Book V Epilogue
Laps-du-Ment Grande Ballroom
Visitors flooded out of the ballroom the way they had come-- eager for their own beds, or at least a slow and comfortable ride home in a warm traincar, chattering excitedly about the great fun they had enjoyed this year, pondering how the festivities would be topped in the years to come.
Great gilded carriages pulled by beasts of all kinds pulled up to the stone stairs in a slow procession, passengers climbing into their doors, hanging from the little windows to wave to parting friends with promises to send a lodica to catch up with them in a day or two, or maybe longer.
Kelan rested quietly against a cool stone wall nearby, gazing wistfully at Selarion as he gathered his bag into his carriage to make the journey home.
He wouldn't be going with him tonight; there was too much that needed to be examined here, too much information to gather.
He'd find a safe place to rest and sleep off the evening's highs-- likely a tree in the wilds somewhere-- before he began his search for answers.
It had been good to spend time with Selarion, and even catch up with Bastion after so many years (even if he had inadvertently prevented him from catching Nefirian and putting the fear of the Ancients into him), but now, it was back to business.
Abruptly, something large fell from the sky to land before him, fluffing itself up before gazing into his soul with eyes that were instantly and painfully familiar.
A golden griffin, with a rich, brown mane that faded away into a coat of pure white fur.
Screeching at him, it revealed a scrollcase tied to its leg; he untied it carefully, opening the canister to read the contents as discreetly as he could manage.
The griffin that has presented you with this message is a member of the Templars of Aqk; you will no doubt recognize her influence and have many questions.
These questions will be answered soon, but time is of the essence-- It is absolutely ESSENTIAL that you come to Lassenbhurg the moment you are able to do so.
You and I spoke only once, when you were but a whelp too young to recall, but I am a very old friend of Aqk's, and I require your assistance.
For Sasha's sake, and for the sake of Valenth itself, we implore you.
"Take me, quickly," he said simply, bowing to the feathered beast before climbing upon its back, and in a great blast of wind they were gone.
Elliot fidgeted slightly in line as the conductor loaded the gleaming train, passengers scurrying on with bags and costumes in hand.
The cold autumn air nibbled at her cheek, and she huddled her head in close to her breast, rubbing her hands together to warm them.
But an eager buzz suddenly invaded her space, causing the person just before her to turn his head, scowling in disapproval.
With a squeak, she clapped her hands over the tiny dragonfly lodica, then shuffled out of line to listen to its message in relative privacy, off to the side.
"Greetings, Elliot! How fare you?
I'm calling to inform you that the Interceptor Prototype has successfully entered beta testing phase; we'll be running the final tests and diagnostics soon, and I'd simply love if you could take part.
Would you be able to meet me at the MIRACLE Factory in Gier in a week's time? You can give the old girl a test drive, and we can discuss arrangements for your training sessions to come.
I can't wait to hear from you-- take care, my darling."
Elliot could hardly stop herself from squealing in delight; carefully, she tucked the lodica away within her coat pocket.
She'd send Scott a return message as soon as she was settled in her cabin.
He hated to have taken off without Bast just after the Ball, but important matters needed handling, and having him come along would simply confuse and upset the poor thing.
He'd be happy enough with his prrbs to keep him company on the ride home, for now, and the Thorneleupaks he had hired on as guards would keep him more than safe.
He had spent some much-needed quality time with Kelan, after all-- he'd be fine for a few hours. Perhaps it might've cooled the hot-headed chapter's perpetual anger, as well.
One could only hope.
Nefirian pulled his cape around his shoulders, the tiny mirajin crystals hanging from its edges tinkling like little bells as they collided into each other.
The lodica flew at him like a bullet-- he caught it just inches away from his shoulder, its wings beating furiously between his fingers. He paused to listen, his ears perking in surprise. Finally, he laughed.
"Good to hear from you, Na'th, and well done. Ignore the Court for now; I'm not surprised to hear they've set up shop in Aensdoun as well. Don't tell them a word-- but you know that.
"Have your party gather as many artifacts and tablets as they can find, both from the Trior Grounds and any ruins you can get your hands on, and then I want you to return home.
"Bring Gabriel with you; starting now, he's Main Branch, 1st Class. Just tell him he's getting a promotion and he'll recieve his new orders when he arrives. It's important that you get back home in at two weeks' time or less; plans have changed. In a good way, I feel.
"Love you, puppy. I'll see you when you get home."
Nonchalantly, he threw the tiny robot into the air, watching with a satisfied smile as its wings took action once more, sending it speeding off through the dark tunnel the way it had come.
The rose-skinned viadante standing beside him gently sat a clawed hand upon his shoulder, her flat black eyes like pools of shadow upon her face. He turned his head to grin at her, nodding once before proceeding into the tunnels.
"Now... let's go tame ourselves a lion."
Next Chapter: Book VI Prologue
Category: Book V | Story