Blood Finale (God Wars #5) (3 page)

BOOK: Blood Finale (God Wars #5)
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One of Lissa's words almost pushed past my lips—
wow
. I stared at Tybus with respect and awe—he planned to utilize what he had immediately.

"Dormas—Dee—can handle things in my absence," Tybus continued. "He knows as much as I about the difficulties our Alliance faces. If there is need, he will contact me and I will make myself available."

"Where should we start?" Aurelius asked. We'd gathered at EastStar, before returning Tybus to Campiaa.

"I say we start with Kay—and Kalia's memories," Astralan suggested. "We know, now, who you are," he nodded toward Tybus. "Pheligar informed us."

"A wise decision," Tybus agreed. "I hold within me what Gavril was, as well as what I am."

"Pheligar said so," Stellan nodded. "We are relieved."

"How do we approach Kay? She is fragile, no matter what," I pointed out.

"I can help, I think," Kevis offered. "It would be better if Bree, well, that won't happen." Kevis shook his head.

I knew Kevis loved Breanne—he'd discussed it with me before her disappearance. I didn't mind at all—I felt Kevis often received only the bits and pieces of my time that weren't demanded by the rest of my mates. He never complained, either, and I'd hoped that a relationship with Breanne would help him as much as it might her. That wouldn't happen, now.

"I'll contact Trajan," Aurelius offered. "He or Trace will come for us."

* * *

Avendor—present

Adam's Journal

"I think we should go back to Fresno in the past and wait for the bastard to show up again. You know he will," Kiarra paced inside the solarium. Merrill, Pheligar and I watched her agitated march, first this way and then that, as she attempted to discharge restless energy. All of us knew she spoke of Saxom.

"My darling, Moxas is with him. What might occur, should they realize we are from the future and not that particular time?" Merrill asked.

"I don't give a damn," Kiarra muttered. "I just want him to come for me, so we can kill him again. And as many times as it takes to make him dead forever."

"Lissa killed Moxas the last time, and this appears to be one of his clones," Pheligar observed.

"You think we ought to take Lissa with us?" I asked.

"Perhaps, although I can't say that she'll be able to come alone. I believe many of her mates will insist on coming with her."

"Perhaps I should make arrangements for additional housing," Pheligar said. "It may be needed."

"Can we put up another compound—like we did in the past? Is there land available?" I asked.

"I will do research," Pheligar nodded and disappeared.

* * *

Avendor—present

Reah's Journal

"Kay, we just want to track these women and take them out," Kevis said gently. "We'll make sure no children are harmed."

"Then you need to be careful," Kay brushed tears away. "They're awful. They'll kill all of them rather than turn them over," she added.

They'd treated her cruelly, I could tell. At that moment, I wished for Breanne's talent of reading someone, so I would know how much damage these women had caused. Not just to Kay, but to untold others.

"We want Hordace Cayetes and his crew as well," Kevis said softly. "Can you give us anything to go on?"

"Song and Serenade have contact information on them." Kay's voice was thick with her tears.

"We can hand that over to Kooper and Lendill," Edward muttered. "I believe that is in their domain."

"What will you do with the children?" The question bore pain and I wanted to weep with Kay as she asked it.

"Amara and her new mate will care for them." Aurelius had remained quiet until now. I turned to him in surprise. Yes, I knew who Amara's new mate was. Edan Desh. My reincarnated father—thanks to Kifirin. He'd become a healer for the Saa Thalarr and was now immortal, just as Amara was. My shoulders sagged at the thought.

"Yes. Amara and Edan will take care of them," I agreed.

My love, you are pale
, Aurelius' words brushed softly across my mind.
He is not the same as the one you knew. He merely wears that face
.

I know
, I replied. The Edan I knew had never had a kind word for me. This one—he would welcome me if I went to visit. Too much pain stood between us and I wondered if that would ever subside.

"Kay, I'll find them," I found myself making a promise to her. "They'll never harm children again."

"Thank you." She surprised me by wrapping her arms about me and hugging me tightly.

"You're welcome." My arms went around her shoulders and I hugged back.

* * *

Kifirin—present

Hank's Journal

"My Lord?" Nedevik Weth approached me cautiously as I stood atop the high dome of the palace. He was in his smaller Thifilathi, just as I was. Surprisingly, he could speak quite well in that form—most High Demons couldn't.

"Lord Nedevik?" I turned and nodded to him, taking my eyes away from the city of Veshtul below us.

"May I speak with you?" Nedevik asked politely.

"Of course. Do you wish to speak here or elsewhere?" I asked.

"I would invite you to my home, if you are willing to come. I offer food and drink as well, should you choose to accept."

"I accept." I nodded to the Patriarch of the House of Weth. Before he could skip away, I folded both of us to his home near the eastern mountains.

* * *

"I have watched through the years," Nedevik sighed over a glass of wine later. We'd eaten—he'd seen to that first.

"What have you noticed?" I asked. Nedevik was the eldest of the High Demons, slightly older than Gardevik, who was quite old.

"I have studied genealogy lately," Nedevik said, pulling a comp-vid from a nearby table drawer. We sat in his private study, finishing drinks after a fine meal. Nedevik waited until now to talk of anything important. I felt it was to spare the members of his household, especially his wife, who appeared quite worried.

"Genealogy?" His remark intrigued me.

"Yes. All High Demons except Reahrok are from Kifirin. You see where our race has fallen," he said bluntly. He'd given the honorific to Reah, too, and Jaydevik Rath had failed—or refused—to do it in the past.

"I understand that," I agreed.

"In fact, all the Dark Realm races have fallen—in one way or another."

"I know that as well," I nodded. All of them—either dead, dying or in disgrace. Only a few had escaped that fate, and they were constantly threatened. Except the High Demons, of course, and they were, in my opinion, at the top of the disgraced list. "What does this have to do with anything?" I asked.

"I believe it is connected with our creation," Nedevik breathed. "May I give you the rest of my observation in mindspeech? Might you shield us against intrusion of any kind?"

"Of course," I nodded to him and placed a shield. Nedevik was deeply concerned about something and I was now determined to find out what it was. If my suspicions were correct, then he and I might have traveled similar paths to reach our conclusions.

In our archives,
Nedevik began,
the tale of our beginning is recorded. Kifirin placed it there himself, if the legend is true.

It is true,
I nodded.

Good. I have been concerned on that point. That supports my theory
, he sent.

What theory is that?

As you know, Kifirin did not hold sufficient power to create the Dark Realm. That power was lent to him by his parent.

Yes, it was.
I was surprised that Nedevik had searched through the archives to read these records—most never bothered, including Jaydevik Rath, King of the High Demons.

You see that everything touched by that power is now dead or deteriorating. I fail to believe that it was only because Kifirin slept. It has also troubled me greatly that he did sleep. Why was that? Did he not realize that he was tiring? How did that come about? Any parent who cared for his child would point out that flaw. Perhaps even step in when his child was exhausted
. Nedevik blinked at me, waiting for me to confirm or deny his statement. I breathed a curl of smoke, instead.

Then
, Nedevik continued uncertainly,
we see that parent briefly—but only when Kifirin is about to fall into disgrace for struggling to keep a promise. Now, all find Kifirin abhorrent, even his mate, because he erred. Where was his parent when he began his journey down that path, or was his absence merely to allow the disgrace of his child and leave him without allies?

How many
, Nedevik's sending was a trembling question,
of the rogue gods were more powerful than the one assigned to oversee the Dark Realm? Before you accepted that assignment?

He worried that I'd be offended. I wasn't. His concerns mirrored my own. I couldn't recall seeing Kifirin's parent. Only Lissa and a few others had seen him in the past century, and then he'd disappeared. Nedevik was correct—as Kifirin's parent, he should have stepped in to help a struggling child. He didn't. He only observed the mistakes and forced an apology afterward.

I had no godling children. I'd chosen not to make any. All below the Ghi'Yisi were parented by others, however—until now. Many had been promoted in the past few hours. The Ear had informed me of this. How many of the rogue gods had parents still within our ranks? A chill raced down my spine, more smoke curled from my nostrils and my Thifilathi threatened to manifest.

"Lord Nedevik, thank you for this conversation," I rose unsteadily and nodded to him. "Gather your household. I will transport you to Avendor, where you will be safe."

* * *

Avendor—present

Trajan's Journal

"We have room," I said. "Marco, will you and Cori make sure they're comfortable and have everything they need?"

"Sure thing," Marco nodded. "Is there anything we ought to tell the others? They're not used to High Demons."

I understood what he wasn't saying—that he wasn't used to them, either.

"They're just like us, until they turn Thifilathi," I pointed out. "Hank tells me that Nedevik and his household won't be a bother. In fact, Nedevik may want to go through Ashe's library. Tell him he can read anything he likes and that he's welcome at the big house anytime."

"Okay," Marco said. I realized then that he was a bit depressed—his younger brother, Sali, had gone to a meeting and he'd been left behind. Sali would join the ranks of the gods in a few hours, while Marco would remain Marco.

"Marco, everybody is important in this war," I said. "A meeting will mean nothing if everything falls anyway."

"You think it will?" Cori blinked at me.

"Cori, I don't know what to think anymore," I reached out to tuck a blonde curl behind her ear. "I always thought Ashe would be with us, here and now. He isn't." I didn't add that I thought Breanne would be with us, too. Charles? I couldn't muster enough emotion to miss him as well. I was too depressed over the loss of Breanne and Ashe.

"Look, man, I didn't mean," Marco sighed.

"I know. Things are different now. We all have to adjust." I folded space to a quiet spot on Harifa Edus before I broke down.

* * *

Le-Ath Veronis—present

Lissa's Journal

Yeah, I stared. Li'Neruh Rath was inside my bedroom, pacing. Drake, Drew and Karzac had arrived earlier; we'd been discussing what might happen in the morning when Li'Neruh appeared. So far, he hadn't said anything.

"Healer?" Li'Neruh finally stopped pacing, coming to a stop at the foot of my bed. Karzac sat with me, leaning against the headboard. At least all of us were fully clothed.

"Li'Neruh?" Karzac said.

"Call me Hank. It's simpler," Li'Neruh sighed. "I know what you will be in a few hours. I need your help—and Trajan's. Care to join me as I travel to Avendor?"

"I'll come." Karzac was off the bed immediately. They disappeared in front of me without saying good-bye.

* * *

Avendor—present

Hank's Journal

"I need generals. For an army of High Demons," I said.

Trajan blinked at me in surprise. Karzac studied the problem for a moment without speaking. When he did speak, his words were weighted with wisdom. "Ask Dragon and his children," he said. "They all have experience in leading armies, and Dragons may be able to command High Demons when no other might rise to the challenge. You may also consider Dragon's brother, Crane. He was Dragon's General for a very long time."

"Why not all the Falchani?" Trajan turned to me and asked. "Plus Sali. He has war experience, too. Let me tell you, Caylon Black is a badass. Nobody messes with him. Not even Dragon."

"I like that idea," I said. "I will make contact, beginning tomorrow."

BOOK: Blood Finale (God Wars #5)
13.8Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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