fantasy, Novel, On-going Stories, The Faceless Queen, World Weavers

The Faceless Queen XI

Aurora struggles against the black mass tightening around her waist. She begins to chant under her breathe but the old man sends a thin slithering mass of the mist over her lips.

It was not Aurora he was looking for. It was Kera. I quickly unwind the strands of my ring and release the Leukos strands into the air. They were of light perhaps against this darkness they too could be used. The Leukos are automatically drawn towards the black mass.

As their light meets the mist’s darkness, it begins to sizzle and burn at the edges like paper. The old man roars and nearly drops Aurora.

The Leukos strands begin to multiply creating holes through the dark cloud and bodies begin to drop through it to the floor.

Dark tendril begins to wrap around my waist, but at contact with my skin, it begins to burn away too.

The old man becomes furious, his body shaking you could hear his bones rattle. He drops Aurora without care, but she falls slowly like a feather.

The old man begins to collect what is left of his black mist sucking it into himself. His eyes fill up with blackness.

He glares at Aurora at the same time he begins to create a doorway in the middle of the air.

“I will be back Weaver.” He walks immediately through his portal and is gone.

My Leukos return slowly back to be reforming back into my ring.

I move towards Aurora but she waves me off.  “I am fine. The Leukos is a nice touch by the way.” She smiles at me weakly, but she was proud.

“I had to try something.” A hint of a blush creep up my neck, I hide it as I move to Kera and the girl.

Both are fine and had slept through it all. I touch Kera’s forehead gently and slowly I feel her face slipping off mine, I follow it’s energy enter me and through the cord that we weaved last night. Her face fades back to its proper place.

Aurora comes to my side. “He’s after her you know. She is the weaver.”

“Who was he and what is a weaver?” I ask as Kera’s eyes begin to flicker open.

“He lives in-between spaces, said to have been exiled there by the Gods. Somehow, he’s found a way to enter our world-”

“Woah, what happened in here?”Kera sits up and looks around the room. I follow and see multiple bodies lying in puddles of black water. Just as my room door opens and a crowd of people walk in.

Joaquin amongst them goes straight to Aurora who pats his comfortingly on the chest. “I’m fine Joaquin. Alessa saved me.” His face crumples with guilt, “I’m sorry,” he begins but she simply covers his mouth with her hand.

“No apologies boy, she did it for Kera not me. I know you would have done the same for me.” At these words, Kera looks at me confused.

“What happened exactly? I just remember blacking out.” She slides off the bed and stands next to me.

I grab her hand and squeeze it gently. “I’m glad you are back.”

I turn back to the crowd as a little girl groggily rises on up on her short legs.

“Father?” Then I see King Ubel push against the crowd. He rushes towards the little girl and lifts his daughter into his arms. A sight I never thought I would see.

There had been no news of his daughter’s existence.

Aurora smiles at the sight, “His daughter has been missing before you were born. Hopefully with her around change will come to Uvelin.”

Similar scenes occur throughout the room as some families are reunited.

It gets even more crowded as the Evergreen emissaries enter with their Head Priest who looks straight at me and Kera.

“I apologise to all, the enemy had broken through the islands barrier but I see we have new guests coming home. Please follow your emissaries and they will provide anything you need. We shall commence our meeting in due time.”

The crowd dwindles away as the Head priest walks our way.

He bows as he greets me, “Your Highness, we apologise to have your sanctuary be punctured by so much negative energies. I will have it cleansed. Perhaps if you all could follow me?”

He turns and walks away without waiting for our replies. Young acolytes enter with bowed heads as we leave.

He pauses as I catch up to walk at his side while Aurora, Joaquin and Kera follow behind.

“The girl who still sleeps, will she still be needed?” He begins to walk again.

“No, she may return to her family.”

“I’m afraid that would not be possible. She has been touched by the dark, and we will need to examine her.” I turn to him, “she has been infected?”

He nods his head. “Her soul has been replaced with a minion. We will see what we can do. Kera would have been infected too but your little light friends the Leukos seemed extra protective of her.”

“How do you know?”

“I was not there, but I can see it for it has past. As I entered that room, I have seen the past echoes of the energies movements like memories.”

“So you’re like a psychic.” Kera comments.

The head priest laughs, “In a way, yes like the psychics in your world I suppose is as close as it gets.”

Kera’s eyes widen, but before she could say anything, he waves it off. “People from other worlds vibrate at a different level.”

He brings us into a small chamber.

He turns and beckons us to sit on the available chairs.

“I’ve told you that I can see the past, people’s energies echo through time. Most don’t see it but there are some like I who are given this gift. Then there are those who can see the paths that come in the future.

Many lines are moving towards the future, and one remains constant in the battle we will soon enough face and it is Kera.”

All eyes turn to her.

“Kera your story is unfolding.”

 

 

The Faceless Queen will be on hold, future adventures to come but for now, we move towards other characters to widen the world a little bit more. 

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The Faceless Queen X

I had not killed her, but the pull was stronger. Whatever had happened had sucked us into a vortex of each other’s minds and memories. I could feel and hear her like she was right next to me even though she was in the separate room. She admitted to feeling the same connection. Constantly asking questions of the faces she sees. Hardest of all was Flora.

I walk into the main room as two of my men enter. They held a young girl who is obviously frightened. Kera looks at me with a confused look.

“I thought you have accepted you?” She said it like it was so easy.

“I can’t meet the other rulers as I am. They will judge me incompetent, and I don’t need Eydollon to hear about it.”

Strangely, as I looked at the girl, I felt no pull at all. I craved Kera’s energy.

“Kera you need to leave,” I say this as I fight the pull that grows stronger.

“No, I won’t let you do this to yourself anymore. I know you hate it and every time you do it you despise yourself even more. Your father should have loved you as you are!” She blocks my way as I head to the girl.

“Kera please, you don’t understand. Whatever happened to us last night has made my powers erratic and extremely bonded with you. I may kill you.” I brush past her but it was all I had to do with the touch of our skin, she falls to the ground faceless.

The girl begins to scream and fight against the guards hold.

My stepmother bursts into the room with Joaquin as I go on my knees to help Kera, but her face stares up at me empty.

My stepmother mumbles a few words under her breath and the girl stops screaming and faints. She points at the bed, and the guards lay her there.

“We come to pick you up only to find magic blasting through the air.”

Kera lay on the ground as if she were sleeping. Her chest rose and fell. She is alive, and no girl before have lived after.

“Go to the meeting, I will stay with her to find out how this is happening.”

Joaquin takes my arm into his, “She will solve this little mystery. For now, it’s time you met the other leaders of Eludemare.”

As I step out of the room, I want to go back to Kera, something didn’t feel right.

Halfway down the hall, I stop.

“Don’t you feel it?” I turn to Joaquin who tilts his head like he is listening to something.

“Something is disturbing the Evergreen.”

“We have to go back.”

Joaquin pulls me back to him away from my room.

“She’s just a girl, are you risking your kingdom’s place for her?”

It felt like a slap to my face. “My Kingdom is my priority, I’m sure the other rulers can wait for a few more minutes.”

I push past him and quickly head back to my room. As I enter, I catch sight of a massive black tar-like liquid floating in the air, and an old wrinkly crooked man stood over my stepmother controlling it.

While Kera lay asleep next to the other girl, who was still out cold, both oblivious to the nightmare that floated nearby.

Screams came from the dark mass, wretched faces stretched against it trying to claw their way out. Joaquin quickly steps in front of me, but the old man did not notice us at all.

“Hello again Aurora, it has been many years since my eyes fell upon such beauty.”

“Leave, you are not welcome here.”Aurora stands up stiffly moving away from the bed.

“Oh but aren’t all the little powerful rulers here to discuss what I created?” The dark cloud slowly moves around the old man and Aurora like it was alive. Tendrils stretching out towards Kera, and the girl like it was curious.

“Leave her alone old man.”  I push past Joaquin and face the old man.

“Ah, the faceless queen what a pleasure to meet you! I see you’ve just donned a new face. Quite pretty indeed.”

“What do you want?” I demand.

“Aurora! Your little apprentice is quite rude and boring.” He says looking offended as he wraps the mist around Aurora’s waist lifting her up in the air.

Aurora looks down at Joaquin, “Get out of here. Warn the others.” Joaquin hesitates but obeys, leaving immediately.

The old man only cackles. “Dumpling boy won’t make it! Come now Aurora, as much time as I have, I rather be gone from this place. Gives me quite the itch. Tell me, where did you learn the weaver’s magic? I sensed it here.”

“I don’t know what you are talking about.”

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The Faceless Queen IX

A room away I could hear her crying. The sky must have felt her heart aching and had broken open, shedding gallons of tears into the Evergreen. The droplets slid down the crystals like they were tears streaming down her cheeks.

I groan rising off the bed, I go to the hot spring farther away from Kera.

I’ve sent out my men to find a willing sacrifice for a face, a high price in return would be given. A part of me hopes they find no one while the other fears if they don’t I would see my fathers ghost haunt me in the meeting with the other leaders.

Another voice whispers with Kera’s face in my mirror’s reflection. I shudder at the thought; Flora was a friend that once haunted my reflection. Months with her face looking back at me. The whispers in the hallways of the castle echoed with judgment, fear and worst of all, pity.

The doors of the hot spring open. It’s Kera with puffy eyes lost in her head.

I rise from the hot springs to go making her notice me. She stumbles backwards tripping over her nightgown.

“I’m sorry, I’ll go I thought you were asleep.”

“It’s fine, I am done.” I climb down the Hot spring steps fully naked. She turns her back to me.

“I’m sorry.” She mumbles.

“Sorry?” A little of the fury that wiped my face away earlier in the day unfurls inside me.

“As you say I am like the king of Uvelin, I’m sure I should steal your face this moment as punishment.”

I see her wince.

“You’re not like him. I’m just…” Kera begins to sob fighting it.

“I am a monster, there is nothing to be sorry for.” I move towards her slowly.

“I never hid it from you.”

She turns and hugs me. “I’m really sorry.”

She gazes up at me, and I could feel my power hungry to wipe her face away. To make it mine.

I struggle to free myself from her, but she holds me tighter.

“Let me go, I don’t want to hurt you.” But she won’t let go.

“I know you won’t do it.” She pleads.

A blaze spreads through my body enveloping both of us.

Something in my core begins to thread with hers like a gentle pulling and intertwining. Our souls were interweaving into something I have never done before.

I try to fight it afraid I’m killing her. I struggle fighting harder, but the more I pushed, the heavier the hold.

The fire burns out of our body making the whole hot spring room even more humid. The fire reflects upon the crystals in the trees making it look like it too was on fire.

Flashes of our memories intermingle in my mind.  Kera could see my childhood memories with Flora, my mother and father and my stepmother. While I could see her own, sitting on the floor crying in a corner with wires coming out of her ears.

A final tug and we both sink to the floor crying.

“Am I dead?” she looks around blinking plenty.

Relief spreads through me, I hadn’t killed her but what had happened?

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The Faceless Queen VIII

I was raised to be oblivious of the world around me. It was easier to bend me to the will of my father and his court. I had spent my youth playing dress up with beautiful gowns and hiding in my room in self-pity.

Now I sit in the Evergreen Library and I feel foolish.

Eydollon has a massive library bigger than the whole of the Evergreen compound but I had never thought to explore it further than Eydollon’s history and laws. I was conforming myself to past beliefs.

Here the books about the other parts of Eludemare are beyond that I could believe. Kera beside me is as astounded.

“Holy Moly there’s such thing as shapeshifters here. There’s this Cateline that’s rumoured to have turned a fox into a shapeshifter. How cool is that?!”

I roll my eyes. Ever since she had begun reading the books along with me she had lowered her guard down and exposed she was not from Eydollon for I had been to every part of my kingdom and her accent and way of speaking was not from any part. However, the way she read about the rest of Eludemare she seemed unaware of its existence as much as I.

Oddest of all, she had the ability to read the texts of all the different languages although never being to the places.

“Kera, where are you from?” she freezes and looks up to me uncertain what to say.

She sighs, “Here.”

“I’ve read about dragons, shapeshifters, Jinn’s, floating cities, reincarnated Gods what can’t you possibly say that could shock me further than that. I already know you are not from Eydollon.” I slam the book I’m reading shut on the table in frustration.

“I don’t know if I can tell you. One thing I will say though is, I’m here to help you somehow.”

“I’ve seen in your mind you are from another world.”

“Since we’re being honest and prying into each other’s faces, I hope I wasn’t sent here to be sacrificed to be your next face. It’s not that pretty anyway.” Kera rises to walk away but I pull her towards me.

She tries to fight, eyes growing round and frightened. I was growing tired of her rebelliousness and fear.

I grab her shoulders tightly and look deep into her eyes like the other girls she’s seen me take their faces. I could feel her shaking but she defies herself from uttering a sound.

“I made you my servant because I could not take something you are unwilling to give. Have I not proven I would not hurt you. Why must you make it so hard to become a friend?”

“You want to be friends? Would you be friends with the King of Ubel after finding out he turned his court into the Skotos?” I let her go like I was burnt. She saw me equal to that of King Ubel.

She immediately begins to apologize but I throw her out of the library with a brush of my hand slamming the library doors shut at her face.

I could feel my inner fire burning out of my skin and the face of the latest girl burning off at the edges.

I was a monster but not like the King of Uvelin that I knew.

My old true senses returning slowly, my ordinary human senses burning away.

How could I have been so blind to think someone could be my friend.

A hand grabs my arm and I try to shake it off but it holds firm tightly.

If i did not stop the fire I would be faceless to the rulers tomorrow. I could not find a willing sacrifice in time.

“Don’t fight it.” It was the voice of the man her stepmother had brought to introduce me.

“Let go of me. You don’t understand!”

“I do, I was abandoned in the streets of Uvelin to become an odd faceless boy child serving a provincial lord. He used my powers to feed him an endless supply of dumplings.”

“Dumplings?” The fire inside me snuffs out, wisps of it flicker out the tips of my fingers and hair.

The man chuckles letting my arm go. “Long story short, I had been caught on the street creating a dumpling out of thin air. I was hungry.”

I couldn’t help imagine a scrawny little boy with dumplings before him only to be disturbed by men to take him to the provincial lord.

“I wasn’t that scrawny, I was only caught because I had gotten greedy and hadn’t been careful. I usually eat in the safety of an abandoned church cellar.” As he says this I could see it in my mind from his perspective. He was sharing his memories with me.

“We can do that? Share memories?” I ask creating a barrier in my mind.

“Yes, only in our true form. No need to build a wall against me, I would not pry if not invited.”

“But I could see into Kera’s dreams without her permission.”

“She is not like us. We mustn’t share our gifts with others. They may take advantage of it.”

“Kera is different.”

“I know.”

The man sits down in Kera’s seat and beckons me to sit down.

I look around and the world around me feels different, I could not help feeling relieved to have my senses undiluted but I could not stop seeing my father’s judging and disapproving eyes.

I look back at the man and I notice he looks different. He was naked but for bright orange flames flickering around the edges with darker swirls across his body covering the important sections.

I could feel a flush rise up to my face if I had one.

“What you see is my true form as I see you since we have met. although right now you seem to be a little pinkish like you were blushing.”

“What are we?” ignoring his comment.

“You know the answer to that, your stepmother has shared our people to you. Well, half of our true people. We were born in human form, encased. While they are in their true form entirely.”

“You’ve met them?” I sit in disbelief.

“I have travelled around Eludemare, looking for others like us. There are many, taking many different forms of work to use their unique abilities. You are the only other person with a similar ability to create from our energies.  Most of our kind have simple abilities and are kind and humble while there are those who are angry and hunger for more power. We are no different from human folk in terms of greed.”

“I meant the true versions of the Shinkami, you have met them?”

He nods, “I met one in my travels, he was quite arrogant but he says no human or half Shinkami can enter their domain. I have yet to try.”

The library grows quiet. I look at the clock and see that time had moved on quickly. It was time to go back to my quarters.

“I think I better get back to check on Kera.”

The man stands and holds his arm out. “I’ll walk you.”

“I’m Joaquin by the way.” He says as I hook my arm with his.

The library doors open.

“People call me the Faceless one back home.” Joaquin chuckles, “Your real name?”

“I’m Alessa.”

Kera stands at the door looking forlorn as she looks up her face turns to amazement.

I look through her eyes and I too am speechless.

We look formidable.

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The Faceless Queen VII

We reach Seers Island in a few days; It was a large island with a magnificent port which was filled with many different kinds of ships. The other dignitaries from the farther reaches of Eludemare had already arrived.

We travelled through pristine villages until we reached a forest unlike I have ever seen. The trees were not made of leaves and wood but were of glass and crystals. The leaves of every tree were different in shape and size. Some had orbs dangling from its silver branches clouded with smoke. Some were green gems shaped like leaves.

In a large clearing in the centre of the forest was a massive flat structure with only two levels made of glass. The top level was a large circular room that could fit a hundred men and the bottom level seemed to stretch across the whole of the clearing, which was likely to be the rooms. We could see figures roaming inside but were like smudged forms shifting into different shapes as a figure walked by.

The entrance had a large arch that was covered in carvings of figures in robes.

As we went down the carriages, seers dressed in silver white robes welcomed us and led us to our rooms.

I was brought to a large round room with a circular bed at the centre. Books on shelves lined the window ledge.

There were two doors to the left of the entrance of the room. One was to a passageway to a single hot spring where a ledge was littered with soaps and ointments, there was no ceiling, and it opened up to the glass treetops and the sky.

The other door was to a smaller room but similarly designed. A round bed at the centre with the walls of the room covered with shelves full of books and items. There was no window but the ceiling was a glass dome facing the crystal forest treetops.

“Wow, if I had a room like this back home I would never leave.” Kera reacts to her quarters.

“The Seers do seem to have a certain elegance. Their art is also interesting.” I say pointing to a painting hanging in my chamber.

It was a painting of an enormous white dragon, its wings stretched out wide, hovering over a village while below the village was like a mirror reflection of the white dragon except it was black.

“I have never seen this painting before, or an illustration of this in my books. There has never been a dragon sighting in decades.” I say.

Kera laughs, “So there are dragons here to huh?”

“Yes, there are stories that a kingdom long ago was ruled by a dragon who transformed itself into a man,” I say as I remove my cloak, longing for the hot spring water waiting for me in another room. It is said to have magical properties.

Before I could say another word or have a thought, a knock comes from the door. I nod to Kera to take it.

It was Matheus with a letter from Eydollon, which I ask Kera to read.

“It’s from Grand Duke Florent. He is just letting us know everything is alright and hoped that you had a safe journey.”

“Write to him, let him know we have arrived safely and thank him too. I’ll be in the hot spring; you can go after I am done. The springs here are known to have magical properties of healing.”

She nods as she unpacks our trunks to find the letter paper.

Tomorrow was the day I would face the leaders across Eludemare for the first time.

I must be ready for them and learn more about them. That would be my priority for this evening. First, the blanket of a warm healing spring to soothe my aching body. Maybe even heal my inability to keep or have a face.

I enter the hot spring slowly. It is deliciously warm and I could feel a tingling feeling spread throughout my body.

I hear a knock on the front door. I hear Kera open it and start arguing with whoever entered.

The springs own doors bursts open and at the doorway stood my step-mother.

“I see you still wear a face. ” Behind her, a man dressed elegantly in a dark ash grey suit stood his back facing towards me.

“I’m sorry to hear about your father, although he was not the kindest towards you. With that aside, I have someone you must meet.” she turns to introduce the man but he keeps his back facing towards me.

“I think it’s best we wait for the Queen to finish with her bath don’t you think?”

My stepmother laughs.

“Don’t be modest, I think you’ve seen her already in all her glory the moment she entered the Evergreen with your senses so enhanced by the crystals

The man turns around and I see he is faceless. At the edges of his face flames dance, tinged with a pinkish hue like a blush.

He’s like me. I could feel my hands clench with fear and embarrassment.

“Leave,” I command.

My stepmother hesitates but the man tugs her out as Kera apologises and closes the door.

I sink into the spring water as far down as I could go to cover my face.

There is a change in the air and I could not help feeling I am far from being in control of it.

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The Faceless Queen VI

“The Evergreen is a land of equality and peace. New and old leaders must follow its customs.” begins Matheus explaining the different leaders to be present at the Evergreen.

In the southeast of the whole of Eludemare, there is the new leader of the Narci people. Once they had been a scattered mass of animist warriors but now ruled by a Sultan named Kol.

Then at the south with the longest distance to travel were the Gonds. A Raja is what they called their King. He is known for his pet Jinn. It is said to have immense powers. To gather all his people under his rule he had let it rain liquid gold, turning their rooftops and roads into gold.

The Raja had rebels but they were transformed into senseless beasts called Kapre, creatures that live inside of trees, afraid to be found and caught by the Raja.

In the Northwest was the Ferou of Afru Ikay. Her people believe her a Goddess reincarnated. She and her people lived on islands that float atop the Kuntor mountain range. Their skins are well known for being as dark as ebony and eyes that glitter like precious stones. Their skin is lined with embedded drops of their chosen precious stone; each drop was a challenge overcome and achieved.

While at the north end of the Eludamare, a kingdom was split in half between siblings. On the northwest was Harr Agatha. Harr was their term for ruler. They were a tall and large people with skin white as snow, hair darker than the sky at night. They were known to be fierce ice warriors.

Harr Agatha’s brother on the Northeast was Athoshen Kalfu, the immortal emperor. Their father had split the land in two for he loved both his daughter and son equally. He was a powerful man for it is said that he held parts of the souls of all that had become the Athoshen. Their wisdom locked in the crown.

It was going to be an interesting gathering I think.

We reach the port of Uvelin, all our belongings brought on board the Evergreen ship quickly.

Matheus happily disappears with the other emissaries from Evergreen.

Kera and I join the crowd aboard the ship. It was loud with no help from crewmen shouting at each other trying to shout over the dignitaries’ conversations.

It seemed King Ubel had invited more than himself. Noblemen dressed in flashy high collared black suits surround him.

While in-between them the royal family of Gayala mingles smiling cordially.

“There’s so much blue blood here, I’m drowning,” Kera whispers to herself.

She was nervous.

I place my hand on her shoulders.

“I am as much scared as you. I have never stepped out of Eydellon. Stay by my side and I will do my best to protect you. We can survive through it together.” I say, hoping I had made the right choice in bringing her.

She turns to look at me and tries to read me.

“Anything can happen, am I just another sacrifice if it comes to it?” not daring to hear my answer Kera walks away.

My heart clenches in my chest.

Do I have an answer to that?

 

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The Faceless Queen V

It is time for an adventure.

The carriages were ready the next morning and Grand Duke of Florent himbly accepts to take the reins of the kingdom promising he would send a bird if anything would happen.

Just as we were to depart, a man with crazed eyes dressed in worn out robes begins shouting in the middle of the the royal courtyard.

“Your Majesty, before you depart I would like to wish you a safe journey and not to worry, at your return I promise there would be willing candidates for you, for Eydollon!”

He leaves with a backward wink and disappears into the crowded street.

I have never seen the man before. The sacrifices were discreetly handled by my personal guards. This didn’t bode well for my return.

Inside the carriage, I could feel Kera watching me but I focus on the messenger faking ignorance.

“Tell me, messenger, what is your name and how long will this journey to the Evergreen be?”

“Mm-Matheus,” fixing his extra crisp collar.

He looks to Kera for support, she smiles and nods.

He takes a breath and begins again, “I am Matheus, an emissary from the Evergreen of Seers Island. We would have to pass the kingdom of Gayala and enter the kingdom of Uvelin that has a large port where an Evergreen ship is waiting for us. It make take a month.”

“I see, perhaps you should entertain us with what you know of Eydollon and the lands we shall pass.” glancing at who Kera perks up in interest.

Matheus nods eagerly; glad to have something to do to pass the time.

Ahead of us the streets of Eydollon’s main city fall into a lone road shrouded with tall trees. For miles, the woods go, and I could feel the creatures that hide behind the branches, watching us.

It shifts back and forth between woods and villages until the wall I built rises before us. It feels oppressive. I had not noticed that before. I let my soul drift, sending tendrils towards the wall feeling it’s deep roots below the earth. I feel the vibration between the particles and begin separating them farther apart inserting a part of my essence flowing through to keep its strength against magical attacks. The wall dissolves from the sky.

Kera and the Matheus react with surprise.

“It is still there,” I say smiling, “I only made it clear. It looked ominous.” I comment nearly to myself.

As we pass through the gates of the wall, it begins to appear again like a mirror illusion.

“Wow.” Kera murmurs, “That’s freaking awesome!”

Matheus and I look at her strangely.

“I meant that’s amazing?” she reiterates.

I smile, “It is. For Eydollon, it is home, it must be kept safe for my people. They may despise me but I would do anything for Eydollon.”

I feel Kera glance at me. Mattheus coughs calling for our attention.

“We have entered the Kingdom of Gayala. Queen Aya is a kind and fair Queen.  She and her sons will be joining us on the ship to Seers Island.”

“You say a queen rules these lands?” I ask.

“She has ruled after her husband’s death until her eldest son is ready to be King.”

“People must love her a lot,” Kera states eyeing the statues of a striking woman made out plants and covered in flowers.

Matheus laughs, “That isn’t the queen of Gayala! That is Akamara.”

“Akamara?” Kera asks.

 “Yes, Akamara, how do you not know this? She is the source of all existence, the beginning of all things true and honest.”

“I see.” She begins, “I never was the religious type, so I must have missed it.”

Matheus gives her a curious look over. “Do you know of Khaos?”

She takes her eyes off the street and sits back on her seat.

“No, but I’m guessing it’s the villain, every world has one.” She answers.

Matheus frowns, “Khaos is the God of trials, not a villain, you must be careful what you speak Kera!” he warns.

“Uh-huh, after Gayala which kingdom do we pass?” Kera asks brushing him off.

The messengers face darkens with worry but answers her.

“Well, as the Kingdom of Gayala believes in Akamara. Beside it is the one who believes in Khaos. The Kingdom of Uvelin where dark creatures run rampant.”

Yes, I know of the Skotos, those had been the creatures sent to attack my kingdom. They are creatures of the dark that lurk in the shadows.

If you were not careful, they could enter your body in moments of weakness or if welcomed in by a bargain that cannot or ever be fulfilled.

They can live inside you without your knowledge. They like to whisper in your mind and urge dark deeds.

“We will be safe, each carriage has its medallion,” I say comforting them and myself. I had enough darkness lurking inside me.

Matheus nods, “I had seen the Skotos medallion outside the carriage; it should avert them from going near us.”

The Skotos medallion was made of pure silver embedded with a snake tangled with a dandelion seed.

The silver was not what protected the bearer.

After the attempt on my kingdom, the Skotos that attacked my wall was inadvertently turned into their opposite essence.

Leukos, spirits of light that bear strands of iridescent light on their head like dandelion seeds. Harvested delicately, each strand is encased in silver and pressed with the symbol.

The creation of that wall was my greatest gift, but it took a considerable amount of my essence.

“Is the King of Uvelin going to the Evergreen?” I ask rubbing a ring, within strands of the Leukos are encased in crystal.

“King Ubel of Uvelin would be in the gathering too. He invited himself.”

(Catch Part VI of the Faceless Queen Tomorrow!)

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