Solen and I placed our mugs down on the wide stone hearth and the Priestess motioned for us to follow her. She led us over to the far end of the room, and came to a stop before a large intricately handwoven tapestry.
“We are about to cross through a barrier, not unlike the one that I’m sure you both felt at the temple entrance.”
She lifted the tapestry aside revealing yet another stone tunnel. This one was at least partially lit by dimly shining glass orbs set into recessed in its walls on either side. I had a feeling that the entire temple was riddled with such passages and the thought of what might be waiting down any one of them sent small shivers down my spine.
Solen went first, as usual, passing through the barrier without hesitation. I followed behind him and to my surprise, I realized that I felt a little braver.
Maybe it was the special mix of herbs in the Priestess’ tea? Or it could be that after all I’d braved so far, whatever it was that lay at the other end of the tunnel didn’t feel like anything I couldn’t handle.
“As long as he’s by your side.” A smug knowing voice whispered in my mind.
Well, so what if that was true! I shoved the self critical voice aside, and ducked beneath a hanging curtain of spider webs. Even my father didn’t rule entirely alone. He had his guards and his council too. At the moment Solen was filling the role of both for me. So, to my mind, relying on his aid wasn’t a weakness at all, it was a strength.
“That’s a simple but powerful truth Amara. You’ll need to hold it close to your heart in the coming days. Don’t let yourself forget it, no matter how tempting it is to let your doubts rule you.” The Priestess’ voice seemed to come from every direction at once as it echoed eerily off the damp stone walls.
I quickly pushed another curtain of web aside and allowed myself a small sigh of relief when I found Solen standing on the other side of it staring quizzically at me.
He looked like he was about to speak but then the Priestess pushed aside the thick cobwebs and the passage filled with light.
We both stared in amazement at the glowing sphere of blue mist which she now held outstretched in her open palm. The mist shed an aqua blue light which seemed to linger for a moment or two in the Priestess’ wake, as she carried on down the sloping passage.
This time I walked ahead of Solen, drawn like a helpless moth to the tendrils of blue mist, which seemed to wrap themselves around my curious fingers like strands of glowing silk, before dissipating completely, taking all my lingering fear with them.
I was so taken in by the strange magic that I almost bumped straight into the Priestess’ back when she finally came to a stop. My mouth dropped open on a gasp as I stared around in even greater amazement at the large vaulted cavern which had suddenly opened up before us.
If I had ever needed proof of the Godess’ divine touch on earth, then this was surely it.