MoboReader> Fantasy > The Curse of Kalaan

   Chapter 19 The time has come

The Curse of Kalaan By Linda Saint Jalmes Characters: 18841

Updated: 2018-05-18 10:25


Virginie hurriedly pulled her dress on over her naked body while Kalaan strode into the next room, coming out a few minutes later wearing dark trousers and pulling on a white shirt. His face was taut with tension as he glanced at the young women. She nodded her head to confirm she was ready before he turned the key in the lock and opened the door onto Lil' Louis. The chief mate was standing there, deathly pale, fist in the air ready to start pounding again.

"Mabig1! There's been trouble!" he shouted as he entered the room. He was in such a state of turmoil that he didn't notice Virginie in the room.

"You're injured!" Kalaan exclaimed in concern as he took a step forward. Lil' Louis' shirt was covered in blood.

"'Tisn't mine!" the old man reassured his captain as he pulled his trousers up over his potbelly.

"Who…?"

"Let me speak lad and I'll tell ye! This mornin' we took the Darius person and the priest on board like ye asked. 'Tis certain! We had a good laugh, t'were all sick as dogs all the day, the boat was pitchin' hard. Oy even thought they were gonners, they dinna move until we reached shore this evenin'. The boys carried Charles-Louis onto the levee and put him on the cart. But the other one… when we turned round for him, he was standin' straight and tall, fresh as a daisy! Ma Doue, Oy've never seen anything like it! It takes a week for a man to recover like that. The last time Oy vomited for hours…"

"And the blood?" Kalaan interrupted him impatient to learn the origin of the red stains.

"Ya, " Lil' Louis sighed as he scratched his head. He was avoiding the count's eyes, to hide his sadness. "'Tis yer wolf, " he finally said. "'Came out of nowhere and started growlin' and barin' his teeth at Darius. 'Twas scary he was, th'beast! Most o' the men were petrified. But… not Darius. He started laughin' and the wolf leaped at 'im. That's where the devil pulled out a knife and stabbed the wolf in midair! He was laughin' like a madman and would have stabbed the poor beast again and again if we hadn't surrounded him! Doue... he enjoyed that... and his laugh... t'would freeze yer blood."

The entire time the old man was speaking Kalaan quietly listened. He stood very still with a darkly dangerous expression on his face. He was once again the ruthless pirate, ready to face the enemy. Everything about him made him almost frightening the controlled rage, his nostrils flaring with every breath. He understood that after detecting the scent of the person who had killed the sheep, the husky followed his trail all the way to the port where he found Darius Borgas.

"He's crazy, that one, yes he is, " Lil' Louis declared sitting heavily on the bench facing the door. "He, he licked th'blood on the knife and went off towards the inn whistlin', as if nothing happened."

After hearing Lil' Louis' horrible account of what happened to Skedaddle, Virginie's legs were shaking, but she hid her fear and approached the old sea dog, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder, which made him jump. It was the first time he noticed her presence in the room.

"Mam'selle Ginny, yer here!" he cried out, trying unsuccessfully to stand up. The young woman took his hands in hers and sat next to him.

"It's all right, Lil' Louis, you're with us now, " she whispered, using a voice she would have used with a child. She wanted to reassure him, but also reassure herself. Darius' behavior proved he was a lunatic.

"Nann2, not after what I saw..." he murmured, shaking his head as if to forget the horrible scene.

"I will take care of him, " Kalaan growled through his clenched teeth, his voice hardened and hoarse with anger. He put on his boots and jacket before attaching his sword to his waist and picking up his pistol.

Now it was Lil' Louis turn to keep Virginie from standing up. She wanted to block Kalaan's path.

"You won't be able to stop him, " he said to her. "And you mustn't!" In a louder voice he addressed Kalaan, who was leaving the longhouse. "'Tisn't dead!"

"Who?" asked the young count, who had stopped and turned his head. Virginie could see the muscles of his clenched jaw and the blood pulsing in his artery.

"The wolf, I took it to Jaouen and Salam. When I left them, he was still breathing, but he's lost a lot of blood…"

Kalaan nodded understanding the message Lil' Louis was trying to pass — that the husky was dying. His eyes met Virginie's; the young woman was silent, her face tense with anguish and he took her in his arms.

"Return to the castle with Lil' Louis. He can then go find Clovis, and tell him everything that's happened."

"The butler?" the chief mate asked in surprise.

"'Tis an excellent ally, " explained Kalaan. "As for you, my sweet, you must warn my mother and sister and then lock yourself in a room upstairs, preferably your own room so I will know where to find you. Do not come down unless I call you. Is that clear?"

Virginie nodded her head.

"And the duchess?" she asked, trying to steady her voice to show Kalaan he could count on her.

The count gave her a smile dripping with irony."You do nothing about her; just leave her be."

He kissed Virginie rapidly on the lips, then pulled away and headed straight for the door. Just before leaving he gave Lil' Louis some last instructions.

"I want all the men armed and ready to act. In the fortress, the village and the lighthouse. Darius Borgas is dangerous! Let him return to the castle for supper and when he arrives in the sitting room I will be there to close the trap.

Lil' Louis' eyes lit up at the thought of vengeance as he squared his shoulders

frowned. Dorian had fallen silent again, and was staring into space; but for the young count the story could not possibly end there. Something enormous was missing and Kalaan wanted to know what it was.

"Did the memories reveal your name to you?" he asked.

"No, that came from Jaouen's visions… but not only, " Dorian replied, before nodding at the druid and falling silent again.

Apparently they'd had another silent exchange, and Kalaan's face clouded over again. What were they hiding from him?

"Nothing, " Jaouen said. "We're waiting for the right moment to reveal everything to you, because your destiny and Dorian's are linked. They always have been, even well before you were born. His parents were not ordinary people, at least not to me, the world of druids and the Sidhes. We, the guardians of knowledge, call them the children of the gods. They are the descendants of men born from the love between humans and deities."

"Are you serious?" Kalaan gasped in dismay.

He wondered if his friends hadn't fallen on their heads or had too much to drink before his arrival, unless it was the plants Jaouen smoked. Honestly! Demi-gods?

"Remember the legend of the broken circle."

"Exactly! 'Tis but a legend!" Kalaan exclaimed.

"And what about your curse? Is that too a fantasy?"

Kalaan was stunned. Despite everything he'd seen and what he was experiencing personally, he still could not believe it, that is until Dorian slowly turned towards him and his eyes came alive with a sparkling glimmer. The buccaneer jumped back sending his stool rolling across the room. Seconds later Dorian was staring at him with his own dark eyes.

"Wh… what did you just do?"

"I revealed a small part of what I am, and still I have not yet mastered all of my powers, what my Tuareg father called my gifts from Allah. I can call on the elements, read thoughts, see people's auras, and most recently heal, " Dorian ended his list gesturing towards the husky.

"Kalaan, " Jaouen called to him quietly, "Dorian belongs to a very powerful clan of children of the gods from the northern Highlands. I know this thanks to his memories, but also to a locket he has among his possessions. It holds the portraits of his parents and their names are written on it in Scottish Gaelic. This clan lives in seclusion, and its land is protected from the rest of the world by the magic of ancient runes. When the moment comes, Dorian will go to them and take his rightful place as a son of Saint-Clare. The day he returns to his people I will follow him. I have been waiting for some sign from the gods for a very long time. As I told you, your paths and mine were predestined to join."

Dorian stood up abruptly on the lookout and moved his head as if listening to a strange sound.

"We must go to the castle, right now!" he urged. As he spoke he moved his wrist to activate the mechanism that held his telak on his forearm.

The blade, hidden beneath his sleeve, slid out quickly with a low whistling sound, and returned to its sheath just as quickly after a second movement of Dorian's wrist. The husky woke up and whined, trying to get back up on its feet.

"You stay here, boy, " Kalaan murmured as leaned down to pet the dog. "You've done quite enough already today and have earned your rest."

Dorian and Kalaan looked at each other for a minute and then gave each other a friendly smile as they used to do before heading towards the door.

"Take care!" Jaouen called out to them as they left, but he wasn't certain they'd heard him because the two men had already dashed out into the night. "There is still too much doubt hanging over your futures, " he said to himself and with a worried expression he pushed shut the door to his cottage.

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