13. The First Meet

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On reaching the den, the first thing they noticed was the heavy tension that hung in the air.

"What happened?" Ryder asked the guard at the entrance.

The guard handed a letter over to him and said, " Lord Ryder, A letter from one of the leaders of the Alliance demanding an immediate meeting. Word of the new Queen is now spreading fast over the lands, and the leaders want to meet her and also want Her Highness to put forth her allegiance as well."

Funny how a week ago I thought the king would use me to take out the leaders of the Alliance. But here I am, Heir to the unknown kingdom of wolves and finding myself roped into all the politics that comes with it...

Ryder glanced over to Athena as he replied, "I will talk to the Queen about it. As of now, prepare the area for a fight. Be on your toes, there will be a few wolves coming in two days. Also, how is the boy?"

A look of confusion passed over the Guards face as he tried to guess whom he was talking about before he finally realized.

"Ah yes, Lord Ryder, the healers are attending to him as we speak. The boy has been drugged and it will take a while for it to get out of his system. Poorly fed as well."

Athena's breath hitched when she heard that.

"Any injuries on him?"

The Guard looked over at Athena, the way one would a nosy bug, for the first time since they entered the den. "

"And who are you to ask, little one?"

The deathly silence that followed was when the Guard realized something was amiss.

They still don't recognize my face even after the introduction ceremony. I guess that will take a while, but I don't really care anyhow.

"None of much importance, but that boy is my brother. I would like to know, please. "

The Guards eyes shone with sympathy as he nodded and replied," None that I saw when they brought him in, Miss. Lord Ryder can take you to your brother."

"Thank you," Athena whispered as she looked at Ryder to lead the way to her brother.

Ryder nodded and walked deeper into the den, through the ways he had always walked at least a dozen hundred times all his life. This time, Athena didn't bother to look where she went, the only thing playing on in her mind was her brother's well-being.

They walked into a dimly lit room, in which she could clearly see her brother laying down on the floor, with healers around him, chanting and spreading all sorts ointments on him.

As they saw Ryder enter, they all stood and gave a slight bow. Ryder also bowed back, much to Athena's surprise but she followed suit.

'Healers are the only reason why our race is still alive, and so, utmost respect is given to them. Also, they are the only beings other than fairies and elves that can do magic.' Ryder explained.

She heard him, and the parts that she did listen, made sense to her, but she just kept looking at her sickly brother lying on the floor.

"When will he awaken?" she asked the healer closest to her.

"He should wake up in a day or two, Your Highness, that is, if nothing really goes wrong."

"What do you mean?"

"This is unusual but not unheard of. There is a specific toxin in him that might be rejecting our magic and potions. "

Athena tensed upon hearing those words.

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