Trinity:The Battle For Navaeh (Tales Of Nevaeh Book 3)By: David Wind
Tales Of Nevaeh, Volume III
AREENNA AWOKE AN hour before daybreak. Turning on her silks, she stretched out her arm to Mikaal but found his silks empty. She reached out with her mind.
Here, he responded.
Closing her eyes, she joined with him. He stood at the edge of the plateau looking west. Rising, Areenna walked to him. Charka was next to him, the kraal’s head pressed to Mikaal’s arm. Gaalrie was perched on Charka’s saddle.
She took his hand. As always, the spark leapt between their palms when they touched, and a rush of warmth spread through her. “We are almost done.”
“Yet so much is still before us,” Mikaal replied.
She searched his face. A strange feeling settled over her. There was a heaviness wrapped around Mikaal. It took her a moment to understand the doubt she sensed was the weight of Nevaeh’s future pressing upon him. “It matters not, as long as we do it together.”
“What comes next will be hard.”
Areenna gave a short laugh. “How else could it be?” Her smile reversed, the corners of her mouth tugging downward. She stared deeply into his eyes. We have changed again.
We have. We are closer.
We are one, she corrected.
She closed the few inches that separated them, slipped her arms around him even as he did the same with her. Their mouths met and their minds joined. The kiss deepened into something far more than a simple kiss. When it ended and Areenna drew back, her breath came in short spurts, which matched the sudden pounding of her heart. She could not help but feel the thundering of his blood as well.
“Soon,” she whispered.
He nodded, his eyes never leaving her face. He stepped back, breaking the embrace.
“So much is expected,” Mikaal said. “So many have pinned their hopes on you.”
The heaviness spread through her. “On us.”
“No, Areenna, on you. It has always been you.”
Her brows furrowed as she studied him. “What bothers you?”
He looked out at the sea. “The future. The Eight of the Island, Master Jalil, and The Masters of the Circle manipulate us. Each day I feel more like a pawn.”
A sad smile quirked her lips. “I understand; it is how I have felt since touching Duke Yermon’s hand in Freemorn—since we fought the first wraith she released upon Yermon and us—and on the Island when The Speaker commanded us to take this journey.”
He started to speak. She stopped him with a finger across his lips. Listen but speak not. They manipulate us because we are the hope the people of Nevaeh need. You are my hope. Without you, I am nothing. Without you, The Masters of Afzal win. Without you—
—Do you not have this backward? Without you, all is lost.
No, Mikaal, without you I am not completed. It is the two of us, not just me. As to the manipulation, how else can we reach the point we must attain? I know we are being…handled, but what they know not, is that when the time comes, we will end the manipulation. You and I have a purpose. What it is ultimately, I know not, but when it is time, we will know. No matter what The Eight say, I think they know not our true purpose.
The gray of his eyes deepened to the color of steel. He grasped her face between his hands. “So certain are you?”
“As certain as my love for you. As certain as I know our children will change not just Nevaeh but the world itself.”
Before her last word was finished, everything around them vanished. They rose bodiless; below them was the plateau, in front of them, climbing through a cloud, was the Island surrounded by reddish mist. A shimmering vision of the black face of The Speaker of The Eight floated before them.
So finally, you begin to understand the truths of who you are, the truths of your lives…not just your lives, but everyone’s. The Speaker’s eyes flared red when they locked onto Mikaal. Remove doubt from your mind, Man-child, for you serve a greater purpose. The flaring eyes faded and turned a softer shade of amber. And you, Child of Power, how else could you have grown into the woman you are meant to be without the manipulation necessary for you to become such? Being born to magic means nothing! It is the understanding of your power, the learning of your abilities and the acceptance of them that makes you a Women of Power . Come to us soon. There is much to learn and more to do before they arrive. The Speaker’s face dissolved, replaced by another vision—it was of forty huge ships sailing toward Nevaeh. A moment later, they saw hundreds behind those.
This vision disappeared, and Areenna and Mikaal were once again standing on the plateau, Mikaal’s hands still clasping Areenna’s face. Reluctantly, he lowered his hands, stepped back and shook his head. “What choice is left?”
“THE DARKNESS WAITS not for us to act.” Master Jalil looked from Areenna to Mikaal. “It is time.”
Behind Areenna, illuminated beneath the yellowish light of the mountain, the buildings of the village of The People were empty for the first time in twenty-five hundred years. Silence fell over those standing in the center square. The probability that they would never again see the village was as high as was the possibility of the Dark Masters’ forces overrunning Nevaeh and turning the world’s last surviving humanity into their feeding ground.