“Tell me what this is,” Jaco demanded, holding the key out upon his flat palm. “I can’t...I can’t…” I struggled against the force of my body. I felt my body beginning to grow faint, and if I refused much longer, I’d die. I fell to my knees in defeat and looked up with tears in my eyes. “It’s the key to my heart.”


29. Chapter 29

“You don’t just shove people into walls!” I said once Raliki appeared on the other side with a smug grin on his face. “Especially one who’s still on crutches!” I shoved him into the wall and returned the smile and he just rolled his eyes. For a 1327 year old man, he had his moments like a teenager, so it made me enjoy him more. “So, where are we going?” We had started down a concrete hallway dimly lit by some old lamps hanging periodically along the walls.

“To check out some books,” his sarcasm with the look on his face almost made me shove him again.

“No really.” I couldn’t help returning with sarcasm. “Let me be more specific, what is so special that you had to shove me through a shimmering wall?”

“These books can never be revealed to the public, so they are kept hidden by a spell. Not everyone can control magic, you know,” he gave me a pointed look and I tried to hide my surprise.

“Then why can you do magic?”

Raliki cleared his throat and scratched the back of his head, “Oh, look, we’re here.” He seemed so relieved, so I just let the matter drop. We had just stepped into a large circular room, with one book shelf in the center of the room. In front of the shelf was a woman—no, no, more of a girl—sitting at a desk, like a librarian. One who looked my age as well, but I had learned. Hair up in a sloppy bun with a pencil stuck in it, she was writing furiously in a leather book, and hadn’t noticed our appearance yet. Raliki gestured forward and I took a slight step toward the girl and coughed. Her head snapped up and her eyes widened at the sight of me.

“You’re a Key’d person,” she stated with more certainty than I ever said anything. I glanced back at Raliki and he nodded.

“Yeah, I mean, yes, I am,” I felt really nervous in front of her. She stood up at her desk and stepped off a platform I didn’t realize was there. Striding over to stand in front of me, I realized she was much shorter than I was.

Then she smiled big and bright, “It’s so wonderful to finally meet you!” Her voice came out bubbly and I couldn’t help but smile at the girl in front of me. “My name is Iolis, I’m the Keeper of the Key’d Chronicles. But I also dabble in a little in the mystic.”

“Mystic?” I couldn’t help repeat. This was when Raliki began to walk forward and passed me.

“That means she’s a clairvoyant, psychic, whatever you’d like to call it,” he whispered as he walked past.

“Oh, that’s so cool!” I said once again smiling at the girl in front of me. “Can I ask how old you are?”

“Sure, sure honey. I’m 16, just like you.”

“But how are you the Keeper if you’re only 16?” I wondered out loud.

She laughed and embraced me in a hug and then towed me to a sitting area, “Runs in the family. We take over the business once we turn 16.” I nodded politely, and turned my attention to Raliki, who was scanning over the books, seeming to look for a specific one.

“Ah,” a look of satisfaction graced Raliki’s face and I watched as he carefully pulled out a book from the bottom right corner of the shelf.

“Oh, don’t worry about hurting the books, it’s not possible,” Iolis said to me when Raliki handed me the book. I smiled sheepishly, knowing that’s what I was thinking. The book was relatively large, but when I opened it to the first page, it was set up like a picture book. I looked up at the two sitting across from me, Iolis gestured encouragingly and Raliki nodded, and held out his hand and pretended to touch the book. I followed in his example, and placed my hand on the first picture. A little rush of wind blew in my face, making me close my eyes, and when I reopened them I was surrounded by the picture in the book. I had transported into the book, and had full control of my body, there was no longer a cast on my leg.

“Once upon a time, there lived a girl named Emmiale,” a narrators’ voice came out of nowhere. I shook my head and willed myself to skip this part, because Emmiale had already shown it to me. I watched as the book fast forwarded, until I saw a gathering of people, I stopped it.

“The people knew they had to form a committee, so the Eternal Knights were formed of seven families.” The narrator read to me. ”The Mannoks, Naidls, Jaisks, Laians, Reaws, Oislas, and Pesaisns.” As each family name was said, the person was lit up. Six out of the seven families had men represented, but there was one woman, one of the Pesaisns. She looked cruel and unmerciful, and seemed to have control of the Knights. They were huddled together, looking over a map, so I approached to see if I could see what they were looking at, knowing I was invisible. But all of a sudden, right before I was about to look, the Pesaisn woman turned and looked directly at me. She broke from the huddle and walked right to me. She was much taller than me, and her eyes seemed to run right through my soul.

“Hello Amberlin,” she spoke right to me and I stepped back in shock. She was the woman from my dream. “Oh Linne,” she faked a concerned look with a fake concerned voice, “why are you frightened of me?”

“I’m not scared,” I tried to not have my voice waver, but she saw right through it, laughing in my face.

“It’s such a pity that you’re the supposed chosen one,” she sneered, reaching out to grab my arm, digging her pointed fingernails into my skin. “You’re so weak and hopeless.” Little drops of blood were forming from the fingernail punctures. I tried to pull my arm away, but she just dug in more.  “So I bet you want to know your enemy’s name is?” Not waiting for an answer, she stepped away, letting go of my arm, and curtsied, “My name is Reanski Pesasin-Laian. The everlasting Eternal Knight.”

“Laian? Isn’t that,” I didn’t even get to finish the sentence before Reanski was laughing at me again.

With a smirk on her face, she answered my unfinished question, “Yes, sweetheart, Calimo is my son.”

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