Evening fell and supper was served cold by a red-eyed Vinea. Valkin and Dusak hardly said anything, and the three children were silent also. Mary was worried. She had figured out who the prince was, so now her mind went back to the king. How could they help him, and would he get rid of the counselor?
She glanced over at Valkin, still puzzling over all this. His eyes met hers, and he gave a slight nod in the direction of the door. Mary frowned slightly, but looked away from him towards her brothers. Had they seen Valkin’s sign? She was relieved to see that they both had their attention on her, and she gave a quick nod. The boy’s exchanged glances, and they all went back to eating.
There was something, or someone, watching the house, and Mary did not like it. She felt a prickly sensation go down her back, and she knew she was being watched. She shuddered slightly, and glanced again at Valkin. The meal went on in silence.
Suddenly there was a crash, and the front door was flung open. Valkin, Dusak, Justin and Duncan all jumped from their seats and stood, ready to put up a fight if it came to that. Ten heavily armed men came into the house and the leader spoke first, his voice rough.
“j seeta deddicae ru digumsy adeck tu pretik tendelle.” (I have orders to take you all to my master/leader) he said, his eyes sweeping over the elves and resting on the children. Mary’s eyes were ice, and she returned his stare, making him look away quickly. They didn’t have much choice in the matter, and accepted the fact that they were captured.
They were heavily guarded on all sides, making it clear that they were not to escape. The guards had tied their hands securely, and Mary’s hands ached. Duncan watched the guard nearest to him warily, and Justin did likewise. They were furious to not be able to do anything, especially when they saw their sister in pain. Their fierce eyes clearly told the guards to keep away from their sister, and so they kept their distance. Valkin, Dusak, and Vinea were kept separate from the children, and Mary was worried about the three elves. Undoubtedly, the counselor had a special punishment for them. She glanced worriedly up at her brothers, but they could only console her with a grim smile.
Duncan was looking straight ahead with his head held high, when he suddenly remembered Elliot’s gift, the Silver Flower. Immediately, he had hope. He stepped closer to Mary, the sibling closest to him.
“Mary, we still ha’ the Silver Flower!” he whispered softly. Mary’s eyes lit up. She turned to Justin, and told him. He smiled with satisfaction, but suddenly, his face clouded, and he whispered something to Mary. Her smile also disappeared, and she turned to Duncan.
“Where be it?” she asked softly. Duncan was relieved that was all that was wrong.
“‘Tis around my neck on a string fer safe keepin’!” he said, and Mary quickly told Justin. Now hopeful, the trio followed their captors all the way to the castle. A password was said softly, and the gate opened. Saden Flettica glanced at the children in some surprise, but pretended not to recognize them. Mary, Justin and Duncan did the same, merely glancing at him. They continued up to the throne room, but turned before actually entering it, into a smaller hall. The door was opened by another guard, and when the door shut with a bang the children and the elves were together again.
They found themselves in a fairly large room, and the windows on either side filled the room with daylight. On the far end sat the counselor behind a desk, and to one side of him stood Glevanne Addets. His eyes met with the children and elves’ only a moment before looking away again. Duncan racked his brain for a way to deliver the note from the princess he still had before he was searched.
The counselor was looking at them smugly. He turned to Glevanne and whispered something in his ear, to which the elf gave him a quick nod and walked over to them, and then the counselor spoke.
“My agent will now search you for any illegal items.” He said, with a triumphant gleam in his eye. Duncan swallowed a smile. It was perfect. Glevanne would find the note, and all would be well. Glevanne made a big show of searching the elves, taking Valkin and Dusak’s daggers and Vinea’s locket. He searched Mary and Justin, finding their pocket knives and taking them, and then he came to Duncan. He felt him over, and took his knife. He left the silver flower around his neck, hiding it more efficiently before moving on, and found the letter. His face only slightly changed and he hastily concealed the letter on his own person.
The search was now complete, and Mary looked at Duncan, who gave her a quick nod while the counselor wasn’t looking. The letter was delivered, now the pendant would come into play.
The children and the elves were put in the same cell, which they were all very grateful of, and Mary spoke to Valkin as soon as they had their bonds off and heard the echo of the guards’ footsteps end and then silence.
“Valkin,” she whispered, her eyes shining. “Before we went on this mission, Old Elliot gave us a silver pendant to protect us. It be a silver flower. Will it help?” Valkin’s eyes suddenly lit up with hope.
“A silver flower you said?” he asked. Mary nodded.
“Aye! He gave it to the boy’s. Duncan has it around his neck as we speak.” She replied. Valkin smiled.
“Yes, it will help! The Silver Flower is a legend older than the kingdom itself.” Mary was puzzled.
“It be a legend?” she asked. Valkin nodded, raising an eyebrow.
“Yes! You have not heard it?” the three children shook their heads; even Elliot had not told them this elfish story. Valkin smiled, leaning his head back against the damp prison walls and began the story.