“How.did you know?” the woman urged from the back of the tent. “Why else would you seek out Eric, despite having us summoned as well?””Well deducted.” said the imperial ambassador, turning back to Eric, “Je may not know it, but be aware of gis actions.” “You don’t know my son. I may not know him as well as I could or should, but I know him better than you do.” raising his voice as well as himself Eric held back anger, Fathala also had risen, similar words on her lips, but Eric had spoken a moment sooner. “He may be hotheaded and impatient, but he wouldn’t serve the evil that would devour him as well as us!” the.imperial ambassador raised a hand to stop Eric. “He might not know that he serving them!” “Out.” Fathala hissed, with all the fury that Eric felt. Both ambassadors bowed in compliance and left with their entourage. Only Oshun, Farlyn and Lillian remained, as perplexed as the two. “What of he speaks true?” Fathala made a face at Eric’s doubt. “It is not true! I refuse to believe that he would even unwillingly,” “We still should keep an eye on him.” Lillian sighed, drawing her wings tighter around her shoulders. “Even if they are wrong, the effect the other side had on him might confuse him.” she was clearly hinting at his newfound manhood. “Agreed.” came the reply from Oshun and Farlyn. “That is an amazingly good wine.” Leif stared at the cup of Albin wine. It was a rather weak blend, acidic and hard on the tongue with an aftertaste that reminded of bile. Close to no fruity flavors, instead a hint of tar. Whlana giggled. “If you liked that, wait until you have tasted a sweet red, or pixie berry wine.” her cheeks were rosy, but Leif knew not whether it had been the wine or their conversation. “I’m looking forward to it.” She lifted the cup to.her lips again, as did he. Slowly a taste of wood developed behind the taste of tar, making the sensation of that wine even more enjoyable for Leif. “I better turn in.” Whlana set th cup down, smiling at Leif. Her shift was mere hours away, and sleep was highly in demand. Although the western Albin required less sleep than eastern Albin or Humans, Whlana felt exhausted, having done a thirteen hour shift before meeting Leif. “Then I best see you off.” his smile was more courtesy than honest.Weathered wood awaited them at the barracks, since it was the oldest building of the settlement it had been erected with out much care to preservation, and had seen some storms since, especially during the attempts to form the bane anew. Albin strolled around the building, mostly guards off duty. The.majority of them did not speak his language, an those who did, paid no mind to his presence either. “I wish you a good night, Whlana.” he smiled wih an indicated bow. “The same to you, Leif.” the way she pronounced his name brought a smile on his lips. She’s willing to settle on the pole. I’ll ask her to come home with me. Maybe as my wife?! Since I no longer am a eunuch, the order must dispel me, and I could father children by her.She kissed him lightly on the cheek and turned to the door, after thanking him for the nice evening.Don’t forget about the bane! An inner voice cried out, Soon they’ll use it to kill the Dragons. The wrong Dragons! A sense of panic flushed his thoughts after Whlana had disappeared inside the barracks. From his father’s tent the fungal representatives Augustus and his imperial counterpart emerged and walked off in separate directions. A vile thought crossed his mind, followed by an equally vile smirk. In a few nights.Endlessly light streamed forward from the bane, trickling down the pedestal like water, over the floor of the open room, around the pillars, and down the sides of the pyramid. Amidst the sleeping Phoenix’s it evaporated into the night in hazy clouds of golden shimmer. It looks different. Wandering around the pedestal Leif couldn’t avert his eyes. The alabaster woman came to his mind, arousing him mildly. It seemed like a half forgotten dream now, whilst the light that flowed around him seemed more real. Still, the mission remained the same, he had to finish the cross over, so the dragons might end up where they belonged.Aren’t I thus opening the gates for them in some way? Doubts crept into his thoughts. If so, by crossing the two portals out I’ll just be opening the gateway for the right sort of dragons. He dismissed his doubts. Inatead he further examined the bane before him. While the bane he knew and had used looked like the bane the old Albin Danarien had showed him from her immortal memory – the fiery eye of the crystal serpent standing on a three pronged glass root – this one also had another glass root on its topside, almost like an antler. Slowly ripples wandered through the honey in the cauldron the bane stood in, in harmony with the light sent out by the bane, although it was easy to look at the bane without being blinded. “I thought you might wander up here sooner or later.” startled by his father’s voice Leif jumped turning around.”Now how’s that?” He knows!”Considering how obsessed you were even before we arrived, it was simple.” he smiled. There was a tone to his voice that meant the older man was concerned. “Oh.” was all Leif could say. He knows for sure.Both men stared at the bane. “We have to use it.” Leif finally lifted his gaze back to his father after they had stared at the bane for some time. “And clot the gateway? If we do that the dragons will explode into this world. Admitted that.might kill some of them, but also it would destroy our home.” Eric stepped to the aide to have a better look at his son. “What if there was another way?”

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