It did not make sense. She had guessed that Olan was alive and well in some animal form since the night of the fire. The transformation had happened right before her in the great hall. Never had she forgiven herself for teaching Olan magic before he was ready for the consequences. It was her fault the former Maslyn and his wife was dead. Guilt swelled within as she stood blinking at the man before her. She had been so sure about how it all had turned out. Yet, the image of Olan’s cold, lifeless—but not dead—body gave her pause.
“What does this mean?” she asked Valkyrie.
“It means that when Olan performed his magic all those years ago, he did not transmute Fenris’ body into that of an animal. Instead, he switched Fenris’ body with an animal’s and also his own. Their human bodies were instantly comatose and in the place where the summoned animals had been originally. He was not ready for that sort of magic, Fanndis. There is always a price to pay when spells do not go as planned,” Valkyrie explained, looking at her old apprentice with a furrowed, accusatory brow.
“I did not teach him this—I swear it! He asked me about animal and human transmutation, but I told him he was too young for it. I suppose he went off and learned about it on his own. His curiosity was far too strong for his own good. Oh dear, look at him.” Fanndis reached out to touch the pale skin.
It was stone cold. She pressed two fingers to his neck to feel for a pulse and could just barely make one out. It was extremely weak and pitifully slow. How long it had been lazily pumping like that? For six years, she supposed.
“We need to find Fenris’ body. I would feel better knowing where both of them are, should Soryn and Arna get any ideas to change them back. If Olan’s is way out here, Fenris’ could be anywhere. Olan’s spell wasn’t transmutation. It was transference—a different sort of magic altogether. Dark magic. I doubt he had any idea what he had done until it was far too late,” Valkyrie commented.
“What do you think happened to the animals’ spirits when their bodies were taken by Olan and Fenris?” Fanndis asked—far out of the realm of her magical knowledge. It was obvious an animal’s soul was not living in the cold, naked body on the floor of the cave.
“They’re dead. If not, they may have remained within their own bodies with Olan and Fenris’ spirits and fused their souls with the twins’. Who knows? This kind of magic is forbidden—stuff that Olan will pay dearly for should he ever regain his own body. I am sure he never meant to perform such work, but he did and he will pay the price.” Valkyrie sighed, saddened by her own words.
“We should leave him here. He’s safe this far from the villages and so deep in the forest. I’ll send Stigg to check on the body every now and then until we can figure this mess out with that dratted pig in Soryn’s tower,” Fanndis said, recognizing she had let their problem with Ulla slip.
“Pig?” Valkyrie was intrigued.
“Yes,” Fanndis pursed her lips. “Soryn is convinced that the pig living in the basement of his tower is his brother Olan.”
“Really?” Valkyrie’s mouth hung open in surprise.
“It’s not. It can’t be. Ulla’s demeanor and personality are wholly different from Olan’s. However, what I don’t know is whether or not he is Fenris. If he is, we are in a world of trouble should he ever regain his human body. I sensed a terrible sorrow and fury within that animal. I knew it was really a human at once. I just need to find out which human it is,” Fanndis sighed.
“Let me check into it,” Valkyrie pleaded.
“You want to help us now?” Fanndis asked, still not trusting that Valkyrie had totally pure intentions.
YOU ARE READING
Night Bells (Tales from Niflheim #1)Fantasy
Lord Maslyn has been a prisoner in his own home for the last six years. When the twelve year old noble of New Kristiansand discovers a secret passageway in his tower, he delves into a world of adventure, intrigue, and secrecy. With the help of a mys...