Episode I The Corsair
The weeks after her capture were a nightmare for Vayasha. She and the other prisoners had been marched to the Shang camp by the Dragon Warriors. There they had been confined in a stockade for a day or so. There were about forty Silvani prisoners in all. Vayasha and her comrades, and the Silvani who had been taken in battle. They were closely watched, but generally left alone. Only once was Vayasha worried and that was when a Shang lord dressed in green robes and wearing a conical hat had stood at the top of the stockade and looked at the prisoners. The look in his eyes when he had caught sight of her had sent shivers down her spine. But she had not seen him again after that.
However, shortly after the Shang lord had appeared, all of the prisoners had been roped together and marched out of the stockade. The guards took particularly pains to make sure they had no chance of escaping. Vayashas hands had been tied tightly behind her back, and ropes were looped around her arms and over her breasts. As before, it made it very difficult to walk or breathe, but the Shang did not seem to care. They herded the prisoners along at a vigorous pace. The entire Shang army was on the move. This puzzled Vayasha, because with the capture of the Green Heart, the Shang should have been carrying their battle to the Silvani. Instead they seemed to be retreating. A few hours later, however, she was too tired and thirsty to care what the Shang were doing. She only wanted to stop and rest. But the relentless pace continued, not only for that day, but for the next two weeks. Mile after mile they were herded along, stopping only occasionally for water breaks. If any of the captives faltered, they were whipped along by Shang overseers riding alongside. There was only one exception to this brutal treatment and that was Vayasha. For some reason the guards left her alone. This special treatment, however, worried her even more. It meant that she had been marked by the Shang lord. He did not want her beaten, which meant that he had something else in mind for her, and she strongly suspected what that might be. Already Qwang Guis reputation for brutality had circulated among the captive Silvani, and despite the fact the male prisoners tried to shelter the women prisoners from the knowledge, it was soon well known by all what their fate was likely to be.
Eventually they reached the Shang capital. Chinwas majesty stunned Vayasha. She could hardly believe the size and splendor of the huge city. In all her life she had never know anything more than a village of simple wooden houses and had never seen more than a few hundred people all in one place. Chinwas wide avenues, magnificent buildings, and teeming thousands astounded her. She found it hard to believe that the mighty Shang could find it worth their while to invade her humble home. But she knew that there was one thing of value the Silvani had that the Shang might want: the Green Heart, although what the Shang might want to do with it she had no idea.
Qwang Gui turned the glowing stone over in his hands. He was in a very good mood. Everything had gone as planned. In a few weeks he would be the new emperor of the Shang. His Dragon Warriors had taken care of his troublesome sister. Soon he would use her to consolidate his power. He also had the mystic stone that gave the Silvani their power over nature. He had no idea how the stone worked, but he had captured several Silvani. He was looking forward to questioning them, especially one of them. He licked his lips at the thought of the silver-haired girl. Yes, she should prove most interesting. He pulled the bell to summon his guard. Bring me the silver-haired Silvani girl. I think it is time to question her.
The guards dragged Vayasha from the compound. She had tried to hide when they entered, certain that they came for her, and her people had attempted to shelter her, but the compound where she and the other Silvani had been imprisoned was not large enough for her to escape them for long. They had found her hiding behind a group of Silvani warriors and forced her to accompany them at spearpoint. Once outside the compound the Shang guards tied her wrists behind her and hauled her along with a rope about her neck. She was marched through the streets for about a half hour and saw that she was being taken toward a gigantic and most magnificent building. It was actually large enough to have contained all of the Silvani village and a good deal of its surroundings. She knew then that she was being taken to the royal palace itself. The seat of power of the Shang empire.
The palace gates swung wide and she was escorted through exotic gardens filled with plants and flowers that she had never seen before. Again she wondered at the need for the mighty Shang to invade her primitive homeland. With such wealth and power what could her people have that the Shang needed? As she and her guards entered the palace she became conscious of her shabby appearance. Her clothes were torn and soiled from weeks of marching and being forced to sleep on the ground. She had not washed since she had been taken prisoner, and her silver-blonde hair was matted and filthy. She felt quite out of place in the luxurious palace surrounded by immaculately dressed servants.
Surrounded by armed guards and at the mercy of her captors, Vayashas apprehension increased as she was escorted deeper into the palace. She could think of only one reason why she might have been brought to such a grand place, and the very thought of what might happen to her filled her with such fear that she trembled uncontrollably. She was paraded through room after room. The palace seemed endless. And then suddenly she was being taken into an area that was clearly the living area of the palace. Large rooms with guards posted outside the doors lined the marble hallways. Her escort stopped outside one of the doors. One of the guards knocked on the door and the rope was removed from her neck. The door opened. Standing there was an older woman backed by five young girls. The woman looked at her in a most disapproving manner, but then took her hand and guided her into the room. Once inside she was turned over to the young girls.
Immediately, her hands were untied and the girls began to strip her filthy rags from her body. Vayashas first instinct was to resist, but then thought better of it. The last thing she wanted was to have the Shang guards enter the room and force her to strip. She was sure that they would enjoy such duty far too much to make any resistance worthwhile. Within a few seconds the girls had her ragged clothes off. Embarrassed, Vayasha tried to cover her breasts and nether region with her hands, but the girls seemed oblivious to her shame. They took hold of her arms and guided her toward a large pool of steaming water. At first Vayasha was alarmed, but then suddenly realized that the pool was a bath. She had never seen such a large amount of hot water before. The Silvani usually bathed in cold water streams and pools. The girls guided her into the pool, immersing themselves along with her. Each of the young women held a sponge which they dipped in the water and began to scrub her with.
Vayasha had never experienced so pleasant a sensation. She derived almost sinful pleasure from it and became quite relaxed as she received the most thorough cleansing she had ever had. She emerged from the bath almost beet red from the heat and the scrubbing. Awaiting her was the older woman. She sat her down and supervised the combing out of Vayashas hair. Then satisfied that she was properly groomed the senior maidservant dressed her in a long flowing white robe, and placed a large mirror in front of her.
Vayashas mouth fell open in astonishment. The person staring back at her was more beautiful than she could have imagined. For a few seconds she thought it was some sort of trick, but when she moved her image moved with her. You are beautiful indeed, my lady, said the older servant. A fitting consort for the emperor.
Vayasha felt like someone had hit her in the stomach. For a few minutes she had forgotten her predicament. But now her peril came back to her like a splash of cold water thrown into her face. How could she have forgotten where she was? She was a prisoner of the Shang and no doubt intended to serve as one of the emperors concubines. Her fear and consternation must have been obvious, as the older woman placed her hand on Vayashas shoulder and spoke to her in a reassuring tone. My lady, to be chosen to serve the one who sits upon the Throne of Heaven is a great honour. The emperor may have his pick of thousands of women. To be one of the select few chosen to serve the emperor is to hold a special place in the empire. You must not be afraid.
Vayasha tried to calm her breathing. It would do her no good to protest. She had to bide her time and hope for an opportunity to escape before the emperor had any opportunity to summon her. Her only chance was for the servants to leave her and give her the opportunity to look for a way out of the palace. She nodded her head and let the senior maidservant take her arm and lead her toward the bedroom.
Time passed. Vayasha sat on the bed. The maidservant who had escorted her to the bedroom had not left and so she had been given no opportunity to look for a way out. Finally, she ventured a question, What has become of the emperor? I though I was brought here to see him.
You must be patient my lady, the servant answered. The emperor, Qwang Gui, is a very busy man. At present he is entertaining his sister. And that may take some time.
There was something strange about the way the woman had said entertaining, but she could not fathom what it was. In any case, it seemed obvious that the woman was not going to leave her alone, and so Vayasha decided to take matters into her own hands.
She got up from the bed. Although not exceedingly tall by Silvani standards, Vayasha was much taller than the Shang servant. She knew, however, that many of the Shang were skilled in the art of hand to hand fighting, as she had discovered when she had confronted the Dragon Warriors. And so she took no chances. Her room overlooked a garden courtyard. Vayasha went to the window and looked at the garden. Immediately, the serving woman was by her side. My lady? she asked, as if Vayasha might want something. But Vayasha knew that she was merely keeping close to her as she had no doubt been ordered.
Vayasha leaned out the window and scanned the garden. There were many trees and flowers that she did not recognize; pointing to one of them she asked what it was. She could almost sense the womans relief as she answered. It was obvious that she had been concerned that Vayasha might be trying to escape. In a short time she and the servant were chatting in a most friendly matter. The woman seemed quite delighted to explain the delights of the garden to her. After half an hour Vayasha was beginning to feel guilty about what she had to do, but it was her only way out.
Leaning over the sill she pointed to a flower growing right beneath the window. What is that one? she asked.
The shorter woman had to leave her feet to see what Vayasha was pointing to. As she did so Vayasha stepped back and whipped the coverlet off the bed. In an instant she had enshrouded the unsuspecting servant in the folds of the coverlet. The woman cried out in surprise, but Vayasha had clamped her hand over her mouth and nose. A wild struggle ensued as the terrified servant tried to escape, but Vayasha held on to her like grim death. Slowly the womans struggles diminished as she fought for breath and then she began to go limp. Vayasha removed her hand from the unconscious servants mouth. She did not want to kill her, just ensure that she did not wake up too soon. As the woman slumped to the floor, Vayasha tightened the sheet about her. Moving to the bed, she tore one of the sheets into strips and used it to bind the woman into the coverlet. She finished by gagging her and then went to the door. Placing her ear to it she listened. There was no sound from the servants in the outer room. Apparently they had been far enough away from the door not to hear anything.
She returned to the bed and tore the remaining sheets into strips and tied them together. Securing these to one of the bedposts she tossed the remainder out of the window. The garden below was still deserted. Quickly she clambered to the sill and using the sheet as a rope, she lowered herself to the garden. She was now almost in her element. The trees and shrubs in the garden would provide her with cover. She was, however, poorly dressed for escape. She would have to find some more suitable clothes than the flowing robe the maidservants had dressed her in, and that meant going back into the palace.
She moved from tree to tree and bush to bush, all the while keeping her eyes open for any Shang guards. Reaching the edge of the garden, she wriggled under a bush and surveyed the scene before her. Only a few feet away were several Shang soldiers, posted near one of the palace entrances. The men looked bored. Vayasha guessed that this far into the palace grounds, they were rarely faced with any intruders. Perhaps if they were careless enough she might be able to obtain weapons and a way back into the palace. Somewhere in the huge complex was the Green Heart. And she intended to get it back or die trying.
Vayasha knew that such a daring action was foolish. She was just one young woman against the huge number of soldiers in the palace, and she had no idea where the mystical jewel might be hidden. But she felt personally responsible for its loss. She had been one of those on guard when it had been taken and her sense of honour demanded that she try to get it back. She settled down to wait. Sooner or later she hoped that the guards might give her the opportunity she needed to get into the palace.
She lay there for several hours, trying to keep focused on her mission. But sometime during that time exhaustion caught up with her and she dozed off. She awoke with a start, alarmed and ashamed at her weakness. To her relief, the soldiers she had been watching were still there, bored as ever. At least most of them were. Several were missing. Where there had been seven, now there were only five. She wondered where the other two had gone, and then she heard a footstep behind her. She lay very still, hoping she would remain hidden by the bush. Then something very sharp touched her back. What have we here? asked a voice directly above her.
Vayasha froze in terror. There was no mistaking the touch of a razor edged weapon in the small of her back. Then the bush was swept aside and two powerful arms jerked her to her feet. She found herself face to face with two heavily armed Shang guards. Driven by fear, she fought to get away, but her untrained blows did little damage to the armored soldiers. She only ended up bruising her hands and feet. A few seconds later, any chance of escape there might have been disappeared as the other men she had been watching closed around her.
A little bird hiding in the bush, taunted the man who had caught her. How did you get there little bird?
Vayasha could think of no reply. She was completely surrounded and her fear was so great she had to work hard not to wet herself. Mentally she cursed her carelessness. How could she have been so stupid? She had escaped and then by falling asleep had allowed herself to be captured again.
Youre a quiet one, the man continued. Why were you so interested in us and how did you get into the garden?
Maybe she just wants a good man, sergeant, chimed in another of the soldiers.
I think youre right, Dom, and I think we should grant her wish. As he spoke, he ran his hand over Vayashas breasts, which were barely concealed beneath her filmy robe.
No! she screamed, struggling anew. She was more terrified than she had ever been in her life.
One of the men clamped his hand over her mouth. Youre not so quiet now, he said, but we cant have you attracting too much attention. The mans hand was suffocating, cutting off her breath as well as silencing her. Kicking her feet and striking out again with her hands, she fought to get away. But within seconds the other soldiers had laid hold of her arms and legs, lifting her off the ground. Then they carried her deeper into the garden, finally setting her down in a grassy square enclosed on all side by tall conical cedar trees. Vayashas terror increased with the realization of why they had brought her there.
Sergeant, asked one of the soldiers, shouldnt we alert the captain?
Dont be a fool, growled the sergeant. What danger can one girl be? What the captain doesnt know wont hurt him and meanwhile we can have a little fun. Since youre so concerned about security return to your post and keep watch until its your turn.
The man hesitated. Shes dressed like a high-born, he said. Look at her hair and skin. Shes not intruder. Shes part of the emperors serail.
The sergeant frowned. Clearly he had been looking forward to entertaining himself at Vayashas expense. I doubt that a concubine would be hiding in the garden, he replied. If she is part of the harem why was she hiding in the garden?
Perhaps she wasnt hiding. She might just have been asleep.
The sergeant appeared irritated. Hold her here. I will go to the palace and see if one of the emperors women has been reported missing.
Through all this Vayasha had remained silent. She was caught between trying to brazen her way out of the predicament by revealing that she was an escaped odalisque and keeping her peace. If the soldiers took her to be a concubine she would be taken back to the palace and punished. Probably severely punished. If she remained with the soldiers it was almost certain that she would be raped, but it might offer a chance of escape. She therefore watched wide eyed as sergeant and two of the other soldiers moved off. Now she was held by only three men.
Held was not the right word. She was actually surrounded, but none of the men was actually touching her. She was after all, only a helpless girl. The heavily armed guards had little fear that a young woman dressed in the sheer garments of the harem was any sort of danger.
Now, she thought. She darted away from the soldiers, her speed catching them off-guard.
Get her, one of the soldiers yelled. The clash of armour told her that all of the men were in hot pursuit. Vayasha was unencumbered by armour. Lightly she sped over the ground, flitting among the trees and bushes looking for some place to hide.
It was her flowing diaphanous costume that was her undoing. It was poorly suited for physical activity. As she dashed by an ornamental bush the costume billowed out and snagged in its branches, dragging her to a halt. Wrenching separately at the filmy material she tore it loose, leaving a goodly part of her already revealing clothing behind her. She was free again, but the slight delay enable the youngest and fleetest of the soldiers to catch her.
She turned to fight, an action so unexpected that the pursuing soldier ran right into her. The impact bowled her over and then before she had a chance to escape the others were on her.
She lifted from the ground by all three men. Two held her arms and the other her slender waist. Desperately she struggled and they let her, waiting until she had exhausted herself. By this time the commotion had attracted the sergeant and the men who had gone with him. Surrounded by six men escape was impossible.
The sergeant glowered at her. Little bitch, he said. She tried to deceive us. Im going to take her right here. This time no one argued with him.
No! Vayasha protested, her guts twisting in fear. The sergeant was slowly removing his armour. His intent was all too clear. Let me go. I am favoured of the emperor. If I am harmed you will be put to death.
If you are so favoured then why did you not reveal this before? the sergeant replied. He did not pause in the removal of his armour. You are one of the palace prostitutes and I will treat you as such.
Vayasha opened her mouth to scream, but one of the men holding her arms, anticipating her action clamped his hand over her mouth. Her cries muffled she struggled frantically as the guard prepared to take her.
The sergeant fumbled with the fastenings that held his codpiece in place. The organ that was released was fully erect. Never before had she seen an adult male organ in a full state of arousal. She tried to bite the hand over her mouth, but it was clamped even harder and then she almost fainted in fear as the sergeant slowly pushed her loose-fitting robe up over her thighs to her waist. He whistled in astonishment. Shes as silver down below as she is above, he said, referring to her hair colour. He moved his hand toward her nether region.
Vayasha gave a muffled shriek of fear as the sergeants hand fondled her most private place. Virgin as the day she was born, leered the sergeant, as his fingers went where no man had ever touched her. Time we did something about that.
With a strength she did not know she possessed, Vayasha fought to escape, arching and bucking her body wildly. So fierce were her struggles that she actually succeeded in freeing one of her legs. Drawing her leg back, she kicked out, her foot catching the sergeant on his armored chest, doing no damage, but driving him backwards with such force that he lost his footing and tumbled onto his back.
A roar of laughter went up from the other soldiers as the guard, his face red with rage scrambled back to his feet. The little bird has a lot of fight, Domi, laughed one of the men. You better pluck her before she gets away.
Little bitch, cursed the sergeant. Grabbing Vayashas robe he gave it an infuriated tug and tore the diaphanous material from her body. Then he clamped a hand over each of her breasts.
Vayasha gave another muffled shriek, this time of pain, as her small, tender breasts were crushed and twisted. Then two more soldiers came forward and seizing her legs lifted her clear of the ground and spread her. The sergeant seized her buttocks and prepared to thrust into her.
Vayasha wrenched her head. For a brief second her mouth was free. She raised her voice in a long despairing shriek. Then the hand was clamped back over her mouth. The sergeants member touch her vulva. It all seemed like a horrible dream. She was about to be raped, and probably more than once. One more time she twisted her body in a desperate attempt to delay the loss of her virginity. Her body was so slick with sweat, that for a second her captors almost lost their grip, but this time they were ready for her frantic efforts to escape and they maintained their hold on her.
Domi tightened his grip on the silver-blonde girls backside, his fingers digging into the soft flesh. For a few seconds he just watched her futile efforts to escape. He thought he had never seen anything so beautiful. The girls body glistened with perspiration and her small, perfect breasts bounced and jiggled with each agonized twist as she fought to escape. He would take her slowly, and watch her face as she was deflowered. He moved his pelvis forward.
Domis head was almost torn off by the hurtling body that slammed feet first into his face. His neck snapped, and he was dead before he hit the ground. Just as suddenly, Vayasha found herself on the ground as the men holding her reached for their weapons. Confused and exhausted as she was, she still had the presence of mind to roll to one side, avoiding the chaotic melee about her.
She found herself under the shelter of one of the cedar trees with a perfect view of the action unfolding before her. It didnt last long. In the middle of the soldiers was a blur of black and red. Vayasha saw that it was the redheaded Dragon Warrior who had taken her prisoner. Her movements were so quick that Vayasha could not follow them, and the effects were devastating to the soldiers who had tried to rape her. Bodies flew in all directions as the Dragon Warriors feet and hands struck with brutal precision. Within seconds, only one man remained of the six who had surrounded her, and he was running for his life crashing through the garden as he fled.
Vayasha tried to scramble to her feet, but her trembling legs would not support her. Eyes wide with fright, she stared as the Dragon Warrior strode toward her.
The Red Dragon glared at Che Sha. Why would the Shang princess not take advantage of her opportunity and attempt to escape? In a few more seconds the palace guard would arrive. With an audible sigh she grabbed the girls arm. Come on, then, Ill help you. Maybe we can find some place to hide.
Pulling Che Sha after her, she moved quickly down the hedge-lined path. It ran straight for about fifty feet and then turned at right angles. As she turned the corner she heard the sound of iron shod feet on the gravel behind her. She quickened her pace, dragging the exhausted princess with her. The path ran straight for another twenty feet and then ended at a T intersection. A light flicked on in the Red Dragons head. She suddenly knew what she had stumbled into. She was in a maze. Incredibly, luck had taken her to the only place in the palace gardens that she might have a chance to lose her pursuers. Redoubling her pace, she turned to the right. As she had surmised the path ran only for another fifty feet before reaching another T intersection. This time she turned left. Deeper and deeper into the maze she went. She was not concerned about which way she went; she simply wanted to get as far from her pursuers as she could.
Che Sha could barely stand. Only the strength lent her by the Dragon Warrior kept her going, but she was almost completely done in. She was breathing so hard that it seemed as if her lungs would explode. To her amazement and consternation, the Dragon Warrior hardly seemed tired at all. Suddenly the black clad woman stopped. We will rest here, she said. I think the maze will confuse them enough that we can stop for a little while.
Che Sha gratefully sank to the ground. She tried to slow her harsh breathing, not wanting to make any sound that would give away her location, but it took her several minutes before she was able to breathe easily. All the while, the Red Dragon stood over her, watching for any sign of their pursuers. Finally, after what seemed far too short a time, the redhead pulled on Che Shas arm. It is time to go. They are getting closer.
The sounds of soldiers were by now all around them. Che Sha got to her feet and followed the Red Dragon as she moved through the maze. Her pattern seemed random, until Che Sha suddenly understood that she was moving away from any sound of pursuit. The slower pace at which they were moving allowed Che Sha to keep up without help. Gradually the voices of the Shang soldiers faded. The maze was throwing their pursuers off their track. Che Sha knew, however, that they could not remain in the maze forever. Sooner or later the palace guard would track them down or seal off all the exits and then they would be caught. She hoped the Red Dragon had a plan.
The Red Dragon moved purposefully through the maze. She no longer sought to evade capture. Now she was looking for a way out. The problem was, she was not sure that there was an exit that she could use. Certainly, the way they had entered would be guarded. Their only chance was that the maze might have multiple exits. If it didnt, they might have to try and force their way through the close growing cedars that made up the labyrinth. But that would be difficult in the extreme. The cedars were very old and their trunks so close together that they were almost like a wall. But the Red Dragon knew that there was a pattern to mazes, and if she could figure it out, she and the princess might yet escape. She turned right again. This was the fifth time she had done that. All the while, she kept her eyes open for signs that she was not accidentally retracing her steps. Each time she made a turn she broke one of the branches on one of the cedars. So far she had not encountered one of the broken stems.
She made her sixth turn to the right, and suddenly saw daylight. Five more steps and she was out of the maze. There was no sign of the palace guard, although their shouts sounded clearly from close by. Taking Che Shas hand, she headed away from the palace. And then she heard a scream.
The sound was unmistakable. It was a woman screaming in fear. And it was not more than a hundred feet or so away.
The Red Dragon shoved Che Sha into gap between two linden trees. Stay here, she ordered. Then she was away. The scream did not repeat itself, but she had a good idea of the direction from which it had come. She found herself running down a slight inline that flattened out into a terrace overlooking the lower garden. As she approached the edge of the terrace there came the unmistakable sound of a struggle.
She crested the terrace. Below her six Shang guards were engaged in the gang rape of a young girl. The Red Dragon took the scene in instantly. She saw that the victim was one of the Silvani maidens she had captured in her raid on their village. What the girl was doing in the palace garden she had no idea, but it appeared that she had arrived just in time. The girl was about to lose her virginity, if she had not already been deflowered. She struggled helplessly in the hands of the men that held her, her long-limbed white body thrashing in a frantic but hopeless attempt to escape. The girls strong supple body glistened with sweat and her breasts quivered, moving in a circular motion as she bucked and heaved. One man held each of her limbs; a fifth covered her mouth with his hand; and the sixth was poised to thrust his erect phallus into the shivering vulva of the forest girl.
Without breaking stride, the Red Dragon vaulted from the terrace. Her jump carried her fully twenty feet and she struck the soldier standing between the girls legs with tremendous force, her feet driving into his face and snapping his neck like a straw. Even as the soldier died, hurled across the grassy glade like a broken doll, the Red Dragon was striking out at the remaining soldiers. She moved almost too fast for the eye to follow, her hands and feet dealing death with almost every blow. Within seconds the bodies littered the grassy sward and the last soldier was fleeing for his life.
Breathing slightly from the exertion, the Red Dragon helped the naked and still trembling girl to her feet. Are you alright? she asked.
The girl swayed unsteadily. Yes, she replied.
We have to get out of here, the Red Dragon said. Ill help you find some clothes. Some of these should fit you. As she spoke, the Red Dragon began to pull the armor off one of the dead Shang warriors. His height approximated that of the girl. The silver-haired girl hesitated. She seemed completely done in both physically and mentally, but recovered enough to put on the pants, shirt, and boots that the Red Dragon handed her. The Red Dragon helped her dress, hurrying her along. It was only a matter of time before the entire palace garrison descended upon the gardens and it was critical she get back to Che Sha and find some place of refuge.
At that moment a slender figure pushed through the hedge surrounding the lawn. The Red Dragon frowned. Che Sha should have stayed where she put her, but the girl had followed. I am a princess of the Shang, Che Sha said by way of explanation. I would not let you go alone.
The Red Dragon did not answer. Instead she helped the girl finish dressing. Come, she said. We must get away from here. There is a natural area near the edge of the gardens. It will provide a suitable hiding place until dark. Then we can leave the palace grounds.
I cannot go, protested Vayasha. She had picked up a bow and quiver of arrows from one of the dead guards. I must retrieve the Green Heart. I know it is there. She pointed toward the looming whiteness of the palace.
How do you know? asked the Red Dragon.
I am Silvani. We are drawn to the green stone. We have a mystical link with it. If it is close we can feel it. And I know it is in the palace.
The Red Dragon nodded. She had been the one to steal the Green Heart from the Silvani. The least she could do was to help her get it back. Alright, we will wait until dark and then I will return to the palace and retrieve it.
You will not go without me, said Vayasha.
Nor me, interjected Che Sha.
We will discuss who will go later. Meanwhile we need to hide. Follow me. The Red Dragon turned and headed for the wooded area of the garden.