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   Chapter 108 No.108

The WeatherMaker Hearts Desire By Lady Lilium Characters: 5440

Updated: 2018-07-11 12:02


The journey took several days, and was uneventful. When they arrived at their destination, they were shocked by what they saw. The village they had come to had been completely destroyed.

'What on earth happened here?' Annabel gasped in astonishment at the sight of it all.

The place was utterly deserted. The houses had been burned to the ground, their thatched roofs had quickly caught fire, leaving little behind other than blackened charred remained of a life that once was. Amongst the wreckage that was still smoking, could be seen evidence of life that had continued normally, until suddenly everything changed. Within one of the houses they passed, could be seen a table that had somehow managed to survive. Upon it were several plates, with meals half-finished. And amongst and within the houses all around, bodies lay; even some of the animals had been killed.

'It's a terrible thing that's happened here' Tristan said dismounting his horse. 'These people' he looked around him, 'they did not deserve this.'

'How did you know this was here?' Carrot asked the prince suspiciously. 'Did you kill these people?'

'I did not' Tristan replied. 'Look at the houses. They still smoulder. No, this attack happened recently. I've been travelling with you long enough now.'

'Did your men kill these people?' Carrot clarified.

'No' Tristan answered shortly.

'But you still knew about it' Flute Stick said, glaring at him. 'How is that?'

Tristan took a deep breath as if about to speak, but then merely sighed, staring at the ground in thought.

'You withhold information again' Annabel told him in displeasure. 'I knew we couldn't trust you.'

'It's' not that' Tristan replied. 'It's just….I don't know how best to explain.'

'Shhh' Barrel suddenly hissed. 'Do you hear that? What's that sound?'

The others fell silent to listen. They heard the strange noise again.

'Is that……a baby?' Arlen whispered incredulous.

The others all turned in the direction of the noise. Tristan looked on silently.

'What in the name of the gods…?' Arlen walked forwards towards one of the houses. The others followed him, the prince's armoured soldiers trailed afterwards.

Inside, the house was a smouldering wreck. The air was still thick with smoke. The stairs had collapsed and most of what lay inside was left beyond recognition.

Annabel followed closely after Arlen, stepping over the blackened remains of the beams that had once held up the ceiling.

'Careful' Shawn hissed after her. 'It's dangerous.'

She paused to look back at him; before continuing onwards, covering her mouth and coughing as she went. The crying baby she found had been hidden in a cupboard on the ground floo

r, tucked away in a corner.

Annabel reached forwards into the cupboard, taking the child in her arms. She rose with her back to the others, turning to face them.

It was a little girl she held.

There was movement suddenly to one side. A groan, a hand reaching up, a piece of wood was knocked over.

Tristan came up behind the others, spotting an old man who had suddenly made himself known.

'Strangers' he moaned in agony, propping himself up on his elbow. 'You…you are not the bad ones…?'

'Bad ones?' Annabel repeated, holding the still crying child tenderly in her arms.

'What happened here old man?' Woodworm asked, kneeling beside him.

'We tried to protect her' the figure said, clutching a wound at his side and grimacing as he spoke. 'We tried to protect her, but he didn't like it….instead…he killed us all…and took her anyway.'

'Who?' Woodworm asked impatiently. 'Who attacked this place?'

'The king.'

'The king?' Woodworm echoed.

Arlen glanced sideways towards the prince. 'I think you've got some explaining to do.'

'Why should we not just kill you now you lying bastard?' Woodworm snarled up at him.

'My soldiers outnumber you' Tristan answered simply. 'If I had wanted a fight I could have killed you all easily without bothering to lead you all this way.'

'Then explain yourself' Farrell said to him. 'Why would your father do such a thing?'

'He is searching for Weather Makers' Tristan told them.

'Why?'

'It's...difficult to explain.'

'Then I will do the explaining' the old man interrupted. He forced himself to sit up, his body tense in agony. He pushed himself back to lean against the wall, letting out a deep sigh. He then faced Annabel who held the baby, speaking to her.

'That girl is my granddaughter.'

'What happened here?' Annabel asked him. 'Why is everyone dead? Why did the king do this?'

'My daughter' the old man began, 'her mother' he indicated the baby, 'is a Weather Maker. The king wanted her, but she's much loved in this little village, the people stood up to defend her…and they paid for it with their lives.'

'Why does the king want Weather Makers?' Farrell asked him.

'I don't know' the old man shook his head. 'He just took her, and killed anyone who got in his way…and then he killed everyone else….' The old man gritted his teeth, before continuing. 'He took her, and now she's gone. I don't know where she is, or if I will ever see her again…but I'm thinking that if the king was so desperate to get a hold of her…she must be important in some way.' He lifted his head to the others hopefully. 'Maybe she is still alive….maybe….' he let out a deep sigh. His shoulders sagged, and his eyes became distant.

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