Authors: Allen J Johnston
The Divine Path
Allen J Johnston
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2013, Allen J Johnston. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher.
I truly could not have done this series without the amount of work my amazing wife, Amber, puts into this. She creates the covers for my books and navigates all the programs that are needed to help this make it to print. She spends hours at a time as if this was her own work. To say she is amazing is shamefully not enough to really describe her. I would also like to thank the man who raised me. My father, Gary, taught me the value of honesty and hard work. It is because of his lessons that I am what I am today. I could not be prouder of that man.
Kade slept lightly, unaware as the silhouette of a man struggled to take shape in the corner. The man shook with the effort as he strained to become more than a faint image. His eyes found what they searched for lying in the bed.
“Kade…save…Doren. Kade…,”the fading form said before disappearing.
Kade’s eyes came open as he searched the room for…what he could not say. He listened, but the only sound was that of his dragon breathing deeply just outside his window. He shook his head and dismissed his unfounded unease and smiled to himself as a peacefulness filled him.
Kade enjoyed the happiness that he felt flowing through his body. He sat up slowly, trying to recall why he was in such a good mood. Something about his dreams came to mind but there were no details to help solve the mystery. He gave up trying to recall his dreams and happily bounded out of bed.
Moving to the window, Kade barely saw Rayden’s ears rising and falling on the other side of the glass. He watched, and for some reason he could not explain, found it funny and laughed. The world looked alive and felt amazing. He pushed open the window and leaned out, looking down on the dragon. The smile on his face turned into a devious one as he turned and scanned his room. Soon, his eyes found what he was seeking.
Kade crossed the room and pulled a feather from the pillow and then returned back to the window as quietly as possible. He reached out and slowly ran the feather along Rayden’s ear. At first, the dragon didn’t move. Kade stifled a laugh and tried again. The ears started to twitch. Kade let out a small laugh as he continued his game. Rayden gave a huff as his ear twitched a little more dramatically. Kade laughed loudly, finding this the most humorous thing he had seen in years. The dragon’s head shot up and then quickly looked left and right. Kade’s laugh was long and genuine. After considerable effort of getting himself under control, he turned back to the dragon and stopped as he connected with it.
Rayden was radiating happiness like the sun radiates light. He moved closer to the dragon and looked deep into its eyes, analyzing the feelings that flowed through the link. Rayden just sat there, staring back. Kade could swear the dragon had a new look in its eyes.
“What has you so happy?” Kade questioned. Rayden just looked at him, not quite understanding what was being asked. After a moment, Kade realized he was going to get no answer and let it drop. “Anyway, how would you like some food?” he asked, moving onto a subject he was sure the dragon would understand. Rayden was fully awake now as he jumped to his feet and looked at Kade hungrily.
Kade noticed his clothes lying across the chair in the corner. He tried to remember taking them off but drew a blank. Shrugging his shoulders, he quickly dressed and hurried out front to his waiting dragon. Many minutes later Kade had produced Rayden’s morning meal, which consisted of ten or so pieces of hot, juicy meat. He lost count, his mind threatening to wander constantly as birds sang from the trees.
You are becoming too spoiled
, Kade thought with a grin. He was more than ok with it, though. Feeding the dragon was easy, as its palate was not one that was difficult to satisfy. He knew that no matter what he did, he could feed the dragon meat three times a day for years, and it would still be craving the next juicy morsel he would conjure.
The sound of female voices drifted to Kade as he stood staring up at the clouds. He smiled as he thought about seeing his mother again and even more so of seeing Darcienna. He grinned from ear to ear without even knowing why.
Kade walked back into the home and listened for the women to ascertain where in the house they were. It did not take long to figure out that the voices were coming from the kitchen. He wondered if they were making breakfast and felt his stomach growl at the thought of something other than his own cooking. He started toward the kitchen, and the closer he got, the more he could tell that the women were excited about something other than food.
Kade slowly worked his way down the hall, paying close attention for sounds of danger in their voices. As he entered the room, he came upon his mother and Darcienna standing side by side with their backs to him. Upon entering the kitchen, it was clear there was no threat of any kind. He relaxed as his mind took a devious turn. He stood there grinning for a moment, considering what he wanted to do to his two victims. He decided on something simple as he stepped up and clapped them both on their shoulders. Almost in unison, they gave a squeak and jumped, giving him the reaction he was hoping to see. Darcienna glared at him for his childish prank, and her look said all of that and more. Judeen took a deep breath and let it out as if to say, “This was nothing new.” Kade started to laugh and then stopped as his eyes fell on the silky, black creature that was curled protectively around his books.
“I can’t believe it,” Darcienna said, recovering from being startled. “He showed up just after sunrise. He seemed injured with the way he walked half sideways and then laid down on the ground. He still won’t let me near him.”
Kade reached down and slowly ran his hand over the silky, black fur, checking for injuries. Chance did not react at all, but instead, seemed to soak up the affection. Kade was about to stand up when his hand brushed something that the creature was curled protectively around. He instantly recognized the feel of his sack of books and realized the Transparency Calling was still in place, keeping the books hidden. Kade felt for the calling and let it dissipate. The books faded into view. Judeen gasped but Kade ignored her.
He felt his good humor slowly evaporate. The very books that he had entrusted Darcienna to keep watch over were sitting there on the floor. He felt frustration grow as he glanced at her. Obviously she did not understand how important these were. His gut was in a knot at the thought of coming so close to losing his precious pages of knowledge yet again. He turned on Darcienna and was about to vent his frustration when he thought about how she had probably dropped them while saving his life. He chastised himself for not checking for them sooner and decided to keep his words to himself.
, he thought,
how many times have I forgotten them?
Darcienna was watching him intently, waiting. It was obvious that she was concerned with how he was going to react. He made a mental note to make sure she understood how critically important the tomes of knowledge were and gave her a genuine smile. She smiled back weakly and visibly relaxed as she let out her breath.
After all, to her
, they were just a few books,
. Clearly not worth much compared to the lives she was saving.
“He keeps my books safe for me,” Kade explained, answering the curiosity he could see in his mother’s eyes. “It’s a long story,” he said, seeing that the look was still there.
“Everything with you is a long story,” Darcienna said. Kade could only shrug.
Turning his attention back to Chance, Kade looked over the animal and then the books. He noticed that there were several jagged tears in the bag. He reached for the sack, and as usual, the animal gladly gave way to him. Darcienna gave a grunt but said no more. Kade opened the bag carefully, lifting the pile of books out by the strap and placing them on the table.
“Those can’t stay there,”
Judeen said in that tone that indicated there was to be no arguing. Kade took a deep breath and let it out as though in relief. He placed the books back in the sack and put them in the corner, out of the way. Judeen nodded her approval.
Kade was looking at
his furry little friend as he prepared to give it its reward for keeping his books safe. He had barely noticed that the women were both standing completely still, staring into the far corner of the room. Kade followed their gaze but saw nothing. Or…was there a faint shimmer? He did his best to dismiss any concern, but as much as he tried, he was unable to ignore the intense sense of urgency and dread that he felt descend on him.
All three looked from one to the other but none said a word for fear of confirming something they did not want to admit. The knot in his stomach began to grow by the moment. H
is eyes lost focus as he concentrated on the feeling. Yes, it was the same thing that woke him up but he was not awake enough to realize it at the time. Now, he was certain it was…something not to ignore. In an instant Kade, went from being filled with happiness and freedom to one of dread. He locked eyes with Darcienna and then turned to look at the book.
,” Judeen said, her voice thick with concern from the look she saw in his eyes, “what are you thinking?” Kade took another deep breath and held it for several long seconds and then let it out when he had come to the only conclusion he knew had to.
“Mother, I fear my…”
“Our,” Darcienna said firmly as she took a step toward him, making it clear she was not going to be left out.
“Our journey is not yet done.
When I performed the calling the previous night, I connected with other Master Chosen. I think it best if I seek one out just to make sure all is well,” Kade said, finding it hard to keep eye contact with her. He did not want to see the worry and concern that was building by the moment. “I am sure it is nothing but…,” Kade said and then looked away before she could see the doubt in his eyes.
d for the sack and gently laid it back on the table. He gently rolled the edged of the sack down until the books were exposed. The one he wanted was on the top. It was the smallest, but right now, the most important.
“What is that?” Judeen asked.
“It is the next step in my plans,” Kade said as he stood, studying the books that held immense amounts of knowledge and power.
“Our plans,” Darcienna corrected
him once more.
“Our plans,” Kade said with mock frustration
, his mood lightening just a little, knowing that she was still going to be at his side. He turned and locked eyes with her and gave her the ever slightest grin. She returned the look.
Turning his attention back to the books, Kade continued to look them over
, as if trying to muster the courage to touch them. He could feel his palms start to sweat at the thought of loosening the binding. He did his best to remain calm and relaxed so as not to worry his mother or Darcienna.
“What is in them?” Judeen asked as she reached for the closest book with the demon image on the front.
“No!” Kade yelled as his hand shot out and gripped his mother’s wrist so tightly she was sure to bruise.
“Kade!” Darcienna scolded.
“Mother,” Kade said, ignoring Darcienna. He breathed a deep sigh of relief but would not take his hand off her wrist until she had moved back from the deadly traps. “You must never ever, ever touch any of these books without my permission. They were your father’s,” Kade said as he looked at her. That was all he needed to say for her to understand the lethality of them. This was one of the rare times he could recall ever seeing his mother lose her composure, even if it was just slightly. It took a while for the color to return to her face, but eventually it did. Kade took a moment more to get the sick feeling out of his stomach before continuing.
“This book,” Kade said, gently removing the small, black book from the pile, “tells me the locations of some of the other Chosen. Master Zayle had told me that if anything ever happened to him, I should find them.” Kade turned to his mother as a thought occurred to him. “Did Grandfather,” Kade started to say and then paused. This was the first time that he had actually referred to Zayle as his grandfather instead of his teacher. He felt sadness trying to work at him, but he quickly dismissed it. “Did Grandfather ever tell you anything of the other Chosen?” Kade asked firmly, meaning business.
“Never. He said he would not ever put me in danger by giving me knowledge that could harm me. You know how he was with what was best to know and what was best to leave unknown.”
Kade understood this more than he wanted. His mind drifted back to his talk with his father the previous day.
Should he know what his father was trying to tell him?
he asked himself. He shook his head, dismissing the notion completely.
“Why do you have to find them?” Darcienna asked.
“I need to make sure that they are able to stop Morg or we will never be safe. I am certain everything is okay now that they know who is behind all the deaths but I will not be able to relax until I am certain. And…,” Kade said and then paused for several long moments while his mind worked. Zayle’s warning about other Chosen was firmly planted in his mind. He hoped this was the correct decision as he weighed his options. He looked Darcienna in the eye and continued. “I cannot explain why but I feel like this is the correct thing to do,” Kade said finally. “Zayle had told me of a story where several of the strongest Chosen had once imprisoned Morg in the mountain of Drell. I suspect that is why Morg wants to kill anyone that has the ability to channel any type of power,” Kade said as he watched Darcienna for her reaction. “Or maybe it is pure revenge on any Chosen alive. I can’t really say for sure.”