The Darkest One - Book 1: Bringer of Night - Part Three
Desiree’s large wings gave a tired flutter as she landed on her balcony. She fell to her knees and Seth slid down. “You were incredible!” he gasped.
She blushed. “I was only doing my job,” she mumbled.
“That’s your job?” the Bori cried. “That’s awesome!”
She smiled a little, grabbed a large wooden box from under her bed, and began filling it with blankets and squishy pillows. “How’s this?” she wondered.
Seth sat down on it. It felt warm and cozy. He hadn’t really known this sort of bed in Terror Mountain. The covers never provided much warmth there against the cold nights and if there was a storm, you could almost guarantee that your bed would be covered with icicles by the next morning. This... this was entirely different.
Desiree shot a fireball into the marble fireplace. The flames turned orange as they hit the wood and the crackling sound brought peace to the room. Seth felt the fire’s heat flow through the room and it warmed him. The dark faerie stepped behind a room divider and slipped into her nightgown before climbing into bed. “Tomorrow we can go shopping and find some suitable clothes for you,” she told him as she tied back her dark, sapphire streaked hair with an ivory hair ribbon.
Seth beamed and snuggled under his blankets. Altador felt welcoming, like a home he’d never known before, and it didn’t take long for him to doze off.
Seth woke shaking. What was that?
He crawled onto Desiree’s bed and shook her. “Desiree! Desiree! Wake up!”
She opened her dark scarlet irises and gazed up at him. “Seth, what is it?”
He pointed out the glass doors. “I heard something.”
She got up and crossed to the balcony, throwing the doors open wide. Her jaw fell at the sight before her. Citizens screamed and fled for their lives as the Bringer of Night charged throughout the streets, bellowing and destroying.
“How did it get out?” the Bori cried.
“I don’t know.” The dark faerie yanked her gown on over her nightclothes and turned to Seth. “Stay here,” she commanded. “I’ll not be gone long.”
“But you can’t fly!” he protested. “You can’t go!”
She jumped and opened her enormous wings, allowing herself to soar over the city. Her wing seared with pain. She bit her lip and half-landed, half-fell on a roof.
Seth scowled and dashed to the balcony. He hated being left behind. There was absolutely no way he was going to let Desiree go on her own, especially if she was hurt. He climbed over the rail and eased himself down with the help of a bed sheet, hoping it wouldn’t rip.
Desiree stumbled to her feet and blasted the Bringer of Night with every spell she could. The monster growled and sent its fist flying at her. She opened her wings like a parachute and glided out of the way. This thing was too strong for her. Now what?
Seth jumped down. Amazing! Whoever would have guessed that a simple sheet would support him? Although he had to admit he was rather small. He raced into the midst of the confusion and looked about. There was Desiree... and there was the Bringer of Night.
Desiree fired at the beast again. Its cry resounded off the city walls. Now it was angry. She attempted to dodge as he aimed another blow at her, but she wasn’t quick enough. She held back a small cry of agony as the monster’s knuckles rammed into her back.
The faerie fell limply off the rooftop.
Seth watched in fear as his protector dropped toward the street below her. He looked away, unable to watch as the faerie smashed against the ground. He heard the thump and when he turned back he found her frail frame crumpled in a heap. He glared at the creature above him. “You took my family!” he screamed. “I won’t let you take my friend, too!”
Desiree pushed herself up and gasped. “Seth, NO!”
He grabbed a thick board and threw it at its knee. The Bringer howled as the wood scraped its shins. It bolted forward, aiming this time for the tiny Bori before him. Seth turned tail and fled. The dark faerie shrieked as the Bringer caught up and smacked the boy against the side of a building. Her heart writhed with horror. The little Christmas Bori wasn’t moving. “Seth!” she screamed. “Get up! Please!”
The faerie squirmed. Not Seth! He was too young!
An Aisha ran to her side. “Desiree! What’s happened?”
“Jerdana!” she cried. “That thing’s going to kill him!”
The sorceress raised her arms. “Not if I can help it!” Her eyes sparkled as magic lit her palms and she sent lighting streaks after the monster. It turned and roared. Desiree joined in, shooting the beast with indigo flames. The Bringer of Night howled and stopped in its tracks.
“Use the containment charm!” Jerdana yelled over the noise.
Desiree obeyed and shot magic over it, a large boxlike object beginning to form over the beast. A bead of sweat dripped down the dark faerie’s brow, but she stood strong beside Jerdana, and a few moments later the spell was complete. The beast was locked in a gigantic tomb. Silence fell over the streets of Altador and everything seemed to stop moving. Time itself seemed to hang in the air as though everyone still expected the monster to break free and attack all over again.
The faerie lowered her arms, panting, and stared at the Aisha sorceress. “Thanks,” she mumbled, breaking the quiet atmosphere.
Jerdana smiled. “All in a day's work,” she quoted. “You would have done the same for me. Go check on your friend. I think I’ll have this thing transported to the Lost Desert. Hopefully, there he won’t be disturbed.”
Desiree raced to Seth’s side and pulled him into her arms. “Seth? Are you okay?”
He blinked open his eyes and gazed up at her. “D-Desiree?”
She smiled down at him. “It’s alright, Seth. It’s over. The Bringer’s trapped. There’s nothing for you to fear anymore.”
Seth sighed with relief. At last, his people were safe. That’s all that mattered to him. He hugged his newfound friend tight and watched the stars glittering down at them. He was safe. They both were.
King Altador gazed out over his balcony at the gleaming city. Altador at its peak, there could be nothing grander.
Desiree shifted nervously beside him. Her lavender skin shimmered in the moonlight. Her hair shone with a dark radiance. Only her torn wing disfigured her flawless appearance.
“Desiree,” the king spoke softly, “You know you can’t keep the boy. However much you would dislike it, only humans can own a pet.”
“Your highness, please!” she cried. “I’ve always wanted this!”
“Desiree, no. It’s impossible.”
“Let me keep him as a son then,” she begged. “I can! I know I can! I could adopt him! He has nowhere else to...”
“Desiree,” he gave her a warning look. “No. You can’t keep him.”
She bowed her head. “I disappoint you, don’t I?”
He turned away. “No...”
“DO NOT LIE TO ME!” she screeched.
The King kept back an angry shout. He had to keep calm, no matter how much her temper angered him. Instead, he shot her a murderous glance that silenced her. “You can’t keep the Bori, Desiree. You have a duty to your land. As a Protector of Altador, that must always come first. However it has come to my attention that he aided you in battle. Therefore... you can keep him as a squire.”
She lifted her tear-filled gaze up to his stern one. His lip twitched a bit as he held back a grin.
“On ONE condition, though,” he said carefully so as to make sure she understood every syllable. “Never... NEVER try my patience in such a manner again. He is your apprentice and ONLY your apprentice, so long as he accepts it.”
She nodded. “I’ll train him well.”
Altador smiled. “I’m sure you will. I have great faith in you, my friend.”
Without thinking, she hugged him. “Thank you so much!”
He pulled her off him. “All right, but don’t expect me to get you out of a situation like that again.”
She regained her composure and strode to the door. “I won’t let you down,” she swore.
I never would have realized then what that would begin. Had I known, I would have backed out while I had the chance. Nothing would ever be the same again. I’m ashamed to have been a part of what was to come, but you can’t change the past. The series of events that followed grew darker and darker as time passed. It pains me to admit all that was done, but there’s no going back now. There’s no turning from what can’t be undone.
Nothing will ever be as it once was. In some ways I’m glad it all happened. Some memories were and are precious... others painful. *a glance at the guards* I’ll always regret prison and what I did, but even if I could change the events of my past, I don’t know if I would. I wish I could have prevented what came to be. I never would have guessed that it all started with The Orb...