Chapter Twenty-Three: A Two-Faced Soul

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Chapter Twenty-Three: The Two-faced Soul

   Quickly he moved after them, keeping as low as he could, circling around the camp so he could cut them off. But just as he was sure they were about to see him, they stopped, and then glancing around, knelt into the grass. Falling down onto his stomach, Tauren began to creep forward. He was astonished that he got to just ten feet from the person without them noticing him. He was about to jump up and demand who they were when he heard a soft voice speaking.

   “Fepin, exeli. Zuas netavis demmat.” Came the voice. He didn't recognize the voice or the words, but he knew it was a woman or girl speaking. Odd. It wasn't Laenya though.

   Suddenly a baleful blue light flashed between the stalks of grass, too soft to wake any of the others, but bright enough to illuminate the person kneeling in the grass. It was a girl, probably seventeen eighteen, with long black hair and sparkling blue eyes, she was kneeling in the grass, looking intently down at a patch of cleared dirt. The light seemed to be coming from the dirt itself. As Tauren watched, a small orb of light detached itself from the earth and hovered over the ground. A moment later the orb seemed to unfold in ribbons and standing in front of the girl was a tiny figure, only a few inches tall, seeming made of light.

   “Mistress.” Said the figure in awe. “Is that you?”

   “Yes Danem, it is.” Said the girl delightedly, a smile appearing on her face.

   “But we thought you were dead, how-” Danem began.

   “I don't know.” The girl said. “Listen, I don't have much time. I had to talk with you. Is my father still alive?”

   Danem seemed to dim. “No my dear. He passed on many long years ago. I now serve your brother's great-great-grandson.”

   The girls face fell. “Then who is the oldest surviving heir?”

   Danem lit back up like a candle. “Well, now that you are back . . . or whatever you are- you are. This is a miracle. Just wait till-”

   “But besides me.”

   “Thalen's last son, who was born seventy moon's after you . . . ran away. He was ninety thousand moon's last year. But he grows old.”

   The girl sat back, tears falling down her face. “I've really been gone that long?”

   “Yes mistress.” Came the whispered reply. “You were wrong to run away as you did. Our master thought you would come back, but you never did. He died believing you hated him. But you must return. We have grown strong over these years. You can reclaim everything!”

   The girl shook her head. “No Danem. I don't know what happened to me. Not a moon ago was I awoken. Three men found me, and I believe they know something of what happened. I will follow them for now. Do not tell anyone you saw me.”

   Tauren stared in amazement. This was Laenya? But no, she didn't look like her.

   “As you wish mistress. But understand, the estates are yours when you return.”

   The girl -Laenya?- shook her head. “No Danem. You know that's not true. I may have lasted long, but I'm not old. Either way. My family would never accept me if-” She cut her words off and looked away, tears still falling down.

   Danem bowed low. “I will leave you. My Dravar watch over you.” With a soft pop he disappeared and the plains went dark again.

   The girl did nothing but sit there and cry for a few minutes. Tauren watched, not daring to move, but feeling like a trespasser, spying on someone's privacy. But soon enough, she stood and walked back to the camp. Only once Tauren was sure she was gone did he look back up. Glancing over at the campsite he saw that everything was fine. Everyone was sleeping in place. It seemed as if Laenya hadn't even stirred. She looked the same as every, lying on the grass, he blanket pulled up around her, her long gray hair lying about her face.

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