Chapter 93Negotiations Turn

Derrek smirked at the five of us. Seven, if you counted the guards, but they just looked apprehensive and out of place and Derrek probably didn't deem them worth looking at. He was waiting for our response to his cryptic behavior, mostly judging me, Deirdre and Maeve. He probably already know all he needed to know about Valerius and Francisco.

Of course it was one of them that responded first.

Francisco. "So you set us up here?"

Derrek smiled. "Not that I like admitting it, but no. These two found out that there was something going on that was creating unrest between humand and spirits. Of course, who am I to leave an oppertunity pass by?"

Deirdre smiled at this. "You'd be more clever."

Maeve looked at Deirdre for moment, but then smiled with her. I didn't immediately get it, but I was sure I'd find it out soon enough.

Derrek, however, looked annoyed. "What do you mean?"

Deirdre shrugged. "Well, you've exposed yourself to a lot of eyes now. Not just those of us, but the forest is alive, you know."

He wanted to reply but held his tongue. Instead he looked around insecurely for a moment before he regained his composure again. It was kind of funny to see him this surprised, by a girl. I think he was angry at himself for even being thrown off balance. But the only people who are truly balanced are those who don't try to control anything.

Unlike him. "No, I don't think I have lost just yet."

I smiled as well now. "So, you were surprised by this meeting and our influence in it."

He shrugged. "Surprised that someone so insignificant could have an effect, that's all. But make no illusions, all of this is has given me the chance to speak to someone I wouldn't otherwise have met." He looked at Maeve.

She probably saw this coming. I stepped forward, between Derrek and Maeve. "But you won't be able to hurt her."

He frowned at me. "I know about you Taran. These probably don't. You're an abomination yourself and you're a fool to refuse the Twilight."

Valerius and Francisco looked at me with surprise. Maeve, however, didn't. Had she known all along? Possibly she had, she looked differently at people. But she didn't let it be known, which was kind of nice, I suppose.

I shrugged. "It's just a title, I'm no less a human than anyone else."

Francisco nodded. "He's right, risking so much to expose the likes of you is worth some understanding."

Derrek looked slightly taken aback. "But he's just a betrayer of his kind."

Valerius stood next to Francisco. "No, he's not. He did what's right, the same can't be said of you." And, he added in a soft voice. "Or us."

Deirdre drew the sword from my sheath, the Guards suddenly payed more attention. "And don't think you're getting away from here easily, Wolfe."

Derrek didn't look at all afraid. "I tire of this."

He looked around to the forest. "Alright, I suppose it's time then."

Noise in the bushes made us look around. Men had come, four that I could see. Two behind me and Deirdre, one behind Maeve and one behind the Council members. The Guards drew their weapons as well, but they weren't sure what to do.

A strange, soft noise made me look around.

Valerius gasped in pain but made no obvious sound. There one behind him was doing something, but I couldn't quite see it. My attention was elsewhere. His eyes and mouth were wide-open, but no sound or mind anymore behind them. His skin appeared to glow from within. It was a silent fire, a silent glow that shared no warmth with the world. He fell apart slowly, his legs giving way and his clothes slowly falling to the ground with him. When the glow grew, the skin turned darker, as if it was dying slowly. His face collapsed but there was nothing behind him. His by now skin was no more than a thin layer around the consuming light.

Until even that was gone. It all took place in the space of maybe two seconds, with no sound to the whole thing except the rustle of collapsing clothes.

His whole body was gone.