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.