|Curse of Time|
|Book: Curse of time, Chapter 4|
Chapter 4: Gallia and the Void
Without having to go to Al Hambra, the group made it to the Gallia Royal Palace my mid-morning the following day, and were in the throne room within minutes of their arrival.
"Thank goodness you all made it." said Tabitha as everyone entered the throne room
"We had a bit of a delay, but we managed to get here smoothly." said Henrietta
"Straight to the point then." said Louise as Illococoo went to Tabitha's side "Since you're in the middle of a civil war, I understand why you would call a meeting of leaders, summoning Henrietta, Tiffania and Julio. But why call all of us here? Even our children."
"I learned from our battles when we were teens, that relying on friends is not a weakness." said Tabitha
"Too true." said Kirche
"Hear hear." said Guiche Sr.
"As for your children being here," Tabitha continued "I though we might find a use for them. They're teenagers now, and deserve their chance to shine."
"Stop it your Majesty. You're embarrassing us." said Drako
"However," Tabitha continued "Until recently, I struggled to find the use they could be to us. But now, information Julio brought with him reveal what they can do for us."
"What what might that be?" Saito asked
"When I entered Gallia, I passed through its southeastern jungle." said Julio
"Why did you go through there?" Suzuka asked
"Courtesy of the rebels, who denyed me any other point of entry." said Julio "In the time it took you all to get here, they seized full control of Gallia's border with Romalia."
"We'll get back to the rebels in a few minutes." said Tabitha "More to the point, while passing through there, he heard a rumor and tale that had not yet reached my ears."
"Go on." said Tiffania, as everyone's interest was captured
"While I was passing through with my escorts, I heard this story in a town I stopped in:" said Julio "One night, someone, or something, snuck into a mage's camp and took their wand. When the mages woke up, the thief tried to run for it but was cornered. No one got a real look at the persons face, but before they could lay a hand on them, the thief subconsciously used the wand to move away at lightning fast speed. They then dropped the wand, and fled."
"I'm afraid some of us don't get what this story is about." said Agnès
"Agreed." said Beatrice
"How are Drako, Guiche, Hermione, Erlea and I supposed to do this mission with only this story to go by?" Suzuka asked
"This person moved at lightning speed." said Tabitha "Lightning speed."
"I get it!" said Saito
"What?" said Guiche Sr.
"Those of us who were there will remember that King Joseph, the last ruler of Gallia, was also the last Void Mage." said Louise
"And his Void ability, was moving at lightning speed." said Saito, and everyone understood as well
"So that's what you were getting at." said Henrietta to Tabitha "You believe that this person is...."
"....The new Void Mage of Gallia." Tabitha concluded
"So that's what you want the five of us to do." said Suzuka "Find the new Void Mage and bring him or her back here."
"Yes. And before the rebels catch wind of it, and try to get The Void on their side." said Tabitha
"You can count on us your majesty." said Guiche Jr.
"I knew I could. Now, I would like all but Henrietta, Agnès, Tiffania, Henry, Louise, Saito, Julio, and Guiche Sr. to leave us."
Everyone who was not asked to stay left the room.
"You think they're still listening at the door?" Louise asked
"Knowing them, most likely." said Tabitha "In fact, I know they're listening."
"Shoot!" Kirche whispered to the others behind the door
"But it doesn't matter, they're going to find out one way or another." said Tabitha
"So, what did you want to talk to us about?" Julio asked
"The political and military matters going on." said Tabitha "I didn't call for Germania, because they have their own problems to deal with, with that 'battle for the throne' going on. Speaking of which, the late emperors' youngest daughter was reported missing last month."
"I recieved a similar report a month ago." said Henrietta
"As did I." said Tiffania
"The rebels," Tabitha continued "though they seemed to have stopped in their tracks for the moment, moved faster than I originally predicted, so I am asking for your military aid."
"You have mine." said Tiffania "I will make a declaration of war on the rebels, and call for my armies."
"As will I." said Julio "I have assuranses that the new Pope will agree."
"Me too." said Henrietta "Saito, Guiche, I want you two to summon the rest of the order of Ondine Knights as well."
"I remember those boys." said Tiffania "So funny."
"By the way, I've been needing to ask." said Louise "Why was Beatrice with you?"
"When I ascended the throne of Albion, she appointed herself my personal adviser." Tiffania explained "She's still trying to find me a husband as well."
"That reminds me." said Henrietta "Have the rebels made any contact with you?"
"Yes." said Tabitha "Two days ago, they sent me an offer of peace, in exchange for their independence."
"They wanted to end the war by splitting the country?" said Saito revolted
"Yes. But I refuse to let this kingdom be split in two, so I sent back my rejection of peace in reply." said Tabitha "I did it rather halfheartedly, as I hate to see my people suffer."
"You did the right thing." said Henrietta "Agnès, I want you to call the rest of the Musketeer Force as well."
"The Order, and the Force?" said Agnès "We'll be leaving Tristain severely unguarded."
"The rebels will never be able to get as far as Tristain." said Guiche
"Dad's got a point." said Guiche Jr. behind the door
Later that night;
"I still can't believe it." said Louise in the baths with most of the women "A new void mage at last."
"It was a bit surprising." said Kirche "I would've thought the new mage would've been born and found long before now."
"Things like this are unpredictable." said Tiffania
"What is The Void?" Suzuka asked
"Of course you wouldn't know." said Louise "The Void is the fifth element in the pentagon."
"A Void Mage is born, not made." said Tabitha, who was having her back scrubbed by Illococoo "Only four are known to exist, and each is the master of a human familiar carrying a special power."
"They are born in Tristain, the home of Gandalfr, the Left-Hand of God," Henrietta explained "Romalia, the home of Windalfr, the Right-Hand of God. Albion, the home of Liveslatille, the Heart of God. And here in Gallia, home of Myozunitonirun, the Mind of God."
"I'm the master of Gandalfr, the familiar of Tristain and weapons." said Louise "Who happens to be your father."
"I never knew that!" said Suzuka in shock. Hermione was surprised too
"It's the truth." said Agnès "And everyone here knows it." everyone nodded
"So you're Gandalfr." Guiche Jr. said to Saito on the Men side of the baths, having overheard everything the women and girls were talking about
"That's right. I'm also Liveslatille, Queen Tiffania's familiar." said Saito "And Julio here is Windalfr, the late Pope Vittorio Serevare's familiar. I control weapons, that were meant to be weapons, and Julio controls beasts."
"So, your original relationship with Louise was 'Master and Familiar'." said Drako
"That's right too." said Saito
"Now, we're not going to bore you with all the details, but just say it worked out." said Guiche Sr.
"Hey Suzuka," said Siesta back on the women side "Do you know where Erlea went? She wasn't at dinner earlier."
"I don't know." Suzuka replied "But I might as well look for her." she got out of the water and put a towel on "She, Hermione and I are sharing a room tonight, and we need our rest if we're going looking for a mage tomorrow."
Suzuka made her way back to her room to get dressed before going looking for Erlea. But she found Erlea standing on the balcony when she entered the room.
"There you are." said Suzuka, catching Erlea's attention and joining her "I wondered where you got too."
"You should get dressed before you catch a cold." said Erlea, noticing Suzuka was wearing only a towel. Erlea, on the other hand was already wearing her nightdress
"I'll be fine. I actually wanted talk about you."
"You've been acting strange since the ball."
"I'm fine really."
"I saw that tattoo on your stomach back in Tristain." Suzuka said, a little more bluntly than she intended
"It's nothing." Erlea responded "It's just... just a little going away present from my father."
"But when I saw the eyes on that snake, it was like it was alive. (Erlea sighed) Erlea.... We're friends now. Talk to me."
"Suzuka, listen." said Erlea "You must promise you won't tell anyone about this, not even my mom."
"Of course." Suzuka replied
"Look." Erlea said, pulling up her gown to show her the viper. It had moved a few inches upward
"It's out of place." said Suzuka
"I know." said Erlea dropping her gown again "It's because I used magic in that fight yesterday. My father, Omeggadon, came to me in my dreams and put it there. He said that, every time I use magic, the viper will move up my body, until it reaches my neck, and kills me."
"Erlea, this is crazy! You can't go on that mission with us tomorrow."
"In the middle of a war-torn country, we're going into what may be hostile territory. I'm not sitting around while others are out risking their lives!" Erlea retorted
"But if you use too much magic-"
"I know what will happen. That's why I'm going to try and refrain from using it too much."
"What do you mean by that?"
"We'll find a way to break the curse. One way or another. In the meantime, promise me you wont tell anyone about this."
"(sigh) Alright. You have my word." said Suzuka
"Then lets get into bed." said Erlea getting into her bed "We have a big day tomorrow."
Seeing it was useless to protest or argue, Suzuka followed suit, and got her nightgown on and into bed. But, it wasn't until long after Hermione came in and fell asleep, that she finally did so herself. Suzuka now had several things on her mind; Erlea predicament, and the fact that the new Void Mage of Gallia was in just as much danger as the rest of Gallia.
Things appeared to be grim.