Kanes stopped the women by the boutique entrance. “Listen,” he said softly. “Thalixen told me about Tahlmus. I think it’s better, for now, if this King thinks Coral married me and that we don’t really know or care for Tahlmus.” Ardeszeld and Lillianna looked at him; their eyes were full of questions. “Otherwise he might torture one of us to force Tahlmus to give him the draconic power.”
Coral had already given thought to what Kanes had said. She just nodded along with the other two. Kanes told them he had already explained it to Solas and Anders, who had agreed to play along. The women then followed Kanes and Urytemil to the dining hall. Thalixen was at the doors with Solas and Anders waiting for them. They walked into the hall as a group, with Coral staying to the rear. She didn’t want Altair to recognize her right away.
Looking around the hall, Coral noticed that Altair had not yet entered, but two others were already sitting at the table, a tiny crib behind them. “Atargatis,” she said excitedly as she rushed over to her old friend. Atargatis looked surprised but welcomed the hug Coral wrapped her up in. “What are you doing here?” Coral asked in a whisper.
“Mystic and Altair are cousins. Altair said he has something to discuss, we assumed he had gotten Urytemil and wanted to brag,” Atargatis replied softly.
Coral growled. “It’s not Urytemil.” Atargatis stared at her friend. “It’s Tahlmus,” Coral finished in a whisper. She then told Atargatis to not give any sign that she had once belonged to Tahlmus, and that if anything was said, Coral herself, belonged to Kanes. “I can explain more later,” she whispered. Atargatis just nodded before going back to sit by Mystic, whispering to him as she did so.
Once Kavan and Genevieve were settled into their cribs, servants showed the rest of them to their seats. They had just taken their seats as the King entered, causing them to have to stand. “Please, please sit,” Altair stated as his gaze fell to each of his guests. His gaze lingered on Coral, and when her eyes met his, she knew he remembered her. The only question left was, would he bring it up, or would she?
“Let me start the introductions,” the King stated. “Then, Urytemil, you can introduce me to your enchanting family.” Urytemil just nodded politely. He wondered what kind of game the King was playing. “This,” the King started as he motioned to his right, “is my cousin Mystic, his beautiful wife Atargatis, and behind them their daughter Kynes.” Mystic and Atargatis just nodded as the King said their names.
“Well, this is my wife, Thalixen,” Urytemil said motioning to his left. “Then on my right here is my daughter, Ardeszeld, our daughter-in-law Lillianna, our son Kanes, our other daughter-in-law Coral, our grandsons, Solas and Anders. Then in the cribs are our newest additions, Kavan and Genevieve. Everyone nodded as Urytemil introduced them. Though Coral noticed that Solas and Anders nodded at each other’s name, instead of their own and she started to wonder what game the twins were planning on playing.
The King opened his mouth to speak, but was interrupted by the door opening behind him. A young female elf came through the door. She was dressed too well to be a normal servant, but not well enough to be considered a part of any noble or royal family. “Is something wrong Karia?” the King asked annoyed at her interruption.
“Your majesty, I was with the prisoner when the guards came…”
“Yes, I sent for him,” Altair replied studying her.
“But your majesty, he’s not…”
“Don’t worry yourself, Karia,” the King interrupted in frustration. “In fact why don’t you sit next to my cousin’s wife,” he finished motioning to Atargatis. He carefully watched as Karia moved to follow his request. She kept her head bowed and kept her hands in her lap as she sat. Felazair had told him that Tahlmus was all Karia had been talking about since she had accepted the assignment. However she had no information he could use against Tahlmus. “Something is going on,” he thought as the doors opened again.
This time he saw Tahlmus being thrown through the doors, landing on his face, since his arms had been cuffed behind him. A groan came from the young male elf which made Altair smile. He patiently watched all the faces of his guests. Thalixen had covered her mouth, the start of tears evident in her eyes. The rest barely paid attention to the disturbance. At least everyone except Mystic; his eyes had gone dark. This pleased Altair, as he then turned his attention back to Tahlmus who was struggling to stand.
“What are you doing with him?” Mystic asked through clenched teeth.
Altair chuckled at his cousin. “After hearing about you giving up the quest for the Black Dragon, I started to do a bit of research. I found out about Urytemil, Thalixen and their son Tahlmus who was more powerful. You can imagine my excitement when Urytemil and Thalixen showed up at my castle.”
As Altair went on to explain the deal they’d made, Mystic turned to look at Thalixen and Urytemil, who had their heads bowed; their hands folded on the table in front of them. He noticed the bracelets. They couldn’t use their magic. Mystic also felt an anger building in him. “After everything…” he started looking straight at Urytemil. “After everything he went through for you… You… You just handed him over to my cousin?” Urytemil did not reply. Mystic turned to the others. “And you let him do it?”
His eyes scanned all their faces, finally landing on Coral’s. He knew what Atargatis had told him. She had told him everything after they had gotten married. He couldn’t believe that Coral would have let Tahlmus be given to someone that wanted the draconic power. He wanted to believe that Coral wouldn’t have allowed it to happen; so why was Tahlmus in cuffs.
Altair’s laughter pulled Mystic back out of his thoughts. “Oh, my dear cousin, you have so much to learn.” Mystic growled as he looked over at Tahlmus who was still trying to get to a standing position. “I gave Urytemil what he wanted which was space in my castle. He gave me what I wanted, his first born.” Altair laughed as Mystic face turned to one of confusion. “Now all I need to do is convince him to give me his draconic power; since him giving it to me willingly, will make me more powerful, than if I drain him.”
“I will never give you what you seek,” Tahlmus’s voice was soft and haggard, but it reached the ears of all sitting at the table.
Mystic looked at the young elf. Tahlmus had gotten to a standing position. As Altair continued to laugh, Mystic noticed that Tahlmus’s hands were now cuffed in front of him instead of behind. “Tahlmus can still use his magic,” Mystic thought to himself.
As Altair finished laughing, he snapped his fingers, and eight guards appeared. “This is your family, is it not?” he asked looking at Tahlmus. As he looked at the young elf, one of the eyes turned purple. It was dull at first, but became brighter as a half-smile appeared on Tahlmus’s face.
“They are not my family,” the voice that came from Tahlmus’s mouth was low and deep, nothing that any of them had heard before. “Do with them as you please.”
The guards started to approach the table, as a deep maniacal laughter that filled the hall came from Tahlmus’s lips. Grumbling, Mystic jumped up from his chair. “You heartless…” He didn’t get any more words out as he cast a spell that propelled Tahlmus into the far wall. The head was the last to hit, and Tahlmus just crumpled to the floor unconscious.
Tahlmus groaned as his body hit the cold hardwood floor. His muscles had gone back to being tense, and it was a struggle to try to stand. “You know if you would let me heal us like we should have been you wouldn’t be struggling.” The voice in his thoughts was arrogant and angry.
“Andrekaon, just because you are mad about being suppressed because I never knew or understood my draconic side does not mean we can disobey Bahamut,” Tahlmus voiced the thoughts to his inner dragon who growled at him.
“At least use our magic so our hands are cuffed in front instead of behind. We’ll stand easier,” the voice came back at him.
“Fine.” Tahlmus gave into Andrekaon’s demand. He had learned about his inner dragon as he slept after Bahamut had informed him about draconic mates. Andrekaon had been able to come to the surface, speaking with Tahlmus as he slept. It was rare for a dragon to have two sides, but as Andrekaon had explained, Tahlmus was a hybrid, so they both occupied the same body. The two hadn’t agreed on anything since that night. Well, almost… they did agree that Karia was beautiful and sweet. Tahlmus liked how calm Karia made Andrekaon.
With his hands now in front of him, Tahlmus got to a standing position. As he did he heard the last of Altair’s comments, “since him giving it to me willingly, will make me more powerful, than if I drain him.”
“I will never give you what you seek,” Tahlmus stately softly. The lack of water made his voice sound gravelly. Altair started laughing.
“Why is that one staring at us?” Andrekaon’s voice came back through his thoughts.
“That is Mystic. He knows us, well me… it’s complicated,” Tahlmus replied as his ears picked up the sound of Altair snapping his fingers. He then saw guards appear.
He smiled inwardly as Andrekaon voiced what Tahlmus already knew. “It’s Bahamut.”
“This is your family, is it not?” Altair’s words interrupted Tahlmus’s thoughts.
“Let me come out,” Andrekaon pleaded in his head.
“Fine, it’s probably better you answer him anyway,” Tahlmus replied. “Just let me speak with Mystic. It may be Bahamut and his followers as guards, but we shouldn’t take chances. Not yet.”
Andrekaon growled as Tahlmus started to relinquish control. Most gold dragons had emerald colored eyes when they took on a humanoid form, but Andrekaon was not a gold dragon, and his choice of eye color was purple.
“They are not my family,” Andrekaon answered through Tahlmus’s lips, as he took over half of the elven body, allowing Tahlmus to maintain enough control to speak to Mystic through thought. “Do with them as you please,” Andrekaon finished.
While Andrekaon spoke to Altair, Tahlmus sent a message to Mystic through thought. “You will need to silence us somehow. I will explain everything later if you can visit our cell alone. Just silence us so our family is protected.”
Tahlmus felt the maniacal laughter that coated his lips, and filled the dining hall as he watched Bahamut and his followers start moving towards his family members. “That laughter was a nice touch,” he voiced only to Andrekaon.
His inner dragon didn’t get a chance to reply as Mystic stood yelling at him, “you heartless…” Neither Tahlmus nor his inner dragon heard anything else as Mystic’s magic propelled the body into the wall making them both black out.