Book 2 The Past and Present Collide
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.