That night, Jarin could not sleep. Every time he closed his eyes, he saw the evil faces of the demons from the spell books. He wondered why his father would have a need for dark magic, especially going as far as to risk someone's life to obtain it. His father had always had everything he wanted, with no need for magic, yet he was obviously studying it.
Turning over, he forced himself to sleep. When he woke up the next morning, Adriel was in his room. The young man was watching him with concern on his face. Adriel finally spoke. "I don't really feel comfortable around your father, now. He has always been a little strange, but this...I don't know. If you go to talk to this band leader again, may I go with you?"
Jarin smiled. "Sure. I might go back today, before my father returns. I have so many questions, and I would rather have my father far away while asking them," he grabbed a tunic from his nightstand and pulled it on. "I think I'm going to have a talk with Rodney and the other soldiers, first. I want to find out what they know about this."
Adriel lowered his gaze. "Yeah, good idea. They might know something," he whispered.
Jarin smiled at his friend. "Shall we?" He sounded overenthusiastic, and Adriel knew it was from not wanting to think about the soldiers too much.
"Yeah, let's go," Adriel grabbed a tunic from his own room, throwing it on.
The two made their way to the barracks, and Jarin remembered painfully that he did not spend nearly as much time there as he used to. It was somewhat odd to be there now, but they had a reason.
One of the soldiers met them almost immediately. When he saw Jarin, the man looked surprised.
"What can I do for you, Lord Jarin," he smiled at the young noble.
Jarin rolled his eyes. "Please, don't call me that. Is Rodney around?"
The young soldier thought for a moment, then answered. "Yeah, he's in the training room."
Great, Jarin thought, not really wanting to go to the training room right now. It held too many memories.
Adriel smiled at the soldier, putting a hand on Jarin's shoulder. "Thanks, Tyrk. See you later, okay?"
Tyrk looked somewhat confused. "Sure."
They found Rodney in the training room, as Tyrk had said. He was sparring, but stopped when saw them. Handing his sword to the man he was sparring with, he approached them.
"Hi, guys. I haven't seen you in a while, Jarin," the soldier smiled slightly. "What can I do for you?"
"I'm sorry I haven't stopped by more often," Jarin glanced at Adriel. "I should. How are you doing?"
Rodney shrugged. "I've been alright. Busy."
Jarin nodded. "Can we take a walk, or something? We would like to talk to you."
Rodney glanced at him. "Uh, sure," he turned to the other young soldier, who was holding his sword. "Thanks," he smiled, taking it back.
They left out one of the back doors, then headed down a path into the woods. Jarin waited until they were further down the path to talk.
"So, I know you were close with Bree," Jarin felt strange, just saying his name. "What do you know about the mission with the spell books? Why did my father want them?"
Rodney turned to face them, very serious. "He did not tell us much, only that he needed them for the future...whatever that means."
Jarin glanced at Adriel. "Did you ever see anything odd about him?"
"Your father? Yes," Rodney frowned. "While he never seems to be very interested in his own troops, he is interested in sending us on missions to check on things. He has sent us to some quite odd places, like the mountains to get dirt, or to strange people, to pick up documents. He is not acting like a lord, but a magic practitioner."
Adriel took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. "Rodney, we searched his study, and found several things that point him to magic. After what you have told us, I think he may be working with someone."
Jarin nodded. "I do, also. We do not know who, yet. However, we do know someone who might. I will be meeting with him today."
Rodney glanced between the two of them, seating himself on a log. When the other two had joined him, he smiled at them. "I'm telling you two this, because I trust you," he paused, looking around. Once he knew they were secure, he continued. "When I was eleven, I saw a man who came to visit your father, and he had a young boy with him. Come to think of it, he was around seven, the same age you two would have been then. He got into an argument with your father, and left, taking his son, and looking very frightened," he looked at the two young men. "I will never forget the look your father had in his eyes. It was a hunger for power, and an intensity that did not seem normal, at all. The entire experience was odd."
Jarin gasped. He remembered the meeting Rodney was speaking of. He had also seen them, and he remembered talking to the boy. He could not remember his name, but he had a good idea who it was, now. He had smoky, blue eyes and light blond hair.
Looking at Adriel, Jarin swallowed hard. "I think the boy was Kain," he said, confused now, more than ever. "So, will you come with us?"
"Sure," Rodney smiled softly. "I would love to."