Djarret kicked his ribs. “Weakling!” He turned to his warriors who waited motionless in fight formation.
“We’ll take a break. Dry your belongings and clean your weapons.” He sat on the stone again and pulled out his sword. He cleaned the already shining blade while he waited.
“Soon, you will drink magicians’ blood, my beauty,” he whispered to the weapon. For a while he allowed himself to dream of times to come when there would be no more magicians in his home-world. Ceres had promised him absolute independence, and Djarret had great plans for the world whose ruler he would become. Justice would belong to everyone and no longer to a few, powerful magicians. Every child would know his place in life at his first breath. Never again would parents be able to refuse their children their birthright. Djarret sighed. People will be grateful for I will bring them order. All I need is the magic stone Korosadja. If I have it in my hands, I won’t need these conceited, magical bootlickers any more. Palumâ will belong to me without their guild. I will stamp out magic, and nobody will remember Kervaal or Durimeh. Djarret pushed the sword back into it’s sheath and breathed the salty air. From the corner of his eyes, he noticed the squad leader stepping forward and saluting.
“The Blue Pearl wears its name well, don’t you think, Kugarr? Maybe I should ask for this world as a reward when we find Korosadja.”
Kugarr did not move. Only when Djarret turned and signaled his permission with a nod, he spoke.
“It might be beautiful, sir, but is it free of danger? Little is known of the Blue Pearl.”
Djarret nodded. “You are right. I was careless.” He signaled two men to stand guard. “See to it that we remain unnoticed. If somebody gets too close …” He moved the side of his hand over his throat. The men nodded and melted into the shadows of the bushes.
Djarret looked at the magician again who still lay on the earth unconscious. Hopefully, he will come to his senses, soon. We need to go on. He did not intend to attack the Blue Pearl right away. When Emperor Ceres has Korosadja, nothing will save it from his Dark Warriors. Djarret smiled with thin lips but the smile never reached his ice-blue eyes.
He looked at the peaceful water of the ocean that shone silvery in the light of the moon and waited for his magician to feel better. The air of the mild summer night caressed his cheeks. For the first time in an eternity, Djarret felt something like satisfaction. He breathed deeply and closed his eyes.
When he opened them again, a man stood in the pale moonlight in front of him. Djarret immediately recognized him. Protectively, he held up his hands. “You are dead, Kervaal. I personally killed you.”
The man did not move his lips when speaking but his answer cut into Djarret’s heart. “I am the representative of the One. Do you really think that you are free of me just because my body is no more?”
Djarret closed his eyes but it did not help. He still saw Kervaal’s face and thought to hear his voice. Horrified, he fought against the picture in his head. “You are dead, Kervaal. You don’t exist any more. Your body is buried and disintegrating. You are only a hallucination, caused by too little sleep and bad meal.”
Whispering, he repeated these words like a prayer but the ghostly man did not disappear. He came closer and bent forward. Suddenly, Djarret knew it for sure. He will kill me! With his lips pressed tight, he sat up and looked into the face of the ghost. His chin trembled but he was determined to face death with dignity.
Kervaal’s voice reached his ear, quieter than the cheeping of the crickets in the grass. “Brother! Stop hating or you will rush headlong into disaster and ruin you life and that of others.”
Djarret bit his tongue and did not answer. Finally, the face faded away. Relieved, Djarret sighed and tried to forget the tears in the eyelashes of his dead brother.
On Greenwitch the witch Lysande stroked the feathers of her white pet raven. Lukas croaked contentedly. Lysande looked at the living green of the woods. It sparkled in the sunlight like a wall of precious green stones. Compared to them, the trees in her garden looked ill. Especially the old cherry tree with the many dead branches looked as if it had given up.