Bal’thon gripped Natalie’s hand tight as he led her through the dense forest. She had a hard time keeping up with him as he was moving so fast. Natalie heard the crunch of dry leaves on the ground and wondered when they would stop. It seemed like they have been on this secret hike for hours.
“Bal’thon,” Natalie gasped out of breath. “Come on where are we going? Tal’lia will be worried. You heard what she said; someone is going to try to kill me.”
“No need to worry Natalinthia, Tal’lia is at peace right now. I need to show you a very important place. This place could prove that you are in fact the blessed daughter.” He said as though hiking through the woods at his pace was no big deal for him.
“Well you keep saying that and again I ask you, what it is about this place that is so special.” Natalie asked. “We will have a hole court room of skeptical people to convince that I am the blessed daughter and not…uuummm…what’s her name?”
“Natalinann’a.” Bal’thon said with a strange note in his voice. It sounded almost like he was being defensive.
“Natalinann’a, right,” Natalie went on. “There is also the Blessed Father who from what I have heard can hear a lie in a person’s voice.”
Natalie paused for a second to think about all the people in this strange world of magic why did he believe in who she was. She understood why Tal’lia did. But why did he? Bal’thon had been more than a good friend to her. He in some strange way had been flirting with her. He was so passionate about everything. With out explanation he had always maintained that she was the Blessed Daughter, even before Tal’lia was for sure her self.
“Bal’thon,” She began. “I know that I have asked this before, but why do you believe that I am the Blessed Daughter?”
“I just do,” He replied. “Now stop asking me, all will be explained. And you will understand.” Bal’thon said with almost an irritating clang to his voice. “We are here.” He said as he stopped short.
Natalie took a look at where they were. There was a curved rocky out cropping a few yards a head of them, that looked as though it had some kind of runes carved into it. The runes almost had the look of Egyptian hieratic. There were trees lined on either side of the curved rock forming a complete circle.
These trees were unlike anything that she had ever seen. The bark was black and the large oval leaves were a blood red. She involuntarily shivered. This pace made her want to run away. She felt the stench of death and evil magic. In some odd way she could hear it, it resonated in her head like a hive of angry bees. She had been taught about feelings like this when she was a child; Natalie had always acted on these feelings.
“I don’t want to be here Bal’thon,” Natalie said in a shaky voice as she tried to pull her hand out of his tight grip.
“Fear not the magic of this place, my lovely friend.” He said in a different voice than before, his voice now sounded low and smooth.
“Come now and see, I will explain everything.” He said and tugged on her hand pulling her in to this strange feeling place.
“So what is it about this place that can prove my identity?” Natalie asked “Is it those odd looking runes, do they say who I am?”
“No, but nice guess.” Bal’thon said with a teasing note to his voice.
“Ok then tell me, what is it?” Natalie said. Her fear of this place was overcome by curiosity. She began to walk toward the center. She stopped as her shoe hit what she thought was a fallen branch under the leaves on the ground. Natalie looked over her shoulder at Bal’thon, and saw that he had strange look in his eyes. She knelt down not knowing why, and brushed the leaves off and felt sick as she realized that this was not a branch from one of the trees, but the femur bone of a man.
Natalie wrapped her arms around her stomach trying not to be sick as she spoke“ Bal’thon, do you know who this man was?
To her surprise Bal’thon answered “Yes I do. This was the man that sent you to Ear’th.”
Natalie began to shiver uncontrollably. She always wondered who had sent her to Earth. Not that her life on Earth had been all together bad but, when she realized that this new place was where she belonged, she felt cheated of all the magic that she could have had all her life. Natalie often wondered how she would feel if she ever met the man who placed her on Earth. Now confronted with his bones, she began to feel dizzy.
“It’s alright my dear.” Bal’thon said as he wrapped his arms around her shoulder and drew her up with him. “Come lean against this tree over by the rock. It looks sturdy enough to hold you.” He said jokingly.
Natalie lifted her head and gave him a thankful smile, as he led her to one of the largest trees in the circle.
To be continued...
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