The ambiance- dark and dense, Kieren stood in the place marked where they left for the dark realm. The guides had lost their existence, and now Echo was missing. Relic, beside himself, without his snarky remarks, remained silent. His face was devoid of emotion as he stared at the headstones of the old cemetery.
Pramlee sobbed at the loss of Ridge and the others, leaning into her brother she buried her face in his chest. Arianna, who had been missing for so long, remained confused, not knowing the whole of what had taken place since Warrick sent her away.
"Look, I don't mean to be insensitive here, I am glad that they have freed us, but I do not understand who these fairies are, and I am still trying to wrap my head around what happened to the others. Is there somewhere we can go in safety so we all can be caught up on what has happened?" said Arianna.
Kieren nodded to Selena as the unspoken request to take her up on her offer of sanctuary. Selena broke away from Luna to address everyone and try to hold the situation together. "Yes. You are right. We can't just stay here. Follow me home, you all will be safe there."
The fairy queen created her portal back to the fairy realm, where the somber group followed her home to safety and a place to re-acclimate to a new plan and a new way of thinking. Once back in the fairy realm, the guides with Talon accompanied Selena and the rest of the fairies to her quarters, where everyone was caught up on the facts of transgressions that took place. After a long while passed by everyone exchanging stories and their thoughts, a lot of time passed in Etheria.
"Meridian, she is gone? No one knows where, but a hunch. Aiden set her free, and now he has passed on, stuck in the dark realm. This is madness. My poor daughter, I have failed her again. I can't imagine what she has been through losing us, her parents. Stuck in a world she didn't understand, to go through the things she did with a curse. I am thankful for Aiden, even though I don't know him. The irony, Caius was so worried about Meridian when she became obsessed with Aiden when he was born. And you..." Arianna stopped and looked to Talon. "Talon, I can't even understand what you are feeling now. What can we do? How can I help you with your son?" Arianna ushered to Talon and put her hands on his shoulders. "Please, what can we do? Anything?"
Talon could barely look Arianna in the eyes. His yellow cat-like eyes glistened with rising tears. A solitary tear rolled down his face and splashed down on Arianna's foot. He squinted his eyes to brush away the water so he could look up.
"I know you all would do anything to help Aiden. I know things are bad now, and I can't let myself go to the dark side, become angry. I have to keep hope there is a way. Lahash, I guess in a way he did what he said he would do, which is ironic, but I guess everything comes with a price. I can't say he would be the one who did this to Aiden; it was Moloch and Astaroth. When I took Meridian to the dark realm for the first time, Kieren got lost in a trance, similar to what Aiden is in now. She could wake him and get him back."
Talon moved away from Arianna after a quick pat on her hand in a kind gesture.
Charity drew a long breath and looked around at everyone. "We need to go back. Slaten, any idea when the next council meeting is?"
"Not sure, what if Luna comes with me, keeps me invisible? I can do some spying and find out," Slaten said in a somber voice.
Charity approached him as he sat on the floor in Selena's quarters, away from the rest. "I know you are upset over Janus. We are all upset about the losses. Please do not allow this to anger you where you cannot see past so we can get through this."
Slaten brought his eyes up to Charity and nodded in agreement, but his tense face resembled the anger, rebuilding again toward his father.