Tir na nOg III & IV




Part III

Cael walked down the long corridor to the grand hall where Zachariah sat annoyed. He could see it in his demeanor as he entered the room, even though the walk to the throne was quite far. Zachariah slouched to the side on the chair, repeatedly picking up his sword by the hilt and dropping its point onto the stone floor next to him. A clink-clink-clink reverberated around the room as Cael approached. Finally, Zachariah bounded to his feet upon seeing Cael.

“Why isn’t she dead yet?” Zachariah shouted at him.

“Why didn’t you tell me she had a wolf with her?” Cael asked calmly. “Or how it is she knows every time I make an attempt? It’s not as though I’m not trying.”

“Oh. Didn’t I tell you?” Zachariah sat back down. He was a large, bulky man with a quick temper equivalent to the gods, and Cael wondered for a brief moment what his brother had been like. Was he similar to this man, or had he been a good man? He also wondered where the scar on his left cheek came from, since Cael knew it wasn’t Zachariah who murdered Xavier.

Cael raised a brow. “Tell me what?”

“She’s a damned witch.”

Cael shook his head and chuckled, then raised his eyes to him. “A witch?” he asked with a fair amount of sarcasm. Fae, he’d heard and even experienced, but not a witch. It was apparent Zachariah didn’t know much of Nambria’s past.

“Yes, and I didn’t know she still had that nasty beast. Xion is its name. She’s Niamh’s guardian.” Zachariah grumbled. “It’s impossible to get past her.”

Cael cocked a brow at the comment, and thought, not really. “You left out quite a bit, Zachariah. I’m afraid the price has doubled. The task is much more difficult than I first thought.”

Zachariah scowled. “Then perhaps I’ll find someone better than you.”

“You can try,” Cael said. “But there are none better.”

Zachariah laughed and slapped his knee. “I like you Cael. You’re a man after my own heart. Kill them all, I always say! Very well then, I’ll double the price on the witch’s head.” His hand motioned to one of his servants, who immediately left the room.

“Fine.”

“When can I expect her head?” Zachariah asked.

“You actually want her head?” Cael asked, surprised because no one had ever made such a request. A finger or toe, maybe, but not the head.

“Of course. I wish to display it in my trophy room.”

“You wish to put the queen’s head on display?” Cael confirmed. “Will it show how you became king?” Cael knew it was wrong on many levels, killing a Fae queen. He regretted taking the job, but now felt he had to find a way to stop Zachariah from killing his queen.

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