VIII

"That may be the last time I will ever be going in there. It isn't enjoyable when you have to deal with desire and greed demons." It has been a few hours since Morgan was sent into the Haze, Edilio was finally himself now. He was over by the bookshelves not too far from us, humming happily. As we enter Arl Gideon's chamber room. "It is finally over" Bann Huggins lets out a deep sigh, placing his hands on his face. "Edilio is himself now. It does not seem like he remembers anything, which is a blessing." He drops his hands and Edilio runs off to the other room. "It's so odd to think that the boy is a sorcerer. We have decided it is only best that we send him to the Circle of Magyx for training…once the war is over."

"I think that would be best" I comment. "The Sorcerer, Darius is still alive. I know that without his help, Edilio would not have been saved, but he poisoned my brother and we cannot allow him roaming freely. What do you think?" The Bannorne asks and I cross my arms. What did I think? "To be honest, I think Darius should be left here to tutor Edilio so this wouldn't happen again." I reply. "That is a good point, but with Arl Gideon's current state, I don't think allowing him free from captivity would be a good idea" Bann Huggins says. "I would have him executed if we cannot decide." Lady Fiona says and Niall over hears our conversation. "Wait a minute, he may have messed up but that's going too far." He protests and I hold him back. "Let him live and think over what he has done." He says, finally relaxing. "And who are you?" Lady Fiona asks. "Darius…is my older brother." Just that very sentence silenced the room. "Your older brother?" Bann Huggins asks. "He really isn't my brother, but I have known him for as long as I can remember. We're just traveling writers, only he is also a mage…" Niall explains. "I see. I will keep him in the dungeons until further notice. I will allow the Arl to take care of him…if he ever awakens."

The servants who were able to survive the reign of terror surrounded Arl Gideon. His eyes closed and he almost looked as if he really did pass on. "Is he still alive?" I ask one of the servants. "He is breathing, yes, but his time of end is almost here." He answers. "There is no cure! We are going to lose Arl Gideon!" Someone sobs. "There has to be something that can cure this." I say. "The Ashes of Celesteral." Everyone turns to Lady Fiona.

"What? The Ashes of the Maker's wife is very sacred and isn't it just a story? No one has been able to get their hands on it, why would you think we could?" Illana suddenly speaks out.

"I have heard of that story." A servant says. "Celesteral's ashes are supposed to have incredible healing powers; that just a pinch is enough to cure a man from anything."

I was a little confused of what was happening. "Where would these ashes be?" I ask. "…other than in the Whispering Mountains."

"The Wood Elves know!" Someone says. "They always move from one place to another, they must have been to the temple of Celesteral."

"Don't you mean the Gallius Elves?" Another asks. "Yes, the ashes of Celesteral." Darius mutters. "Is it selfish that we are to enter there?" Illana asks gripping onto the charm on her neck. "I don't think so…Gideon is the one we are giving it to." Niall says. "We would just have to try then." I speak. "What is everyone saying?" Lady Fiona asks. "You have all heard wrong. My husband funded a scholar in Venearim to research the sacred urn. It may be that the Gallius elves would be familiar with the outer terrain, but those elves could be anywhere. I promise you, seek out this scholar instead" She pleads. "I have sent knights in search of Vigil, but he has turned up missing. I have sent more knights to search for him or any clues on the urn, but nothing has turned up" She continues and I became a little concerned of the situation. "Judging by the Arl's current state, I can say you have two months, maybe fewer than that." I hear someone speak. "I will seek out this scholar. What is his name?" I ask. "Vigil, he has residence in Venearim. Find him, please." Lady Fiona says. "I know that person." Niall says. "His works are incredible".

I clear my throat and stretched my arms. "We would have to act soon then." I turn to my party. "We should leave now." Illana and Morgan exit the room before I do and I follow after them. "Wait…" Someone grabs my arm and slowly, I thought I almost saw Leander at that moment. My mind recalls a memory in the past of something that had happened between Leander and I that involved this same motive, but it was only Niall. "I…would like to come with you…please." He asks releasing my arm instantly. "What?" Morgan surprisingly remarks. "As a fellow writer, I know Vigil very well through his works. I'm the only who can help you find him…it's the only thing I can do to repay for what Darius has done." He says. The look in his eyes was dark and he wasn't hesitant, or even afraid. "I'm serious."

There was no time to argue and I reminded myself that the more help we could get to fight the abyssal, the better. "If you're willing to work with a Tyber, or a broody elf, you are more than welcome to come along, but we can't guarantee your safety." I gesture to Niall. "I'm willing to…but I will keep an eye on them." Niall answers. "Wait…did you say a Tyber?"

"We will be off now. We will return as soon as possible." I wave my hand to stop him from talking. "Good luck on your quest" Bann Huggins says.

We leave the castle, knowing a big payment has been paid in order to keep Greatmore at peace. Clove has returned to her father and Gregory was very please. Greatmore village was back to itself, but time was not on our side with the Arl in his current condition. Whatever we chose to do, it had to be quick and we only had one chance.