"Please My Lady, you need to sit," The healer, a small woman pleaded with her.
"See to my unit first, I am fine," Kenna practically growled at the poor woman.
"Kenna, my love, she means well, and you should let her examine you," Kenna turned to see Xander walk into the room. She rushed over to him and put her arms around him.
"I failed," Were the only words she spoke, she bit back a sob. Her chin rested on his shoulder.
"Shh," he whispered as he stroked her hair. This made her more frustrated not less. He should be mad that she couldn't find his mother. She pulled away from him.
"I felt helpless," She couldn't look him in the eyes. Not because he judged her, but because she knew she would find concern there, "You need to summon Terren and ask the gods what they did with your mother."
"Why?" Xander looked a bit confused at her assertions.
"He said he was a messenger from the gods, and that your mother was safe but hidden," She tried not to show how angry she got thinking about the man who took out everyone with some spell she had never seen before. She did not realize how vulnerable she and her soldiers were. She was scared.
"Ok, ok," Xan took her hand and they walked to the garden. He concentrated quietly and she then felt the earth rumble a little, then Terren popped up in front of them and fluted an excited greeting at them both. Then promptly headbutted them like a cat looking for cuddles.
Kenna and Xan both rubbed and scratched his scales in affectionate greeting. Then Xan seemed to get far away, and she knew he was in the link talking to Terren. She watched for a moment. Then he seemed to regain his awareness.
"So?" She crossed her arms and waited.
"He will try to find out, but says they might not be willing to talk," Xander sighed.
"This just doesn't make sense," Kenna paced, "Why take her away the moment we find the child?"
"I know, the gods have a strange way of helping us out," Xan laughed, Then he became serious again, "I am sure Mom is ok. She used to take us camping all the time. We can go back to look tomorrow. No one failed."
Kenna hardly felt placated but gave him a tiny smile. He smiled back. They both turned as they saw Dragonis come out of the door to the garden looking very upset. He did not say a thing until he got to them and as he did he whispered so that no one else could hear.
"I have found, and confirmed some very troubling things," Dragonis looked around, "Things we can not discuss with Aulder."
"Why?" Xander whispered also
"Because when we were deciding to burn the nec... uh the books, they were the loudest for doing so, and the years have only made them more bitter," Dragonis quietly explained.
"So, they would have a problem with my collection," Xander seemed to choose the last word carefully, and also looked over his shoulder. Dragonis nodded.
"Prophecy or no, they would probably have you hanged," Dragonis commented worriedly, "We should really go somewhere more private."
Dragonis looked around the garden again and then swiftly walked back into the building. Xander gave her a peck on the cheek. She hesitated.
"Are you coming?" Xander asked more concerned now.
"I will get Faris, He will at least need to know," Kenna said and returned the peck on the cheek with one of her own.
They walked into the building and she watched Xan walk down the hall toward the library. She went the opposite way to where Faris would be in his personal study. She reached the door and rapped on it quickly. She did her best to summon a confident face for when he opened the door. Only he didn't. Aulder did, and it made her hesitate and she felt awkward, which she knew she looked.
"I, I am sorry to disturb you but Xan wanted to see Faris if he were free," Kenna hated herself for the hesitation in her voice.
"We are busy," Aulder said and as they were about to close the door in her face she saw Faris lean over his desk to look through the open door and wave to her.
"I will be along in a short while, where will he be?" Faris asked.
"The library," She answered then hurried off down the corridor the other way.
She walked into the library and went to the back room. There she found Xan and Dragonis.
"He will be along, but Aulder was with him," Kenna sighed and then looked at their stack of books on the table.
She walked closer and then stood next to Xan.
"Thank you, dear," he smiled.
"I'm not staying. I am going to lay down," she said as she kissed Xan on the cheek and then walked out of the library.
She strode through the corridor and into the room she shared with Xan. She put on her sword belt and grabbed a dagger for her boot. Then she practiced her fire magic. When she was satisfied she walked outside and opened a portal back to the broken forest. She walked a small way to where her tent had stood. She looked for clues. Anything to tell her who had so much power that they could take everyone unaware. As she got closer to the crater and the wreckage she heard voices. She took a few more steps forward cautiously then felt a blade lightly pushed into her back. She held her hands up and turned around to find a Queen's guard. He must have felt her port in.
"You're a long way from home," Kenna quipped but could see this guard had no sense of humor.
"What business do you have here?" the guard asked
"I came looking for someone," She said cautiously.
"Would that someone be a storm traveler?" Another voice said from behind her.
"A... No, actually my mother in law," Kenna was on edge now. She looked in the direction of the voice and panicked. It was the Queen's nephew. She scrambled to her knee.
"So you didn't know about the storm traveler?" He stared down at her hard with a stony gaze. She swallowed and still had a lump in her throat.
"My Liege," She said dutifully, "I didn't know the Crown was so interested in storm travelers outside of Crystal City?"
"Normally we would not be, but we heard from a little bird this one was special," He seemed to look right through her, "Do you know where they are?"
"We found the wreckage, there might have been a traveler. I'm not sure," She said quickly.
"So you knew about the traveler?" he clarified sternly.
"Yes, My liege," she said quietly.
"Then may I accompany you back to..." he trailed off
"Feren, My Liege" She answered.
"Feren," he said with a smile, "Ah, the little city state of equality. While we are being honest, the Grand Duke Faris does not always bend to the Queen, does he?"
"My Liege?" She questioned with the only words she dared say from here on out.
"Faris certainly wouldn't be keeping secrets from the Queen, would he?" The man sneered.
"No, My Liege," She said softly while trying to think of a way out of this, "We are not usually required to report new Storm Travelers."
"Well, help her up so she can open us a portal," he motioned to the guard impatiently while dodging the statement. Kenna fidgeted nervously. Then she closed her eyes to envision a destination and opened the portal. She led them through to her old home and her mother's private estate.
"Where are we?" The man questioned irritably.
"It has been a while since an emissary of the Crown has visited. You could not deny the Countess her chance to entertain you?" Kenna smiled sweetly as servants bustled out of the door and ushered the unannounced guests into the small palace. Then she very quickly walked to a private corner and pulled out a tiny portable mirror.