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Rolfin's Orb
Book 12 -
Chapter 12

            A woman came through and sat across from Fiona. “King Kegan has asked me to escort you around the palace and show you whatever you want to look at. Follow me please.”

“Who are you? I mean, what is your name?” Fiona took the woman’s hand. “You’re nice.”

“Thank you, Fiona. My name is Anisa. I help King Kegan out; keep track of his appointments and things like that. 

“Oh, you’re his secretary. I get it.” Fiona grinned.

“Yes. What would you like to see? The palace is very large,” Anisa said.

“I’d like to see the twelve towers, at least some of them, especially the library. Is it true that each of King Rolfin’s wives decorated their own tower and some look pretty wild?”

“I’m not sure what you mean by wild, but yes, they did decorate them. Some are rather gaudy, if you ask me, while others are pretty. Things were different back in the days of Rolfin. Their tastes in architecture are different than they are today. The queen is using the towers in a more sensible manner. I am relieved King Kegan only had one wife.” Anisa led Fiona to the tower that now housed the library. She opened the door and they both stepped inside.

“Whoa! No wonder Johnny loved it so much here. Look at the books.” Shelves lined the circular walls all the height of the tower. “Johnny, I mean Alroy, told me there were books from the days of Charlemagne all the way back to some ancient Greek and Trojan manuscripts.”

“Why yes, you’re right. I didn’t know you’d spoken with Alroy. He’s around here somewhere.” Anisa said, glancing around the room.

“Can I go and walk around by myself? I promise not to touch anything.” Fiona pleaded with puppy dog eyes.

“Certainly. I’ll have a seat and wait for you,” Anisa said.

Fiona examined the books at her eye level and then moved down a hallway into a smaller room. Through a window she looked down at the city. “Wow! This is cool. I can see everything from here. I love it. Fountains! Pools! Bushes! Flowers!” She glanced at the walls. “I’m not fond of the carvings though. They are ugly.” The entire wall of the room was decorated with carved wildebeest. “Why would a woman decorate her room with those ugly animals? They look like yaks. Why not an elephant or a gazelle? Weird.”

She took another small hallway and came into another room, even tinier than the other. A man sat with his back to her. He was writing. “Johnny,” she whispered.

The man, sensing someone behind him, turned. He smiled at Fiona. “Hello. Who might you be?”

“I’m Fiona McAllister.

“I’m glad to meet you. My name is Alroy Cathmore.”

“You look younger,” Fiona said, catching the man by surprise. “What are you writing?” She moved closer.

“I am King Kegan’s scribe. I am keeping a history of our times.”

“That’s good. I hope you do a good job. You never know who might read it in the future,” Fiona said.

“That’s very true. I do the best I can.”

Fiona stared into Johnny’s eyes. I don’t think I’ll tell him that one day he’ll marry my mother and be my stepfather.

Anisa came into the room. “Fiona, you mustn’t bother Alroy. He’s got a busy job. Come. Let’s visit another tower.” Anisa pulled Fiona by the hand.

“Cheerio, Alroy,” Fiona said, waving.

He waved back and watched until he could no longer see her.

Anisa led her from tower to tower. She saw where the king kept his gold and jewels, the playroom for Isabella and Anna, which was full of toys, and different storage areas. “Have you seen enough, Fiona? King Kegan asked me to take you out into the courtyard when you were finished.”

“He did? All right. Does he want to show me his horses?”

“I’ve no idea.”

“By the way, you’re very pretty. I like your hair. It’s so dark and shiny. How old are you anyway?” Fiona dared to ask.

“Just between you and me, I’m sixteen.”

“Sixteen? Is that all?”

“Most girls are married by then. My father instructed me not to have children, so he sent me here to work for the king. I do enjoy it here though and can’t complain,” Anisa said.

They went into the courtyard and Fiona gasped. King Kegan stood there waiting for her and behind him was his army. Anisa let go of Fiona’s hand and moved back.

“Fiona, I believe you. My own wizard, Zerahemna, urged me to go with you. He said you were telling the truth. As difficult as it is for me to believe, he assured me that I should listen to all you have to say.” King Kegan bowed to her. “I shall let you lead me into the future.”

“Cool. Anisa, they will be back. Don’t worry. Follow me.” Fiona and the king, followed by an army of several hundred thousand soldiers, marched through the gates of the city into the sand. Fiona took a deep breath. “Follow me.” She stepped through the time portal into Angus’s croft. “Watch out everyone. We’re about to have company.” Fiona jumped off the golden staircase and landed near her mother. “Hello, Mum. Wait until you see this.”

King Kegan went first. When he appeared at the croft, everyone gasped. Zerahemna saw him and rushed to him, giving him a hug.

“It’s true,” the king said.

As Fiona had told them, hundreds of thousands of soldiers came through the portal into the croft. There was room for them all. King Kegan saw Alroy and his other loyal men. They spoke and explained it all to him. The soldiers were divided up into twelve groups, each led by one of Kegan’s twelve men. Johnny stayed near his king, with Mairi in hand. Once the last soldier was through, Angus took Fiona aside. “Good job, Fiona. Now, go back further in time and get Rolfin and his army. You didn’t have any problems, did you?”

“No. Would you give this bag to my mum? Tell her the stones inside are moonstones. There’s one for her, Callum, Elspet and me. The green one is mine. She’s busy so I’ll just go.” She kissed her uncle on the cheek and ran through the portal again.

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