Despite our promise, Odael was suddenly torn from my grasp by Ukaor who then kicked me into a chair which, as I expected, had a curse on it. The wooden surface of its arm rests wrapped around my arms and the front legs curled around my ankles.
"Now," he held a glowing dagger to Odael's throat, "since I assume we're all comfortable, I have a few questions to ask. First off, who's the boy?"
"You're going to have to be a tad more specific," I growled.
"The one with the strange hair. What's his name?"
Lace? Or, I thought with a hint of a smirk, was it Valour? A gasp from Odael forced a quick decision, "Lace."
Ukaor muttered the name to himself thoughtfully before realization seemed to dawn on his face, stabbing me with guilt. What destructive secret could this conniving man possibly know about a magically perserved soldier from the way back in the time of the kingdom's origin?
"And the mage; Rerin, if I remember correctly. How far is he in his studies?"
"How would I know?!" I burst, "Why don't you just ask them?"
"Because," he responded slowly, menacingly, "You're a ranger, Jevin, and a goblin. Both bear traits of remarkable observance and extensive knowledge of magic and lore," he peered into my very soul, "You know the answers to the questions I'm asking and you have a weak spot I can use to get those answers."
I turned away, unable to meet his or Odael's gaze. As much as I loathed to admit it, he was right.
"So tell me, how far is Rerin in his magical studies."
He was far, as I concluded from our journeyings, but not near far enough for what I knew Ukaor was scheming. Sure he could make fire out thin-air and heal remarkable wounds but, I thought with a shudder, there was no way he could block a mind-controling spell.
He seemed to read this from my facial expression. " I see. And the elf? The one who apparently stole my mooonring, what of her?"
"What of her?"
He outstretched his hand and a sudden force slammed my head against the back of the chair with a loud thud, making Odael yelp, "You know better than to talk back to me Jevin. Now answer my question, is she capable of weilding the ring's power?"
"Oh yes, very capable" I smirked, watching the color slightly drain from his already pale face. Of course, I didn't mention that she wasn't exactly accustomed to controlling the powers, but I figured we needed as much intimidation on our side as we could get.
"And, from the prisoner, I find her name is Arien. Is that correct?"
He seemed ever-so-slightly frightened by that to so I nodded.
"Then," he held the knife harder against Odael and his eyes narrowed almost desperately, "Who was the one Wesitrinia recognized?"
The dragon. I thought I had heard the commotion stop for a moment as a snuck off. The only person left was...Alexican. Of course! So my suspicions were correct; whether she claimed it or not, she was Ukaor's offspring. Wesitrinia wouldn't stifle her fury for anyone else.
"Who is she?!"
His eyes were wild with a mix of emotions and Odael gritted her teeth as the knife pressed yet further against her skin. It was as if he'd forgotten she was there.
"Tell me Jevin!" he slammed me with another wave of invisible power.
"She goes by the name Alexican," I muttered wearily, amazed at the energy the spell zapped from me--only for him to knock me with it again, "Not her name, idiot!"
"You know who she is," I muttered, my head throbbing, "Your fears have been confirmed Ukaor--she's your daughter."
In pure rage--or was it despair--he dropped Odael and strode towards me, yanking me out of the grip of the chair with both hands. Dragging me across the floor, he kicked open a trapdoor and dropped me down into its depths.
I landed painfully on the stone floor beneath before scrambling to my feet to catch Odael.
"That will be all. Thank you two for bringing those friends of yours to me, they will be forever in your debt."
The door shut and echoed around the darkness. So that was it. Ukaor had no interest in us--an ex-apprentice and a young princess. The reason he'd gone about doing all the evil deeds he did was to get a hold of the certain powerful individuals connected to those deeds so that they would somehow assist him in reaching his greatest extent of power.
After gently setting Odael down and making sure she was alright, I realized he'd forgotten to mention--and perhaps underestimated--one person: Valour.