Disclaimer; Elemental Truth, the first of the Elemental Wars books, is in the final stages of editing. Hope you all enjoy it.
“She said you’re on a mission for the Seeress.” Vieno said, her voice low. Tier glanced towards her then back to his bags.
“I am.” He closed his travel bag, meeting her eyes. “There wasn’t an option to turn her down.”
“Why you?” Vieno clasped her hands together, shaking her head. “No, what goes on in the mind of the Seeress is known only to her. What has she sent you for?”
Tier glanced around the room. It looked secure, but Chiron’s home was riddled with old passages and hidden niches. There could be any number of listeners. He held out his hands, Vieno nodded, moving over to the wall, pressing her palm against the stucco.
“There are old secrets, some that should never be overheard.” Vieno met his eyes. Light flared up under her palm, streaking out on either side, bathing the room in a soft red glow. She looked up at him, her lip twitching.
“How did you do that?” He asked. She shook her head.
“It would take too long to explain. What has the Seeress asked you to do?”
“She ordered me to locate elementals.”
“And bring them back to her to help mend the world.” Tier ran a hand through his hair.
“Mend the world?”
“That’s what she said.” Tier felt his stomach twist. Now, miles away from the seeress it felt a very thin explanation. Vieno paced slowly not meeting his eyes.
“She wiped out the elementals, generations ago.” She said. “There’s another reason she wants you to bring them to her. It’s impossible, there are no more.”
“That’s what I thought.” Tier said slowly. Vieno halted and looked at him. Her eyes widened as it struck her. She nodded.
“I see.” Vieno pressed her fingers together in front of her.
“I can’t figure out what I’m missing.” He admitted.
“She sent you to Dhaul?” Vieno scowled.
“Aye. But gave us no indication as to where we needed to go next. We figured that the earth shapers were originally from this area, so we came here. Not sure where to go from here though.”
“It’s futile, Tier. There have not been reports of Earth Shapers since I was a child. And as far as I know there are no more air weavers.” Vieno’s eyes narrowed. “The fire wielders were all in the Sandau and plains region, as far as I know there are none.”
“There were rumors in Jacktor that the Lord of Sandau is a fire lord.”
Vieno waved her hand, shaking her head. “No, we would have heard such news here. There’s something she didn’t tell you.”
“I worry that this isn’t,” he hesitated. “The honorable path.”
“You question her?” Vieno asked softly.
Tier swallowed. “Not exactly.”
“One can be loyal to Nekar, but not to her, you know.” She said it softly. Tier stared at her, the words echoing in his head.
“She is Nekar.” He murmured.
“I don’t believe that. And neither do you.”
“Just saying that can get me killed, Vieno.”
“Serving her, will get you killed.” She touched his hand.
“Perhaps. I doubt that she’d call on the Imperial household just to kill me off though.” Tier pointed out.
Vieno inclined her head. “This is true.” She pressed her hand against the wall again and the color faded. “Sleep well, dear one.”
She was gone before he could say goodnight.
Vieno hurried through the old city, stepping gingerly over sprawled drunks and piles of rubbish, her mind whirring. She barely glanced at the archway she ducked beneath, though she paused, looking around once before sliding behind the ragged cloth that hung over the doorway. Two men inside stood, startled and hastily bowed.
“Lady Vieno, we weren’t expecting,”
“Do you have a runner available?” She asked. She didn’t have much time, her absence couldn’t be noticed.
“Yes my lady, but,”
“I need you to send this to Lorn.” She held out a small black feather. Both men frowned.
“The recipient will know its meaning.” She pierced the men with a cold look. “Can your runner leave now?”
“Of course I can!” A slender man stepped into the room from the hall, bowing deeply. He took the feather from her staring at it with narrow eyes before looking at her. “It cracks?”
“Slightly. You have a name?”
“Anil, my lady. At your service.” He bowed again. Vieno smiled. Yes, this one would do nicely. “This must be delivered to,” He held out his hand.
“Ambassador Xeresel.” Vieno clasped her hands in front of her. “It is vital you get this to him, as quickly as possible.”
He tucked the feather into a bag which he hung on his belt.
“When you return, report to me directly at the palace.”
“Yes my lady.” He gave his fellows a salute, bowed again to Vieno, and ducked out the door.
Vieno nodded, glancing at the two startled men. “You didn’t see me.”
“Of course not, my lady.” They sat, backs to the doorway.
She slipped from the room, glancing around. Anil was nowhere to be seen. She took a deep breath and began to make her way back to the palace.
The next chapter will be posted Tues, July 31st.
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(c) 2014 Necia Phoenix