Onyx Dreams Ch. 26bykitazkitten©
The tension melted from the men who bowed and hurried left the room. Katherine arrived followed by Danyen. He bowed and left her there. She waited patiently for Cyrus to acknowledge her.
His eyes centered on her as she entered, her uniform was torn in most places, the men having no patience in their need to ravish her. "It seems I shall have to hire you a personal tailor if you refuse to undress every time I give you to the men."
"My apologies, sire. I'll do my best to undress faster. You have need of me?" Her tone was devoid of emotion, no hint of what she thought or felt showed on her face.
"Indeed I do, unfortunate as it is for me to pull you away from your duties. I am I need of information. The men tell me you are likely to know of the location of a royal dragon. I am in need of one currently."
Katherine pondered his request. "There are no royals on this side of the portal at the moment. Currently any of onyx blood is considered royal."
His eyes narrowed for a moment, considering his next words as he watched her. "Any of Onyx blood? Any at all?"
"Well any except Kaie because she was banished from the dragon realms and once banished a spell is put on you to prevent your return. The only way it can be revoked is by the King of Dragons."
Exasperated, he leaned back on his throne, deep in thought. "And there is no other way to get in to the dragon realm?"
"The Keeper of Knowledge can do it but the current keeper and the dragon king are extremely close and the keeper is old. He will be passing on his knowledge to the new keeper soon."
He stood, his mood darkening as he began pacing. "So you are telling me that there is no other possible way to enter the dragon realm other than with a royal dragon or a keeper of knowledge? What about the druids? They can bring Dragons here so surely they can send them back also?"
"They don't actually bring them. Rather they send out a request and if the dragons are so inclined, they answer it."
He paused for a moment mid-step, a malicious grin spreading across his face. "Is that so? Then all we have to do is give them a reason to come. We shall do the one thing they know we will be targeting. We will go after Erykia. We will 'persuade' her to send a message to the realm stating that I have left the dark riders and wish to rejoin with Brenna. The gullible young one will never suspect it is a trap." His tone of voice when he mentioned persuading Erykia was dangerous, hinting that he would do more than simply talk to her, much more.
"But sire, we do not know if she survived the burning of the monastery." Katherine knew the truth but she wasn't about to tell him that.
"She is a high priestess Katherine you naive little pawn. A little dragon fire isn't going to put a witch like her down. No, she's out there all right. We just need a way to lure her out in to the open."
"I'm sorry for my stupidity sire. I had forgotten about her powers. Of course she would have survived."
His voice grew dark as an idea came in to his mind, a laugh growing in volume and strength, as it now seemed so obvious to him. Why hadn't he thought of it before? Taking a breath he looked directly at Katherine. "You have an opportunity to redeem yourself Katherine. Are you willing to take it?"
"I want you to take 5 of the best riders we have, fly out to each of the fly villages and take them hostage. She will be forced to come to the rescue, when she arrives, surround her and her little pet Rhys if he is there. Bring them to me...and we shall see just how gullible the Dragons of Light really are."
"It will be as you have ordered my lord." Spinning on her heel she left him to his thoughts.
He sat back down on his throne, staring at the wall as he calculated every move. ~Yes, a perfect plan, don't you think so Kaie? We'll finally get our revenge on that old witch Erykia.~
~Yes, it is her fault that I am no longer allowed in the dragon realm.~
~Then we will take our time in our little 'persuasion'...Come, we will watch Katherine's performance from afar where she cannot sense us and see how she fares.~ He stood and walked out the door towards where Kaie was lingering.
~Yes, she will have to prove her loyalty to our cause or else she will die too.~
Nodding, he appeared beside her a moment later. Carefully he climbed up onto her back, nudging her with his knees. ~Let us take to the night skies my pet.~ They were airborne before his thought was finished as they winged their way into night, following Katherine and the other riders.
* * * *
Erykia waited patiently until the vibrations from the wings of dragon flight subsided before lashing out with a strong energy blast that sent debris flying. "Come," she ordered as she quickly picked her way down the dirt path of the tunnel that led them underground to the safe haven on the other side of the village the Davenport monastery bordered.
Anthony had picked up Rhys, slinging him on his shoulder, muttering about foolish youth as he guided Elizabeth along the corridor behind Erykia. "I thought he had bonded with Lady Brenna and not that foul beast we just saw? And his strength, I have never seen one as focused on revenge as he was this night."
"Such hatred. He even despised Kennice." Shock colored Elizabeth's tone. Hastily she wiped away the blood dripping from the cut on her forehead.
"Why are you surprised at his focus Anthony? Had he not shown such focus when pursuing your daughter? The future is still cloudy around him though. He can still go either way though right now his heart and mind are shrouded in darkness." Erykia didn't bother turning around to check their progress. She had to get topside and plan some more.
"Indeed he had but we had no idea it could be polluted by such venomous fury as we saw today. It was as if he could see everything and how it all fit together, like someone had shown him the future. Such confidence was not sensed in him before this, there was the arrogance of youth yes, but this felt more like the cold calculating mind of an OverLord."
She stopped and looked at Anthony. "Do not say that title again. There has not been one in three centuries and we are not going to start now."
"My apologies High Priestess but we cannot deny that his actions tonight were anything but perfectly executed. Only one of 'them' would have the capabilities to pull off such an event."
"I know but we do not want to borrow trouble before it comes our way." She pressed in three bricks on the wall before them and with a squeal it began to move. Confidently she led them the last few feet into the late evening light. "We must find somewhere safe. Cyrus will not wait as he attempts to find us. He will know that we have survived the dragon fire."
Anthony nodded in agreement, looking back at the monastery. "But where can we go? He knows of all the places we take members of the monastery in emergencies. Those he would surely check first." He held his arms out to Elizabeth, helping her up the few steps at the end of the tunnel.
"I have a few places we can go that the young whelp will not know about. And it will give us time to gather the forces that must oppose him."
Anthony sighed softly, thankfully the students had all been sent to another monastery far off for the wedding to proceed without having to worry about them, but now with Cyrus on the loose, there was little else he could think of. "Very well High Priestess, I just hope nothing happens to endanger those plans before they can come to fruition."
"You of all people know that I will not let that riffraff destroy everything you and I have worked together to achieve. Rhys has not taken his final vows and until he is able you still have the duty of being the high priest. We must and will protect our lives and way of life."
"I understand that Erykia, we will need to train Rhys further if he is to be of better use in coming battles. The way Cyrus was able to over power him in such a way was heart-stopping to say the least."
"Yes, there is that." Erykia's eyes narrowed. "The beast he rides has had some training but not enough to kill Rhys. If she and Cyrus were truly in tune, Rhys would be dead." She shook her finger at Rhys. "And feigning unconsciousness is beneath you boy. Stand on you own two feet. Anthony should not have to carry you around. He is not your servant."
Anthony looked at the Rhys and realized she was right, unceremoniously dropping him to the ground. "Stand up boy, you have a lot of explaining to do concerning your actions at the ceremony. I believe they had a strong influence on what happened. Tradition is never to be mocked, especially one as powerful as the joining of high priest and priestess."
Rhys dusted himself off and glared at Anthony. "I was not mocking anything. I was doing what was right. If your daughter hadn't whored herself out to him on the night of the fertility rite, none of this would even be happening."
Anthony knocked him off his feet with a hard backhand, his annoyance with the boy showing as he stood above him, his fury hidden below the surface. "Do you know NOTHING you inferior little whelp? That ceremony was to choose who would be best suited to help heal the land. She chose well as the land is thriving. It is about her enjoyment NOT yours you idiotic child!" His heavy boot suddenly pressed Rhys back when he attempted to sit up, "As for not mocking anything, your conduct before and during the ceremony was a contemptuous disregard of a sacred act. It is your fault that disaster has befallen upon us, because of that our daughter is lost to us for the time being. For that I will hold you personally responsible until she is returned to us."
Elizabeth's cold gaze bore into Rhys. "She is not a whore. She did wait for the one person she felt worthy of gifting her virginity to and I'm glad it was not you. Be careful what you say Rhys. The people will not follow a high priest who blames everyone for problems that are caused by him."
Anthony reached down and jerked him to his feet by his hair and glared. "Remember child that it is not too late to remove you from the position of high priest. High priests and priestess do not need to be wed to each to do their duties properly and if a single hair on my daughter's head is harmed because of this, you will find out just what happens to those who are forced to step down because of incompetence." He roughly shoved him towards Erykia forcing him to walk. "Now, let us seek this shelter before our enemies find us."
"Gather around me." Erykia ignored Rhys. Let the idiot feel the wrath of Kennice's parents. He needed this lesson. Elizabeth and Anthony were powerhouses in their own right and many of the local villages followed wherever the pair chose to lead. Once they had moved into position, she pulled out her ruby. Focusing on the energy in the ground beneath her feet, she used the power to transport them far to the east just outside the village of Solarid. "We will be safe here for the time being. And I am calling the Council of Druids so that we may begin making our plans."
Anthony closed his eyes as the world shifted, letting them slide open once again as he felt it stop. He looked around, recognizing the village almost instantly. Nodding he gently took Elizabeth's arm and began walking towards the Elders' hut to inform them of the situation. "Very well, we will consult with the Elders to insure we remain hidden should any come looking."
"Rhys you will follow me. You need to see the purifier and mediate on your actions." She set off in the opposite direction toward an imposing building. She didn't check to see if he was following. He knew the outcome if he did not.
Rhys glared down at the ground, obediently following Erykia, his mind fuming with the actions of the past hour. How dare they blame this on him, he had done nothing wrong. It was that whore Kennice who had ruined everything. She must've known he was coming, that's why she was able to escape. Was what that mongrel Cyrus had said true? Was she manipulating them all for her own sick desires?