It is a bright full moon night. The captain patrols the fortress walls ceaselessly, inspecting the sentries and fortifications. Whenever his eyes happen to glance outwards of the fortress, he would always look at the massive gates at the end of the valley, ever wary for the next wave of attackers, ever fearful of what new surprise the enemy has in store for the defenders. The captain continues forward, as he spies the commander standing amidst the sentries on the wall, taking in the cool night air. He stops by the commander’s side and looks out with him towards the gates.
“Can’t sleep, sir?”
“A calm, quiet night, sir. It’s not like them to give us a respite like this.”
“Indeed, Varian. Always a calm before the storm. They must be planning something new. Keep all the men on alert. We must be ready for battle at any moment.”
“Will do, sir. I have also instructed the engineers to be escorted out to repair the field fortifications and redeploy new mines.”
“Any word from Her?”
Before the captain can answer, the fortress is plunged into momentary darkness as something blocks out the moon. The two turn to see a great red dragon descend from the cloudless skies, circling around above the fortress until it finally decides to land on one of the extended landing platforms atop the battlements.
“Looks like She has decided to come personally, sir.”
“I will go to receive Her. Go awaken the priestess at once.”
The priestess hurries down the corridor, stopping before the door just once to quickly fix her hair and gown before knocking. After a moment, she opens the door and enters the great hall, walking with a hastened pace towards the lady standing by the commander, dressed in majestic ruby-encrusted robes.
“Spare the formalities, Borealis. Is it true? Do we finally have them?”
“Yes, my Queen. It is true. We have found them. All nine of them.”
“Where are they now?”
“Dead, my Queen. For now. They were due for processing, but fortuitously the Earthmother recognised them at last. The Earthmother has decided to continue from where she left off when she lost track of their souls. They will be re-aligned to the correct configurations before being sent off to their next incarnations. It will take some time, so the Earthmother has permitted us to inspect the souls if we so wish.”
“Thank you, Borealis. I will inspect their souls personally. We must bring this news to the other four Guardians as well. Any idea when the nine of them will next be reborn?”
“According to the Earthmother’s predictions, my Queen, the first of the lot is slated for rebirth on the next 9th of March.”