Gender: Male Age: 45 Location: N/A
Magical hearts Chapter 7
After dinner, the family talks spending time getting to know each other, my father and my in-laws a long with my uncle Justin had a long discussion. My mother-in-law insisted on me calling her Mom, I did not know what else the call her, Isabel only referred to her as Mom.
I pointed out the fact that I could not truly leave Isabel’s side or her me, I said there for I will need to create magical armor for us.
Dad, the King, informed me that my grandfather had been a Master Wizard and a suit of his mage armor still existed. He said it would not fit me, grandfather was shorter, and a bit more round than I am. It would give me a good idea on how it was constructed; the making of mage armor had been a dying art for centuries. Few mages chose to wear any armor, believing that made them slower and easier target for little protection.
What most mages did not understand that mage armor properly enchanted was as light and comfortable to wear as robes. However, it is harder than plate mail for an arrow to penetrate. If you enchanted correctly, it can give you some other benefits. Increase health and stamina, speed of movement, stealth, and even brief invisibility accomplished in the past.
Just finding materials, would be less than half of the process needed to create magic armor, but I had a feeling Isabel and I would have need of it, even trying to avoid conflicts. My oath as the Prince of the kingdom required me to defend our King, our nobility, our people, and our lands, even unto the death. Therefore, it became my responsibility to defend my wife and myself with every means possible.
Isabel’s Mom and Dad knew the armor Smith in Brittany. They would travel with us tomorrow to acquire enough star silver material, for our needs. I think of our personal guard, perhaps creating additional armor with star silver breastplates, or chain mail. However, before I can purchase armor, we must identify the individuals that will make up my guard.
My Dad comes to me and asks, “Could I accompany you tomorrow? I had to visit Brittany, and Duke Egger. I like to do so with you at my side. There was where your mother and you meant to take sanctuary. According to the Duke, she never arrived. I just want to see his face when I introduce you.”
I ask, “Dad do you think Duke Egger of Brittany had anything to do with mother’s disappearance and death? Perhaps my father-in-law can bring a few of his strong men along, request audience and be there when you arrive with me. That way we can double the amount of men if there is trouble.”
Justin suggest, “Isabel should accompany her father, they would be less danger for her, and still place her close enough that Julius would still get the power boost from her. I would stay at her side; my nephew so put your mind at ease.”
My father in a serious voice says, “Not every visit is going to be like this one. Duke Egger’s son Edward is first in line for the throne now. I would see his reaction. I hope that none of his spies has revealed the fact of your return to me yet. It is good that only some of the trusted members of court know of your return. Two days from now, your coronation will be ready, and I will name you Prince and you daughter Princess.”
I ask, “How many of your guards do you believe we should bring?”
Father says, “Depending on his reaction, all or just my six I normally travel with.”
Jeremiah suggest, “Perhaps, we should have them leave a few hours earlier coming in from both sides of the city and disguise. Along with my clan, they can land outside of the city by a couple hours walk. Far enough away, that no one would see your guard approach by carpet. Patrick you and Julius should arrive on the carpet bringing as much attention to you as possible. That would also help them slip into the city, by timing the arrivals to happen together.”
Father smiles, “You keep this up Jeremiah and I will make you a general along with a trading partner.”
Jeremiah smiles in return and says, “Anything for you Patrick, I would have been pleased to do so for my King, now even more so for the grandfather of the children I will also be grandfather.”
Father laughs that warm laughter that makes everyone else join in. He calls his steward, who retrieves a pouch. Father throws the pouch to Jeremiah and says, “I have never been so happy to lose a bet.”
Jeremiah hands the pouch to Mom and says, “Nor have I, my wife had wagered me that Julius was far more than even I could imagine.” Isabel squeezes my hand, but I blush at the exchange.
A question comes to my mind and I ask, “Can a Prince be the Duke of Camarillo? I would not see them wanting for leadership, or a bad leader take my place. It is a market city. Perhaps a great merchant would be excellent to become their Duke. Especially one I know is kind, fair in his dealings with others, and has many connections among merchants and Royals alike.”
Dad chuckles as Jeremiah’s eyes widen. Isabel laughs and says, “Welcome to my life, Daddy.”
I point out, “The Duke, before me, was not only an evil man, but had no connection to the merchants of his city. He had no idea of their needs, how to make the city much more prosperous. Jeremiah you did say that you would consider settling the clan there. I was very happy to have you in the city, your wise advice about how to improve the productivity of the merchant class was something I was going to call on often. I am to be Prince, and if I cannot govern Camarillo. I can think a no other better suited.”
Dad shakes his head yes with a smile and says, “It is true that you cannot govern Camarillo son. As Prince, you could only govern until a Duke appointed, and I will consider your nomination. A few the other Dukes may disagree, wishing the post to go to their son. However, given Jeremiah’s royal connection in two days, I do not see much of a problem. I feel Jeremiah as the Duke there will give me greater support than many others.”
Dad shakes Jeremiah’s hand and says, “It least with you there, I can end the slavery that is gone underground. The former Duke, had not only taking girls from his own duchy, but several others, he traded with the Raiders that you destroyed. We had just received word, a runner sent with documents detailing what he had done. I owe you two, my son and Isabel, a debt of gratitude. The old Duke was part of a conspiracy to overthrow me.
The gods had told me to return. They warned to save my kingdom I must return home, and there complete my quest. I could not understand what the gods desired, how could I complete my quest at home? I thought the gods meant that I was to give up my quest.
Then a week after I arrived home, the word of the night of trial reached me. When I found you Julius, you are already preparing to see to the needs of the citizens of Camarillo. I was proud that you were a good leader, and the more I learned of you that I found myself even wishing that you were my son.”
Pulling me into a hug he continues, “The people of the city wanted you to govern them, knowing you blessed by the gods. You looked to their safety, before your own. They realized you would protect them, help them, and rule them with love and wisdom. I knew you would be a fine Duke, protector of the city and its people. When you ask for the Captain’s pardon, I knew you had a sense of justice. That you look beyond the law and saw what was right. That is a rare thing in a Duke, or even a Prince. My father had a hard time explaining that to me, and you know it in your heart already. I am very proud of you my son.”
I know there has to be a tear or two running down my face as I look into my father’s face. After taking a deep breath I say, “Dad, I simply follow my heart. I trust it not to mislead me.”
Dad chuckles and says, “In that way you’re much like your mother. She had a good heart, brave, caring, and so full of love. When I lost her, I lost my heart. With you my son, I think I found what I been missing all these years.”
Isabel smiles rubs me on my shoulder and says, “Julius is my heart, I could not lose him, if ever I did I would die of a broken heart.”
After my father, release me from his hug. I take Isabel into my arms. Looking into her eyes I say, “Isabel you are my heart as well my love. Our hearts beat as one. I love you with my entire being, and that makes me stronger. I can love others, my Dad, your Dad and Mom, all the more because of it.” The glow that surrounds us when we kiss has begun to shine even before our lips met.
Our in-laws laugh at the two of us, jokingly Dad says, “Off to your room son, I will have none of that around here. Remember were leaving before dawn tomorrow, I will have someone wake you.”
I lift Isabel into my arms carrying her to laughter I leave headed towards the bedchambers Isabel and I shared last night. A servant carrying a lantern again leads the way, although Isabel and I provide more light than the lantern. Before he reaches the door the limp, he started with has disappeared. At the door, he smiles and says, “The gods bless us through you, thank you.” He bows then leaves closing the doors behind him.
Unlike last night, I place a ward on our balcony, just a simple spell that will awake me if someone crosses onto the balcony. We close the doors and pull the curtains to, is still rather light outside, Isabel and I will need some sleep. However, that is not why we want privacy at this moment. With a wave my hands our clothing disappears, this time a hamper awaits our dirty laundry.
Isabel bites her bottom lip as she pulls me to the bed. When we are within a couple of feet Isabel pulls hard throwing me onto the bed. I land on my back, and Isabel immediately straddles me. Before I can get my bearings, Isabel has me positioned and slowly sinking down my manhood. In a musical voice she says, “You were taking too long to get here.”
She places her hands on my chest, leans forward and gives me a kiss. By the time our kiss breaks Isabel has taken all of my manhood into her. She slowly grinds herself on me, rubbing her clitoris as she slowly begins to make love to me.
Isabel is incredibly wet, and her juices flow on to me and down onto the bed. After a few moments of her sliding across my pubic area, Isabel begins a rhythm as she rises and falls. She begins to twister hips with each rise. It does not take long before she arches her back and shakes violently causing her beautiful breasts to jiggle. I am in heaven as a beautiful moan escapes her lips. Isabel begins to roll her hips cause me to slide in and out much quicker. Minutes passed as her moans become cries of pleasure, and Isabel’s movements have nearly taken me past my own edge. I grab her hips and begin to thrust up even faster than she has been moving. Isabel is waving her head back and forth whipping her beautiful hair around. At the sensations of me spraying a geyser of hot cum into her, Isabel sets down hard and shakes violently as an orgasm claims her body.
Isabel finally falls forward as the last of my spurts flies into her shaking body. I caress her back, as we lie there trying to catch our breath. As the night before, once we regain our breath we look into each other’s eyes and laugh at the joy we found.
I kiss Isabel, caressing her back as her hands run through my hair. After a few moments, Isabel puts her head down on my shoulder then gives me one last kiss before closing her eyes. Only seconds later Isabel is breathing slow and steady and I know she is asleep, only moments later I join her.
Like the day before a knock on the door alerts us to the server bringing breakfast. I again pulled the bedding to cover Isabel and me, before calling for them to enter. In the predawn light Isabel and I give off a soft glow, it startles the servant so much he nearly drops breakfast. He sets it down before leaving even quicker than he came in.
I move first this morning, and bring Isabel to my lap and we feed each other. We bath quickly, as quickly as to newlyweds can. We just left the pool and still wrapped in towels; when another knock on the door alerts us, a different set of servants bring in clothing. I am to dress as a prince, not my taste. However, that is required for the day.
We waive off the servers to dress ourselves, it is not something either of us are accustomed to having done for us. I mean, since I was old enough to pull my own britches on I have. It is something I am very uncomfortable with and I would not require someone else to do for me.
Isabel looks much more comfortable in the clothing sent for her; it looks like her mother sent some of her own clothing. It is very nice, but what I would expect the daughter of a wealthy merchant to wear. I feel uncomfortable and totally out of my element in my princely adornments.
Despite herself, Isabel giggles seeing how uncomfortable I am. She finally says, “See you did not want to be royalty either. We both will hate how we are required to dress.”
I give her a kiss and say, “I am not sorry for what I am. However, you are right I do hate how we are required to dress.”
Isabel asks, “Would you be happier as a wizard or the Prince?”
I chuckle before I say, “I am both now, and I cannot see a way that we can go back. Perhaps one day we will allow our son to take the throne, retire to a small place in the country with our friends around us. Nevertheless, I am sure I would never be happy without you at my side. You will always be my Princess. You were even before anything else occurred.”
Isabel interlaces her arm with mine coming up on her tiptoes she gives me a quick kiss before saying, “I guess you are always my Prince charming. Even when I was ten, you had swept me off my feet. I think that is why father avoided Uncle Justin’s for so long.”
Jokingly I say, “Perhaps, he knew my true identity and your wish not to be royalty.”
Isabel giggles as we depart. In the hall, she pauses and ask, “Do you think that is why truly?”
I say, “No, it was a joke my love. At the time he did not even know who I was, that we were to be a bonded pair, or even that I was a former slave. He asked Justin if you needed to provide a dowry, before seeing my first.”
Isabel questions than, “So why did my father keep us away from each other?”
As we began to walk again I say, “He was just being the father of a ten-year-old girl. He truly was not ready to give up his little girl. He wish to keep you with him a few more years if he could. On our first kiss we glowed by what Justin has shared, if we had kissed when say you were twelve, would you have been ready to be my wife?”
Isabel giggles and says, “I will confess this only once. I have been dreaming of being your wife since I was ten. However, I did not think to be a mother quite so soon after our wedding.”
Smiling into her face I say, “I dreamed of your face ever since we parted when you were ten. Your blue eyes and brilliant smile had captured my heart. Nevertheless, I did not feel worthy to ask for your hand only in your eyes have I learned to find my true worth.”
Isabel giggles and says, “Now you see yourself as Prince.”
Chuckling I say, “Only because I see you as the Princess.” Isabel sticks out her tongue playfully. We hear soft giggles and Isabel quickly pulls her tongue back in her mouth. A couple servants curtsy as they hurry past.
We arrive in the main Hall, and only have to wait a few minutes before joined by my father, my in-laws including my Uncle Justin. Lieutenant Ben Stander and the other guardsmen George, along with father’s six Knights. Many other men wearing swords and various types of clothing gather around the open courtyard. Jeremiah has brought his carpets, Isabel and I have ours, with him are twenty-one of the clan, three are merchants, along with two guards each, that leaves a dozen men with Jeremiah. Some of the carpets already have crates loaded on them, and I suspect some cargo within them. Jeremiad fully intends to make this a business trip in many ways.
Isabel and I greet the Lieutenant and guardsmen I say, “Good morning Ben, Good morning George how are you today?”
When Ben starts to go to his knee, I grab his elbow and lift in backup. His eyes widened before I explained, “You need not do that for me in the presence of my father. He is the King, and I am but his servant as are you.”
Ben and George bow to me instead of taking a knee. I would much prefer that, I know the respect they have for me, and for them to take a knee is not required for them to display that respect.
They introduced me to four other guards, who will now act as my honor guard. The lighted courtyard gives us enough light to see the men clearly. Two of them Martin and Samuel, are very large men who carry great swords, wearing heavy armor. The last two are William, or Bill who carries short swords and a bow that glows with a soft light of magic. The last, to my surprise is Ruth a young woman; she carries a long sword, along with two short swords. Ruth falls into step with Isabel opposite my side.
I pull our group of guards over to the side, and I have a quick conversation with them. First, I asked if they had ever been in combat with a magic user as part of the unit. That rarely occurs so it did not surprise me the only two that did not shake their head no were Ben and George. I explained to them, that the magic user is sort of like having a crossbow or ballista at your back, although it can be a hell of a lot worse than the bolt if you stepped in front of the spell.
Ben and George explained about the Drake from yesterday, and the four of them only have a mild shock for a second before they shake their head in understanding.
I say, “If combat begins, allow me to cast my spell before you rush in, I can use lightning bolts, or fireballs. Fireballs have an area effect, whereas a lightning bolt can be even more devastating but to a single target. Nevertheless, be warned that if you swing your sword through the lightning bolt, you will take its damage instead of the intended target.”
Seeing they understand I continue, “If anything happens today, just keep everyone at a distance from Isabel and I, stay as close to me as you can, I will do what I need to protect our fathers, Isabel and you.”
When William insists it is his job to protect me, Ben and George chuckle before the Lieutenant says, “Julius killed a Drake with a single lightning bolt, what chance would a man have to stand against that. All we have to do is keep someone from getting too close, if we keep them at a distance, Julius will keep us alive, even against an army.”
Ruth clears her throat, “You mean Prince Julius killed a Drake with a single lightning bolt.”
Ben chuckles again and points out, “Julius is his father son, not until tomorrow he will have the title of Prince.”
Placing my hand on Ruth’s shoulder, I gently say after filling her tense up, “Ruth, I would much prefer to simply be Julius today, tomorrow or next year from now. Moreover, it may well be your job to protect Isabel and me. Nevertheless, my job is to protect my father, you, our people, and our lands. Never let me forget that. Always remember I depend on all of you to help me accomplish that. I prefer not to stand on formality whenever not required.”
Ruth relaxes a little as she looks into my eyes she says, “There is no falsehood in your words, you speak what your heart believes.”
The six bow to me again. I smile and give them a bow in return. It is time for us to leave. Isabel and I will ride on the same carpet for the first leg of the trip. Ben and George having ridden yesterday are not so surprised to fill it lift into the air as we quickly move away from the castle courtyard. As the sun finally rises my four new guards, look on wide-eyed as the land speeds below us. Even Ben in George remarks at the speed we are traveling compared to yesterday.
Isabel giggles and says, “I think that maybe a Dragon could catch it but only for a short distance. I believe the carpet given a little distance at the beginning can out run a Dragon if need be. What would take four days to walk; the carpet can travel over in less than half a day.”
Shortly after dawn we reach the coast, we travel out to sea some distance to conceal our movements. At the height we travel, few things would ever notice, although our carpet would be the easiest it made from red silk and rather audacious in its design. The other three carpets and our group are all bluish of color and should disappear against the sky easily. We approach a cove of less than an hour’s walk from Bethany, this is where we are going to break into separate groups. Father and his Knights, along with five of my guards, will complete the journey to Bethany, after allowing enough time for everyone else to get into position.
My in-laws and Uncle Justin departs on foot, after removing a wagon and the team of horses from one of the new crates we created for them. Jeremiah had us create a crate in a different size, not the two foot by four foot, it fit exactly in the back of the wagon bed, but because the boxes multidimensional, turning it one way the wagon would actually fit within it. Jeremiah tells me the horses and wagon had been loaded early yesterday evening. I am grateful the horses are unharmed although they seem a little skittish, probably just nervous from being inside a magical box. Ruth insist on remaining with Isabel, and I greatly appreciate her doing so.
Before we depart, Isabel and I share a long kiss, and only when a couple of the guards and three at Dad’s Knights have bumped into us we break. The look on their faces as they rub various body parts tell us what my father had been up to. Knowing that our glow heels he purposely brought Knights and guards with older injuries needing healed.
I waved to Isabel, and then chuckle and look at them as we lift, looking at Dad I say, “My King you could have just ask and I would greatly appreciated the opportunity to kiss my wife.”
Dad chuckles and says, “I hope we will not have need later today, other than old injuries. If all is well in Bethany I will simply announce that you are my son and my cousin is required in New Cowan to witness the coronation of my son.”
We take a wide circle, until we moved in land and south of the city. It takes about the entire time needed for the groups of our party to reach the gates. Britney is not so large that I cannot make out the groups as they enter the gates while we fly slowly toward the south wall. Even the guards at the East and West gates seem drawn to the spectacle of their King on a flying carpet.
Two standards fly to announce our identity, and we stopped outside of crossbow range to be recognized. Clan Morgan enters the city with no difficulties. Even the king’s guard has no trouble as they enter the city from the East gate. We stretch out the time requiring the Captain of the guard to recognize us before crossing the wall.
We stopped on the wall to pick up the Captain of the guard; I move the carpet slowly to allow our people time to move within the city. After Isabel and her father, Justin and clan Morgan enters a palace grounds, I bring the carpet into land inside the palace courtyard.
As the carpet touchdown, Jeremiah enters the Duke’s audience chambers along with twelve of his loyal men, Justin, Ruth and Isabel. I go to my knee is my father passes, then fall into line just after his Knights. My eyes search the courtyard for dangers, there are six crossbow stationed ready to fire into the crowd at a moment’s notice. Four guardsmen at the entrance to the audience chamber, a group of six at the gate, I think rather heavily guarded for a peaceful city.
The audience chamber, upon our entrance many heads turn seeing the King along with the six Knights people began going to their knee, although Duke Egger remain seated. I notice another dozen of his guards are within the audience chamber, along with four men armed with crossbows on two balconies that overlook the chamber. I am looking around wide-eyed like this is a grand experience, what I am really doing is assessing all the threats, it is then that I noticed the two wizards, also on the balconies.
I whisper to Bill, if there is trouble, you get the mage on the right. I will take the mage on the left, and then the bowman. He gives a slight nod, I know he understood, and I retake my place in the line. When Bill slips out of line, I give no outward indication; I know he is moving into position where he can have a better shot.
I can since Isabel’s presence, she too notices the difference and how the Duke has arranged his security, she communicates telepathically to me. (This is not right; the Duke would normally have half these men outside with only two or three inside.)
Justin long time ago had created a necklace allowing us to use telepathy, he communicates, (There is a master wizard hidden behind the Duke to the left just behind the screen. I will take him out when it starts.)
The Captain of the guard announces father, in that instance I feel the wizards all begin offensive spells, before their fireballs can come into being, one huge bolt of lightning flashes out from my hands to the wizard on the left balcony, he transfers into brilliant light blinding most in the audience chamber. Bill fires from his position into the throat of the wizard on the right balcony. Justin brings forth a spear of ice that flies hits the master wizard in the center of his chest so quickly he did not have time to bring up a shield spell; the spear of ice carries him into the wall behind him shattering against it. The wizard slumps to the ground dead.
Isabel has cast a shield spell as she steps beside her father-in-law, three crossbow-bolts bounce harmlessly off it. The one who had yet to fire was only temporary blinded by my lightning bolt, and yet another strikes him before his weapon can be re-aimed.
The last bowman drops his crossbow still unloaded turns to flee from the left balcony, I whisper a spell of paralyzing and he falls to the floor unmoving. We may need a few witnesses for the upcoming trial. The Duke still sets in his seat father has his sword at the Duke’s neck keeping him still. In a clear voice, which shows no fear the King commands, “Drop your steel, there will be more than one more death this day if any move against me.”
Sound of the Dukes guards dropping their steel blades heard through otherwise silence audience chamber, the Captain of the guard goes to his knees, followed by the rest. The noise from outside tells us the King’s men have secured the courtyard.
Isabel and Ruth are at my father’s back, when two side doors burst open, and men expecting the carnage left by three fireballs are surprised as twenty-four armed men and Knights halt their charge. Seeing the Captain of the guard on his knees, they dropped their swords as they go to their knees as well.
I am very happy we took the time to teach Isabel the shield spell this morning, my wife is a very quick study, and she performed it excellently for her first time in combat.
It takes nearly an hour to secure Duke Egger’s castle, in that time we find many prisoners, one of which is the daughter of the cobbler from Camarillo. Now a few things fall into place, the two Dukes had been working for years secretly smuggling slaves for sell outside of the kingdom. Raiders would leave their duchies alone as long as they sold slaves to them. In the decade, that slavery was illegal within the kingdom the two Dukes had continued trading with the Raiders secretly. The Duke of Camarillo only the last five years had received his Duchy, but before then he was a member of Duke Egger’s court.
We found that a slave ship was due to arrive that afternoon and arrange for their arrest. We had barely managed to rescue the cobbler’s daughter. She is in bad shape, having received serious beatings, branded as a slave as well as other things I care not to find answers to what all happen to her. Isabel and I kiss, praying that our glow will heal her body and soul, along with all the other poor victims confined within the cell I now carry Isabel through silently. The sighs and even giggles tell us the goddess has approved.
Duke Egger’s trial is swift, but held within the laws of the kingdom therefore justice is served. When it announced, his life will be forfeit for his crimes. He wishes a priest so he can confess his sins before his death. One brought forth for him, although the priest not allowed in the jail cell, the Duke may make his confession. Both father and I witness that he confesses to the death of my mother, when questioned about the boy he says, “She must have hidden the child, I could not find him, and I stayed long enough to make sure he cried no more.”
I turned to the former Duke; far enough outside of the jail cell I slide down my pants and lift my shirt to reveal the birthmark. The Duke’s eyes widened and he shakily says, “It cannot be, you had to be dead. It was far too cold for an infant to survive.”
In that instance, my father wants to run him through, but I hold my father back and say, “Strip him and his family of the royalty they do not deserve. Cast out his wife and children, let all know his crimes. What his actions brought unto him. Now that he convicted as an ordinary man for murder. Then give him a criminal’s death.”
Father looking into his eyes with hatred says, “I should put your wife and children on that slave ship, with fresh slave brands marking them. However, for my son I will not, they will not be nobility any longer. You and your actions have stripped them of that. Your son is no longer in line for the throne. The only title your children will now carry child of traitor.”
Egger cries, “I will do anything, please do not do this.”
My father turns to him in cold anger says, “Bring back my wife to me, give me back the years we lost, the children we would have had. You cannot do these things, so your fate is sealed.”
His wife screams from an adjoining cell, “You bastard look what you did to us, how can I live with nothing.”
The next day the coronation held, the highest clerics within the city of New Cowan performed the ceremony. I did not realize what the dress code would be. I am in a long white shirt that comes down to my knees. It looks odd, but remember is normally done with a three-year-old. A high slit on one side allows the clerics to see and witness the fact I have a kingly birthmark. To say I am little more than embarrassed would be an understatement. Here I am in front of the holiest individuals in the kingdom showing my ass.
As I blush, Isabel giggles in her mind only, she is very regal, in her ocean blue dress, diamond tiara standing with her arm interlaced with my father. Isabel truly looks like a princess, fortunately after the inspection of my birthmark they allow me to dress in a robe. The robe is the same blue color as Isabel’s dress the long enough that it actually reaches the floor. A pair of soft leather boots completes my ensemble.
A balcony on the palace outer wall is where the announcement made to the assembled crowd. The crowd has heard of the miracles at the temple, smithy and what happened with little Patrick. The crowd is huge, even people from neighboring duchies have come; many wizards and others who have methods of traveling quickly are there. Everyone has come to see the lost Prince, blessed by Aphrodite, and new defender of the Crown.
A roar begins in the crowd once they see us; it becomes a cheer, which becomes a chant of kiss, soon repeated. Rebecca must not be the only one who wants to see the glow. Dad gives me a wink, and Isabel and I step close to each other taking each other into our arms we kiss. As the glow brightens, it seems to spread faster than ever. As couples begin to kiss in the crowd, they too glow before long the entire area is lit up. As it was in the temple, miracles abound that day, far too many to list.
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