Part I – Birthday Gift
It had been almost a year now since she had come to a new world, a winding road to find her place and a transformation from Human to Aasimir, a rare super natural race with a lot of power, but this was her world now. While she still largely lived at the Mansion, had her evening meal and still had her wardrobe, Kane had built her a standalone cottage on the edge of the grounds, and this was where she now spent a large proportion of her time, aided as always by the faithful Annie as her trusted assistant.
Her world had changed not by choice but largely by design, her cottage had a room that was stocked with supplies and talismans and poultices and served as her office for her work as the Realms healer. While others could heal and stem illness, she was the only one charged with truly helping the sick and unwell, she had in her time already aided in preventing a sickness which ripped through Dentarius killing almost a dozen people before she was able to end it.
The village also now had a large building toward the back that served as a hospital, here three white mages worked full time and would call on her if things more drastic were required. She was happy in her life and thoughts of her human life were becoming much less frequent now.
Today was a special day however and so her mind was indeed on the mortal realm, today was her birthday, she had been keeping track of the days with a calendar that Kane had gotten her a month or so after she arrived, it seemed in Dentarius the world was less inclined to care about the days but it was the one thing she liked, it brought a sense of order to her life helped keep her focused on a day to day basis, but it had only just occurred to her that birthdays probably had less relevance here.
The warm scent of the gardens blasted through the room signalling a visitor was now in her office and so she closed her diary and made her way to the door a smile immediately breaking over her face.
“Well hello stranger, what brings you to my humble cottage?” She grinned
“I would like you to join me by the lake, just you and I for a picnic; I will pick you up in about an hour?” Kane smiled softly and immediately her brain melted into a mess of passion and happiness
“Oh, yes of course I can’t wait” Stacy replied softly
“Good, don’t worry about dressing up, it’s only the two of us” A wicked smiled crossed his face and he was gone.
Stacy stood for a moment thinking it through then turned only to collide with Annie who was sent back to the floor on her ass.
“My apologies mistress” She smiled up from the floor
“None needed Annie, I was a little preoccupied, and how are you this morning?” Stacy replied
“Very good mistress, I will be heading to town soon to deliver supplies to the hospital for you, is there anything else we need?”
“No, not today, Kane and I are going for a picnic so I won’t be home when you get back OK” Stacy smiled softly, Annie grinned and nodded as she now proceeded to pull herself back to her feet.
The hour passed without much more to it as she finished getting herself ready, even without a need to dress up, for Kane she did anyway, a lighter top that showed a lot of her breast and lower stomach, pants that clung to her body in every way, as she watched herself in the mirror she couldn’t help but smile, she liked the way things were with Kane, a relationship that actually carried little pressure or conflict, she now largely came and went as she desired and he watched over her as always, thankfully she had no more rough experiences since the events in the market and that was good for her.
“Ready?” Kane asked he popped his head through the door of her room
“Oh yes!” Stacy squealed in both surprise and happiness
“You look fantastic” He added and that was that they headed out of her cottage and to the stables, in the stable was a brand new elegant white horse saddled and ready as he handed the reigns to her smiling softly.
“Meet your new mere, yours and yours alone the first of your gifts today, trust me when I say she is to be looked after” The last part of Kanes words were oddly cryptic but Stacy grinned like a child anyway
“I will, oh of course I will, Thank you Kane”
Kane mounted his own dark grey horse sliding his sword into its sheath at the horse’s side and they were off.
They never spoke a word as they trotted through the forest, her new horse so fluid in movement as if it knew her and so made her ride infinitely more gentle than she was used to, the bad thing about horseback was the sore butt from been slapped about the saddle, but she had gotten used to things over the past couple of months, they emerged from the forest into a clearing that ran down onto the lakes shoreline, a tree trunk had been carved into a bench and another section into its table, a nature made picnic table, this was where they sat together.
He pushed a box in front of her, tall and wrapped in some form of silver paper she suspected he had actually been to the mortal realm to retrieve both the box and the wrapping paper as she had yet to see anything resembling that kind of thing here.
“What’s that for?” She asked softly
“Your birthday” Kane replied softly “While it’s a rather mortal concept I know for you right now it would be a big thing, and so I decided to give you a gift, and help you celebrate this occasion”
“I’ve never seen anyone else celebrate a birthday here” She mused softly
“We do, the young ones at least for a while, they tend to count less after 150 or so” Kane shrugged softly with a smile “Even less when you get to my age”
“How did you know” She asked gently as she eyed the box a moment
“I’ve been watching you long enough to know” He replied softly then pushed the box closer “Now come on open it”
Slowly she peeled back the paper and the box was an elegant wooden box, much like the one she now kept her Grimoire in in her room at the Mansion, as she opened the box there was a necklace, elegant silver and jewelled, the chain was of pure silver she simply knew, it then peaked with a silver bar that was inlaid with jewels, diamond among them others she didn’t know but were just as bright and beautiful, a soft smile curled her lips.
“Good” He smiled taking it and helping place it round her neck, the jewels hung hover just above her breasts; the chain simply seemed to fit another of those things the realm was good for, if it didn’t fit when you put it on a few moments later it usually fit fine.
She leaned up kissing him gently and he returned her kiss. A lingering long kiss before she settled back into the bench.
“So where’s the picnic?” She grinned
He simply smiled and lent into her neck, a long lingering kiss agai9nst her neck which sent shock waves through her, it was always amazing to her just how hard his small act on her body had the biggest effect.
“Right here” He breathed against her ear, as his drew her to him and she laid sprawled out over his body, her eyes looking deep into his.
Part II – Summoned
There was a knock at her door that caught her attention as she placed down the bowl of liquid she had been furiously stirring for the last ten minutes, crossing to the door at the rear of her cottage and placing her foot behind the door cracked it open just a little.
“Can I help you?” She asked the young man stood before her, a young knight by the look of him but not one of the people she recognised, he wasn’t wearing the Guard uniforms of the Dentarius forces or those of Elcarus Mansion, but the white and red lion on his chest plate she could swear she recognised.
“Good afternoon milady, I am Joseph Swain and I am charged with delivering a message from the Royal Court at Elvera” He stated and her heart froze instantly she felt a cold feeling settle into the very pit of her stomach as she also saw Kane making his way down toward the cottage.
“I, um … please continue” She stammered as she saw Kane was now within ear shot of the conversation
“You are hereby summoned to attend the royal court of Elvera on the day two moons from now, failure to do so will result in” He squealed as Kane caught him by the collar and then snapped the scroll from his hand, reading it through and then letting the young knight free he turned to her
“You don’t have to go, she actually has no rights on this land, while she can throw me in prison she cannot physically seize or take anything, and you my friend would do well to remind of her of that fact, by the Treaty of Dentarius, she herself signed, what happens on my land is my business and no others” Kane snapped though his tone was considerable calmer than the norm for him
“I am merely delivering the message milord, as instructed to do so by Lord Varrow” The knight squeaked in reply, clearly Kane’s reputation had proceeded him and the poor knight was in essence addressing the former Commander of the Everland Army.
“Hmm, still she says no” Kane replied firmly only to cause Stacy to glare at him
“I will be there, damnit Kane I can speak for myself” She bit back causing him to look up a little startled
“You don’t have to answer to Ascondia” Kane replied
“Be that as it may, I do have to answer to the whole realm Kane, I am Healer to Realm, not to Dentarius” She replied now trying to appeal to his more sensible side
“Fine, tell her we will be there, and for the record I’m not looking, nor am I asking for an invite, I’m her appointed guardian” And with that the knight took off down the driveway away from the mansion, probably glad to get away from Kane.
She opened the door and motioned him in; he took the invite and slumped into a chair beside the table.
“You said there was a change coming Kane, you can’t deny me opportunity to explore the rest of my homelands surely?” She stated softly her fingers caressing the gems of her necklace thoughtfully “But I’m glad you’ll be with me, there is no one else I’d rather travel with”
“Trust me if I don’t go, you won’t be coming home, while I may no longer answer to Ascondia or the royal court they don’t mind making my life a little less pleasant” He sighed softly
“So out of curiosity, just how long a time is two moons?” She asked gently
“Two days” Kane replied flatly
“But you said Elvera is over a month away” She whined in reply
“It is” Kane replied again the same flat tone though she suspected it wasn’t aimed at her
“Then ….” She began to speak as he stood
“Be ready to leave in an hour” Kane sated softly kissing her forehead and leaving her to her thoughts, a dark panic rising in her chest, she had felt this before the first night her step father crept into her room, she was just thirteen that night and it had scared her so badly she had locked her room for a whole year afterward.
She swallowed down the panic and made her way to her room in the cottage, packing a small bag she looked out of the window toward the town, before looking back to the bag and sighed softly. Finally she made her way into the courtyard of the Mansion and toward Kane who was stood pacing the ground his eyes furrowed in frustration as he saw her he looked up and smiled softly.
“Ready?” He asked, she knew this happy tone was forced and a show to keep her focused so she allowed it and nodded with a smile, he placed a letter in her pocket as he took her hand and drew her close “When they call you give the Inquisitor that, now hold on tight, I haven’t done this in a while”
A blinding light filled her eyes and a roar in her ears as the world around them dissolved to nothing, she felt dizzy for a few moments before the world dissolved back in around her this far from the one she’d just left, the town before her was much darker, real road wound into town which was much darker and more Victorian looking, like an old 20’s style city, she knew they were in Elvera even if she were at a loss as to how, a sudden cry cut the air and she felt Kane been torn away from her.
“Lord Kane Elcarus, you are hereby charged with treason and remanded to custody of the Royal Court” Kane wasn’t bothering to fight as he was pushed to his knees and cuffed behind his back.
“Kane?” She whimpered softly as he looked up a soft smile
“You’ll be OK” He replied softly as he was hauled to his feet and led away. A few moments later and she heard movement behind her as she turned to see Aerian behind her she breathed softly
“They arrested Dad?” She asked calmly
“Why?” Stacy managed to force out
“It doesn’t matter, come on” Aerian took her hand and led her into town, to a small hotel building; she got them a room and then guided her inside the room closing the door behind them.
“One room?” Stacy blinked
“One room, I need to keep my eyes on you at all times, something is going on and I don’t want you or dad getting killed” Aerian replied firmly
“Does he know you’re here?” Stacy replied quickly
“No, I saw the messenger from the roof, I waited til you and Dad left then followed, kind of glad I did, you and me need to get him out of this mess, he’s in this mess to protect you but … “ She paused a moment “Mom doesn’t exactly need an excuse to kill him, or you”
“Kill him? For what?” Stacy sputtered
“If she can’t have him, then no one can” Aerian sighed softly
“Didn’t your mother remarry?” Stacy snapped back
“She did, for show, for control, he is king in name only” Aerian replied softly, as she was looking at Stacy there was a knock at the door which caused Aerian to push Stacy into the corner and draw her weapon “Stay down and stay quiet”
Aerian placed her foot to the back of the door and her knee to brace the door from been forced open as she slowly eased back the latch and opened the door a little.
“What are you doing here?” Asked a voice
“Stopping Dads new girlfriend getting killed or worse” Aerian bit back coldly “Why are you here?”
“To collect the girl, why else? You know as well as I do that she belongs to the realm not to be kept by your father as some show piece” The voice snapped and in that moment she instantly knew it was the Hareavor “Hand her over and no one gets hurt”
“Mmm, no and if I was you I’d leave before” there was a clatter and Aerians grip of the door was snapped from her as Hareavor barrelled through the door hitting the ground in a heap, a hooded figured loomed over him as he rolled onto his back to avoid been kicked, Aerian caught the arm of the assailant and he looked at her as she shook her head.
“Let him go, let’s do what we came here to do and get them both out of here alive ok” Aerians voice was level and tested now as she turned to Hareavor “Next time I don’t stop him, next time you’re on your own”
Hareavor scrambled up and left as Aerian closed and locked the door behind him, Stacy eased herself from behind the curtain looking a little more confused than she had a few moments ago.
“Your timing sucks” Aerian growled punching the hooded figure in the arm
“You’re still alive aint you?” The figure replied as he removed the hood Stacys mind spun another who looked very much like Kane, his hair was shorter just his shoulders and his face was a little more sharp “They are going to execute him Aerian, you know that right?”
“And mom would have executed her if he hadn’t come, what choice did he have?” Aerian replied calmly
“Is she worth it?” The man replied which caused Stacy to shift awkwardly
“Oh right yea, Uncles Hades this is Stacy Ravensfield, Dad’s new girl and yes she is worth it to him, she is Sarantha’s replacement, and she is good too, really good in fact” Aerian a soft smile tugged Aerians lips
“Then we need a stay of execution” Hades stated softly “And that isn’t going to be easy”
Part III – Gravity of a Situation
They had spent a while talking, little of which Stacy understood as Hades had laid information he’d found or beat from various castle guards and workers, information Aerian had as well allowed them to form some kind of plan, which essentially boiled down to the fact that the town couldn’t know Hades or Aerian were around while they worked behind the scenes to keep her safe.
“Did he say anything before you left?” Hades asked her now
“No, just gave me a letter for some inquisitor guy” Stacy replied placing the folded parchment on the table which was quickly snatched up by Aerian and read
I Lady Ravensfield do hereby request the council of my maker Lord Kane Elcarus to testify to my nature and signed rights here in the Everlands, I formally decline to answer any questions without my council present and deny all requests made by the High Council until these requests are met.
“You know you’re supposed to sign this right?” Aerian smiled softly
“He’s good” Hades smiled softly
“Indeed, this is our stay of execution, now we just need to convince them that executing him is a really bad idea” Aerian replied “Well done Stacy you just stalled them killing him”
“Well time for me to go, Aerian you know how to signal me if needed I’ll be close enough by, keep her safe” Hades replied and then in a burst of silver flame he vanished leaving the two of them alone.
“I will admit I had my doubts about you, but I’ve watched, my Dad was right to believe in you, he saw what no one else could, that’s why he’s in this mess, he knew coming here would get him arrested, pretty much stepping outside of Dentarius ensured that, and he did so for you, now we get him out alive” Aerian smiled softly
“How?” Stacy replied trying to keep down the emotion in her voice
“We have it covered, just go to your date tomorrow, hand in the letter, when they bring dad in tell him to call for me, Hades and I will do the rest” Aerian smiled closing the curtains “Try not to worry, we’ve done this before”
Stacy crawled into bed mentally and physically drained as she curled up and sighed, it took her brain a moment to register Aerian slipping into bed behind her only for her mind to remind her they were in one room.
“You’ll be OK” Aerian pressed a hand to Stacys back for a moment then shifted away
“Aerian, can I ask you something?” Stacy breathed softly her body reacting oddly to Elvera as if all she wanted to do was run
“Yea, sure” Aerians reply was simple
“Why didn’t you kill me?” Stacy kept her tone level beneath the wave of emotion that somehow threatened to break through, she had found balance in Dentarius and that was now drastically upset in a way she could never account for, odder still was her biggest ally was the one person she was sure hated her.
“Because it wasn’t you’re time” Aerian replied quickly
“You’re lying” Stacy replied carefully
“OK, you got me, so fine, I knew you could save my father” Aerian replied softly causing Stacy to turn and look at her questioningly “I haven’t seen my father look this complete in a long time, I never thought he’d survive loosing Raven, I was convinced when he left he had gone to die, when I found out he’d returned and I was hired” She stopped for a moment then breathed “I was hired to kill you, I figured you were going to leave and finish him off, the moment I stepped into the mansion I felt it, I felt the power that only exists when my father is whole, that’s why they drew him away, the entire Everlandian Army couldn’t survive an Elcarus on Elcarus ground and they know it, you give him strength, you focus him, in that moment I couldn’t do it, so I missed, you went down and my employer left knowing he couldn’t touch me or you”
“So you were hiding too?” Stacy asked softly
“Yes, but don’t think it’s because I had to, I can take care of myself” Aerian replied firmly
“Then you’re in danger here too” Stacy replied the gravity of the situation only getting worse
“Probably” She shrugged
“Thank you” Was all Stacy could find and it far from helped matters as she sighed settling her head her mind running far faster than her body could handle
“You should get some sleep, it’s only going to get worse tomorrow” Aerian whispered gently
“I wish I could” Stacy sighed
“Turn around” Aerian smiled pushing her away to her other side, Stacy too exhausted to argue merely complied as Aerian slid behind her, Aerians hands planted firmly at her shoulder and began massaging them in long firm motions, her mind slipping from focus then snapping back, her mind felt as if it were drunk yet she knew she wasn’t, again she forced her mind back to focus.
“Are you trying to seduce me Aerian?” Stacy mumbled
“No, relax, just let things happen” Aerian replied her hands slipped to the middle of her back and down along her sides then back again her mind went fuzzy as Aerian continued to work her back and lower body with her hands, she felt Aerians hand slip against her lower back and was then gone.
Part IV – Power of Court
Stacy woke that morning her mind a little fogged as she drew that first morning breath her mind was evidently aware of the sweet floral scent close to her, he eyes opened to the deep valley of flesh between Aerians breasts causing her to snap back and Aerian to stir in reply.
“Did you sleep well enough?” She asked as she adjusted her top to look a little more presentable
“I um … what did you do to me?” Stacy asked feeling a little awkward at that moment
“I am mostly demon, aside from the fact I inherited my grandmothers ability, which means I can heal minor ails, I’m not very good with white magicks but I can channel it quite well through body massage, which I used to help you sleep, not a sexual tone involved” Aerian replied with a soft smile
There was a knock at the door and Stacy looked to Aerian who placed a finger to her lips and leant in close to her.
“Tell them you’re coming, then get dressed and let them escort you to the palace, Hades is on the roof so you’ll be OK, when you get there and things begin the Inquisitor will ask if you have any words simply say yes then hand them the letter, after that let my father do the talking, just remember to get him to call for me, have you got all that?”
“Just a minute!” Stacy called nodding to Aerian who slid out of bed and then dropped behind it so she was out of the line of sight; Stacy peeled out of bed and got herself dressed before opening the door to a rather surly looking man armed to the teeth.
“Good morning milady, I have the duty of escorting you to the palace for your hearing” He stated in a rather business like tone, Stacy simply shrugged and closed her room door following the lead of the guard, the street wound down a little then opened out into the castle court yards, the palace was really hard to miss a huge castle that seemingly stretched forever into the sky backed by the mountains it looked like a true fantasy place, they made their way in and then along a narrow hall into what was very much a court room, in the centre sat a woman around 20 years old fiery dark hair and it was hard to miss the fact she was Aerians mother, beside her sat two gentlemen one rather gangly looking he was older and had spectacles, the other looked very much like the man who’d escorted her here, it was he who motion her to a desk before the table they were sat at.
“Does the summoned have anything to say before proceeding begin?” Asked the surly Inquisitor
Stacy nodded and then offered him the parchment which was quickly snatched up by one of the many appointed members of court, he took a moment to read before offering it Ascondia who suddenly looked rather irritated by things and took sometime before she nodded and waved off one of the guards.
It seemed to take forever but finally she saw Kane been brought in shackled at both ankles and wrists, he looked a little less composed than usual but he was alive at least, slowly they led him to her table and he slid down beside her.
“Are you OK?” He asked softly
“Aerian said to call her” She replied “But yes I’m fine”
Kane looked puzzled a moment then nodded softly, it didn’t take long before Aerian entered the room together with Hades, who now looked both normal and she saw the resemblance to Kane clearly.
“Hi Mom, we’re with them” Aerian grinned and then joined them at the table as Stacy watched Ascondia she noted that her face barely twitched in reply to the scene before her, finally the surly inquisitor began.
“You have been summoned by Queen Ascondia, as a newcomer to the realm you have been given power, you are responsible for the wellbeing of us and we would like to ensure you are up to the task set before you, would you like to speak on this?”
“No” Stacy replied softly keeping her eyes on the table now
“Then your path is set and you will be” He hadn’t time to finish as Kane cut him off
“Let’s call this what it is shall we? A power struggle, placed in play by the High Council, because you seem to think you have rights over the whole realm, you’ve fallen a long way Ascondia you placed a puppet King in power to look strong but we both know that’s far from true, they have the power and now they are trying to control anything they deem a threat, which means me, which also means you had plans to draw me here regardless” Kane spat angrily
“And you bring your daughter for back up?” Replied the inquisitor
“Actually that was my choice, I kinda followed him, knew he’d get arrested the second he stepped out of the portal, which means you had a free shot at the healer, sorry to spoil your plans” Aerian growled in reply
“And the failed experiment?” He followed with clear irritation
“The failed experiment is the reason you are still alive, you may want to remember that, however the last five years you’ve been gathering power, assembling an army in secret and planning to rule the realm by force, kind of against everything we stand for” Hades replied
“We are protecting our own, each time this realm is threatened we are the ones left to fend the threats off” The inquisitor replied
“Except you’re not, and when someone with power won’t join you remove them, Sarantha wanted no part of your plans, you had her killed, while the official reports will say the fire was elemental there is no truth to it, when my former wife refused to help you bring me back to the fold you had her executed, the High Council is looking out for something alright and that’s the power its slowly been taking from the Queen” Kane growled bitterly
“To blaspheme the Queen is treason!” The Inquisitor bit back angrily his voice rising
“Only if the Queen deems it so, and she isn’t saying a whole lot right now, which makes me, wonder, what the hell did they do to you?” Kane’s eyes narrowed coldly
“Nothing” was all she said
“The healer will be turned over to the capital, she will carry out her work from here within the castle, if you comply you can all leave” The inquisitor snapped desperately clawing for control of things
“And if she refuses?” Hades tone had dropped dangerously “While you may make the laws and decide the fate of the people, you cannot control free will, and doing so would only bring more trouble”
“You will be silent in this court room” The Inquisitor boomed and that was all the ammunition Kane needed
“I told you a century ago Ascondia, putting the High Council in place was a very bad idea, they were unhappy to sit as advisors and deal with lesser things, they have slowly built their power base and now they seek to take it from you, by removing the only people capable of standing up to them, you condemned her for being in love, having a child and for us then protecting that child” Kane spoke his voice smooth and cold now
“The child is an abomination to every law, a commoner making eyes with the Queen” The inquisitor choked angrily
“That child has seen more frontline time than the entire council combined, where were you when they realm was ravaged by dragon flame? Hiding in the lower levels of the Castle, hiding like cowards while we fought and died to protect your greedy fat behinds, even the Queen deemed a coward by you was hand to hand with Dragon Ground forces, stabbed twice, my brothers fell to protect this realm, even my father a homicidal lunatic threw his forces into the fray to protect this realm, every being in this realm knows Elcarus is the reason we survived, well and the Unicorns but still it was our sacrifices that brought them to us, we fought and we lost and continued to fight not hide like selfish cowards, which is why I’m chained up not because I knocked up the Queen, but because my family can and will defy you at every turn and you know it, you’re afraid of us” Kane snapped anger flowing through him like raging lava “And you should be, because I swear as long as Elcarus Mansion stands as a beacon of hope to this realm, we will fight and more to the point we will win”
“And we will defy you” Aerian added softly
“And where does the healer stand hmm? Have you actually bothered to ask her?” The Inquisitor breathed yet again Stacy suspected he was ducking the fact Kane had yet again hit the nail on the head, her mind was simply at this point lost as to what was going on “Well Healer?”
“I … um ….. no …..” She stammered looking to Kane.
“No what?” The Inquisitor asked annoyed at her lack of answer
“Relax you got this” Aerian smiled squeezing her hand gently
“I am where I am supposed to be, I like Dentarius, I feel home there, I feel safe, I want to stay there where he can protect me” She finally squeezed out
“Then she has spoken, and the High Council will respect that decision” Ascondia finally stated “Dentarius is a free realm and as such doesn’t answer to Elvera, as long as they are at our back when we need them, let them go”
“Kane is tried with crimes of treason against the crown, he is to be executed but the rest can go” The inquisitor snapped frustrated at been out smarted by them as a whole
“No, he committed no crime, he will be set free with them, you may to remember I AM the Queen” Ascondia snapped her tone now a more biting edge “However I want a private word with the Healer alone in my chambers, do I make myself clear?”
The scene was rather chaotic at this point as the various officials milled about and the guard was now unchaining Kane, Aerian patted her arm and pointed her to a woman now motioning her away as she was led to a room behind the court, inside stood Ascondia.
“Please come in” She spoke softly
“You just tried to kill my friends” Stacy replied as the door killed
“No, Kane is right the High Council has far too much power these days, even a marriage didn’t stall their ascension to power, but if we are to survive what is coming then I need Kane alive and I can only do that if he is in Dentarius, make no mistake I still love him, with every fibre of who I am, he saved me when no one else could, but I have been Queen of the Everlands since I was just 14, no one has ever gotten beneath my barriers like he did, and no one has since, but I can grant him one final protection and that is exile, from here” Ascondia spoke quickly “It is my decision that Kane Elcarus will live in exile of the capital never to return, if he does I cannot protect him, and he will be executed, you are bound to the realm, so it answers your call, when the time is right you will be needed to protect him and indeed us all”
“So you’re telling me to keep him away? To protect him as I would anyway?” Stacy replied
“No I’m telling you to protect my family, my daughter, my love and his brother, you will need all their strength” Ascondia replied closing in on Stacy now she lent in close her lips brushed her ear “He may be yours now, but in his heart he will always be mine, remember that and keep him alive”
Stacy swallowed the pain down and looked at Ascondia calmly her eyes meeting the Queens pale grey as she tried to smile or even find a comeback she failed turning and leaving the room, as she passed Kane he caught her hand only for her to pull away awkwardly.
“We should go, you’ve been exiled”
As they exited the castle a warm rush took through Stacy and she knew instantly they were back in Dentarius the warm scent of fresh made bread filled her nose as she looked up to see the village.
“Much easier to void travel when there’s three of us” Hades smiled softly and then turned off heading down toward the village
“I’ll take her home dad, you should go talk to Hades” Aerian piped in catching them off guard as she smiled to Kane and then taking Stacy’s hand, and led her back toward her cottage.
Part V – Aerian
Aerian led Stacy to the kitchen of her cottage then guided her into a seat, Stacy’s mind was numb her body completely shot of anything at that point as Aerian put the kettle on the stove she began to let Ascondia’s words play in her head.
“You shouldn’t let mom get to you, that’s what she wants” Aerian cut through her thoughts causing Stacy to look and then furrow her brow in confusion as to how she ended up at her cottage.
“You don’t seem the biggest fan of the woman responsible for bringing you into this life” Stacy bit angrily
“No I’m not, and while she may have given birth to me” Aerian stopped in her train of thought “She really exiled him?”
“Yes, to protect him, she said” Stacy sighed folding her hands on the table and resting her head upon then hiding the tears
“From what I wonder” Aerian replied slowly before setting a cup in front of Stacy “If you let her get to you, it’s what she does, twists your mind until down is up and nothing make sense, if you can’t focus, you won’t fight back”
“Against what” Stacy snapped “What would you know? You tried to kill me, you’ve hated me from the moment you arrived, you play people Aerian until the pieces fit and you get what you want”
Aerian snapped her blade and drove it into the table in front of her, her eyes flashed angrily as she looked at Stacy her face set in a cold determination she had seen once before.
“If I hated you, trust me you’d be dead, I saved you in the Mansion is saved you in Elvera, they would have taken you and locked you away, or worse, you’re a threat to them, probably more than every one of us, do you even know who you really are?” Aerian smiled, a dark cold look that could only be taken as something Stacy would eventually regret
“I’m the realms healer, I keep people healthy” Stacy shrugged
“Yes, you are and you do but my Dad chose not to tell you the real depth of your power, I know he gave you the Grimoire, I also know you’ve never read it, but in that book is the power of the realm itself, you can kill, revive, even make people disappear just by uttering a few words, you are unlimited power and in the wrong hands you’re a weapon” Aerian beamed as if delivering some truth
“A weapon, that’s funny Aerian” Stacy replied
“Sarantha is the reason this realm still exists, you see the Dragon War was no act of random assault, Dragons have held back for generations by various magicks and spells, but they got through, Sarantha is the one who called the Unicorns in, she’s the one who gave my family the power to hold them off” Aerian spoke gentle and yet the pain in her voice all too clear now “She was killed because she was a threat, while ever she was around our family had the power to do as we wished, almost anyways, they tried to convert that power by taking Raven all they did was break my father, beyond repair, we figured he was dead you know”
“You left, Hades left, it seems your family invites death wherever it goes” Stacy replied
“Not by choice, and after the war it’s true we were all scattered, Hades pulled me out of the burning wreckage of the mansion, we went to Elvera, I healed and Hades worked for the Council for a while, I went off on my own” Aerian stopped looking out of the window for a few moments
“You were a criminal, a thief” Stacy quickly reminded her
“Girls got to live” Aerian replied playfully “Besides there’s not much in this realm for someone with my skill set, so yea, I became a thief, but I only ever took things that won’t have long term effects and if I didn’t like the buyer I moved it on myself, but when I was hired to kill my dad’s new mortal girlfriend, I wondered if he had really fallen that far, when I then heard you’d saved him I began to wonder, it took me a while to find you but eventually I figured he’d head home, and when I arrived I knew, I could feel my dad, not the fragile man he was when Raven died but the powerful man I respected, the man who raised me, the man who’s blood flows through my veins and I knew killing you was a bad idea” Aerian spoke
“So you stabbed me anyway, left me to die” Stacy sighed softly
“I already explained that part, and you’re not dead, and more importantly right now neither is he, but you both need to get it together, something is coming and you’re not ready for it, we will probably all wind up dead” Aerian took Stacys hands leaning over the table “I swear to you from here on out I have your back”
“He fixed me too, but I’m not your mother, how am I supposed to compete against her?” Stacy sighed softly
“You’re not, and you don’t need to, they can’t be ever, the politics almost killed them both last time, they know they can’t be, while my mother remains in hope he hasn’t, it may seem cruel but he had to move on or he would had driven himself insane, the realms, the towns, they all knew and yet he walked away because as hard as they fought for each other it wasn’t worth screwing me up worse, you don’t need to compete with my mother because you’ve already won him over, he offered his life for you without a second thought, he knew how it would go and I dare say he’s surprised he got out alive, but he is alive, you need to stop looking at what if or what was and focus on what will be, he also returned here for you, you might want to think about that” Aerian replied gently squeezing her hands
“Here?” Stacy wiped her eyes settling back
“He exiled himself after Raven, locked himself away from the realm so he would be left alone, and yet he brings you here and within a month he’s back home, re-opens the trade routes of the mansion and Dentarius as if he never left, to protect you, for you” Aerian added quickly
“He doesn’t need to protect me, he did, but he doesn’t now” Stacy replied her eyes beginning to finally find focus, Aerian looked somehow more wild than usual
“He knows and yet he does so anyway, you’re not the pretty human girl prize everyone thought you to be, he put you in the most powerful place in the realm, he put you in the firing line because he believes in you” Aerian smiled softly “We all do”
“So where has he gone?” Stacy finally asked feeling her composure finally beginning to settle in, her body settling back to the rhythm or the realm she was accustomed to
“Hades has information he needs, once he has it we can prepare” Aerian replied
“For what?” Stacy looked to Aerian who had softened from the hardened girl she first came to know
“I wish I knew, but I don’t, I really don’t and that scares me” Aerian sighed softly
“Hades knows?” Stacy replied gently
“Some, little, I don’t know, but with enough pieces Dad will work it out” Aerian replied softly
“So what do I do while you all go to war?” Stacy sighed gently her mind now a whir of confusion once more pieces of a puzzle bouncing inside her head
“You stay strong for him, as you have, his strength comes from you, I meant it when I said you make him complete, and that is the Kane we need to get through this because when the time comes whatever is coming is going to regret crossing us” Aerian replied the dark edge in her voice was all Stacy needed to know they’d be OK.
“Will you stay til Kane gets back?” She asked gently
Aerian smiled and pulled off her travel cloak as she stood and locked the door watching for a moment before returning to the table “Of course”