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Chapter VII: Be My Guest – Part II

WORK IN PROGRESS.

 

He was furious. And felt betrayed by someone who he shouldn’t trust, but somehow began to. In comparison to his brother, Lorian seemed more reasonable and he turned out to be the same, or worse.

He cursed. Like a blow to his face, the fae didn’t  put guards before his room, no one chained him, no one seemed to even pretend they took precautions. He was so… easy to tame, that they didn’t even have to do it. It was a final insult, even if he possibly would hate it more, if they put him into a cell and started to treat like Praetor’s people did in Vennklan Valley.

He was well aware he acts like a child, but all of this, the faked patience and faked good will, was another brick to the wall he was slowly building between fae and himself, since his childhood. The wall became enormous and was made of iron, which burned the fey. He was childish, betrayed and completely aware it’s all futile.

He almost hoped that Leira would come and he would be able to tell her how good and kind her master is. He hoped for that, until he realized it’s even more childish and he is a man not a child. His actions were childish from the beginning, when he tried to test Lorian’s patience, insulting him with every sentence. When he thought that he could overpower him with irony and when he already knew his purpose, to play a person from whom their lives depended and who can dictate the rules. No. He acted like he was in a safe place, where he can prance and boast. But he wasn’t, and that he started to slowly understand. Lorian was not his childhood friend, who turned his back on him and now they can banter like peddlers.

But even knowing this, even knowing that he was stupid to trust and think he can get away with everything, he was scared… and that was making him hate even more. Because he was aware that he took everything for granted because Lorian was not killing him. Which was… not only childish. It was a death wish.

Everytime he heard footsteps before his door, he hoped it was Leira. He didn’t dare to go outside, he knew nothing protects him now, and if Lorian’s brother appeared again, he would be exposed. The tiny threads of her magic on his body dissipated and now, he was protected only by his own power.

Which was greater than other people’s.

Even magical. Even inquisitors.

That was so fantastical, that it was almost impossible. This magic was a curse… but he held a certain power. He could stop the fae prince from killing him directly. He could talk to animals. In their minds. A droplet of Lorian’s royal power entered him, and was in him since he was born. And got stronger when Lorian chose him on the battlefield.

He never considered himself a powerful, strong person. When he was younger, he was different and a lot of valley children laughed from his long limbs and slanting eyes. His skin was paler than the almost brown skin of people from Vennklan. After the war, he was treated like a traitor by many, because the fae carried him into the village, and left there, like a package with surprise.

And this surprise was his magic.

He was good at hunting. He managed to feed his family and the families, who lost their members in the war. But that was all. He was gifted with magic, but was as mundane, as it could get. This magic could make him more. But all he knew was that it destroyed his life in the Valley. But that wasn’t his fault. This was the fault of prejudice and fear and… his own perception.

He almost hoped all of this would change. That’s why he almost trusted Lorian. Because he was hoping for another life.

But Lorian was not a wish fairy. He could bring him power, but with certain thought in mind, with certain purpose. And Tiyan’s wishes were as irrelevant to him as a fly on the wall.

Fuck him. And fuck my hopes and my wishful mind.

There was also that enigmatic prophecy. His blood was to stop the god from killing all the fey. He would of course let them all die, he had no sentiments. The human realms would exhale with relief, after all, fae were the enemy. But, from Lorian’s words, he understood that humans were targets of the god as well. Now, when magic spread, all humans, even with a small dose of magic in them – and that meant almost all in Avras -would become the god’s target. And that meant that he held a much heavier burden on his arms than he thought. If he won’t agree to help, the whole Avras will literally die, with those who survive being scarce remains of humanity.

That was frightening. That was too much. But he had to think about it, because that was big, in a terrifying way. Nothing till now depended on him, he was passing through life like a butterfly without wings. And when he got them, he was too scared to fly.

Steps. Again. Closer. Leira.

When the door started to slowly open, he was sure it’s Leira. He stood up, and wanted to approach, to say something about how awful her master is, and how awful he, Tiyan, is as well, when the sight halted him in midstep.

A child. A child entered his room. With a plate filled with… yes, it had to be meat. Meat smelled of spices, strong and delicious and caused him to feel all his taste buds. She also carried wine and water and Tiyan for the first time realized how thirsty he was. He actually lost sense of time and an idea budded in him, that time here goes differently than in human realms.

“Greetings, human” the girl laughed and put the plate on the small filigree table. “We are Nostel. And you must be the newest enemy of the prince” seeing his unwise expression, the child girl laughed again. “We heard that you infuriated Prince Lerrel. That had to be a sight!” she clapped with her small hands. “If you want, you can do it again, we will watch with joy.”

Tiyan laughed. It was the shock and panicked laughter of a person who saw too much.

“Yes, laugh, human, laughter is good for the stomach” Nostel praised him. “And then eat, we will watch you as you do it. We can’t eat meat. We always wondered how it tastes.”

Tiyan felt tears appear in his eyes, from laughter. Surely. And from strange relief.

“Why can’t you eat meat..?”

“We are the pixie” Nostel looked at him and poked the plate. “We feed only on stardust and moon magic. And sometimes… on water and fruit” she blinked at him and smiled mischievously. “But very rarely.”

When Tiyan seemed to stare she poked the plate again and smiled.

“Eat. We will watch.”

An odd sensation filled Tiyan. If anyone told him so insistently to eat some food, he would be wary. But this… pixie seemed to really be indeed curious, not having any poisonous intent. She felt… honest.

Tiyan took the fork and and tearing a morsel, he put the bite into his mouth and chewed. It was really good. He never tasted such spices and he was never even aware such combinations of tastes are possible. And when he swallowed the first piece, the others followed it and soon, the plate was clear and Tiyan much happier.

“Humans are peculiar” summed it up Nostel. “You eat animals.”

“Don’t… High Fae too?” Tiyan asked, clearing the plate from the sauce.

“Only during celebration. Solstice. Aricosel. Namadan. And nights like that. You can walk from this room, you know?” She changed the subject. “You are not a prisoner. Prince Lorian said you are his guest. That never changed. Even if you did annoyed him much, from what we understood.”

These adult words in a child’s mouth seemed unreal. Even if she wasn’t a child at all. But… it looked like Lorian didn’t care he frightened him to death, and that was only showing how alien fey are. So inhuman.

“I doubt other fae think so too” he decided to omit Lorian’s place on all of this.

“Oh, but they do!” the pixie laughed. “They better do. Prince Lorian was very clear about it. If you are scared, we can accompany you. All High Fey are busy with the ball, and I doubt they will be very occupied with you. Here is plenty of humans. And only few  fae know who you really are.”

“And who I really am?”

“Prince Lorian’s special guest, of course!”

Tiyan raised a brow, but he realized, it’s his chance.

And of course, he agreed.

Everything is better than sitting here and crying over spilled milk. If he was a guest, he would squeeze as much as possible.

He drank the wine with two gulps and hoped that it isn’t enchanted, like the legends went.

“Lead then” he murmured, hoping as well that they wouldn’t bump suddenly on Lorian. That would be more than unwanted now. He still had to digest some things.

And forget how panicked he was, seeing the prince’s dark side.

Forest is where I belong. My gods live there.

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