Ch. 49.6 — Zelda’s eyes burned with hatred. “Goodbye, Prince Eli. I won’t miss you at all.”
Eli threw off the blanket and sprang from the bed. In his hand was a vorpal sword with a blue blade.
Zelda glanced at the sword and cursed. “You never took that last dose, did you?”
He didn’t answer her.
“Even so, I’m stronger than you. You can’t win this fight.”
She sprang forward, slashing at him. Eli leaped back. Again she attacked. He blocked her arm, and then lunged. His small sword met her long knife, and pain jolted his arm. She smiled and struck again. Again he deflected her blow and darted away.
Then a dragon roared above them. The scent of dragon fire filled the air as Jay B. R. Wokky flamed the trolls below.
Zelda cursed and fell back. “Impossible. I killed him. I killed everyone in the caves.” She glared at Eli. “Who did this? Who is responsible for bringing them back to life?”
“If I had to guess, I’d say it was the one person you couldn’t kill.”
“Janine.” Zelda screamed in rage, and the fight resumed.
Their weapons flashed. Eli had been in a few battles, and he had fought strong men, but Zelda was the worst foe he’d ever faced. For one thing she still looked like a beautiful human girl. For another, she was cunning and fast. Eli had to use all his skill to keep her deadly blade away from him. At last he whirled, lunged in, and slashed her arm. He danced away again.
Zelda stepped forward and then paused. She stumbled back from him, struggling to breathe. The skin of her face rippled as if her blood boiled. “What is this?” She stared at the small cut on her arm, then back at him, her eyes wide. “Impossible.”
“It pays to know your poisons,” Eli said.
Zelda’s eyes went blank. She toppled to the floor, and Eli jumped out of the way. After a moment, the body of a human girl transformed into a blue-green troll, still dressed in her princess finery. A jumble of canine teeth protruded from a wide mouth. Her head was bald, and her hands were knotted, with long claws on each finger.
Zelda Mary was dead.
Eli shuddered. For a moment he stared at her as emotions tumbled through him. Then he ran out into the hallway to join the fight.