Chapter IV: Locked in the Heart of Darkness – Part III

Black eyes. Like two coals, dark and hungry. And this voice, whispering straight into my head, brushing nerves and soothing pain. Why do you do this? Why do you help me? You wanted my demise so much that you cursed me. And now, you drill a hole in my skull, to sip from my memories and consciousness. You bathe in my blood and in my sanity… Why? Why all of this? Why are you tormenting me now, when I am most vulnerable?
“You are so overdramatic.”
What? Why do you follow me like an apparition?
“But you showed a lot of stamina. I am impressed.”
Tiyan opened his heavy eyelids, which burned with unshed tears. Three nights with inquisitor’s touch made him lose hope but not his inner stubborness and strength. He hanged in his own lifeline like a man drowning in a bog on a rope. His whole body was sore, though and even if he knew that he didn’t have any real wounds, he felt like his insides were torn from him and pushed back again, alongside with sharp needles and dirty rags.
This voice though…
“Ah, at last.”
The voice wasn’t sounding in his head, nor he lost his mind. The fae that tormented him for years took form, and now was standing in the other corner of the cell, looking at him with unhealthy curiosity.
And he was naked.
Tiyan cursed, trying to understand what really is happening. The pain still numbed him, but the sight of a bare fae in his own prison cell, in the freezing cold in which even dogs had to wear clothes to not lose the inner warmth, was too much for him.
And there was something off to him. Not that he knew how the fey should look like. But his aura was glittering and gleaming, forcing Tiyan to bow before him and beg and act like a fool.
The glamour.
All the fae used it and this one was not an exception. He heard of it, how the fae were forcing people to do the most dangerous and humiliating things because of this crafty little trait. But to his surprise, he wasn’t already making an idiot from himself in front of the Kilyan. He still had his free will. He decided to use it, as long as he can.
The fae seemed unaffected by the iron-enscrusted door he was leaning onto and the awful filth that reigned in Tiyan’s cell. More even, he seemed to enjoy the low conditions. As if this dirty place was a break from some kind of royal routine.
His black eyes drilled the human hunter through and through. His smile was predatory and dangerous, like a smile of an extremely vicious were creature that caught its prey and relished on its scent.
Perhaps it was part if this cursed enchantment too.
“So what?” Tiyan grinned at the fey, his cracked lips stretching in a wild expression. “You came here by yourself to stain your feet in the dirt and look at my suffering? I have bad news. I am not going anywhere.”
“Ah” the fae looked amused. “For sure you prefer the hot steel and finger screws applied to you by these unwashed inquisitors. Or maybe even a bit of something worse, much more… sophisticated? Shadow magic can be cruel. They’ve never seen the sun in the forest at morning but they surely know how to break people.”
“Finger screws better than a fairy court,” Tiyan spat.
Kilyan laughed. Even Tiyan had to admit it was a beautiful sound. He remembered a similar laughter, from long ago, from his childhood. This was indeed the same fey. The fey who saved him on the battlefield. The Kilyan who led his army to the battle in which half of his family was killed. Though now, he didn’t feel fear before him, he was not mesmerized, even if glamour was attacking his senses with fear and wonder. Just rage. Petrified, stone-hard anger.
“You are aware that you will die here. I am not lacking servants, my winter child. I have countless of them. They are obedient and devoted. I don’t need to save your thick skin, but I want to give you something humankind could never offer you, now or ever.”
“What?” asked Tiyan bluntly.
“Power. Relief. A place where you can develop your talents I gave you in that moment, when I saved your life.”
“So it was you, you dark bastard” Tiyan clenched his teeth. “I didn’t ask for that.”
“Yes, your kind always had death wishes and affinity for suffering. You would rather die than serve. Such strong backs, such rigid spines! Very admirable! I would say stupid, but you would feel offended.”
“How would you’ve guessed” irony oozed from the hunter’s tongue.
“The purpose of your life is to serve under me. That is the truth that you don’t want to but will embrace. If you are so reluctant to go with me, you will end up there in another way.”
“By force?” grinned Tiyan manically, feeling as his pained body tenses.
“No. On butterfly wings, carried by moths and fireflies” replied the fae, laughing again.
Beautiful sound.
The glamour perhaps didn’t work on him, but the spell that the Kilyan started to weave was more than effective. Even if Tiyan tried to fight it and refuse to be taken anywhere by this black-eyed monster, he was weak and in pain and his mind still was halfway to shut again on the reality.
Soon, he was sleeping, in the dirt and mud of the prison cell.
The fae crouched next to him. His long fingers brushed Tiyan’s hair, in a soft and loving caress. His throat produced a growl, like he was a waking beast, not a being that resembled humans. His hands started to blacken and talons rose on his fingers, long and deadly.
“You should thank me. You are given a chance to grow over your kind. And maybe, even maybe… to rise above us all. Better than death, don’t you think?”
And Lorian took him into the snow, talons deep in his ragged clothes, eyes flaming and wild, sharp maw filled with teeth forming a predatory grin.
Leaving the prison behind.
Carrying his Fox into the night, concealed by shadows, led by the midnight darkness.

Forest is where I belong. My gods live there.

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