The people hunted through the forest, seeking the evil who had killed the Portal Keeper. They could be seen reporting back to the main sentry while the royal family was forced to stay inside with the Matriarch. Though they would normally head such a hunt, there was something to be said for the Lady's health. She couldn't handle it if they lost another child now, her heart was weakened as it was. They all were gathered in her chamber, the Matriarch sitting quietly in her chair while the others sat in the love seats and couches that Clovis and Kyera had occupied the night before.
Kyera sat far from the group, nested in the window sill looking out at the land of ice beyond the gates of the palace. Her heart beat was slow, hardly noticeable in the frozen air. The emotionless expression on her face was one that her friends and mentors back home would recognize but few others would. They were struggling to find anything they could do about this now. Any way to give the Matriarch another year.
Most the royals had already written Clovis off as dead. The worst part was, Kyera couldn't deny it. He was ill equipped to battle the realm of night. His determination to live would only take him so far in that land. Without her by his side, she could only hope that her father had returned to his kingdom and would see him through the trials safely. Something deep in her heart told her it was not true. There would be nothing for her in the end, no way for her to cross over and bring him back.
"Even if he succeeded there is no way to bring him back to us." Myra pointed out, her heart broken as well. To see her cousin like this was hard but right now, they were about to lose their grandmother. The people and the land had to come before their own pain and loss.
"There is no way he could survive long. He is still alive now or the portal would have returned his body to us. We can not be sure of how long that will last." Reever pointed out with a grave frown. There was a certain joy hidden under his emotional mask. There was such a sense of lies in his face that Myra was sick just at the sight of him, her eyes moved back to Kyera.
"Unless he reaches the Shadow Gate, he can still cross back through it. Even if our portal is gone that one can bring it home." Ramsey pointed out, wrapping a arm around Myra, and rubbing her arms lovingly. He tried to comfort her as the Matriarch mother watched them all. The guilt lay heavy on her head.
"Clovis never should have gone. It must end now. My death will end the need for these trials. It is time we transplant the flower to the earth and pray she takes to it." Crystalsa replied closing her old eyes, empty of the will to live. So many had died to try and ensure the continuation of her gift, the only chance her people had at survival, yet she had not taken care of it well enough. They would still be destroyed as a kingdom, but at least her family would be safe.
"Is there no one who can open the portal? Any way to send one of us in after the flower nectar?" Myra asked, tears pricking her eyes. Kyera took a quill and a feather from the table, and began writing. There was a long pause as everyone thought, trying to find a answer to this question. Kyera filled the first sheet of parchment, then moved to a second filling it as well.
"No, he will have to find his way home. That's the only way, but he has never been there before and their kind do not tell the tales of the Shadowlands as we do. He won't have the slightest idea how to find his way." Bryson replied frowning softly. He knew the grave truth of the matter was clear. Kyera's life had been shattered by their needs. Bryson was suddenly curious as he saw his niece fold the two parchments into letters, seal them and write on the front.she then turned to the window again, leaning on the sill for a moment before she spoke.
"Then I will go. He will need a guide. If I cross over, then I can lead him home. Crystalsa can name him prince in my memory, his daughter my heir. From then on I can guard the portal. Each year I can escourt your champion to the tree and back to the portal. No one else will need to die." Kyera spoke as she stared out at the forest beyond her. Tears pricked her eyes as she spoke wishing she could hug her daughter one more time.
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