He had suspected Rufo, but never expected an admission. They would need the new walls, he had argued, if the final battles reached their gates. Our enemy's force numbers in the thousands, giants and ogres among their ranks. The image of his former lover in this huge man's arms did not sit well with him, not well at all. Danica opened her eyes, those exotic brown orbs that sent shivers up Cadderly's spine every time he gazed into them. Cadderly at first didn't understand, so Avery motioned the elven prince's way.
The transformation from ordinary vampires into the ultrapowerful children of Persephone has left both Miranda and David craving the taste of death—and their appetites are growing. You see, dear Dorigen, we must begin our preparations for what is to come after the conquest. Rufo spun about to see a grotesque, dog-faced and bat-winged imp staring at him from a perch on a branch just a few feet away. The wizard's real name was Bogo Rath, but Aballister and Dorigen referred to him as Boygo, even to his face. To the young Cadderly, orcs and goblins, undead monsters and evil wizards, had all been the stuff of tales in dusty books. Barjin uttered another name, Talona, and that bodes ill indeed for the library and the region. His words stung Avery more than he had intended.
Their walk became a dance, their chant a melodic song. Danica heard nothing and saw nothing for a long moment. He is a trickster take heed! The app lets you download and save all of your favorite music, books, audiobooks and movies to your mobile device so you can enjoy them anytime, anywhere. Cadderly looked to where Rufo had been seated, excited, but the angular man was gone. The tall man had even made advances toward Danica, which the young woman had promptly discouraged by beating Rufo severely. The world was going too fast. Hands were offered to the visitors.
The man was so awkward, and Danica was not without pity. Pikel, too, seemed caught in the sudden enchantment of this most ancient grove. The lower catacombs have been sealed — no one is to be allowed down there, and the bottle is to remain where I put it, immersed in a font of blessed water in the room that Barjin used for his vile altar. Druzil nodded, his tall, doglike ears flipping forward. The mere mention of the dead priest made Cadderly see him again, slumped against the wall in the makeshift altar room in the catacombs, a blasted hole in his chest and his dead eyes staring accusingly at his killer. The few archers accompanying the wizards picked their shots carefully, protecting their precious few arrows, firing only if it appeared that a monster was about to break loose of its sticky bonds. Cadderly distinctly remembered the sound as that dart collapsed on the magical vial and exploded, a sharp echo that had followed him every day and every night.
Why had Elbereth asked Danica along? Percival was at play in the sunshine; the library was secure and peaceful once more; the lazy remainder of summer promised leisure and quiet walks. Then only Danica and Elbereth stood. Shayleigh was up in a moment, to Cadderly's surprise. Cadderly dropped his chin into his palm, then ran his hand back through his sandy brown hair. He could only hope that Druzil wouldn't recognize his thought patterns as different from Rufo's, and he breathed a little easier when the imp's next communication came to him.
If the imp tried to make contact with Rufo again, Cadderly would be waiting for him. Even killing Barjin had been an accident a fortunate accident? He searched for some way out; he thought of letting the flask slip to the floor, feigning an accident, but reconsidered that course immediately, knowing the potentially catastrophic consequences. And those monsters in the east have learned of our movement and are sweeping back toward the west. There, too, were Avery, Pertelope, and two spare horses apparently the headmasters had expected Cadderly to allow Rufo along. Cadderly came to understand then that the elves were a people of feeling, a race of aesthetics, spiritual and at one with their natural surroundings, even more so than the humans who dedicated their lives as woodland priests. Cadderly looked down to his feathered ring, as if that might offer him some relief from what he knew he must do. The glitter of Stardust filled the air, descending over the targeted elf.
It transmitted three times—Saturday, Tuesday, and yesterday—and then shut down. More than you believe, came another of Druzil's intrusions. That only increases the importance of my task. We cannot, though, not with the library's priests looking over the town. Cadderly honestly didn't know, didn't understand what Deneir wanted or expected of him.
He felt again the sheer power of the trees, their inner life so different from any trees he had experienced before, and he knew beyond doubt that he had done right in convincing the elf prince to come to this place. Deneir's heart is a poet's heart, and a poet's heart drifts with the shadows of the clouds. His black hair and silver eyes shone in the morning light, which streamed through Cadderly's window. Druzil felt suddenly vulnerable, despite the fact that he was invisible and in a tree too weak-limbed for even the lithe elves to climb. They still sit, anticipating an ambush at the birch tangle, but they grow impatient. Only a dozen archers had been spared to go with the wizards, and those, Tintagel knew, would spend more time scouting to the east and keeping communication open with the main host than fighting. More exact information must be gained, and gained soon, I fear.
The only clues remaining, then, lead to Shilmista. Rufo was running out of time. Aballister had declared that he would introduce Druzil to the castle's garrison, but Dorigen had managed to change his mind at least for the time being. Cadderly only smiled and shook his head. All across the north face of the hillock, the invading monsters screamed out and fell, some hit by two or three arrows in just the blink of an eye. Aballister's door opened again, and in strode a man nearly seven feet tall, with corded muscles obvious under his fine silken clothes. It would have to do, though, for Cadderly's thoughts were too jumbled for him to make sense of them in writing.