Part 3: Bel

"How do you like our hunting grounds?" the eagle asked.

"Beautiful," breathed Aurelia, in her eagle form. "Absolutely beautiful."

The male eagle looked rather flattered at this compliment of his hunting grounds, but only said, "You may use them, if you like."

"Thankyou, but I must go to the Desert of the Three Suns," she explained. "There is something there that I need." Aurelia suspected that the Fireman of Elements would be there, if anywhere.

At this, the other eagle stiffened, and his manner became distinctly cold.

"If you insist, then I suppose I cannot prevent your going. You must see our chief. He shall know what to do."

The Desert of the Three Suns was unbearably hot. Legend had it that there were three suns trapped in it, but Aurelia scorned these rumours. Surely all deserts were as fiery, and, as far as she knew, the Sahara certainly didn't have three suns in it.

She'd been in this accursed Desert for almost a week now, and detested it with all her heart. Enlil had taught her a charm for water, but it was hard work and always left her exhausted, so she rarely used it.

Now, though, she was dying of thirst, so she began the ritual that summoned water. All of a sudden, there was a squeal of delight, and Aurelia lost her concentration. She stood up and went to investigate.

"Bel! Bel! We're over here!" yelled Enlil and Bris together. "OVER HERE!" Bel turned and, with a cry of delight, ran towards Enlil and Bris as fast as his little golden legs would carry him.

Aurelia watched from a short distance as the three Men of Elements embraced. She had found another Man of Elements. Surely he was the Fireman? Three down, one to go.

Bel led Aurelia out of the Desert as easily as Bris had out of the Labyrinth, but on the way he showed her something that proved the rumours were true.

Standing at the top of a sand dune, he pointed out three suns. "Their light has dulled because they are weak. They long for the sky. One day, they will break away from the ground and we will have four suns in the sky once more," he told her, informing her of an old story of the days when there were four suns in the skies of Erielcqua.

In a few hours, Aurelia was out of the Desert of the Three Suns and well on her way to the Island of Floating. As Bel had said,

"If there's one place that Enki will be - the Waterman of Elements -," he added, noticing Aurelia's puzzled expression, "It's the lake. If you go to the Island of Floating it shouldn't take you long to find him."

To Be Continued...