When Darkness Ends(Guardians of Eternity,book 12)(76) by Alexandra Ivy
God. How many times had he had to listen to the claims of lofty morals that were nothing more than a shield to hide the druids’ lack of a backbone?
“I honor the treaties of our ancestors.”
“Treaties?” Anthony made a sound of disgust. “There were no negotiations. No concessions offered. We were neutered by the fey king and our blessed ancestors lay down and took it.”
Caydeyrn hunched his shoulder, clearly unwilling to admit that the ancient druids had allowed the King of Chatri to turn them into a bunch of sniveling weaklings.
“We devoted ourselves to peace,” he said.
“You became servants in the name of peace.”
“Better a servant in peace than a master in death.”
The condescending tone made Anthony’s teeth clench.
He crouched down, meeting the watery blue gaze with open disdain.
“So pious,” he hissed.
“It is who we are.”
Anthony shook his head. When he’d first returned, he tried to work with this man and the rest of the elders.
Well, perhaps he hadn’t tried to work with him.
After all, he was born to lead, not follow.
But he’d been happy to allow the other druids to become a part of his inner circle as he sought to rid the world of demons.
It was entirely their own fault that he’d been forced into drastic actions when they refused to follow his commands.
“No, it’s what we have allowed ourselves to become,” he reminded Caydeyrn. “Once we stood tall, capable of ruling the world.”
The old man shook his head, clearly refusing to admit even to himself that the druids had once been destined for greatness.
“Ruling the world is your dream.” He gave a slow shake of his head. “Not ours.”
“Because you’re weak.”
“I have a heart,” Caydeyrn snapped, still filled with his bloated sense of self-worth despite the weeks he’d spent locked in the Labyrinth spell. “To commit mass murder for the sake of your own glory . . .” The older man gave a dramatic shudder. “It is wicked.”
Anthony rolled his eyes. The old man was truly a drama queen.
“The demons aren’t people. They’re a cancer that must be destroyed before they take over the world.”
The druid grimaced, something that might have been pity twisting his features.
“Anthony, you’ve allowed your lust for power to corrupt your soul.” His lips flattened. “I blame the witches. You should never have traveled to meet with them.”
Anthony surged upright. Over ten years ago, he’d traveled to meet with Edra. At the time her coven had been responsible for guarding the human vessel for the Goddess of Light.
The witch claimed that they had discovered a spell capable of ridding the world of demons. Anthony had been dubious. Such a spell would take far more power than a mere coven of witches could conjure, even if they could somehow tap into the power of the Phoenix.
He’d declined her invitation to include the druids in her daring scheme. A stroke of luck considering that a year ago the vampires had managed to destroy Edra before the spell could be completed.
Or maybe it’d been the Goddess of Light who’d struck the killing blow.
Anthony had never gotten a clear answer. And truly it didn’t matter.
He’d learned from their mistakes.
Of course, his caution hadn’t halted him from traveling to Edra’s home to steal the spell just hours after her death.
He wasn’t going to rush into certain disaster, but he wasn’t going to ignore the potential opportunity.
So he’d waited and plotted, searching for the best means to ensure the spell’s success.
The key, of course, was finding a suitable power source.
Nothing human could possibly have enough strength to actually close down the portals. And even among demons only the Commission had the necessary magic.
For weeks he’d been convinced it was impossible.
Then his insatiable research had uncovered the fey potion that could amplify the druids’ power.
Suddenly he had a plan to actually accomplish what the witches had failed to.
“They opened my eyes to the possibilities,” he murmured, his lips twisting at the memory of Edra’s arrogant command that the druids combine their power to assist in the casting of the spell. “Of course, there was no way that I was going to join forces with them. The bitches thought I was willing to bow to them while they took control of the world. That was never going to happen.”
Caydeyrn grimaced. “So instead you stole their spell.”
Anthony shrugged. It’d been sheer luck that he’d been on his way to visit Edra less than a half an hour after her death. It meant that he’d been able to jerk the fragile scroll out of her dead fingers and protect it from being destroyed by the binding spell that all witches put on their personal papers.
“They were dead,” he said. “Obviously they didn’t need it anymore.”
The older man heaved a heavy sigh, his condemning expression becoming one of deep pity.
“Your father would be so disappointed.”
Anthony jerked as the druid hit an unexpected nerve.
His father, Henlin, had not only been a highly respected leader, but he’d been beloved by both druids and fey. The sort of man that could draw people to him with the sheer force of his personality.
Anthony had been in equal awe of his father, wanting nothing more than to walk in his footsteps.
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