Ileus: The Dark Prince - Chapter 321 - Trepidations
Etaya was supposed to come in two days. Iona had asked her to come because the time was coming. Iona knew that after the marriage Ileus and Anastasia would be taken to Silver Vales. The plan was to attack them and abduct the two when they were out of Draoidh. Etaya would take them away as part of her deal. As for Iona, she would use the moment of chaos and enter Eynsworth Palace where she would kill Adrianna and Dmitri and take charge of the throne and would call her Master.
The plan was simple, but needed coordination. The limitation was that only the necromancer’s magic could take her inside the kingdom. And necromancer magic was banned. It had to be practiced secretly.
Close to dawn, the Diumbe started retreating in the Cimmerian they found in the jungle. Even Iona couldn’t tolerate the bright rays of the sun and had to leave. She leapt in the air and her body turned into a swirl of tornado that gushed deep inside a cave. She would stay in the darkness till the nightfall.
For the whole day, she didn’t sense the call, the summon from Circe. She paced up and down her cave as a jagged pulse of anger passed through her. Trepidations grew stronger than ever because in a day, by next morning, Etaya would be there. And Etaya was coming with her fae army because she had called her here, because she was sure that this was her chance.
She came out of the cave as soon as the darkness outside equated the darkness inside. She heard the familiar hiss and screech of Diumbe, who as if attracted by her pulse, her scent began crawling towards her. “You will have to wait, my pets…” she tried to soothe them. She knew that Diumbe were craving to go past Draoidh’s spells. They could smell the flesh and blood of the wizards and witches.
Initially when she had come to camp outside Draoidh, she was sure that she would get inside Silver Vales and bring werewolves as food for Diumbe, but shock flittered wildly through her when she found that she couldn’t penetrate the walls of Silver Vales either. After the last incident in which she had taken Anastasia as her prisoner, it seemed the queen had strengthened the spells around Silver Vales. Though angered as hell and she wanted to destroy the forest around the werewolf kingdom to punish the queen, she decided against it because it would warn them of her presence. And right now, she had to wait… patiently… for Ileus and Anastasia to come out.
After feeding the Diumbe, Iona swirled into her dark energy and traveled through the jungle towards Draoidh’s bespelled walls again. For the entire night she had circled the perimeter and there wasn’t the slightest hint of the summon. As angry as a hornet, she picked up a boulder and threw it on the wall only to see it blasted and turn to dust before falling off the ground.
It was extremely necessary to get inside the kingdom to know what was going on, to see the preparations of the marriage and to hear the plans of the king and queen. Circe had promised that she would get a stone from the north wing of Eynsworth Palace, from the bedchamber of the queen. Plunging that stone in the water of the magic basin would help her hear their plans.
The dawn was about to wash the dark night and she decided to retreat back in the cave when a light flicker of white energy crackled in front of her — the summon. Excited, she looked at the crackle and floated to it. She touched the sizzling lights, which would have burned healthy skin, but all she felt was tingling. The light was supposed to grow and consume her fully and suck her through the walls into the tunnel where she was being summoned. The flicker grew and Iona burst into her darkness of smoke and grains to match it, to let it absorb her. Slowly, she started getting sucked.
She had found a way inside the crevice of the tunnel from where she arrived last time too. Her head popped out of the crevice, when suddenly even before she could register anything, she was being thrown out. She struggled to stay inside but the magic became weaker and weaker until it could no longer hold her and siphoned her out of the walls of the kingdom. Stunned, she stared at the walls. How could this be possible? What was happening? Why did the summon not last long? What was Circe up to? Had she betrayed her? She was so immersed in her thoughts that a sudden pierce of warm rays of light left her screeching. And the next instant she heard brooms swishing in the air towards her.
Iona had to hastily retreat. She went back to hide in her cave and this time her fury manifested in damaging half the cave. Just one more day was left for the attack and she was in this cave in a lurch. She spewed curses after curses and in the end went to hang on the ceiling of the cave upside down.
Yet another day passed and on the next morning before the sun rays came out, Etaya arrived with her army. The fae army was large but mostly were all shadows and smoke. Only Etaya, Yion, Aed Ruad and about three dozen more soldiers were corporeal. They reached the place which Iona had identified and camped.
The dark witch came out from her hiding. She appeared right beside the bed in the tent in which Etaya was sitting, looking at the place on a map where they had planned on kidnapping Anastasia.
Her sudden appearance was a bit of a shock even though Etaya had seen her come like this a number of times. Without turning, she asked, “What is the news, Iona?” She was impatient to get hold of Anastasia.
“There’s no news,” Iona replied apathetically.
A frown appeared on Etaya’s forehead. She rolled the parchment back and kept it on the side table. “What do you mean?”
Iona clacked her pointy nails. She floated to where Etaya was sitting and went to lie on her bed. “I mean what I say. What is so difficult to understand?”
Etaya contained the fury that was burning in her chest at Iona’s insolence. “Can you please elaborate?” she asked.
The flap of the tent lifted and Aed Ruad entered. Seeing Iona, he became still and stood with his arms across his chest with jaws clenched hard.
“Circe hasn’t been able to contact me,” replied Iona without acknowledging Aed Ruad’s presence.
“Then what are we going to do?” Aed Ruad asked through his clenched jaws.
“We wait,” Iona replied in an ice cold voice. “We wait for them to come to Silver Vales. I know that they are getting married today. I am sure Circe would be able to summon me. However, if she can’t, then I know for sure that Ileus and Anastasia will have to visit the werewolf kingdom.”
“But this was not the arrangement you conveyed!” Etaya blasted. “You said that we would be able to get inside Draoidh!”