Book Three of Blue Moon Rising Trilogy
© 2012 Bonnie Watson
Chapter 7(work in progress)
“I’m pleased you decided to join us this evening, Master Lorcán.” (check this name – Prince)
The use of his father’s name struck a discomforting pause before Shy answered the Grand Master’s pleasant welcome.
“I appreciate the sediment, but SHY will do,” he returned with strained enthusiasm.
Wisdom eyed his brother a moment before turning his attention back to Lord Gracie, who led the two from the event down a back corridor. The warm glow of light flowing between walls yielded to several hanging tapestries. The colorful fabrics adorned the plain surfaces every few feet, and kept the brightness to a bearable minimum.
“As you wish,” Lord Gracie’s smile never dimmed. “It was one of your own that helped make this place possible.”
Wisdom caught that glance of uncertainly from his brother, whose thoughts remained closed when nothing stood out from sight-reading.
“Did Chronicles ever mention anything to you or others about HIS father?” he asked.
“Providence?” Shy guessed. “We all presumed he had passed.”
“Huh.” The prince chortled. “He’s here.”
“Wha-” Shy’s hushed response held back a throaty growl. When he spoke next, his tone reflected a slight gurgle of annoyance. “Pah! He’s been telling everyone that for years! Such ignorance! Too preoccupied to even bother…” He met his brother’s gaze. “Well, you know how he is.”
Wisdom nodded. “I know. Everything gets blamed on…” Here, he caught himself to check Lord Gracie’s reaction.
“On humans?” was the reply with a chuckle. “I don’t doubt it after what your family’s been through.”
“And I suppose your history is just as clean?” Shy’s tensed look relaxed, and even offered a crooked smile. “My brother informed me you were one of the first humans in No’va.”
Lord Gracie held a door open for them to enter at the end of the corridor. “I was, along with our current problem MAGE,” he added with a hint of sarcasm. After letting the brothers go first, he followed behind and shut the door.
“We are well aware of BOTH,” Wisdom corrected. “Jenario should have never touched a unicorn! That in itself has caused so much destruction. First for Nature, then for us.” He looked around the small room they had entered. Most of the furniture had been covered with white sheets, possibly extras pulled from the main ballroom. Having lived at the castle before, he was fairly certain the room contained a passage to a private location, for there were no other entrances besides the one they just used.
“Definitely us,” Shy muttered, and Wisdom knew what he meant. The encounter with the Dark Unicorn had temporarily removed itself from his memory, leaving Shy at the mercy of a father believing his son was incompetent.
While Lord Gracie checked a key ring at his belt, Shy let his attention span around the room, then back to the door.
“I hope this isn’t your office, or did we take a wrong turn?” he asked.
“This?” Lord Gracie’s key clinked against the doorlock before turning once. “Just a little shortcut, is all.” He started to pull the door open.
“But we just came from–” Shy stopped when a different view opened before them.
Lord Gracie’s smile widened at his expression. “After you.”
Wisdom immediately recognized the Grand Master’s chamber. Shelves filled with books lined the room. Seated windows overlooked a courtyard below, illuminated by outside torchlight as dusk settled. In the center of the room sat a crescent-shaped desk, its polished Redwood surface neatly arranged with several stacked papers, quills and ink bottle ready for its master.
“I remember getting lost in this place,” Wisdom said. “I ended up here after finding one of your portals.” He ran a hand over the high-backed chair sitting behind the desk. “I sat here wondering what to do next until Nicolas could find me.”
“I arranged most of the portals to bring CONFUSED guests here.” Lord Gracie replied with a wink. “Makes it easier to find them.”
“YOU arranged the portals?” Shy asked. “Yet you have no magic.”
“Well, Nicolas is a magic-user,” his brother said. “At least partially. He may not be the strongest, but it might be enough for some of the place’s needs.”
A nod from the Grand Master, who made way for a winged feline that hopped up on the desk. Its tuxedo coloration reflected over the desk’s smooth surface, though it was the multicolored wings that fascinated the brothers as they partially opened to steady itself. On its hind legs it reared to stretch a forearm out for Lord Gracie’s hand, and was obliged with a head-rub.
“What in No’va…?” Shy stared at the cat, which eventually settled on the desk with tail wrapped around the feet.
“A Foreseer,” Lord Gracie said. There was pride in his voice, like a father showing off an accomplished child. “With the ability to predict past, present and future events, I see all with this place and NEVER have to leave or rely on any other’s source of information.”
“But I’ve never–” Shy commenced.
“Your family wouldn’t know of these,” Lord Gracie interrupted in a stern tone. “They’re only found here, kept safe from the use of those who’d misuse them.” He paused to watch the cat hunker down in a lazy ball of fluff, its feet tucked underneath. Yellow eyes gazed up at the three men, slowly closing as its purring became more obvious.