Lord of the Wolves Chapter Twenty-Seven

March 17th, 2018  |  Published in Haventon Chronicles  |  1 Comment

Start | LoTW Chapter Twenty-Six | Index | LoTW Chapter Twenty Eight

 

Carry me out of here, Lost Child, and I will guide you safely to our allies. ​

That definitely had to be the crown, Laurel decided. There was nothing else in here it could be.

“Our allies? You mean your allies​?” she asked. “How do I know they are mine.”

I mean Our allies, Lost Child.​ They are the same thing, especially should you choose to accept me.

“Accept you? What do you mean? I’m not a mistwalker. And why do you keep calling me that? I may have been kidnapped but I know where I am.”

No, you aren’t, but you should have been. The traitor stole your birthright, but you can reclaim it, should you choose. Though I will not force you to as some Hallows would in these circumstances.

Laurel felt her mouth drop open and forced herself to shut it. “I-I should have been a mistwalker?”

You should have been, and so much more than that if you chose. Carry me out of here and reclaim your choice.

Laurel eyed the crown suspiciously for a moment. “Can you really help me get out of here?”

I would not say it could I not.

She hesitated a moment longer then snatched it up and looped it over one arm, glad that the golden thorns did not pierce her skin, but this was going to be awkward.. “Okay, at the very least taking you to her enemies should annoy that bitch. So where to? Back along the path?”

There is no need for that on the way out. That test only happens on the way in.​

“Okay, that’s good.” Laurel carried it to the door then transformed into her mist form and slid under it. As she did she felt the crown observing her. It seemed surprised by the ability for some reason.

Oh, you are an interesting creature, aren’t you? I can see why you chose to become this when you were denied your true form.

Wait? You’ve never met a vampire before? she asked.

Your kind didn’t exist the last time I was free, Lost Child. My bearers have encountered the undead before, but nothing quite like you.

You’ve been locked in there a very long time then, Laurel continued with mental speech even as she regained her physical form. She did not want to clue her enemies in as to where she was by speaking aloud.

I have, it agreed. The traitor never wanted anyone to be able to claim me.

Will claiming you stop this ritual she has aimed at me? Laurel asked hopefully as she began climbing that ridiculously long staircase back up to the dungeons.

There was a definite hesitation before it replied. Unfortunately not. Only the death of the Winter King will do that, but I made contact with the Summer Grail as soon as you removed me from my prison, and it tells me that the Summer Herald and Winter Warrior are working on that already.

David took up the Winter Blade then? she asked. I suppose she didn’t give him much choice trying to kill him like that.

I suppose not, it said. But I suspect the boy would have taken it up anyway if the Summer Grail is right about his sense of duty.

I don’t know him well enough to comment, Laurel said. She climbed the rest of the way in silence until she reached the heavy door to the dungeon. I’m not sure how long I can keep shifting to mistform before it gets too much for me. I fed but I’m starting to feel hungry again.

Just twice more and we’ll be free, it replied.

I think I can manage that. She slipped into her mistform and slid under the door.

Jana was still there, weeping by her daughters’ cell. Laurel gave her a wide bearth but this time the faerie woman must have noticed the mist creeping along the floor from the corner of her eye. She turned sharply and stared directly at Laurel for a moment, eyes wide before opening her mouth to yell a warning to the guards.

Laurel was faster, taking her physical form and clapping a hand over the woman’s mouth, but she couldn’t hold her like this forever. What to do? What to do? She reached out mentally to the crown which was still looped over her arm. Do you have any ideas?

“Push her over here.” It wasn’t the crown that replied but a blue skinned, white haired goblinlike creature in one of the other cells. “I’ll hold the Rose girl while you get her daughters out of that cage.”

Can we trust him? Laurel asked. She received a mental shrug in response.

He’s a snow imp, a winter daemon so I can’t read him. But it seems likely he is at least the traitor’s enemy which may incline him to help us.

Plus he suggested rescuing her daughters. I think that’s a good sign. Laurel hoped she was right about that because she didn’t think she had any choice if she wanted to escape. She murmered an apology in Jana’s ear and pushed her down into the snow imp’s arms. He quickly took over holding her mouth before she could scream. He was a lot stronger than his small size suggested.

Laurel turned back to the cage and looked at the two girls who were watching her with solemn, frightened eyes but who hadn’t called for help. She stared at the bars for a moment then grabbed them and pulled with all her vampire strength. They bent with surprising ease allowing the two girl’s to escape.

“Thank you, vampire lady,” one of them said before running to Jana. “Let’s run away with the vampire lady, mummy. I don’t want to stay here and I know you don’t either.”

“I’m going to let you go now, Rose girl,” the ice imp said. “Just remember if you scream you’ll have to explain what your little ones are doing out of their cage.”

Jana obviously took that to heart because she didn’t yell for help though she did glare at Laurel resentfully.

“You are going to get my daughters killed,” she whispered. “And you won’t even save your–” She broke off and stared at the crown looped over Laurel’s arm. “That… is that…”

“Yes, Rose girl,” the snow imp said drily. “That is the Summer Crown.”

“But… but… Where in the world did you get that? It was stolen over two thousand years ago!”

“It was in a warded chamber under the dungeons,” Laurel said. “That’s where I’ve just come from.”

“Under… but that means…” Jana sank to her knees with her hands over her mouth. “It was never stolen? Gwen hid it?” She looked at Laurel with wide eyes. “Wait how did you know where it was?”

“It told me,” Laurel said.

Jana looked even more shocked at that if it were possible. “I don’t understand.”

“Yes, you do, Rose girl,” the snow imp said. “You just don’t want to.” He looked at Laurel. “My Lady, I and many of the others in this hellhole are members of what is generally called the Rebel Court. If you release us it will be our honour to create a distraction for you to assist your escape.”

“I think there’s something she needs more than a distraction right now, Alain,” someone said from the next cell. “She looks young for a vampire and she’s been using her powers quite a bit.”

Laurel turned to look at the speaker and saw a wizened old woman with green hair and teeth watching her from behind iron bars.

The snow imp – who must be Alain – snorted at that. “Well yes, Kay,” he agreed. “But I don’t think Winter blood would be good for her.”

“Then it’s a good job I’m Summer.” Kay stuck her arm through the bars cautiously. “Take what you need and get the crown to the Summer Herald, My Lady.”

“You’re both right,” Laurel said. “I have made myself hungry and a distraction would be very helpful.” She knelt by Kay’s cage. “Are you sure about this.”

“Of course,” she said. “My brother is a red cap and I let him feed on me often… or I did when I was free.”

“Thank you,” Laurel said. She bit down cautiously and took as little as she dared from Kay. Her blood was just as rich as Jana’s but not as flavoursome, there was an undertaste of river weed and water. She eyed Kay thoughtfully as she pulled back. “You are some sort of river fairy?”

Kay nodded and smiled at her. “I am indeed. Did you take enough.”

“I think so,” Laurel said. “At least I’m not as hungry any more.” She took hold of the bars and ripped them open just as she had those for Jana’s daughters, before moving on to Alain’s cage which was even easier to open as the bars were gold. “Is there anyone I shouldn’t let out?”

Kay and Alain looked around the cages holding their fellow prisoners and whispered to each other, before stopping in front of a cage holding what appeared to be a perfectly normal human.

“Him,” Kay said. “Leave him here. In fact we should open his cage and kill him to make sure he doesn’t escape.” She spat at him through the bars.

“Uh, what did he do? He looks human?”

“He is human,” Alain said flatly. “Though not for want of trying. He’s a Hollower – a power stealing mage. Gwen’s been keeping him alive so she can torture his knowledge out of him.”

Laurel stared at the young man, he looked harmless but Michael had told her about Hollowers. If Alain and Kay were right this guy was probably the most dangerous person in the cells.

“Don’t listen to them, girl. You should let me out. I’m the only one who can help you.” There was something very unpleasant about the man’s tone and the predatory smile he gave her was even worse. “She’s going to Hollow you, after all. and I know how to stop the curse.”

“Like I’d trust you,” Laurel said. “You’d probably stop her by stealing my soul yourself.”

The mage just chuckled. “Run away then. You’ll be back when you realise how badly you need my knowledge, girl.” He sat back in his cell, looking completely relaxed.

Laurel scowled at him and turned away. “Are all the other’s safe to release?”

“Yeah,” Kay said. “At least none of them will kill you, I think.”

“I really wish you hadn’t put that think on the end!” Laurel went from cell to cell breaking them open until a dozen assorted mistwalkers stood around her. Fortunately it seemed Kay was right and none of them attacked, She looked over at Jana and her daughter’s. “Come here. I’ll try and sneak you out with me – though carrying three of you may be a bit too much.”

“Thank you.” Jana was still staring at the crown, but she reached out and took Laurel’s hand. Her two little girls grabbed on as well.

Laurel gritted her teeth and shifted to her mistform again, taking the three of them with her. It was hard, like carrying an elephant. She had never felt sluggish in this form before and it was all she could do to carry them under the door and past the guards. Once she was out of sight of them she found an alcove, slid back to her physical form and sank to her knees.

“Ugh,” she said. “That was hard.”

Just once more, Lost Child, the crown said.

Out of the corner of her eye Laurel saw Jana jump and realised she could hear it too. Laurel looked over at her.

“Where’s the nearest window?”

Jana looked around apparently getting her bearings before pointing along the corridor. “That way.”​

“Okay, we’ll lie low until we hear all hell break loose and then run for it.”

 

Start | LoTW Chapter Twenty-Six | Index | LoTW Chapter Twenty Eight

One Response to “Lord of the Wolves Chapter Twenty-Seven”

  1. torvawk says:

    I was halfway to almost right!!!

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