Monday, 9 October 2017

Excerpt ~ Of Noble Blood ~ Part 7 The Demon Series

Of Noble Blood
The Demon Series Part 7

“My queen.”
Queen Ta-maal turned, as the seer approached. “Lewaer? What have you to tell me?”
“The council has convened.”
Ta-maal’s brow furrowed. “Why was I not informed?”
Lewaer came close. “The timeline, Your Majesty, it has been altered.”
For a moment, Ta-maal did not speak. “I’m afraid you have me at a disadvantage, my dear Lewaer.”
“It’s the consensus of the council. This timeline has shifted. What you see, should not be.” She wandered to the window. “The land should be fertile. The king…alive.”
Ta-maal pressed a hand to her stomach. “How can this be? The king has been dead for ten years. The land scorched and buildings in ruin, as far back as I can remember.”
“The timeline, in which we are now living, should not exist. There has been a shift which has created a ripple effect, leaving us in this world as we see it now.”
“You say it has been altered from its current course?”
“Yes, Your Majesty. We traced the source to our present. Someone among us must have used the ancient texts, bringing into being what you see before us.”
“One of our own?” Ta-maal straightened. “Who has done such a thing?”
“We have yet to determine the source, or why they have done so.”
“Surely, there are a limited few.”
“Indeed.” Lewaer nodded. “And they’ve used those texts to mask their identity. We cannot hold all with access accountable. These individuals have been chosen carefully, for their unique ability to read and interpret those texts. Yet we cannot allow any one of them to access the texts alone. It has been decided, should the texts need be consulted, all must be present at one time. That way no one can overpower another, to once more misuse the sacred books.”
“A wise approach.” Ta-maal gathered herself. “Please, tell me there is a way to correct it.”
“There is…”
“Why do you hesitate?”
“The timeline can be restored, but you may not approve of the manner in which it must be done.”
“I see.” Ta-maal sat. “Tell me.”
“It must be Princess Amara.”
“My daughter?”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“But she is all of eighteen.”
Lewaer did not answer.
“And there is no other?”
“No, Your Majesty.”
Ta-maal went to the window. Looking out over the land, she was silent for some time. “Cala? Could you find Princess Amara, and ask her to please come to me? There is something I must discuss with her.”

* * *

Amara drew her fingertips over the smooth, cold surface of the gold plaque. “For my beloved Jesse.” The holder possessed a fresh rose. “Aegan?”
“Yes, Princess.”
Amara sighed. “I’ve told you not to call me that.”
“Yes, Princess.”
“Sorry, Prin—”
Amara faced her, and they both laughed. “You’re doing that on purpose. You know how much I dislike it.”
Aegan grinned. “You wanted to know about the plaque?”
“Yes. You know of it?”
“It’s a mystery. Has been for centuries. All anyone knows is it appeared one day. No one knows who put it there, or how they got it in.”
“But how is that possible? And why haven’t they simply removed it?”
“They tried. But the next day it is always back, as if newly placed. And always a fresh flower. After many tries to remove it, they simply stopped. It’s always immaculately kept, as the day it was found. Yet no one here tends it.”
Amara frowned. “Who puts the flower in the holder?”
“No one knows, but every day there is always a fresh flower. No one is seen. No one is heard. But every day a fresh flower appears.”
Amara took the flower from its holder and inhaled its delicate scent. “Whoever she is, she must love him very much.”
Aegan came close. “I would agree. Very much.”
No sooner than Amara slipped the flower into its holder, it vanished. She straightened, the holder and plaque disappearing from the wall. The room darkened and she turned. It was empty. “Aegan?” She reached out, her arm covered in a torn and dirty sleeve. “What…?” Lowering her head, she gasped. Her dress was soiled, its fabric worn and frayed. “How can this be?”
“How can what be?”
Amara started. “Aegan? Where did you go?”
Aegan blinked. “Princess?”
Her dress was once more as it had been, the room bright. “You were gone. And my dress…the plaque…” She lifted her gaze to the wall. There was no plaque. No holder. No flower.
Amara spun on Aegan. “The plaque. The one with the flower. It was right here.”
“I know of no plaque.”
It was Amara’s turn to blink. “But…you just spoke of it.”
Aegan’s brow knitted. “I…”
Amara pressed her hand upon the wall, where the plaque had been. “But I saw it. I held the rose.”

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