“Greetings, Emissaries.” Sharon bowed. “Welcome to our humble observatory.
“Greetings.” Their mouths didn’t move, but we heard their voices all the same. “Are these the ones that have seen the dragon?”
“They are.” Sharon turned towards us. “Apprentice Stargazer, Steren Moran,” I bowed, copying Sharon. “And Apprentice Magician, Bridget Gaines.” She bowed.
“We remember these.”
Both nodded and Ohn gestured to Bridget with their left hand. “Metologant. The eager one overflowing with magical energy.”
La gestured to me with their right. “Shimanarant. The still one who sees.”
I fought to swallow the tangle of emotion that name brought up. Shimanarant. They’d first called me by it when they picked me out of a crowd of hundreds to become a Stargazer. And now to hear it again over a year later…
La laid a hand on the side of my head while Ohn mirrored the movement with Bridget and suddenly we were back in the observatory, seeing the sign, watching the roof peel back, hearing those final words, “KHEN NAT TEM!” The vision vanished and I found myself once again looking up at La’s vaguely effeminate features. The short, fleshy antennae that took the place of their eyebrows were raised, though from alarm or anger I could not say. La leaned closer to Ohn, speaking in their strange chittering language and Ohn replied in kind. After a few moments of back and forth they turned back to us.
“We must meditate on this further. We thank you for your testimony.” They bowed and turned to leave.
“Emissaries?” Bridget’s voice trembled, but it seemed that even now she couldn’t keep her mouth shut. Eternally patient, they turned their attention to my coworker.
“What did he say?”
The twins exchanged a look and Ohn put a hand on Bridget’s shoulder.
“It’s better that you not know. Do not worry. We will take care of it.”
“And you will be protected.” La added.
As soon as the Emissaries left, Sharon collapsed into the nearest chair with a sigh of relief. “Glad that’s over.”
“Is it over, though?” Bridget’s brow furrowed. “We still don’t know where he disappeared to, or how he was able to get this far in the first place.”
“That’s a problem for the Emissaries, and the Combat Corps. I’m sure they’ll figure it out.”
“Fighting the Dragon Lord and his followers is their job. Your job is to keep watch and warn them if something is coming.” Sharon heaved herself to her feet. “And mine is to get this mess straightened out and get that observatory rebuilt.”
Bridget huffed, but managed to wait until Sharon was out of the room to turn on me. “And I suppose you agree with her?”
Can’t she just be satisfied doing her job and getting paid like everyone else? I groaned and rubbed my throbbing temples. “Like she said, it’s our job to keep watch. If we go off looking for the Dragon Lord, who’s going to do our job?”
“I guess.” Even though she’d verbally relented, I could still hear the wheels going in her head.
Finally! After a month of life kicking my butt, part 3 is finally done. Sorry for the long wait.