The Fiery Lady turned and walked to a boulder. "We must get back. Hurry step through the portal."
The Royal Spies looked where she pointed, then at each other. "My Lady, there is no portal. Sippin Coffee told her.
"What! It is right here." Angrily the Fiery Lady pointed to a spot in front of her.
"I'm sorry but we don't see it. " Coffee explained stepping back from her.
"You are the only one who can see it." Scared One reasoned. "Could the magic affected you?"
"All of you are useless! I'll do it myself." but found herself unable to go through the portal. Reaching out she tried to touch it...finding only rock. "It can't be.
With another glance at the rock, the Fiery Lady held up her staff and stepped through the gate it summoned. Before anyone could follow her, it snapped closed.
"Well, now what do we do?" Sippin Coffee asked the others.
"I don't know, but I want Evidias back." Lady Thalia snapped.
Unnoticed, Idos had come through the tunnel behind them. Seeing the Spies, it began running in panic clicking all the while.
Desperatly Idos tried to reach the magic coming from the conduit. Unable to reach the magic, it ran past the gathering.
"Stop It!" Sippin Coffee shouted. "Don't let it get back to the tunnels."
The tunnels were quickly blocked by warriors and dragons. Turning around Idos rushed to the other side disappearing into a tunnel it cut in the rocky side.
"Where did it go?" someone asked. "What do we do now?"
"Let us return to the hall. Maybe it returned there." Sippin Coffee opened a gate and stepped through. On the other side, he found Idos at the pillar trying to reach the magic. Seeing the Royal Spies stepping through the gate, it gave up and began to run down the road...stopping only to try to cast a spell.
Reaching the Britain graveyard, it ran through it only to be trapped by the fence, Tamais, and Neptune. Realizing it had failed to escape it swiped at Neptune.
"Know your place beetle!" Neptune shouted blocking the blow.
Idos eyed Neptune becoming angrier and angrier...at last attacking.
Summoning the strange magical influses, the Idos pushed the gathering back towards the center.
At last Idos and the influxes were defeated. While the defenders were resting, Captain Corian joined them. "What happened here?" He asked.
"This creature, Idos attacked us." Sippin Coffee replied pointed to the dead beetle. "It has been using the tunnels marked by the green pillars."
Captain Corian knelt to examine it. "Do we know why?"
"No, Time Without Dreams and the Fiery Lady didn't know either." Sippin Coffee added.
Lady Thalia stepped forward, "Captain. Evidias, TIme Without Dreams, and the Firey Lady have also gone into the tunnels."
Captain Corian stood up, "That is not good news. Is there more I need to know?"
"Evidias is missing." Sippin Coffee said, "The Fiery Lady said that the wisp had lied to us...betraying us. She thinks it might have taken Evidias."
Captain Corian held a hand to his head. "The same wisp that was helping us in our fight with Minax?"
Sippin Coffee and Lady Thalia both nodded in agreement.
"That explains why Evidias hasn't reported to the King. He is demanding her to meet with him." Captain Corian stopped to wipe his brow. "A distraction by Minax perhaps." he said thoughtfully. "Hawkwind is close to finding the last gem."
"That could be." agreed Sippin Coffee.
"Hum...I wonder how the book Dahlia told me fits in?" mused Captain Corian.
"A book?" Sippin asked puzzled.
"It seems that a mage found a book tell of a stone buried in Ilshenar. Captain Corian recalled. Something about a race of insects and a valuable scroll.
"Pass the word that no one is to close the tunnels. At least until we have Evidias and Time Without Dreams back from them." Captain Corian stopped wincing in pain. "We must learn more about the tunnels...where do they go.
"Are you okay my lord?" Sippin Coffee asked?
"No, all those I need to deal with this problem are missing. I have to find out what Minax is up to. And I have to keep the King from getting involded." He stopped to rub his head. "I will welcome any suggestions."
"Could Agaris help?" suggested Tamais.
"That is a wonderful idea," Captain Corian beamed.
"I'll count on you to find him."
"We will find him." Sippin Coffee assured him. "How else might we be of help."
Annoyed, Captain Corian answered, "You can give Dahlia a message. She and I need to have a long talk. Spymaster or not, I expect regular reports." Holding his head he turned to leave. "One more thing. If you find the book bring back a copy for the Royal Archives."
"Farewell Captain, rest" Tamais advised, "We will take care of matters."
As Captain Corian moved out of sight, a figure in purple came out of the shadows.
"Ah, Dahlia, hiding were you. Did you hear everything?" Sippin Coffee asked. "Captain Corian is not happy with you."
"Never, I would have spoken up." Dahila replied indignant.
Dahlia blushed, "Okay I heard all of it. Why did he say not to seal up the tunnels? I would think it would solve one of our problems.
Sippin Coffee shook his head. "We can't seal them until Evidias, Time Without Dreams and the Fiery Lady return from them."
"What a mess this has become." Dahlia observed. "Tunnels that lead to who knows where. People missing in them. Adriad the wisp betraying us and Minax messing with the rifts again." Sighing she looked at the gathering.
"The Fiery Lady will deal with Adriad." Sippin Coffee chuckled. "She was most eager to see him."
"Well one less thing to take care of." Dahlia smiled as she pretended to mark an item off her list.
"I don't know if I would count on her." Lady Thalia warned, "She might not even return...not much of a team player."
"You noticed that also" Dahlia stopped realizing her mistake, "I mean you don't say."
"She seemed very worried about Evidias." Tamias mused, "Perhaps for now we can rely on her."
"We will see," Dahlia replied. "I did discover that the Djinn was not involved in Evidias' disappeance. "It said it wouldn't become involved in these matters."
"It doesn't want to take sides. Well that is a bit of good news." Sippin smiled then frowning continued. "I keep feeling that we are missing something important. Who is this "it" Time Without Dreams said is coming."
Dahlia nodded, "That is an important question. We need more information about these beetles and why they are showing up now.
"Problems were easier to deal with until she showed up."Dahlia sighed. " Hopefully when Hawkwind finds the last gem and is able to combine them...she will be taken care of for good." Dahlia turned to leave. "I must leave you now." she looked around, "I'd ask that you don't tell a certain captain that you have seen me." with a wink, she disappeared into the shadows.
The Royal spies exchanged smiles at her request. Then each left for home deep in thought.
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Evidias Kidnapped Pt. 2
Angered by the Wisp betrayal, the Fiery Lady left the Royal Spies behind. While trying to decide what their next move would be, they didn't see...