Manticores? Something else must be really out to get them. Also Cormac, try not to get killed along with them.
The shadow is only following the brothers, so I should be fine. Cormac paused for a moment, But my wing hurts something awful. Just sayin'. Ceri rolled up her bedroll and tied it together with twine. Tucking her hair behind her ear, she stood up straight and scanned her surroundings. A little while after she had arrived, she asked a faerie if a certain book was here, The Treatise of the Forgotten. Ceri didn't know if it understood her, but it was worth a try.
Animals roamed where they pleased. The faeries didn't much appreciate Ceri doing the same, but they didn't stop her. As far as she could tell, so long as she didn't harm anything she would be safe. Cormac had been telling her what had been going on with the two men hunting her. They seemed almost complete opposites, and yet were like two sides of the same coin. One was short-tempered and hot headed but devoted, while the other was patient and calm.
A stag cautiously trotted near her, pulling Ceri out of her thoughts. He was the most magnificent creature she had ever seen in her life. His antler's were many pronged and large, his eyes old and wise. But somehow, his coat was sheer as if he were only a few summers old.
"Who are you?" she whispered, slowly walking closer. The backs of her hands and neck felt like they were vibrating, violently. The stag took a step back and stamped it's hoof on the soft moss. Ceri halted, not sure what to do. The deer was obviously an animal of great importance.
The stag tossed his head to the right and started going in that direction. Ceri turned and grabbed her pack hastily. I think a guardian is trying to show me something.
Do try not to offend him, Ceri. You are very offensive. Ceri smiled and shook her head. Following the guardian, he led her around the Mother Tree quite a ways. When they reached what seemed to be a ditch of some sort, the stag halted.
"Is what I need in there?" she asked, pointing into the hole. The guardian nodded it's head, turned and trotted away. Ceri looked down into the dark, afraid of what else was protecting the tome. She pulled out a beeswax candle. Taking a deep breath, she lit it with her finger. The candle did little to illuminate the underground passage before her, but it was better than nothing at all.
The darkness hugged Ceri as she delved deeper, mud and other things squishing beneath her boots. Eventually, she came to what looked like a small study. The walls were lined with half-rotted book shelves, but were amazingly still holding up their books. In the center was a small table and a three legged stool.
Ceri's mouth dropped as she set her pack down, and the candle on the table.
Spirits, I hope it's here.
Ceri grunted as she pulled off another large and moldy tome from the shelves. Fifteenth try is always the charm.
Yes. If you're stubborn.
I'm starting to think it isn't here. She gently put the book on the table, frowning deeply. There isn't that many books in this study.
Ceri tried her best to read the title. Properties of Potions. She set it aside, it would probably be useful later. The next book on the shelf she was unloading looked ancient. She was afraid if she held it, it would crumple to dust. When she touched it, Ceri knew the binding and cover were flesh.
Though it sent shivers up her spine and made her skin crawl, she heaved the tome into her arms and put it on the table. Ceri blew the thick layer of dust off it, not wanting to touch the vile compendium.
The pages crinkled loudly as she opened it with care, only using one finger and thumb. Her heart raced as she read the title, the font handwritten, faded and almost sloppy.
The Treatise of the Forgotten.
Ceri sucked in air through her teeth and ran her fingers through her hair in excitement. Cormac, it's here.
Good, can I come back now?
Yes, I'll need you.
Ceri slouched on the stool and gently flipped through each page. The feel of the binding made her feel sick, but now that she had nearly all the lost knowledge she needed. She pushed the feeling aside.
"Cormac," she called, looking intently at the parchment, "It says here that I can use you to bring dreams to my enemies." The familiar hopped closer to her.
Haven't you used me enough already? Ceri smiled at the poor bird.
"You're way too opinionated," she stroked his sleek feathers on his chest, "Spirits, my cat wasn't as flippant as you."