Sorry for the inconvenience of my random posts. :) Enjoy reading the next few chapters!
Evening fell and supper was served cold by a red-eyed Vinea. Valkin and Dusak hardly said anything, and the three children were silent also. Mary was worried. She had figured out who the prince was, so now her mind went back to the king. How could they help him, and would he get rid of the counselor?
She glanced over at Valkin, still puzzling over all this. His eyes met hers, and he gave a slight nod in the direction of the door. Mary frowned slightly, but looked away from him towards her brothers. Had they seen Valkin’s sign? She was relieved to see that they both had their attention on her, and she gave a quick nod. The boy’s exchanged glances, and they all went back to eating.
There was something, or someone, watching the house, and Mary did not like it. She felt a prickly sensation go down her back, and she knew she was being watched. She shuddered slightly, and glanced again at Valkin. The meal went on in silence.
Suddenly there was a crash, and the front door was flung open. Valkin, Dusak, Justin and Duncan all jumped from their seats and stood, ready to put up a fight if it came to that. Ten heavily armed elves came into the house and the leader spoke first, his voice rough.
“j seeta deddicae ru digumsy adeck tu pretik tendelle.” (I have orders to take you all to my master/leader) he said, his eyes sweeping over the elves and resting on the children. Mary’s eyes were ice, and she returned his stare, making him look away quickly. They didn’t have much choice in the matter, and accepted the fact that they were captured.
They were heavily guarded on all sides, making it clear that they were not to escape. The guards had tied their hands securely, and Mary’s hands ached. Duncan watched the guard nearest to him warily, and Justin did likewise. They were furious to not be able to do anything, especially when they saw their sister in pain. Their fierce eyes clearly told the guards to keep away from their sister, and so they kept their distance. Valkin, Dusak, and Vinea were kept separate from the children, and Mary was worried about the three elves. Undoubtedly, the counselor had a special punishment for them. She glanced worriedly up at her brothers, but they could only console her with a grim smile.
Duncan was looking straight ahead with his head held high, when he suddenly remembered Elliot’s gift, the Silver Flower. Immediately, he had hope. He stepped closer to Mary, the sibling closest to him.
“Mary, we still have the Silver Flower!” he whispered softly. Mary’s eyes lit up. She turned to Justin, and told him. He smiled with satisfaction, but suddenly, his face clouded, and he whispered something to Mary. Her smile also disappeared, and she turned to Duncan.
“Where is it?” she asked softly. Duncan was relieved that was all that was wrong.
“‘Tis around my neck on a string for safe keeping!” he said, and Mary quickly told Justin. Now hopeful, the trio followed their captors all the way to the castle. A password was said softly, and the gate opened. Saden Flettica glanced at the children in some surprise, but pretended not to recognize them. Mary, Justin and Duncan did the same, merely glancing at him. They continued up to the throne room, but turned before actually entering it, into a smaller hall. The door was opened by another guard, and when the door shut with a bang the children and the elves were together again.
They found themselves in a fairly large room, and the windows on either side filled the room with daylight. On the far end sat the counselor behind a desk, and to one side of him stood Glevanne Addets. His eyes met with the children and elves’ only a moment before looking away again. Duncan racked his brain for a way to deliver the note from the princess he still had before he was searched.
The counselor was looking at them smugly. He turned to Glevanne and whispered something in his ear, to which the elf gave him a quick nod and walked over to them, and then the counselor spoke.
“My agent will now search you for any illegal items.” He said, with a triumphant gleam in his eye. Duncan swallowed a smile. It was perfect. Glevanne would find the note, and all would be well. Glevanne made a big show of searching the elves, taking Valkin and Dusak’s daggers and Vinea’s locket. He searched Mary and Justin, finding their pocket knives and taking them, and then he came to Duncan. He felt him over, and took his knife. He left the silver flower around his neck, hiding it more efficiently before moving on, and found the letter. His face only slightly changed and he hastily concealed the letter on his own person.
The search was now complete, and Mary looked at Duncan, who gave her a quick nod while the counselor wasn’t looking. The letter was delivered, now the pendant would come into play.
The children and the elves were put in the same cell, which they were all very grateful of, and Mary spoke to Valkin as soon as they had their bonds off and heard the echo of the guards’ footsteps end and then silence.
“Valkin,” she whispered, her eyes shining. “Before we went on this mission, Old Elliot gave us a silver pendant to protect us. It’s in the shape of a silver flower. Will it help?” Valkin’s eyes suddenly lit up with hope.
“A silver flower you said?” he asked. Mary nodded.
“Aye! He gave it to the boys. Duncan has it around his neck as we speak.” She replied. Valkin smiled.
“Yes, it will help! The Silver Flower is a legend older than the kingdom itself.” Mary was puzzled.
“It’s a legend?” she asked. Valkin nodded, raising an eyebrow.
“Yes! You have not heard it?” the three children shook their heads; even Elliot had not told them this elfish story. Valkin smiled, leaning his head back against the damp prison walls and began the story.
“The legend of the Silver Flower is a story well worth listening to, and it is as true as you or I.” Valkin started, his eyes closed and he had a gentle smile on his face as he remembered how he was told the legend by an old elf. Finally Justin broke the silence.
“Ye still haven’t told us of the legend!” he exclaimed impatiently. Valkin laughed quietly and opened his eyes.
“Alright, I shall tell you the legend. It’s long, be prepared.” The children merely sat closer and let the story sink into their minds. Valkin began: “Yes, a long and complicated legend is the legend of the Silver Flower.” He paused. The children exchanged looks, and he continued.
“The legend started as a simple story, a story easily believed, for we are a magical people. It is said that a long, long time ago, when elves were more plentiful than men in this country, there lived an old, wise elf. His name is not known, but back then he was an important person.
“One day, while working as usual on some odd concoction or another, the elf discovered a magical metal substance deep within his cave where he did all his work. He excitedly dug all of the metal out of the rock, but was somewhat disappointed how little there was. Only enough,” Valkin paused and ran his finger over the delicate flower pendant, “To make one silver pendant. The elf went right to work, melting the metal, cleaning it, crafting it. When he finished the pendant, he was pleased. The pendant, as I have said, was crafted out of a magical metal found only deep within certain caves, and it is extremely rare, even for magical folk like elves, to find it. The substance’s magical power is this: It can create anything you ask, it opens all locked doors, and it acts as an invisible shield to the one who wears it, however, it only works if the ones using it can come up with a reason to use it for others, not only him or herself.”
Valkin took another deep breath, and looked at the children sitting in front of him. He smiled, took a drink of water, and proceeded.
“Because the Silver Flower is so rare and powerful, there were many who wanted to take the pendant from the wise elf and use it for their own gain. The elf knew this, and thought long on how he could protect it from the ones who would use it wrongly. At last, he came up with a plan, and he took the Silver Flower out of its resting place. Donning on a disguise, he travelled the world for a time, getting to know men and their ways, for all elves in the elfin kingdom, he simply disappeared off the face of the earth and no one has seen him since. However, after many years of this, (here is when the story begins to be true history, Elliot told me this part about his family) he found at last a trustworthy family. They lived in a small Scottish village at the edge of a thick forest. Though poor, they were honest and hardworking. The elf liked what he saw, and as a parting gift after they willingly hosted him for a few months, bestowed the Silver Flower to the father, Flannigan Elliot. The man did not know what a powerful thing he had, and life went on as usual for the Elliot family.
“However, after a few generations, when men prospered in the land and the elves retreated to the forest for safety, their came another man, He was the great-great-great grandson of Flannigan Elliot. His name was Grant Elliot, and he was a fine hunter. He stumbled across a stone circle one day, and stepped inside it for a moment for there was a deer he had been following for some time just ahead of him through some bushes. Imagine his surprise when an elf stepped out from behind a bush and asked his business. Elliot told him the truth, being honest, but still he was brought before the king. Elliot was soon loved by all the elfish people and many gifts were exchanged. He had heard stories from his father and grandfather about the Magical Folk and had interest in their lives. He learned their language, made many good friends, including the mother and wife of the king. His name was spoken over the entire elfish kingdom, which is the kingdom we are in right now.” Valkin turned to the children with a smile, and took another drink of water, stopping the legend long enough for a passing guard to leave.
“As a quick side note, though Mary and we elves already know this, our kingdom’s name means ‘Strength’ in the language of humans. We are very proud of our defensive abilities.” He cleared his throat. The three children leaned forward again, eager for him to continue the story.
“Grant Elliot decided to look into his past, feeling that he must have been linked with the elves somehow, and found that a certain elf had given a gift to his great-great-great grandfather. He searched over his house for it and at last found it in a secluded closet in a little used room. He took out the Silver Flower, and decided to find out what exactly it was.”
“During a long conversation with the king’s mother, she mentioned a mysterious legend about a silver pendent. He casually prodded for more about it, and she told him the legend. He realized that when the elf seemingly ‘disappeared from the elfish kingdom’ he really was travelling throughout the world and at last came to Scotland on his way back, he thought from a failed mission. He then met Flannigan, Grant’s great-great-great grandfather, and found him to be an honest, hardworking man. He gave the priceless pendant to him, and then promptly left. Flannigan didn’t know how precious a possession he had, and the Silver Flower was soon forgotten. That is, it was forgotten until now. Grant now knew how precious the pendant was, and he kept it safe for a long time.”
“But he grew to be an old man, and had no children to hand the pendant down to, he had to find someone who was honest and kind, and wouldn’t try to use the pendant for their own gain. After a few years, he at last found three people, siblings, who he knew would use the pendant wisely. So when the time came for the kingdom to be saved, he sent those certain humans to help our kingdom.” Valkin stopped and looked into the siblings eyes. He smiled.
“Yes, you three are those certain people. He gave you that pendant for such a time as this, using it you can get out.” His eyes scanned over the three humans, and he nodded his head as if agreeing to some unspoken thought of his. “He made a wise decision I think.” Justin frowned slightly.
“How can we use the pendant to get us out?” he asked. Valkin smiled.
“You are always thinking ahead, Justin, this is good.” He sighed. “Now, to answer your question, the pendent can help you in many ways. It can blind the guards’ eyes as we escape under their very noses, it can be used as a file to get through the bars of the window, it can be used as a key and unlock our door. Any of these things it will do, but only if it is for others that you do it.”
The three children exchanged glances, and Duncan chewed his lip thoughtfully. There was a moment of silence before Duncan spoke.
“We need to get out so ye can be crowned king.” He said. Mary’s head shot up, and she smiled.
“Aye and we need to get out so Shetta can marry Glevanne!” she said. Justin grinned, and he slapped his knee.
“And let’s not forget our own parents. If we’re stuck in here forever or be-headed, then they’d never get over it.” The elves laughed as the three humans came up with their reasons and the siblings were now full of vigor and ready to leave, but the elves had to think of who they needed to get out for. There was another silence, and the siblings waited, somewhat impatiently until the elves came up with an answer. Dusak spoke first.
“I need to be free so I can help Valkin rule.” He said, stealing a mischievous glance at Valkin out of the corner of his eye. “He’ll need lots of advice.” Valkin gave his brother in law a playful punch in his shoulder, but then sobered as he said his reason.
“I need to be free for the kingdom.” He said. “If I don’t become king, our land will perish under the evil counselor’s lust for power.” The children and elves both nodded their heads; this was the best reason yet. Vinea said her reason as Duncan pulled the pendant off his neck.
“My reason seems so small compared to all of yours.” She said softly. “But I need to escape for my family; my father would miss me sorely if I left.”
The children and Valkin exchanged glances and Valkin nodded, the pendant would work now. Duncan held the pendant to the lock, and the door opened as if it had never been closed and locked.