Chapter 9: Some family reunions are just awkward.
“Where are the Sisters?” I asked. They were powerful beings, and from what they’d said, tied to Albion.
The alarm bells rang and soon even over their cacophony I could hear the pipers and drummers of Fay.
Merlin took charge and gave everyone orders. He, Oberon, and Titania would start evacuating the people to Everworld and Earth. Icaryoe, Arthur, the Guardians, and the soldiers of Albion would slow down the armies of Fay.
“What about me?” asked Randi.
“You and Robin must go protect the Sisters. They are the Enaid of Albion. They are trying to force it into a dormant state. That would close all roads in or out and trap the Fay army here.”
“What happens to someone who stays in a dormant Realm?” I asked.
“They also become dormant for the rest of their natural lives. Which in this case, is not a problem. It’ll give us time to figure out what to do with Melchior.”
Merlin wasn’t lying, but he was holding something back. Despite that, I trusted him.
An Enaid is the soul or life force of a Realm. When the Sisters were banished from Everworld by that Realms gods they founded Albion.
My siblings and I are the Enaids of Fay, and without us the Realm would shrivel up and die. The Aetherium Crystals of Everworld is their Enaid. I’m not sure about the other realms. The gate crystal was Atlantis’ and as for Earth, I only had theories. It could be the ruby crystal I saw at the beginning of time, or the man. I really don’t know.
Merlin directed us to the centre of the castle where we’d find a staircase all the way to the altar of the Enaid. The three Sisters were sitting in a triangle holding hands and chanting in unison.
“We should prepare,” Randi told me.
I conjured up my armour, a suit of unbreakable glass, and my glass sword. The armour and sword refracted the light and caused rainbows when I moved. I also had a mirrored shield that reflected magic. I’d used the set rarely, but it had always been effective.
Randi smiled warmly and with a complicated hand motion summoned leather armour that was so black it absorbed the light, and twin swords that seemed to be made of pure red fire.
We were a terrifying pair, at least I thought so. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see how it affected a regular soldier of Fay.
The only person who saw us was Melchior as he raced down the stairs. Stopping at the sight of us and said, “Hello, Uncle. Are you planning on protecting these three wastes of power?”
“Yes. Until they are done. Why don’t you give up this quest? You can’t win.” I started working some magic as subtly as I could.
He laughed at me and spoke slowly, like a condescending teacher, “I will devour the Realms and use that power to rebuild Fay in my image. You can be part of that, or you can die.”
“You lack imagination, nephew. Destroying all of reality to rebuild it in your image? That sounds like a lot of work and years of repetitiveness. I love myself! I think I’m the second best company I’ve ever had other than Randi, but even I don’t want a universe in my image. Yuck.”
He sneered and was all the stereotypes of villains throughout the ages. Kinda dull, full of himself, and driven. “You don’t understand.”
“What if I told you there were other universes and I could take you to one where you could conquer to your heart’s content?”
“You’re lying, and if you’re not, I’ll find out when I control everything.” Randi laughed and Melchior turned red. “What’s so funny?”
She sheathed her two swords and said, “You truly believe you can control all of creation? You’ll be devoured by the Aether and everything will end.”
“I will not!” He paused, cocking his head with a puzzled expression. It took him significantly too long to realize what had happened.
As we’d talked, I’d created illusionary doubles of me, Randi, and the Sisters. While I did it, Randi cast a teleport spell.
“No!” he screamed as the telepathic link I had with my double was cut off.
The Sisters gave me a scathing look and said, “You distracted him instead of fighting him. Why?”
Their chorus effect was disconcerting, but I tried not to show it. “I could win in a fair fight, but there was no way he’d fight fair.”
“Great heroes don’t use deception, but we can’t argue with your results,” they said condescendingly.
I nodded and retorted, “I’ve been many things, a god, a trickster, a lover, a frog, and a Guardian, but I’ve never been a hero.”
I found the rest of the Guardians at Pakaha castle. High King Jaques had created a round table for us to meet. I was glad they’d all made it out. Unfortunately, Arthur hadn’t, but one day when Albion returned fully, so would he.
“It’s only a matter of time before he escapes Albion,” said Morgana and we trusted her word.
“How can we beat him if he can syphon the power of Fay, our Power?” asked my brother.
That gave me an idea. “Why don’t we transfer all our power into rings? That will cut it off from Fay. It would also mean that Fay could survive past our deaths. The rings would act as Enaids and delay the inevitable destruction of Fay.”
Titania added, “And in times of great peril, we could give one person all the rings and they could be the champion of Fay.”
“That’s easy for you to say, you have your power as Guardian.” Oberon eyed me suspiciously.
Merlin cleared his throat and said, “Actually, being a Guardian doesn’t give you power, it gives you awareness of your guardianship.”
It was decided that Oberon, Titania, Randi, and I would transfer our power into rings and we’d choose a champion to fight Melchior and strip him of his powers.
Merlin was the best versed in the creation of magical artifacts and he said, “I’ll teach you how to do it. Four rings unto the Fay.” He smirked and said, “Just call me Celebrimbor… but with honourable intentions.”
Read Chapter 10 (October 2022)
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