"So, Faris was just humoring me," Hin laughed at the thought.
"You were not meant to be put in danger here," Naseem confirmed.
"And you are what exactly?" Hin asked.
"I am Lord Faris' Spymaster," She smiled.
"And the kiss?" Hin leaned forward.
"Private, dear," Naseem said taking the towel from her head. Hin nodded acceptance.
"What about Alaric?" Hin asked.
"He was to keep up the illusion. We would keep you from trouble," Naseem smiled, "Things have changed, though."
"What things?" Hin felt ill at ease.
"There are necromancers inside the estate, and confer openly with the Prince." Naseem did not look happy, "Something bigger is in motion, and I need to find out what, but I need you away from here."
"I understand. I would make your job harder," Hin agreed.
"I have made plans for you to meet Alaric, and he will take you to allies elsewhere," Naseem said quickly, "Please pack and we will be off to meet up."
Hin had never quite unpacked her backpack except to hand-wash her clothes and put them back in her pack. So she just picked it up and nodded. Naseem opened a portal and they walked through to a fountain, in a city. Naseem pointed at the fountain and Hin sat at the edge of it and played with the water while they waited.
"Something feels off," Naseem sounded prickly, "It doesn't smell right here."
"Smell?" Hin was confused.
Before Hin's eyes, Naseem took on the figure of a black fox and started sniffing around the area. Hin stared but a noise caught her attention. She turned to look and saw a man in a white robe approach. She turned back and Naseem or the fox were not there any longer. Now Hin felt prickly and on edge.
"You are hard to pin down Conduit, even when you wear the taint of our God," The man said and he sat down next to her.
"I am no Conduit," Hin's voice wavered just a bit.
"I am sure your friend would disagree," The man said as another person brought Hector out in chains with bruises on his face.
"No," Hin whispered.
"I must insist you accompany us," The man stood and opened a port and motioned for Hin to go through.
Hin sighed and followed the men through. To her surprise, they were in a room and the only light came from a fireplace. She saw a figure slumped in the corner and they shoved Hector into the same corner. She looked closer and saw the second figure slumped in the corner was Alaric.
"Well, shit," Hin said under her breath.
One of the men pulled a chair from the other corner and set it down, they directed Hin to it. She sat and waited. Then the one who approached her at the fountain whispered into the other man's ear and then the second man nodded and left the room. Then someone else entered the room. The first man bowed in deference.
"I am Prince Ban, and I am told you are the Conduit," The new man said.
"I am just Hin," she said and smiled.
"You are going to help us find the child," The Prince insisted. Hin let out a laugh of disbelief.
"Just tell them, My Lady," she heard Hector plead.
"I could, but she is where no one here can go, so what's the point?" Hin turned slightly to argue.
"No, there is a way, and one of you must have it," The man from the fountain said.
"Have what?" Hin demanded.
"A bloodstone," The prince replied.
"Well, I don't have one," Hin stated.
"Faris said as much. Let's ask again." The Prince said as two men brought Faris into the room, his clothes still bloody.
Hin got up to go to him, and she was pushed back into her chair. The two men left the room after dumping Faris on the floor.
"So, who has the blood stone?" The Prince pulled a dagger from his belt and walked to where Faris lay.
"I don't, I swear, I don't even know what a damn bloodstone is!" Hin yelled at him.
"Anto?" The Prince looked a the other man.
"She is telling the truth, My Prince." The man said.
The Prince moved back to where Anto, the man from the fountain, was. Then they turned their heads to the window at the same time. It sounded like a large angry mob outside. People were yelling and things started hitting the building. She saw explosions of color against the thick drapes that the two men had pulled aside. She heard Anto whisper some words and move his hand and she heard some of the people outside scream. Hin got up quietly. She moved to Faris and the spark came to life under her touch.
"No time," Hector said behind her, and he grabbed Faris by and arm and helped him to his feet. Hector made a portal and shoved Faris in and then went to shove Hin through it.
"Alaric!" Hin turned.
"No Time!" Hector shouted and shoved Hin into the portal.
Hin turned around and saw Hector and Anto behind him. Then she saw Hector's face contort and he crumpled, chains and all, to the floor and the portal violently closed. Hin sat down next to Faris and touched him again. She felt the spark and tried to do it how Naseem had shown her, but when she tried to fix things, the green light felt forced, and Faris cried out, she broke contact and everything hurt inside of her. She gasped but couldn't breathe through the pain. Faris writhed and grunted but did not cry out again.
Hin finally caught her breath and the pain had dulled somewhat. She looked around and they were in front of a small cabin, lights floated inside, and then the door opened and a man came out and looked at them bewildered. Then saw that Faris was hurt. He recognized Faris she thought.
"My Lord, My Lady, let's get you both inside, quickly," he spoke lowly and looked over his shoulder as he helped Faris into the rough log cabin. Hin followed and stepped quickly, also looking over her shoulder.