The king was waiting for us at the hall. We quickly found seats and waited for his news.
While eager to tell him of our victory, I still had the feeling of dread that had followed me all day.
"The King!" Vixen Sonoma shouted, "Hail Sire.
"Hail King." Spuflasath, Lady Thalia, and I said together.
"Evening." Purgatory added.
King Blackthorn nodded excepting our greetings. "Good eve, all" He paused for the hall to settle down then began.
"I know I did not trust her at first, but I came to respect her." he paused.
"Oh?" I asked caught off guard.
"She kept offering me her job. " Lady Thalia said with a look of surprise.
The King waited for the hall to quiet. "She was meant to lead today's assault.
When we could not find her, spies were sent out at length to discover what had happened.
We were concerned, very, when even her own spies had no clue."
Again he waited for the whispers of concern to stop. "But one discovered something in the middle of the floor of her home.
It was an envelope, a letter dated months and months ago, clearly just recently torn open.
From Merrick. It seems Dahlia hadn't been home in months...She must have found the letter the other day when Corian asked her to retrieve something important she was keeping there.
The King pulled out a scroll and opened it. "I know it was hers, but Merrick would have known you'd all see it too."
"Family is important, my dear niece. I know you won't understand my actions. They were never clear. Even when people thought they knew me, they only knew half. I liked it that way.
But let me be clear now. On at least one thing. My friend I spoke. I watched him wither away, suffer to his own devices, secretly watch his family from a distance. He died at his daughter's wedding if you remember.
You cannot do the same. She is alive... and though you refuse to speak to her. She was your mother, and he is your father. Even if he is a bit of a ******* and monster. Tavian cared for her dearly, and for you.
Don't live like my friend did, don't like as I did. No one knew me, not when I lived, not when I died. I could have never existed. Go. Live. If you do but one thing for me, for all the sacrifice I made for you. Go. Run. And never come back
Find them both.
Sighing, I pictured Dahlia reading the scroll. She had been so angry at Merrick for his sacrifice and even angrier at Tavain. No wonder she is missing.
I watch as the King sadly put the scroll away. "It seems she took it to heart."
I saw Lady Thalia nod in understanding.
I turned my attention back to the King.
"You will all meet her shortly I am sure. Perhaps not this eve, but she is around. " he added.
I looked around at the loyal spies that filled the room. Then nudged Lady Thalia in jest.
"And what of the Emporium and my offer to form a trade agreement with them? " I asked.
"The Emporium has agreed to form a new trade union in Yew and work for Britannia. We shall see how it works out." King Blackthorn answered.
"I'll keep an eye on them, Sire." I assured him. "And the new Weld?"
"The other Weld have taken residence in the Lost Lands, I must insist you try to leave them be." the King said firmly. "They have agreed to communicate between myself and Time Without Dreams." He looked around making sure we would follow his order.
As one, we nodded yes.
"On side notes ,Dahlia has apparently left word at least, to donate Merrick's writing to the Britain Library.' the King smiled. "I have read some, it is good work and I am certain some of it can be a great lesson for the new Spymaster."
He stopped and frowned. "Corian believes that Merrick might be alive still somewhere... he's asked for research to help prove or disprove it." the King sighed. "It seems fruitless, but if he wishes to grieve...in his own way."
He gazed at us with sad eyes. "I am sorry for such sad news, on the eve of your victory. Agaris agreed to stay on and help the Spies still and Evidias will remain in contact with you all, I am sure."
"Evididas seemed a littled distant. " Lady Thalia whispered to me, worry in her voice.
I nodded. "Aye she did."
"She's out there somewhere, Dahlia is. Causing trouble. What a pleasant thought." King Blackthorn assured us.
"I can see her doing that." I laughed.
"She is Merrick's niece after all." Lady Thalia said.
"Ahem. None of you all will repeat this outside of this room." the King winked. "It took a while for her to grow on me."
Giles made a motion to seal his lips. While Vixen Sonoma motioned as if running a zipper across her lips.
"She'll not hear it from me. " I assured him.
" I believe you all have a special guest coming soon." the King informed us. "Fare you well, thank you for your continuing service to Britannia." and King Blackthorn left with a sad smile.
So ends our adventures with Dahlia.
This was EM Augustus's last event. After the king left he returned to share with us that he was leaving. Em Augustus started our adventures on July 17, 2011. Through the five years, he has entertained us with his wonderful stories, created a lasting history with the Weld, killed us a lot, and become part of the Lake Austin family. He will be missed. Below are some of his parting words to us.
EM Augustus: Hello everyone.
EM Augustus: It's interesting, to see so many of you who have been with me so long on this journey.
EM Augustus: And new faces too, I have gotten to talk to quite a bit of you at points throughout my time here on LA.
EM Augustus: It is because my time here is finally at an end. I will try to pop in tomorrow for a while as well.
EM Augustus: I've got a new family now and between all that stuff, I don't get to spend a lot of time with them.
EM Augustus: They've been pretty patient with me. They know I love being an EM, that I love spending time telling you all stories...
EM Augustus: So I tried to balance it all out as well as I could. But now it's time for me to spend more of my time with them.
EM Augustus: No matter what anyone says, these stories wouldn't have come out the same without each of you.
EM Augustus: Thalia and Demoss know that best.
EM Augustus: They constantly changed the story, with their thinking and guessing.
EM Augustus: Believe me, the stories only got better when people began guessing the outcomes.
EM Augustus: Thank you for sticking it out with me.
EM Augustus: Good night LA.
EM Augustus: I shall miss seeing you through this comfy hood.
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