Wynter’s love for Arianna has grown stronger, and so has the danger. Wynter comes to realize that the Order of Draconis is much larger than he realizes. Hearing a distant and unfamiliar voice, and having stalled the Order’s plans, he finds their troubles are far from over. With imprisonment in the city of Eden a fear and the king under the control of a necromancer named Jal-eck Thar, Wynter realizes that he must flee the city and get to the Twilight Isles to enlist the help of the good dragons as the elves withdraw from the world and before war ravages the lands. Wynter and Arianna must prove that their love is strong enough to survive as the safety of the world hangs in the balance.
I spun around thinking someone called my name. Looking out into the distance, I saw nothing. By now, hearing voices would seem a normal thing for me, but with the danger they put me in, I questioned their intent. A soft touch on my hand brought me back. Turning toward Arianna, she grasped my arm and looked concerned.
“What is it, Wynter?” asked Arianna. She must not have heard the voice. The voice rang crystal clear in my ears.
“I heard someone call my name,” I replied.
“There is no one here but us. Is it the same voice you heard on the ship a few days ago?” she asked.
“No, it isn’t. The Hydrus was the one that spoke then. I know we are close to Eden and her port, I doubt the creature would be back, let alone close enough for me to hear,” I said. I sounded convincing, but the limits of mind speak were beyond my knowledge. “All this danger has made me paranoid, and I could have imagined things.”
“I doubt you are hearing things or paranoid. There are others out to get you, but control your reactions when you hear something inside your head. Even other powerful wizards look down upon other sorcerers if they admit to hearing voices.” Arianna chuckled.
Her laugh sounded nervous. Why wouldn’t it be? She knew me hearing voices would turn out bad. My fight with Brimstone started from hearing the voice of my father, and then the Hydrus attacking us on the Excelsis a few days ago. Arianna couldn’t be more right. She joked, but hearing voices was never good and adding to those, my visions seemed to be more premonitions of the danger we were in.
“I still heard something,” I muttered.
“Maybe some rest will help clear our heads. We have been through a lot and a good night’s rest in an inn, in a real bed, with no looming danger, would be something we need.” Arianna leaned against a tree. “I believe you, but whoever is speaking to you will have to wait. I am weary and need sleep, and so do you.”
“Sleep sounds good. A few days’ worth of rest would be best. No fighting or worries, me and you cuddling under the covers,” I said, wrapping my arms around Arianna.
“Sounds wonderful and romantic,” Arianna purred.
I hugged her tight against me. She relaxed into my embrace, and I rested my head on top of hers. Evening sent a quiet hush over the land of Eden. Once we entered the city, the bustling noise of merchants closing shop and the rowdiness of taverns would break the silence. Finding a place to stay would be easy and I wanted Arianna to have a comfortable place to sleep. I kissed the top of her head then sighed.
Wynter, I know you can hear my voice. There are good dragons in the world. Find them! Lead them into battle against the darkness.
“What’s wrong? I can feel your whole body tense up,” Arianna asked.
“The voice again. It mentions not all dragons are evil,” I said.
“Good dragons? If there are evil ones, then a balance would need the good dragons also,” Arianna said. She pulled away and stared at me. A look of concern cast a shadow over her face. “What else? There’s more isn’t there?”
“It said to find them and lead them into battle against the evil dragons,” I answered.
“Everything can wait. I want a day alone with you that doesn’t involve fighting or running for our lives,” Arianna teased.
“Only a day?” I asked.
“I’d ask for more, but I doubt the voices or the gods would allow us that precious time. I will take what I can get until all this is over,” Arianna sighed.
Go to the Twilight Isles.
I stood still and closed my eyes. The voices have gone from telling me they will always be with me to demanding I go somewhere. What about what I want? Is it too much to ask for some time away from all this madness?
The world can survive without me. Arianna grabbed my hand and pulled me toward Eden, the capital city of Tallania. With reluctance, I followed, because I had a bad feeling we were walking toward trouble.