Jolan's Path - Chapter 166
The following story is fictional and is intended for an adult audience. It is not meant to suggest anything about the sexuality of Justin Timberlake or any other celebrities included in this story. This story is fiction, meaning not real. It's all for fun. If you are under age, it is illegal in your country, or you don't like stories about gay sex, please stop reading this now.
The group walked down the torch-lit hallway, seeing nothing on the walls save the lit torches, the floor covered mostly in sand, some stones showing beneath, written words showing on them.
"A path of written magic." Degas said, walking with Belos and Tolmar, Tolmar's eyes staring ahead.
"Incantations of magic Dragos bred into the stones.
When one walks this path one can go forward or backward."
Justin stopped, turning back and looking at the man.
"I walked this path in my vision, it drew me not far
back into time I believe. The chamber ahead looked very old."
"I built that chamber, Justin. I only remember it as a place of gleaming newness." Tolmar said, the man ahead of him nodding.
Jennie looked back at Tolmar, then at Justin.
"Walk forward we must. And walk into the past we shall, everyone."
Tolmar's eyes met Justin's, the two following Jennie who now walked in the lead.
They saw an opening ahead of them, a bright light showing.
Jennie was the first to walk out into the brightness, everyone else following, walking out into a sunlit room of great expanse, a statue of largeness standing in the room's center upon a marbled base, that base over eight feet wide and six feet tall.
On both sides of the doorway stood two other statues, everyone walking out into the large chamber.
All eyes were looking upwards, the ceiling filled with a glass dome, the sun's rays shining downwards, the whole chamber filled with its brightness.
"The sun? It's after nine at night!" Chris said looking up into the gleaming heavens.
"An illusion?" Simus said, his voice not sounding too convincing, Cory's hand in his, the two staring around the large room.
"No, not an illusion, Simus. I believe it's magic's design." Jennie said, the young woman walking over to the statue on the left side of the doorway, staring into the marbled eyes of Queen Alveena.
"She was so beautiful." she softly said, Justin's arm going around her waist.
"Jolan said she truly was." Justin said, Tolmar walking up to the two.
"She was a vision of motherly, giving love. This statue was a mirrored vision of her beauty. I carved it out of my love for her." he said, Jennie smiling at him.
"Dragos loved his parents deeply before the madness took hold of him. These sculptures were his dedication to their giving love, to their royal beauty." the man said, Jennie leaning forward and kissing his cheek.
Tolmar's eyes were staring up at the central statue, his gaze upon the vision of his lost love.
"I see your love for them in the marble as well." she said, Tolmar smiling and looking back at her, tears showing in his eyes.
"I thought of them as second parents. Their love was so large." he said, Justin smiling at the man, seeing him lost in his staring at the woman's sculpture, his mind on long past remembrances.
"What was the significance of these four hanging stone tablets, Tolmar?" Justin said, pointing to the closest one on the western wall.
Tolmar's eyes went around the room, seeing the four stone tablets embedded into the four walls.
"I knew not of their existence until Queen Alveena
informed me of them after I had ascended to the One Council. They were
not in this chamber when I created it. None of the four were of my making or of Dragos'. She found them here the last time she entered
here, before she sealed the chamber, long after Dragos' eventual death. They are a mystery of prophesised truth. It
seems your Jolan easily deciphered them. He spoke some of their words directly
to the One Council."
"What are the words and their meaning?" Chris said, his hand in Britney's as they walked up to the three, others looking towards them.
"They are four tablets of prophesised meaning, Christopher. One for each of the directional paths. I shall recite them to all of you, you do not need to read them." Tolmar said, the man walking up to the eastern side of the chamber, looking at the stone tablet, his hand going forwards, rubbing off the dust and cobwebs covering it.
"This is the first, beginning at the eastern point, as the sun rises." Tolmar said, his eyes focusing on the long lost words.
'I am the candle, and he is my flame
I shall need his love to fill my soul.
When my love-filled soul is healed I shall return here
Not a moment before
Thus the Sun Child will do what must be done'
Simus walked up to Jennie and Justin's side, his grey eyes looking at Tolmar.
"Jolan spoke those words to Calen and myself,
then had us deliver
them to you--the One Council--as a declaration of his existence as the
Caitre Din Dragoste."
Tolmar's blue eyes turned looking at Simus, Belos and Degas looking at him as well.
"Yes, Simus. In those words, Jolan proclaimed to us
his existence. His existence as the one foretold of magic and destiny. The three
of us couldn't believe the words you'd spoken that day. For no one--save Queen
Alveena--had ever seen those words, she the one who'd told us of their existence. That
declaration from him meant to us that he'd walked into this chamber before."
Justin walked up to Tolmar, their eyes meeting.
"Jolan told me of a dream--or vision--he'd had when he was in the coma after his car crash, after the botched attempt on Joey's life. He'd walked into this room with Queen Alveena, she showing him these tablets."
"That may be so, Justin. But Jolan told all of us those words before he left New York. That was months before then." Simus said, Calen nodding as well.
"Yes, that is correct. Which means that Jolan Dragos had been in this room before. Or his magical soul had." Belos said, Degas nodding his head as well.
"You are the flame that lights the candle of his soul, Justin. Jolan told all of us that, yourself included." Simus said, Justin smiling at him.
"My love will always burn for him, Simus."
Jennie smiled, moving from beside Jonathan, the young woman walking up to Tolmar and Justin, her blue eyes scanning the stone tablet.
"My brother's soul moved on its own. He has been here before. I feel his presence here. I shall read the tablets now, Tolmar. For I am the one to expose all the truths in this room." she said, her eyes scanning to her right, looking at the next stone tablet hanging on the southern wall.
Tolmar stared at Jennie with quiet confusion, she moving towards the next tablet, Tolmar and Justin following her, everyone else watching the three.
Jennie stopped before the tablet, her small hands cleaning off the dust, her blue eyes scanning the words etched on the tablet, her voice filling the large room.
'Life is a path of journeys
Forward and backward
That which we lost once more shall blossom
In the sun's rays of hope
From a loving soul to a needful soul
Those hearts beat when joined in love
Watch for thy child of that love
For he shall walk forever in the sun'
She turned, looking back at everyone, the large group standing together now by the eastern tablet, all eyes upon the young woman.
"There is that statement again. Forward and backward. That has been spoken before, by Jolan and others. Jolan said Erasmus said those words to him as well. 'To look forward is to look backward'."
"The Shadower walked here?" Nick said in wonder, Usher's arm around him, Jennie nodding.
"Yes, Nickolas. That shadowy figure has entered this chamber as well. I believe he's been here many times, for a very different reason." she said, her eyes scanning the words again.
"I believe that these four tablets, hung here so long ago,
were of Erasmus' making. It was he who left them for Queen Alveena to find. His
path was forged as were others."
Tolmar's eyes widened, the man and Justin walking up to Jennie.
"That. . .that cannot be, Jennica! That man of mystery would have no reason to write these! And for what purpose? They have remained hidden here, no one seeing or knowing of their existence, save the queen." Tolmar said, Justin looking at the young woman, her eyes meeting Tolmar's.
"That written eastern tablet, I believe was meant for
A written truth that he would learn in his heart. As I believe this written
southern one was meant for you."
Tolmar's wide eyes stared at the tablet, then met Jennie's blue pools.
"For. . .for me?"
Jennie nodded, looking at the tablet.
"'That which we lost once more shall blossom in the
sun's rays of hope'. 'From a loving soul to a needful soul'. Our Jolan gave you
ray of hope this morning in that chapel. His loving soul gave your needful soul
a glance at perhaps the trueness of your greatest hope."
Tolmar's head lowered, Jennie's hand going to his shoulder.
"Your and Dragos' hearts once beat as one of joined love. Hold on to that lost hope. Watch for the child, his love will create a greater sun. The path moves forward." Jennie said, the young woman moving.
Jennie walked into the group ahead of her, everyone following her calm face as she walked through them, walking up to the stone tablet hanging on the northern wall.
Her hand brushed away the dust, the long written words revealed to her.
Tolmar and Justin moved into the group, everyone listening to Jennie reciting the next written tablet.
'Through light and darkness thy forge ahead
What once was can be again
To look forward is to look backward
The sun rises where it must
And descends upon the waters of life
Thy roof of heaven holds its own'
Jennie turned again, everyone staring at her.
"My brother walked through the light of
happiness through his younger years with myself and my parents. Then he walked
through darkness, lost in a coma of his own making. Lost to the world in one
way, but he forged ahead with his
soul. What he once was again came to life. He then awoke from that coma walking onto his
destined path. And on that path he found something that surprised him. He found
a great love awaiting him. The love of five souls that captured his heart. The
five rays of their joined sun of love."
Justin smiled, Josh and Chace smiling as well, their two sons in their arms.
"Again those words echo through these tablets. 'To look forward is to look backward'." she said, her eyes going to the last tablet on the western wall.
"I think the last words of this tablet are echoes of Jolan's own existence. The sun--his soul I believe--rose where it must, and today descended twice upon the waters of life, our Jolan dying twice. But how can one die when one perhaps didn't exist in this dimension to begin with? This palace--the Rooftop of Heaven--holds its own secret. Perhaps a heaven of one's own making. I think it's time that secret was revealed." she said, the woman walking towards the last tablet on the western wall, everyone moving with her, the group now standing to the right side of the immense statue in the room's middle.
Chris' eyes looked upwards, staring towards the man's face carved high above them, the sun having risen almost to the center of the dome's top, the statue's face hidden by its glare, Chris' eyes looking back towards Jennie.
Jennie stopped in front of the last tablet, her eyes staring with calmness at it, no dust showing on its surface.
In fact the tablet almost gleamed with brilliance, its stone a soft white marble in finish.
Jennie's eyes turned, looking around the room, everyone following her gaze, all their eyes widening.
"The room it's. . .it's different! It looks newer!" Chris said, everyone staring at the surrounding gleaming brightness of the walls, statues and tablets.
There were no signs of dust or cobwebs, the walls white and gleaming as if freshly stuccoed.
"It's as I last saw it!" Tolmar said, his eyes as wide as theirs.
Only one set of eyes showed a calming awareness, Jennie's eyes watching everyone take in the room's changed appearance.
"We walk now back onto the path. To look forward one must look back." she said, everyone focusing back to her blue eyes.
"We've gone back in time?" Lonnie said, his hand in Ally's.
"Not in time, Lonnie. Back into destiny. I believe outside these walls the one nation remains at its vigil before the slowly dying, glowing sun that burns into their hearts and upon the Plains of Bladorra."
Jennie's eyes returned to the last tablet, her voice filling the room.
'The sun sets on love
The sun sets on death and renews life
Thy child wipes clean the slate of deceit and evil
And his wolfen heart beats anew
And life begins again, basked in love's truth
He shall come again
Renewed in giving love'
Jennie's eyes took in the words, the young woman turning around, everyone seeing tears showing in her blue eyes.
"The path ends, and no greater words of love could echo in this room. For they are words of great meaning and truth. The path ends on love, on death and on destiny. It is time for this last prophecy of written love to bear fruit. Am I correct, little one?"
All eyes stared to where Jennie was now looking, their eyes widening.
On the stone bench in front of the statue of King Dragos Sumsare sat a small boy, a soft smile showing on his youthful face.
Justin moved, walking up to Jennie, the man staring at the boy.
"Hi, Justin and Jennica. I'm glad it's time." the child said, Justin slowly moving forward, everyone behind him and Jennie watching in silence.
"Hello, little one. It's time for what?" he said, smiling at the child.
"Time for me to be him." the child smiled, looking towards Jennie.
"Yes, Jennica. You are correct. It is time." the small child
said, everyone's eyes glued to the child.
The young woman smiled, walking up to Justin's side, the two standing a few feet from the small child, the boy still sitting on the bench.
"Hello, my brother." she said, the boy smiling.
"Hi, Jennie. I'm sorry." he said, his face showing a look of soft sadness.
"You have nothing to be sorry for, little one. Your love outshone your needs."
The boy softly smiled, looking around at everyone.
"So many people. I never thought I'd have so much love. I've been so lucky. I'm glad I started it."
"Started what, little one?" Tolmar said, the man staring with awe at the small boy.
"Hi, Tolmar. You didn't suspect it. You didn't realize the truth of what he did."
Tolmar looked at the boy, then at Jennie, Jennie nodding her head.
"The path ends now, Tolmar. And destiny has ended as well. Love now begins." she said, smiling towards the child.
"Love you, Jennie." the child said, Jennie nodding at the boy.
"I love you, Jolan. In all ways and visions. You'll carry
on within his love."
The boy smiled, his image fading before everyone's eyes, a soft giggle of happiness filling the silent room.
"Go with love, little one. God gives you life." Jennie said, the young woman's tearful eyes looking around at everyone, seeing the look of awed wonder on all their faces.
"My brother was once a child of surprising love. He was a creation of a greater love. In all essence he was the formed residue of a love of forgotten life. Love came to life within him. A love lost and forgotten." she said, her eyes meeting Tolmar's.
The young woman walked towards the bench, stopping in front of it and turning towards the statue standing before her, he eyes scanning up its large frame, looking upwards at the face still hidden by the centered sun radiating downwards.
She lowered her eyes, staring at the throne in front of the statue.
"Look upon the seated throne of a once great king. A king who at one time was a man of great love, of giving benevolence and shining pride in his parents' eyes. And in the eyes of he that he loved." she said, Tolmar's eyes not joining the others as they looked upwards, his eyes lowering.
Everyone moved, surrounding the young woman as she stood before the gleaming throne seated before the large statue.
Hayden and Logan wanted down out of Josh's and Chace's arms, the two men letting them down, the two boys running up to the stone bench, climbing up onto it, sitting down together.
"Little boy's love gones?" Logan said, Hayden kissing his cheek.
"Dada's love not gone, Loggie. He comes back." Hayden smiled, Jennie smiling at him.
"Yes, Hay. Your father's love could never disappear. It's on its way to its greater form. And we shall all feel its newness." she smiled, her eyes meeting Justin's, then Tolmar's.
"And so we come to the final path of these
intertwining paths of destiny. We have all witnessed our Jolan's giving love upon
the battlefield of destiny, of his showing us and the world God's giving love,
God's rays of judging greatness. Evil has been called to reckoning, its sinister
ways ended. Today begins the
next path of love and happiness for all of us. There's only one path left to
end. It is the path of love. Of your love, Tolmar."
The man looked confused, his eyes going to the statue towering above everyone.
"That love is long lost, Jennica. My path ends with me going back into the void. I cannot remain here lost to my own guilt and pain." the man said, his head lowering again.
"No, Tolmar. On the other side of that pain
shall be found love. Why do you think Jolan rendered you back into your
The man raised his head, looking at her.
"I do not know the answer to that question, Jennica.
The only reasoning I saw was to rob me of my magic."
"No, Tolmar. Magic had nothing to do with it. I think I know the answer. He made you human again so that you could feel your love for him again. In the lost plane of your visionary form on the One Council you were cut off to the feelings in your heart. Here now in this room, in that body, you can feel what you've lost."
The man lowered his head again, his body trembling.
"To be mortal is to feel the pain of your soul. It seeps into my heart, Jennica. For it burns with scarring hurt." he said, Jennie's hand going to his shoulder.
"You now feel what you have lost. Another person one day
long ago felt a greater loss. It only took the sealing off of his soul to make
him see what he forfeited."
Tolmar's head raised, staring into her blue eyes, his own blue eyes filled with tears.
"In the end, walled up in that darkness, he felt your love, Tolmar. And the evil within him he destroyed himself, in his loneliness. And then he walked the next path seeking forgiveness." Jennie said, staring at him.
"What is the guilt that still remains in your soul,
Tolmar? I feel its truth shall shed a greater light on that path."
Tolmar raised his head again, wiping his eyes, looking around at everyone.
"I. . .I am the one who destroyed Dragos, Jennica. I am the one who guided his own son into this palace on the night of his last existence. Segas came to me that morning with a story of his father's evilness having reached its peak. He asked me to help him to save his father from the evil that consumed him. He told me that his father was going to destroy the whole Sumsarian clan. That he was going to infect it with a great magic of evil, an evil that would filter down through the generations. And that truly was what happened. I just didn't realize it was his monstrous son that would use that evil. Segas tricked me into destroying the man I loved, into letting that man fall into his evil grasp. It wasn't until Segas' men attacked Dragos in his own bed that night that I realized what I'd done. That I'd led that monster of evil into my Dragos' chambers to gain the younger man the throne of his desires. I could not remain and watch him murder his own father. To destroy the man I once loved. I fled before Dragos' son turned his evil towards me. I took the coward's way out." Tolmar said, the man going to his knees, a deep sob coming out of him, his head lowering again.
He remained in that position, everyone looking at the man with soft compassion, knowing how he must have felt that night so long ago.
The night he'd lost the last of the love he'd held for that once loving man he'd loved.
The man felt a small hand go to his cheek, his head raising, his blue tear-filled eyes staring into two small blue pools.
"No cries, Tolmar. Dada gives you gift today. He makes you see truth. You now on right path." Hayden said, the boy having climbed off the stone bench, walking up to the grief-stricken man.
Justin leaned down, his arm going around the small boy.
"The right path, Hay?"
Hayden smiled widely, kissing his father's cheek.
"You knows path, Poppa. Boy shows you truth."
Justin smiled, leaning forward and kissing his son's cheek, the boy smiling at him.
"Yes, Hay. I know the truth." Justin said, picking the boy up, he and Hayden smiling down at Tolmar, the man staring at Justin.
"It's time you and all of us saw the truth of what this final path is." Justin said, smiling and walking up to the bench, setting Hayden down beside Logan, the two boys smiling.
"Dada be here soon, Poppa. He promises." Logan said, Justin smiling, leaning down and kissing both boys, standing again, and turning, looking at Tolmar.
"It's time the truth is known, as my son said. That truth begins with you, Tolmar. Continue, Jennie." Justin said, Jennie nodding at him, Tolmar staring between both of them.
"What truth, Justin and Jennica? The truth that I was a coward, that I ran from the man I loved and let his son destroy him? The truth of my lost soul, of the pain I gave him and myself? I wanted to kill myself that night! I carried that guilt in my soul until the last day of my life. Which wasn't long after that night." the man said, still on his knees before the throne.
"How did you die, Tolmar?" Reinhardt said, the question on everyone's mind, Bill's arm around the Archanian leader.
The man stared around at everyone, Jennie kneeling beside him.
"I hope his monstrous evil showed some mercy at the end?" she said, looking into his blue eyes.
The man stood up, Jennie rising as well, his blue eyes looking up into the sunlight, staring at the smooth, marbled face of his once-loved Dragos.
"They caught me in Brasov, about six months after Dragos' disappearance. Queen Alveena had hidden me there after she'd learned the truth of her son's death at her grandson's hand. We never found his tomb, all of us knowing the lost man had perished in a darkened cell of confined existence, the sealed chamber robbing him of air and then his life. She hid me in Brasov to protect me from Segas' ruthlessness. In the end her protective love failed. Segas' secretive guard of evil caught me in that town, imprisoning me in the town's jail until King Segas the Vengeful came to mete out his falsified justice. In the dead of night he dragged me to the Cistern of Tolmarsa and drowned me himself in the highest pool. I came to my end as my Dragos did, at the hands of a monster." the man said, lowering his eyes, Jennie's hand going to his trembling shoulder, all eyes upon the two standing before the lost king's throne.
Tolmar's head raised, staring into her compassionate, loving blue eyes.
"The king labelled me as the murderer of King
Dragos the Just, his saintly father. He displayed my body on the front steps
of this palace, to all the nation as a man of evil. If they could have only
looked into the man standing on the top steps above me they would have seen the
burning eyes of evil that one day would come close to destroying all of them."
Tolmar's eyes went to the throne before the statue, then raised staring upwards.
"A lost throne to a lost ideal. Dragos was the last
king of Sumsarian worth. His son was evil incarnate. I went into the light,
awaiting the day when Queen Alveena would join me, her love unchanged as it had
always been. That day in perdition when she joined me, I gave my oath to guide the lost clan to its
destiny. That day now has come. And now I can go back to the void."
Jennie's hand rubbed his shoulder, her head leaning forward, kissing his cheek.
"You shall walk the last path, but you shall not be walking alone." she said, smiling at him.
The young woman moved, walking up to the throne, her blue eyes staring at a small plaque embedded in the base of the statue above it.
Her voice filled the room again, reading the one line of script written on the plaque.
'To look forward is to look backward'
She turned back, everyone staring at her.
"Lost words that have been repeated many times throughout this path of destiny. I sensed my brother perhaps was more intelligent than I was. He deciphered the riddle before I did."
Everyone looked confused, Chris walking up to her.
"Riddle, Jennie? What possible clue could be in such simple words?" he said, Jennie smiling.
"It's not really in the words, Chris. It's in the man who first wrote them here and then said them."
Chris looked confused, then his eyes widened.
"Erasmus? Jolan said he said those words to him when you were in the hospital in New York!"
"Correct, Chris. And Jolan often called him a man of many riddles."
"So you're saying these words are a riddle left by Era?" Chris said, Jennie's blue eyes looking towards Justin.
"Correct again, Chris. The ever clever Erasmus Sogard. The last Shadower of Man as Jolan called him."
"But Jennica, what has Erasmus to do with any of this? The Shadowers of Man are lost legends and myths, beings of lost relevance or even known portent." Calen said, his hand in Lydia's.
"That is correct, Uncle Calen. They are legends and myths. I don't think they ever truly existed in the sense of what history purported them to be."
"You're not making sense, Jennica. Is he or isn't he the last Shadower?" Joel said to his daughter, his face covered in fatherly love.
"Era isn't a Shadower of Man, Father. But he is something else. And as I said, it was Jolan that named him a Shadower of Man."
Josh walked up beside Jennie, looking at her.
"So you're saying that it was Jolan who named him a Shadower, that he really wasn't or isn't one? Why would he name him one then?"
Jennie smiled, kissing Josh's cheek.
"Because my brother was the designer of the path, Joshua. Or I should say my young brother of seven was the designer of the path."
"Can you explain that, Jennie?" Josh said, Jennie nodding her head.
"Jolan, my brother, was a being of immense magic. Or a fabrication of that magic. This path that we have all walked was designed by that child. Am I correct, Justin?" she said, Justin smiling at her.
"Yes, Jennie. This morning when I walked into this room in my dream, my Jolan--or the vision of his younger self--sat upon that throne before us and told me that he had always loved stories of magic and history. Of knights and kings, of good and evil. He always wanted to be a knight or a warrior of goodness and truth. This path was his creation. It was the game of his life."
"Yes, Justin. My brother created this path, his mind or his essence so familiar with the past that surrounds this palace. In essence, I think he created this path to correct the first one. The one of your crushing loss, Tolmar." Jennie said, the man looking at her.
"That child. . .he. . .he created destiny to bring me peace?" the man said, Jennie smiling at him.
"That was part of it, yes. This is the other part."
Jennie said, her eyes looking around.
"Does anyone have a pen, or a pencil, or a crayon?" she said.
Logan climbed off the stone bench, running up to his aunt, Jennie smiling down at him, Logan pulling out a black crayon out of his pants pocket.
"Me gots this, Auntie Jennie!" he smiled, Jennie kissing his cheek as she took the crayon from him.
"Thank you, Logan."
The boy smiled, Hayden's arm going around him, the two standing in front of Justin, Chace and Josh.
"I like your astute intellect, Chris. I think we'll let you solve this riddle, our loving walrus." she said, Chris smiling, then nodding at her, his eyes looking towards his old friends, Justin smiling at him.
Tolmar stared at Jennie, the woman walking up to the throne, looking at the plaque again.
Chris joined her, she smiling at him, handing him the crayon.
"What does this saying say to you, Chris?" she asked, everyone watching the two.
Chris stared at the words, his thoughts forming a consensus in his mind.
"Well, it means that to look forward to the future
you must look back at your past."
"That is a good reasoning, but at this moment it's not the correct one. Even though we're, at this moment, drenched in the past."
"Okay, then let me look at it again." Chris said, his eyes scanning the old written words again.
"Looking forward, looking back? Hmm. If you look forward into a mirror you can see behind you. Is that what it means? Looking forward shows you what's behind you?"
Jennie smiled widely, kissing his cheek.
"Very good, Chris! Well reasoned! And correct."
"So. . .we're supposed to look for a mirror? There's none in this room. Otherwise Justin would be preening himself."
Jennie smiled, then laughed, Chris blushing.
She kissed his cheek, looking at the crayon in Chris' hand.
"Not quite what we're looking for, our walrus
of mirth. What we're
looking for is a backwards reflection. The future is reflected by the past so to
speak. What's written forward can be written backward is a better reasoning. Do
something for me, Chris."
"Okay, Jennie. What?"
Jennie moved to the left of the throne, a marbled white wall shining there.
"Write Erasmus' name on this marble for me."
"His full name?"
Jennie nodded, Chris shrugging his shoulders, taking the crayon and writing the man's name in large letters, stepping back when he was done.
Everyone stared at the marble wall.
"Now, Chris. What is the reflection of that? The backward image?" she said, Chris staring at the words for a moment, then moving forward, slowly writing the letters backwards.
Chris stepped back, everyone's eyes widening in stunned shock, taking in the mirror image of the last Shadower's name.
Jennie's eyes turned, staring at everyone, Tolmar's face showing total shock.
"Erasmus Sogard--the last Shadower as Jolan
named him--is in fact an illusion. A walking illusion of a lost man's soul. King
Dragos Sumsare in a sense never died. His body may have perished in the tomb he
was thrown into, but his soul still walks. Your Dragos awaits you, Tolmar. It is
your destiny to free his soul."
Tolmarsa Archania felt darkness overcome him, the man falling backwards, Lonnie's strong arms catching him before he hit the stone floor.
Everyone surrounded the man, Lonnie having carried him to the stone bench, the man slowly coming out of his fainting spell.
His blue eyes slowly opened, the man staring at everyone surrounding him.
"What. . .what happened?" he softly said, Belos staring down at the man.
"You fainted, Tolmar. Jennica's words shocked you, and all of us." the general said, his eyes going to the young woman, she still standing in front of the throne.
Tolmar's eyes moved, Henry sitting beside him, the doctor having checked the man over quickly.
"Let me up, please." he said, Henry nodding to Justin, both men helping the man sit up on the bench, Tolmar's eyes going to Jennie.
"My Dragos. . .Erasmus? They. . .they are one and the same?"
Jennie nodded, her blue eyes staring at the man.
Justin stood up, walking up to Jennie, his hand going to her shoulder, the man looking upwards, the face of the statue standing above them now showing its trueness, the sun washing away its hidden beauty.
The statue showed a young man of twenty, his face handsome, rugged and manly.
"Behold the true face of Erasmus, the soul who appeared to Jolan and who I myself saw twice. Jolan's small young self showed me that truth this morning. I then realized that Dragos Sumsare and Erasmus Sogard were one and the same. And then the child told me the truth of his existence, and of his own. And then he told me of Dragos' path of forgiveness." Justin said, turning around, everyone staring at him.
Tolmar slowly stood up, Henry and Lonnie at his sides.
"His forgiveness?" Tolmar said, Justin nodding at him.
"Yes, Tolmar. An entombed soul has much time to reflect on its mistakes." Jennie said, the young woman looking at Justin, Justin nodding and smiling at her.
She looked upwards, staring at the handsome man captured in marble.
"A statue of visionary beauty, carved by the man who loved that beauty. You captured the true beauty of his soul, Tolmar. It hid the truth of his own demise."
Tolmar looked confused, Jennie looking at the base of the statue.
Her hand moved forward, touching the smooth marble, her eyes looking at the throne.
"If one moves this throne one finds a carving in the wall. Can you move it, Lonnie?" she said, the large man nodding, walking up to the throne, moving it towards the right side of the base, his face showing the heaviness of the throne, his black muscled arms showing their bulging strength.
Lonnie stepped back when he'd moved the throne, everyone's eyes staring at the now revealed white marble wall.
In the center of its whiteness was a small round carved circle.
In the center of the circle was a carved wolf's head.
Jennie moved forward, her fingers lightly rubbing the six inch wide circle, her fingers rubbing the wolf's carved nose.
"Another truth of revealing worth needs voicing. Only one soul here knows of its truth, having loved the man in all ways." she said, her eyes turning back to Tolmarsa Archania.
"Who was King Dragos, Tolmar? I know that you knew all of him, on every level of his soul."
The man lowered his head, then raised it, walking forward, his hand going against the wolf's head.
"He was my beautiful beast of giving love, Jennica. I loved all sides of him." he said, everyone's eyes widening.
"Dragos Sumsare was a Badenwolf? Are you kidding us?!!" Chris gasped, Joey rolling his eyes, raising his hand, Chris backing away from him, covering his head.
"Yes, Christopher. He was not the true son of King Athos and Queen Alveena. He was not a child of Sumsarian birthright." Tolmar said, others gasping.
"Yes, everyone. My Dragos was not King Athos' and
Queen Alveena's true son of life. He was a wolfen cub, lost of parents and
needing of love. He was given to his parents a few weeks after it was found that
Queen Alveena could not bear a child herself. She confided that secret in a
letter to her own sister, Queen Ravenia. It was about a year after the meeting
of final judgment against King Athos. After the Pact of Archania was
sworn. My mother's love took on a new guiding path of love."
Tolmar's eyes went upward, staring at the handsome face of marbled beauty.
"She went on a pilgrimage to Dahlia Lantos'
Badenwolf lair. And there she told the wolfen queen of her own sister's lament.
Of her longing for a child to love and raise. She asked the Queen of the
Badenwolves for a wolfen child. For a child abandoned or in need of parents.
Dahlia Lantos gave the queen a child of wolfen blood, the queen telling her of
the child's destined fate. That that child would be raised by King Athos and
Queen Alveena and one day would rule the Sumsarian nation. The two queens both
agreed that this compromise would be an atonement for Athos' unjust murder of
her young son. King Athos would raise the orphaned child as his own. Athos would see the
trueness of a Badenwolf soul's life. Queen Ravenia brought the child herself to
her sister's home, King Athos showing a surprising calmness in his instantly
accepting the child as his own."
"For the man was deep with sorrow at what he'd done after he'd learned of the slain wolf's true identity." Reinhardt said.
"Yes, Reinhardt. King Athos was a man of deep compassion and giving love. He'd made one mistake in his life, and he would spend the rest of his life trying to atone for it. He welcomed the child as his own, the years turning that atonement into a bond of greater love. Athos and Alveena both came to love the child as their own. And Dragos loved both of them as greatly."
Tolmar's eyes stared at the carved wolf, his mind filled with lost hope.
"He and I were so alike. Creatures of magic, hearts of love. I think that's what drew us to each other. Our magical souls of love. I loved him in all forms, his Badenwolf self so beautiful." he said, Justin walking up to the man, his hand going to his shoulder.
"I have felt that wolfen love, Tolmar. The beast is love in all ways." he said, Tolmar's blue eyes meeting his, seeing the acceptance of that love in Justin's blue eyes.
"Yes, Justin. Love shows in many forms." he said, his eyes going back to the carved wolf.
"Why is this carving here, Jennica?" he said, his fingers touching the wolf's nose.
"It is there for a reason, Tolmar." she said, her eyes meeting Justin's.
Her eyes went to Tolmar, his face showing confusion.
"It is the marker of your love's final tomb."
Tolmar backed up, his face covered in shocked wonder, everyone also showing surprised wonder.
Jennie's hand went to the man's shoulder.
"It. . .it can't be. . .how. . .how could he have known??" he softly said, Jennie staring at the wolf carving.
"How could he have known that this statue would hold
his beauty, and then his soul?"
The man nodded, Jennie looking at him.
"When I. . .when I finished this statue, he asked me to put it upon a marbled base, that it should be upon a base of marbled beauty, and that the center of the base he asked me to carve hollow." the man softly said, staring at the marbled wall before him.
"Yes, Tolmar. King Dragos asked you to create his
own tomb, you not aware of what he was asking of you."
"But. . .but how could he know it would be his tomb?" he said again, staring at the young woman.
"He knew because of a single truth. That truth he showed in a painting Degas created for him." she said, the woman looking towards the former artisan.
Degas' eyes met Tolmar's, the man staring at him with shock.
"I was as shocked as you now are Tolmar, when Dragos came to me that day long ago. He asked me to paint a picture of his father's meeting with Queen Ravenia and Dahlia Lantos. And then he asked me to do something strange." the artisan said, Jennie walking up to the man and Belos.
"He asked you to paint himself into the portrait."
The man's eyes widened in surprise.
"Yes. . .yes that's correct. How did you know that?"
Jennie smiled, looking around at everyone.
"I knew that because my brother knew it. It was the painting that hung in the ballroom at Bloodstone, the one Jolan ripped off the wall. Dragos left his likeness there for Jolan to find. The path of destiny as always."
"For Jolan to find?" Josh said, Jennie nodding.
"Yes, Joshua. For when Jolan saw the painting and saw the man standing behind King Athos he saw the trueness of who the man really was, and who he himself was."
"Who he was?" Chace said, Jennie smiling at the man, her eyes lost as always in his beautiful face.
"Yes, Chace. For Jolan realized that he, Erasmus and
Dragos were all one and the same."
Jennie's eyes went upwards, staring at the handsome face of King Dragos Sumsare.
"My brother is King Dragos, my brother is Erasmus Sogard. My brother is love. My brother is the magic of the love you lost, Tolmar." she said, the man staring at her in total shock.
"That. . .that's impossible!" he stuttered, Jennie shaking her head no.
"No, Tolmar. It's the truth. King Dragos was walled up by his own son in this chamber. He lays within the base of this statue."
Tolmar's eyes went to the statue's base, staring at the wolfen carving.
"Segas entombed his father here in the base of this statue, because King Dragos told his son of this tomb he'd created. And King Dragos created this tomb because he walked the path of his own life, forward and back. And he walked that path as his soul."
Jennie backed up, looking up at the statue, seeing the beauty of the young man's marbled face more clearly.
"Dragos Sumsare was perhaps another Shadower of Man. For he was a true Soul Walker. Dragos Sumsare learned that magic from the Book of Black Magic. He saw in that magic a way of seeking immortality, the magic that always eluded him." she said, her eyes going upwards again, everyone following her gaze, now seeing the pendant hanging for the statue's neck.
"King Dragos found the magic that perhaps would give him that immortality. But in doing so he made a fatal error. He forgot the wisdom the dead Oracle gave him. 'Fear what thou shall create. For from your own lost soul love shall flourish. Life is more than blood.'"
Everyone stared at Jennie, the young woman smiling.
"The magic that Dragos created, from the Book of
Black Magic and from the Draught of Life interacted together. From
that came the trueness of the Dragostea Inchesoare."
Chris' eyes widened, remembering that name.
"Jolan spoke that name before. He explained that it means Love's Prison. He said it was where he'd sent his parents when they became lost. " the man said, Jennie nodding, her eyes looking towards her parents.
"Yes, Chris. Good memory. Jolan also said that for
every iota of magic there is a reflective magic. Good mirrors evil, black magic
mirrors white magic."
"Yes, so I remember. So the Draught of Life was the mirrored reflection of the Book of Black Magic?" Chris asked, Jennie looking around at everyone.
"No, Chris. I said that the Draught and the Book joined and interacted together. The mirrored reflection of their joined magic was something entirely different."
"What was that reflecting spell, Jennie?" Shelly said, remembering Jolan's words.
Jennie's eyes went to Tolmar's, then Justin's.
"The reflecting magic was something of unbelievable
beauty and giving love."
Chris' eyes widened, looking towards Justin.
"Dragos' wandering soul created the perfect being of reflecting love to his searching soul of forgiveness. In Dragos' creating magic another being of perhaps greater magic came about. Jolan Dragos was that magic. My brother is the reflecting magic."
"So, you're saying that Jolan came into existence due to Dragos' joining the two magic entities." Chris said, Jennie nodding.
"Yes, Chris. My brother truly is a being of total magic. That magic was perhaps the greatest magic ever created. For that magic was total love. It mirrored the lost evil and immortal uncertainty of Dragos' created magic." she said, turning back to the marbled statue.
"Dragos' soul wandered free of its tomb, the body within it perishing into the void of death. But that soul remained, trapped forever in the limbo between life and death, of existence and the next plane. That soul moved with its magic through time, walking back into the past, forward into the future. But the reflecting magic remained unknown to it, as magic does. The lost soul knew not of the mirrored soul. That soul of magical love followed with him, seeing the past and the future unfold. That mirrored soul--our giving, loving, Jolan--created himself into the person we loved. Magic guided all onto the path of destiny. King Dragos walked through his past, seeing his future as well. Seeing his death at his son's hands, seeing only one way to find forgiveness in all that he'd done. He started a path of destiny that would guide his family and its generations forward unto this day. To the day of his family's release from his son's evil magic. But that lost soul knew not of the other path more carefully laid out. The path his own soul would be forced upon." she said, the woman walking up to Tolmar, taking his hands in hers.
"The path to your love, Tolmar. The path to that soul's final forgiveness. My brother has guided all of you here today. It is time that two souls of love find their final peace. And it is time the mirrored soul finds his."
Tolmar looked stunned, Jennie leaning forward and kissing his lips.
"He awaits you, Tolmar. It is time the two of you
laid bare your souls. It is you that can give him peace."
Tolmar trembled, looking into her blue eyes.
"I. . .I can. . .we can be together again?" he stuttered, Jennie smiling.
"You were never separated, Tolmar. His love was always there for you. He just hid it under a veil of evil. He fought within his own soul in the darkness of his tomb, destroying the evil that covered him. Under that evil his soul found what it had lost. Your love. That is what that lost soul has searched the past and the future for. It relived every moment of your past love, it watched itself destroy that love, and then it watched what you were forced to do. It saw the love behind your soul, and the mistakes itself had made. And through it all another soul watched, the true Shadower in all of this. Jolan watched, then guided him and you to this final moment. It's time you met again. And it is time to send that soul to its rooftop of heaven. It is time for that soul to start its path to ascendancy."
The man began to cry, Jennie smiling at him, gently guiding him towards the walled base of his lost lover's statue.
"Push on the wolf's head, your love can free its soul."
Tolmar Sumsare leaned forward, his hand going upon the wolf's carved head, pushing forward.
A deep thud was heard, then the base of the statue began to move outward, Jennie and Tolmar stepping back, everyone crowding around them.
The wall with the wolf's head moved forward, then began to lower, the slab of marble moving forward, falling downward, all eyes within the chamber taking in the vision before them.
The marble base was six feet in height and eight feet in length, and now showed a deep chamber within it.
And laying in the center of the revealed hole was the faded white skeleton of a man.
The man's robes were tattered, his blank skull staring upwards.
On his neck lay a red pendant, a wolf's head carved in its center.
On his left hand was a golden ring, a grey stone in its center.
The corpse's two hands were wrapped around a book, its deep black leather faded and worn.
"Therein lays the final tomb of King Dragos Sumsare. Within his grasp lays the black magic of his misguided soul and on his person the talisman of the Draught of Life and the ring of magic, the Heart of History." Jennie said, her eyes looking into Tolmar's tearing pools.
"They, like himself, left this tomb in search of truth. That truth lays now within their grasp. He comes." she said, the chamber suddenly filled with a loud noise.
All eyes turned, a thunderous noise coming from the stone hallway leading into the room.
The noise suddenly died, a lone figure walking out of the doorway.
Tolmar's face changed into a face of utter emotion, his eyes shedding many tears.
Everyone backed up, their eyes going upwards and then forward.
Standing before them was a mirror image of the statue standing upon the marble base.
Into the Chamber of Ascendancy walked the lost king of Sumsarian life.
King Dragos Sumsare walked into his own throne room.
Everyone stared in stunned silence, Justin staring at a younger Erasmus Sogard, the man walking up to the group, his grey eyes on only one man.
Tolmarsa Archania stared into the eyes of his lost soulmate.
"Tolmar. . .is it. . .is that really you?" the lost king said, his voice drawing gazes from everyone.
For it was the mirrored voice of Jolan Dragos.
Tolmar's tear-covered face stared at Dragos Sumsare.
"Yes. . .yes, my Dragos. . .it is. . .it is I, your Tolmar." he softly said, the other man rushing forward to him, grasping the man in his arms.
Everyone stared at the two men joined together, their lost eyes staring into their souls.
"I. . .I. . .I have wandered for so long in
dreams. . .I. . .I. . .I could not find you."
Tolmar pulled the man against him, his arms wrapping around him.
"I have only been on the edge of my own soul, my love. I have been just as lost." he cried, the man against him holding him tight.
The man parted from him, the lost king looking around at everyone.
"What are all of you doing in my sacred chamber? Who are you?" he said, his voice filled with authority, his eyes meeting two small pools of intense blueness.
"We are souls of another time, King Dragos. We stand before your love." Jennie said, the man's eyes showing confusion.
"Another time? What do you mean?" he said, his eyes now looking at Justin.
"I. . .I have seen you before." he said, Justin nodding.
"Yes, Your Highness. We have met in your dreams."
The man nodded, his eyes moving to the tomb behind Jennie.
He released Tolmar, walking past Jennie, staring into the tomb before him.
"I. . .I remember this place. I. . .I remember the darkness." he softly said, a hand going to his shoulder, the man turning around.
"Darkness claimed you, my love. And magic lost you forever in your dreams." Tolmar said, the man staring at him.
"I am sorry, Dragos. I am sorry that I destroyed you." Tolmar cried, the other man moving, taking his lover in his arms again.
"Oh, my Tolmar! You did not destroy me, you only ever offered me your love. I am so sorry that I walked away from that love. My heart was consumed in darkness, I hurt you so much!" he sobbed, everyone watching the two men bare their souls to each other.
"I loved you, Dragos! Why did you leave me?! I love you so much!" sobbed the other man, Dragos' lips meeting Tolmar's, the two lost in their returning love.
Everyone stared at the joined twosome, Jennie looking at both men when they released their kiss, both staring into each other's eyes.
"And now the path ends. It is time this chamber was used for its true purpose, King Dragos." Jennie said, the king turning and staring into her blue eyes.
"I have seen you in my dreams as well, young lady. I have seen the magic flow through the generations to your giving soul." he said, Jennie smiling.
"Destiny flowed as it had to."
The king looked around the room, taking in all that surrounded him.
"Where is the other? The young man I helped on my path of destiny? Where is Jolan?" the king said, Tolmar's eyes meeting Jennie's.
"He has gone on forward, Your Highness. He has forged the path to your ascendancy." Jennie said.
The king stared at her, then looked at Tolmar.
"I am sorry, Tolmar. I am sorry the evil filled me.
I am sorry it took my entombed death to make me realize what I had lost. I lost
your love, my angel. I lost my soul."
Tolmar smiled at the man, leaning forward and kissing his lips again.
"I. . .I then tried to use the magic, Tolmar. I sought to correct the past. I fought to change the path. I could not change our lives." he said, tears showing on his handsome face, Tolmar's hand going in his.
"You could not change the path of our lives, Dragos. But someone perhaps has changed our eternity." Tolmar said, a new voice echoing in the room.
"Paths of life move in only one direction. They move towards eternal love."
All eyes moved, staring at a woman standing in the entrance's doorway, a man of great beauty at her side.
On both of their sides stood identical marbled visions of themselves.
In the doorway stood King Athos and Queen Alveena Sumsare.
Everyone backed away from the two men, the two regal visions walking across the chamber's floor, Dragos sobbing as he rushed into his parents' opening arms.
"Mother! Father! I lost your love!" he sobbed, Alveena's arms around her son, King Athos smiling beside them, his arms wrapping around both.
"You never lost it, my child. It followed you through life and along the second path of your choosing." Alveena said, her blue eyes staring at Jennie.
"I. . .I'm so sorry. . .I hurt you so much, Mother!" he sobbed, Alveena raising his head, looking into his grey eyes.
"You only hurt yourself, Dragos. You walked away from my love and his." she said, looking towards Tolmar, the man staring at her and her husband.
"It was always there for you, Dragos. I never loved another." Tolmar said, King Dragos turning towards him.
The man walked up to his lover, the man's parents smiling at the other man.
"Hello again, Tolmarsa. Welcome back to our awaiting love." King Athos said, the younger man smiling widely.
King Dragos smiled, looking into his parents' eyes, his head lowering again.
"I. . .I stand surrounded by my past. It is a past I never warranted having. I have failed all three of you. I shall walk into the void. My evilness needs no love." the man said, backing up, his body turning towards the open tomb.
"I should never have left the darkness. I should have died of suffocation and cowardice."
Jennie walked up to the foursome, her blue eyes filled with love.
"A lifetime of regrets, an eon of lost love. A millennium of forgiveness unclaimed. It is time for the choice to be made." Jennie said, the younger king's grey eyes turning, staring into her blue.
"The choice?" he softly said, Jennie nodding her head.
"Yes, Dragos. The choice of setting the paths right, or of walking forever in unclaimed forgiveness."
"How. . .how can I set the paths right? I have walked so deeply into the past, so far into the future. My soul is numb from the improbabilities." he sighed, his grey eyes staring into Tolmar's blue.
"It is not your choice, Dragos. It is your love's."
Jennie said, Tolmar looking confused.
"It is mine?" he softly said, everyone staring at him.
"No, Tolmar. It is not your choice either." she said, everyone looking confused.
Jennie's eyes lowered, then raised, tears showing there.
"It is time, lost love of forgiveness, lost love of truth. Come forward to the end." she said, her eyes meeting Justin's.
The quietness of the room was broken by a large bark.
All eyes moved again to the room's entrance, a large grey wolfhound standing in the doorway, a man's hand petting the dog's head.
All eyes in the room stared at a man of singular beauty.
A man with deep grey eyes, sparkling like silver stars in the heavens.
The young man walked forward, all eyes staring at his handsome face.
The dog broke from the man's side, rushing across the room, King Dragos going to his knees, the dog barking in happiness.
"Molda, my beautiful Molda!" the young king cried, his arms wrapping around the dog's neck, hugging him tightly.
Before everyone stood the lost dog of the king's youth, the dog he'd named his kingdom after, when the dog had died.
The dog barked, licking the king's face, his eyes moving around the room, focusing on the two small boys standing in front of Justin and Josh.
"Hi, Sparty!" Logan and Hayden grinned, the dog barking towards the two boys, the king releasing his hold, the dog running to the two boys, its beauty changing, a golden retriever rushing at the boys, both hugging the dog.
Everyone stood in stunned silence, watching the magic showing before them.
"A beast of love, in any form or time." a deep calm voice said, the man stopping before everyone.
"Jolan. . .is. . .is that you?" Justin said, the young man staring at him.
"It is I, Justin. I and magic." Jolan said, his handsome face showing its unchanged, flowing love.
Justin began to move forward, Jolan's hand raising.
"I would give my eternal soul to hold you, Justin. But I cannot cross the path. It is not for myself."
"What. . .what do you mean?" Justin said, his husband staring at him.
"Life is about choices, that was the first lesson I learned upon my creation." Jolan said, his grey eyes staring into Justin's soul.
Jolan's grey eyes turned, staring into the now risen King Dragos' grey and Tolmar's blue.
"Jolan. . .you are. . .you are alive?" Tolmar said, the young man's eyes lowering for a moment, then raising.
"To live is but one path of life. To love is its center. For all purposes I live. For the two of you I am alive."
King Dragos stared at the young man, lost in the love emanating from his grey soulful eyes.
Justin stared at his husband, their eyes meeting again.
"Are you real, Jolan? Are you real now?"
Jolan smiled, Justin lost in the beauty of that missed smile.
"In your heart I shall always be real. The same existed for you my Joshua and Chace. And my children of love, Logan and Hayden."
Josh and Chace were in tears, Hayden and Logan smiling.
"Hi, Dada? You back?" Logan said, Jolan smiling at him.
"Yes, Logan. But I'm not whole yet." the young man said, Jolan moving past the young king and his parents, Alveena's blue eyes staring at him, Jolan's grey meeting hers.
"Jolan. . .you have the light. . .it cannot be that you have. . ." she said softly, the young man moving past her, Jolan walking to the base of the large statue, staring into the revealed tomb.
"Lost from time, forgotten from love. It ascends now. It is time." Jolan said, the man kneeling, his hands going forward, a bright light flowing from both palms, the tomb's inner space consumed in the light.
The light slowly vanished, everyone's eyes widening.
The hollowed out center of the marble base showed a new truth, the tomb now empty.
King Dragos went to his knees, gasping, Tolmar going to his side.
Jolan rose again, his body erect.
"The magic is gone, the book and talismans forever lost in time. Life has ended for you, Dragos Sumsare. I, as the love of your joined souls, have righted your broken paths. You two stand at the crossroads of ascendancy. It is time your love went on forever. It is time to walk upon the rooftop of heaven." Jolan said, his body turning, his eyes softly glowing silver.
The young king rose slowly to his feet, everyone gasping.
They gasped not at him, but at Tolmar.
The councillor's face showed a younger beauty, the man showing an age of twenty.
Dragos' eyes went to his blue pools.
"Tolmar. . .you are. . .you are so beautiful." Dragos said, Jolan walking up to both of them.
"You are as you always longed to be, as you always were. Young at heart, and young at love. It is time for the beginnings of your life. Walk into the light, lost ones. Your family follows you. As do others."
Everyone's eyes widened, seeing a new revealed light showing in the room.
It radiated from the entrance of the chamber.
The whole doorway was filled with a white light, its brightness pulsating.
Out of the whiteness walked two figures, both showing a deep beauty and muscular greatness.
Simus, Calen, and Joel began to weep, Morgan Dragos walking forward.
"Father? Mother? Is it. . .is it really you?" he said, his voice filled with deep love and emotion.
Vilos Dragos and Lava Mora stood at the entrance, their faces covered with deep love and giving beauty.
"Yes, our four sons of love. We are the Sentinels. We await as guards of his love." the two said together, Jolan Dragos walked past his uncles, the young man bowing to both.
They both smiled, the young man's face widening with a smiling happiness.
Jolan ran towards the doors, the couple embracing him deeply.
"Grandfather, Grandmother of love! For this moment, for this truth!" he said, his voice filled with emotion.
"Our dreams have been answered, grandson of love. We hold in our arms your love." Vilos said, his grey eyes staring at his four sons.
Vilos patted the young man's back, gently breaking his embrace of love.
"It is time, my queen, my kings." Vilos said, the man bowing to the three royal members of the Sumsarian lineage.
The king and queen nodded, both looking at Dragos and Tolmar, Alveena's eyes going to Degas and Belos.
"Our final destiny awaits us, my son. And you as well, our three of giving council. It is time to ascend to the next plane." Alveena said, Dragos and Tolmar smiling at her with deep love.
A soft light seemed to glow off the two men, both staring at each other, Belos and Degas walking up to the queen and king, both bowing deeply.
The same glow now shone off both men as well as the king and queen.
"A grand campaign, Your Majesties! We shall fill the halls of eternity with our tales." Belos grinned, Athos smiling at his old friend, clapping him on the back.
Queen Alveena turned, looking towards Jennie.
"My magic warms your heart, you made it come alive, little light of love." she said, Jennie smiling at her, her hand going to her chest, pulling off the brooch that lay there.
She walked forward, handing the queen her long lost brooch.
"His love radiated from it. It always was yours." Jennie said, the queen smiling at her, looking at the brooch in her hand, her eyes going to her son.
"His love was the sun of my soul. Your brother's love is even more warming." she said, the king and queen bowing to the young woman.
They and the two councillors stared at Dragos and Tolmar, the two men joining hands.
"Forever, Dragos." Tolmar said, Dragos staring into his blue eyes.
"Forever, Tolmarsa. I'll love you beyond existence." he said, the two smiling at each other.
Alveena smiled, she and her husband walking towards the entrance, Degas and Belos following.
Both stopped in front of Jolan, the young man standing at his grandparents side, Vilos and Lava Mora bowing to the royal pair.
Alveena's eyes met Jolan's grey, the young man smiling at her.
"Great was your magic, great is your love. You have
healed all of our souls. . .how can we. . .how can we ever. . ."
"Walk into his love. His love is forever." Jolan said, the queen smiling, bowing to the young man.
"So is yours, Jolan Dragos. Light of love and life." she said, she and the king walking into the light, Degas and Belos following, all four consumed in its brightness.
Tolmar and Dragos walked forward, the two bowing to all surrounding them, Jennie and Justin nodding at both.
The two lovers walked up to Jolan, Molda running up to them, a grey wolfhound again by the young king's side.
"I have love and life in all ways again, Jolan. How can I. . .?" The king said, Jolan smiling at him.
"The choice was mine, Dragos. Your joined lost love
created myself. That love could never end, its magic can never end."
Tolmar's blue eyes looked back, staring at Justin, Josh and Chace now at his side and Jennie's, their two sons in their arms.
"What of. . .what of the love you gave to them. . .what of their Jolan?" the now young man said.
"Love is forever, Tolmar. I live as love." Jolan said, the councillor moving, Dragos watching him embrace Jolan.
"I could never have dreamed. . .what I now have. . .how can I. . .?"
"He is yours forever, Tolmar. His love is not a dream." Jolan said, the man breaking the embrace, his hand going in Dragos'.
"See you on the other side, Jolan Dragos. Your love shall brighten eternity." Dragos said, he and Tolmar walking into the entrance, consumed by the white light.
Jolan bowed his head, then raised it, his eyes turning towards everyone standing before him, his grandparents standing behind him beside the illuminated doorway.
"Forgive me for the illusion of my existence.
Forgive me for giving all to save all."
Justin walked forward, stopping a few feet away from Jolan, Josh and Chace with the kids joining him.
"Your love wasn't an illusion, Jolan. Your love is in our souls." Josh said, Jolan smiling at his soulmate, Chace's blue eyes meeting his.
"I love you, Joshua. And you, my Chace. And you, my two boys of shining love." Jolan said, all four smiling at him.
"Love you, Dada." Logan said, snuggling against Chace's chest, his blue eyes filled with love.
"Love you, Dada. Me waits for you." Hayden said, Jolan smiling.
"It won't be long, Hayden." Vilos said, Justin's eyes going to Jolan's grandfather.
The man moved, walking past the joined family, Jolan staring after him with confusion.
"Your grandfather is a man of deep conviction, Jolan. He would pursue Hades if it mean the correction of life." Lava Mora said, Jolan staring at her.
His grey eyes turned, staring into two blue pools of love, the same two pools that had captured his magical soul that first night.
"You made me a promise, Jolan. You promised me that
I would have your love forever, that our lives would be long and happy."
Jolan lowered his head, then raised it slowly, staring into Justin's blue wet pools.
"I. . .I would give all of my soul to keep that
promise, my love. But God's destiny. . .his love. . .it. . ."
"It is giving and loving, my grandson."
Jolan's eyes went to Vilos, Justin turning and looking at him as well, Vilos now standing before his four sons, their eyes filled with watery love.
"My four sons of love, the Compadres of Vindica. His love has healed your love." Vilos said, the four nodding.
"Yes, Father. Our brotherhood is filled with our returned love." Morgan said, Vilos smiling at his eldest son.
"And all is right upon the path, all save one." Vilos said, turning and looking at his grandson.
"Your love is unending, my grandson. I and your grandmother have seen all that has transpired upon the path of your existence. And we have guarded this palace for its true reasoning. A reasoning you now showed here today. The joining of the past, of loss and of love. Heaven will welcome them all, as it shall welcome myself and my Lava Mora." Vilos said, his wife smiling at him.
Vilos moved forward, the man putting his hand upon his grandson's shoulder.
"You are love, Jolan. From the moment of your existence your
soul was love. It sacrificed all for everyone--for love, truth, honor and life.
You created paths of life, of destiny, of love and of hope. God trusted in your
the salvation of the world, the hope of the world. Evil perished before his
might. And love again holds dear within all souls. For that and for your own
selfless love, God gives you a greater truth. A greater love."
Vilos leaned forward kissing his grandson's tear-covered cheek.
"Love is the greatest choice, Jolan. God is love." the man said, his eyes going back to his four sons.
"I am proud of all my sons, and their children. The Dragosan clan is love. Walk forward in life with our love in your hearts." he said, the man walking to the doorway, his wife's arm going around his waist.
"Life is being with those you love. It is time the last path is righted." Vilos said, a large smile showing on his face.
An image flew past Vilos' side, a loud bark filling the room, Jolan's eyes widening, a large golden retriever almost knocking him over, the man and dog going to the chamber's floor.
Vilos and Lava Mora laughed, the two walking back into the doorway, the light consuming them.
The light disappeared, the room's walls now showing their ancient age.
The dome over the chamber's center darkened, the sky above it now dark.
The chamber was lost in darkness, torches on the walls suddenly glowing to life.
Everyone in the chamber looked around, Justin and his soulmates' eyes on the man on the floor hugging Spartacus.
"Jolan. . .is that. . .is that really Spartacus?" Justin said, Jolan's head lowered, the man's head resting against the dog's neck, his back to everyone.
"My Sparty. My loving Sparty." Jolan's voice said, Hayden struggling in Chace's arms, the man letting the boy down, Hayden running up to his father, stopping at his back, the dog's eyes moving, meeting his.
"Welcome's back, Sparty! We's here for you." he said, the dog barking.
Hayden smiled, his hand going to his father's shoulder.
"Welcome back, Dada. You have all our love now." he said, the man holding the dog turning his body around, his eyes staring into Hayden's blue pools of love.
Everyone gasped, all their eyes staring at Jolan Dragos.
His face was its usual beauty, save for one change.
Jolan's eyes were now a deep baby blue.
"I am back, Hay. And I'm here to stay."
The boy squealed, leaping into his father's opening arms.
The two were alone for only a moment, three other men and another child enveloping them.
End of Chapter 166
And was that surprising?
I'll await your comments.