Chapter Thirty: The Lord of T'kara

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Part Seven: Soul Under Siege.

Chapter Thirty: The Lord of T'kara.

It wasn't until some time later that Tauren, Detrick, Vajik, and Laenya found themselves all sitting in a circle on the carpet by the fireside, listening intently as Mr. Klaen explained the situation to them.

“The Earl,” He began,” Will see you in the morning; early. Before the sun comes up. It may sound a bit odd, but, then again, the Early is a bit odd. Because of that I'm going to have to warn you: Be careful around him. At the moment he's one of the most powerful lords on Netheron and controls vast tracts of some of the most useful land in existence.”

“Also: He's the only Nether lord who still willingly allows a squadron of Arrels in his garrison. That says a lot. It's floating around that he has a deal with the old Arrel king, Clasheron. If he allows you to get into his library -or at least visit the Librarian- then try to be quick about it.”

Tauren nodded. “Thank you for giving us a chance.”

Mr. Klaen smiled at him. “It's no problem. Any friend of Detrick is a friend of this house. Feel at home here.”

Vajik leaned back and lay down on the carpet. “You've got a good son.” He said with a grin.

Mr. Klaen's smile widened. “Really? I would never have thought anyone would say that. I-”

“I have to go to bed, here.” Detrick muttered suddenly, cutting him off and standing up. He had an annoyed look on his face as he turned and pattered off upstairs.

They called goodnight after him, and Mr. Klaen turned back to them, still smiling. “I would never thought anyone would say that about Detrick. Truly. He used to be such an odd boy. Really, to tell the truth, he was rather unpleasant to live with. When he got older he started hanging around some very odd people whom nobody here approved of.”

“Last year though he decided to go join the army! I was surprised, but of course I aggreed. The experience would be invaluable ... and apparently it has.” Mr. Klaen fell thoughtful for a moment.

“I like Detrick.” Laenya sighed, leaning her head against Tauren's shoulder almost unconsciously. “He's a good person.”

Mr. Klaen smiled again and nodded. “Aye. I guess he always was; he was just waiting to show it.” Then he glanced back at Laenya. “Where are you from, er ...”

“Laenya.” Laenya supplied for him.

“Yes. Laenya. Where are you from? I've never seen anyone who looked quite like you.”

Laenya shrugged. “My family originated from an area not far from here, actually, but the reason I look like this,” She ran a hand through her long grey hair,” is because of my ... condition.”

Mr. Klaen raised an eyebrow but said nothing.

Tauren sighed to himself and finally sat up. “We need to get some rest. If we can we need to get out of here by tomorrow afternoon. Tomorrow's got a lot planned!”

Detricks father nodded. “Allright. Good night all.”

Tauren paused and glanced back with a small smile. “Goodnight.”

Without another word he trotted upstairs to his room, not paying much attention to whether or not Laenya and Vajik were behind him. He took off his boots and dropped into bed with a sigh. An odd feeling filled him ... satisfaction. They'd made it this far, they would make it the final stretch easily.

He was asleep in a moment.

The next morning, after a quick goodbye from Detrick family, the four of them gathered their things together and headed up through the city to the castle. A dull gray fuzz dominated the horizon to the east, heralding the dawn to soon come. Even at this dead early hour a stead buzz of traffic and business was running. People moved in the streets. Shops lay open. The cold hard grey stone of the city pattered with a thousand feet.

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