Chapter 36

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Kindle and Lucinda were scared. 

And this was on top of being terrified about getting caught escaping the Rath/Fairy Queen's dungeon, or trying to escape to warn the ArchKnight about the fact that the Dragon Rath was still alive and possessing one of the most powerful beings alive - not just to Fairies but to all races!

As Lucinda and Kindle buzzed down corridor after corridor of the Fairy palace they were met with no opposition. The halls were empty. No Fairies, no sprites, nothing. 

"Kindle! I'm scared!" 

Lucinda grabbed Kindle's hand as they stopped in a large hall that was filled with all kinds of food and decorations for the festival. But no sign of anyone.

"It's going to be OK Lucinda! Just stay with me." Kindle responded as she explored the room.

*It's not going to be ok, is it?* Kindle thought to Deltia.

*No, Kindle, it's not. This is Rath. He's been planning this for a long time. We have been doing exactly what he's been wanting us to from almost the beginning, it seems.* Deltia said, then roared loudly within Kindle's mind.

*Ouch!* Kindle winced. All of her body now both outside, and inside hurt like crazy.

They paused for a few moments in the empty hall while Kindle wolfed down some food and drink. Grimly, she ripped some of the fabric from the large tablecloth and wrapped her hands and feet. Lucinda fretted and folded and unfolded her hands with nerves, glancing about and fluttering her own wings.

"Where are they Kindle? Where is everyone?" Lucinda asked quietly.

"I don't know, but we are going to find them, and save them." Kindle replied. Her own heart was cold and dark now. Rath had taken Kael from her. The Queen of the Fairies was probably hopelessly lost within the raving mind of Rath. Now her people were missing, and there was only Kindle and Lucinda. 

*Rath couldn't have killed them all, could he?* Cirrus asked within her mind.

*If he had, where are the bodies?* Deltia responded.

Kindle suddenly glanced at Lucinda. She had stopped pacing, and stood very still.

"Lucinda? What's wrong?" Kindle buzzed over to the motionless Fairy. 

Lucinda stared off into space. Her face was expressionless and her eyes seemed vacant.  Kindle shook her, hard.

"Lucinda!" She yelled.

For a brief moment, Lucinda came back. She looked around - seemingly not seeing anything with her terrified glances around the room.

"Kindle! Help me! She's -" She cried out, then became motionless once more. Then, abruptly, her wings buzzed and she took flight - brushing by Kindle roughly and bolting out of the room.

Grim determination on her face, Kindle flew after her.

Lucinda raced down the abandoned castle hallways with no regard for her own self. She knocked down flower pots and elegant statues alike as her wings buzzed like a swarm of angry bees. It was all Kindle could do to catch up to her when suddenly Lucinda arced a hard left and flew out a window.

As Kindle tucked in her wings and dove through the window Cirrus cried out in her mind.

*Down! Down Kindle!*

Instinctively, Kindle tucked in her wings and rolled to the dusty earth.

The window had opened to the main courtyard of the Fairy Kingdom's castle. It was an immense open area, often filled with flying fairies selling their wares, delivering packages, or doing other business for the Queen.

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