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   Chapter 7 No.7

The WeatherMaker Hearts Desire By Lady Lilium Characters: 5466

Updated: 2018-07-10 12:04

'Are you sure?'

She slid back towards the table, pulling up a chair beside Brice, she sat facing him.

'Why are you asking these questions all of a sudden?'

Brice sighed deeply, leaning back in his chair and resting his head back.

'It's just Arlen.'

'Ah' she replied. 'I see.'

'I just worry so much for him. He wants so much from life, but…' Brice shook his head. 'He's just so miserably all the time, so unhappy…it really brings me down.'

'I know you care much for him' Alice said, placing her hand upon his arm and squeezing. 'But you cannot live his life for him. He makes his own choices, as do you.'

'I know.'

'And besides' she continued, 'you have your own things to worry about.'

Brice brightened at this, placing a hand upon her stomach.

'I know, of course you're right' he laughed.

'I know I'm right' she flirted, leaning closer to him teasingly. 'I'm right about everything.'

Brice laughed out at this, taking her in his arms and pulling her towards him. Alice squealed in delight, sitting upon his lap and hugging him. He finished his breakfast eating around her, as she refused to move from that point until his plate was empty.

Once his plate was clear, she took it away. With their son gone out, the two had the place to themselves.

'Alice' he breathed her name as he held her. 'I love you.'

She held him back, hugging him tighter and humming joyfully to herself.

'I love you too' she replied, 'my dear husband.'

Far away, hidden in a clutch of trees on the edge of the small town, was Arlen. Picking twigs from around where he sat and breaking them into pieces, throwing them one by one into the small pond before him. He watched the ripples in the water growing outwards from the point where the twigs had fallen.

The water otherwise was still. Arlen doubted anything lived beneath its surface. The water was murky, and stagnant.

Arlen broke another piece of twig, and threw.

It was many hours later that he risked returning to the town. Moving quickly and keeping his head down, he headed to the one place he felt the safest, the place he spent most of his time when in doubt. The holy temple.

He slipped through the large double doors, closing them quietly behind him. Arlen jogged down the long marble corridors. He glanced up at the stained glass at the end of the path that bore the depiction of the goddess named Micro, elevated in the sky with her single wing outstretched. Arlen entered the main body of the temple through one of the archways, letting out a deep sigh of relief at the familiar sights around him. He hardly noticed the incense anymore, the incense that both of his brothers found so overpowering. He bowed his head respectfully

to a small group of holy women passing by, dressed all in white with their hair covered in white cloths. They each returned his bow, smiling kindly in recognition.

Arlen sighed again; shoulders sagging as his body relaxed. He felt happiest here in this place, more than anywhere else in the world. This temple was more his home than the building he slept in.

Arlen stepped forwards, moving at a gentle pace between the beautiful sculptures of the gods and goddesses around him, admiring each in turn. These were the seven gods that ruled the lands. The gods did not specialize in any single thing, but had small powers in every field. Each of the seven gods were needed to keep the world alive. Or so it was believed.

Arlen picked a statue at random, the goddess Ludas; a beautiful deity, clad in gold with a crown of blue feathers.

Arlen approached the statue, and knelt on the cushions before it. Thinking of what Brice had said to him the last time his brothers had visited him in the temple, he began to pray.

Please, my goddess Ludas, let me find the right woman. I don't want to spend the rest of my life alone.

The next day

'Where is he?' Farrell demanded of Brice.

'I haven't a clue' Brice shrugged back. 'I haven't seen him since the other day when he escaped through your window.'

Farrell gritted his teeth in annoyance. 'Dam him that fool. Doesn't he know how important this is?'

Brice shrugged wordlessly back.

Farrell shook his head in exasperation, dropping the matter from his thoughts; instead he turned to address his men, tens of which were gathered around him.

'Soldiers! Are you ready for battle?'

The host of men threw up their arms to cheer, weapons in hand. Horses tossed their heads and pranced on the spot, whinnying excitedly at the commotion.

'There is a dock near here that's been attacked by pirates' Farrell called over their heads. 'Let us rid our shores of this pirate scum, and send them back to the murky depths where they belong!'

Alastor reared dramatically as the soldiers around him roared in approval and anticipation of the coming fight. Screaming in fury the black stallion tore through the streets and out of the town as Farrell led the charge. The thunder of hooves upon the earth, even from a smaller band of riders would strike fear into the hearts of their enemies, as they rode with shields raised and swords held high. Many of the townsfolk who stayed behind cheered and waved as they departed, sending with them their prayers.

From above, upon a little hilltop on the edge of the small town was a man. Standing upon one of the many balconies of his ostentatious home, he watched as the band of about thirty men rode out of the town.

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