Chapter Fifty-Five

Tying up loose threads

Weaving in complex patterns ,Balor-Nar spread out his/her hands, which erupted in a slight breeze. He/She repeated this and there was an additional gentle waft.
Everyone was ready for combat, weapons drawn, except for Kelph, who had leapt behind some rocks, Lockford who had, as usual, slipped off unnoticed and surprisingly, Hubert, who simply watched.
“I think you’ve overlooked something, father,” said the former Master of Evil.
Balor-Nar looked at his wrists and noticed that he/she was accessorizing the same rune inscribed shackles that had prevented Hubert from casting any spells.
“So she-“ said Caliric.
“He!” interrupted Balor-Nar.
“-can’t cast spells?” finished the young squire.
Hubert smiled and looked at his father in the body of a tween girl.
“Not even card tricks,” Hubert said, “not that he was ever good at that.”
Balor-Nar stamped his little feet and said, “I have bargained with ancient gods! Who cares what your dammed card was?”
Hubert chuckled and patted him/her on the head and was rewarded with a strong bite on his arm. It took Garfan and Tarnah to pry his/her jaws off Hubert.
“Really, father? Biting?” asked Hubert as he rubbed the welt.
Balor-Nar looked at Caliric and pleaded, “Sweetie, DO something!”
A look of horror passed over everyone’s face, Caliric’s especially, fearing more “making out.”
“That was odd,” said Balor-Nar.
“I know, right?” said Kelph to no one in particular.
Tarnah addressed Hubert, “What is this sorcery?”
Hubert winced and said, “It seems that the ghost of my father has taken up residence in this young woman’s body.”
She took a threatening step towards Hubert and snarled, “Undo this, NOW!”
His mouth dry, Hubert avoided any sudden movements and said, “The thing about that is… Well, I don’t know how.”
Tarnah raised her battle-axe and bellowed, “Do it now, wizard, or become a restless shade yourself!”
“Whoa!” said Garfan who stepped between Hubert and dismemberment. “You remember what a big deal this whole thing was? I’m sure that Hubert here can undo this, but give him some time.”
Balor-Nar rolled his eyes and gave an unladylike snort.
Tarnah fixed Hubert with a wary eye and said, “Very well, I will give you till we return, and I would not present my sister to our father in such a state.”
“Sounds fair,” replied Hubert who really did not think it so.
Garfan patted on him the back and said, “This will be fine.”
He turned and Tarnah stared at him, drawing a finger slowly across her throat.
“I think it would be prudent to leave posthaste,” said Lockford who had returned just as he had disappeared, unseen.
“I have no idea! What did I just say?” grumbled Kelph.
Garfan pull the thief to the side and asked, “Who are you talking to?”
“What’s the deal with thrice?” responded Kelph.
They stood and looked at each other for a beat.
“Fine,” said Garfan.
“Whatever,” said Kelph.
Everybody mounted their horses, there was even a pony for Balor-Nar, who stroked its mane and named it Star Dancer but told no one he/she had done so.
“Are we ready?” asked Lockford.
A tower of Citadel exploded into green fire as two figures fought through the rubble of the blast.
“I think we’re good,” replied Garfan and they rode off through the mountain pass.

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