The chaotic sounds of armor clanging and curses jolted the young woman out of her reverie. The noises became louder as knights pushed the heavy wooden doors open. She marked her place in her book and left her study. As she walked down the granite stairs, her gaze landed on a pool of blood at the entrance and with her eyes, she followed the trail that led to the infirmary. She looked up towards the sleep quarters, hoping that the noise wouldn't wake up her daughters.
She stepped gingerly around the blood and made her way towards the chaos. She was not ready for what her eyes beheld. With a silent prayer, she stepped forward.
"Thank the goddesses, you're here!"
The commander pulled her by the wrists and dragged her to the knight's bedside. She looked at the man's face contorted in agony and scanned down to see the man's side ripped open, his insides threatening to spill out. Unsure how he is still alive, she looked at the commander.
"They've done it, Olympe. They've harnessed the power of the beast blood!"
"How is that possible?" Olympe said, pulling her sleeve up to her nose as bile threatened to escape her throat.
"I do not know, but they ripped Javier to shreds!"
At the sound of his name, a wet sound gurgled from Javier's mouth. Olympe looked down at the man and his pain seeped into her aura. He reached out to her with a blood stained hand, his face begging for release.
"Please Madame Olympe," one of the knights pleaded with her. "Help him."
She moved the greasy and dirt-caked fringe from Javier's eyes and she smiled down at him. Hushing him as he let out soundless sobs, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath in. Waves of blue pulsated from her aura, filling the room with a calming content. She stroked Javier's cheek softly.
"You served this family and the Aerians well Javier Durand. Rest now in peace. May the Goddesses bless your bloodline," Olympe said with a touch to Javier's forehead, the blue waves dissipated and Javier fell asleep. "Commander Varon, please make preparations for Javier and his family."
Olympe felt a strong hand on her shoulder and she smiled. She knew that touch very well.
"Rainier," she whispered as she looked up at her husband. He gave her a smile and she knew that smile as well. It was a smile asking for forgiveness. She shook her head. "You can't leave me. You can't leave us."
She grabbed his hand like she was grabbing a life line. He and their children were her life.
"Olympe," he sighed, gently moving her chin up so she had no choice, but to look into his eyes. "I have to. You know I do. Our family is charged with the protection of our people." He wiped a tear that escaped her stormy gray eyes.
"I know," she let out a sad chuckle and tugged on his beard.
"No!" a small force wrapped around the Clan leader's torso nearly knocking the man over. "You can't leave, Papa. Send someone else out."
He peeled the arms that enveloped him tightly and bent down to cup his daughter's cheeks. "Emmy Lee. I'm so sorry, baby girl. I'm the leader of this Clan and I have to put a stop to this. I can't hide in the stronghold while our men are getting hurt."
Rainier caught a small motion out of his periphery and he looked up to see his other daughter lingering in the doorway. He took Em's hand in his and walked over to the other young woman.
"I'm sorry, Papa. I tried to control her."
"As if you could!" Em spat.
"Girls," Rainier said fondly, turning his gaze back to the girl with long white curls. "It's okay, Maimai. I'd like to see a person try to contain Emmy Lee." He ruffled Em's red hair.
Em looked at Mai and stuck her tongue out.
"What are you? Five?" Mai said folding her arms in front of her.
"Sir," Commander Varon called out to Rainier. "We need to make our strategies."
"Yes, of course," Rainier said.
The two girls were now pressed tightly against their mother.
"I promise you," Rainier said, looking at each one of them. "I will come back to you alive. Do you trust me?"
The three of them nodded their heads without hesitation. Olympe could tell by the satisfied smile on her husband's face that his mind found a bit of peace. He kissed his wife and children goodbye and they watched him walk out of the stronghold doors with the commander and his knights.