|Curse of Time|
|Book: Curse of time, Chapter 6|
Chapter 6: Army and Poison
The following morning, they were 3/4 of the way to the Gallian capital. Their new friend, Cocou, was riding with Suzuka and Hermione on Ro. Cocou's chimp friend, who they decided to call Simon, was riding with Drako, Guiche had his horse almost to himself, with Lanayru riding around his shoulders, and Arthur and Erlea had the last horse. Something Erlea was not happy about.
"I'm not happy with the arrangements Suzuka!" Erlea said loudly from the back of the line, Arthur's hands around her waist, moving up and down suspiciously
"Stop whining." Suzuka called back "He wouldn't ride with Drako or Guiche, you were the only person he would."
"It's nice that we can be so close my beloved." said Arthur
"Don't even think about it." Erlea said dangerously, as one of Arthur's hands moved below her skirt, and the other up to her breast.
"I see the city." said Drako, as they got closer to the city "I hope Koba got the message to them, or they'll be in for a big surprise when we turn up after only a day."
"You sure this little girl is the new mage?" Guiche asked
"Without a doubt." Suzuka replied "When she's this close to me, I get the same strange feeling I get when I'm around mom."
"Will you all stop talking." said Hermione "Cocou looks like you're overloading her with information." Indeed, Cocou did look like she was struggling to understand.
"She can't understand what we're saying anyway." said Suzuka "She's gonna require language lessons."
"Who's gonna teach her?" Erlea asked
Before anyone could answer Erlea's question, the ground exploded in front of them, causing Ro to rear up and throw the girls off her back.
"What was that?" Drako asked as Suzuka scrambled to her feet.
"That!" said Guiche pointing at a cloaked figure on a hill near them. before any introductions of any kind could be made, skeletal figures wearing armor emerged out of nowhere and charged at the group.
"What are these things?" Drako yelled sending a flame blast at them
"I don't know?" Suzuka responded "Hermione, protect Cocou. Malayis Nicone Windi!" she sent a powerful wind blast at them.
Everyone, but Hermione, fought the skeletal figures with all they had. Even Erlea joined in despite protest from Suzuka over her condition. They fought on and on, but there seemed to be no end to the hordes, until....
"EXPLOSION!" someone yelled over the way, and an blast like a bomb blew up a whole bunch of the hordes. The kids looked up and saw that it was Louise who had cast the spell. The grownups, including Tabitha, had arrived to help. After another ten minutes of fighting, all the hordes were gone, along with the figure that appeared to have summoned them.
"Mom!" said Suzuka, hugging her mother when the fighting was over "Dad, I'm glad you're here."
"We were wondering what was taking you so long, when we noticed this fight going on." said Saito
"Is this little girl the new void mage?" Tabitha asked looking at Cocou, who was still in Hermione's arms
"Yes." said Suzuka, breaking free from Louise "Her name is Cocou."
"Somehow, I thought she's be older." said Kirche
"Never mind all that." said Drako "What were those things?"
"Skeletors." said Guiche Sr. "But they haven't been seen in over sixteen years."
"The only person who could summon them was Omeggadon." said Louise
"But, he's gone. Isn't he?" Guiche Jr. asked
"He's supposed to be." said Agnès "I hope this doesn't mean what I think it means."
"Unfortunately, it does." said Tabitha, as she picked up Cocou in her arms
"What do you mean?" Hermione asked
"Yeah, tell us." said Kirche
"Early this morning, I received a message, by delivery hawk, from a spy I sent into the ranks of the rebels." said Tabitha "Our worst fears are confirmed. Omeggadon is back."
As everyone digested this, Suzuka noticed that Erlea was still on the ground. "Erlea, are you all right?" He asked as she helped Erlea to her feet. She just managed to notice the viper tattoo glowing beneath Erlea's shirt before the glow faded. The viper had moved very far as a result of all the magic Erlea cast during the fight."
"I'm Ok." Erlea said, rather weakly
"Where's Arthur?" Drako asked, seeing the two
"Take a guess." said Erlea, pointing to a nearby rock with her thumb. Drako went to see, and then he saw Arthur, cowering behind the rock with his hands over his arms.
"You coward!" Drako yelled pulling him up by the scruff of the neck
"Who's this?" Louise asked
"Arthur Nickerton." Suzuka answered "We'll explain on the way back to the palace."
"Speaking of which, this little girl's gonna need a bath when we get there." said Tabitha
They all went back to the palace to discuss the next few matters, but when they got there....
"So whats next?" Guiche Jr. asked as they entered Tabitha's study, where Siesta, Henrietta, and Tiffania were waiting.
"SUSAN!" said a familiar voice once they were all in the room. It was Louise's father. With him were Karin, and Eléonore Vallière.
"Dad? Mom? Eléonore?" said Louise
"Grandfather? Grandmother? Aunt Eléonore?" said Suzuka "What are you all doing here?"
"Why didn't you tell us they were here?" Drako asked
"Because they weren't here when we left." said Tabitha, Cocou still in her arms
"And Your Majesty, what is that filthy rat in your arms?" Duke Vallière asked
"She's not a rat, she's person." Tabitha retorted "The new Void Mage of Gallia in fact."
"So that's where you sent Susan and her friends? To rescue Gallia's new Void Rat?"
"My name is Suzuka!" Suzuka shouted "And she's not a rat!"
"Nevertheless, you're coming home with us right now."
"She's not your child father!" Louise shouted
"Don't tell her what to do." said Saito "Mother-in-law, Eléonore, say something."
"We came here to give our family support, not to drag them home." said Eléonore, and Karin nodded
"Should we intervene?" Henrietta whispered to Tabitha
"I try to stay out of family matters." said Tabitha as she put Cocou down and got out some wine from the shelves
"Now see here!" said Duke Vallière
"Now now sir." said Guiche Sr. trying to intervene "Gallia is in the middle of a war, and Queen Charlotte needs all the assets she can get."
"This war is why I'm trying to bring Susan home."
"When will you get my name right?" Suzuka shouted "And you don't have any authority over me."
"Everyone calm down." said Tabitha, who had already poured enough wine for all the adults "Settle this all later. Right now, Gallia just won its first real victory. In preparation for Romalia's arrival, my armies have regained control of the border. So how 'bout a toast to victory?" all the adults took a glass of wine
"To victory!" everyone exclaimed, but before anyone could take a drink, Duke Vallière had already swallowed his, clearly in frustration, and fell to the floor. He was writhing around and foam was issuing from his mouth.
"Grandpa? Grandpa!" Suzuka shouted dropping to her knees at his side
"What in the world?" Tiffania said taking a look at her drink
"Poison, that's what!" said Siesta "Tabitha?"
"I didn't know." Tabitha pleaded
"Somebody do something!" Louise yelled.
Guiche Jr. took the potion bag Montmorency had with her and began to mix an antidote. Within seconds, he had it done."
"Open his mouth." Guiche Jr. ordered. Karin did so and Guiche poured the antidote down his throat. Within a minute, his breathing eased up.
They brought Duke Vallière to one of the guest rooms to recuperate, and his family was sitting around him while he still lay unconscious in his bed.
Two hours later:
"Not one of his better days is it?" said Saito
"It's not funny Saito." said Eléonore "He could've died."
"What I want to know," said Louise "Is why there was poison in the room at all."
"Charlotte?" Henrietta asked Tabitha, who was holding the wine bottle
"I received this as a gift of good will from a noble early this morning." said Tabitha "He must have been a rebel assassin."
"If it was meant for you, this was a very slick attack." said Saito
"You're right. They must've known I wouldn't pass up something like this."
"Your Majesties." said Karin "My apologies, but, could you leave us alone for a few minutes."
"Of course." said Henrietta, and she and Tabitha left the room
"Grandpa." said Suzuka, who was holding his hand, though a sob "I don't know if you can hear me, But I want to say, I'm sorry. The things I said to you, I was terrible."
"Don't worry." said Duke Vallière suddenly, gripping Suzuka hand harder
"Father! You're awake!" said Louise
"Grandpa!" Suzuka shouted, hugging the Duke
"You gave us a real scare." said Saito as the Duke hugged Suzuka back
"Don't ever scare us like that again." said Eléonore
"Who saved me?" the Duke asked as Suzuka let go at last
"It was Guiche Jr." Suzuka said through tears "He's really inherited his mother talent with potions."
"In any case, I want to apologize to you was well." said the Duke, as he wiped Suzuka's tears away
"For trying to control you. I should've realized years ago that Louise chose to have you, and taking charge of your life was out of order. Is there anything I can do to make up for it?"
Suzuka just shook her head and said "Forgiving each other is what a family is supposed to do."
"Thank you.... Suzuka."
Suzuka was stunned that her grandfather had finally said her real name, but was even further stunned by what he did next: he sat up and kissed her on the forehead, something he had never done before. With the long awaited reconciling done, the entire family, minus Cattelya who was still in Tristain, embraced.
"There's nothing stronger than the bond of a family, is there?" Tabitha asked in the hall, having heard everything they had said
"No there isn't." Henrietta replied
Later in the girls room;
Erlea was thinking hard about what happened earlier when the door opened and Suzuka came in at last.
"Is your grandfather going to be OK?" Erlea asked but then noticed that Suzuka had brought Henrietta, Tabitha, and her mother, Dina, with her
"He's going to be just fine." Suzuka replied "But right now, we want to talk about you."
"Please sit down." said Henrietta, and Erlea obeyed and sat on her bed, everyone else at on the one adjacent to it.
"Show us the tattoo." said Dina, Erlea looked at Suzuka
"I told them I promised not to tell, but after what happened this morning, I had no choice." Suzuka answered to Erlea's look
"Mom, your majesties, it's nothing really, it...." Erlea started
"Miss Omag, please." said Tabitha
Seeing there was no point in denying, Erlea undid her shirt and showed them the viper, which had moved up her chest and was now halfway around her left breast.
"I'm sorry Erlea." said Dina "But until we figure something out, you are not to use magic under any circumstances. Understood?"
"Your mother has already lost so much, she can't lose you too." said Henrietta
And with that, the adults left the room.
"I'm sorry Erlea. I had too." said Suzuka
"It's alright." Erlea replied as she re-buttoned her shirt "They were bound to find out anyway. I just... I just don't like feeling... so useless."
"Don't say that. We'll find a way to break the curse. No curse is unbreakable."
With Suzuka words of comfort in mind, both got ready for bed just as Hermione came in, not surprised by the viper on Erleas chest as Suzuka had told her too. Knowing their adventure in Gallia was far from over, they all got as much rest as they could, they were going to need it.