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The WeatherMaker Hearts Desire By Lady Lilium Characters: 4900

Updated: 2018-07-11 19:03

'Who do you pray for?' Farrell asked her.

The holy woman, dressed in white with her hair covered, and a blue sash tied around her waist, turned to face him.

'A friend' the woman replied. 'A very good friend, who died protecting me. I miss him dearly. I will never forget what he did for me.'

She stepped back and considered Farrell then.

'Who are you?' she asked him. 'Are you a traveller?'

'Traveller? Yes, I suppose I am' Farrell answered.

'My name is Layla' the woman said. 'I saw you from a distance.' She smiled at him. 'What do you pray for when you speak to the gods?'

'For things to be as they should' Farrell replied simply.

'Don't we all wish the same' Layla beamed.

She nodded to Farrell, before leaving the hall.

Farrell watched her go, before his attention drifted back to the great statue before, craning his head back to its tip, so tall that it was.

He watched the statue for several minutes, deep in thought. And then he heard a scream.

Farrell wheeled around, instinctively running towards the source of the noise. Through the hall beyond the archway he ran. He saw the healer Layla, being dragged by a soldier who held her by the wrist. Layla tried to resist, pulling back from the soldier, her efforts though in vain.

A memory flashed in Farrell's mind then, one of Annabel. He remembered the day they had first taken her with them, the day she had been confronted by soldiers. He remembered how they had grabbed Annabel by the wrist, and dragged her.

On that day the others had rushed to her aid. On this day, Farrell did the same.

He charged towards the soldier, grabbing a heavy candle holder as he went and swinging it as hard as he could at the soldier, striking him across the head.

The soldier immediately let go of Layla, rounding on him and snarling in furry.

'You bastard' he growled, stepping towards Farrell and whipping out a knife from his belt. 'I'll kill you for that.'

The soldier lunged for Farrell, but he was young and inexperienced. Farrell was able to disarm him easily in seconds, driving the knife through his throat, and watching him bleed to death as he threw him to the floor.

Instantly cries of terror from the holy men and women sounded all around.

'Defiled! Defiled! Our temple had been defiled!'

They began to scatter, the woman Layla had stumbled back and fallen in shock at what she had seen. The dead soldier lay still bleeding, and

Layla stared up at Farrell now in fear.

Farrell turned to her, the pieces in his mind falling into place. He glanced back at the soldier at his feet, his armour bearing the crest of royalty.

Farrell's heart stopped in his chest, recognising the symbol as the same one, not as the king wore, but as the prince wore. A wolf running up a steep mountainside.

He glanced back at the holy woman at his feet, holding his breath.

'It cannot be' he whispered, as the sudden realisation came crashing down upon him. Everything he had been fighting for since he left his home, all the pain and uncertainty he had suffered since he had first had the dream that set him on his quest. Since the very moment she had been taken when she was a child over a decade ago. Everything in his life, everything, had been driving him towards this point. Towards finding her. He had failed his wife, but he would not fail his daughter. Not again.

He fell to his knees, too weak with shock to bear it.

'My prayers have been answered…'

'What?' the woman gasped uncertainly, her chest rising and falling as she breathed deeply, still in shock at what had just happened.

'Please…' Farrell breathed, reaching a shaking hand towards her. 'Please let it be you…my daughter.'

Part 3

Chapter Forty Nine

The Man on Green Wings

'The petals wither and fall from their flower. The leaves from the trees, once beautifully they danced in the wind, now fall to the earth as only dead waste. The grass once green and lush now fades away, covered by a blanket of frost. Another year has passed' the king said turning from the window in the study, 'and another year I am forced to endure life without her. You have a chance to do a good thing. Why not make it so?'

'There is nothing I can do' the Weather Maker repeated for the hundredth time. 'I think it's time to face reality. Come out of your grieving. You have to face the fact that she may never wake.'

'No' the king repeated. 'I will never stop trying to save her.'

'Then many will continue to suffer because of your unwillingness to face the truth.'

'If you will not help me' the king said. 'Perhaps there are others who can.'

'So what are you going to do? Continue to kidnap until you are old and tired you've lost your mind?'

'I will do whatever is necessary' the king answered.

'This meaningless quest will drive you mad' the woman answered, 'if it hasn't already done so.'

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