[Ending A War] The Plan to End a War

Stacy had barely left the Master Suite since she had been found in the cells, there was a part of her that somehow felt guilty for what had occurred and the young female twin been placed in harm’s way and subsequently kidnapped. She didn’t mind admitting she was relieved when Aerian and Virra had returned with the child.

Ascondia had also been around for the most part, as she watched Kane and Aishani now there was a knot in her stomach, a realisation deep within that Kane no longer belonged to her, and that it was time to accept that fact. There was a dawning sense that she was needing to fix things with her own daughter, a puzzle she barely even knew where to start with.

Kane, on the other hand, had one arm around Aishani as he stared at his children, proud and concerned all in the same, “They are strong, even apart, our daughter is stronger than ever, our family is stronger”

As Kane referred to Aerian as their daughter Ascondia looked at him pain in her eyes now before she excused herself, it was hard even for her to hide the tears that flooded down her face before she left.

Aishani nodded, while leaning against Kane but glanced to the leave of Ascondia, sniffing the air a slight. “Excuse me, my love. It seems that Ascondia is crying, I can smell the salt. After I return we will name the children. We cannot have her upset at this time.” Aishani departed after a brief kiss to him and their children. Following the scent of Ascondia.

Ascondia had chosen one of her more favorite places to sulk, one of the towers around halfway up had a window that looked out over the forests to the rear. She wiped her eyes angrily now as she simply stared and watched, somehow trying to process this raging whirlwind of emotions that ripped at her from within.

A handkerchief was offered to her from behind, held by the sudden hand of Aishani. “What could possible have a Queen in tears?” The silky voice of Aishani purred.

“Just watching what I thought was all I ever wanted fall apart,” Ascondia stated darkly “I never thought I’d lose Kane if I just waited eventually he’d see we were supposed to be together. But it was never going to happen and I knew that the moment I saw you all those years ago, the way he looked at you, the way he looks at you makes your heart skip a beat. I hate him for it, he made me love and I destroyed that faith in us,” Ascondia looked at Aishani with a soft smile “You have your children to look out for you needn’t worry about my meltdown, I will get a grip in time for us going to fight, I’m just feeling a lot and not so sure about how to deal with something I taught was weakness and to be suppressed, though as I said not something to concern yourself with.”

“As much as I hate to say this, you are part of this family. The reason I don’t like to say that is because it is hard to admit Kane still cares for you. There will always be a place for you in his heart, I know this. You are the mother of Aerian, his first child. I can never compete with that even if I tried, which I realize is rather fruitless. This isn’t a competition, Ascondia. I still have my insecurities. Though sometimes, you never know what you have until it’s gone. The war has everyone on edge and we are preparing for the worst. You are still a part of this family. Love for me was always a weakness too. I overcame that, men were viewed as lessers only a tool for pleasure amongst the society of Drow. It was when they turned on me, I saw the truth. Don’t let what you were taught, to overrule your heart.”

“We were born to change the worlds we were sent to, a guide by non interference. My Master said I would not only change one world but them all, then I started dreaming of the Everlands and they turned, I was barely 13 when I ran, blind luck opened the portal that brought me here and in horror, I had to watch as my nightmares came to light. It’s funny the first time I changed the fate of the Everlands and they hailed me a hero. Made me Queen, and I did, as best I could with the visions to guide me, the Everlands found peace and I found Hades, who then brought me Kane and the rest you already know. The oddest part was running and hiding to save our daughter, among humans who quite honestly scare the crap out of me. I gave birth and Aerian began to exhibit her powers so I sent her home, she never forgave me for that, not because I sent her home to Kane but because I couldn’t come with her, afraid I guess, I’ve watched her grow and yet never been a part of her life, when he said your daughter,” She stopped wondering why she had laid half her life story down to this woman she barely even knew “It hurt, worse than I ever expected it, I’m sure your not trying to replace me, but in her eyes you already have. Again though, we have a war to end because we won’t win, winning implies we lose nothing but we already have each of us has lost something to this war, a piece of ourselves, let’s hope the other side allows us to build a future for us all. Now haven’t you children to name, I promise I will be fine,”

“The day, she stops calling you, mom is the day that she has replaced you. But she still calls you that, I’d suggest that you talk to her. She does love you and knows that you do, it’s the way you show it that confuses her. I think with the share of her talent with Virra had given her some levelheadedness. The two are engaged now. I’ve seen the ring and know Kane has.” Aishani chuckled. “I can help to talk things out. I don’t mind. Just we have to keep it together for not just the family but our people. It’s a heavy weight. Yes, I think I know a name for both. Will you join me? I’d like for you to be there.”

“Who would have though you and I could be civil, even for a moment” Ascondia chuckled softly “Perhaps you are right and the end of this war will be a new start for us all” She slid from her place in the window and with Aishani made her way back to the Master Bedroom.

Kane was in conversation with Stacy as they entered “Everything OK?”

“Just moving on Kane, little more than I’m used to processing, I’m fine” Ascondia replied softly “We should get to naming these two before they begin to believe baby boy and girl are their actual names”

Kane raised a brow as he tried to figure if that was a genuine statement of concern or a dig at him in some form. He shook his head as he walked to Aishani taking her hand gently “Any ideas my love?”

Aishani smirk to Ascondia’s words. “Don’t get too comfy.” She chuckled walking with her to the master suite. Well with she accepted Kane’s hand and moved to the cribs to look over the babes. “Terra…” The girl squealed and made a gesture of clapping her hands but did so in a miss.

“I think she likes her name my love,” Kane smiled softly as he watched her, “And So welcome Terra Elcarus”

Aishani chuckled to the sight of Terra, leaning down to give her a kiss, when suddenly beside her, the boy grabbed her hair. Looking at her questioningly, but began to tug in a playful manner, she then scooped up the boy and parted his small hands from the dreads. “Hm, looks like he’s impatient.” She scolded the boy in a playful tone, but then looked to Kane. “What about Xander?”

Kane laughed as the boy grabbed at Aishanis hair “He is indeed going to be a handful, and I think Xander fits just perfectly,” Letting Xander take his finger with a soft smile “What do you think? Shall we call you Xander?”

“Terra and Xander, they hold such strength, and are beautiful just like their parents,” Stacy added still on the far side of the room “I think they will play a great part in things to come, all of your children will eventually be just as strong as you and lead just as well” She wasn’t supposed to give such clues on the future but a part of Stacy simply couldn’t keep all she knew to herself, a soft reassurance that they would, in the end, be alright.

Aishani gave Kane a sharp glance when he found amusement in Xander’s grab at her hair. “Indeed.” She handed of Xander to Kane while scooping up Terra, cradling her as the infant looked with a strong neck for her brother in which she complied and leaned against Kane. “It starts soon. This war will be finished.” Aishani subtly commented on Stacy’s words but to the children.

Kane held Xander to him as he watched Aishani take Terra, his eyes soft and determined now. “We do all this for you, we do it for the realm and for our children” he stated softly now talking to the twins.

Terra gurgled with the incoherent baby jibberish, while Xander seemed to smile and squeal in excitement. Aishani grinned revealing her sharp canines to Terra whom appeared curious and extended a hand up as though she hadn’t quite figured out that such was out of her reach. Aishani leaned her cheek against Kane’s bicep. “They are smart and already taking in everything…”

“That may not work out too well for us in the future” Kane grinned in his reply, as he watched the twins as they visually took in every detail around them. “When they go for their nap we should talk,” He looked around the room now “All of us,”

Aishani nodded now while moving to settle and open her top to reveal the breasts, swollen with milk. Though arranged one to feed Terra and then extended an arm for Xander, it would be clear now. Once the children had fed, it would make them sleepy, this giving them time to all speak. It worked like a charm, though, in the sight, it was rather erotic with a child latched to each bosom, yet perfectly natural. She rose after tucking away her bosom, placing each carefully in the crib. “Prepare the wet nurse, I don’t need them going hungry.”

Kane watched the whole scene with admiration in that moment, Kane had made his way to the door and was now in conversation with guards ensuring that this room would be well secured in their absence. The mages had now finally managed to strengthen the protection wards around the mansion ensuring that no one would get in unless they were allowed.

“The gates are to sealed shut the moment we leave, no one in or out no matter the circumstances, Dragons will also be left outside the gates, do I make myself clear?”

“Yes my Lord, of course, we will watch the babes with our lives, as always,” Kane nodded as he turned to see the children settling he pointed to the room just beyond. Hades had already made himself comfortable on the desk as they filed in.

Jade was between Hades’ legs in his comfortable sit on the desk, watching as they entered and motioned to the table. Where a small protein packed snack was prepared. “Eat up. We need the strength.”

Kane nodded, as Heart entered the room from the other door now looking a little less broken down.

“I’m not going to say we’ll be OK, or that we will all make it home because I don’t know, I do know that Stacy is staying behind, the last thing we need is another realm healer dying. As for the rest of us we can’t win if we’re not all there, The Dires and Unicorns will ensure our backs are watched, the Spiders will ensure we’re not surprised from the side along with forces from Emerald City, the dragons are going to clear our path and we along with our armies are going to breach Elvera and take the castle by force. The biggest issue will be taking down the outer walls, they were built to withstand. I should know I helped build them.”

“So how do we get through them?” Hades stated darkly already not liking the plan laid out before him.

“I want them to see us coming, so we drop the gates, enough magic and dragon fire thrown at them they will fall, the city is according to Ascondia already clear, aside from their own forces, so no need to play nice, our issue lies once we are beyond the gates we’re on our own. The magicks above Elvera are designed to repel dragons and well anything else you want to throw at the city, we don’t have the time to bring them down, we need to stop Ceremon and Z’ress and it has to be now, we are out of time.” Kane’s words were deliberate in not hiding what lay ahead of them now.

Jade placed a hand on Hade’s thigh, she was now wearing a shorter kimono with a sword attached to her hip that held a gorgeous golden sheath and two throwing stars at her waist that glistened and appeared to be liquid, yet solid, magically bound. “Yes, while, I agree that the reign of fire will not withstand the wards. The grounding forces, I believe we may have a better chance at the spiders. They can move quickly enough to get within before even we can.”

Aishani considered Jade silently. “This may be perfect, Shadow and I share a bond. I can see through her eyes, this can get us a pin point on Ceremon and Z’ress, inside the castle.”

“We will have to use our vices on the ground to break through into the fortified city.” Jade nodded a slight while inhaling deeply. “But one thing they will not count on is the Spiders to breach first.”

“That could work, I’ll see what I can build upon with Shadow. She remains close due to the kidnapping of Terra, though, will after some coaxing listen to me. Considers, Terra one of her own due to it being our child…But, I need you all to understand something. Should any harm come to Shadow, I will take the damage. She is best at scouting. That will do well for our benefit.” Aishani said, now, she was wearing her leather armor, the set that Kane first laid eyes upon her on with her hair drawn back into a dread pull. “I say we come at the front but keep our best scouts in the back to enter through. Ascondia, is there now emergency escape from the castle itself? An ambush may be best.”

“The back routes to the castle were sealed off, Zia used the only remaining one. I made a mistake as I opened the portal and the tunnel collapsed as we escaped,” Ascondia replied “One way in and that’s through the front doors after we breach the city gates” Ascondia herself was now in dark leather armour, her hair pinned back. Twin swords on her back.

“It doesn’t surprise me, the High Council were paranoid as all hell,” Kane was about to speak further when the door opened again bringing to conversation Aerian, Virra and the newcomer Domi.

“Sorry we’re late, Domi was trying to treat us to breakfast. The realm it seems had other ideas, gave me a glimpse, lots of combat, death, mayhem, fire and Elvera burning, beyond that I’m still trying to figure it out. We all survive so far as I can tell,” Aerian made her words quickly as she looked around the room at the very heart of the realm itself in her father Kane, his wife Aishani, his brother Hades, his fiancée Jade, her mother Queen Ascondia, his best friend Heart, the healer Stacy, the Dress maid turned warrior Elsa, her lover and fiancée Virra, and their latest addition Domi, it wasn’t an army but it was a force to be reckoned with.

“Keeping us guessing, you’d think they’d give us more to work with” Hades scoffed with a mock smile as he slid his hand over Jades, a reassuring gesture to his fiancée, “Still if there’s anything you missed let us know before we all trust your keen visions and wind up dead?”

“Not today Uncle Hades, we will prevail, we’re a family” Which she was fairly certain was the point of the vision a reminder that together they could indeed accomplish anything.

“So the spiders will lead the infiltration, the problem now it’s still going to take a shit load of magic to open those gates” Kane sighed softly.

Jade glanced took Hades and curled her fingers within hers, placing a squeeze of reassurance to him. Aishani inclined a brow while watching Domi for a moment then simply chuckled with a slow shake of her head returning to the conversation. “Yes, then, let’s be about this. We have a fight ahead of us.”

Kane also had his eye on Domi and to Virra before he decided he actually didn’t want to know and would, in the end, trust their judgment. It seemed they now had a plan and all they needed now was to execute things.

“We should leave at daybreak we’re still a few days out,” Hades stated firmly “Heart you will have time to get ahead of us and send in Emerald Cities reinforcements as of Aishanis orders, of course, we should have forces defend the gateway into the city as well”

Kane nodded in agreement, “Virra, Aerian, and the young man will be our support, I trust no one more to cover our backs, and ensure you’ll have cleared out the city”

Domi and Virra nodded to Kane’s words, assisting ready. Aishani spoke then, “We get a good night’s sleep and then leave. No one is any good without such, make sure your heads are on straight and we proceed to take back Elvarian lands and secure the castle. This is our home and as such we fight for it.”

“So we leave tomorrow?” Aerian looked up with a grin “Cool, well I’m gonna go get my breakfast, and relax for today, may be my last chance for a while,” She took Virras hand and smiled toDomi “Come on you, you started now you gotta finish,”

Kane watched as the trio left before looking to Aishani “Why do I get the feeling I shouldn’t ask?”

“Seems your girl …” Hades began

“I don’t want to know” Kane groaned in reply

Domi was already leaving holding the door for Virra and Aerian before the trip left the room.

Aishani tilted her head with a smirk and chuckle to Kane’s reaction. “Because she’s your little girl–women rather. It’s amusing, I agree Hades.”

“As long as she is happy, that is what counts?” Ascondia finally stated having watched the whole thing unfold before her.

“As long as she is careful,” Kane replied before turning to Aishani “We should go get some rest, all of us should. Tomorrow we begin the steps to end this”

“I will head home to Emerald City, your orders Aishani?” Heart stated softly he had taken all that was said in and understood the stakes now as he waited to once again play his part.

Aishani agreed with Ascondia, perhaps for the first time but glanced to Heart. “Be quick about it Heart. My orders are as follows, gather Emerald City army to walk against the threat of the realm. Add your own touch to get into the hearts of the people and ready them to match in Elvera. Every moment counts now.”

Heart bowed lightly and was gone just as quickly, as Ascondia as well left them, it wasn’t long before Kane and Aishani were back in their chambers beside their children.

He had already peeled out of his shirt and was now sat simply watching as the children slept, a reminder of why they were fighting. Oddly for him, he was at peace with that fact now.

Aishani climbed into the bed behind Kane, wrapping her arms around him from behind with chin perched on his shoulder. Her bare skin of her bosom crushed into his back. “I feel it too. This will end soon and we can enjoy our children.”

“The future is worth protecting, for us all, I want a safe world for us to raise our children, together,” He drew her hands around him to his lips kissing them gently “We should get some sleep,”

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[A New Path] We Need Dragons

Heart sat on the edge of the bar as the last of the patrons filed out for the night. Quietly he had been wishing today would just end, Emerald City had a very strange air to it lately as they sat on baited breath, the rest of the realm on the edge of war.

“It’s not good for you to worry so much my lord,” Anya stated as she moved from behind the bar and began sweeping the floor.

“Do you remember the last time our realm was plunged into war?” Heart replied awkwardly, memories he would sooner forget than relive to be sure.

“We were fortunate enough to avoid it” Anya replied firmly “And we will this time, Lady Aishanis orders were clear we are to remain and protect Emerald City”

“It’s my family out there Anya” Heart replied

“And we will handle it” Kane stated firmly as he strode in through the door, shortly flanked by Aishani and Stacy “Besides I need you to keep Stacy out of the hands of anyone who wants to use her”

Heart let his eyes stray slowly over Stacy with a smile before he slid from the bar to cross to them “Heart” he said extending his hand, Kane eyed him for a moment before he stepped aside clearing the remaining view for Heart to get a long look at Stacy.

“Hands off, you know the rule” Kane stated firmly

“Mmm well Sarantha wasn’t so stuck to the rules” Heart smirked only for Kane to slap him upside the head firmly

“Asshole!” Heart bit back though his tone carried the playful air of a brother

A smirk formed on her lips to the interaction between Kane and Heart while leaving the two at it and moving to Anya. “How is my favourite Drow these days?”

“He worries, it’s not good for him, nor our business” Anya replied continuing to finish her duties “But he has assigned guards to key points in the city, no one will get down here, no harm will come to us milady”

“That is the Heart we need, it’s good to know, so have you or anyone heard of the dragons joining this… There are other creatures involved in Ceremon’s side.” She turned in his direction.

Heart looked back to Aishani with a smile, “It is indeed a trying time, but if anyone knows the status of Ceremons inner forces it will be Ascal, the former leader of the Dragon Mages, though he is somewhat more guarded these days” 

Kane watched for a moment “He wont soon forget he almost destroyed the whole realm, but if Ceremon has Dragon Mages we need to know before we bring an army of dragons back into the Everlands”

Heart nodded “Aishani is Queen, he cannot refuse her an audience, nor can he refuse to answer her questions, she also has the power to grant him a pardon from his previous crimes which you would need to honor”

“A small price, to pay  order to assure he would be on our side.” Aishani nodded while standing beside Kane. “Show us to him. We have no time to waste.”

Heart looked to Kane with a nod “You know how this works,” he stated firmly

Kane nodded “I’ll stay put,”

Heart looked to Anya then back to Kane before looking to Aishani, alright let’s go. They crossed through the heart of the city and down into a lower area, a market of some description though you had to believe the comings and goings here were less savoury than those of the plaza above. 

Finally, they arrived at what would look to be an alchemist, inside dark and smelt of mould and herbs “what brings you here Rayheart,” a voice spoke from the back behind a rather large pile of books and various oddities.

Aishani pulled up the hood of her cloak to conceal her presence though followed Heart closely. Once in the building, it was clear to her by the odor of mould and books which lay beyond. When the voice spoke she looked in the direction with a slight turn of her head. “I brought him here.” Her hands lifted to draw back her cheek sending those luscious raven dreads spilling and her golden eye was fixed on the books. “Step forth for your Queen to lay eyes upon you.”

Ascal coughed abruptly before appearing, his deep red robes did little to hide the frail face he now had, “Milady, such an honour for you to visit my humble home. Though I’m curious as to why that would be?”

A smirk formed on her lips at the sight of the man before her. “I believe you know already why I would seek out a Dragon Mage at this particular time. I apologize but I don’t have time for pleasantries. So I will cut to the chase. Does Ceremon have dragons on his side? I was told you were the individual to come to for those answers.”

Ascal scratched his chin for a moment before looking to her “He does not, there are no dragons in the Everlands,” He replied flatly “You’re husband saw to that,” It was odd the bitter tone in his voice now as he looked from Aishani to Heart then back “However I suspect he will have some of my brothers with him, and they would have the knowledge to bring dragons if that was his plan.”

Heart shifted awkwardly “So he doesn’t but there’s a good chance he will,” it wouldn’t be hard to detect the panic at the thought of dragons in the Everlands again.

“Oh you misheard me Rayheart, I said they had the knowledge, I didn’t say they had the power to do so, that takes a little more,” Ascal stopped before looking dead to Aishani “Your husband ensured those with the power almost all wound up dead, several by his hand, still with Ceremon at their back I’m sure they’ll find the power if they need it. My understanding is they have the better of you at the moment, so the power of dragons isn’t required,” There was a darkness to his voice as he uttered those last words “To bring forth a dragon blood is required, a lot of it, dragons were outlawed in the Everlands centuries ago because they couldn’t be controlled, they were rather fond of young children it seems, purity you see intrigues them, but the blood has to be spilt willingly to bring them forth, we raised our children to believe that was their birth right.”

Heart squirmed once more before a frustrated growl cut from his throat “Forgive me Aishani but there is only so much I need to hear, I’ll be outside if you need me,” He quickly extracted himself from the shop breathing deep as he tried to gather himself and any measure of control.

“So frail a mind, still he saw the horror a dragon can bring, they would need purity, several of our people and at least one elder among them to even attempt to bring dragons through, though perhaps having Elcarus magic some of that could be circumvented, it’s not like your husband was going to borrow us his power now was it? But then again Elcarus blood had to die to weaken them, and power of the Unicorns and Dires were required to drive them out, so you can see how much is required not only to bring them forth but to force them out, a power best not trifled with.”

“I see. Though this comes puzzling to me. You said the blood of an Elcarus can weaken them. But what if Elcarus blood summoned them. I am keeping things in mind for the future. I understand bad blood is between you and Kane. He had to do what he could to survive and not lose the kingdom. This placed you at odds. But a more powerful force would be to combine and eliminate a threat together. Of course with a chance of pardon…”

“Kane should take his head,” Heart snapped angrily, having now regained his composure he had returned to Aishanis side once more, “We knew it was dark magic that brought the dragons but innocent children? That’s outright wrong,” Heart sighed softly “Forgive me, I may have a reputation for been lose with my morals but, there really are worse. And he is under watch by the Royal Guards, so there is that.”

“Not defending him in the slightest but the children had to have been willing. Unfortunately, some practices by others may be the evil but also the greater evil, while to them it is common. You would not do well in my society. I did not fit well within…due to my differences.” She placed a hand on Heart’s shoulder, offering him a smirk. “It is not quite the question of morals it is a question of humanity.”

“I will return to Kane to impart or information.” She commented walking with Heart though drawing up her good to keep her identity from those in the streets.

Kane was stretched out on the bed in their inn room, his eyes closed as he quietly took in the sounds of the city outside, not a difficult task when that city was built deep in the heart of a mountain, the sounds we automatically more evident. The heart of Emerald City was far anything Kane had ever been a part of, a strange chance for him to not be the one everyone looked to, though he was alongside his wife Aishani.

He heard the steps enter and then one pair lightly move to the stairs and down the hall to stop before the door. One had to listen very closely to catch hearing of such delicate and quiet steps. He knew who it was before the knock announced his wife on the other side.

He smiled softly flicking his glance to the door “It is open my love,” he called.

Aishani entered while removing her cowl then closing the door behind her. Walking with that subtle say if her hips to guide her gently to settle in the edge of the bed. “He spoke of no dragons being on Ceremon’s side. No one having the power of such.”

Kane shifted himself sliding his head into her lap “That’s something, I trust he is none to thrilled to think the information going into my hands, still if I’m to bring dragons into the realm, it’s nice to know we will ultimate control” Kane relaxed as he felt her scent surround him, the outside falling away as he settled into the sense of his lover. 

Aishani glanced down to him, caressing his face, with her nails very gently running against his scalp beneath the dark threads. “Ascal did mention that Ceremon may have some of his brothers with him, meaning that if he wished to bring dragons, that they knew how to do such.” She placed a hand on her abdomen, while there were no signs as of yet, but, soon it would be bulging with the presence of the twins growing within her. “They have the knowledge but not the power. You ensured those with the power were eliminated and for that it is a good thing given the current circumstances. My concern is Stacy, being able to uphold the power, even Aerian. Would Virra’s father get a hold of her, then it would be bait for Aerian to come and rest assured that she would? Apparently, the blood of children, purity is needed willingly to bring forth a dragon. I am concerned that Heart’s morals will ultimately push him over the edge.”

“Heart is one of few I trust with my life, when it comes to the wire, he will do what’s right,” Kane smiled his hand now resting on her stomach “Virra’s father is headed to Dentarius as we speak, an unfortunate series of events which we cannot allow to distract us right now, our next move will either turn the tide in our favour or hand victory to Ceremon, Aerian, Virra and Hades can handle Dentarius for now,” There was a tone of uncertainty in his voice as he spoke “Stacy will need to remain here, she cannot fall into their hands, she has the power to bring the realm to its knees let alone bring dragons here, she is quite literally the most powerful thing in the realm aside from the realm itself, a power best in our hands right now”

Kane fell quiet for a time his mind digesting Aishanis words as he thought their path through “She should be under heavy guiard at all times, I have faith in Hearts abilities but as a bodyguard, not so much, besides he is more likely to try bed her and call that his way of protecting her. That’s another whole set of problems we don’t need,” there was a chuckle to his words and yet his words were as serious as their situation “She needs to be protected and I see no safer place than here?”

She looked down to him then upwards with a sigh, stopping the stroking fingers through his hair to lean back. “Truth be told, we need the upper hand. But, bringing dragons would turn us into the Dragon Mages of the last war. It is a thin line, due to the fact of possibly the tides turning with the dragons turning against us. But, it is a chance we have to take. First, we need to speak to the unicorns and dire wolves to give them the option and allow them in on our plan, should they decided to join on our side. Yes, Stacy needs to be protected at all costs, granted it may be a small price to pay to leave her with Heart. But who knows, he deserves someone as well.”

“Heart isn’t the settle down type, never has been,” Kane rolled over laying flat on his back to look up at her “I wasn’t going to make a decision without everyone involved, but I don’t see too many other options, with Ceremon in the position he is I don’t see many other choices open to us and that scares the hell out of me.”

She looked down to him with a heavy sigh. “I’m the Queen of Emerald City and this does make you by rights of marriage the King. We need to do whatever needs to be done to keep the realm safe.”

“Me king? We probably shouldn’t point that out, especially to those who seem to blame me for their exile,” Kane chuckled softly “It’s always a balancing act, one move the wrong way tips the balance of power and it all comes tumbling down.”

She looked down to him, a raven brow lofted with that clear golden eye with the milky one fixed on him, groaning and falling with her back against the bed. “As I said we should speak to the unicorns and dire wolves, before bringing in the dragons. They alone are powerful beings that need to be taken into account. This will threaten the realm, especially with Ceremon in power. His experimentation and playing with natural set of things will ultimately cause the realm to tip in an unnatural fix. We have to move and move now. I never asked to be a fucking Queen, but, I take this on. I want my people to resurface in trade and economy to the surface again. But, that will NOT happen with Ceremon. Z’ress will warp and twist the ways to return to the Drowish ways of her people. The Drow here do not need that. But, we need to decide now, what is best for the realm. Dragons or not?”

“Ceremon has the power, and I’m loathed to admit we cannot match it, we need the dragons” Kane sighed softly “Perhaps with Arigaiils help, we will have a little more control, Ceremon has a near unlimited undead army, we do not”

“Who? Arigaiils?” She propped herself up on her elbows looking down to him. “I agree. Dragons. Used to protect instead of destroying. It would grant those on our side pardon for the wrong done during the Dragon Wars.”

Kane looked toward the window his eyes going distant for a while as he dug deep for the words to explain the things he was about to, “To say there are no dragons in the Everlands isn’t entirely true, this you already knew, Arigaiils, she is the dragon responsible for the destruction of Elcarus Mansion and the death of Krys and Haunted” Kane looked to Aishani “She was too weak to withdraw, but I couldn’t leave her to the others either, so I had her withdraw to the Argrian Mountains, she resides there protecting the vortex, and seeing as no one has tried to breach the vortex in over a century, we let legend say trying to get in there would result in your bones been charred and your flesh melted, an old wives tale with a small piece of truth”

Kane sighed softly “She protects the very heart of the Everlands, and I deny she exists to everyone” Kane sighed softly as he closed his eyes “We will need her help either way”

Aishani looked down to Kane after it seemed she to was in deep thought, but, caressed his face and leaned down to press her lips against his. Such expression was urgent and tender all swept into one as her tongue ensued but it was only brief. “The spiders will be on my end. We still need the dire wolves and unicorns, then we can focus on Airgaiils. In a sense, she owes you a favor.” She caressed his face as she licked her lips, perhaps, from the stain of his presence that lingered.

“We will pay them a visit once we conclude things here,” Kane smiled softly “We will need all the strength we can find to even think about trying to retake Elvera, it’s going to be a long few days my love”

She inhaled deeply with a sigh that was just as heavy a hand going to get abdomen with a gentle caress. “We just need to secure all the pieces on our side before we plan anything. Heart doesn’t twist that dragon mage and has eyes on him. I need to think about the next in line for my position on the throne. Heart has done so much and I know he would not like such. But the girl could possibly… What was her name again?”

“Anya?” Kane sounded surprised with her words “Is it safe to hand over the throne, while we cannot be here as much as would be required, you have brought stability, no one can deny you that my love” His turned now sliding to sit beside her “Having a drow with the final say on matters seem to ease their minds”

“Well. I have to be prepared if –” Aishani’s words died in her lips unable to finish while her hand rested on her stomach. “Besides I know Heart had done enough out isn’t a position for him.”

Kane looked to her “Something troubling you my love?” there was a caution in his voice that was oddly unnatural. His hands slid over hers gently “We can handle this, it just requires far more diplomacy than I I like getting us involved in, but together we will do this”

She curled her hand within his while inhaling deeply. It was a reserved expression but her golden hue with the hazy eye on him. “You are right. I’m not used to the politics.” She chuckled in that rolling purr. “Listen to me. A Queen that doesn’t like politics.”

He laughed softly his lips catching hers for a moment “ I spent a generation playing politician, I left to not be one and yet somehow here I am doing the self same thing for a whole set of other reasons” his lips caught her neck for a moment “You never came to Dentarius to play politics and I never intended to have you do so, but you did an we are, we are their last line defence and I for one intend to see the future with our children free from such trivialities” there was an odd calm in his voice now as he spoke, his eyes met hers no longer fraught with their circumstances but deep seated desire for her and their world.

Aishani growled softly as his lips caught the flesh of her neck turning to snap at him with a flash of her teeth playfully. But smirked to him. “Yes. So it seems. Then we have to secure a future for not only the realm but our children.”

 

[A New Path] Wedding Gifts

Kane and Aishani had spent the last week putting out diplomatic fires of one form or another as they were finally able to extract themselves from Emerald City, Aishani had placed control of the city in the hands of a Council of her own choosing who would send decisions to Heart then he onto Aishani to make the final choices.

Their return to Dentarius had been met with Kane having to sort through the mess of Ascondias imprisonment a mess he was less than thrilled with. Still all that had finally given way to something more important for them both.

The final days had clocked down quickly, but spring was in full force as the grounds of Dentarius were covered in fresh grass, the lands lush and rich as the realm welcomed a new year. But today of all days saw the mansion incredibly busy the gardens transformed into an arena of sorts.

Kane stood at the window looking out as staff milled about beyond making final preparations, gusts had already begun to arrive and occasion that had resulted in the whole realm turning out. Kane breathed collecting himself as Hades entered his room.

“You can still run you know” He grinned playfully a real turn from the man they had grown to know the last few weeks

“Pretty sure Aishani would cut me down if I so much as thought about it, no I’m ready for this Hades, I want this, we both deserve it after the events of the winters something like this is as much for the realm as it is for us” Kane replied adjusting his shirt

Meanwhile

Stacy wrapped upon Aishanis door, finally able to handle her place in a world that had quickly drawn her in, things for her were far from simple but she had a duty she wanted to try and do as best she could.

Aishani stood looking out her window at the staff that moved about below, her hair was gathered up in a graceful play on the dark threads that exposed her delicate neck over the bountiful bosom constricted beneath the corset fit of her dress, though, she glanced over her shoulder. “Enter.” She stated loudly, as Jade was assisting Virra in talking Aerian into her dress again.

Stacy made her way in her movements less awkward and she had now adopted a more regular garb a simple dark grey robe, she smiled softly “Forgive the intrusion, but Lady Sarantha left notes on your injuries before she died, I wanted to check if there further issue…. She paused looking to Aishani for a moment” she smiled “You look incredible, Lord Kane is a lucky man”

Aerian muttered something about feeling like she was squashed into a marshmallow before finally letting Virra fasten up along the back.

Aishani turned now from the window with a smirk on those polished lips not just to Stacy’s words but to Aerian’s rambling. “Of course.”

Virra simply chuckled. “Oh stop it. This is the happiest day in your Pop’s life. So suck it up buttercup.” She stood now before Aerian with a list in her dark eyes this caused Jade to blush. “You are the most beautiful marshmallow in this world. I can’t wait to eat you.”

“You’re bad” Aerian grinned “Which is why I love you, so how you feeling Aishani, you’re about to become my step-mom, you know that right? You kinda figured that part?” Aerian smiled softly as she wrapped her arms around Virra.

Aishani chuckled to Aerian’s antics but winked to her. “I think I can handle it. Can you marshmallow?” She looked to Stacy while allowing her to examine her best possible with her dress on. “I’ve been fine Stacy. Just a little tired lately.”

Aerian simply grinned in reply and went back to fiddling with her dress, Stacy moved toward Aishani for a moment before she stopped her eyes travelling her body for a moment “You look different, from when we first met when you got back, that or you developed and extra aura or two” she scratched her head for a moment “Sarantha didn’t mention that, only the werewolf bite”

Stacy scratched her head for a moment before she flipped a few more pages of her grimoire, her eyes bouncing over the pages before she looked back to Aishani “Are you eating Ok? Exercising well? Avoiding stress?”

Aishani tilted her head at Stacy’s words. “Avoiding stress? Do you live in the same reason as ask of us?” She chuckled in that rolling purr. “Yes. I do the same except I’ve had more a taste for raw meat lately. I just thought that is normal given my circumstance. I’m a vegetarian so I resist the urge.”

“Perhaps your body has” She stopped for a moment again things seemed to shift before her as she watched Aishani, a shimmer and there stood Sarantha.

Aerian spun on her heel with a look of near shock “Wow, it’s true that you guys have more control over manifesting?”

“The dead don’t often stay dead in the Everlands Aerian you know that” Sarantha replied before looking to Stacy “Forgive me for dropping such responsibilities upon you, usually we have a much better way of passing on one to the next, unfortunately my path was halted rather abruptly, but the realm has decided I’m to sit on your shoulder for a little while and help you adjust, once I conclude a little business”

She crossed now standing before Aishani a gentle bow “You look amazing, and you must take care of them all now, I gave you advice all those years ago so you could bring balance here and now, the realm decided to give you a gift and I don’t mean me attending your wedding, you are the most determined and centred individual in the realm, and you and Kane have suffered enough in your lives, so take care of the joy we have given you”

“And the uncryptic version” Aerian stared rather frustrated

Aishani smiled to the appearance of Sarantha out was warm as though a child to a mother. But it faded to her words with a tilt of her head looking between Sarantha and Stacy but flicked her gaze to Aerian. “Yes. Please Sarantha. I’m more then pleased you are here for the wedding but… What is it you mean?”

“You remember my words in advising you and Kane, well .. “ Sarantha smiled awkwardly a slight flush before she continued “It was well timed and more than simple releasing of tension, it seems Aerian will no longer be only child to bear the name Elcarus”

Aerian looked somewhere between shock and slightly hurt as she smiled weakly then disappeared back to messing with the edges of her dress.

“You are to bear a child Aishani, conceived on that day to be born here in this time” Sarantha smiled softly

Jade stared at Sarantha while Virra held a devilish smirk as she elbowed Aerian and landed to whisper to her. “You’re going to have a sibling…”

Aishani remained silent now and still. She lowered her hand to test upon her abdomen over her dress and lowered her gaze. “I’m… Going to be…a mother…? Stacy said she saw two…?” She appeared a slight in disbelief.

“Admittedly that was unforeseen, but it has happened before and well that resulted in your husband to be, but twins yes” Sarantha smiled “Another occasion for the Everlands to rejoice”

“I will ensure all goes well” Stacy smiled softly her eyes hadn’t moved from Aerian from the moment the news had been revealed “It’s a lot to take in, but it’s good for you all?”

Aishani followed Stacy’s gaze and then moved to Aerian while caressing her cheek and speaking in a soft purr. “You are still the oldest. I’ll need your help and they will Aerian. Are you alright with this? How do you feel?”

Virra watched Aishani and Aerian in silence but wound her fingers within her lovers.

“I’m OK just been a little selfish ya know, had dad to myself all these years, seem I have less of him now” She swallowed hard and a smile “I’m OK, I will be OK, at least they wont have this curse of mine so you can rest safe in that” She drew herself up and grinned “Anyways we have a wedding to get to, let’s get you married”

“Are you OK Aerian? It’s a big thing, but you are the most resilient person I ever knew, you survived when everyone thought you wouldn’t, be proud and teach your siblings well, they will need their sister after all” Sarantha smiled softly

“I know just me and my ego ya know, teenage rebellion, fear of been forgotten that kinda stuff” Aerian shrugged softly “But then I have Virra so at least I’m never alone now”

Aishani shook her head, placing a hand on Aerian’s shoulder. “No, I am not moving from this spot until I know you are okay with this in all reality, Aerian. It is hard for you to accept. All I can say, is I want you involved in your siblings lives. You will never be alone again, wither it is with Virra or me. Your father loves you, I even got to see you as a child…a little fireball you were. I didn’t say anything or make myself known. He looked at you then as he looks at you now, Aerian. We both love you, while you may not be from my loins it doesn’t make a difference to me. You are a part of Kane and I love that with all my heart…Yeah, I’m getting sappy, but, it is the truth.” She offered a soft kiss to her lips, it was nothing as a lover but as the love of a mother. “You will never be forgotten. Not now, not ever.” Aishani chuckled in that rolling purr. “Oh, no. Perhaps not your curse but they will have vampire and werewolf in them…that is going to be a handful all on it’s own.”

Jade remained silent though, while looking between Aerian, Virra, Sarantha, Aishani and Stacy. She appeared deep in thought, while her expression was soft.

“Damn straight we will be, every step of the way. Right, Firefly?” Virra wrapped an arm around her and brought her in for a kiss, nibbling on her lower lip in the withdrawal.

Aerian gave to the kiss enough to hide the tear of thanks that slid down her cheek, before she drew back and smiled “I’m OK, really, it’s big news almost as big as anyone getting through dads self-imposed celibacy, your good for us all Aishani, and the realm chose to grant you this, though you seeing me when I was younger? So you were thrown back to when I came home or there abouts? I don’t remember I just remember how much I loved to run through the castle, and how much I thought mum and dad were in love” She stopped “I’m glad he has finally found love”

Aerian leant against Virra and poked her in the ribs playfully “You’re making me grow up! So unfair of you”

Aishani smirked to Aerian, while a chuckled parted her lips to the interaction between the red head and Virra. “Grow up? Pfft, hardly. There are times to be an adult and not. But, don’t you worry, I’ll be by your side in all things.” Virra kissed her playfully. “So, are we going to get this wedding going or what?”
 
Aishani nodded while Jade perked with the idea, but, those golden eyes looked to Sarantha. “Will you be visibly seen at this? I am sure that Kane would like that very much.”

Sarantha inclined her head with a smile “I’ve been granted time enough, as I said I’ve been sent to guide you Stacy while she makes her adjustments, we’ll have her in place in good time” Stacy had remained quiet and studying her grimoire during the whole thing she simply looked up and smiled softly.

“Oh!” Aerian snapped as she spun on her heel to retrieve a map of sorts laying it out on the bed “I have something for you, I suck at presents so I found this, it’s a map of all the borders, Elvera, Dentarius, Riverfield, Fire City, but I mapped in Emerald City and while they are independent and of course under your rule their borders actually run under Dentarius!” She pointed to relevant parts, pretty much means they are covered by the Treaty of Dentarius” Aerian looked awkward at her lame attempt with a wedding present.

Aishani inclined a brow to Virra at Aerian’s exclamation, the dark haired girl simply shrugged. But as Aerian returned with the map to lay out, Aishani moved over to look down at the map while then chuckling. “Will you look at that…” The smirk remained on her lips, while she rolled up the map to place aside. “I love it Aerian, I am sure I will use it quite a lot in the coming years. I should get it framed.” She glanced to the door, a shift of her body told all present that she was perhaps, nervous, an emotion that was never seen from her before. “Well…it’s time.”

The Wedding

Kane looked along the line of guards their swords out and forming an arch, the knot in his chest reminding himself that this was it. He looked to Hades who oddly looked just as well dressed as himself, finally he strode forward, faces watched as he passed by. At the front a small platform housed the Master of Ceremonies and Stacy.

It was there he waited, flanked now by both Heart and Hades as the wedding awaited the arrival of the bride.

It was first Aerian and Virra that walked down the lofted swords that formed a walkway, then Jade. But, it was when the guests gathered that gasped, that he knew his soon to be wife was walking down now. That is when he saw her, hair beautifully put up on the crown of her head, allowing for her slender neck to be revealed and the flowing fabric of her dress accented the grace in her movements, while still dangerous but in a beautiful way. The corset constricted her bosom but added a plumpness, while the scar was present it was very faint and her golden eyes looked to Kane, on her arm was Sarantha.

Kane bowed to Sarantha before sliding his fingers through Aishanis “You look incredible” he smiled softly, as they turned to face the Master of Ceremonies.

“Welcome” she began “Let the realm rejoice as we stand on this day to honour the love, Lord Kane Elcarus will eternally be linked to the heart and the legacy of Lady Aishani Tort’tar, much as she will entwined within his. With this day brings the hearts and minds of all together, and so I ask if anyone has reason this union not be allowed they should speak now”

Kane felt a prickle run over him at those words, as he waited in that moment for a response, exhaling softly when none came.

Aishani stood before Kane while holding his hands in hers, she watched him and in that moment she looked stunning and more beautiful then would could describe. At her flank stood Aerian, Virra and Jade. She fought to keep his gaze when the words were spoken on any speaking against their bond. Aishani squeezed his hand when none spoke against them.

“Then any who have reason against this union must now remain silent, and so we move to join two souls to become a single soul destined to be within each other for eternity. Lord Kane Elcarus you may now speak yours hearts words”

Kane drew breath turning to face Aishani his eyes gentle and yet the desire burned just as bright as it ever had “Aishani, many would believe that you were to be my undoing and since then we have silenced them repeatedly, you have brought me strength and you have stood by me through bad and through worse, from the moment we met I knew my life had changed, from that moment no longer forced to walk alone and deal with each threat alone, each day only seeks to strengthen the love I have for you, you are my reason for fighting, for standing against the odds, for being and with all that I take you as my wife and share my love and my lands and my name with you”

Aishani offered him a smile, it was warm loving and the corners held that smirk that Kane often had seen, she lifted his hands to press her lips against the surface. “Kane, before I knew you, I was raised in a world and society that love was not considered. It was men to be unequal and lower than the females. I was taught that love was a weakness. Now, I know that was wrong. Love is a strength I find within you and our family. You are my strength and my heart, while I stand by your side to share all of this together. Each day, this grows and blooms. I accept you as my husband and life mate, everything I am and will become will be with you. For many years to come.”

“With your vows shared, and your hearts as well, I ask Lord Hades to share his words to guide you in the next stage of your lives”

“Aishani you were hard to read, we have kept our family close and protected but it’s clear and was very quickly that you were the only the beginning of rebuilding our family, you also brought back the fire he had lost for so long, we have all benefitted from you been here, and I welcome you to our family”

“And to you Lady Virra? Words to share on this day?”

“Me? I uh…yeah, sure. I haven’t been with this family for long, but, from what I have seen with Aerian and all the others. Aishani has held strong and delivered unconditional love and strength to all those within. I was a girl that had no path but proving I was worth something, it was the day that I met her and Kane that I learned that I didn’t have anything to prove but to myself. You each have given me path and lead me to my very heart in this world that I never knew existed.” Virra offered Aerian a small smirk but then tipped her head. “I welcome you to have a very happy life together. Plus what will come and much more.”

“Then vows have been spoken as well as blessings from those close, and so all that remains is to proclaim you husband and wife and wish you well as you embark on this new path together as one, To the realm of The Everlands I give to you Lord Kane Elcarus and his wife Lady Aishani Elcarus” She smiled softly to the two “You may now kiss your bride and seal this union of two as one”

Kane nodded softly before turning his lips meeting Aishanis as a shower of petals and rice erupted above them to a chorus of cheers.

Aishani looked to Kane now, while lifting on her toes to close the distance and sealed the ceremony with a press of her lips against his, though, as the rice fell over them and petals tickled her nose. Aishani had to break the connection of the kiss to cover her nose in a sneeze. Offering Kane an apologetic expression, though, lowered her hand to his while turning to face the guests and she glanced to Sarantha and the females in her line, winking to Aerian.

There were guests far and wide before them as Kane looked out before he turned to Aishani “Now we get spend a week alone, no politics, just you and I in a very special location” He grinned at his words before he turned to Hades who simply motioned for him to head on out, just past the guards who had now raised their swords to their arch again, a horse drawn carriage now waited for them.

“It is time I returned to Emerald City, but we will hold the fort until you return” Heart smiled softly before stepping back.

“We got this” Hades added with a smiled

“Enjoy your rest my lord, a return to lead as ever” Sarantha added as Elsa ran up to hug Aishani wiping away a barrage of tears “Take care of him and you of her”

Aishani inclined a brow to his words, though slithered her hand from his to take his arm in their walk. She tipped her chin to the guards in passing, though, chuckled to Heart and Hades. “Thank yo–” A soft grunt parted her lips, as Elsa embraced her. She patted her back with a rolling purr of amusement. “I plan to, Elsa. Thank you for your help on the clothing. I may need you soon again, but, I’ll be in touch.” She then parted from Elsa while returning to Kane’s side. “Shall we, Lord Elcarus?”

“Indeed Lady Elcarus” He smiled and led her to the carriage, there were cheers as with a rattle the carriage headed out of the Mansion grounds.

She leaned against him in the carriage while Aishani was unable to keep her hands from him. Now they were husband and wife. Bound to reach other.

[History Repeated] A Way Home

Kane was perched on the roof, the town below still looked off to him, he had in truth forgotten how small the town was before his family lead them into a newer age, that and the mythril mines had helped before they ran dry during the Dragon Wars.

The wind was gentle the air oddly warm as the laterns cast a dull light over the flat rooftop area.

As the breeze shifted, he caught that familiar succulent and mouthwatering aroma, mixed with the preditorial essence of his lover. She was near and then he heard the faint click of her boots on the rooftop, nearing him. In a smooth graceful move, she hoisted herself up on the ledge to swing her legs over and look down upon the town. “My love, something weighs upon you?” Her hair was not in dreads, but, instead raven threads flowed down her back stirred by the wind and her ashen features free from blemish, those two golden eyes looking to him.

“Just the daunting fact that if we are off, even slightly we will be torn apart by the tides of time, both literally and figuratively, also seeing Krystal, Haunted and Sarantha …. Knowing what we know” Kane replied solemnly it’s difficult every part of me wants to save them all, the rest of me knows I shouldn’t “We have altered history already, though in no way that wouldn’t have happened in time anyway”

He took her hand drawing it to his lips kissing her hand gently.

She curled her hand around his, lifting her other to caress his cheek offering him a small smirk. “I know, my love. It is difficult to see the past and live it, just to know the path that is to be in the end. We cannot think of the path being off. We have to look forward and do this together. I have no doubt that we will arrive back in our time, my love. Together and in one piece.”

Kane said nothing as he stood, his action drew her from her perch and against him, it was in that moment his lips met hers, hungry and deep his body pressed tight into her a flood of pent frustration, worry and need delivered in that deep action.

She replied to the press of his lips with as much desire and affection in the knead of her plush mouth upon his. The fire had been stirred between the two as her hand lifted to knead into his shoulder with her kitten-like precision. The wrangle and sweep of her slick partner consoled his amidst the depth of the kiss, unable to control herself a hand worked to release his hidden member and then struggled with her pants to be pulled down. Aishani broke the kiss and turned to lean forward in a present of those lush ashen cheeks and the dripping flower just beneath from her garden, offering him another outlet with her hands on each side of her half-moons to part the valley and enlightening him of the path to take.

He gripped her buttocks hoisting her up and just as quickly sinking her down onto him a low growl tore from his throat as lust over powered logic and that deep need to take her rattled every fibre within him.

She howled in pleasure as his tool sunk deep into her right silken passage. Aishani fit him like a glove surrounding him with heat and the scent sung into something deeper then himself. Past to a primal need to mate with her. She glanced over her shoulder to him to golden eyes burning with lust. His sheet thickness stretched her folds to take him more.

His body tensed as he pushed himself as deep within her as he could, holding himself as her name slid from his lips against the kiss, his body trembled as he spilled himself deep within her, his eyes stayed upon hers that deep intense love shone love and support he had never felt with another in that moment the world was only her to Kane.

She but his lower lip suckled apologetically as Aishani rode down the wave of bliss. Her golden eyes remained in his as the two lovers recovered from the maddening passion that took them to a world in which each other only existed. Something was different about her in that moment but Kane couldn’t put a finger on it. Her fingers caressed his face and shoulders. “I love you Kane.” She whispered in a choice that was hoarse from their passion.

“And I love you Aishani, more so with each moment we are with each other” he replied gently, his hands rested against her face, his mind settled on trying to place the difference aside from the changes that her trip through time had left.

For a moment he lay still within her his body still against hers, before finally sliding to his knees, taking her with him to sit the two lovers, a moment they shared to strengthen both their bond and their resolve.

Their hearts at first beat fast but found a synchronization shortly after. Her naked body against his was like a warm living blanket. Soon they knew it was time to return to the present but past in their case to get back home.

As they returned to main area Haunted was hurriedly talking with Sarantha his brows furrowed in frustration, though it was evident that Sarantha was winning whatever argument they were having.

“A whole storm you brought through our doors” Krystal called before sliding down the banister landing on his feet before them “Haunted is pretty pissed off at you, especially after Sarantha told him you’re not really you, he was glad to have you home only for you not to be”

“I think you’ve both been holed up too long” Kane shrugged in reply

Krystal looked to Aishani and back to Kane “She does know that even with Sarantha here, the chance of you getting back is less than that of you dying?” His eyes to Aishani “You do know whatever you are trying to do will fall flat killing you all in the process more blood on Haunteds hands”

“All I need is for him to agree, that’s it, and for you not kill Hades the second I leave, we will need him in the future, he becomes the balanced one” Kane replied softly “Your my brothers, we’re family, all of us. But we’re out of time both figuratively and literally”

Aishani met Krystal’s gaze with an inclined brow. “We both understand the alternative of this not ending well. But this is not our time. It’s bad enough we got sent here. Haunted might be pissed but I can not help it’s for selfish reasons. He should be proud of the man Kane had become and will be. Getting back will place things back as they should be. My words might be harsh but it is the reality of it.”

Haunted caught her words as Sarantha smiled seeing Aishani. Her eyes swept over them before she made her way to them “He has agreed, albeit with a rather flat acceptance, still I trust you two have resolved your tensions for the moment?” There was a wry smile to her words

A smirk formed on her lips to Sarantha’s words with the rolling purr of her amusement. “Oh one could say the tension is all but released.” Aishani looked to Haunted. “Thank you Haunted. It is time I explain as to how I managed to talk Hades into this. I offered his freedom. He has a woman for him in the future let’s not mess that up.”

“As long as he behaves himself we’ll let him be, you have my word” Haunted replied

Kane straightened himself before he nodded “Alright, let’s do this” And with that Haunted opened a sealed portion to the mansion floor, stone steps that descended into a purple dark below. Kane eyed the below for a moment before catching sight of Heart joining them.

“Well let’s go get you all killed” Hades grinned darkly “Or Kane killed so I have can take what he leaves”

“Nothings changed with you has it” Heart sighed and barged his way past making his way down into the hole below them first ahead of the group.

“I think you pissed him off” Krystal chuckled before ushering the rest of them in, the floor closing above them leaving only the purple light to guide their way down.

Aishani slowly shook her head to Haunted’s words in regard to Hades, though, curled her hand within Kane’s as Heart joined the group and offering him a smirk. She eyed the steps that descended mysteriously downwards, her purr of amusement rolled past her lips but walked downwards into the purple light that guided them in the otherwise darkness. 

As they made it to the bottom of the stairs, the corridor was narrow, the torches burnt a pale blue against the odd purple that was present in the walls and floor even the rock above them. Finally it opened into a cave rough cut steps that descended to what looked to be a purple lake.

Haunted made his way down to the edge, a shimer of white as the protections were removed “So how does this work?” he turned now looking to Kane

“Simple, actually, we toss the time spell in, and then we follow suit” Kane smiled as he squeezed Aishanis hand in assurance

“Really?” Krystal sounded amused “You bust through our invisibility charms to jump into the void? You sure you’re sound of mind?”

Kane groaned in mock horror or shock before he smiled “The void, is magick in its purest form, long before the realm channels it into a child, or adult or creature, this is the only known convergence of it, which is largely why dad built the house right above it, to protect it from the wrong hands”

“Before he went nuts and tried to kill us all?” Krystal laughed darkly

“Before he tried to use it for his own ends and Haunted sealed it off for good, I need the entire Elcarus legacy here to contain it after we go through, using that much of its energies is likely going to create some odd side effects, you can deal with it here and now before it becomes a problem, and Sarantha is here to persuade the realm not to kill us as we go through, when we hit the time drop it should send us right back to our own time”

“Any idea where it will send you in your own time?” Haunted replied

“Well, that’s the whole leap of faith part” Kane replied “I have no clue, only that we will be home, then we can clean up the mess we need to”

“Then I wish you luck, and hope you find your way home” Haunted replied before tossing the orb into void, a black void split across the surface as Haunted looked back to Kane, Heart made his way to the edge followed by Kane

“If I die I’m going to kick your ass in the afterlife I swear to the twelve” Heart grinned with that he simply jumped into the void and vanished

Kane looked back to Hades then to Haunted “I need him, now and in the future more than he knows right now, you’re his conscience just like you’ve always been mine, put him on the right path” Kane drew a breath and looked back to Aishani “Time to go my love”

Aishani looked to Haunted as the protective barrier was removed then to Kane in his explanation, returning her gaze to the strange purple lake while her hand tightened upon his. “Desperate times call for desperate measures, Krystal.” When Heart moved to the edge of the lake and then entered, she stared incredulously after him then released Kane’s hand. Turning to face the past Elcarus. Her golden eyes looked to each of them and then she glanced to Kane with a nod. “Yes. I’m ready.” She took his hand in hers and the two made the walk into the lake.

 

[History Repeated] A Clone, A Spider and the Truth

As they approached Elvera Kane turned with a smile “It’s easy we go in, you are guests of the crown what reason do they have to question me? Once we are inside Heart and I will create a distraction. Aishani takes out Ascondia, it shouldn’t be too long before the backup kicks in and drags the real one back” Kane sounded unsure of the last part but shrugged it off.

Aishani walked with Kane while keeping up easily with the two men, looking to Elvera as they approached. She chuckled to the unsure tone in Kane’s voice, while glancing to him. “It is never that easy, my love. But, we have little choice at this moment. Heart can you handle your part? I’ll be more than willing with mine. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve.”

“Not really, I was never one with swords and fighting, but I did train with the boys so I can at least keep myself alive” Heart replied flatly, his voice all evident that he was going along with the plan rather than having any point of agreement in it.

As they entered the city its street wound down through the market now more sparse than its future counterpart, buildings were hastily thrown together and held together it seemed by luck. As they made their way the through the villagers would smile then disappear into conversation. Kane kept his motion deliberate as they made their way toward the castle gates, slowly they opened for him.

“Welcome back Commander I trust your business is concluded?” The guard asked

“I am taking these two to plead their case to the Queen, their land has been burned to the ground and it may directly affect the castle” Kane replied clearly his words on the fly as the situation evolved before them

“Of course Commander, the Queen is in the gardens” The guard replied, Kane bowed lightly in reply and led the three of them off around the castle grounds. As they exited earshot and visual range of the guards Kane felt himself relax and release a breath of relief.

Aishani simply chuckled to Heart’s words, as the expression rolled past her lips in a sensual purr. But, in their travel, Aishani remained silent with determination as her expression due to Kane’s words upon the guard on the Queen hearing their plea. She flicked her gaze to Kane and then back forward as they made their way to the garden, taking in the amount of guards in the process.

Kane carefully counted the odds as they entered the garden area the bushes hiding the inner sanctuary, as they made their way in, Kane felt motion behind him as Heart drew Kanes blade before he had chance to react. Heart wrapped his forearm around around Kanes neck, holding his blade just below, a panic erupted from the guards as they all drew their weapons.

“Stand down” Kane growled coldly “Stay in your positions”

“Kane?!” Ascondia snapped as she rose to turn her attention “What is the meaning of this intrusion”

“These folk are a little upset with you burning down their farm darling, seems they want retribution” Kane shrugged forgetting for a moment before he felt the blade nic his throat

“And you’re going to let them take captive the Commander of Everlandian Forces?” Her voice was almost amused in her words “Come now my sweet, get yourself out of it and execute him before he causes any more problems”

Aishani remained walking until that moment that Heart made his move with Kane’s blade, then all chaos ensued for a flicker of a moment. Now, as Ascondia made herself known and informed Kane to execute her and Heart, which was her move. The static built up in the air and Aishani removed her daggers, stepping and then blurring from view to be behind Ascondia with the blade glided across her throat in a clean move. “No one is going to execute anyone but you…imposter.” She hissed beside Ascondia’s ear, as blood welled up and began to flow from the slice across her throat.

Kane felt an odd twinge for a split second, guilt before it was gone and as Heart allowed his grip to loosen Kane snapped his blade away, the court had erupted in panic as soldiers rushed toward them to be cut off by Kane standing fast.

“Commander she killed the Queen” One frantically called

“I know” Kane replied flatly

“Arrest her” snapped another who tried to rush Kane only to be expertly deflected and pushed back

“You’re not getting through, you already know that” Kane barked darkly, the familiar trace of electricity now crackled across his weapon, the air fell cold as the fallen body of Ascondia melted to nothing before a flash left Ascondia standing before Aishani. Kane kicked another guard out of his path before closing the gap.

“About damn time” Ascondia snapped brushing down her jeans “Wait you’re not ….” Her head tilted slightly as she looked over Kane “You are but you’re not, where is my husband”

Kane grimaced at the words before sheathing his blade “Might want to call off the guards before we’re forced to harm anyone else” Kane spoke firmly

“Always orders with you” Ascondia shook her head then raised a hand indicating the guards to stand down, reluctantly they did so though ensuring they cut of the trios retreat path “You’d better explain and quickly”

“I killed the one that called herself, Queen.” Aishani growled, spinning the daggers on the heel of her palm before sheathing the weapons with a click. She stood her ground, as the body at Aishani’s feet disappeared, her golden hues lowered to look down to the disappearance. Folding her arms over her chest as the original Ascondia appeared, looking rather bored to her presence. “Kane, you are best to explain that. She has no reason to listen to me.”

“I’ve no reason to listen to him either” Ascondia replied “But I do need to know why you chose to unravel a carefully constructed plan”

“Not here” Kane replied, Ascondia eyed him for a moment before leading them out of the gardens and into the Castle, as they wound through to the throne room she ordered the guards to remain outdoors, Kane was about to step through as he saw the young girl running through the halls, laughing and giggling her dark red hair bouncing in her wake. Finally he entered the throne room and the doors closed behind him.

“Well we are alone, now who are you and where is my husband” She snapped it wasn’t difficult to tell her patience was wearing thin as each moment passed.

“We had to break the spell, I need something from you so I can return to my own time and set straight a coup that right now threatens the balance of the Everlands, the spell used was constructed on the base of your power, and seeing as you are one of only a hand to this day who can manipulate time, it has to be your magic that sent us here” Kane began

“And who exactly used this spell?” Ascondia replied coldly “As you said not many can wield such power, much less use my own power, which would seem it to be a targeted attack?”

“The conspiracy seems to point that way yes, to upset the already fragile balance in the Everlands, times have changed, times will change” Kane sighed softly “I’m just trying to set it right Ascondia, we all are”

“And you chose to execute the Queen? Not really the brightest of moves, the High Council will have your head for this, you know what bringing me back means, I left to protect our child” She spoke as

Kane tossed her the small white ball “Her memories, but I suspect you already know what’s in them, your Kane is unconsciousness in a farm just outside the city limits, he is unharmed but he will not remember any of this”

“So how do you plan to get back? Time travel isn’t used for a reason, the results are unstable at worst unpredictable at best, there is a reason I outlawed it here” Ascondias  voice had altered it now carried a more formal tone as if she was simply negotiating a treaty.

“That’s my problem to worry about, I just need enough base magic to work from, that’s all I’m asking for and we go away never to be heard from again, at least not for few decades” Kane stated calmly

“Very well, I will have fitted with horses and supplies in the meantime I suggest you stay out of my guards way, likely they are still none too happy about your actions, this is all on your head you know that” Ascondia stated before waving them away, Kane simply sighed and headed out of the room.

Aishani moved next to Kane in the corridor. “She really hasn’t changed that much.” She looked around but then lowered her voice. “Did I see Aerian? That little fireball running around?”

“So happy and care free, free of what this realm will eventually do to her, I could change the world for her right here and she would never grow up to be half of who she is now” Kane sighed softly “She was such a happy child, nothing phased her nor did it scare it her” he smiled softly before taking Aishanis hand and kissing it “We still have a lot to do before we get home, we should gather our supplies”

“What the hell happened back there?!” Heart finally spat out having remained confused and lost for the last few minutes before finally his patience simple ran out catching even Kane off guard “Why is she not dead?”

“Ascondia? I thought you knew the truth …. Shortly after we found out she was pregnant, you know how it was back here, had they found out the Queen was pregnant or even involved with me they would have executed us both, so we had her cloned by the Dragon Magi, supressed all her feelings for me and memories of our relationship, we were married in name only and only to ensure they had no way to oust Ascondia from the throne in the absence of the real one. She left for the human realm and raised Aerian there until she was 8 or 9, Aerian accidentally caused some mayhem when her powers begin to come through so Ascondia sent her back to me, considering my reputation before I was mind fucked by the high council a daughter arriving wasn’t all together unexpected. The cloned version never knew Aerian was hers, or I don’t believe so and even if she did, she never said as much. We never found a reason to switch the two back until now, the odd thing was eventually the cloned version wound up developing feelings for me and it was about now it was getting overly complicated trust me we did myself a favour Heart”

“How long has she been gone?” Heart asked awkwardly

“At this point somewhere around 15 years, but time works slightly different so to us a decade maybe, anyway as I said we have work to do” And with that he led them back out toward the stables, the guards eyed the trio awkwardly but for the most part made no move toward them as they entered the stables there were as promised horses and supplies already waiting as Kane nodded to the stable hand “Your package is already in place Commander, the Queen wishes you safe passage” Kane nodded and mounted the horse

Aishani glanced to Kane at his partake of her hand and the press of her flesh against his lips. She looked to Heart at his explosion with an inclined brow, those luscious lips curling into a smirk at seeing the usually calm and collected Heart frustrated. Her essence still surrounded Kane reminding him of his lover at his side, soon to be wife. To keep up the charade, they could not be affectionate to each other. At the stable, she winked to the boy and easily tuck her foot into the stirrups on the hoist to the saddle. “Let’s get the hell out of here then.”

Kane simply smiled and kicked for his horse to begin moving, they made way out of the city and into the open lands beyond.

“So where we headed?” Heart asked softly “Or should I just stop asking?”

“Safer not ask” Kane replied with a smile but at least now the worst is over, in a sense at least, we just need a few things before we can use the spell to send us back

“Ever used it before?” Heart replied flatly

“No, but I’m fairly sure it’ll work, and if not we will have access to best source of knowledge to ensure it does” Kane replie with grin

“Oh, a man of mystery.” She chuckled, while easily guiding the horse to keep up with Kane but suddenly catching a movement out of the corner of her eye. Aishani pulled on the reigns for the horse to halt, the hooves stamping impatiently as the stubborn snort came from the rounded nostrils. “I saw…something. Hold on.” Aishani moved closer to Kane and tossed him the reigns of her steed before slipping from the saddle. Her eyes seemed to be set forward, glowing in the dimness of the encroaching night, Aishani crouched low to the ground but then Kane and Heart saw the movement of shadows just beyond a forestline. Aishani stood and bolted in the direction, her pitch threads trailing after her like black dust due to the lack of dreads it was flowing free, a few leaps caught her a distance away and then a rustle was sounded with a grunt.

Kane looked into the darkness before tossing Heart his own and Aishanis Reigns already drawing his weapon as he hit the ground, and that is where he stood between the darkness and Heart and the horses, his weapon traced the dirt gently as he crouched behind it

That is when Kane heard Aishani’s voice call to him and Heart. “You have to come see this!” As they entered beyond the forest line, the sight they met was astonishing, it was the numerous eight sets of eyes that stared at them. These were the exact replicas of Shadow, ten at most and the one that stood in the front was even larger then Shadow, the size of a work horse.

She lifted her hands to Heart and Kane to remain calm. “They tell me that…I am the one. I am the one to follow and lead…”

Kane looked awkwardly at the sight before him, Heart remained behind Kane and back a little as Kane looked to Aishani “The drow aren’t in hiding here at least not yet, though admittedly I have never seen a sight like this either” Kane sheathed his blade standing down his defensive posture

“I’m aware of this, my love. They are terrified, they felt a surge and came to investigate, that was the time slip and rip, I can only assume.” She moved to stand within inches of the largest spider’s face, a hand lifted to caress the furry leg, it was as though a silent conversation was occurring between them. “Apparently, they have been waiting for me and will continue to do so. Haven’t you noticed that the Emerald City, doesn’t have spiders within? Don’t you find that odd?” She stepped back a few feet, while watching the lead spider turn to leave and then the others flanking in behind until all were gone.

“I had noticed, I also noticed the drow don’t speak of them either, and yet you and shadow are as one” Kane replied as he watched them leave “The last we saw of them was during the Dragon Wars, perhaps something occurred that set the two at odds?”

“Dragons…normally are to the skies. Spiders are to the ground, in dark crevices…That’s it. The Dragon-magi. Their magic is not exactly born from the realm, correct? Not like you…or Ascondia, but, rather darker force? Or am I wrong?” Aishani turned to face Kane, it was still odd, getting used to seeing her without her grizzly scar. This was the beauty that only Kane saw beneath, now was prominent to everyone in this time. Her eyes were beautiful, energetic and glowing within the gold hue.

Kane smiled softly his hand gently against her face for a moment “Partly, but Ascondia isn’t of this realm either, we are, Sarantha, most born here the elves are drawn from the realm, but many generations ago, long before us magic was traded, plundered, stripped from those with it, some grew greedy and looked outside the Everlands for a greater power” Kane began his mind searching for the storys told to him as young child.

“It’s rumoured the first dragon mage was half elf, half dragon an elven woman wandered into their realm and was, made to mate with a dragon in some odd twist a child with dragons blood was created, they returned home with instruction to raise an army and so they stole a princess from the Alarian Court, the dragon boy raped her until they conceived a child and killed her when the child was born, then incest bore another and even though diluted eventually they had numbers enough to bring forth their masters to our realm” Heart added

“Didn’t turn out too well for them or us, the war was bloody and painful and high in sacrifice so much so all our natives were forced to unite, we had to use the purest magic we had to repel them, we survived all be it barely, but yes their power is not drawn from the Everlands which is why the magical flux didn’t affect them like the rest of us” Kane finished

“Natural instinct for a spider is to flee if their home is in danger…” She offered Kane a smirk to his caress, lifting her own hand to gently trace her nails upon his exposed flesh. “I believe that is what occurred. A threat to their existence was pushed either fight or flee. When we return to our time, we have to seek out these arachnids, I heard mention of a mountain that was shrouded in dead trees…empty and deserted. Do you know of such a place, my love?”

“Alaria …… the Drow Capital” Kane whispered softly “It was only hit once during the wars but every living soul was ripped apart, beneath is a network of caverns and caves and mines, similar to the ones below Dentarius but no one goes there now for fear of the dead, much like the dwarven city “We leave dead to themselves in those places”

“I get the feeling that we should go there, when returning to our time.” Aishani glanced behind her to the place the spiders once gathered, then to him. “Come, we need to get back it is more urgent the longer we take.”

Kane nodded as they worked back through the forest to the horse, Kane handed Aishani her reigns with a smile before mounting his own horse as he looked to them he nodded and with a tug they again began to move through the forest.

“We need to let Hades out, if we’re going to get back I need the most stable power I can think of” Kane stated idly as if the comment was more a thought simply made word.

“OK Aishani seriously tell him he needs to rethink, in this period Hades despises him, he will kill him the moment he walks into that cavern, Hades doesn’t care for Kane and especially not right now while he is sealed inside a mountain with nothing but time on his hands to hate Kane even more” Hearts voice was high pitched and panicked now

Aishani looked from the panicked Heart to Kane, then to the path before them. She remained silent for a time, as the hooves of their horses were the only sound, her golden eyes seemed to be searching for something while her flawless features remained calm. Just when Heart was sure that she wouldn’t speak, that rolling purr of her voice shattered the silence. “Heart, I believe, Kane knows what he is doing on this. Unfortunately, if we need Hades, we have no choice but to do so. I have heard how Hades was in this time and personally, I wouldn’t mind a challenge. But, if we had another choice, then he never would have suggested it. I don’t care for it any more then you. But, we are in a time that is not our own and we have to return to Everlands of our present. Aerian is alone as is Hades with no knowledge of such events.”

“He’s right of course Hades will kill me on sight, or at least he will try, but Heart we have an advantage, I’m not going into that pass alone, I’m not going in at all” He looked to Aishani “But Aishani has enough knowledge of Hades of the current day to offer his freedom at a price, he aids us and in return she will set him free”

Heart remained the same panicked look looking from Kane to Aishani “Besides you won’t be anywhere near I need you to ride ahead to Riverfield, I need you to take Sarantha to Dentarius”

“You’re an idiot! And why?” Heart spat angrily

“Like I said I need a lot of magick to get us back, there is only one place in the Everlands I can attempt it, but I need the collective power of the entire Elcarus family that includes Hades, I also need to draw directly from the realm which means it has to be balanced, the realm won’t allow me to tap that much power without Sarantha, Heart please for once trust I haven’t completely lost my mind” Kane tried to soft the frustration in his voice

“Your making this up as we go along aren’t you?!” Heart actually sounded amused by that statement

Aishani continued in silence, it was as though, she was thinking deeper on things but to Heart’s angry tone, she shifted her gaze to him. “Regardless, Kane knows we need a lot of magick to get us back. He is right though, Kane won’t be going in to face Hades alone. Not to mention, I do have my knock out darts with me. Remember in our time, the realm is in chaos because Sarantha is no more. This has to work and set things straight, Heart.”

Heart simply nodded and kicked his horse into gallop off ahead of them.

“He really doesn’t handle pressure too well, I fear we are expecting too much of him” Kane sighed softly his eyes settling on Aishani admiring the beauty that he saw even before the changes “I am grateful for the strength you bring to me”

Aishani watched as Heart rode off in his separate direction, she sat proudly on her saddle with reigns in hand, but to Kane’s comment that luscious rolling purr parted her lips in an amused chuckle. “He handles more then you give him credit for.” When she returned her focus to him with those twin golden pools amidst flawless features with her hair as smooth as black silk, inclining a brow. “As I bring strength to you, you do so for me as well, my love. I believe that is what a true relationship is about. But, you were strong before me. As was I. We had no choice and simply had to be.”

“Not sure our strength will save us with this next part” Kane smiled darkly “Hades will not come willingly”

She glanced to Kane with a smirk across her plush lips. “I’m always up for a challenge.” Her features were so different and flawless even as Kane saw beneath the surface prior to this. It was a sight to behold and she was absolutely stunning with the two clear golden pools of her eyes. But still she remained with the attitude.

[History Repeated] The Only Way

It would feel like a long time as the edges of consciousness are dazed the darkness clearing up a after this time, Kane lay in the dirt, mentally checking himself he sat looking around his eyes sat staring down toward Elvera Castle, it took a moment before he figured what was off, the town was much less populated than the last time they had visited.

Kane glanced to his side Aishani also lay in the dirt and Heart just beyond her was on his knees trying to clear his own head.

Aishani lay on the ground breaking heavily it was in part from pain and anger. He knew this by the rapid rise and fall of her chest and in part of the canines that peered from beneath her upper lip. Her hands had born claws beneath her groping into the ground like butter and a hot knife. It would take him a few moments to realize that her body was attempting to recover with her wolf side. He felt the pure fury now as it rippled his hair and put him on alert. Those eyes were a vibrant blue now very near electric. A shade he had never seen before.

Kane eyed her for a moment before he knelt beside her his hand on her shoulder assuring her he was close “We’re ok my love” his eyes already searching the land trying to place why it was so out of sorts, something was off as Heart dropped behind him.

“What the hell did she do?” He whispered, Kane looked over his shoulder “I’m more curious as to how, drow aren’t supposed to have that kind of power readily available, but her plan was to remove us from the equation, the problem is her results were unstable”

“You know what she did?” Heart replied

“Yea, and by law of the realm when we get back she has no recourse there is a reason we outlawed time travel, which is why the ability to do so is all but gone, only a few still have the ability” Kane shrugged softly as his hand remained on Aishanis shoulder will her to return to them

“Time as in?” Heart started and Kane finished “Elvera somewhere around a century before the Dragon Wars” his words were solemn and dark

“Which means you’re …..”

“In there somewhere completely clueless as to who I actually am” Kane replied bitterly

Aishani came to but the blue fading to her usual golden hue yet the scar was disappearing from her brow to her cheek and she looked to Kane at first then to Heart. “What happened…” She muttered adjusting to sit up and take in her surroundings.

Kane drew her into him gently “We got hit with a time bolt by a drow who apparently has more power than I gave her credit for” he replied “We’re back at least 2 centuries”

She welcomed his embrace while then leaning back to look at him with a tilt of her head. Since the scar was gone her ashen skin was beautiful and even more exotic. “Wait. What will happen to me? I wasn’t in this realm then….”

Kane smiled softly his hand caressing her face gently “Well you didn’t vanish out of existence, so it looks like you will just revert to how you were around this time, unless you were a child, that could get awkward” he smiled softly “I think because of your wolf been from our realm you will just unage a short time”

Heart crouched beside her his eyes taking in her body for a moment before Kane caught him in the ribs “Hey!!” He growled “Just remember we need to avoid running into ourselves, and wasn’t exactly”

“Controlled, yea noticed that part, seems I’m the only one who isn’t going to revert to my former self, or I damn well hope not” Kane sighed softly “I would hate to be who I was”

“So would we all Kane, but why did we end up here? A spell that reverts time is in place isn’t?” Heart replied quickly

“Yes, and no, they are rooted by the place the spell was crafted, which means that spell was rooted by Ascondias magic, which means” Kane started

“Ascondia is responsible” Heart gasped darkly

“No, I don’t think, but there is a sect of Dragon Mage hidden in Elvera, the High Council protects them in exchange for certain services, I was ordered to leave them alive and Ascondia wasn’t exactly tuned to stand against them, thankfully this version is far less reserved about them” He sighed softly

“So let’s go talk to her” Heart grinned

“Cos they are just going to let me walk right on in there, with you and Aishani in tow without questioning it, Heart you forgot this version of Ascondia isn’t actually her, we need access to the real one” Kane sounded almost defeated in that statement “And this timelines version of me is the only person with access”

Aishani leaned her cheek into his hand with that smirk upon her plush lips. But with Heart ogling she inclined a brow with a chuckle to Kane’s reaction. But her eyes Kane. “Like hell you are going in there alone. Wait… In this timeline… Are you still married…?”

Kane shifted uncomfortable and awkward “The other me is” he stated there was discomfort in his voice “And that’s who we need to talk to, the Ascondia here and now doesn’t have the power to send us back and the power she does have is fragile at best, I did a very good of hiding that fact for almost 15 years”

Heart looked to Kane “You want us to go kidnap the Commander of the Everlandian Army?” there was near shock in his voice as he looked to Kane

“Kidnap is such a strong word, lure into a trap would be a better way to put it” Kane shrugged softly

Aishani looked between Heart and Kane. “Hold on just a moment… Anything we do now could impact the future right? As you said your past selves cannot see you. How do you plan to go about this Kane?”

“We won’t impact the future, at least no more than we have already” He sighed softly “The alternative is to wind up as prisoners and I’d rather avoid having to fight our way out, Aishani you can go into Elvera they have no clue who you are the Drow aren’t in any danger here, not another few years at least, you and Heart can find me and pose as a couple with a farm on the outskirts in trouble” He pointed back down the road “There’s an abandoned farm not too far from here, if you can get me there, we should be able to talk I will just not present my real self for the moment”

Aishani looked from Kane to Heart again. “He had a better idea of you in this time then me. I’m not sure how I feel posing as a married couple. So long as he keeps his hands to himself I won’t have to hurt him.” She smirked but nodded to Heart. “The sooner we find Kane now the sooner we can get back. I don’t like entertaining the thought of Kane being with Ascondia. But… Perhaps we can change what befell the Drow..?”

Kane smiled softly as he kissed her forehead gently “You already have changed their fate, trust me on that” Kane drew his cloak up tight and pulled over his hood “I’ll wait here” he stated softly “And Heart keep your hands off my fiancé” Heart merely smiled in reply as he turned to head toward Elvera

Kane sat quiet on the castle stairway his eyes remained on his blade as the whetstone ran along its edge, there was youthfulness to him in this timeline, and yet those emerald eyes were as intense now as ever.

There was a warm spring breeze on the winds the Everlands prospering at least for the moment as he continued to sharpen his blade.

The Kane that sat sharpening his blade caught a scent on the breeze. It was mouthwatering and yet held a hint of danger. That is when he would see the female standing next to a male appearing angry and distraught speaking to a guard. “What do you mean it is not important enough to be brought to Commander Elcarus’s attention? We are a farm in need of help.”

Kane rose his eyes following the sound of voices as he crossed the castle courtyard and stood behind the guard “What is going on?” his voice held an edge that was far from himself now

“These people Sir, they claim to have a farm in danger, I tried to explain we are already spread thin dealing with the Fifth but they won’t leave sir” The guard stammered quickly, Kane looked from Heart to Aishani unsure as to why he felt the need to listen but he placed his hand on the guards shoulder who simply nodded and walked away from them.

“Start at the beginning and perhaps we can find a solution”

Heart looked to Aishani before launching into his explanation “We failed to meet a requirement of our payment and they burnt our crops, slaughtered several of our cattle and then demanded we meet our next payment at double their rates, which obviously we couldn’t do, now they have seized our land and thrown my wife and I into the streets, my Lord they implied I should sell my wife to raise the money but I cannot, I beg of your help”

“Seems to be a whole series of these of late, but my guard was correct we are spread far to thin holding back the Fifth to send troops to take control of land, and even if we did you are likely to miss your payment to the crown?” Kanes voice was cold though his eyes were showing the sympathy for their would be plight

“We don’t ask you send troops, we aren’t far from the castle and a visit from yourself would perhaps be enough?” Heart actually got pleading into his voice “I love my wife my lord I would wish no harm to her”

“Such is the world we live in” Kane replied darkly “But we also have the castle to feed and if you are close by then you would be part of those lines in which case it is a matter for the crown, can only imagine what would happen if Ascondia doesn’t get her bread” Kane shook his head in frustration and looked to the gates “Come on then we’d better make this quick”

“Thank you my Lord I can never repay such generosity” Heart babbled quickly

“So they keep telling me” Kane replied as he strapped his blade to his back his eye caught Aishanis a spark just for a moment before his gaze diverted from her “We should be quick”

“Yes, we wouldn’t want her Royal Highness to be without you for too long.” Aishani commented dryly, though, hurried with Heart through the streets to the farm that was ‘theirs’. On that walk, her scent grew stronger to the past Kane, mouth-watering and dangerous at the same time.

Kane looked to Aishani with a frown “You have issues with my wife?” He commented before shrugging it off “She has that effect on people” as they entered the farmland he was stripped of his weapon and forced to the ground.

“You do realise who I am?” He growled the scent of Aishani had him off balance and had distracted him from his usual vigilance, the caped figure prowled in front of him pacing for a few minutes before speaking to Aishani and Heart.

“The thing that frustrates me most about all this is I was so blinded by honour and duty I walked into more traps than I’d care to count, I remember it all and yet I continually tried to balance what was right against what was expected, at least now what’s right is generally what’s expected anyway” The figure shook his head though the voice had caught Kanes attention.

“So not in trouble?” Kane muttered darkly

“Oh we’re in trouble, just no one would stupid enough to try and take our land” Heart laughed softly

“And why is that?” Kane was now wrestling against the bindings at his back

“I need something, and as luck would have it only you can get it for me, and as for Hearts question no one would be supid enough to try and take Dentarius now in the future or while ever there is an Elcarus in that house, but anyway”

“You’re Elcarus? How can that be the Council only created one, well 2 if you count my half insane brother, but he’s locked in a mountain cave with nothing but eternity on his hands to think about what he’s done” Kane replied darkly

“I wouldn’t count on that” Replied the figure as he turned Kane froze a reflection of himself “See here’s the thing, the Council are idiots, a play for power and given time you’ll see that, but in the here and now we shouldn’t be here, but we got sent here using magic on Ascondias”

“She won’t help you, and if you are me you know she wont” The captive Kane replied coldly attempting to make sense of things as well as maintain his authority

“Not wont, Cant” Kane replied calmly “Because she is a clone, created to protect the real one after you went and knocked her up, the real one is hiding in the mortal realm and you can go to her”

“But I wont” The captive Kane replied darkly causing Kane to groan inwardly “Come on don’t make us have to hurt you, I really don’t ned to damage the timeline any further, and I’m not in the mood for non co-operation”

Aishani folded her arms over her chest, brilliant golden eyes glowing softly while looking down to the captive Kane, plush lips pert as though in a sign of disgust to the man that was Kane’s past. To the wrestling of the captive Kane’s bindings, Aishani placed her boot on his wrists to keep him from furthering harm upon himself. Finally a low rumbling growl escaped Aishani’s lips, pulling on his bound wrists to flip him over and sit on his chest with her strong, nimble fingers fixed on him. “You are no idiot, now and in the future. But, one thing you are is stubborn. Listen to me, what he says is the truth. We are not in the right place or time, yes, consider us crazy if you please, but, we are not the one that is bound. Yes, you will cooperate, Kane Elcarus. Because if you don’t…things will cease to be. I have that from a source that is not to be questioned. We want to get back and FIX this, you want us gone and that is the fastest way to win on both ends. You think, times are dangerous now? They only get worse.”

Captive Kane growled beneath her but he had her pinned well, until he finally gave the struggle up “I can’t help you or I risk exposing what we’ve done, and that’s more trouble, if you really are from the future you’d know that, who the hell are you anyway?”

Kane chuckled softly “Has time been that hard on us? It doesn’t matter I just need a fragment of her magic, I can do the rest”

“How do we know he won’t just run off?” Heat added now adding his thoughts on things “I mean it entails letting him go right? How can we trust him?”

Kane looked to Aishani almost hurt by the fact Heart wasn’t about to trust his former self, at least until it dawned on him his corrupted mind was loyal to Ascondia and the crown and could indeed lead him to turn on them.

His eyes darkened as he looked to the three “We do have one option but you’re not going to like it”

Kane looked to her “We kill Ascondia” he said simply

Heart coughed loudly his look to Kane in absolute shock as if Kane had somehow lost his mind “You want to kill the most heavily guarded woman in the entire Everlands? That’s you’re option we won’t like, Did us getting kicked through time somehow totally screw up your head?!” There was near panic in Hearts voice

“And do you want to shout it any louder so they can arrest us BEFORE we get home?” Kane replied that same flat tone

Aishani inclined a brow to Kane’s words, a smirk forming upon her lips. “While, I do not mind the thought of Ascondia being dead with her whining and selfish attitude…Heart makes a point. Unless, you are meaning the kill the double that is serving in her place…”

Kane smiled softly “Exactly, the spell that keeps the clones power in check is also designed that should she die at any point it will drag the original back, as it happens the original was assassinated and I never found out who, it’s also somewhere around this the one that holds my head together begins to break up” Kane breathed “Seeing as we are here engaged in a history that to us already exists”

“You killed her anyway?” Heart looked confused by the whole deal as the other Kane had found his feet and freed his hands, there was grace in the way he grabbed his weapon only to be deflected by Kane drawing his own

It was a split moment as Kane snapped the attack away and caught the back of his knee sending him into the dirt, a flash and he collapsed unconscious “Always did hate that gap in my head, guess I know why”

“What the hell did you just do” Heart snapped as he checked the other Kane was still alive “Memory wipe, I think, just the last few hours, he won’t remember any of this”

“It’s for the best, Heart.” She looked to Kane now, while binding this unconscious Kane’s wrists. “He got out once, he can get out again. But, with that we have a limited amount of time to get this completed. Heart, this makes perfect sense, we need the real Ascondia here.”

“I just have a problem killing the most powerful woman in the Everlands clone or otherwise” Heart replied stubbornly

“We should get going, at least they should buy I’m their version of me, so getting in isn’t going to be a problem” Kane added as he finished securing the other Kane.

Aishani rolled a shoulder with that purr dripping from her lips. “I have wet dreams about it. No offense my love. I know she holds a special part of your heart and is the mother of Aerian. But it is just a clone. And he did day that the clone was assassinated to begin with eventually. Though I am curious. They may not believe you if we walk in with you Kane.”

“I have it covered my love, just have to trust me” Kane shrugged knowing she did as he looked to Heart who was sat on a stump of a log looking somewhere between horrified and beaten down.

“You’ve finally lost your mind” He sighed softly as he stood kicking at the ground before looking to Kane “It had better be a good plan”

Kane looked to Heart then to Aishani and nodded “I know what we’re about to do, but it really is the only way to access the magick we need, and we need to get back to stop whatever the hell it is Sasnistra is trying to do by getting us out of the way, that’s what is important here” He smiled to Aishani “I will let you have the honour my love, while she may be a pain in our collective asses we do unfortunately need her in this instance at least the real one”

“Oh, with pleasure, my love.” A wolfish grin crossed her lips.

Kane simply smiled and led them back off toward Elvera.

[Circles & Lies] A Fall Into History

The Inn was all be deserted by the time she arrived only Anya and Heart remained as they ran the evening duties of cleaning, Anya as ever kept a keen eye on Heart and Heart absently performed his own routines snapping his attention up as Aishani entered followed by Sasnistra.

“Damn is it that time already?” He muttered softly before collecting his cloak and making his way to her “Kane is resting safely” he stated firmly quietly hoping she saw the statement for what it was before looking to the two guards still stood at the bottom of the stairs.

“We should go, the Grand Summit will begin soon, Anya no one is to be allowed entry after I leave” He stated firmly, Anya merely placed her weapon on the counter top and nodded “Yes My Lord” Heart nodded and turned leading them back out of the Inn.

Aishani took in the emptiness of the inn, then glanced from Heart to Anya, still contemplating the use of the young girl but there were things in mind. She nodded to Heart. “Indeed, it is that time, Heart.” She offered Anya a wink but turned to follow Heart out of the inn on the way to the summit. “Have you spoken to the Imperial Guard, that none are to be harm no matter the circumstances of this evening?” Aishani asked him casually.

The Elder Chambers were full from top to bottom as they filed in as ever taking their seat at the bench before the Elders, the Reagis sat to far right and Hollingar the far left in the centre the Drow female.

She stood and the room fell silent “It is in these days we look to the future, to decide if our past should be protected in order to preserve our future, we have been aware of the coming of another from another realm who has the blood of our ancestors. That is not to say it is Aishani” She was about to continue but was cut off as Reagis rose.

“It is not through a lack of trying on our part that we have tried to keep our crops harvestable, and our water pure enough to drink, but it seems the Realms Healer was murdered just a short while ago and this has thrown the very fabric of the realm into chaos, even with the aid of the Dragon Magi we are unable to maintain the level of spell casting that is required, this could easily be aided if we looked to the surface for aid, we can bring more of our family here and in doing so strengthen our magick pool” Reagis’ words cause a ripple of whispers to run through the galleries above them as Heart glanced up nervously

Sasnistra rose “My Lords and Ladies, and all the houses here, I ask of you to consider our past, Empress Dellena reigned and our lands prospered, her death was a tragedy to all of us and the Elders have served well in the absence of our Empress, but now is the time to return power to the throne if we are to survive the influence of the outside we cannot be devided with decision”

“She will not be within Emerald City how do you propse this works?” The Drow woman spat back angrily

“She will appoint her own council, to rule in her stead, guided by the hand of all those present, allowing as Dellena did for democracy to do its part, the people are the one’s who’s faith has been rattled, someone even tried to have our guests assassinated, I ask you all who has such power? To not only know the city well but when and where to strike? All could be avoided should we not need to argue to argue amongst ourselves for the simplest of decision” Sasnistra replied firmly there was at least passion in her words

“And if her husband dies? Will she take the throne by force? Lead us all to slaughter? You think with your heart Sasnistra you always have that’s how you ended up dated a half breed to begin with” The drow female bit back once more “But it seems Reagis has cast his vote and Hollingar no doubt as well, so why should we turn our future over to you? Why should we trust one representative above those that head the very races we protect here?”

Aishani placed a hand upon Heart’s shoulder as he looked up nervously, though, after addressed she stood awaiting for all eyes to rest upon her. “Past can lead to the future, but, in that do not dwell in the past. While Kane Elcarus knew that coming here would be a possible threat, I instructed him to leave the Everland forces behind this is a matter of my people. No, I may not be from Everlands, nor Emerald City…the realm has welcomed me. Change is now, trade will increase the economy of not just Emerald City but Everlands as a whole. While, I will admit the wrong done in the past, must not be forgotten but everyone makes mistakes and it took Kane guts to return to a place that we both new we would not be welcome…and initially due to rules, we were not and now, he was attacked before this audience. In the open, clearly, someone wants fingers to be pointed and unrest to remain. But, this will only damage everything in the end. I had no idea that there were Drow in Everlands, the moment I learned and uncovered what had happened, I immediately sought you out. I still stand strong and will decide my remaining council, do not ask me as whom, just yet. I am here and I am ready the decision of the Elders.”

The doors to the Elder Chambers clattered open as Kane walked in, already having shed the bandages and his weapon drawn, his eyes flashed emerald as he dragged in the needle of a man. He marched the man down the aisle as those in the stands above whispered in anticipation of the meaning.

“Forgive the intrusion” One sharp kick to the back of the mans knee crumbled him to the ground at the end of the aisle “But I figured this warrented your immediate attention, this man was found trying to enter your home” His eyes met the drow female calm and challenging “He has quite a tale too, claims he got lost, of course” he looked to Aishani there was an apology in his voice “I’m sorry but it was needed” his attention switched back to the drow woman “His instructions were to kill your daughter Illiana your son Andros and their watcher, and then claim the kill in the name of the Empress”

His words held for a moment as Kane flexed the hand that held his blade one fluid motion and the blade came down with speed to a chorus of panicked screams, his blade halting just above the assassins skull “In Dentarius I’m perfectly within my rights to kill this clown, idot forgot to dump the bow and the drakes blood, still we’re not in Dentarius which means he is outside my jurisdiction, I am no longer Commander of the Everlandian Army which admittedly would be nice right now, so simply” He pulled the mna to his shoulder and on hard push sent him into the hands of the Imperial Guards “Your fate is in his hands, but make no mistake had I not been made aware of this your family would be dead” his voice lowered to an near threat “Also take note I need not have acted, as I said it is not my jurisdiction nor my concern, but luckily for you I gave Aishani my word I would harm no one, I just hope she forgives me for having to alter our little ruse”

The Drow woman looked from the Assassin to Kane to Aishani her words failing her completely as a hushed chorus rattled through the balconies above “Do we know who sent him?” she finally managed to ask

Aishani was about to speak when the doors busy open a brow inclined to the interruption. A smirk forming on her lips to the appearance of Kane though her golden hue fixed on the individual with him. She offered Kane a brief nod to his apology but with the explanation Aishani shifted her gaze to the Drow woman it was not her place to initially question this assassin. “While Kane has been shunned for the past he stopped a casualty from occurring in the future. Ask your questions. It is not my place at this time.”

Kane turned to face Sasnistra his eyes settling “We know who sent him, infact we know who orchestrated this entire thing, the only thing she hasn’t caused is us being here to begin with” Kane started

“Oh I wouldn’t count on that” Sasnistra replied darkly, Kane would have reacted had Sasnistra not been faster the bolt hitting him square in the chest then erupting above them, the air went violently cold before the darkness engulfed the room.