Off the coast of southern France, a luxurious yacht, at least eighty feet long with large windows and open spaces for sunbathing, rocked gently on the sea. In the lounge, four men sat on a leather sofa, watching the television monitor mounted on the wall with a view of Nemesis in the Elfin chamber. As he delivered his ultimatum to the Elves, the men cheered and shook their fists at the screen. When he ended his threats and the large fireball occurred, they burst into applause. The screen went black.
A few moments later, Nemesis entered the room through a black curtain to a standing ovation. He bowed, then pulled up his jeans and slicked his stringy hair away from his face. “I think they got the message. Ecstasy, get this stuff off my face.”
Ecstasy clapped loudly and beamed with pride. “Of course, my darling. Sit down. I knew you could do it.” Ecstasy was a man dressed as a woman and threw his arms around Nemesis’ neck and planted a wet kiss on his lips. As he backed away, he waved his wand. “Abracadabra presto change-o! I just love doing your make-up. I love everything about you.”
Nemesis’ nose shrunk in size and his color returned to tan. His ugliness was diminished, but didn’t go away. “All right, already. Stop it! Now get a message off to the Dynasty Sisters. They need go in first and get the wand.”
Ecstasy closed his eyes and waved his hands over the crystal ball. He mumbled a spell under his breath and peered inside. He leaned back with a sigh. “Oh dear! The girls have gone on a meditation retreat to mourn their grandfather Shinjan and can’t be disturbed for the next month.”
“What? Why didn’t you tell me about this? We did this for them. I told you to keep in touch with them.”
“I asked them yesterday and they said they were going to be here. I’m sorry.” Tears filled his eyes. “They lied to me…again.”
“Damn it! Don’t cry.” Nemesis rubbed his forehead. “All right. Someone else will go. Who wants to go in first?”
Takura pushed his wire-rimmed glasses back on his nose and smiled. “John, Olivia, good to see you today. Very windy outside.”
Olivia ignored the fact that he didn’t call her by her correct name. For some reason, he’d never been able to. “I’ve never seen it this windy before, have you?” She rocked baby Will in her arms.
“No, never. There must be problem with entry points.”
“As a matter of fact, there is. One of the Elf supply ships just came back. Tulus, the ship’s captain, told me that he couldn’t find them. We were wondering if you knew what that meant.”
Takura’s eyes grew large and he gasped, shaking his head. “None of them?”
“That’s what he said.” Olivia sighed. “What does it mean?”
“It could mean danger for us. We could separate from Eledon and crash into Earth. Not good. Wind may be symptom of problem.” He took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes.
“How’s your research going?”
“Difficult to study. Maybe Tulus will help us. I must ask him.”
“What about that other research you were doing on the ‘bubble,’ the shell over the island that keeps us inside?”
“I show you.” He led them to a table in the warehouse and smiled like the Cheshire Cat. “What do you think?”
“What is it?” Olivia leaned closer to it as John spun one of the propellers.
“A drone. We put camera on it and fly it into bubble.”
“Yesterday. Rangor took us on barge and we went close to edge, but we stay far enough away not to get into currents. We fly drone into bubble and bring back video.” He typed a command on the computer and a picture of him appeared standing on the barge with a remote control in his hands. The drone flew away and the camera pointed at the bubble. At first, the sky and sea appeared normal, but as the drone approached the bubble, the camera lens fogged up. Suddenly, the lens cleared; the drone spun around several times and the picture turned to static. When the drone hit something metallic, it was thrown out and the lens fogged up again. Just as the lens cleared, it approached the barge and landed. The last image was a close-up of Takura’s jubilant face.
Once all of the presentations were completed, Lord Ashur called on Lord Hillen during the recess. “Lord Hillen, you mentioned that you have an interest in wizards and wizardry. Have you ever heard of an organization of wizards called the Octagon?”
“I’m fascinated by wizards, but I’ve never heard of this organization before. What do they do?”
“According to this wizard, eight of them formed a group called the Octagon.”
“There have been several organized groups of wizards in the past. Each time, they attempted to match their magical skills to complement each other, trying to make their group invincible. However, the problem is that they’re mortal beings and have short lives. In addition, petty jealousies have caused great turmoil. In many cases, the members killed each other in a fit of rage.”
The entire chamber grew silent as the members turned to listen.
“It appears as if we’re all curious, Lord Hillen,” Lord Odin said. “Now, can you tell us more about wizards? The one who visited us was named Nemesis.”
“Nemesis?” Lord Hillen rubbed his chin. “And why did he come here?”
“The Keeper was assigned a task by the Mentors to remove a beast held in a vial. The only way to remove it was for the Keeper to kill the wizard who created the spell. His name was Shinjan. She killed him and released the beast as the Mentors requested. Now, however, this Nemesis claims that this wizard’s death upset the balance in this Octagon, and he must avenge the death before replacing the wizard.”
“An odd rule.”
“I can only surmise that the death of one of the wizards created a vacuum that is tearing the group apart. The wizards of today lack both the skill and discipline of those from years past. Nemesis is a famous name for wizards, selected to show bravado and a tendency to violence. Apparently, someone wishes to continue that tradition. But I’m shocked to hear that the wizards came here to Eledon. We ran the last one out. What is the Keeper doing to stay safe?”
“The wizard is after me, my lord. I confessed to killing him since I was the one who told her how to reverse the curse.”
Title: Noble Magic: The Chronicles of Eledon Book Four
Author: Joni Parker
Lady Alexin (Alex) battles a band of mortal wizards known as the Octagon, discovers the mysteries of the five legendary diamond eggs, and finally comes into her true powers gifted to her by her conquests and the gifts of her Titan ancestors. Tasked with the seemingly impossible, Alex must find a way to restore the entry points to Seaward Isle or see its inhabitants face certain destruction as the grid holding Eledon together threatens to fall apart.
Joni currently lives in Tucson, Arizona, but she was born in Chicago, lived in Japan, graduated high school in Phoenix, and got married in New Jersey. Not only was she married to a career Navy sailor, but she also completed 22 years of active duty service herself. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting, an MBA, and a Master of Military Arts and Sciences (MMAS) from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. After her husband passed away, she returned to the work in the Department of Homeland Security until she discovered her love of writing. She retired again and has written two series, “The Seaward Isle Saga,” a three-book series, and “The Chronicles of Eledon” with “Spell Breaker,” “The Blue Witch,” “Gossamer,” and “Noble Magic.”
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JoniParker
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