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Chapter III: Dal’coler – Part I

Nymre landed on the shadowed balcony of the fairy palace, entering softly the magical bubble that protected it from winter cold, batting with her black wings and stepping gracefully down the stairs to the chamber that spread before her. Her long ears, as always happened among raven shee, caught every talk and every word that sounded there. The messengers and spies, the raven fey, were held in high esteem and even if they were the lowest of the high fae, they were so important, that Nymre was promised to the youngest son of King Marn’sul Dal.

Now, her keen eyes spotted the young prince among a few high shee, with which he talked silently. She shook her head, trying to silence the sound of the talk which was not for her.

Trying to not look like she eavesdropped, she half walked, half flew towards the group. She immediately caught that her arrival invigorated Lorian and approaching closer, she bowed slightly. The young prince was clad in black vest with a dark belt around his slender waist, all embelished with silver thread; a long cape was draped on his arms and fell loosely behind him, adding him grace. On his wrists and hands raven feathers were attached, sewn into the material. Nymre involuntarily smiled.

“News for royal ears, your highness.”

The other three Kilyans seemed to not like the disruption. One of them was Karlian Norr, a son of the king’s advisor. The other two were twins, sons of the older brother of Lorian, Ainan, and Korl’eann. These four always seemed to drift towards each other.

Lorian Ain’Dal’s black eyes landed on her and slid over her frame, almost hungrily. She narrowed her brows under her bird mask. He was making a spectacle, showing that she belonged to him, but at the same time, when alone, they drifted between love and animosity. The quarrels between them, if they came to the ears of the court, would be legendary. Lorian never meant to marry her, he was a free spirit, unbound and carefree. She at the other hand considered him worst material for a husband. He was insufferable, proud, and egotistic and seemed to take a special pride in his demeanor.

Others found it charming. Others found him clever. But she wanted to slap him in the face, kill him, and disappear with him in a vast bed, loving him feverishly.

He had to guess what she thought about because his brow rose. She sent him an angry look.

“News for royal ears” she accented her words with urgency and Ain’Dal, with a sigh, separated from the group and entered the balcony with Nymre. Lorian leaned over the balustrade.

“I thought you were coming back in the next two days. Something happened?” he said, looking into the stars. The stars above the fairy palace were an exceptional sight. Never and nowhere were they so bright and so beautiful.

“Exactly,” she said quickly. “The divine particles are awakening, my spies saw a group of them in the mountains, still far from our lands, but brushing against them dangerously close.”

Lorian wanted to say that he will deal with them if they come closer, but he was aware that even if he is a powerful darkness weaver, he can’t kill a soul of the god, even if only a small part of it. And both of them knew that.

“The particles attacked the Shadowborns’ lands near the Nam Sea. No High Fae died, all diplomats were at that time in Dal’coler. Possibly we soon witness an angry ambassador of Shadowborns. I won’t be surprised if they accuse us of lack of protection.”

Lorian digested that in silence. The curious and intense look on Nymre’s face urged him to say something.

“The tides shift and the moon takes crimson colors. This is only the beginning. The gods are restless” darkness in his voice, ominous tone which moved the raven fey more than her own news.

“Very, Lorian. I should go with it to your father first. But I am your spy. And it’s you who found that human” she said with faked scorn. “If he is what he is, you should call him as soon as possible.”

“Preparing such an untrained person will either way take ages” Lorian clicked with his tongue.

“He really took the magic as well as you say?”

“Even better!” Lorian’s lips formed an ironic smile. “He is drenched with it. I feel it even through his dreams. My vision shows his enormous potential. But—“

“But?”

“He is filled with rage, fear and hatred. He is the opposite of the magic I offered him. And he is stupid” added Lorian, nonchalantly.

“Fire can burn in the night. You know that, my high prince” said Nymre, half teasing him.

Lorian’s gaze landed on her body once again. They never denied the magnetism they felt for each other, nor did they deny the temptation they always had when the other was around. Nothing ever could stop them from taking what was theirs.

Lorian took her by her hand and dragged her towards himself, tightly pressing her against his chest. Nymre sighed. His hand brushed the base of her wings on her back, which was especially fragile place. She stiffled another sigh.

“We are on the balcony, Your Highness” she reminded him.

“That’s why I will only do this…” and he pressed his lips to hers. They melted within each other. Through Nymre’s mind a glimpse of Lorian’s emotions passed and they were so strong that she gasped. They were fierce, and passionate, like a storm after a long drought. She pushed him back.

“Not here” she scolded him. “You are hot-headed and awful.”

“But that’s why you always fall for my charm” teased Lorian, trying to pry her again, but she sneaked out from his grasp.

“I need to return now. My people wait for me, we have much to do. But…”

“There is always some tiny… clever… delicious but” his black eyes drilled her through and she felt that she couldn’t say no to him.

“But I can return a few hours later.”

“A few hours! You are spoiling me.”

She wanted to toss a mean remark, but as a result, she only laughed. He was right. She was spoiling him. And he was spoiling her. They were spoiled, hopeless, and filled with fire.

They were after all High Fae. Hopeless creatures, wild as the wind and dangerous as the night.

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Forest is where I belong. My gods live there.