It seems that Nicholas Blackthorn isn’t the only Archon or the only Realmwalker on Arthropodia after all…

“Aven the Eagle and Keely the Cougar? How do you know of ‘eagles’ and ‘cougars’?”

“We have no such creatures native to our world, no more than we have creatures like yourself native to our world.”

“That would explain why everyone we pass is looking at us so intently. Were those the names they gave to you, then?”

“Yes. Our scouts know that Keely gathers creatures looking much like her as her soldiers, but never has she claimed to bring them across the Sea with her.”

“Perhaps they come from within your own Realm, from another world orbiting another sun. In my Realm we have mastered travel from star to star. These Walkers likely would know how to make this possible to mortals.”

“We have considered this. We have no certain evidence, yet. What kind of creature are you?”

“I am an Archon, and I am immortal. Your Two Walkers may be Archons too. In form they are like the mortal animals called the ‘eagle’ and the ‘cougar’ of my Realm. There are also mortal, self-aware creatures called Men, four species of them, where I come from. In form I am most like the Species of Man we call the Adamim.”

“And you too came over the Metacosmic Sea?”

“Yes, even as you saw me appear.” But not by myself, I didn’t. Who then are these Walkers? I know all the Old Ones and many Young Ones, but I’ve never heard of a pair like these – and the only Archon of any age I know who can teleport without aid from Realm to Realm is Amethyst.

Whatever they are, maybe they can teach me their secret. No Portal, no Passport Ring, no Edwin – only Amethyst could possibly follow me then. Assuming the Locus’ Ring doesn’t bear that kind of power, waiting only for that brat of a Lightchild to discover it…

“I am eager to meet your queen.”

“We are glad to hear this, for now we approach her palace. She will have much to discuss with you.”

****

A flash of pale green light burst inside a cave and Aven walked out of it, tossing his sword into the dirt. Keely the Cougar sat dressed in robes of red and green.

“You appeared troubled, love.”

“I guess I made that obvious.” Aven’s raptor-like form suited his theoretical temperament, as Keely’s feline form befitted her gentle but action-oriented one. “The insects now have a protective wall of energy around their city, blocking my ability to teleport inside of its walls.”

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