Chronicles of Thera: Crossing Over, Book 2, Chapter 3

Start book two from the beginning
Present Day

Chapter 3 An Endotalen History Lesson

Tandi paced back and forth across her bed chamber. The last of her people had just reported in. Everyone had gotten out alive. That is everyone but Endi. He had stayed behind; with those surface dwellers he called his brothers, to fight Dyvanor.

Tandi knew that if they succeeded the chance of Endi returning home was slim to none. He has no one here. “We made him an outcast when we should have treasured him.” Tandi spoke out loud to the empty room. “It’s all my fault. If I had acknowledged him as my mate. I could have paved the way for our people to accept him. I was petty and so stupid. Now he gone from us forever.”

Tandi continued to pace the floor verbally punishing herself for her foolishness. It was several minutes before she notice she was no longer alone. Tandi stopped mid-step as she came face to face with the very man she’d been talking about. “Stop beating yourself up over it Tandi. Nothing you can do to change it.” Endi stated looking down into Tandi’s emerald green eyes.

“You returned?” Tandi was giddy with relief. as she looked up at the man she was certain she had lost.

“Yes. I need your help.” Endi stated flatly as he moved passed Tandi. For the first time she noticed that Endi was carrying a man in his arms.

“What Happened?” Endi gently laid the man on Tandi’s bed giving her her first look at the man’s face. “Oh no, not Tylander! What Happened to him?” Tandi gasped.

“We managed to kill Dyvanor, but not before he dealt Tylander a fatal blow. Both men ended up at the bottom of a ravine.” Endi moved around Tandi’s bed and began setting Tylander’s bones.

“Why did you bring him here?” Tandi asked while watching Endi work to put Tylander’s bones back into place.

“I am going to bring him back.”

“How is that even possible?” Tandi asked stunned by Endi’s statement.

Endi shook his head. “It’s possible but to understand you must know a few things about our people first.” He paused and took a deep breath. “Somewhere along the line of our ancestors, someone made the decision that we no longer needed to teach our young ones about our past. They were afraid we would not move forward allowing the past to hinder our growth. The stupidity of that decision never ceases to amaze me.” Endi stated as he cut away Tylander’s shirt. “My ancestors did not agree with that decision. They had always been the keepers of the Endotalen histories. My ancestors knew the importance of the past and how it effects our future. So even though it was forbidden we have continued to pass those histories on from father to son and mother to daughter for more than one hundred thousand years.”

Endi looked up at Tandi and gave her a sad smile, “At least until it came to me. As I will never have a child to pass this knowledge to.” Those words broke Tandi’s heart. She was the reason that the Endotalen histories would be lost if they lost Endi. It was then that Tandi knew what she needed to do. Endi was sitting on the bed next to Tylander. Tandi moved to stand directly in front of Endi. She then placed her hand over his heart. Looking deep into his eyes she said the last thing Endi ever expected her to say.

“Endi, you are my mate. I see myself in you. Do you see me?” It took Endi several minutes to process that Tandi had just acknowledged him. She was claiming him as her mate. Tandi stood in front of him shaking. Those were the same words Endi had spoken to her a century ago. Her answer had been a resounding “No”.

Endi took his mate’s hands and recited the words that would bind them together as one., “Yes, Tandi I see you and I see myself in you because you are my mate.” Tandi let out the breath she had been holding and crumpled into Endi’s arms. They held each other for several moments before Endi pulled away. “My love, I need your help. You are a healer, but in order for us to bring Tylander back we will need all of our healers to work together to heal his body. It must be able to sustain his life force in order for me to retrieve his soul.”

“I still don’t understand. How can that be possible?” Tandi was very confused, but she wanted to help Endi. She needed to help him. After what she had done to him he still acknowledged her. He had faith in her. She would place her faith in him.

“About one hundred and fifty thousand years ago our people were not ruled by a council of women. We were ruled by a single queen. She was the first to manage to do the impossible. Queen Luciona, my ancestor, traveled to the afterlife and retrieved the soul of her young daughter, Princess Anaya. She had died while saving the life of another child. It took the combined strength of our people to save her. It helped that she was so loved by all who knew her. They succeeded, but their were side effects. Both Queen Luciona  and Princess Anaya developed strange abilities. These abilities were passed down to Anaya’s children and grand children. I know of at least two others of my line had also made a journey into the afterlife to retrieve a soul of  a lost loved one. With each visit to the Afterlife more power was imparted to my kin and many of those gifts were passed down to me.” Endi paused and closed his eyes as if searching his memory for something.

“Queen Tandara was the last Queen of our people. She is the one who decided that the people were better represented by a council rather than an individual. You can thank her for your position.” Endi smiled down at Tandi, “She was the one who declared our line the official keepers of the Endotalen Histories. Each of her descendants has kept a journal of all that happens during their life as well as maintaining all the journals of those who came before them. I will use those journals as a guide to help me retrieve Tylander. I know were to start, but I will need an anchor in this world. One that will help me to find my way back home. You are that anchor Tandi, as my mate you are the only one who has the power to hold me to the living realm.” Tandi nodded her head. She was going to do anything she could to help him.

“In the short period of time I knew Tylander he became like a brother to me. I believe my love for him should allow me to find him once I get to the spirit realm.”

“But you said it took the combined strength of our people to retrieve Anaya and that they all loved her. Our people do not know this man, nor are they likely to help you. How can this work.”

“I am stronger than those who came before me, I will not need our peoples strength to propel me into the afterlife or to return. For that all I need is you. It won’t be easy and I might have to sacrifice my soul for his, but it can be done. Sure if we had our peoples help my chances of success would go way up, but I know that is not going to happen. What I do need is for you to convince as many healers as you can to come and heal Tylander’s body as best as they can. Otherwise none of this matters.”

“You will not be doing this alone Endi.” Tandi stated firmly. “I will summon the council and our best healers. I will do everything I can to convince them to help you.” Endi merely nodded his head, his eyes locked on Tylander’s broken body. Tandi watched as a single tear made it’s way down Endi’s face. Not able to help herself Tandi took Endi’s chin and tilted it down so he was looking at her. “I promise you, we will bring him back.” She whispered against his mouth just before she gave him a soft kiss. Tandi allowed Endi to hold her for a few seconds  than she untangled herself from him and strode out of the room with a determined stride.

*       *       *

Back in Quinetta

King Locktos sat on his throne with a feeling of dread in the pit of his stomach. Before him stood Surietta, Tylander and Ryanne’s nanny. “I’m sorry King Locktos, but I’m starting to get really worried. I woke up this morning and Ryanne was just gone. I’ve looked everywhere and I can’t find her. Isaac won’t stop crying he keeps saying ‘She’s gone’ over and over again. he’s completely inconsolable.” The more the nanny said the deeper the sense of dead became.

“Janos!” King Locktos yelled.

“Yes, My king.” His tall lanky Currier came running into the throne room.

“Find King Chenji, Ryanne is missing. We will need his best tracker to help us find her.” Locktos was not about to lose her a second time. Janos gave a quick bow and ran at full speed out of the throne room. “Surietta, go home and take care of the twins. Let us know if she returns on her own. I will let you know if we find her.” Locktos said dismissing the nanny.

Less than five minutes later both King Chenji and King Thealos came running into the throne room. “What is this I hear about the Handmaiden disappearing?” King Chenji demanded.

“I don’t know much more than you do. Ryanne was not in her bed this morning and we have been unable to find her.” King Locktos stated more calmly than he felt.

“I have sent Nickloos to look for her. He’s my best tracker. If Ryanne has left a trail of any kind he should be able to find her.” Chenji stated as he took a seat in the throne that had been set up for him to the left of King Locktos’ throne.

“All we can do now is wait and see what he can find.” King Thealos stated taking his throne to the right of King Locktos.

All three kings sat with heavy hearts as they waited for any news from Nickloos. Each king saying his own silent prayer that she be found alive and well.

Chronicles of Thera: Crossing Over, Book 2, Chapter 2

 Read Chapter 1 of Book two.
Ten Years ago

Chapter 2 How They Meet
“King Locktos has given me the day off, I’ve decided to go hunting.” Tylander spoke to his second in command Dyvanor.

“That sounds fun, mind if I join you?” Dyvanor asked, as he and Tylander walked towards the Captains home. Tylander groaned inside his head. He desperately needed some alone time. As Captain of the guard the weight of responsibility fell directly on him nearly crushing him at times. Tylander’s brain scrambled for a way to tell his best friend “no” without insulting him. Tylander stopped walking and turned to Dyvanor. Just as he was about to speak, Janos approached them. “Sorry to disturb you Tylander, but King Locktos has asked to speak with Dyvanor. Janos bowed politely as he delivered his message.

“I guess you will have to go without me.” Dyvanor stated in a tone that made it clear he was not happy about it.

“Oh well, Next time my friend.” Tylander patted Dyvanor on the shoulder. “I’ll catch up with you later.” With a smile Tylander headed for his home to retrieved his Bow and arrows. After gathering all his supplies Tylander headed towards the city gates and then out into the forest that surrounded the great city of Quinetta.

Alone at last Tylander thought to himself  a short time later. When he was out here by himself he could forget about the burden of leadership and just be himself. He walked through the forest his bow in hand and a quiver of arrows on his back until he found the meadow he was looking for. It was located at the base of a small hill and possessed the grass that the dear-like creatures known as eklin preferred. Tylander slunk down to the base of a large tree and waited for his prey to enter the meadow.

He remained still and silent for a long time before he heard a rustling coming from the other side of the hill. Whatever was making the noise was heading straight for the meadow. Tylander tensed in anticipation. His gaze completely focused on the hill as he watched for his prey to materialize.

Ryanne’s hands were shaking as she made her way over the hill and into the meadow. She has no idea what to say to Tylander. Hi I’m from the future, no that’s stupid Ryanne thought as she surveyed the small meadow for Tylander, but he wasn’t there. Disappointed Ryanne entered the meadow. with her eyes downcast Ryanne noticed a small rock on the ground. It looked just like the one Yelillya had on her desk. Ryanne picked up the rock and smiled.

Tylander watched as the most beautiful creature he had ever seen entered the meadow. At first she looked sad, but then she bent down and picked something up off the ground and smiled. Tylander felt like his heart left his chest and winged it’s way to the exquisite creature before him. Placing his bow on the ground Tylander stood and walked towards the vision in a yellow dress. The light shone behind her like she was an angel.  “Have I died?” He asked the angel in front of him. She looked startled. “You are an angel sent here to take me back to the afterlife are you not?” The angel smiled again.

“I hate to disappoint you, but you are very much alive and I am defiantly no angel.” It was then that Ryanne decided she would not tell Tylander about the future. She would let everything progress the way it was meant to. “My name is Ryanne and you are?”

“Tylander Leafgather, I’m the Captain of the Arrainanite Royal Guard.”

“Impressive Title,” Ryanne said as she stepped closer to Tylander, “Must be a big responsibility.”

“It is” Tylander watched as Ryanne stepped closer.

“I’ve been traveling for quite sometime now. Is there an Inn nearby? I’d like to wash up and get some rest before I move on.” Ryanne leaned closer to Tylander as she spoke, hoping he could smell her. She knew she was still producing the pheromone that only Tylander was susceptible to.

There is an Inn in Quinetta. It’s not far. I would be happy to escort you.” Tylander said as he offered her his arm.

“Quinetta is close? That’s my destination. I would be happy to have an escort into the city. Ryanne took Tylander’s arm. The moment she touched him, Tylander could feel the sparks fly between them. They chatted as they made their way into the city.

“You know I have a house in the city, If you like you are welcome to come stay with me. I have two extra rooms you can have your pick of. It would save you a few coins.” Tylander tried to sound nonchalant, but Ryanne saw right through it.

“Oh I could’t do that. I’d hate to inconvenience you.” Ryanne had to stifle a laugh.

“It would be no inconvenience. I’d be honored to put you up for as long as you like. I have this big house all to myself. I must admit it gets a little lonely sometimes.”

“Well,” Ryanne appeared to think it over for a long time, ” I guess it would OK, if you’re sure it won’t cause any trouble.” Ryanne smiled up at Tylander as he let out the breath he was holding. To Ryanne he was transparent. He offered his home so he could be sure not to lose sight of her. He also didn’t want any other man to see her and make a claim for her.

“I’ve heard that Quinetta has an incredible Temple Of Lunester. Can we stop there before we go to your home?” Ryanne asked

“Um sure, I guess. You are not here to become a priestess of Lunester are you?” Tylander asked. Ryanne looked up at him and saw the look of panic on his face and smiled.

“No, I’m more of a disciple. You know I follow were he leads me and he told me to come here. I’m sure if I was meant to be a priestess he would have said so by now.”  Tylander smiled and relaxed at Ryanne’s response. He looked down and saw that Ryanne had taken his hand. It felt right and natural to hold that tiny hand in his. Keeping his hold on her hand Tylander led Ryanne to the Temple of Lunester.

“Can you wait out here for me? I just need to deliver a message. Then we can go.” Ryanne asked.

“Sure, I’ll be right here.” Tylander took a seat on the temple steps.

“Great I’ll be just a few minutes.” Without thought Ryanne leaned down and gave him a chaste kiss on the mouth before she walked into the temple leaving a stunned Tylander to wait for her return.

Ryanne knew her way through the temple and quickly found Yelillya’s office. Ryanne paused for a moment. She took out the rock she had found in the meadow and placed it in the small box Lunester had hidden in her pocket. Ryanne took a deep breath before she knocked on the door. She didn’t wait for an answer before she peaked her head inside. “May I come in.” She asked. Yelillya looked up from her desk. Ryanne laughed to herself as she watched Yelillya’s face. So much for being skilled at hiding her annoyance. Ryanne would have loved to tell her that the only person she was fooling was herself. “Of course” Yelillya answered.

“Hi. My name is Ryanne. I have something for you. ” Ryanne moved across the room.

“Just leave whatever it is over their.” Yelillya said as she pointed to a table in the corner. ” I have lots of work to do.” The priestess said attempting to dismiss Ryanne.

“High Priestess Yelillya, I really just need a moment of you time. Please.” Ryanne smiled and knew the priestess would not turn her down.

“Oh all right.” Yelillya stood up from her desk and approached the woman intruding on her time.

“Thank you so much High Priestess.” Ryanne opened her hand to reveal the small box. “For you, Yelillya.” The priestess took the box and opened it.

“A rock. How kind of you.” The priestess said in a deadpan voice noting how unimpressed she was with the gift. Ryanne smiled and took Yelillya’s hand “Lunester’s blessing has always been upon you. Look with new eyes and see it.” Ryanne felt the now familiar lightning through her and the transfer of power that went to Yelillya. The priestess was shocked and amazed.

“Oh Wow I can feel him. Lunester he is everywhere. How is this possible?” Yelillya looked like a small child on Christmas morning just then.

“It’s a gift from Lunester. I will be here in Quinetta for a while to teach you your new gift, but for now I must go. I will meet you here tomorrow afternoon.” Ryanne smiled one more time at the high priestess before she left to go find Tylander.

*       *       *

Ryanne came out of the temple to find Tylander right were she left him. Skipping over to him she placed her hand on his shoulder. “Thanks for waiting for me. You ready to go?” She asked. he was smiling up at her. Tylander once again took her hand in his and started leading her away from the temple. “You are quite welcome.” Tylander smiled down at the beautiful woman beside him.

“Hey Tylander wait up!” Dyvanor call from somewhere behind them. Tylander stopped and turned towards his best friend with a smile. “You back from hunting already?” Dyvanor asked as he caught up with the couple.

“Well, I came across Ryanne here and she needed direction to the temple. So I offered my self up as a guide.” Ryanne was now gripping Tylander’s arm so tight that he feared she would break the skin with her nails. He looked down at her ” Are you OK? he asked quietly. Ryanne gave a slight nod. “OK, Ryanne this is Dyvanor, my second in command. He and I have been friends for so long he is like a brother to me.” Dyvanor smiled showing all his teeth and held out his hand to Ryanne, but she made no move to take it.

“It’s very nice to meet you. You will have to forgive me. I’ve been traveling for some time and am really quite tired.” Turning to Tylander Ryanne continued. If you would rather remain here I can stay at the Inn.”

“No! Please, I’ve offered my hospitality. If you are tired we can go.” Tylander responded just as Ryanne expected.

“Excuse me you said you have been traveling, what happened to your escort?” Dyvanor asked.

“I didn’t have one. I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself. Now if you will excuse us.”  Ryanne turned Tylander to leave Dyvanor.

“Wait!” Tylander’s second in command placed his hand on Ryanne’s shoulder. She let go of Tylander and grabbed the hand Dyvanor had placed on her. In a swift move Ryanne turned and twisted Dyvanor’s hand with her. The move brought Dyvanor to his knees with his hand turned the wrong way above his head.

“I will tell you this only once so listen well. No one touches me without my permission. If you ever lay a hand on me again I will not be as forgiving.” Ryanne flung Dyvanor’s hand away from her before she retook Tylander’s hand and they moved away.

“What was that?” Tylander asked after they got a few steps away from his friend.

“That guy gives me the creeps. Something about him is not right. I understand he is your friend, but I can’t have him near me.” Ryanne shivered a little before she smiled up at Tylander. “I guess I’ve just demonstrated how able I am to take care of myself.”

“Yeah no kidding. Can you show me that move again sometime?” Tylander asked,then he followed it up with, “So, do I have permission to touch you?” His eyes sparkled wickedly.

“You, Tylander, can touch me anywhere and anytime you like.” Ryanne stopped  and faced Tylander. Rising up on her toes she pulled his head down to hers. She kissed him, it started out as a simple brush of lips before Ryanne deepened the kiss. She explored every surface of his mouth. She wanted him to feel the love she had for him in that kiss. he was the love of her life and he needed to know it. Tylander’s arms became steel bands that wrapped around Ryanne. Still she tried to get closer to him. Slowly, aware that they were in public Tylander ended the kiss. His breath was ragged as he attempted to regain his composure. “Marry Me.” The words were out before Tylander could censor them. Tylander closed his eyes hating himself for his foolish proposal. Ryanne said nothing for a long time.

“Tylander look at me.” He opened his eyes and looked down into her deep chocolate brown eyes. “You are the reason I’m here. You have no idea how far I have traveled just to be with you. So, yes I’ll marry you.” Ryanne was smiling. Tylander was too shocked for words, but none were necessary. Ryanne kissed him again. This kiss was tender, slow and filled with all the love she hadn’t had the chance to give him before he left for the war, before he died.

Chronicles of Thera: Crossing Over, Book 2, Chapter 1

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Book 2 The Past and Present Collide

Present day

Chapter 1 The Prophecy

Endi stood for a long time as he watched Othyos and Junkar leave the field were they battled Dyvanor. Those two men had become his brothers in the short time he had know them. Endi never thought he would have a family let alone one that included a Nilactin and an Asoonadye. A single tear ran down Endi’s face as he turned to look down into the canyon. His third brother, Tylander lie broken below him. He felt he had known Tylander for years rather than days. Endi closed his eyes and the image of Tylander standing across the water from him danced in front of his eyes. The Arrainanite had decided to trust him even though he had every reason not to. Endi could feel his heart breaking as he opened his eyes. Tylander was the greatest man of any species Endi had ever met and now he was gone and the world was not the better for it. In a way Tylander’s death made Dyvanor the victor in this conflict. Endi’s vision blurred red as his anger grew, as he could not stomach that thought. Endi forced his rage down as he took several deep calming breaths. He channeled his rage into resolve. Even in death Endi was not about to allow Dyvanor to win even the smallest of victories.

Endi remembered his mother’s prophetic words “During the battle one of the Gifted will fall to his death. He will be followed into the afterlife by a second. Leaving the final two to make the journey home with heavy hearts” Endi finally understood it. Tylander had fallen to his death and Endi was about to follow him into the afterlife. He was going to retrieve Tylander’s soul and return it to his body, but he could not do it alone. He was going to need the help of his people. To even have a chance at saving his Arrainanite brother he would need someone who could anchor him to the living realm.

The only person who could act as his anchor was his destined mate Tandi. The same woman who had rejected his claim. Endotalens were created in pairs. A single soul torn in two who became one when they mated. Endotalens knew who their mate was the moment they saw each other. For them there could be no mistaking it. It was like looking into a mirror and seeing yourself inside another person. Tandi knew Endi was her mate, but she believed that the outcast would drag her down with him. She held the position of the First Chair, leader of the Endotalens Ruling Council of Women. She feared being mated to Endi would have caused her to loose her position. So she refused his claim. She told him she would rather live out her life without a family or mate than to be mated to him.

Endi leaped off the cliff face and snagged a hand hold on the way down as he scaled the wall to reach Tylander. As a subterranean species used to scaling walls and climbing through tunnels Endi was able to reach Tylander in a matter of minutes. “I’m sorry my brother,” Endi said as he lifted Tylander’s broken body, “I am afraid death can not have you yet.” Endi ran, not towards Quinetta were he promised to meet up with Junkar and Othyos, but in the direction of his home to the underground City of Lunos. He had sworn he would not be returning after this fight, but for Tylander he would face the people who had forsaken him and pray Lunester would be with him. He had no idea how he was going to convince them to help bring Tylander back, but he would do whatever it took. His ancestors had been the first to ever bring someone back to life. He had their journals and knew if he could get Tandi to help him he could do this. He had to try.

Tylander had a wife and two children who needed him. Endi knew that to go after him he was risking his own life, but he never considered himself very valuable to begin with. So to him it was a reasonable risk as long as he succeeded.

“Lunester,” Endi prayed out loud as he carried Tylander’s body down the road, “Please lend me the strength to bring Tylander back. Give me the words I need to convince Tandi and my people to help me. If you ask it of me, I would sacrifice myself to bring my brother back.” This was one of the few times that Endi wished he had inherited the prophetic abilities from his mother. He could do many incredible things but seeing into the future has never been one of them.

After a while Endi stopped by a shallow river, that marked a secret entrance into the Endotalen subterranean world. Endi used the water to wash Tylander’s body ridding it of dirt and debris. Endi needed to get a clear picture the damage. He would need their best healers tending to his body before Endi could retrieve his soul. It would not do them any good to bring back Tylander’s soul to a body that could not support his life force.

The body appeared to have multiple broken ribs. Both arms were broken and Dyvanor’s knife had split open Tylander’s stomach. He would have died from the knife wound alone had he not been pushed over the cliffs edge by Dyvanor. Endi was beginning to think this might not work. The amount of work the healers have to do to Tylander’s body was astronomical and it might take far longer than they had to get Tylander’s soul. The longer Tylander was in the spirit realm the harder it would be for Endi to retrieve him, increasing the risk he wouldn’t make it back to his own body alive.

Endi lifted Tylander back over his shoulder. Reaching under the water he felt around for the hidden handle. He found it and using all his strength pulled it outward. A giant rock in the middle of the stream cracked open to reveal a wide staircase. Endi entered and pulled a lever inside the tunnel. The door closed behind him leaving him in darkness.  After a few moments Endi’s eyes adjusted enough for him to find the supply of oil lamps and matches along the wall. Using one hand and a little creative adjusting of Tylander’s weight Endi was able to light the lamp.

The jumble of nerves and fear kept him company as Endi carried Tylander further underground than any Arrainanite had ever been. Hopefully Endi thought Tylander will be able to tell his children about this one day. Endi did his best to hold onto the hope that he could bring his brother back to life as he made his way towards his home, the City of Lunos.

 Read Chapter 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chronicles of Thera: Crossing Over, Readers Forum

Read Book 1

I just want to say thank-you to everyone who has been reading Chronicles of Thera: Crossing Over Book 1, Present Day. I will be releasing Book 2 The Past and Present Collide, Chapter 1 later on this week. Before I do I’d like to take a moment to hear your thoughts on Book 1, and to answer any questions you may have.  Please feel free to post you comments and questions below.  I will do my best to answer your questions as quickly as I can.

Please don’t forget to share my story with all of your friends.

Chronicles of Thera: Crossing Over, Chapter 13

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Chapter 13, The Debt All Men Pay

The sun was rising when the Endotalen leaders began to evacuate their troops from Dyvanor’s strong hold. Both Endi and Othyos were working hard to keep the evacuees hidden from Dyvanor. Endi was able to project an image of a sleeping camp with the occasional Endotalen moving around while Othyos kept the army hidden from site as they left the encampment. The evacuation took up most of the day and it was nearly sunset before the last of the Endotalens were out of harms way. Endi and Othyos were physically drained. Both were barely able to hold themselves upright let alone fight against such a formidable foe such as Dyvanor.

“Endi, please come home with me.” Tandi begged. She was in the last group who were leaving. “You are in no shape to fight.” Tears ran down her cheeks as she begged her mate to leave. Endi placed two fingers under her chin and tilted her face up so he could look into her eyes.

“My whole life has been leading up to this one moment. The Handmaiden of Lunester chose us as her sword against evil. We are Thera’s only hope. Should we fail all life fails with us. I could not condemn our world to darkness just because this battle might kill me.” Endi smiled down at Tandi. “As long as you live, I live. I’m in your heart as a part of you.” He gave his mate a chaste kiss. “If I don’t see you again in this life, know that I will be waiting for you at the door to the afterlife. Until then protect my heart I’m leaving it with you for safe keeping.” Tandi wrapped her arms around Endi one last time before she ran off to catch up with the rest of her group.

Endi stood and watched his mate leave for a long while before he turned back to the men behind him. Junkar, Othyos and Tylander had become a surrogate family to him. He was not yet ready to lose any of them.

“You doing OK Endi?” Tylander asked. He stood about six feet away from Endi. One of the two Endotalen soldiers, Nant, was helping Tylander by tying the Arrainanites’ hands behind his back.

“Yeah I’m OK, Tylander. Just a little worn out. Keeping this projection up isn’t easy.” Endi walked over to examine the binds behind Tylander’s back. “Do you think Dyvanor will buy the whole we caught a spy bit you are planning?”

“Sure hope so.” Tylander smiled up at Endi. “So here goes nothing I guess. ” Nant and his friend Glot helped Tylander navigate his way to Dyvanor’s tent. Othyos kept himself, Endi and Junkar hidden from sight.

Dyvanor’s tent was set up quite a ways from the Endotalen camp. The tent was pitched at the edge of a ravine so that Dyvanor could look down upon his army from on high. Talk about having a god complex. Tylander thought as he moved into position in front of his enemies tent. Nant made a show of pushing Tylander to his knees in front of Dyvanor’s tent. “Lord Dyvanor,” Nant called, “I found a scout I thought you would like to see. It’s an Arrainanite.”

“An Arrainanite, here?” Dyvanor came gliding out of his tent. “Oh this is too good!” Dyvanor laughed as he looked down on his nemesis.  “Why Tylander, it’s been so long since I last saw you. Hows the wife?” He made a surprised face. “Whoops I forgot she’s dead. How sad.” Dyvanor’s face belied his real feelings. Tylander sat back on his heals, but said nothing as he waited for Dyvanor to move closer to him. “That will be all my friends.” Dyvanor waved Nant and Glot away. “I can handle this one all by my self. Oh,  and let the council know I expect to reach the Asoonadye capital before Dawn.” Nant and Glot nodded their heads as if they were going to follow his orders and left to join the rest of their people in returning to the underground city.

“Tylander. Tylander. Tylander. Do you know how long I’ve waited for this moment?” Dyvanor circled the captain of the royal guard. “That fool Locktos should have named me Captain, but no! He saw something in you. A pity he is not here to see you die.” Tylander kept his eyes on his enemy. “Any last words?” Dyvanor asked as he stepped closer to Tylander.

“Come to think about it. I do have something to say.” Tylander jumped to his feet throwing the rope at Dyvanor’s head. The rope smacked the enraged man with a loud thunk to the face. “Who’s laughing now? Did you really think it would be that easy to get rid of me?” Tylander managed to reach out to Dyvanor and grabbed him by the collar and attempted to lift him into the air. Dyvanor managed to rip himself out of Tylander’s grasp and quickly went on the defensive.

Dyvanor threw magic at him, from every angle as he backed towards the ravine. Fire streaked across the field as Tylander and Dyvanor danced around each other. Tylander was aware of Othyos falling to the ground as one of the blasts hit him full on. Now he, Endi and Junkar were all visible and Dyvanor began to target each of them.  Junkar began to launch rocks and any other objects he could find at Dyvanor using his telekinesis to try to push Dyvanor towards the cliff. At the same time he was working his way forward through the fire wind and ice that Dyvanor was now throwing at them.

Tylander noticed Othyos lying lifeless, he appeared dead on the ground not far from Dyvanor’s feet. Enraged by the loss of his friend Tylander charged Dyvanor. Once his skin came into contact with his enemy Tylander opened himself up to Ryanne an Lunester. A bright light shot through Dyvanor while a sharp stabbing pain shot through Tylander. Tylander heard Ryanne in the the back of his mind screaming her denial, but he didn’t have time to think about the pain just yet. He needed to kill Dyvanor. Junkar threw him a sword and he swung it at his most hated enemy.

Time seemed to stop for Dyvanor as the white light shone through him. “Illucious protect me.” He prayed to his god, but unlike every other time he called for her she did not answer. She had abandoned him to Lunester’s knights. The dark goddess knew when to fight and when to flee. This was time for her to flee. “No!” Dyvanor yelled, “Illucious wait, I have been your loyal servant!”

“Not any more you’re not.” Othyos stated. He was no longer on the ground. He was standing less than three feet from Dyvanor. Othyos was already aiming his bow at Dyvanor’s heart at the same time Tylander swung his sword at Dyvanor’s head. His foe managed to dodge Tylander’s blade but not Othyos’ arrow to the heart. Dyvanor smashed into Tylander as he came crashing down. He and his nemesis fell and into the ravine .

“No!” Endi screamed. Junkar roared in rage and Othyos stood stunned, afraid to look over the edge. Afraid that he would see the body of his friend Tylander broken and bleeding next to his enemy.

“Please tell me that didn’t just happen.” Othyos begged. Endi was the first to regain his composure. He made his way to the cliff and looked down, then he looked back at Othyos and Junkar. “He is dead. They both are.” Endi solemnly walked back to his new family. He placed a hand on each of his brothers. “I will climb down and retrieve him. You two should go back to Quinetta. Our kings will need to know what has happened here today. I will gather Tylander and meet you back in the Arrainanite city as soon as I can.” His brothers nodded as tears streamed down each of their faces. “He died honorably in battle. I will make sure my people never forget him and his sacrifice.”

“I never thought I would like an Arrainanite, but was hard not to like that man. He was good and kind. I will miss him.” Othyos sniffled as he attempted to wipe away his tears. “We should go.” The ambassador took several deep breaths as he composed himself.

“We will see you back in Quinetta.” Junkar gave Endi a pat on the shoulder as he and Othyos left.

Endi watched them go for a long while before he began his decent into the ravine to retrieve Tylander’s broken body.

 *       *       *

Back in Quinetta Ryanne lay in Tylander’s bed. She had been awake since Tylander had connected her to Tandi. She had been able to watch through Tylander’s eyes as he fought Dyvanor. She felt the pain of the knife that had sliced into him when Dyvanor struck. It had been a mortal wound that Ryanne could still feel radiating throughout her body. The fall over the cliff had ensured that even a miracle couldn’t bring him back.

Ryanne had felt each of Tylander’s bones break as he repeatedly fell and crashed into the mountainside. The worst wasn’t the pain. It was the broken connection. The feeling that he was with her, even though he was away, was gone. Tears streamed down Ryanne’s cheeks as her loss radiated through her. Suddenly everything in the room reminded her of Tylander. She was in his house surrounded by his things and his children. He was never coming back. Ryanne jumped out of the bed. She had to get out of here. The pain was too real here. She ran out of the house barefoot wearing only one of Tylander’s shirts. She had no idea were she was going or what she was running from, but the pain was so great she just had to get away.

She ran through the city gates, passed the creek the children liked to play in and just kept running. her tears began to blind her and still she ran. She couldn’t breath through the pain. It was too intense. Suddenly Ryanne was flying, or maybe she was falling. She couldn’t tell anymore. Ryanne’s head smashed against a rock as she landed and just as swiftly as the pain began it ended. Everything went dark.

The End

Epilogue : A Walk With Lunester

Ryanne was lying on the ground and a golden haired, green eyed man was standing over her with his hand outstretched. “Come Ryanne. Take a walk with me.” The man said. Ryanne took his hand as he helped her to her feet. As she stood Ryanne looked back down at the ground. Her body was still there, barefoot and wearing Tylander’s shirt. That’s when Ryanne realized that she was dead. “Is Tylander here?” She asked the man. “Yes he’s here somewhere. Unfortunately I can’t bring you to him. You are not yet finished with your life.”

“What do you mean? I’m dead, I think that is as finished as it gets isn’t it?” Ryanne asked.

“Not if you have the God of Light here to help you.” The man smiled at her.

“You are Lunester.”

“Yes, I am and I have been watching you for a long time.” Lunester led Ryanne away from her body. “I’m sure you have many questions. I will answer as many as I can while we walk, but first I’d like to tell you a story.” Lunester was leading Ryanne deeper into the forest.

“About 2000 or so years ago I found myself on the other side of the dimensional curtain. I had stumbled upon Earth. I stood on a mountain top and was looking down when a man approached me. He shouldn’t have been able to see me, but he could.” Lunester helped Ryanne to step over a fallen log before he continued with his story.

“I took a good look at the man on the mountain top and discovered why it was that he could see me. He had a piece of a god inside him. I remember a sense of peace as we stood together. ‘Lunester’ he’d said, ‘You do not belong here. You must return to your world, but before you go I have a gift for you.’ He surprised me. Not only did he know who I was, but he knew what I was searching for. You see I knew that one day Illucious would make her move. To defeat her I would need someone she could not see or manipulate. Someone not of Thera. That man told me that when the time came he would send a soul my way. It would be up to me to convince her to choose to come to my world. He was not about to take away her free will. So that day, on earth, when that truck hit you he passed your soul to me and I was the one who asked you if you would come to my world and you said yes.”  Ryanne stopped in her tracks.

“So what are we doing now that I’ve helped you win the fight against the Dark Goddess?” Ryanne asked still perplexed.

“We are walking into the past.” Ryanne looked around her and for the first time noticed that everything was moving backward. The trees were slowly shrinking and even the insects were moving in reverse.

“How far into the past?

“About ten years.”

“Ten Years? Are you telling me that I am Tylander’s dead wife?”

“No, not yet anyway, but you will be.”  Lunester laughed “Oh look there he is. He’s waiting for you. Think of this as a gift. You get two years with the man you love.”

“OK.” Ryanne smiled as she looked at Tylander. “I can live with that. So how do we do this?” Ryanne looked up to see Lunester was gone and she was standing alone in the forest wearing a beautiful yellow dress. Tylander was walking towards her with a smile on his face.

This is not the end of Tylander’s and Ryanne’s story. Stay tuned for Book two! 

Chronicles of Thera: Crossing over, Chapter 12

Chapter 12, Confronting the Council

“Hey Othyos,” Tylander gave his Asoonadye friend a gentle nudge. “You need to wake up. we let you sleep as long as we could, but it’s time to get up.” Othyos rubbed the sleep out of his eyes as he sat up.

“Keeping us all invisible really drained me.” Othyos managed to get himself on his feet with a great deal of effort. “I really hope you guys aren’t planning on me to keep us hidden while we enter the Endotalen camp. I’m not sure I could manage that.”

“Don’t worry, we are going to make Junkar do most of the work.” Tylander laughed as he patted Othyos on the back. The group suited up, making sure they had weapons at the ready and all the unnecessary gear was stowed at the back of the cave. It was near dawn and most of the Endotalen Army was just settling down to sleep. Endi had told his companions that the Endotalens are not used to being out in the sun and would prefer to stay indoors during the day. That is why the attacks had come in the middle of the night.

Endi lead the way into the encampment. They skirted the outside until they found an opening between two tents. Junkar used his Telekinesis to make noise in the opposite direction so that all eyes would be facing away from the group. As they approached the inner circle of tents, they nearly ran into a magical energy shield. Endi’s new abilities allowed him to see the invisible barrier before they triggered it.

“The council tent will be on the other side of that field. I’m not sure I can get us through that without alerting my kin to our arrival.” Endi stated as he examined the shield. “I’ve never seen this type of magic before. It has a dark feel to it.”

“Another gift from Illucious no doubt.” Tylander scowled. “Dyvanor is probably close by. We need to get inside quickly, before they realize we are here.”

“I will try to get us in.” Endi approached the magic shield. He moved his hands close to the shield as if getting a feel for the shield and how it works. After several tense moments Endi bent over and lifted a section of the shield off the ground creating a small opening. Endi took a step forward lifting the shield over his head. “Go!” He whispered brusquely. The weight of the shield obviously taking a toll on the Endotalen. Tylander, Othyos and Junkar dove through the opening. Endi took another step forward and dropped the shield back into place. The four men were alert looking for anyone who might have seen them breach the shield, but so far no alarms had sounded.

“We need to keep moving,” Junkar whispered as he started moving towards the large tent in the center of the encampment. The others followed him silently.  Just before they made it to their destination an Endotalen female caught sight of them. “Endi! What are you doing here?” She spoke with authority.

“Tandi!” Endi moved to intercept the woman. “You must come with us.” Endi lifted the woman off the ground and carried her into the council’s tent. The female was not happy with her treatment and began to pound on Endi’s back as she yelled what Tylander could only guess were Endotalen swear words at him.

“Put me down you giant dolt. I will have you arrested and thrown in jail for the rest of your life. You know who I am Endi.” Tandi shouted in common tongue.

“Yes, I know who you are Tandi! You are my mate! A fact that you’ve continued to deny over the last three centuries. You are lucky I’m just manhandling you. Any other Endotalen male would have claimed you and have been done with it. I’ve given you what you wanted. I’ve left you alone. Now you will stand here and listen to my friends and you will do what is right for our people and keep your feelings about me out of it.” Endi set Tandi down as he spoke. “We were lied to Tandi. Dyvanor destroyed that village not the Asoonadye.” Endi motioned for Tylander to come forward. “Show her Tylander.” Endi stepped back to allow Tylander to stand directly in front of Tandi.

“Take my hands.” Tylander held out both hands and waited patiently for the Endotalen female to make up her mind. Tandi gave Endi a small look of defiance before she took Tylander’s hands. Tylander felt inside Tandi’s mind and found a piece of Endi’s soul attached to her. Tylander then felt inside himself for his connection to Ryanne. It was like she was standing right next to them. Ryanne started to whisper into Tandi’s ear explaining Dyvanor and his purpose.

Tandi’s face grew pale as if all the blood had left her body. The truth of Ryanne’s words and their meaning came crashing down on her. Tandi held the first seat in the council, it was based on her assessment of Dyvanor that they had allowed him access to her people. Thousands of lives lost and it was her fault.

Tandi’s knees fell out from under her and suddenly she was sitting on the hard ground. “Is it true?” Tandi asked Endi.

“Yes, it’s true, but we have time to stop it. Call the council get them in here. Tylander’s gift will show them the truth.” Endi helped Tandi up off the ground, “I have met the kings of the surface dwelling nations. They do not blame us. If we stop now we can go back to our home in peace. They know we were lied to. Dyvanor betrayed them too.” Tandi nodded as she moved to the door.

“Wait here I will get the others.” Tandi left, but returned quickly. “I’ve sent my assistant to wake the council and to get as many of my officers in here as they can. While I’m certain that we can convince the others that we need to leave this place, I’m not sure how we can defeat Dyvanor. He is very powerful.”

“You don’t need to worry about that,” Tylander stated. “We have a plan, but first we need to get your people out of here. I don’t want collateral damage.”

“Tandi, I visited my mother in the spirit realm. You know she was an oracle. The four of us,” Endi pointed to his traveling companions, “will be able to defeat him. Only two of us will survive. So you may be free of your obligations to me before you know it.” Endi tried to joke with Tandi, but she wasn’t amused.

“Don’t you dare die on me Endi, I know I’ve been hard on you and I’m sorry. I never should have rejected you. I will forever be ashamed of myself. If you die I’ll never be able to make it up to you.” Tandi brushed the tears away from her eyes as she tried to regain her composure.

“I can’t make any promises, but I will do my best.” Endi gathered Tandi in his arms and held her to him. “Even if this is the only time I get to hold you in my arms it will have been worth it just to have this moment with you, my true mate.” Endi kissed the top of Tandi’s head and continued to hold her as the other members of the council and the officers of the Endotalen army entered the command tent.

Once all seven council women were in attendance Endi released Tandi so she could speak. “My fellow council women, we have been lied to.” Tandi took her position as first chair at the center of the raised platform at the back of the tent. The six other women looked to Tandi in shock. It was well known that she had refused her mate in order to keep her position among her people. If she was now claiming him he would have had to have done something incredible to prove his worth to her.

“Endi has brought ambassadors from the surface nations here to speak to us. They have proof that we were not attacked by the Asoonadye. We attacked them unprovoked. Dyvanor is the one responsible for the destruction of our settlement.”  Tandi looked towards Tylander.

“Would you please share with the council what you have shown me?” Tylander moved closer to the council and several soldiers stood to block him.

“I am not going to try anything, but I must touch them so they can see what I need to show them. Please step aside.” Tylander waited patiently while the soldiers looked for permission to allow him to pass. After receiving a nod from Tandi They let Tylander pass. One by one Tylander touched each councilor and connected them to Ryanne. Each woman was more upset than the last. Anger, regret and remorse filled the tent to almost bursting.

“Oh great Lunester please forgive us.”

“What have we done?”

“Dyvanor must pay!”

Multiple voices rang out at once as the people in the tent began to understand the full extent of the deception they had fallen for.

“Quiet Please!” Tandi’s voice carried over the ruckus. “We need a plan. I want as many of our people gone from here as quickly as possible. As soon as Dyvanor knows what we are up to he will try to stop us. “

“We have a plan, but we will need a little help.” Tylander turned to Endi.

“I have a few gifts I inherited from my family that should help. I was always good at casting illusions. Dyvanor will not know his army has left until it’s too late.” Endi smiled down at Tylander.

“That’s a handy power, why are we just now hearing about it?” Tylander asked

“It takes a lot out of me. I’m not sure how long I”ll be able to hold it, but if it gets my people out of here safely then I’m willing to try it.” Endi looked back at Tandi. She was not happy about Endi setting himself up at a disadvantage against Dyvanor, but she said nothing.

“We could use one or two soldiers to stay back. We have an idea about how to draw Dyvanor out and could use a little help setting things up.” Junkar spoke up for the first time. Two very large soldiers stepped forward. They had a plan to set up and an evacuation to get underway. One way or another by sundown this would all be over.

 Read Chapter 13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chronicles of Thera: Crossing Over, Chapter 11

Chapter 11: The Journey

It was just before dawn, Tylander stood in his bedroom looking down at Ryanne. She was still sleeping. He knew he should let her sleep, but he promised her he would wake her before he left. “Ryanne love, I need to go now,” Tylander sat next to Ryanne as he gently touched her face.

“Hmm, Tylander,” Ryanne slowly opened her eyes to see that he was all dressed and ready to leave. A wave of sadness hit her chest. “I wish you didn’t have to go.” Ryanne was doing her best not to cry. Tylander gave her a chaste kiss.

“Me too.” Tylander rested his forehead against Ryanne’s. “I promise you I will come back to you. You just stay safe while I’m gone.” Tylander connected his mind to Ryanne’s . She could feel his love and his fear.

“I will be just fine. I’m protected here in the city. You on the other hand are going into battle. Don’t you dare leave me here alone in this world without you. I would not survive losing you.” Ryanne had fallen so in love with Tylander she was certain she would die of a broken heart should she lose him.

“I just got you back. Don’t worry I will do everything in my power to return to you.” Tylander wrapped his arms around Ryanne and kissed her lips one last time. “I need to leave, I love you Ryanne.”

“I love you too, Tylander. Tell Junkar that I’m expecting him to keep you safe. If you get so much as a scratch I will be taking my anger out on him.” Ryanne joked trying to lighten the mood.

“Oh great that’s all I need is a Nilactin body guard!” Tylander laughed. “He will be so thrilled.” Ryanne gave him a sad smile.

“Hurry back to me OK.” Ryanne gave Tylander one last hug.

“I will. Goodbye my love.” Tylander grabbed his gear and left. As he was leaving Ryanne could feel her connection with Tylander stretch. The blessing he received had linked him to her permanently. It was like he became a part of her existing in the background of her mind. The farther away he went, the more her soul stretched to keep him connected to her. It gave Ryanne some comfort to know that as long as she could feel that connection, she knew Tylander was alive.

*       *       *

Tylander met up with Othyos, Junkar and Endi at the city gate. “What kept you so long?” Junkar asked as they fell into step. “My wife, wasn’t quite ready to let me leave. I’m sure you understand.” Tylander kept pace with his companions as they walked out of the Quinetta city gates and onto the road to Asoonadye lands. “By the way Ryanne wanted me to tell you that if I get hurt she is holding you personally responsible.”

“Really,” Junkar laughed, “Well, I’ll do my best. I sure wouldn’t want to be on her bad side. I’ve seen her angry. I really don’t want to be on the receiving end of that.”

“No you don’t,” Tylander laughed. Both Endi and Othyos mumbled their agreement.

The group traveled peaceably throughout the day stopping every few hours to rest and eat. Near sundown they made camp near a small creek. They had been sitting around the camp fire when Endi decided to ask a question that had been bothering him for some time. “Othyos, I noticed back in Quinetta that you were uncomfortable with me. Why is that?”

“You notice that, did you?” Othyos seemed a little embarrassed, “Well I did witness your kind destroying my village. And I saw the damage your people have done to each village they visited. It’s hard for me to look at you without thinking about the devastation your people have inflicted on mine. Even if they are under the control of Dyvanor, I’m not sure I can ever forgive them.” Othyos looked down into his hands. “I’m sorry. I don’t blame you personally, but it’s hard to look at you and not be a little angry.” Othyos looked up at Endi.

“That’s understandable.” Endi nodded his head. “I won’t take it personally.”

“Please don’t, I’m trying hard not feel this way.” Othyos looked up at Endi. “We are going into battle together. This old Nilactin saying keeps repeating in my head. He who would go into battle with me and shed blood at my side shall be my brother for all eternity. That kinda makes you my brother.” Endi looked a little  stunned.

“That would mean I have three brothers?” Endi smiled. “I’ve never had a brother before. When my mother died she was the last of my family. I’ve been alone for so long, But now I have three brothers and three kingdoms who will claim me. The Handmaiden’s arrival has given me far more than just a new ability. I’ve been blessed me with a family.”

“Yeah now that I have a brother,” Junkar laughed, “Injanari and I will be relying on Uncle Endi to watch the kids while we go out.”

“Can Ryanne and I get in on that too?” Tylander laughed. Endi was nodding his head laughing.

“Sure I didn’t know that was what uncles do, but I’m sure I can manage to fulfill that job requirement.” Endi looked to a now smiling Othyos. “Are you going to hit me up for babysitting duty as well?”

“Absolutely, I think my wife will be very happy to get some alone time with me while Uncle Endi watches the little ones.” Othyos laughed.

The men carried on like that throughout the evening. They knew they weren’t all coming back, but it was nice to pretend while it lasted.

The next day they were up a dawn, broke camp and continued traveling towards Dyvanor’s army. Much of the day passed uneventful, but as they drew near the army they started spotting scouts. Othyos was able to mask their presents with his gift of stealth, but it slowed down their progress significantly. It was very physically taxing on Othyos to keep all of them invisible. They had to stop and rest several times before Endi decided to carry Othyos. This allowed the little man to focus all his energy on keeping them hidden. By the time the sun had set they were less than fifty yards from the Endotalen camp.

Othyos knew this area fairly well and was able to lead them to a small cave. They had made it their base of operations while they rested and decided the best way to approach the Endotalen Council.

 *       *       *

Back in Quinetta Ryanne had been missing Tylander, but she was comforted to still feel her connection with him. Last night she could even feel his laughter. He was safe and well at least for the moment, so Ryanne was in a better mood this morning than she had been yesterday. Ryanne and Gabriela were out in the market place, getting some supplies for Surietta for dinner that evening, when a voice called out to her. “Ryanne? Are you Ryanne?” She turned to the voice to find it came from a calico Nilactin.

“Yes, I’m Ryanne.”

“I’m Injanari, Junkar is my mate.” She stated as she gave a slight bow.

“Oh Injanari, Junkar told me about you. It’s wonderful to meet you. This is Gabriela.” Ryanne still was not comfortable calling Gabriela her daughter. The Nilactin gave the little girl a brief nod.

“Junkar asked that I train you a bit. He thought it would be a good Idea if you were able to defend yourself should we be invaded.”

“That is a great idea. I’m glad you waited until after the men left. Tylander is still a little too protective of me. If he knew I was training he would flip his lid. the smallest scratch and I’d never hear the end of it.” Ryanne smiled, she was really missing Tylander. “Besides it will help us keep our minds off them being so far away.” Ryanne blinked several times to keep herself from tearing up.

“Great I have some fighting gear that should work for you. Why don’t you finish up here and meet me at the practice ring my people set up just outside the city walls?”

“Sure, I shouldn’t be more than an hour.” Ryanne stated now in a hurry to get the shopping done she she could go train with her new friend. Gabriela was quite helpful in getting all they needed from the market and even helped Ryanne find her way the few times she got turned around in the market place.

“So Mommy can I watch you train?” Gabriela asked as they were putting their purchases away.

“Sure, a woman can never know too many ways to keep themselves safe. Women in my world take self defense very seriously. You never know when you might need it.” Taking Gabriela’s hand Ryanne lead her out to the practice ring.

Injanari wasted no time getting Ryanne into gear and shoving her into the ring. “I will need to know were to start with you. I’m going to come at you and I want you to defend yourself. This is just so I can get an idea of what to teach you first.” Injanari leaped towards Ryanne with startling speed, however Ryanne was able to dodge the Nilactin’s assault. As Injanari came back around Ryanne was able to land a jab to the Nilactin’s shoulder that knocked the cat of balance. Not an easy thing to do.

“Oh did I forget to tell you? I’ve had some martial arts training. I’m pretty good at it too.” Ryanne smiled. Injanari smiled as well.

“Oh this is going to be fun.” Injanari laughed as they began to spar for real. The two woman traded blows and pushes back and forth while occasionally throwing each other. It was a great workout and it was the first time since Tylander left that Ryanne was actually feeling pretty good. She and Injanari were bonding. While it looked like they were trying to hurt each other from an outside perspective, they were both pulling their punches so that they were not doing any real damage. They would feel it in the morning though. Both would be bruised and a little battered, but they would be just fine. Both women finally called it quits after about an hour of hard core sparing. They were smiling and laughing as they said their goodbyes.

Ryanne had little trouble falling asleep that night, unlike the previous night without Tylander. Her body was sore and exhausted thus allowing her to fall into a deep sleep the moment her head hit the pillow. Her dreams were filled with visions of Tylander, Othyos, Endi, and Junkar making their approach into the Endotalen encampment.
Read chapter 12