Seventeen

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Chapter Seventeen

Golden vines wrap around black, marble pillars, rising high to the ceiling where the glass roof allows the gray sky above to be put on display. The dark hall stretches not too far, the size of the hall nothing compared to Kyril's throne room, as this is a palace which is home to a small population of the subjects within the King's realm. The walls are a white stone, stain glass windows holding every shade of blue as they portray the running of water, dark blue fish swimming within, and a war upon the water. The pillars run in two rows parallel to the other, leading up to a humbler throne, a throne woven from white roots, behind the throne a massive window that looks out to the river that runs behind the structure, small houses built on the other side as a wooden bridge leads to them. Around the room are different entrances to halls, either stairs leading up or halls leading further into the building as I wonder if my father is down one of the paths.

Standing beside the king, I can sense how tense he is, how stressed, and I know that although he does not keep his hands close to his sword, he has magic running through his veins. If a fight must occur, I should choose to stay beside him, as he will use his magic and I can easily take hold of his sword, but if he turns his magic on me I am out of luck.

"My King, the High One will be with us shortly," the elf that led us here announces as the doors we came from shut behind us, all the men on this journey standing in the hall as we await the elven ruler. With my heart beating fast and I find myself on edge, my eyes scan the hall over and over, looking to the doorways in case I catch sight of my father.

The elven women leaves us along in the hall, swallowed in the shadows of the hallway she enters, leaving us to the silence of the room. "It is a truly interesting story how this elven ruler gained her title," Kyril disrupts the silence, turning to me as he tries to make conversation. "The battle she fought five decades ago when she was just finding herself, that battle marked her out as a force to be reckoned with."

"What did she do?" I ask, knowing a conversation will help calm me down, to take my mind off my father.

Kyril looks to the throne, eyes swirling with a dark green color, a silver ring created around his pupil. "A dragon had attacked the mountains we just traveled over, her tribe fighting against a swarm of goblins whose ruler had trained a dragon years back. Her brother had fallen in battle beside her, body turned to white ash as he was scorched by the beast. When the dragon landed and was to bite the head off the elven ruler at the time, she took her axe and chopped off its head in one swing. She trapped the dragon's soul in a locket. Dragon souls require a dark magic to trap, but many have tried to do so because when you trap the soul of the dragon, you can feed off the strength they once had, allowing you to live longer, to even become stronger."

"So, because she trapped the soul of the dragon she has become feared by many?" I ask, the men around us listening in.

"No, not just that, Lady Candice," Kyril informs. "It takes a certain person to use that soul to help them live longer and become more powerful, but it takes a dark soul to craft that dragon soul into a weapon they use to destroy even the innocent." I raise an eyebrow, hoping he will elaborate on what exactly this elven woman did. Kyril leans in, face close to mine, a storm of gray and dark blue swirling in his eyes. "She killed a god with it, trying to capture that god's soul as well, but because the magic she used was so powerful, it destroyed the god's soul before it could even escape his body."

Duke Gravon looks to me, an expression of fear all because of me. "It is one thing to kill a god, Lady Candice, but it is another to destroy their soul."

Footsteps echo in the hall, coming closer as Kyril's men get to their knees, bowing their heads as the King stands still. As the footsteps draw even closer, I find myself following Duke Gravon as he gets to his knees, wanting to show respect for this woman. She killed a god because of the dragon soul she absorbed. If my relative absorbed the soul of a god, his power would have been even greater compared to this elf's.

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