See Part 1 here.
Delia traded a glance with Kaya and approached the table.
“Welcome, niece.” The man at the head of the table rose and gave a small bow. “How nice to finally meet you.” He motioned to the table where two places were set. “Join us.”
Delia didn’t want to sit with these elves. There was no need to switch to her magical sight to see their auras, she could feel the evil permeating the room. Despite that, her stomach growled, betraying her to her great-uncle. She sat in the indicated chair as he smiled at her. Kaya sat beside her.
“Isn’t this nice.” Iyuno sat back down. More black elves appeared, carrying plates of food and placed them in front of each elf then left the room.
Delia’s stomach growled again at the aroma of the food in front of her. Some sort of roast meat alongside of root vegetables, and gravy over all. She looked up from her plate to her uncle. “Why are we here?”
Another smile spread across his face. “Why, niece! To meet you, of course. I never understood why your father sent you away. And to humans?” He shook his head. “A trial for you, I’m sure.”
Nethene and Ceinno both grinned at her. She could feel her skin crawl. “I survived.”
At that the three elves laughed. “Indeed, niece. Indeed. I hear you’ve learned to use your magic quite well since you’ve returned.”
She could feel her hand forming a ball of fire. Delia quickly shook it away. “Well enough.”
Iyuno picked up his fork and knife and cut into his roast. “Please, eat.”
She traded a glance with Kaya, who shrugged. Delia nodded and picked up her fork. The others had already begun. Would her uncle poison her? She didn’t know but she was famished and decided to eat. She stabbed a piece of potato and put it in her mouth, hardly chewing before she swallowed it. If it was poisoned, would she taste it? Would it kill immediately? Before she could think about it anymore, she cut a piece of the roast and ate that. Kaya followed suit.
Delia ate quickly as the three elves made small talk. They never once mentioned the battle that had raged outside of the castle. “What happened to my father?”
Iyuno put down his cutlery. “Happened?”
“The battle. What happened?”
Her uncle chuckled. “Nothing happened. Nothing at all.”
Infuriated, Delia looked at Kaya. She shook her head. Delia turned back to her uncle. “There was a battle. What happened?”
“Oh, that.” Iyuno picked up his goblet of wine and sipped as Nethene and Ceinno chuckled. “We won.”
Delia froze. Her father was dead? How else would this evil monster be sitting here? She reached out and picked up her goblet. It was water. She drank it all then placed the goblet carefully on the table. Was he playing a game with her? Kaya reached out and put her hand on Delia’s shoulder. Delia blinked back tears. She wasn’t going to believe Iyuno. “Then you have no reason to hold us. Let us go.”
“I think not.” Iyuno’s voice was cold. “No. You’ll stay with me. He raised his hand. Three black elves appeared at the door she’d come through. “Take them to their room.”
Delia and Kaya rose and went with the elves. They traveled a different direction from before dinner and were led to a furnished room this time. They were locked in and with her magical sight, Delia could see a protection barrier put up on it. The windows, too were protected. There were two beds with night clothes for them laid out on each. Delia went to one of the glassed windows and looked out. There was a crescent moon, low in the sky but she couldn’t see much else in the dark. She wrapped her arms around herself. What had happened?
Kaya stepped beside her. “He’s lying, you know.”
Delia nodded. “Yes. But about what? He’s sitting in his castle with his two favorite followers having a quiet dinner. None of them were injured. At best the fight was a draw and father retreated to our camp to regroup. At worst, he’s dead and the army scattered. Iyuno could be the new king for all we know.”
“Or your father defeated the black elves and has retreated into this castle. A prisoner. Your father doesn’t know we’ve been captured.”
Delia pressed her fingertips to her temples. “Then he’s worried sick about where we are.”
“Perhaps. Or perhaps Iyuno sent him a message saying he has you.”
“That’s not better, Kaya.” Delia pounded fists on her thighs. “Not better at all.”
“No, it’s not.” Kaya put an arm around her friend’s shoulders. “Let’s clean up. They left us a pitcher of water and wash cloths. We’ll get some sleep and make a plan in the morning.”
Delia nodded. In bed and the familiar magical light off, she wondered at her uncle’s use of torches. The magical lights were so much cleaner. Then her mind drifted to what her father was doing. If he wasn’t dead already. Those thoughts churned for a long time. She didn’t know when she drifted off but woke to sunshine streaming through the windows and a black elf leaving a breakfast tray. Kaya was already up and dressed, watching the elf as he left.
After the door locked she turned to Delia. “You’re awake. Good. Breakfast is served.”
“Sorry I slept so late. I had a hard time getting to sleep.” Delia tossed her blankets aside and got up.
“I know. I could hear you thrashing around.”
“I’m sorry I kept you awake.” Delia splashed her face in the remaining wash water and got dressed.
“No matter.” Kaya examined the tray. “A pitcher of water, bread, cheese and apples. Not bad.” She plated the food and sat down at the table. “A little butter for the bread would have been nice.” Kaya ripped a roll in half and pulled a bite off, pairing it with a bit of cheese before eating it.
Delia joined her at the table. “I suppose if he didn’t poison us last night he wouldn’t poison us this morning.”
Kaya laughed. “Probably not.”
They ate companionably, in silence until the food was gone. Kaya leaned back in the chair, mug of water in hand. “So, what’s our plan?”
Delia shook her head. “We can try and break the spell on the door and sneak out.”
“Sounds good. Let’s give it a try.”
Thank You! Come back next week for Part 31.
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