I hope your week is treating you well. It's been a long week, and I don't know about you, but I am so ready for the weekend to roll in, so I can catch up on writing and have some chill time. Unfortunately, I believe @zakludick is still working the whole weekend (sorry bud). Despite this, he did manage to write Part 70 so be sure to check it out before you continue with today's update!
Instead of seeing the face of his uncle, he was staring at the ceiling of his bedroom. Next to him, the young priest boy stirred before sitting bolt up in the bed, looking terrified. It didn’t help that Rhyn suddenly sat upright too, looked the boy in the eye and simply said, “Get.”
The boy bolted, leaving the dragon-like creature with Adiran. The young prince started to sit up but Rhyn lay across his stomach and said gently, “You can’t help them where they are, and you are still critically injured. Try not to move too much.”
Then the pain lanced his chest. He groaned and his vision swam for a moment before it rightened itself. Rhyn flicked his tongue across Adrian’s chest a few times before he nodded his head.
“All accounted for young prince. You are as whole as you’re ever going to be.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Adrian was momentarily confused by the hoarseness of his voice.
“Once a soul is fractured, it remains fractured for years. It does heal, but it takes a long time. I’m sure Adiran will tell you more in the coming days, but for now…”
Rhyn was interrupted by a clattering of armoured feet running to the room. He immediately placed himself over Adrian’s legs in a defensive stance. Adrian sat up, ready to defend himself if he needed. His heart was pounding in his ears as the sound got closer and closer. He expected armoured men to fly into his room, he didn’t expect to see his mother, with tears streaming down her cheeks, be the one to run into the room.
Mary effortlessly lifted Rhyn out of the way to kneel on the bed while hugging her only son while she sobbed. Adrian knew that this must have been a trying time for her. Her son nearly died, her husband did die, and she likely had no idea where her daughter was. She must have been terrified. Adrian, despite the pain from his chest, threw his arms around his mother and hugged her as hard as his injury would allow.
“Thank the magics which had returned you to me.” She whispered in his ear.
“Not magic mother. Well, a little magic.” He admitted as he continued to hold her, “Thank Adiran, Magna, and their companions. They saved me.”
He heard Mary’s breath catch slightly at the sound of his uncle’s name and he knew then that she knew who he really was. Beyond his hug, he saw several strange, armoured warriors and a creature he didn’t know. It was large and though it looked like a human, he was sure it wasn’t.
“Millmor?” he queried.
The creature tilted his head and stated, “Odd, we haven’t met.”
“Oh, damn that fool.” Muttered someone outside of the room.
The moment this man stepped into the room; Adrian knew exactly who he was.
“Did that idiot sacrifice his soul?” the man growled.
“No,” said Rhyn as he tried to climb back onto the bed. “However, he needed something to act as glue. There was an exchange of soul slivers. Not enough to affect their lives, but enough to share some memories. Your guard got to us in time.”
Lucien shook his head and sighed heavily before saying, “Welcome back young prince. I wish I could tell you you’re safe, but there has been…”
The man sneered and revealed some sharpened teeth, “Some developments since you took your nap.”
Mary released her son and looked him in the eyes before stroking his hair, as she used to when he was little. She looked frightened, older, and scared.
“I thought I was going to lose you.” She whispered.
“He is safe now. We need to worry about your daughter now.” Said a shadow guard as he removed his helm.
“Oh, I know you!” said Adrian, “You came to help us. How’d you get back here so fast? Thank you for helping us fight the undead in the courtyard.”
The guard grinned and bowed his head. “Sometimes our secrets best remain hidden. Makes for some great party tricks.”
“Adrian, listen to me.” Said Mary softly, “Are they safe? Are they coming back soon?”
The urgency in her voice startled Adrian. He had no idea why his mother seemed so worried.
“I don’t know. The ritual has been completed, and I woke up here. I don’t know when Magna will return.”
“Stefan.” Said Lucien, the order remaining unspoken.
“At once.” The guard from earlier returned his helm and seemed to shimmer out of sight.
“Mom, what’s going on?” asked Adrian slowly.
“War, son, war is happening, and I need Adiran.” She hesitated on his name.
“It’s okay. I know.” Said Adrian softly. “I’m sure they’ll be back soon.”
“We need to prepare you now. You have to remain safe.” Said Lucien before Mary could say anything. “The priesthood cannot get you when we’re this close.”
“Wait, what?” Adrian tilted his head in confusion, “What’s happening?”
Magna was shocked to only see Adiran left standing once the ritual was done. There was no sign of her brother, the strange guard, or even the dragon-like creature that had been with them earlier. She saw her uncle sway a little, and she rushed forward to give him a shoulder to lean on. The man looked exhausted, and pale and was clutching at his chest in pain.
“Did you really want to sacrifice yourself?” demanded Magna as she held him up.
“I truly believed there was no other way.” He whispered, “I wasn’t going to sacrifice you again.”
Magna hugged him tight and whispered, “Let’s go home.”
“Yes, please leave my realm.” Said Ostia harshly as she slammed her shield into the ground, “This is no place for the living.”
“That may be a bit more problematic than I’d like to admit.” Said Adiran wearily as he used Magna to turn himself to face the wraith.
“Your brother isn’t one of the living, and the longer he remains here, the stronger the curse gets and the more difficult it is for us to return.” Adiran rubbed at his chest, “I will need time to recover.”
Ostia’s face clouded over and she rubbed at it with a gloved hand muttering to herself in a language no one seemed to follow. She paused and seemed to take a deep breath before turning to Mortis and said, “I know of a way to get you back.”
Mortis seemed to frown; Magna found it distinctly disturbing that his facial features were apparent with the more time he spent in this realm. Was that skin developing on his chin?
“I must invoke our true names.”
“You mean my real name.” corrected Mortis.
“To do that will cause the gods to see us.” Said Adiran harshly.
“You don’t have much of an option right now.” Snapped the shield guardian.
Oof, what now! What else could possibly go wrong? I don't know, ask Zak, as he'll provide the next chapter for you to enjoy!
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