Chapter V: Slaves and Fools – Part III

Tiyan slowly put his clothes on. After the bath, his skin became more fragile, but the robe touch was a pleasant sensation. They were made of something resembling silk, but much smoother. Tiyan realized that he ponders, what spells were intertwined in it, to feel like a gossamer and still being able to work as a robe.

And he was aware that not only the robe. This whole place, beaming with strange calmth, had a sublime aura, something not unlike a dream. Positive feelings were forced into his mind, but he knew that Dal’coler can’t be anything more than a nest of vipers.

If vipers could live in the snow.

The bathroom’s cozyness was making him dizzy and it wasn’t necessarily a bad feeling. His fear and tension was washed by the water before and now kept away by this cozy, warm place. And he almost was grateful for it.

He remembered Lorian saying that… Leira will join him soon. He wanted her to come so he could face her and explain himself, because he started to feel guilty. He indeed didn’t have the right to judge her. Perhaps when she appeared once again, he would try to brush off the bad first impression. Humans should stick together in this place. He didn’t know how many of them were kept here, but when he sees another, he won’t be trying to jump to conclusion again.

He felt much better without layers of filth on his skin, wearing comfortable clothes worthy of royalty. He never was vain, but this was a treat which he decided to use to its limit. If they offer him rich robes, they probably won’t kill him in the next few days. His mind couldn’t stop writing scenarios though, in which Lorian kicks him to his knees and laughs from his naive hopes. He could stand against him, fight with him, even if he had no chance. But he would hate and loathe being humiliated.

Why would Lorian do it? He didn’t know. But his memories surged from time to time, showing in a flashes of a lightning how the fae murder the people from his village. Tiyan was torn between memories filled with blood and the feeling of peace that talked to him stronger and more insinstently with each hour.

He might not agree on anything they propose, but he can of course listen to what they have to say. Maybe he will be able to throw refusal into their faces, as a showcase of stubborn defiance.

There was a silent knock to the door and when they opened, he felt a scent of roses and tulips, caressing his senses. Leira appeared like a gust of wind, silent but very very real. Her golden hair danced around her face a wave made of pure sunlight.

Tiyan didn’t know how to start his explanations, because she surprised him again, cutting the thread of his thoughts. But she looked at him shrewdly, he saw an accusation in her eyes… and then her features were lighted up.

“You don’t need to say anything. I know you regret it.”

“You can read minds?” he raised a brow.

“No. But your inner struggle is very visible” she laughed. Tiyan almost cursed, but stopped himself on time. Bad impression could be done twice, after all. “Prince Lorian told me he takes you to the Chamber of Prophecies. Humans can’t go there without protective spells. Most of the fae also. It’s a very dangerous place.”

“And you…?”

“I will put that spell on you” she smiled mischievously. “Don’t make such a frown. If I have a chance, I like putting spells on unaware men, who enter my lair.”

“I see the fae sense of humor is contagious” he said, with a raised brow.

“If you only knew. But no. This sense of humor is completely mine.”

Tiyan without usual hesitation allowed her to approach him. She shook her fingers and looked at him intensely, this time completely seriously. Her nails ran over his hands, and surprise had to be well painted on his face, because she quickly explained.

“You must know that magic the High Fae pass on to others – like you and me, or any human they consider worthy – is different from their own. High Fae can use spells without gestures and words. The royalty, like King Marn’sul Dal or prince Lorian, can enter human minds or shape darkness, by mere thinking of doing so.”

“I know that all too well” interrupted Tiyan.

She pinned him to the floor with her gaze and continued.

“Magic passed on humans and magic of the lower fey needs gestures or words. And some kinds of spells… need touch. I possess this kind of magic.”

His whole being started to write scenarios again, faster than a flash of lightning, among the murmur of the thunder.

“So… Lorian offered you this… intimate magic..?” the sleeping volcano of Tiyan’s emotions again threatened to burst.

“Yes,” she replied, approaching even closer. Tiyan almost backed off. A insistent thought entered his brain and slowly wormed its way to his marrow.

“Did he…? Were you… his…”

Her expression couldn’t be more disappointed now. He knew that he offended her, even without looking at her face or hearing irritation in her voice. Her composure calm as a silent snow, but it was even worse than an outburst of righteous anger.

“Why do all men think only about one thing? It’s not of your interest, but no. I never was “his” in any way your mind has brewed up. Magic chooses itself how to bloom in a human body, it wasn’t even his own choice, silly winter child.”

Tiyan felt as deep shame washed over him with cold streams. He promised to himself, a few moments ago, to never judge or jump to conclusions and here he was, doing the very same.

“I don’t need a knight on a white horse, Tiyan Markon” she spoke, starting to pull his sleeves up, on which he didn’t protest “I am not a naive girl, used by an evil fae prince. Maybe I don’t have a high position here, but I am trusted and I can do much more than clean bedrooms or do laundry.”

“I am a fool” he admitted, when her hands started to circle over his arms and hands, sometimes pressing, sometimes just brushing against the skin.

“Yes. Yes, you are,” she patted him condescendingly on the warmed up cheek.

And she got lost completely in the magic that traveled from her veins to his skin, sending shivers down his spine.

The magic was a bolt of energy, which was causing his hair to stand up and electrify. Everything in him was attracted to the spell she woven, like his tendons, muscles and nerves wanted to jump from him and stick to Leira like a sanguisuge. And there was something extremely sensual to it, which again made Tiyan angry. How many humans possessed this kind of power and how many of them the fey…

She told you that it’s not your bussiness.

Stop being an idiot.

“You still compare sizes with prince Lorian in your thoughts” murmured Leira, a small and very mocking smile dancing on her lips. Tiyan felt exposed and stopped thinking at all.

He sighed, when she stopped, unfurling his sleeves again and withdrawing her hands. Tiyan looked at his own body and saw that a frail mist envelops him, light and breezy. He didn’t feel anything… aside from shame mixed with… peace from her delicate touch, still lingering over his skin. Elusive but strangely familiar.

She judged her craft with a wry expression and a charming grin crept in again, lighting her features even more intensely. There was something slightly predatory in it.

“Perfect. Delicious. Now you are ready to be sacrificed to the monster” she complimented him.

He didn’t swallow the bait.

Forest is where I belong. My gods live there.

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