Title: Deltora's King

Summary: The time spent in Withick Mire from Dain's POV. This follows the book as closely as it can.

Author's note: This is set in the eight book, pages 58 to 68 be exact. This chapter alone if from page 58 to 60. I will update on Friday.

Disclaimer: I don't own Deltora, but I would love it if some one else wrote a story about Dain, in whichever form (good or evil).

Dain ran though the stinking mounds of Withick Mire, quickly and lightly to avoid tripping or stumbling over the rubbish that surrounded him. Doom had sent him to gather water, but word had spread that the three companions had arrived, and he desperately wanted to see Lief again. Dain slowed as he came to the entrance of the strong hold, trying to catch what the voices were saying, but the speaker stopped as he entered. Glancing around the room Dain soon saw Jasmine and Lief beside a bed on which Barda was lying, heavily bandaged. What could have happened to Barda? Wondered Dain, but before he could speak Doom rased a finger to his lips, signalling him to be quite.

"How can you tell the note was not written by King Endon, Barda? Jasmine asked gently. "You did not know him,"

"Perhaps not," muttered Barda. "But Jarred did. Time and again Jarred has tolled me of Endon's terrible feelings of gilt. It brought tears into his own eyes to tell how he had failed Deltora. Yet this, which is supposed to be Endon's last message, written not long after the escape from Del, says not one word of that."

"You are right." As Lief spoke his voice gained conviction. "Not one word of apology or grief of anyone other than himself and his family. And this cannot be. The note – the skeletons - were planted to deceive us! That is why the Guards were placed where they were. To force travellers off the road, up to the hut. It was all a Shadow Lord plan."

"But …" Doom did not sound convinced.

Barda tossed his head restlessly. "Look at the seal at the bottom of the message. It should not be there. The note in Tora did not bear the royal seal. And why? Because Endon did not have the seal ring in his position when he escaped. He could not have done so. The seal was always kept by Prandine, and brought out only when messages had to be signed."

"How do you know this?" asked Zeean curiously.

Barad sighed. "My mother, rest her soul, was nursemaid to both Jarred and Endon. She was a great chatterer, and told me many things about the palace doings. Often I only half listened, I admit. But it seems that I learned more than the Shadow Lord suspects."

"And what a blessing you did," breathed Fardeep, his eyes goggling. "If it had not been for you, we would have abandoned all our hopes."

"I have stayed alive to some purpose, then," said Barda, with the faintest of smiles. "But now I am very weary." His eyes closed.

Jasmine drew a sharp breath and pressed her ear to his chest. When she straitened, her face was very pale. "He is only asleep," she whispered. "But his heart beats very faintly. I fear he is slipping away from us."

Blindly she put out her hand to Lief, and he clasped it, his eyes filling with tears.

However much it pained Dain to see Barda so weak he hated to see how much it upset Lief. Surly there must be something I can do to help, thought Dain.

Steven toughed Lief's arm. " Do not grieve before you must, my friend," he said gently. "Barda is strong, and a fighter. He will not give up easily. And Queen Bee honey has performed miracles before."

Tears gather in his eyes as Dain pushed though the crowd. Upon reaching the bed knelt down beside Lief. "Barda must not die," he said. "If we tend him carefully, surly he will recover."

Did I do a good job at adding to the story? I'm not used to writing from this perspective, so can you tell what's mine and what's not? It shouldn't be that difficult.

I apologise for any mistakes, this has not been beta read.