My father supported me as we ran to the Meeting Hall. My mother led the way. She sensed that I was ill and they came to my bedchambers and found me. I told them everything and we left immediately. I was terrified for Lillian more than anything else.
"Please!" I heard Lillian sob. She sounded in pain and I pushed my father's arm off of me. I had to get to her. "May Adelpha curse me if I am wrong!"
"Lillian!" I shouted, stumbling through the trees.
"Don't!" she shouted back. She was having to use Elder Arlan as support. "Don't cross the barrier!"
We came to a halt just behind Elder Donne and Lethan. Lethan turned and sneered at me.
"So you survived," he said. "I knew I went too easy on you. You've been snooping where you don't belong, Roan. Now it's time to right all the wrongs."
"Yes, yes it is," I snarled. "First let's make sure everyone's in the game." I looked at Elder Donne. "Join us, Cladiun."
Elder Donne stared at me for a long time. Then his face twisted into a demonic smile.
"Well done," he said, his voice distorted. "I wondered how long it would take you."
My father's jaw dropped. "Cladiun? But-But I banished you hundreds of years ago!"
"Ah, but with every banishment there is a loophole," Lethan said. "It took a long time but I have found it."
"But why?" my father asked.
"We cannot bring the two races into union!" he shouted. "It's a death sentence! The elves will surely kill us in our sleep! Your pathetic Elder Donne was clouded by his desires to see the realm! Only Cladiun can make you see the error of your ways!" He turned to the demon. "Do it now!"
"It is too late, Lethan," he hissed.
"What are you talking about?" he snapped. "I know she is pregnant!"
"The baby died," he said and Lillian sobbed. "The fool killed it when she crossed the barrier. The barrier demands a life and it chose the fetus."
I was saddened, knowing my child had died, but I had to save our races.
"You're useless!" Lethan shouted. "You were supposed to serve me, not fail!"
The demon turned to him fully and Lethan took a step back.
"I am stronger than you," it snarled. "I am not useless. You, foolish vampire, are." It grabbed Lethan by the throat and lifted him from the ground. "With your life, I will be able to enter this world permanently. Time for you to die, you cowardly wizard!"
"No!" my father and I shouted.
Before anything else happened, though, a silver arrow went shooting through Elder Donne's arm. The demon screeched in pain as he dropped Lethan. The skin was burning from the elbow down. He turned, snarling, to the elven side as his forearm and hand disintegrated.
Lillian had lost the strength to stand and was kneeling on the ground, pale as a sheet, with another silver arrow docked. She was panting and sweat was dripping down her face.
"Now, Father," I hissed but he shook his head.
"I can't do it, son," he said sadly. "I relinquished the power to banish when I- Faith!"
My mother stepped forward, her arms gesturing and I ran for her but my father held me back.
"You can't do it without a voice!" he shouted.
"By the power of Caricus, I banish thee!" Lillian shouted and I stared in wonder. Elder Donne screeched, glaring between the two women. "You are to leave this earth, Cladiun! May all the demons of hell consume your body and your soul! You are banished! By the combined powers of Caricus and Adelpha, you are banished!"
Elder Donne let out one more hair raising screech before his body crumpled to the ground.
Even the wind forgot to blow. Lillian had fallen on her face and my mother tried to run to her. My father grabbed her, though. Elder Arlan was speaking to Lillian in undertones. She didn't respond and I watched on desperately.
Please, Caricus. Please let her be alive!
"Please," I sobbed, falling to my knees. "Please! She had to commune with you! She had no choice! Don't you dare take her from you! Damn you! Don't take her from me!"
I screamed in pain as something forced me to my hands. I knew it was Caricus. He was punishing me for speaking against him.
But something strange was happening. I felt my life force leaking but it was floating somewhere. Panting, I looked up and cried out in relief. Black smoke was hovering over Lillian's body.
He was sparing her life.
I fell onto my stomach just as Lillian stirred. A golden smoke lifted from her body and floated to me. I reached out weakly and it surrounded my arm.
"Adelpha?" I whispered and fainted.
I woke up in a bed. I opened my eyes with a groan. I frowned. I was in Lillian's hut.... But what was I doing in Lillian's hut?
I turned my head and my confusion grew.
"Father?" I rasped. "But how?"
"Now is not the time," he whispered. "Come. Lillian is frantic. She is at Adelpha's shrine. I will help you there."
When we walked out, my jaw dropped. Vampires mingled among the elves. They were all staring at each other, amazed. A few were speaking and shaking hands. I saw Petunia putting the silver knives away as a vampire stood beside her, cringing.
It took us an hour to get to Adelpha because I was so weak. Lillian screamed when she saw me and threw her arms around my neck.
"Oh, Roan!" she cried. "That was a stupid thing to do!"
"What did I do?" I asked.
"I'll leave you to talk," my father said, helping me sit.
"You cursed Caricus," she sniffled, curling up next to me. "You should not have done that! You could have died!"
"He used my life force to save yours," I said, leaning against her. "I do not think he'll hold it against me."
"I saw him," she whispered. "When I speaking for your mother. He-He told me what I was doing was foolish. He said that, if I continued to commune with him, he'd kill me. I told him I didn't care; that I'd do whatever it takes."
I held her tightly and she began to sob.
"I'm sorry about our child," she cried and I kissed the top of her head.
"I am, too," I whispered.
"I-I had to get to Elder Arlan before they did. I had to."
"I know, my sweet," I said. "I know."
She sniffled. "When-When he killed me, Adelpha appeared, too. They spoke at length but I guess here it was just a few seconds. When you spoke against Caricus, he said he was going to kill you, too. Finally, they agreed to spare our lives since we did this for our races. That's when Caricus gave me my life and Adelpha gave you yours."
"So that golden mist was Adelpha," I said and she nodded. "But how are the vampires here? We are not married."
"By sacrificing our lives for each other and both races, they deemed us worthy to merge. Our wedding is no longer necessary. Our races can mingle as they please."
We sat in silence for a while. I could see elves showing the vampires the gardens and I smiled at the sight. A lot of them were surrounding one plant and I knew which one it was.
We heard some fights but I knew they'd be settled.
"Is Elder Donne all right?" I asked.
"Yes. I didn't want him to die, Roan," she sighed. "So, when he grabbed Lethan, I aimed my silver arrow for his arm. He has lost his arm but he is still alive. He wants to see us. He's in the Meeting Hall. Can you walk?"
"Not on my own," I said and she immediately helped me up.