Read Part I  -  Read Part II

 

“I had not given up everything,” Oetho said, “and my mind does not easily forget all that I have learned.”  He placed the disk into Amana’s palm.  “You married a Mystic, my love.  My powers have not done much good in my life. Yet, today they may just save us.  I can feel them in me.  They are calling me home.”

Amana gasped when she felt the amulet’s warm touch. “A relic?” she said.  She ran her fingertips over the etched surface. Oetho knew she recognized the object’s significance. Relics were remnants of an age long past, when the world was new.  The first Mystics had crafted them with powers beyond even Juxin’s reach.  All relics were outlawed.  They were the exclusive dominion of the Prime Hunter of the People.

“Home,” she murmured to herself.  Suddenly, her eyes brightened. Amana let go to the amulet and stepped backward, out of his reach.

Oetho’s heart sank.  “Amana, you must come.”  The black wall of the storm raged across the field.  “I, I cannot live without you.”

Amana bent down and lifted a young goat into her arms.  With her chin raised, she said, “I must save what I can.”  Her smile glimmered with hope.  The kid kicked with its front leg, and nuzzled its head into her neck.

Oetho had not called on the power of the amulet in so many years he had forgotten how it felt, the warmth searing through his body and the nausea as his head spun and the world changed around him.  His ears rang in the stillness of the absence of the storm.  He felt Amana’s hand tugging his arm as the room swayed.  It was a moment before he was fully sure that he was standing. Amana had fallen to her knees.  There was a stench and a spatter of fluid in front of her on the dark stone floor.  Oetho was about to help her up when she vomited again.

“Awful,” she spat and then wiped her mouth on the sleeve of her overcoat.  “I knew it would be awful.”

“It’s the disorientation,” Oetho said trying to console her, though his voice sounded distant even to him.  “It wears off quickly.  Can you stand?”

Amana’s face sagged as she looked up at him.  “Where are we?”

 

Continued to Part IV