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dragon

In the morning, Doc and Brenzel walked along a dirt road, close to camp. It had been a couple of weeks since Bren had returned with Hans. As they walked slowly, Bren said, “Doc, I have this feeling that I’ll be leaving soon.”

I know, I feel it too,” her friend replied.

“Will I ever see you again?” Bren said, somehow knowing the answer before she asked. Bren, suddenly feeling the answer, exclaimed, “Yes, I will!”

Hatty smiled, looking at Brenzel with admiration. “You know, dear, you are beginning to know a lot more than you can put into words. Trust your gut, because that is where your spirit lives, it knows more than you can imagine.”

Stopping, Bren turned and looked at Doc intently, saying slowly, “I know you, don’t I? That’s how you knew who I was when we first met.” Then, making the next leap by faith, “But you can’t tell me about it, can you?”

Looking into Bren’s eyes with genuine love and devotion, Doc said, “I know you better than you can imagine. But you’re right, I can’t say anything about it now. All I can tell you is that we will meet again.”

Resting at Death’s Door

Slim bowed low and backed away slowly from Beauty’s presence. As soon as he was out of sight, he turned and walked as quickly as possible past the golden gate, which closed behind him. Climbing as fast as he could manage, Slim made his way up the stairs that lay under the massive canopy. Feeling better with every step, the tall, thin man hurried out of the great hall. Reaching the door of death, he leaned against the cold, hard marble, catching his breath.

Personally, Slim believed that they should try to have this upstart recurrence killed. Yet, Beauty obviously saw some potential in her that he didn’t. Tipping his hat, Slim’s clothes changed to that of a cardinal and, stepping out of the basilica into the early morning air, he breathed a sigh of relief.

Would you care for some grapes, Sir?

The air, fragrant and fresh, greeted 3 as he stepped into the morning sun shining down upon his chiseled face and broad shoulders. Walking between trees, he came to the outer court, stepping onto living stones. Everything about Elysia delighted his senses as he waiting patiently for Dove to receive him. Attendants brought food, drink, and chatted with him as he sat. Presently, a young lady said sweetly, “She will see you now.” Tossing a couple of last grapes into his mouth, 3 arose and entered the open doors to her mighty sanctuary.

Dove stood, wings folded, with her back to 3 saying, “Hello 3, thank you for coming.”

“My pleasure, your Highness.” Running her fingers along the hilt of the weapon that lay on the table before her, Dove thought to herself, “I had hoped I would never have to see you again, old warrior,” the runes glowing blue to her touch.

Your Highness, we have a dragon problem

dragon

“What news do you have for me today?” Dove inquired.

3 explained how things were going on Hala, saying that the dragon problem was worse than expected. “I assisted Alethia and together we were able to banish a large one back to Hades. However, we have no idea of how it was released in the first place or how many others there may be,” he reported.

Wings stretching a bit, Dove turned and looked at 3 causing him to fall silent. Finally, 3 ventured, “What is troubling you m’lady?” Patterns glowing slightly as she moved, Dove came close to where 3 stood. Sitting down on an ornately decorated divan, she beckoned for 3 to do the same.

Steel-blue eyes as soft and unperturbed as ever, Dove began, “The dragon problem on Hala is just one piece of a larger pattern that’s emerging. There are also reports of increased hellion activity in three other realms and, of course, the incident with the Seraph Hunter.

The sleeping giant

3, looking stern said, “What of Beauty, then?”

Dove, sitting back and folding her wings said, “She seems to be stationary in time, but there is a lot of activity from her agents.” Then, looking uncharacteristically concerned, Dove said, “She must have felt Bren. 3, I believe she is waking up.”

3 remained silent for a while, calculating permutations in his head, trying to plumb the depths and ramifications of Dove’s last statement. Finally, 3 stated more than asked, “Then war is coming?”

“I’m afraid so. War is definitely coming.”

Suddenly, an attendant came into the great room, bowing and whispering something into Dove’s ear. Standing (and 3 standing quickly with her), wings opening, Dove apologized. “I am sorry, 3, I must go now.” Then, pausing as she turned to leave, instructed, “Stick close to Bren, she is leaving for her next assignment soon. Stay out of sight, but watch her closely.”

“Yes, your highness,” 3 said, glancing at the table across the room.

Dove, wings spreading fully, said over her shoulder, “Yes, you can look, but do not touch.” Then, like a shooting star, she catapulted into the heavens and was gone.

Look but don’t touch

Moving towards the large table, 3’s eyes grew wide. “My God,” 3 said under his breath, resisting the urge to touch. There, resting in the finest blue silk, lay Dove’s Sword of the Spirit. Etched with Dove’s own runic patterns, exquisitely forged in the very stones of fire, lay one of the most powerful weapons in God’s creations.

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