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   Chapter 8 No.8

The WeatherMaker Hearts Desire By Lady Lilium Characters: 5023

Updated: 2018-07-10 12:04


The Duke, a man called Bairn was a beefy man reaching into his fifties. Slowly balding with aging skin, his luxurious lifestyle had given him the large belly that came with rich meals and much drinking. He had moved to this quiet part of the map to retire from the harder parts of his work.

Many years ago he had married the daughter of a high lord; she was far younger than him, and a true beauty. Unlike her husband, she had kept most of her good looks as she aged, despite the fact that her life had been so wrought with grief. The many children they had had over the years, had dwindled in number. Now there were only three.

Bairn turned away from the balcony, returning to his home. He found his two remaining sons in the library. They were young men in their early twenties, sombre figures, both dressed all in pure black. One son was seated with a book on his lap, the other loomed before a bookshelf like a ghostly figure.

'Where is your sister?' Bairn spoke up, breaking the silence in the room.

His sons looked up. They both had dreamy expressions, and never seemed to concentrate on anything that didn't grasp their interest for more than a few moments.

'She is outside' his eldest answered in a weak voice, barely audible. He returned his attention to the book on his lap.

'She likes it outside' the younger son replied, speaking to the books on the shelf before him. 'She doesn't like being behind these walls.'

The Duke frowned at his sons. 'I suppose I needn't have asked.'

He waited for a response from either of his sons, when none came, he left.

Bairn found his daughter within the garden, where she spent most of her time. The high walled garden at the back of the home was large with all manner of beautiful trees and flowers within. There were fountains where birds sang and bathed, small ponds where koi swam, and ornaments depicting the creatures that were not found within the garden, those that had not found a way to cross the wall. Creatures like foxes and dear and otters, even a tortoise, if you were observant and patient enough to find it.

His daughter stood with her back to him, singing the most beautiful melody. He paused for a moment to listen.

Soft and lyrical like heavens own chorus, her voice was perfect, and sweet.

Only when she was finished, did she turn and spot her father, though she did not look surprised to see him there.

Bairn smiled at her sweetly, stepping off the stone path and onto the neat grass of the garden before

him.

'Ramana' he said.

'Father' she bowed her head to him respectively.

'I'm sorry I've not spent much time with you lately' he said to her. 'I've been…'

'Busy' she finished. 'I know. Doing dukey things, gathering taxes here, supplying armour there, it must all be very exhausting.'

'Indeed' Bairn finished dryly. He cleared his throat, pondering on how he should proceed. 'Listen to me my daughter; you will not be a child forever. Tomorrow will be your eightieth birthday; then you can leave these walls and be free.'

'I know' she nodded.

'You can come and go as you wish.'

'I know.'

'Are you not pleased?'

She bowed her head to him. 'I wonder what waits for me out there. I feel a dark presence, that of which I cannot place.'

'Are you frightened?'

'Not frightened' she replied, 'merely…curious.'

'I see.' He cleared his throat again. 'I just wanted to check that you are well.'

'I am' she replied curtly.

'Well…good.'

'There really is no need to worry about me father.'

'There is every need' he argued. 'You are my daughter, the only one I've ever had. You are a treasure that must be guarded…and cherished.' He dipped his head to her. 'I must leave now; I've much to do…dukey things and all that.'

She smiled at him.

'Right' Bairn fumbled. 'I will…just leave now.' He waved awkwardly at her before strolling away, leaving Ramana alone once more.

She chuckled to herself as she watched him go, feeling a warmth growing inside her heart. She loved her father very much.

'Tomorrow' she sighed to herself. 'A new dawn…' she opened her hand, catching one of the many falling petals from the trees around her. 'A new life.'

Farrell led the charge as his troupe of nearly thirty men descended upon the harbour.

The pirates who had begun to make themselves at home, clearly not expecting much resistance, or at least not so soon, were caught off guard.

Farrell made the first kill, swinging low his sword at an unsuspecting sail boy. The poor fool had not known what was coming.

The mounted soldiers tore through the harbour, killing all in their path that were not of their own. Within what felt like no time at all, the carnage was over, and any remaining pirates, those that had fled or hidden on their ships, were retained. The innocent bystanders who had been caught up in the attack rose to their feet now, others coming out of the buildings they had been hiding in, and all were cheering. Farrell ignored their calls and praise.

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