend on it, I would not even consider such a thing. I have thought over it ever since we discovered you carried our child. It is the only solution that I can see, the only way to protect you and the kingdom. If Telima and whatever that was is able to come through a dark portal, then it already knows where you are. If you are anywhere in Synchrony it will be able to find you. I don’t know how to protect you anymore. It is only a matter of time until they succeed.”
Tears streamed down her face and her hands shook. “Are we even capable of such powerful magic?”
Joren turned away from the balcony to meet her eyes. “You know that we are strong together. You know exactly how powerful we are when we combine our magical abilities. Would you prefer to see our entire kingdom slaughtered and you and our child as well?”
“No.” Tears streamed down her face wetting her thin nightgown. Why couldn’t this be anyone else’s pregnancy? Why can’t I just have a normal child? “Why has this happened to me?” she wailed.
Joren went to her and embraced her, letting her cry for a moment, his own heart aching for her pain and fear. “It is because we are strong. Panguadian has blessed us with this burden. We will have to set aside our beliefs and ignore the laws to do what needs to be done. We can protect everyone this way and I don’t see any way around it. Our loyalties lie to Panguadian and Panguardia above the law and all else. We should sleep now and discuss this in the morning when our minds are calm and our thoughts collected. Tomorrow night I will summon the kingdom to a feast. That will give us all day to think about whether or not we should do it.”