Haldir' helplessness was all over his face. He nodded with an exasperated sigh. "I don't want her to feel terrible at this point of time. Every day I see her spending time with Ruvyn and every day my gut tightens. I know that Theodir is a ruthless king and I know that he won't have any mercy on Inyanga. For him the kingdom comes first." Haldir walked to the window of the study. The frost had settled on the latticed framework.
"You must tell it to Inyanga, Haldir. She is a smart witch and she might come with a temporary solution. The other day you said that she isn't allowing nursemaids to handle Ruvyn. I have also heard from the girls that mother's milk is important for six months." He wasn't sure and he couldn't believe himself that he had caught so much pregnancy talk. And to think that he would be in the same situation as Haldir—gods! He would never allow anyone to take his pup. His beast stirred. Protect. He had never felt so strongly for his child and his mate. He would rip apart anyone who would dare to take his child away.
Haldir's eyes were fixed on nothing beyond the window. He didn't reply to Ileus. He breathed through the jagged emotions that were coursing through him and his body shuddered. "I will tell her in time, but first I will be dealing with Theodir myself. He has to see the reasoning behind all this. He needs to let it go." Though Haldir was sure that he wouldn't.
Ileus felt terrible for his friend. The elf had suffered so much in his life and had punished himself for all the problems that occurred in his kingdom. Not only that, in order to make his brother's life better, he had come to live in this realm. But it seemed that belonging to the royal line had its disadvantages. There were so many rules and expectations that life was stifling. People judged you easily. They just wanted everything perfect and if you deviated from your destined path, you were labeled. The silence between the two friends stretched for a long time when Haldir turned to look at Ileus. He got the conversation back in line with Draoidh's problem and said, "I had sent my soldiers to track Aed Ruad after the war was over, but the trail disappeared after the Yardrak kingdom. They could have gone to Zor'gan and I am going to station my soldiers over there."
Ileus clasped his hands and exhaled heavily. "Yes, do that and also keep a strong vigilance over the northern border of Draoidh and Silver Vales. If Siora has escaped, she is more likely to use that route to reach Zor'gan than the southern route. The south side borders the human realm, and she wouldn't go there. Moreover, the forest is forgiving in the south side. She would rather stay hidden and endure the hardships of the travel in the north side." He leaned over the chair and studied the map again. "But keep your soldiers alert on the south side too."
Haldir bowed. "I will, Your Highness," he said and left.
Ileus saw him closing the door behind him. His gaze returned to the map. Thinking that Siora had escaped made him grit his teeth. If Anastasia hadn't vowed to Lore that she would let her live, he would have killed the demoness there. He had to honor his wife's vow and that is why he couldn't kill her.
Siora had spent the entire night traveling to the cave only stopping for her horse to drink water and take a few hours rest. As and as, she traveled north, the slope and the forest became unforgiving. Her horse would get tired soon. Snow increased and trudging through it was all the more difficult. The blizzard was so strong that she knew if it continued, she would be delayed. Plus, she needed warmth. For the fear of being detected, she hadn't burned logs to make food or to keep her warm. She was wearing layers of clothes to keep herself and her horse warm. She hoped someone would come her way to help her through this wilderness.
And help came… but in a weird form. That night when she was sleeping in a small cave she had found, she heard a gush of wind over her body. Panic flooded her and she thought that they had found her. She whipped her head to look around but no one was there. She gulped and then went back to sleep, but remained awake. A few minutes later an apparition formed in front of the cave's mouth. Siora stifled a shriek.
The apparition was very faint but it was the light blue and silver lights that rippled around it that made it look like a ghost. Some of the lights leaked through that shape and spread around it in a hazy way.
"Wh— who are you?" asked Siora. It looked like a wraith to her.
The shape came closer to the mouth and pointed to itself. Siora couldn't understand what it was saying. She scrambled back towards the wall of the cave as knots formed in her stomach. What was the apparition trying to do? It was holding a spear in his hand. He came closer to her and once again pointed to her.
Siora's face turned white and the hair on the back of her nape stood. She became still and in a hoarse voice said, "What do you want?" She had heard that Etaya's husband, Seraph, could talk to the spirits and could order them for he too had gone to that side.
The apparition pointed in her direction as if saying, I want you.
Siora held her fur up. She had never been so scared in her life. She didn't want to die, not until she killed Iona. "Stay away…" he said in a low voice. But the ghost came closer. She could feel icy chills touching her body. She curled her knees to her chest as her eyes widened further. "Please… stay away…" she rasped.
The icy chills on her body only increased. It was as if the ghost was feeling her. And then suddenly, the ghost embraced her. Siora screamed when she felt that her body was plunged into an ice slab.
"Don't be scared of me," said the ghost. "I am Seraph." Siora heard a manly voice but the voice was coming from her. The ghost had possessed her. She could feel its presence in her body. Her breath hitched and she felt like peeling her skin off. Her shock was over the top.
"Seraph?" she asked, her lips quivering. "This is impossible!" She was just thinking of Seraph only. The ghost was cohabiting her body and the feeling was sick. "Get out of me!" she shouted, feeling like scratching her body. She saw that her skin was now covered with hazy blue lights.
Seraph laughed. "I won't Siora. This is a small price you have to pay if you want to reach Aed Ruad soon and if you want to take your revenge.. While you can kill Iona, I will leave you once you help me with my revenge against… Etaya."