Saturday, April 9, 2016

The King's Challenge #268 and #269

TKC 268 and 269

Damin takes control with the words he utters next, for I lose the ability even to think.

“His Majesty is ill with a bone disease …”

Iniri gasps and covers her mouth. I simply stare.

“… but it is not natural. The best healers in the universe cannot cure him.” Damin gazes first at Iniri before meeting my paralysis directly. “Enris, he has been debilitated with sorcery, a process apparently lengthy and insidious until it has now manifested as an illness the Ilfin may understand. No one suspects the foulness; they see only a disease they are unable to arrest. Your father will die.”

Iniri strides forward, into my face. She shakes me. “Ilfin cannot do this. We have not the ability …”

I step aside, away from her hurtful grip. “Of course we have, sister. Just because you were a priestess in the arts for enlightenment does not mean others did not descend into the pits of dark learning.”

She is silenced, and into the quiet, Damin’s words take control once more.

“It is akin to the slow degeneration of bone matter, achieved via an extraordinary spell. This spell released once a month and thus by the month your father weakened. It has taken years to bring him to the point of no return.”

“Can it be undone?” Mirlin demands from beside me.

“That I do not know,” Damin murmurs. “I merely repeat what I received from  Moravin’s son.”

Drawing breath, I ask, “Who cast the spell?”

Damin gazes steadily at me. “Makar prince, I believe you already know.”

“Meaning what?” Iniri growls.

I close my eyes. “That is why he said never a word.” My eyes snap open, to my sister. “Uncle Lorn.”

Damin nods in confirmation.

For long moments Iniri remains unmoving and then she blurts, “I will kill him.”

“Not if I get to him first,” I mutter.

Siri clears her throat. “May I say something?” She has everyone’s attention immediately, and assumes she may continue. “Lyra … I mean, Iniri – is able to cure your father.” She studies Iniri’s suddenly blank stare and then looks up at her brother. “Damin, you know the talents the Ilfin of Massin discover are but a reflection of what is possible elsewhere. You broke the barrier of what you thought you could do her ewhen you discovered actual touch gifts you more … much more. Imagine, just imagine, what Lyra can do as Iniri if she acknowledges her power.”

Even I swing to look at my sister.

She blinks rapidly and sinks to her knees. “I am the orb, but I am also much else, including Healer.” She lifts her two eyes to me. “Healer, Enris. Not physical healing alone, as Siri is able to achieve, but every kind of healing there is.”

I stare at her. Ice settling into my veins. “We need to return to Makaran immediately.”

“No,” Damin states, straightening in a manner to reveal he has something of utmost importance to divulge.

I notice how Kay swipes a hand over his face. “His Majesty is in orbit above us.”

Damin inclines his head. “The conspirators ensured he travelled with the mission. His brother Lorn told him here may be the healing he requires. He was right, but he intended for your father to die far from home.”

Iniri shoots to her feet. “Where is that damned shuttle? We annihilate the Spire and then head to the royal ship!” She swivels, glaring at everyone, settling her attention finally on me. “Why has Commander Gennerin not revealed the presence of his king?”

“He does not know,” Damin murmurs.

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