Chapter 5. Speed of Light
Today we encountered the first element. It was lucky we were not killed. Or drowned, I should say. The Lorkon had placed a magical waterfall to completely bar passage from the castle and neighboring city to anything beyond. The water was totally invisible and difficult to feel. Perhaps it would be more correct to say that it was mostly invisible. When riding up to it, it appeared as a great wall of air, shimmering in the hot sun.
One of our men entered first, and he and his horse started to drown before our eyes. It took several seconds for us to realize what was happening. They were standing as if in plain air, and yet could not breathe. We acted as quickly as we could and pulled them out, barely in time.
It took us at least an hour to discover the true size of the waterfall. It rose miles upon miles into the air—Arien’s Minya was unable to reach the top—and it was at least four hundred feet thick, most likely more. We couldn’t measure. We knew the Lorkon must have created a means of escape, as they’d returned to attack Aldo and Ezra, so we searched for a way through. By trailing my hand in the water as I walked alongside it, I found a tunnel of air that led us and our animals to safety.
Once we reached the other side, we were surprised to find that Arien’s Minya was unable to go back through the tunnel, even though she now knew where the entrance was. Her magic will no longer allow her to find it. What is this the Lorkon have done, and how will we communicate with the king and queen?
Jacob, Akeno, and Ebony were left standing in the front room, waiting for Kenji to return.
Jacob fidgeted with his hands, afraid to look at the other two. “Jaegar’s friend got hurt, too.”
“Oh, dear,” Ebony said, sounding worried. “Is he being treated?”
Akeno nodded. “They took him to his home—I’m sure Mara is doing everything she can.”
“Good. He is lucky to have her for a mother.” She paused and took a shaky breath. “Jaegar has lost a lot of blood. It will take several hours for him to completely recover. If there was any poison in those wolf bites and scratches, hopefully it has all been removed.” She grabbed a rag and wiped the table down several times, scrubbing at food stains that wouldn’t go away.
“Are these wolves poisonous?” Jacob asked. He’d never heard of poisonous wolves. Though, this world wasn’t the same as Earth, and anything could be possible.
Ebony paused. “We’re not sure. I really hope not. There wasn’t any pus, no redness around the wounds.” She scrubbed for a moment longer, then spoke to Akeno. “I can’t stand this. Jaegar will be fine with your father here. Let’s take some sap to Mara.”
Akeno nodded, scurried out of the room, then returned, holding a Kaede Sap package.
“We’ll be back in five minutes,” Ebony said before shutting the door behind her and Akeno.
Jacob took a deep breath and studied the room. Everything in the small house was beautiful, including the windows. The glass had a silver sheen that made it sparkle. The stone walls were painted scintillating shades of yellow, red, orange, and blue, with silver streaks. The doors were large and wooden. The stone floor was painted red, with a bright blue mat on it, and the wood furniture, which was lower than what Jacob was used to, was simple, yet elegant. The ceiling was plenty high, even for him, and Jacob looked at it in awe, studying the intricate design created by the streaks of metal. The room glowed from the silver in the stone, and Jacob found himself wishing his room back home could be given light from the same source. It was really cool.
He walked to the closest wall to trace one of the streaks of silver with his finger. He felt warmth in places and stopped tracing, putting his whole hand over one of the spots. The heat increased considerably where his palm touched it and he recoiled, looking at his skin. This was the second time he’d felt warmth like this. Was there a reaction between his skin and the materials in this world?
It hadn’t hurt, so he ran his hand along the wall again. After a moment, he noticed that the longer he held his hand in one spot, the warmer that place became. Holding still for several seconds, he closed his eyes, enjoying the heat.