Once Elera had introduced Adiana and Aden to Fredrich, Dracon and Killga and regaled them with their tale of victory, Haylie took Dracon aside, away from the camp and begged him to release himself from her service and go to live in peace, after much controversy Dracon agreed to leave, after considering that he was no longer needed and therefore free to live out his final days in peace, they bid each other a fond farewell before Dracon lifted his great wings skyward allowing the afternoon sun to catch each of his sapphire scales, like sparkling jewels, then suddenly with an enormous burst of energy he soared into the sky and disappeared from sight in the blink of an eye. Haylie sauntered back towards the thronging masses around the tents and was suddenly swept off her feet as the seven friends were paraded through the tents of the war camp and lifted onto their horses and guided to the gleaming, if slightly bruised walls of Esiris.
They trotted through the gates closely followed by what was left of the rebel army, which was a surprisingly, and also comforting, large number of men. Esiris was, truly a grand city, the women and children's clothes were clean and lavishly embroidered, and the men in their steel armour looked like an unbeatable force of angels in their emerald green tunics and dazzling silver armour. The buildings and towers that almost touched the sky, stretched up like majestic trees reaching for the heavens and the enormous green flags of Esiris fluttered in a silent breeze, caressing the building as they swayed. They were ushered along the streets of the city until they reached an enormous courtyard with a towering bronze statue of a seated warrior, looking out over the city, at its centre; the king of Esiris, King Esor, stood at the head of a wide set of steps that lead up from one side of the courtyard, his arms held out before him, welcoming their heroes to his fair city. They dismounted their horses, cheers cries still filling the air, Haylie began to walk up the steps but stopped when she looked around and saw her friends were not following behind her, but standing side by side looking up at her with great pride and admiration, even Aden and Adiana whom she had only known a matter of hours.
“What are you doing? Don't make me stand here by myself, what is it? ” she exclaimed, slightly embarrassed, "Come on!"
“No Hay” Elera said calmly, a hint of laughter in her voice, “you defeated Merdock, more or less, you killed Madelia, you vanquished the evil that has stalked our lands for years, this moment belongs to you.” Elera bowed her head and dropped down to one knee and everyone in the enormous courtyard followed and dropped to one knee, a great wave seemed to sweep around the city as the entire population of Lardinia it seemed, bowed to Haylie. To say that Haylie was scared at this point would be a great understatement, every fibre of her being was trembling, her eyes looked about her, searching for some comfort or advice, until finally she simply turned and sat down upon the step behind her and smiled. Elera chanced to look up and spied her friend beaming down at her from her unorthodox
"Never another like you Haylie!" She nodded in respect and rose from the cobbled floor, the crowd followed. Haylie remained seated.
“I am not your hero, this moment does not belong solely to me, it also belongs to the six people standing before me, the soldiers who marched together into battle willing to lay down their lives for their homes and the people they love. This moment belongs to all who stand here today.”
There was another tremendous roar from the crowd as Haylie and the others were swept up the steps and into the castle of Esiris itself. Even when they were bolted inside the main hall they could still hear the celebrations outside. They sat down at King Esor's table and took turns telling the tale that would be retold again and again for generations and King Esor listened as his heroes told him all about their marvellous victory.
“But how is it that Mount Morgant swallowed up Merdock's Castle? That volcano has been dead for an age.” Asked King Esor when the story was over.
“Well, I knew we couldn't just leave it there your majesty.” Elera replied.
"Elera and I went back through the tunnel and Elera put a charm on one of my arrows, it turned a dazzling silver and when I fired it at the wall of the tunnel it sailed to the heart of the sleeping fire and roused the flames once more to rid the lands of Morgant form it's gloom ” Adiana continued.
“I suppose this means Mount Morgant will need re-naming” stated the king.
“How about Silver Arrow Mountain? After the arrow that brought it crashing down” Aden suggested
“Too long, it needs to be something catchier, " She paused and thought for a moment, " how about the silver dome?” Haylie recommended
“Hmm I like it, it's memorable and now it's covered in cooling lava, when the sunrises it will catch the light like a great mirror.” The king agreed. Outside the thick fog had completely vanished and the sun breathed over the land, through the large arched window of the great hall, between the ornately carved pillars, they could see the Silver Dome in the distance, like a large curved sphere in the lands of Morgant. The peaceful lands of Morgant, now free from Merdocks evil rule forever.
The king invited them all to stay in Esiris for the night, as his most honoured guests and they were only too happy to oblige. The royal suites they were staying in were truly fit for kings and queens, if they hadn't of been, Fredrich may have complained. The four girls were staying in two rooms and Fredrich, Aden and Ringmore in another; when Haylie and Adiana entered their room, smiles graced their faces and they were almost speechless. Two four poster beds sat against one wall, their intricately carved mahogany posts gleaming in the last rays of sunset that were reaching through the arched windows, still clinging to the day. The beds were spread with beautifully made sheets and quilts, the plush cushions embroidered with the Esiris emblem, a white lily upon a sword. It was an oddly shaped room as it was situated in one of the many towers of Esiris, with two straight walls and one long curved wall connecting them, the curvature of the tower being the cause of the oddly shaped room, almost like a triangle with a curved side. All the furniture on the curved wall had been specially made to fit neatly against the curve of the stone without a gap down the back where a square chair or desk would have.
That night Haylie slept so peacefully and deeply that nothing could have disturbed her, she slept a dreamless sleep for the first time in weeks and woke the following morning refreshed and content. When the two of them were up and dressed there was a small knock at the door and when Adiana pulled it open two red and green blurs burst in and knocked Haylie off her feet.
“And I’m happy to see you two safe as well, Ebah and Grungen.” She hugged the two Imps and squeezed them tightly in her arms.
“Mesa knows you could does it Haaylie.” Ebah exclaimed
“Why does everyone seem to think I did this by myself?” Haylie asked exasperated.
“I think you should just accept that you’re going to be a legend now.” Adiana laughed, “and who might these fine gentlemen be?” She gestured to the two imps and kneeled down so she was almost the same height.
“Oh I forgot you three haven’t been introduced yet, Adiana this is Ebah and Grungen, this is Adiana of Sherome”
“Pleased to make your acquaintances gentlemen” she shook their tiny hands.
“Gentlemen,” Grungen exclaimed, giggling “Mesa likes her”
After an overly large breakfast with the king, during which he managed to squeeze more details of their adventures out of them. Elera decided they must push on, the king agreed on the condition that they visit his fair kingdom often, he supplied them with fresh clothes, food and water for the journey to Palistare. Once the horses were saddled and ready they bid King Esor farewell and set off once more, they were drafted out through the gates by a thunderous applause and many from the crowd threw flowers and ribbons, which Haylie caught and placed in Garrano’s mane.
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