After our unwanted encounter Uriel and I walked side by side to address the guardians and brief them to stay alert as we may need to move at a moment’s notice. I called Irin out of his duty near the portal and walked towards the tent.
“My prince, a word with you please?” called Uriel from behind
Turning around I looked down on Uriel who was down on his knees with his head bent in formal addressing of a prince. This was the first time he had ever gone down on his knees in all the centuries I had known him, which meant to prove his loyalty. Instructing Irin to enter the tent, I asked Uriel to stand at ease. “What do you have to say Uriel?”
“My prince, please pardon my outburst on Ms. Aodh. It was uncalled for and I regret it.”
“Uriel, Solange is my soul-mate and you know well, her life and respect stands before anything else to. This is the way with all us guardians.”
“Yes, my prince.”
I looked at him, his gaze on the ground. A fearless guardian, who never bent his head in front of anyone else but god, was standing in front of me with resignation and it didn’t feel right in my heart. Uriel was not just my commander-in-chief but blood brother. Walking up to him, I put my arms on shoulders till he looked up and smiled into his eyes. “My friend, I am always your friend, blood brother, never a prince in front of whom you bend your head. I should also apologize to have raised my hands on you. Solange is my life and her happiness comes in front of anything or anyone else.”
Nodding Uriel said “Ralf, from the past two visits to earth realm I have nagging feeling that I am missing something important. That I am letting someone down by not finding this person, but believe me I have. I have searched the source of this feeling but I always seem to lose its mark as soon as I reach the location where the magic of this person is strong.”
“Where did you feel it?”
“Near the last known location of Michael and before that I felt it when I visited Anita. The presence of the magic was very strong and it disappeared as soon as I walked towards the dungeons where it was the strongest.”
I kept silent for not wanting to express my concern about Anita. For few decades she had been ignoring her responsibilities and few violent incidents had been reported but there was no proof. Nodding and indicating we would continue later, we walked into the tent to find Irin sitting in front of Solange. A blue hue was surrounding her which brightened every second. Mesmerized we watched until Solange opened her eyes, dancing with gold flakes around her irises. She let go of Irin’s hand and requested for a paper. Before I could stop her she slashed her fingers with a knife and started drawing on the paper. The cut was deep for her hand was bleeding and as I tried to stop Solange, the hue around her wouldn’t let me touch, engulfing her from our sight. The hue started dissipating few seconds later to relieve Solange, who fainted handing the paper in my hand. Alarmed I threw the paper and grabbed for her. Picking her up, I laid her on the bed and called for Assiel, my disciple now proficient in the art of healing.
Uriel picked up the paper and asked Irin to watch the entrance of the tent. Assiel arrived and walked straight to Solange. She monitored her pulse and opened her medicine bag. As I tried to pick a medicine from her bag, “My prince, you are the best known healer in Empyrean and my mentor, but your love for my lady is blinding your judgment in understanding her ailment. Please trust me I will do my best so that my lady doesn’t stay in this condition for long.”
Uriel walked to my side and pulled me away from the tent towards the thick cover of the forest. He instructed Irin to not let anyone walk in or out of the tent. Once we were inside the forest, “Ralf, the walls are supposed to have ears, but here we don’t even have walls so the secrets are never kept. Please follow me.” Saying he took off running in the opposite direction of the tent where Solange was unconscious. Knowing Uriel must have strong reason to be taking me away from the camp I followed him away from the forest. Upon reaching the clearing, Uriel spread his fiery red wings and flew up into the clear sky. Reaching high above the clouds, Uriel called upon the forces of the elements to hide us from all eyes. Seeing his precautions I added my own elements to ensure the discussion stayed between us.
“Ralf, do you have the journal with you?”
Nodding I pulled the journal out of my shirt front and handed it to him. He held the journal and placed the paper Solange drew on next to each other. The symbols were same. Only difference that the symbol on journal was the key to open it, but on paper it was placed as a marker across a landscape. The landscape appeared to have mountain shaped like an elephant. The trunk of the elephant shaped mountain also had a cave which was marked by Solange with a protective symbol, but the symbol of the journal was drawn just below it.
“I have not seen this landscape before?”
“But I have” said Uriel
“There is closed path to this landscape from Anita’s palace in Guilin to this place. She tried to seduce me to join with her some decades ago.”
Despite the situation I couldn’t control myself from laughing loudly and clapping on Uriel’s back. “You and Anita, that would have been interesting to witness.”
“Anita is black widow and we know she has decided on purpose to not find her soul-mate as she likes to toy with her men, but she is very cunning to let it go beyond her walls and nobody is able to call her on it.”
Agreeing with Uriel, I took a closer look at the paper and the journal. The journal which Uriel had found contained the plan plotted to take over earth realm by any means necessary. But Hecate had been very clever to include Lucifer or anyone else involved in it. Uriel and I studies the paper and journal until there was nothing new we could make of it, we returned to the camp to find it in dishevel and the tent burning to cinders.
I immediately started searching for Solange, her life force was beckoning me and it was clear she was safe away from the smoldering fire. I found her placed on hastily laid blankets with black sooth on her face and body. Sitting down next to her I took the wet cloth from Assiel and started cleaning her face. The camp fell silent with guardians trying to stop the fire while the rest gathered around Solange in prayer to goddess Athena for her recovery.
“Irin, what happened here?” asked Uriel loud enough for everyone here rage in his voice
“One minute everything was silent and the next moment, the tent stared burning. I walked into tent to help my lady and Assiel. We were lucky to have got away, else the burning tent would have collapsed on us. I have never seen anything like this commander.”
I closed my eyes and held Solange’s in my hand sending myself around the camp to find the path of the one who tried harming my soul-mate. At first it was all black and then as I drifted towards the portal, I felt Hecate’s presence and along a source of the power that she was using. A girl was barely able to stand, but her magic kept Hecate hidden, but she was not as powerful as Solange for her magic found the girl who was helping Hecate and I swore the girl must die to ensure Hecate doesn’t harm Solange or Empyrean again.