When I returned from the King's mission, Captain Corian told me of the invasion of Britain. Once more the strange beetles had been beaten back. Yet there still was no sign of Evidias or Time Without Dreams.
I hurried to the King to give my report of Hawkwind's attempt to open the gate and stopping Minax's magic. While there, he told me of the Governors'' suggestion that we find a new land for the strange beetles. "This would seem to be good advice, "King Blackthorn looked at a map. "Go meet with the Fiery Lady to see if she has found why these strange creatures trouble our lands."
I found the Fiery Lady at the Royal Spy Hall. There other concerned spies had gathered. Greeting her, I noticed that she seem distracted. She wiggled her fingers, as if something was pricking them. She murmured, "Strange, I feel a hint of a spell." She turned and picked up the scroll. "At least I can now read this. Though it is still hard."
"My Lady," I asked "Does it give word of where Evidias is?"
She shook her head, "No." She looked again at her hands. "I have found the trail of magic. From Moonglow, the trail seems to have gone to Trinsic."
I looked at her in surprise. "In Trinsic? Does it end there?"
"The city ...is flooded with magic. Too much for me to search the city." she replied puzzled. "But outside the city, I did find the trail Evidais's magic left"
"So, we need to Trinsic," I said thoughtfully, "Lead us to the trail, my Lady."
Outside the hall, the Fiery Lady tried to open a gate to Trinsic. But she still was unable to reach her magic. "Would one of you be so kind to open a gate?" She looked at her hands again.
Arriving in Trinsic, she wiggled her fingers again as she felt the magic returning.
Though confused by the return of her magic, she lead us to the city gates. Stopping she looked around. "I think the trail is this way. I can hardly see it."
Leaving the city, we followed her, passing along the way glowing statues with a letters written on them. Stopping at each one, she studied them. "These seem to mark the trail."
Following the statues, she began running. Stopping when she arrived at a clearing. In the center was a pillar with a tapestry attached. Reaching for it, she quickly pulled her hand back. "Strange, there is magic all around. Yet it seems to be taking my magic.
We watched a fiery beetle appeared. "Magic...you brought me magic. My long slumber drained my magic." it said moving towards the Fiery Lady, "Feed me more...make me stronger."
"Yes, stronger, the magic has given me strength." Ivecas turned toward the gathering, "Not enough, your bodies will give me more." Clicking, it approached us "Give me all you have. Die and feed me." As we watched he summoned others who attacked us. "Take their magic little ones, grow strong."
The battle was carnage. It seemed the royal spies had no chance of willing the battle. As I watched Ivecas, the one without grace, began to flicker in and out.
Slowly its magic was pulled away, until at last it faded from sight. Looking around to see what might have taken its magic, I saw the Fiery Lady. She came over to where I was.
"As I took back my magic, it spoke to me. The Fiery Lady paused, " Its people are at in a place were roots turn rocks to dust. But the ground cracked and the oceans began to poor in. They need to escape...they are drowning."
"How can we help them? I asked. "Even though they keep attacking and hold, I would go to rescue them." Other Royal Spies nodded in agreement.
Sadly the Fiery Lady shook her head no, "It isn't that easy."
"What will they take in trade?" I questioned.
"Something for something." She replied. Then she called to Ivecas the Graceless" I will trade with you. I will trade my fire for Evidias. I will not trade for less." Stepping up to the pillar, she tried to reach into the tunnel entrance Ivecas had opened. "Stand back, I don't know what will happen when I enter the tunnel."
From past battles, we knew this to be good advice. We withdrew to what we hoped was a safe distance.
As she disappeared into the tunnel, more beetles out rushed. Once again we were attacked.
We soon learned that these were deadlier that the last group. The fighting was fierce. At times, we fought just to stay alive.
At last victory was in our grasp. I moved, following the battle, trying to keep the fighters healed. When I saw a figure standing at the edge of the battle. Going over, I found it was Evidias. "Evidias! where did you come from? How did you get back?" I shouted in excitement.
She looked around in confusion. "I don't know. I was in the tunnels. The tree is collapsing. We must help them, they can't get out." she grabbed my hand, "We must hurry!"
"But he needs our help."
Not knowing what to say, I nodded in agreement. "But why do they keep attacking us?"
She rubbing her head, she thought. "The creature, the cold one, has offered them a trade."
"The Cold One I asked puzzled. "Do you mean Adriad the Wisp?"
"Yes, he offered a trade for a trade." stopping she noticed the banner. Walking over to it she torn it down and bundled it in her arms. "This is the entrance. Don't go into the tunnels, there is no way out."
Looking at each other, I asked "But then how did you get out?"
"I'm not sure, but I was told me that the Fiery Lady made a deal. She traded with the cold one." She opened a gate. "Perhaps I can figure things out at the hall. Come."
At the hall, Evidiais looked around at the objects we had found, especially the blue stone. She hung up the banner beside it. Have you found a book? She asked looking around the room. "It isn't finished but I need to study it."
Every one shook their heads no. "I think the Fiery Lady had it last. "I told her, but we don't know where it is."
Looking once more at the banner, she turned to us. "They were not trying to attack us."
Some one spoke up, "You sure could have fooled me."
She looked at them sadly, "The cold one offered them a deal. If they would flood the cities of Britannia, he would save them. His mistress, a powerful lady, would make sure.
"Minax?" I asked.
Evidias slowly shook her head, "I don't know who this Minax is, but she might be the one who caused the tree to beginning collapsing." she scowled, "Who ever she is she must be made to pay."
Concerned, I asked "What of the Fiery Lady and Time Without Dreams?"
"They are safe." She picked up the scroll, "Time Without Dreams told me he read of a man named Elliam."
"We found his ghost, Lady Evidias. That is where the scroll came from." I explained. "But the Fiery Lady was unable to read it."
"Ah, Time Without Dreams said the writings told how the red stone was mad. It t helped us come here." She looked harder at it, "That might be the answer to helping the Beetles.
Suddenly Evidias caught her breath, "Wait these aren't words, they are spells. The magic is hidden under the words in the book. We have to find that book." Excited she looked at us.
"It might help us bring the beetles to our world, but we must find them a new home." Thinking she paused, "May be the King could help."
I nodded, "Lady Evidias, the Governors mentioned it to the King. He agree to finding them a new home."
Lady Evidias yawned, "Time Without Dreams told me the King has been looking for me. I should go and give him my report." She began walking to the door.
I could see she was exhausted, "The King doesn't know of you disappearance. Captain Corain and Dahlia keep it a secret. You should go and rest before you see him."
Stopping she yawned again, "Perhaps you are right. A little rest before seeing him is a good idea."
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Following the Fiery Lady we soon came to a clearing. There we found a tapestry attached to a pillar. As the Fiery Lady reached out to touch it....