Chapter 3

"How have you been Mark," Lief asked. Mark said, "I have been good. I am curious how you and Deltora fared." Lief smiled. "Jasmine, Barda, and I went to find four evils that were slowly killing Deltora." He looked at Jasmine with love and said, "Jasmine and I married each other afterwards. We hope to have a child soon." Mark smiled. This went along perfectly with the books. "Now I must ask, who is the man next to you?" Lief asked. Mark explained, "This is my brother. He is honorable, loyal, and a good friend." Matthew nodded in respect to the king and queen. "Hello King Lief and Queen Jasmine." Lief nodded to him. "Hello" Jasmine said and did likewise. "I too remember you Mark. Lindal and I have married," Barda said to Mark. Mark smiled but then frowned.

"Is something wrong Lief?" Lief lost the smile that had been on his face for so long. "Yes. There has been a disturbance near Dread Mountain. It may be nothing, but the guards we sent have not come back." Mark knew something would be wrong. "Will you need to leave?" Mark asked. Lief nodded grimly. "Yes. We will need to leave soon. Mark. Would you like to come?" Mark nodded. "I need to go." Lief nodded showing full understanding and said, "Good. We will need to leave soon. Most likely tomorrow. For now, go eat. our cooks have prepared a large feast. Then you can go shopping for what we will need." Mark agreed but then asked, "Will John come on this quest too?" Lief nodded again. Mark, satisfied, left to the dining room with Matthew, leaving Zeea with Jasmine.

The two brothers sat at the table while the cooks brought the food out. The food that was brought out was amazing. The boys put serving upon serving on their plates. Just when they poured a glass of water each, Lief came in. Mark saw the Belt as he was eating. The beautiful Diamond. The shimmering Topaz. The pale beauty of the Amethyst. Pale purple of the Amethyst? Mark thought of the books. The Topaz shows spirits. The Diamond helps with love. The Amethyst pales in the presence of poisoned food. Mark looked at Matthew and saw him eating. All of a sudden Mathew's head hit the table. Mark shouted for Lief to come.

Mark touched the Emerald, and made Matthew touch it. Mark saw the only cook not over by Matthew. Mark threw a knife at him. It hit the wall, and the cook ran. Mark jumped up and ran after him. He ran to Del's square and saw the chef running. Mark followed him through the streets. The cook made things fall in front of Mark, but he could not lose Mark. The cook knocked down a ladder that fell on a cart. Mark ran on the ladder and jumped. He landed on the cook. The cook said with a sneer, "Boy, you have no idea what is going to happen. Coming here was an awful mistake. The Shadow Lord will use you and your brother." And with that the cook pulled out a knife. Mark's hostage was dead in a minute. Mark stared at the man who had slit his own throat.

A/N: Sorry this took so long. I hurt my foot so I wasn't able to use the computer. I have the next few chapters ready though. Remember to review.