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The Seeress and the Stone 28
The rooms of City Hall were dark and quiet. Jarr’oshed sat grim and silent on his makeshift throne. He could feel Angelia’s presence in the city, but he had no way of tracking her movements. In frustration he slammed his fist into the wall. As he did so a pale blue light appeared in the corner of the room. It was coming from the small crystal on his crown.
He crossed the room and picked up the crown. The crystal pulsed. He carefully removed the stone from its steel encasing and held it in his palm. It was cold to the touch and the blue light increased as he stroked its smooth edges. As he held the stone he felt a slight rush through his body, like a wind moving right through a tunnel. To his mind came a quiet conversation.
The power in that simple conversation almost overwhelmed him. He sat down carefully and listened. It was Ellinsha. She was speaking to the Seeress. As he listened he silently searched through the city to find the girl. When he heard Ellinsha warn the girl he removed his mind from the search.
“Never mind. I know you are here and how I can find you. You cannot hide for long.” He summoned his guards. Two guards came and bowed before him.
“I want to go into the city, near the park. I think we shall find a present waiting for us.” His cruel laugh filled the hall and all who heard it shivered from the chill.
Angelia’s thoughts wandered as she made her way through the park. If the king knew where she was then she had to get out of the city quickly. Could he track her through the caves? Where were they going to go? Fear filled her heart as the questions piled up in her mind. She wanted to talk with Ellinsha, but she knew it wasn’t safe.
She finally came to the edge of the park. The stars were beginning to fade with the coming dawn. She knew she had to get to the north wall of the city before daylight or she would never make it out. The streets were deserted. She dashed across the main road and into an alley between houses. She searched along the alley for a gate into the gardens, but none was to be found. She moved through the shadows to the next street, scanning for any patrols. Across the street stood a large home surrounded by trees. It took her a few moments to realize it was Scotch’s home. She could climb over the wall from their garden. It would take longer to reach the path to the mountains, but she would be out of the city and safe.
She looked up and down the street again and then dashed across. Once she made it to the trees she relaxed. She leaned up against a large oak and took a deep breath. Glancing back at the street her heart froze. The king stood in the middle of the street. He had several guards around him and he was discussing something with one of the leaders. Angelia shrank back against the tree. The king stopped talking and looked right where she was hiding. His eyes met hers and triumph glinted from them. His lips moved and the nightmares she’d had so many times became a horrific reality.
“I see you, Seeress.”
Her heart dropped. She closed her eyes to shake the thought from her head and as she did so two soldiers materialized out of the shadows, grabbing her arms. In vain she struggled and fought them, but they easily dragged her into the street and brought her to kneel in front of the king.
“Well my little witch, it seems as if our paths finally meet. Did you really think you could hide from me?” His tone mocked her.
She kept her eyes fastened firmly on the ground did not speak.
He grabbed her chin and forced her to her feet.
“Look at me,” he demanded.
He held her gaze for several minutes. He slowly reached his hand up to touch the stone in his crown. Things she had seen jumped to the front of her mind. She realized what he was doing and tried closing her mind to his probing, but it was too late. He had already created a connection to her mind, one that was too strong to break.
He pushed deeper and deeper into her thoughts and memories. Angelia felt herself grow weak as he reached deeper and deeper. His mind was very powerful and well trained. He understood his gifts and the power of his half of the crystal. Angelia’s will began to crumble. He could now see the city and he followed her thoughts through it like a map. He was searching for Ellinsha. His search became more intense and Angelia could feel her legs buckling beneath her. She felt her body falling forward. As she fell, her crystal slipped out of her shirt. She grabbed the stone and the clasp broke.
“Ellinsha,” she cried out loud, in total desperation.
Like a river bursting from the confines of a dam, she felt a rush of strength flowing through her body. It was as if her mind was lifted beyond Jarr’oshed’s reach. Her thoughts filled with memories and faces of people she had never met. Generations of Seers and Seeresses flitted through her thoughts. She could feel their love and their strength. They all had one common link. They had all held the little crystal and felt its power course through their minds.
The final image she saw was of the woman who looked just like her. She stood facing the north. Her eyes were full of sorrow and determination. When Angelia saw her she knew this woman had given up much for her. It was this that strengthened her. Angelia stepped back and found herself standing firmly facing Jarr’oshed. She reached out and touched his hand. The tables turned and now Angelia could see into his mind and future. He no longer held any power over her and she moved at will through the dark confines of his mind.
She saw the fortress in the desert where he had become King and taken command of the army. She saw their march through the desert and his designs for the city and its people. She saw his desire for Ellinsha and felt his lust for the power he could gain. She searched out every thought and detail that concerned the valley where she had lived. He wanted to crush the people of the city and enslave them.
Finally she broke through the last wall in his mind. Angelia pulled back and the connection broke. She stared at Jarr’oshed in disbelief and shock. Her legs trembled and she sank to the ground. She felt the strength slowly leave her body and fear gripped her heart once again.
Jarr’oshed backed away gasping for breath. He stared at her with wonder and awe.
“How did you do that?” he demanded. “You are barely more than a child.” He turned away.
Angelia sat very still and did not answer. Her mind was racing and her heart was pounding. She looked at the trees across the street, they seemed so far away and she felt so very weak. She wanted to run, but she knew she would never get very far. Jarr’oshed walked to her side and pulled her roughly to her feet. He studied her face for a few moments and then laughed, but his laugh was uncertain.
“You are more powerful than I realized, Seeress. My plans will work out better than I thought.”
“Bring her,” he commanded the guards. He turned and walked towards city hall. The guards each grabbed an arm and escorted her down the street.