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Chapter VII: Be My Guest – Part III

Work in progress. Dos, will be heavily rewritten. It’s an early stage.

 

Tiyan almost crept behind Nostel to the balcony surrounded by ivy and luminescent flowers – which were already starting to open their cups, touched by the spreading dusk. The sun, shining on the sparkling snow, slowly sank beyond the horizon, piercing the distant mountains with its tired light. Mountains he had never heard of and which he would have known nothing about until now if it weren’t for the pixie who made it a point to explain every incomprehensible thing in the fae palace.

“Pretty, isn’t it,” Nostel asked, leaning on the railing. She couldn’t reach high, but she quickly remedied this by climbing onto the flower-covered marble. “The sunsets in Dal’coler are exceptionally beautiful.”

“Everything here feels…” Tiyan had no idea how to put this feeling into words. The fear slowly passed, the memory of Lorian’s predatory shadows was pushed away by the magic of this place.

“Enchanted?” Nostel narrowed her eyes. “Don’t be surprised, human boy. That’s why most people stay here, even though their first reaction is desperation and fear. Dal’coler has a spell in it that works not only on your kind.”

“On you too?”

Pixie laughed brilliantly, as if bells were ringing together. A sound both charming and disturbing in the mouth of a living creature. It was surprisingly sad laughter, touched with strange melancholy.

“Oh yes. We came here as victims of the war with humans. Fugitives from Makarsal.”

Tiyan had wanted to say something for some time now, but the last sentence made him forget what.

“What, how so, war with humans?” he narrowed his eyes, almost sure he was about to hear that the High Fae had sent less powerful magical folk to use them as shields.

“Oh, they probably don’t teach you that in Avras, my poor boy,” the pixie’s pale eyes showed glints of sadness. “But it wasn’t the High King who attacked your people first. You were the first.”

“Impossible.” Tiyan gritted his teeth. Yes, impossible. The Fae who murdered half of his family, bloodthirsty, powerful, and fearsome, would certainly not allow humans to attack other magical creatures. The Fae who used their powers to possess his race, to force their obedience and make them pay in blood for every head held too high, were aggressors, predators, feeding on the souls of humans.

Impossible.

“But still,” Nostel now looked overwhelmed by the news she carried, but not enough to spare him. “It’s the Kilyans’ fault, of course. And the people. No one is blameless when everyone is to blame. When the people, eager for the lands that the Kilyans had once taken from them, attacked Makarsal, Tinyen, the Shadow Lands… The High Fae didn’t want to help us. They were too busy with their own court intrigues, too busy with their own power. The Kilyans are a self-absorbed, dark kind. Not always cruel, but vain and able to do monstrosities alongside with great good. But when we asked for asylum, when the humans took away our homes… they gave it to us. But they demanded a price.”

Tiyan listened, as if thrown into a vortex of nightmares from the past, a past he could not remember.

“We had to give them our tribute once they took them from the humans. And our hearts too, hearts that would forever belong to them. But it wasn’t them who were killing us without remorse. They weren’t the ones who brought fire and iron to us. It was your race. Humans. ”

“But…”

“I’m sorry you’re hearing this from us. But the war wasn’t just the fault of the fair folk.”

There was silence on the balcony. A wolf howled in the distance, and Tiyan could almost hear the reproach in the beast’s voice. It was new, new and… sad. People suffered a lot from Kilyans, but how much did magical beings that humans treated with steel suffer? Because Tiyan no longer doubted that Nostel was telling the truth. There was too much sadness in her eyes when she talked about her exile.

“Was it the King…?”

“Yes,” Nostel nodded. “King Marn’sul Dal, along with his firstborn, Lerrel, took the oath from us. Giving us eternal protection and taking our tribute. And then he ordered his sons to lead the fae army to destroy human aggression. And human resistance.”

“And Lorian?” Tiyan couldn’t help but ask.

“Of course he was there too. He was one of the generals in that war. His shadows were murderous to humans.”

Tiyan closed his eyes. The more he learned, the more he wanted to sink into the ground. As Leira said, nothing was black and white. The grayness was tying the hands and covered the horizon with a sad ashen color.

Leira knew. Of course. She couldn’t live in Dal’coler for long and did not know. To the lesser fae, humans were bloody invaders. How many of them still hated them? How did Leira get here, what were her motives? How could one live with the knowledge of all of this?

Tiyan preferred not to know.

No, he preferred to know. All.

“Tell me about it,” he choked out with masochistic persistence.

“We’ll tell you,” Nostel smiled slightly. “One day. But for now… it’s not the time for it. We have a guest” she did a small, delicate curtsy. ” Lady Nymre… it’s a honor to see you.”

Forest is where I belong. My gods live there.

2 Comments

  • JuliTelperion

    That was a big revelation. I didn’t expect humans to be the ones who started it, but I can’t say I’m too surprised either.
    Now, I was starting to think that Nostel was Nymre “disguised”. 😁

    • Lorian

      Yes, humans can fight territorial wars pretty well. We know that they are capable of great evil.
      But they didn’t expect it to backfire.

      Ah, that would be pretty much perfection 🙂

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