Category: The Price of Love


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The Price Of Love – Part 5

Epilogue

Sitting on the edge of a parapet in the Magi Citadel, I stared up at the Island in the Clouds. Three months later and he still filled my thoughts. I lost him the day the world was saved. Another bittersweet day in my life.

Part of me wanted to go back to that cave to see if his spirit remained, waiting for me to return. In my heart I knew I wouldn’t find him there, but I couldn’t quell that last bit of hope.

After the defeat of the Degari, Chenoth and his army left our world. No explanations, no words of wisdom, nothing. The blue dragon, however, remained. He refused all my requests for his name, but insisted he would remain with me until the end of my days. His presence only added to the growing legend around me that I couldn’t quell. I wanted the bards to sing about Barh, not me, but my requests fell on deaf ears. Continue reading

 

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The Price Of Love – Part 4

 

Sounds from inside the cave interrupted my thoughts. A new wave of anxiety washed over me. Chenoth was no longer a spirit and would obviously be the one to carry me back.

I didn’t—couldn’t—blame him for taking Barh, but it didn’t hurt any less. He’d ripped my heart from my chest and left me alone and numb. Even with my promise to Barh, I didn’t know how I could ride Chenoth back to where our army waited.

When I got the courage to look, I saw a blue dragon walking slowly toward me. Although smaller than Chenoth, the new dragon barely fit inside the tunnel. I should have been seized with fear, but I felt nothing. Perhaps it was the knowledge that Chenoth sent the creature that kept me calm. Or maybe I secretly welcomed death and didn’t care. Whatever the reason, I met the dragon’s gaze without distress. Continue reading

 

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The Price Of Love – Part 3

 

“Why?” My shout reverberated around the hall. I glanced up, but Chenoth didn’t react.

“Because what I give life to, you must lead,” Barh said. The profound sadness I saw robbed his beautiful eyes of life.

“Me?”

“Please forgive me, Jacks. I didn’t know.” His voice trailed off into a whisper and he began to cry again.

I was so numb I couldn’t speak. He must have mistaken my silence for a refusal to forgive him. His body stiffened, and he struggled to compose himself.

“In times of crisis, a Magi may marry and keep his powers because his spouse is necessary to aid the Elementals.” The deep breath he drew came out in a ragged exhale. “We were meant to be together so that we could be parted today.” Continue reading

 

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The Price Of Love – Part 2

As Chenoth said? If Barh spoke to Chenoth a year ago, why didn’t he tell me before? More importantly, why hadn’t Chenoth helped us yet?

My lungs burned and I realized I held my breath waiting for something to happen.  Running my eyes around the cavern, I searched for some sign of Chenoth. Barh’s body shook, but he didn’t move his feet.

“Welcome, Magi Barhingolis.”

I nearly jumped through the rock. The deep voice was strong and commanding, yet comforting. It appeared to come from all around me frustrating my search for the speaker. “Long has been your journey, child. be at ease in my home.”

“My thanks, Chenoth, but I shall find no comfort in your home this day or any. The hour is short and our need is great.” Barh didn’t shift his focus from the odd rock in the center of the room. “I have come to secure your help and restore balance to our world.”

“What do you offer?” Continue reading

 

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The Price Of Love – Part 1

“Stop!” I watched the camp grow smaller the higher we flew. We left everyone with no explanation. He didn’t even ask me first.

“Barh!” Nothing. Not even a twitch to acknowledge I’d spoken. “We can’t leave them. They’ll die!”

“They’ll die even if we stay.” Barh’s flat affect stung like a slap. He spoke to me like we were strangers.

Barh’s magic took us higher than we usually went. In fact, I could only remember one time we’d flown this high. We couldn’t be going there. Not now. Involuntarily I looked down. Stretched below my feet, the combined armies of three kingdoms gathered to meet the Degari, a swarm of evil the world thought vanquished ages ago.

Gathered to die might be more accurate. Without Barh, they had no hope. He knew that. So why was he running away?

“BARH!” I almost reached out to grab him, but stopped when I remembered where we were. “We can’t abandon our friends!”

He flinched and slowly turned. I could see the strain of the last year in every new crease on his still-youthful face. As the last Magi, the war had taken a terrible toll on him. Continue reading

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