If their lips continued to move so swiftly, sparks would shoot along with words. Morella had sunk upon the cream-coloured cushion of her scallop-like throne while the High Priestesses and swarms of knightesses were immersed in deep conversation, firing strategies and plans after Lyretta revealed the King’s intentions.
Some of the women paced wildly upon the white-grayish floor of the throne hall–the marble so polished their soles gave the impression of gliding upon water. The rest were hunched on the marble steps before Morella or standing by her side upon the dais. The dawn’s claret-coral light that streamed through the vast, glass vault directly above the throne made their complexion appear as if bathed with flowing cherry wine–the subdued glow magnified even more by the golden rings adorning the base and top of the pillars that flanked both sides of the room.
‘A strife against the faes is now inevitable, but we cannot allow free pass to all the otherwordly denizens. It’s sheer madness for all of us to become hopelessly entangled with them,’’ said Morella, her hands fidgeting.
‘’Our Lady speaks the truth,’’ said Lyretta. ‘’Great evil can be unleashed when the glamour is violated while not at its thinnest and strangers with unknown designs roam upon our soil.’’
Morella left her seat and climbed down the steps. ‘’We don’t possess the numbers to do battle at multiple fronts at once. Our strength lies in our unity. It’s imperative that the glamour between the realms isn’t dissolved. That way not only all the otherwordly folk will remain within their boundaries but, also, the faes will encounter terrible resistance in ascending to Rumia. Their delay will grant us ample time to prepare ourselves.’’
‘’How are we to ensure the glamour’s crust remains a solid wall that won’t crumble?’’ asked Anna as she slid a pair of daggers into the sheaths attached to the leather band around her waist.
Morella smiled at her archly, then whirled around, her gaze sweeping the huddled priestesses from head to toe. ‘’My knowledge of Olwen’s cult is extensive, yet it is nothing but a pale shadow of the true insight and education of our High Priestesses. For you,’’ she pointed at each and every one of them, ‘’are cognizant of ancient mysteries and rituals, incantations and prayers whose roots vanish into the very mists of millennia. Now the time has come to awaken them from your memory.’’
‘’Verily, but we’re still suffering from the sting of loss within our rank. With only five of us left, one of our triads is broken. That’s bound to weaken the effect of our invocation,’’ said Lyretta as she lingered within the circle of her fellow priestesses, at the bottom of the steps.
‘’Then Dione will accompany you and balance the odd to even.’’
Dione perked up from the pillar where she rested her back and, with a swift gait, plastered herself to Morella. She dipped her head and whispered, ‘’Don’t ask me to part from you. My place is forever by your side.’’
Morella pulled her into a warm embrace and kissed her cheek. ‘’Cease protesting. It brings me joy to hear such words. You’re a menacing warrior capable of overawing even the most vicious opponent, but a creature with gifts such as yours can do even greater good through awen than the tearing of flesh and bone.’’
Dione’s eyes pierced her blood sister’s; a grave expression darkened her face only to be soon chased away by an enigmatic smile. ‘’Then I promise not to lift sword and shield against our enemies.’’
An excerpt from my mythic fantasy novel currently titled The Fruit of Passion.
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