White Wyrms Chapter 71: A Warning

Writers Fantasy posted on Jan 12, 2023
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Kritalla groaned as he entered the city. He would’ve liked to wait, but his mission was urgent. He hated the shades. If it weren’t for them, he’d have been able to transport to Sen-gan. But shade magic and immortal magic didn’t mix. Even now, he could feel it affect him despite the shades being gone since dawn. He made his way through the crowds to the palace. There, he talked to the steward about an audience he needed. It took a little work, but he managed to convince the steward to let him talk to someone. *** Ann sat reading. Andy slept with his head in her lap. She ran her fingers through his hair. Once the shades had dissipated, he’d drained them both to a comfortable level and gone to sleep. Ann couldn’t sleep. She didn’t know when the last time she had slept was. The times Drepal took over, allowed her to rest and helped some. But her other half didn’t like the shades and had retreated deeply last night. There was a knock on the door. She slipped from the bed and donned a robe. “Your Majesty, there’s a man here who insists on talking to someone. Norka said you were the one to talk to,” a page said. Ann nodded. “I’ll be down shortly. Ask Norka to have him wait in the west sitting room and bring breakfast for the two of us.” The page nodded. “Yes, ma’am. One human and one Princess Ann.” Then she hurried off. Ann dressed quickly and went to the sitting room. She stopped short. “Kritalla?” The man smiled. “Shimmer, I barely recognize you. Shades, you look different.” “It’s been over ten years since we’ve seen each other.” “Yes, it has.” He stood. “If you bow, I’ll break your neck,” she warned. He laughed. “Some things never change. How about a hug instead?” Ann agreed to that. “Sit. Are you hungry? I asked for some breakfasts to be sent in,” Ann offered. He nodded as he sat. “Thank you. I’ve been riding for quite a while.” “What’s going on? Why the urgency?” “Is this room secure?” “It can be.” “No, I mean very secure, from even immortals.” “No. We’ll need to use my lab for that. Do you think there’s an issue with Ertonia?” He shook his head. “Maybe I should talk with your father.” “He won’t be available until midday. He’s on shade recovery duty.” “There’s no way to reach him?” “Of course there is, but if it isn’t an emergency, someone’s going to hang. Tell me what you can so I can make an informed decision.” “It’s regarding an old love interest of Fists who he promised she wouldn’t wake up with purple hair if she spent the night with him and an elf who isn’t an elf.” Ann raised an eyebrow. She was that girl, though it hadn’t been quite like that. Fists had offered to let her spend a few days with his family while she looked for a place to stay after escaping Lerjao. Rejenn had talked about a prank Fists’s sisters had played on him, dying his hair purple and painting his lips. Fists had assured her his sisters wouldn’t do that again. “I’ll get my father, but please don’t put it that way. I’d rather not have Fists executed. Drepal wouldn’t appreciate having to carry out that sentence.” Kritalla raised an eyebrow. “Drepal? She’s here?” Ann nodded. “Father pardoned her. As long as she’s good, he has her carry out executions, though there hasn’t been one in a long time.” Kritalla nodded. “I see.” Ann summoned a guard and a page. The page was sent to delay breakfast. The guard was Chormi. “Take Kritalla to my study. Have Andy help you if you can’t get in.” Chormi nodded. Andy’s help getting in was code for guarding an immortal. Andy was the only Augmenter strong enough to restrain one. “Andy?” Kritalla asked. “My husband.” Ann smiled and left. *** Emeton wasn’t happy with the interruption. Shade recovery was a big project. A lot of people needed to be checked up on and sometimes kids needed to be found. He and Remtani had worked out a system. He put Merton in charge and followed Ann to her study. The man waiting there stood and bowed. “Your majesty.” Emeton frowned. “Kritalla.” “You remember me.” It was likely he had hoped Emeton wouldn’t. “You hid my daughter from me.” “I protected her from your son, something you seemed to need help with since he not only hurt your daughter, but another girl as well.” “Dad, Kritalla, stop,” Ann insisted. “It’s in the past. Kritalla helped protect me. Remtani’s fine now. The spell’s been removed. He and Sapphire are friends.” Kritalla frowned. “Spell?” Ann nodded. “It was a spell Cramda put on him to make him hurt me. It’s been removed.” “An immortal spell? Who removed it?” “I did, but we can catch up later.” She led them into her lab. She allowed them the chairs while she perched on the workbench. “Now, what’s so important?” Emeton asked. “I’ve been acting as an ambassador for the Ertonian Senate for the last several years and have been with the gnomes. They accepted me because Kith introduced us and I had done business with them in the past. “I was close to Erilu so I was going to go visit a friend there. I stopped at an inn for lunch and to scry for permission to enter Erilu. I overheard a group talking. It was an odd group made up of several races, humans, elves, dragons, immortal, dwarves, even one I think was a roc. That alone got my attention. What they were saying was concerning. “I was only able to hear bits and pieces of what they were saying. They were discussing an attack and believed the human king was key.” “Are you sure they were talking about Emeton?” Ann asked. “They didn’t say his name that I heard. But with the group there, I don’t see how it could be Kamlia. I only got bits and pieces. The shields to keep people from eavesdropping were strong. Something has been stolen. I couldn’t find out what, but there were several over the course of time. Someone is able to get in somewhere they shouldn’t. And it sounded like Drepal isn’t dead but might be involved. “I am not,” Ann insisted. Emeton and Kritalla both gaped at her. “Everyone here knows,” Ann assured them. Kritalla sighed. “That makes reporting this easier. They also believe Ann is Drepal. Apparently, there was some attack here recently by someone posing as an elf and it was some kind of test. Again, I don’t know all the details. All I can tell you is that it convinced them that Ann and Drepal are one in the same. “Is Drepal awake?” Emeton asked. Ann shook her head. “She’s still recovering from the shades.” “I’d like to talk to her about this.” Ann nodded. “Give me a moment. She’s reluctant to come fully awake.” Emeton nodded and Ann closed her eyes. For a moment, it looked as though she was talking with someone telepathically. Then, she opened her eyes. Briefly, she wore the cold, heartless expression he’d seen when they’d first met. It was so disturbing, he hadn’t even recognized her as his daughter. Then her face softened. “Kritalla, it’s good to see you.” Kritalla nodded. “Likewise. You’re doing well?” “I was until last night. The shades are horrid.” “You should feel the dark ones.” “Andy says they’re the same.” “Yes and no. There also left over magic released from a well, but because of their proximity to Ertonia, they include immortal magic. They’ve gotten worse over the years as Kar’s clan grows. Dragon and immortal magic doesn’t mix that way either. It’s why immortals here have such problems with the shades. They’re mostly made up of dragon magic.” “I do believe they may come after Ann, perhaps try to get her arrested.” “I’ve pardoned her and so have all the other rulers.” “They’re planning on doing something. And also, I don’t know what this means, but they said they could make sure the baby was the death of her.” “I’m not pregnant,” Ann said. “No one around here is. The only person of significance who is pregnant would be Deyama.” “Her death would have a big impact on us all,” Emeton agreed. “We’ll warn Shunati.” “I’m afraid that’s all the information I have.” Kritalla held up his hands in a shrug. “I hope it helps, and I’m sorry to have interrupted your morning.” Emeton nodded. “Some interruptions are unavoidable. However, I do need to get back. The shades play havoc with us mortals sometimes too.” “I understand.” Kritalla nodded. Ann showed them back to the study. “Shall we get that food?” She suggested. Kritalla nodded. “That sounds good.” “Do you have time for a visit? We could go to the dining hall. I’m sure there are others who’d like to see you.” “Like who?” “Rejenn, Fists, Sapphire, Darkham, the hags, Dad.” She was smiling even though he couldn’t see it from where he was. “Didn’t I just see your dad?” “Lyni.” “You know?” “Seven years now.” “It’s about time. Did he tell you who he really is?” Ann nodded. “Thailyn.” “Good.” *** A surprise that Ann felt woke Andy. It wasn’t anything bad. She seemed happy so he didn’t worry. He got up and dressed. Then, he went to where the kids had their slumber party, figuring he could drain any kids that had absorbed too much energy. Carry sat reading while the others slept. The kids were all together in a mass with Cari in the center. Vaila and Bremul were pressed close to her. If they weren’t so young, Andy would worry. He was surprised they didn’t glow more with shade energy. Come to think of it, he was surprised they slept. Most had mage potential, and they should have absorbed enough to keep them awake. He shrugged it off and greeted Carry. “Up already?” She asked. “Ann couldn’t sleep. Something she felt woke me.” Carry nodded. “John’s been quite hyper this morning. I feel like I’ve drunk a gallon of Jo’s coffee.” Andy laughed. “I know the feeling. If you want, I can watch the kids and you can get John’s vial, so he can come in. Then I can drain off some of the excess.” “I don’t know where he is.” “Use the bond. Where does it feel like he is?” She pointed. “That way. But I don’t know where that is, or how far.” “It sounds like he’s near the stables.” Andy had a page guide her then he settled back to relax and do his eye exercises. Cari was the first to wake up. She maneuvered her way out from the group and climbed on his lap. “Morning,” she said. “Good morning. Did you guys have fun? I thought you’d all still be up.” “We had lots of fun. The shades came in the room and we chased them.” “Those were the copies Morina made.” Cari nodded. “I know, but it was still fun. Then I helped everyone go to sleep.” “You did?” She nodded. “I tucked them all in and kissed their foreheads like you do. Vaila and Bre needed extra help so I slept by them.” “That was very nice.” “Kory is going to be an Augmenter.” “Probably,” Andy agreed. He appreciated how she pretended to be so grown up at times.

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Comments (2)


Leije 9:58AM | Thu, 12 January 2023

Nice characters, well posed !

RedPhantom 7:13AM | Fri, 13 January 2023

Thanks so much


Richardphotos Online Now! 9:44PM | Thu, 12 January 2023

if I was to try to type all of your story, I would still be typing next month. superb poses and composition

RedPhantom 7:15AM | Fri, 13 January 2023

Speech-to-text has come a long way. Thanks