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Lowenna And The Secrets Of Light and Darkness: chapter 21

Lowenna And The Secrets Of Light and Darkness: chapter 21

Lowenna is of to the palace to try and save her friend and the lawmen, but what dangers lie ahead

1Chapter 21, Entering The Palace

Lowenna noticed the sun was starting to set as she slid down the rope from the window to the alleyway. Azmil landed beside her, “We head for the palace, sneak in and try and find out what happened to your friend and the other lawmen.”

“Agreed,” Lowenna said with a nod. Azmil was more serious now and showed real determination, which Lowenna had only seen when he had been trying to capture or kill her.

They made their way through the alleyways until they reached a tall tower, “We climb here,” Azmil suddenly said as he jumped to a windowsill, and another climbing quickly. Lowenna thought about activating her wings but thought better of it, as she followed Azmil up the tower.

Azmil was a good climber, but Lowenna was faster, playfully tapping the back of his head as she passed. She waited on the flat rooftop, for a moment before he caught up. Since the sun had set, the palace looked dark and grey shadows covering all details. Lowenna tapped her crystal, and the world went pink, enhancing Lowenna’s vision.

“There are three guards and two lawmen at the top of the stairs, by the main door,” Azmil said.

Lowenna looked at him smiling, her eyes glowing, “Two more on the other side of the gate and two patrols behind the garden wall.” Azmil looked surprised. There was more to this Lowenna than he realised. He took two flatbreads out of his bag and took a large bite out of one, before passing the other to Lowenna as her eyes returned to normal.

Lowenna devoured it, remembering she had hardly eaten anything over the last two suns and was suddenly ravenous. Azmil watched her eat before handing her the other bread, which Lowenna ate even faster. “Hungry?” He asked her with a grin.

Lowenna swallowed the last piece, before admitting “Famished, haven't eaten this sun.”

“You can't tell,” Azmil joked before turning and starting the long climb down.

Lowenna threw him a dirty look after that comment. She touched her two middle fingers to her crystal, jumping off the building. She swung her arms out, and the wings formed slowing her fall. As she touched the ground, the wings faded back to nothing.

After a few moments, Azmil joined her. “Show off,” he said as he landed.

Lowenna threw him a cheeky smile, “Come we got to go.”

Lowenna followed him around the tower. It was getting darker with every passing moment. There were oil lamps on the corners of the main streets, but the ones at the bottom of the palace either weren’t working or had not been turned on. This worked in Azmil's and Lowenna's favour as it was harder for anyone to see them.

Lowenna suddenly slipped on something, falling on her back. Azmil offered her his hand and helped her up. “Ouch,” Lowenna whispered, as Azmil tried not to laugh, but Lowenna suddenly looked at the palace, no one was watching her, but she knew what to do, “This way," she whispered to Azmil. 

Lowenna walked along, following the wall, in her dream, there had been a doorway, but she couldn't see one. She touched her pink crystal to illuminate the world again, but there was no door. 

Lowenna was confused and annoyed, knowing it had to be somewhere. She turned away from Azmil, not wanting to admit she was wrong when her eye caught the strange symbol with flames and stars etched into a slab of stone. Lowenna looked at for a moment then looked upwards noticing the wall was damaged, and not so high.

Lowenna jumped up climbed over the wall easily. Her magically enhanced vision showed there were no guards close before she dropped into the garden. Azmil followed, landing beside her, looking at her. Lowenna grabbed his arm and dragged him behind a tree, holding him close as a guard suddenly appeared from around a corner. 

Azmil and Lowenna were silent, not making a sound until the guard disappeared around the corner. Lowenna suddenly realised that she was holding Azmil very close, his breathing was shallow, and his body felt warm against hers. She dropped her arms and backed away quickly, blushing hotly. Azmil smiled and pointed at his eyes before pointing towards where the guard had left. Lowenna nodded and quietly started to follow him. 

The two of them silently made their way through the garden, using Lowenna’s magic they came to the palace wall. Lowenna placed her hand on the hidden doorway. Her magic vision allowed her to see a switch. As she pushed it, and the door started to open. Suddenly she heard voices. There were two guards just around the corner. Azmil and Lowenna slipped under the secret door, which closed behind them with a thump. Lowenna could see the two guards run around the corner and search for where the noise had come from, but they didn’t know about the passage.

“Let's go,” Azmil whispered, as he slipped on his gauntlet. Fire appeared in his hand, which allowed him to see. He grabbed a torch off the wall, and he used the fire to light it, before passing it to Lowenna. As she accepted the light, she touched her crystal to cancel the seeing spell.

After walking a short while, Lowenna whispered to Azmil, “I still need a weapon.”

Azmil glanced down at her. He drew a sword and offered it to Lowenna, but as she went to take it, he pulled it away. “First prove you can be trusted,” He said looking severe in the flickering light. How did you know about this passage? Have you been here before? Are you going to betray me to this Darcarial?

Lowenna was silent for a moment, “No I haven't been here before, I am here to save my friend and I am willing to help you rescue the other lawmen. Azmil did not look impressed and put the sword back in its scabbard. 

Lowenna sighed, she didn't have much choice but to tell him. “I saw it in a vision, a dream-state,” she admitted. “Ahead there will be several choices of route. We need to take the fifth pathway from the left. A flight of stairs will lead us into the palace, but in the vision, I saw a lawman and ran. This time, we go on, find out how the queen controls our friends and free them.

Azmil still looked sceptical, but slowly he re-drew the sword and passed it to Lowenna, “Don't make me regret giving you that,” he said with a glare. 

The sword was a little heavier than it looked. It was only the length of Lowenna’s forearm, the width of two fingers, and ending in a short, sharp point.

Lowenna smiled gratefully at Azmil, “I promise, you have nothing to fear from me.”

Lowenna and Azmil walked on. She thought the path was a lot longer than it had been in the dream. 

Up ahead there was an opening “Finally,” Lowenna thought, but in the clearing, there was two dark tunnels and a long stone flight of stairs.

Azmil looked around the large opening, “Well... I thought you said the fifth opening, I only see three choices.

Lowenna looked around hoping for more passages or doorways but eventually had to admit there wasn't any. “Sometimes the visions aren't in the right order, it's not like I can control them, but I have found they always come true.” She explained to Azmil sounding a little hurt. “The stairs look familiar I believe they lead to the palace

“They better,” Azmil said sounding riled.

“My vision got us this far, or did you have a better idea on how to get into the palace undetected?” Lowenna snapped back, feeling under appreciated. Azmil gave no answer, removing his bow from his back, before turning and walking up the stairs. Lowenna followed, smiling to herself.

At the top there was a large stone slab, Lowenna pushed against it, but it didn’t move.

“Now what,” Azmil said, sounding irritated.

Lowenna touched her crystal, causing her eyes to flash pink again. She ran her fingers over the edge of the slab. There was a hidden switch. She touched it, and it started to move. “There is no one on the other side, but I expect that won't last long,” Lowenna whispered to Azmil as she deactivated the seeing spell.

They stepped out of the opening into the passageway and looked around. They were in a long, wide hallway inside the palace. The walls were highly decorated, and the ceiling was very high. It seemed that the corridor only led to two doorways, and in the other direction, it disappeared around a corner. “So which way?” Azmil asked, but Lowenna just shrugged.

“I told you, in my vision the door was open, and a lawman came down the hall, so I ran,” Lowenna said with another shrug. They started heading towards the two closed doors, but Lowenna looked back just as Erkut walked around the corner followed by Nera and Zenith. All three of them froze for a moment not believing what was in front of them. All three quickly drew their swords and slipped their gauntlets on.

Azmil span around and arrows fly, “Go!” he shouted to Lowenna. Lowenna took a few steps but then changed her mind. She turned while touching her pink and pale white crystals. Her shield sprung into life, and pink flames danced on her hand.

Lowenna launched herself in front of Azmil, blocking the lightning and bolts of light with her shield, as Azmil fired again, hitting Nera in the arm. “I told you to go!” he shouted looking at Lowenna, but she pushed her arms at Erkut who had launched himself into the air. The fire exploded on his armour knocking him into the wall.

Lowenna threw him a grin, “Don’t take your eyes of a lawman,” She cheekily replied before turning and running down the hall, leaving Azmil to fight Zenith and the injured Nera on his own.

As Lowenna ran down the corridor, two gold armoured guards came out of the closed door. Lowenna didn't slow down, and at the last second went low, taking their legs out from under them. The two surprised guards both crashed to the ground and didn't move. She threw Azmil a quick look, timing him hitting Zenith, across the face with his bow. Nara was already lying on the floor.

She felt a little guilty about leaving Azmil, but he seemed to have it under control. Lowenna went through the unopened door. She was in a large room with an enormous four-poster bed. A large balcony was opposite, and the sky showed the life of the new sun. One wall was covered in beautiful clothing, and two others walls had fine art and mirrors hanging on them. Even the ceiling had a beautiful mural. The last wall had a grand, beautiful desk with tables on each side. All were adorned with jewelry and trinkets. 

Lowenna walked over checking out the more unusual items on the far table. Lowenna stared at a dark red ring with a finger still attached, “Ewww!” She remembered the bandit in Penbirth. He had a magic ring, and Lowenna had severed his finger, to stop the magic from killing her. She has taken the ring but had left the finger. 

Moving on, Lowenna saw dozens of rings hung on a necklace. A red bladed short sword reminded her of the dagger she had lost to Krakett and renewed the determination that she would get it back.

Lowenna suddenly realised she wasn't alone. “Well this is a surprise,” a voice said from behind her. Lowenna spun around, her sword in her hand. Behind her stood a beautiful, almost naked woman. Lowenna stood there with her mouth open as she saw her. “And who are you, pretty girl?” Darcarial asked, with a seductive smile.

Lowenna didn't answer. She stood there mesmerised by the woman, nothing else seemed important, not Azmil, not Rune, and sternly not her undiscovered past.

Darcarial walked around Lowenna smiling, running her finger over her skin. Lowenna turned so she could keep looking at the woman, as a slight vacant smile spread across her face. Darcarial then moved to the balcony, Lowenna staring intently. “I asked you a question.”

“I don't know my name, some people call me Wenna, but others call me Lowenna,” Lowenna replied unable to stop herself.

Queen Darcarial turned and smiled at the young woman in her chamber, “You are the Lowenna? I was expecting someone more imposing, and far less attractive. I’m sure I’m going to have some enjoyable times with you.” The queen paused for a moment, “And you will always address me your queen, or your majesty, do you understand?”

“Yes, my Queen,” Lowenna replied, happily. She vaguely remembered that she had wanted to meet the Queen, but the reason why had escaped her. 

Lowenna felt a slight burning on her chest but didn’t want to look away from Darcarial. She watched the beautiful queen walk towards her. Darcarial leaned over and kissed Lowenna on the lips, before leaning back and smiling. “Stay right there, drop your weapons and take off your clothes.”

Lowenna dropped the sword, which she had forgotten was in her hand and removed her arm guard. Darcarial was standing behind her now, Lowenna wanted to look again, but she had to do what the queen had said. She slipped off her boots, untied the cape, letting in slid off her shoulders. The armoured top came off next followed by the trousers. 

Lowenna paused for a moment. Did she really want to take off all of her clothes?

“Don't stop,” Darcarial stated as if she understood Lowenna's hesitation, “I want to see my new toy in all its spender and don’t turn around, not until I tell you.” Lowenna removed her pants and her bra strap, her hand just glancing against her crystal. Darcarial walked around Lowenna again, smiling in satisfaction, “Aren't you a lovely thing,” she announced smugly, but Lowenna wasn't listening. The inside of her head felt like it was on fire. Even now she couldn't take her eyes of her queen, but the pain continued to intensify. It was almost too much to bare.

Darcarial walked out of Lowenna’s vision again, talking about the beautiful, outfits, what she was going to make Lowenna wear. She laughed lightly as she added how she was going to enjoy her body, but Lowenna was looking down at her crystal, it was burning her, pulsing dimly.

“You have to get out of here!” a voice suddenly said in her mind. Lowenna looked at her feet, and slowly took a step. Darcarial was still talking about the plans she had for her new toy. Lowenna took another step, “The balcony,” the voice said.

Lowenna touched her crystal with her two fingers and took a third step. “What are you doing!” Darcarial suddenly shouted.

“Run!” the voice shouted, and Lowenna did. Four steps, five. She had to get away.

“Stop” Darcarial cried out. A blinding pain struck Lowenna's mind, forcing her to close her eyes.

“Jump” the voice shouted, and Lowenna did, spreading her arms, her wings appearing. She flew straight, her toes just touching the balconies rail. “Don't stop!” the voice continued, not that Lowenna could, all she was doing was holding her arms out, with her eyes closed. She could hear, her queen cursing and shouting at her, did she go back? Why was she running? The voice could be Harathh! She should go back. She wanted to go back. She wanted to be with Darcarial more than anything.

Lowenna turned her arms and opened her eyes determent to head back and beg her queen to forgive her. Suddenly all she could see was a wall. She didn't have time even to think about it and flew straight into the side of the tower.

Lowenna lost her concentration, her head hurt, her vision blurred. She swung her arms out, but the wings had vanished. She was falling fast. She tried to grab a windowsill, but she couldn't see it properly and whacked her wrist on it, pain shooting up her arm. She was blacking out. The only thing that came to her mind was he would never see her queen again. With the last of her strength she tried to grab her crystal, it wasn’t there! It was behind her. She pulled at the cord trying to bring it into her grasp. The ground was coming up very fast. Her fingers skimmed against the crystal's edge, and she pointed her hand down.

There was a sickening squelching thud as Lowenna landed on a pile of rotting vegetables and rags. She couldn't move her arm. She tried to stand, but her body wouldn't obey. The street was spinning, fading from her vision. "I’m sorry my queen," she managed to whisper before blacking out.
This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © © 2015 by Robert Stevens All Rights Reserved

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