Ch. 7.2 — Eli continued to creep along the passage of the dungeon. Ten doors down, he came upon a cell with thick metal bars across the front. Inside were the wizard, Colin, and Bernice, the witch. To Eli’s surprise, a glowing ball on the floor lit the small stone room. He wondered if it worked the same as his little magic lantern.
The old man and woman sat together on the narrow bench, looking dirty, hungry, and sorrowful. When they saw him, they straightened up and smiled.
Wizard Colin said, “Ah, Prince Eli, how are you?”
“Your salve worked. Ezra and I are both fine. Thank you for saving our lives.”
“I don’t suppose you’ve brought a key? Or perhaps you’ve brought the good news that the king is going to let us go home?”
“Sorry, no.” Eli frowned. “Why don’t you just use your magic and escape?”
Colin shook his head. “This prison cell has special anti-magic spells forged into it. We can’t get out. Besides, we’ve sworn to only use our magic for good. Unfortunately, upholding the king’s laws is part of that oath, even when it doesn’t have the results we want.”
“Prince Eli, what are you doing in the dungeon?” asked Bernice. “You’ll get into trouble with your father.”
Eli knew it was late. By now his mother would have the servants and guards searching for him. She’d be very upset. And if his father knew he was missing, he’d be furious. But Eli couldn’t quit now.
“Is there anything else you can do for my baby brother? Can you give him another gift?”
Colin dropped his eyes and sighed. “I’m sorry, but nothing can be done. Once the name day gift is given, it’s set.”
Eli’s eyes filled with tears. “But you were able to change the dragon’s curse.”
“That’s because we hadn’t given our gifts yet. We had the power to modify the curse, not to completely undo it.”
“My father is really angry, and my mama cries every day.”
Colin and Bernice looked at each other and then at Eli.
“We are very sorry that the king didn’t like our gifts,” said Bernice. “We did the best we could at the time.”
“You see,” said Colin, “you can’t always help what you say. You open your mind and heart, and then you say what comes to you. Rest assured that someday the gifts given him will help Prince Ezra. That’s all we know. Meanwhile, keep your brother away from swords and assassins.”
Eli felt very discouraged. “Isn’t there anything you can do?”
Ch. 7.3 — Another Gift
Colin’s eyes twinkled. “No, but there’s something you can do.”
“Has anyone every told you about your name day? Perhaps you’ve read the account?”
Eli shook his head. “My parents won’t talk about it, and Duncan keeps the records locked up in the library.”
Bernice shook her head. “Books are for reading, not hiding away.”
Colin’s stare was so intense that Eli began to feel a little nervous.
“The Fey queen gave you the gift of invisibility,” Colin said. “Mind you, it doesn’t last more than three hours, and it doesn’t work on animals.”
Bernice nodded. “And I seem to recall that a leprechaun gave you three wishes. Use them wisely.”
Eli’s heart pounded with excitement. “How do I become invisible?”
Colin waved his hand at Eli. “Illusium. There. Now even I can’t see you. Be careful not to make a sound or run into anything. Invisibility will only get you so far. And don’t forget the time.”
“Thank you. I’ll talk to my father for you.”
“We’d appreciate that,” said Bernice. “The queen of Saltonia gave birth to a baby girl last month, and her name day is in two days. We were assigned to be there.”
“I’ll do my best.” Eli slipped away, feeling very dangerous. He was about to go and commit a crime.