31.The Gates.

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The Gates.

"Jaykob. You have to understand. I am a mother and therefore I have to worry about my children's welfare and that means all of them!"

"But the city is in shutdown and your sons..."

"Our sons will be okay whereas Havillah has no one."

"Tamaar..."

"No Jaykob!" the woman turned to stare at her husband with a made up look in her eyes. Her purple robes swished and her grey eyes blinked as she turned around to gaze at the golden city through the living room window. "My mind is made up. Please, don't try to convince me otherwise. I expected that you would understand. You of all people should understand. She's your daughter for heavens sake!"

"One that did not acknowledge me or any of my instructions. Look where that got her now! "

Tamaar sighed. This battle had been going on for years, ever since their girl turned eleven and they discovered that her First Virtue was not as strong.

"You of all people should know better. You cannot just will yourself to be strong in a one Virtue and weak in another... It's not like she can control it and even so she was not being disobedient to you... No. Havillah tried and I guess, where she failed with the First Virtue she compensated for it with her Second."

"But you can't just leave Triberias. This city needs you!" the man protested again. Clearly, he did not want her to leave and was trying every means possible to keep her there. It bothered Tamaar that the man that she had called her husband for all these years could be so cold to the plight of his own daughter. But then again, he was just behaving like so many others that lived on Triberias. For Triberians, emotions had never been a strong suit and relations, even those only really mattered where they were found to be beneficial not just to one's status but also in terms of how a person was perceived in the eyes of the society.

"My responsibility is first to my daughter as should be yours and the rest, the council and the Chamberlain will handle it." she spoke without turning back to face him.

"But Tamaar..." before Jaykob could say otherwise, before he could try again to convince her, this woman, his wife turned around and smiled before ghosting out of the room in true Elder fashion.

"Of course she would do that and I have to be okay with it because she is an Elder." the man remarked bitterly. His feet moved backwards and found the edge of a dining room chair before dropping himself in it. He was exhausted emotionally. On one end, he was trying to keep his family together and especially his wife safe from the threats of that Elder Lionel but she was being stubborn. He had already tseen first hand what the man could do through his very own daughter and now with his wife Tamaar also running rogue he was not sure what the old man would do to him and eventually to her if he finally caught up with her.

"Maybe I should have told her..." he thought even as he shook his head at his very own crazy idea. Tamaar would not have yielded. She was stubborn and there was rarely anything strong enough to shake her mind from her strong beliefs. Was not that why she was the strongest among them, the strongest to yield the First Virtue? And yet, their daughter was the weakest, a total irony that had eventually played out to their own doom. Oh, how he longed for those good old days. How he longed to be normal for just one day but no, his prayers were never heard and now he had to watch as his family was torn apart due to the stubbornness of one girl.

He heaved another and rose up to search for his sons. Meanwhile Tamaar had reached the farthest end of the outer city. It was called the view point and as her feet landed on a puffy white cloud she cleared the mists to watch priestdoms below. This was where you could see everything and even more if the more rumors were true. Rumors of other cities like Triberias and priestdoms under them. No one had ever checked or investigated to find out if it was true and the fact that she had left Bethesda as just a babe meant that Tamaar had also never also had a chance to do so. Maybe Lionel had or the Chamberlain as they were the only other older ones among them, among the circle of the Elders, but knowing them and the role that they had played in the ascension, Tamaar could not imagine any of them troubling themselves with such trivial matters. Was not that why Lionel had continuously labored Havillah with the reading of his scrolls... No, he could not be bothered to do so himself as what had always interested him was what he already knew or what he could use to push along his wicked agendas.

Tamaar had known. Tamaar had always known what he did to her daughter, but until then he had never dared to harm her like he had done this time. They truly thought that she would not know. The whole council and even Jaykob had tried to hide it from her, but she had known the moment it happened.

They had sent the hoard after her own baby.

Silently, Tamaar seethed. Had they truly thought that she would not know? That she, the true descendant of the High Priests would not find out? She laughed bitterly.

They truly thought that she did not know that she was not aware of her own lineage, her heritage... Otherwise, why else would they have voted the Chamberlain into place when they clearly knew of her existence and her claim to the position. They could have it. She told herself. They could all have it. She was done trying to save them and their wretched city and when time called for it, she would come back and retrieve her sons to take th back home.

For now she just had to bid her time and also make sure that Havillah was well. Until then, she would not make up any more plans and would wait to see how things played out.

As Tamaar turned around to view the city for the last time two familiar faces bobbed into view. The green robes of Kiera caught her eyes and Moriella too whose red robes closely resembled Havillah's that is before she had been stripped of Virtue and cast away.

"We want to come with you..." Kiera cried as she rushed out to grip the Elder's hand.

"But how... How did you know?"

"We were hiding. We always come out here to look for Havillah." Moriella told her.

"But girls..."

"Please don't stop us. We have tried to access it via the viewpoint like Havillah did before, but it is now virtually impossible."

"Yes, that must be because of the gates, but I know a way out." the woman said even as she dug in deep into her sleeves to retrieve a small glowing crystal. She proceeded to hold it out in front of her and as she did so she channeled her Second Virtue into it and slowly, the crystal seemed to grow not just in size but in brilliance as well until it finally resembled a miniature version of the Hope of Triberias. Tamaar turned about and immediately the surface under their feet shook as the once invisible golden gates of Triberias came into view.

They were endless extending upwards then sideways as far as their eyes could see.

"I... I never knew those were there." Kiera remarked as she stretched a hand to reach out for one of the golden grills.

"Ah ah... I wouldn't do that if I were you."Tamaar warned as she quickly pulled back the girl's hand saving her from the imminent death that would come from touching the golden grills.

" How then will we get out? "

" Follow me. " Tamaar said as she grasped each girl by the hand and pulled them towards the gates. Like a vision the gates momentarily shimmered out of place and settled back after the trio had gone through. "Now we must fly and fly hard as they will soon find this out and come out hot on our tails." she smiled as she looked back at the city fondly. If they had not yet felt the breach then she was sure that Jaykob would alert them. It was sad, but she could not blame him. He only did what he felt that he had to do but it was rather unfortunate that it also meant that he was also betraying her.

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