The guides made the decision to go back to Etheria with the fairies by their sides, and just after they portaled home, they found their selves right outside, just a few feet away from the castle.
"Well, home sweet home," Slaten said with disdain. "I have grown to hate this place."
They walked in undetected into Warrick's quarters to find it empty. "What do you make of all this?" Luna asked Slaten.
"I don't know, my father wouldn't be too far from here." Slaten walked around Warrick's large meeting table, looking through the journals. "Look, these are council meeting journals. It must come soon, or else he wouldn't have these out. Let's go down to the meeting room, if there is a meeting close, the guides will come in from Earth to gather."
They left Warrick's quarters and found the gathering room to only have a few guides present, and they were visiting amongst themselves. Before they could get closer to hear what they were whispering, Warrick's voice was audible.
"I don't care. I am still in charge here. Make sure you round up the guides, we will have our meeting, and things will carry on as normal." Warrick said.
The head of his detail questioned Warrick more. "Sire, everyone here is questioning things. Rumors are flying around that you have killed the other council members. Others are concerned you are a demon. I do not see many of the guides returning. Once you gave them permission to resume their duties, out of concern for the upheaval on Earth, they stayed. I doubt many will come back."
Warrick lunged toward the brave guide who challenged him. "I do not care; they cannot stay away forever," Warrick said.
His agenda was to vote in replacements for Brennan and Charity. Warrick sat at his table while the many guides of Etheria filed in, more than what they expected.
Pramlee whispered to Slaten, "I think most of them are there out of curiosity more than anything else. Look at them all; they look reserved. This is not the scene we were always accustomed to when the meetings took place in the past."
Slaten did a careful study of his fellow spirit guides, watching for any sign of anything that could be sprung on them in surprise. Charity stood in the middle of the group, tall and confident although she was about to go head to head with Warrick.
"Charity, are you okay? Here we are the same place before they took you as a prisoner when we lost Caius. Are you sure you are okay?" Selena asked.
"I am more ready for this than ever. All that time, stuck in the dark realm with nothing to do but think of the day I would confront him for what he did and now my time has come. I will do whatever it takes to see that Warrick is removed."
The meeting began, and all the whispering and chattering amongst the guides pipped down as all their eyes landed on Warrick. "Welcome, welcome back home. I am happy to see all of you back to your duties. I do not see new faces, so let's get right down to business. As you know, Charity and Brennan have taken their journey. Their time came to rest here in our wonderful hall of souls." Warrick stood with a smile and pointed to the great doors. "I need for those of you who are willing to step forward to sit on the council. I need two of you, and it will be a majority vote here and now."
The guides in the audience whispered amongst their selves, some looked confused and some, their faces resembled anger. One brave guide stepped forward and said. "Warrick, if Charity and Brennan have passed, why didn't we have our usual ceremony celebrating their existence and wishing them well to return to Earth once more? It is like we skipped over all that. A lot of us have concerns about the others that have gone missing. There rumors that you are a demon."
Gasps were audible through the room, and Warrick's face was a mix of surprise and anger. Before he could reply, a familiar voice spoke out, and many familiar faces now appeared when the fairies lifted their invisible spell, letting everyone be seen. The gasps once again filled the room, and the whispering elevated to a loud chatter and hollering.
"I have not gone on to the hall. Warrick lies. He sent me and many of us to the dark realm. Brennan has perished, he didn't make it out among other spirit guides we lost. Thanks to the fairies and the brave ones that stand with me now, I am free. Warrick is a demon from the high court and he has kept it a secret this whole time. I learn of the many things that have been kept from us, the truths about all of us and what the higher powers are.
Warrick's face snarled, he growled as he lurched toward Charity. In moments the room once set for a meeting for induction of new council members became a war zone. Charity stood her ground, her shoulders back and her chin held high, she made not a move one to dodge or engage the vile demon that challenged her.