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Daru walked aimlessly down a corridor on the Valkyrie. Her conversation with
Tara troubled her. She paced up and down the halls. ‘She has a guilty conscience, but
about what? She couldn’t be one of the attackers,’ she thought, ‘I saw her practicing.
She was too fluid, too confident. The woman I fought that night was shaking. Could she
really betray us like that?’
She sighed, and looked around to get her bearings, ‘I’m not too far from Ianus’
quarters, maybe he can help.’
Turning to the right, she walked down the corridor to Ianus’ room. She knocked
on the door. “Ianus?”
The door slid open. She looked inside; the room was empty. She took a step over
the threshold and looked around. The door should not have opened on its own like that.
Ianus was nowhere to be seen. A leather bound book sat on his nightstand, opened to the
middle, a stylus lay between its waxen pages.
‘I should leave,’ she pondered for a moment, but she couldn’t take her eyes off
the book. ‘That’s his prescience book. I wonder what he’s been looking up. No, I
should leave.’
Standing beside the small table, she glanced down at the book.
Written in Ianus’ handwriting she read, “What if Ianus Akeru goes to the
forbidden lands on Adrakaya to find the A’nath-ari?” Quickly, Daru snatched the book
off the nightstand. ‘What is he thinking?’
“Through the gate he would go,” she continued reading, “The dark woods
stretching out as far as he could see. He may survive many of the trials and tribulations
found within. Eventually, the forces designed to protect the holy lands from intruders
will destroy him.”
Again, Ianus had entered a query, “What if Ianus manages to survive?”
The book responded, “Irrational presupposition. Please restate query.”
Nothing more was written. ‘What could he be thinking?’ Daru thought, returning
the book to the nightstand.
Marching out of the room, she stretched out her right arm, and pointed it toward
the wall. A soft whistle emanated from her periapt.
“Sangrida!” Daru barked.
“Here Ma’am,” a tinny voice responded from the periapt.
“Where is Ianus?”
“He is currently on the bridge.”
“Is he alone?”
“At the moment, yes ma’am.”
“Good! Thank you,” Daru closed her hand.