[Everything Changes] Secrets, Answers and Apologies

Hades stretched as he sat on the edge of the bed, rubbing his eyes and looking to Jade with a grin. They had spent the last days finishing the new cellar and smoke room, with the largest part of the work done, Hades planned to spend the day planning the wedding.

A rap on the door downstairs quickly diverted his attention as he shook his head and still barely dressed made his way to answer the door, looking through the window he saw the Elveran guard before making his way to open to door to Ascondia.

“You do know it’s the middle of the day?” She sighed softly though not avoiding her eyes looking him over “Get dressed we need to talk,”

Jade stirred, as Hades sat up. She was glorious in moments like this, deep in sleep. Wearing absolutely nothing except the beautiful collar around her neck. It wasn’t just the hard labour but the many nights tangled within the sheets. He had yet to utilize the playroom created in the basement. She was in her front with the entire bank piece of her tattoo revealed, the bold colours of that glorious phoenix.

When he left the sight behind him to another of Ascondia. Unknowing of the guest, she stirred and discovered Hades missing. Jade gathered the sheet to wrap around her to make her way downstairs, though at the foot of the stairs, she froze. Now seeing Ascondia, holding her hand at the gathered sheet, everything about the woman came crashing upon her. That look in her eyes upon his exposed torso caused the possessive Kitsune in her to growl.

“My beloved…?” She said, even to her the sound of her voice was foreign to her ears. The hair framed her face in a tangled mess of darkness.

Hades looked over his shoulder the sight of his wife to be mid form caused his heart to skip as he snapped his gaze to Ascondia “Stay there, I’ll be back” he closed the door and crossed the kitchen to her, his arms slipping around her waist to kiss her deeply.

“Seems we have company, though had I known it was our Queen I wouldn’t have answered the damn door,” There was an edge in his voice as he now felt the dull ache of the work they had done begin to catch on him “We should dress, I doubt this is a social call,” He kissed her once more before heading back to the bed room to dress.

She remained with her hand curled at the fabric of the sheet, eyes fixed on Ascondia but after a moment Jade followed Hades up to their room. She removed the sheet with a place in the bed, quietly dressing in a black and red kimono. Sitting in the vanity chair to brush her hair, watching Hades in the reflection of the mirror, but left her hair down. The Kitsune was growling possessively within her, as she then stood. “I’ll get the tea prepared…” Jade stated rising to escape the room before Hades could stop her, moving down the stairs to hear to the kitchen.

Hades sighed darkly as he pulled on his shirt, and then his pants, finally his boots, before a brush through his hair and then back down to the kitchen, he looked to Jade for a moment before making his way to the door, Ascondia looked irritated as she glared at him now.

“Finally, as I said we need to talk,” She stated firmly, Hades merely stepped aside and invited her.

“What’s so urgent Ascondia, and why the hell is the Queen of the Everlands on my door?” Hades sighed softly, the guards eyed him as he looked past her then simply closed the door.

“My apologies for the interruption Jade,” Ascondia stated, there was actually a tone genuine apology in her words “You and I will need to speak as well, I owe you a bigger apology in all this”

Jade glanced over her shoulder to Ascondia with a brief nod, though remaining silent while preparing the tea. She scooped the leaves within a small metal container and poured the streaming water within to slow it to seep. And then gathered some cups to place on the kitchen table before Hades and Ascondia, then the tea pot. Garnishing her own, to our out the tea to Hades and Ascondia then herself, the Kitsune in her settling on Hades lap to prove her claim upon her fiancé without words.

His arms slipped around her waist, his hand creeping between her thighs in a reminder she was all he wanted, he kissed her neck with a soft smile then to Ascondia “Start talking, why here and what is so damn urgent,”

“Kara Kilrin” Ascondia stated simply, Hades coughed before his look turned to a glare as he moved his hand back to her thighs now there was a darkness that suddenly seemed to surround him.

“You had better be screwing with me, I didn’t chase that bitch across the realm, twice for her to show up and screw up my life again, and she is dead, pretty damn hard to not notice her head getting removed from her shoulders!” There was force in his voice Jade had seldom seen now.

“Oh calm yourself,” Ascondia bit back with the tone becoming of a Queen in that moment “We did, or so we thought, though now we suspect she may have altered someone else, she is Elcarus which means she could make such a thing stick even in death, she isn’t coming after you she fled the realm, to the human one, and we three need to go and get her and bring her back before she causes us more of a headache,”

Jade seemed pleased to Hades actions between her thighs, though, sipping her tea, this quelled her Kitsune for the moment. Listening to Ascondia, but the instant Hades voice changed and the drained emerged the Kitsune came back to the surface fed by the demon in Hades. “So, Hades and Kane have a sister…all we know is she has fled. Do we know why? Or what purpose? For all we know it could be a trap. Something the Queen would not allow to go unnoticed and take action.”

“Oh she’s no sister of ours, she may have Elcarus blood, but that’s where the association ends, still Jade has a point,” Hades replied to his wife to be.

“I do not know, I do know we can’t leave her there, we have caused enough problems in the human realm as it stands and they fear us, if they are able to tap into your sisters magicks they can come here and it would be all out war between the two realms, you know we cannot allow that,” Ascondia replied “I have already been to your brother, but with the children so young, they do wish to leave them, though them staying here should allow us to maintain the balance of power, you’re half human, you can blend in, I can open the portal that takes us there and brings us back,”

She hesitated for a moment “And of course your fiancée goes where you do, and one more pair of eyes would be helpful,”

She quietly sipped her tea, watching Ascondia over the rim of her cup, selling to lean back and against Hades. “I have not been to any realm but our own. Yes, since it seems that Hades has tracked her down more than once. This Kara…I need to know if she had a scent like you or Kane, my beloved. I can still track as such. Though, one thing I demand is that someone tend to my garden whilst away. Hades can tend to my own.” She turned to ours her lips against his, openly a display with her Kitsune allowing Ascondia the showing off claim in a soft growl amidst the ours if their lips. But she leaned her forehead against his neck. “You are correct. Where he goes, I go.”

“It’s likely her scent will be close to ours,” He smirked at her comment about her own garden then shrugged innocently to Ascondia “I promise someone will watch over your garden my love,”

“We shouldn’t waste further time, she already has a head start,” Ascondia sighed darkly now as Hades quickly scribbled a note before kissing Jade deeply.

“Just need to hand this off then we can get going, realm hopping sucks, you know that right?” Hades chuckled to her, “I need to make a quick trip to the neighbours, is there chance you can avoid me having to explain why my wife killed the Queen of the Everlands in my absence?”

“I’m not here to fight Hades, this has to be done and you’re our best chance at getting it done quickly and painlessly, Kara needs to be brought back, and her damage limited it’s that simple,” Ascondia replied as she now turned her gaze to the window.

“I will be quick I promise,” Hades whispered his words against her ear letting his fingers press against her once more “At least in this, perhaps not so many other things,”

Jade stood, responding to his kiss, though settled down in Hades empty chair to sip on her tea in silence. It was clear that Jade had little to say to Ascondia from their last encounter alone. Soon enough, she stood gathering the cups and went upstairs to gather her katanas, this was an addition with Hades gift to her. Returning with the blades fixed to her hips, lounging against the kitchen counter.

“I am sorry, for how I was before, truly, Hades is the one person who deserves his share of happiness, and I have come to realise that perhaps my actions have done more harm than good, something I am trying to correct. He was my greatest ally before I knew about Kane he was the one that saw me right, the strength of my rule was built on his back,” Ascondia sighed softly “I don’t regret my time with him, nor would I want to be with him now, he is a good man and he has found the woman he truly loves in you, my actions were cold and selfish for that I can only apologise, each day if I must,”

Jade looked to her with those warm brown eyes, pushing from her lounge. “You just may have to. Because to me actions speak far stronger than words. I’m glad you see his happiness, because he makes me just as happy. It is a step in the right direction so do not think your words have fallen in deaf ears.”

“I wouldn’t blame you if they had, but I do have something you might find useful. There is a chance when we cross realms that your powers do not go with you, your strength and your brains will, but the kitsune essence will not, which means you would be as close to human in that realm as possible, Hades will also revert to his human side,” Ascondia placed a coin on the table with a smile “Forgive the language but if you can get him to fuck you while you are over there, your chances of giving him the one thing you want to give him more than anything are much higher, when we return the realm will do the rest, we will be there a while and certainly long enough to ensure the deed is done, just something to keep in mind,”

She blinked to Ascondia’s words, appearing stunned into silence, though looked to the coin. Tears lifting to moisten her eyes, then looked to Ascondia. “How…did you know…?”

“Aishani and Kane, my daughter and her lover, and you know your history it isn’t a stretch, I also remember telling you it would be foolish of me to be Queen and not be smart about knowing the people,” Asconida replied softly, there was a warmth to her voice as she spoke now, “Now tell me I am incorrect in my assumption? And tell me you haven’t be racking your brain trying to decide if there is a way for you to get pregnant to a half demon? And then tell me the one thing you desire more than being his wife, is bearing his child?”

Jade lifted her hand with deft fingers to touch the coin, remaining silent. “I do. But I don’t understand. If I become with child, will such not affect through a portal? I ask the lady of my line and I do wish a true conception. Not one conceived by not being out true selves…”

“It will be you, but without question, only how, the child will not be harmed coming back. And the realm will make its choice as to what they will be, sometimes Jade we have to circumvent the rules to get what we want, you may fall pregnant here with time, but if you do as I suggest then you will carry Hades’ child, and you will both get what you want,” Ascondia pushed the coin to her “I cannot tell you what you to do, but I can tell you paths others won’t, the choice of course will always be yours. You will still be you Jade, just as he will be him, the only difference will be your chances of having his baby are much higher,”

“The risk of cross realm travel is dangerous, going out of The Everlands is much more dangerous, hence we cannot take Aerian and Virra. But coming back I can protect you until we arrive back, after that it may get a little uncomfortable while the realm catches up to what we’ve done, but your baby will be fine and it will grow with you and then be born in our realm to parents who love that child,” She removed her finger from the coin leaving it before Jade “The coin is nothing special, only a reminder of my words,”

Jade stared down to the coin, while moistening her lips, but gathered it to set in her pocket. “We will just have to see.” She lifted a finger to remove a stay tear from her cheek. It was clear that Ascondia offered her something that she desired.

Ascondia nodded softly “As I said it’s your choice, and this isn’t some secret I’m telling you, I don’t expect you to keep it from Hades, that isn’t what this is about. You don’t trust me right now and I’m fine with that, but I do need you to trust me at some point Kara won’t come quietly. And your husband to be isn’t exactly known to play well with people he doesn’t like,” Ascondia smiled a she stood now walking back to look out of the window in thought “That means us pulling this off actually rests in your hands, because he listens to you. And I need him to not kill his sister, I will help you with this little bit of information and if you so choose Jade, you make sure I get her back alive so we can finally get to the bottom of who she is, and I can start making peace with the realm,”

“You’re wrong. It is not my choice, but ours, Hades and I. I do intend to speak upon this to him. Though, I do not pretend to understand. I do know however that this is crucial to the balance of the realm. I will do what must be done to maintain that. For the future of not only Xander and Terra but that of Aerian and Virra’s children.” She inhaled deeply now, beginning to pace. “What is taking him so long?”

“Everything will be as it is meant to be Jade,” Ascondia replied, as in that moment the door opened and Hades stepped in, unhooking his blades and placing them in a trunk, before turning to look at Jade and Ascondia.

“Everything OK?” He looked to Jade before to the trunk “We can’t go armed, it will make blending in very difficult, not a prospect I’m looking forward to but it is what it is, Ascondia you should ready yourself to open the divide, and try to land us somewhere close to where Kara is, it will make this easier,”

She looked to him, as Hades was all about business the instant he returned, then to Ascondia. “Uh…right.” Jade hesitated, then looked down at her kimono while moving over to place reach blade reluctantly within the chest. “Is my clothing okay?”

“I’m not happy about being unarmed either,” Hades smiled kissing her head gently “But you look great, the town will send someone to tend the garden, so for the moment everything is covered here,”

Ascondia dropped her blades in the trunk and Hades closed it, she nodded and made her way to the garden, as Hades drew Jade close kissing her deeply. “The next part sucks, when you get to the other side just breathe, take as much time as you need, it can feel off over there, let’s just hope it’s not the middle of winter” He smiled taking her hand then leading her to the garden. A moment later a flash left a portal hanging in the middle of their garden as Hades stared for a few moments, Ascondia nodded then vanished amid the swirling mass.

Hades led them to the edge, it was hard to ignore the energies that whipped and crackled within as he stood behind her kissing the back of her head with a smile “I’ll be right behind you”

“I just don’t want to stick out too much.” Jade said in response to the words and after the kiss, though laces her hand within his. She had never been through s portal and this made her anxious, Ascondia’s words rolling in her mind.

Now standing before the portal in the garden watching Ascondia walk through. Then to Hades words in a nod, gripping the coin tightly in her hand, she advanced and stepped into the swirling mist.

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[Ending A War] It’s Finally Over

 

They had travelled most of the day in unison and strength, a united front that reminded the realm they were going to war united. Several smaller towns had also lent forces, or people joined simply wanting to help liberate their homelands the threat that lay ahead of them.

Hades rounded his horse and motioned for them to halt, soldiers quickly moving to begin making camp. Kane slid from his horse making his way to Hades.

“We should set camp here, the Elveran borders are charmed to alert Ceremon, and those vibrations are hard to miss” He stated as he slid from his horse and then moved to aid Jade from hers.

“Alright, we’ll hold here, send Aerians group ahead to see what’s waiting for us, this is her area of expertise after all” Kane replied

“Who’d have thought you’d be advocating for your daughters skills as a thief,” Hades chuckled, Kane merely waved his hand in reply and made his way to Aishani.

“We can’t get through without letting Elvera know we’re coming, I’m going to send the girls and Domi ahead to see if they can blind them for us, or distract them long enough to get us over that line,”

Aerian had already caught upto her father and heard his plan “Those things are not easy to bypass, you go over them or you go under them”

Aishani watched as Aerian rounded up Domi and Virra, then turned to Kane and Hades. “I need a map.” She said calmly, as Jade tilted her head a slight. “I have an idea, though, I need a map of the area. Aerian said that it is difficult to diffuse. Either over or under, I need to see if there is a cavern that has a tunnel system. Otherwise, my love, we may have to seek the dragons for help.”

Virra kept up with Aerian, while Domi was not far behind. “Is that even possible? To diffuse the charm?”

“Takes a shit load of power, unless you can find its source,” She sighed softly “You can go under them in the right places, but shutting them down is the most effective method.”

It was a few moments before the guards brought a map to them, laying it out on the ground before it sprung to life and hung in the air, caverns did indeed through the area they now resided though far to unstable to take everyone through.

When they stopped Virra straightened and Domi was on Aerian’s left, they looked at what appeared to be nothing but a slight ripple. “Then how do we find the source?” Domi asked while nearing Aerian and looking to Virra whom simply shrugged.

Aerian crouched as she eyed the ripple in thought, watching it vanish into a cavern “The source will be in the centre of wherever this extends, which if I’m guessing right, it would be the castle, and even if we get in we don’t make it out alive,” She sighed softly “We need a new plan…”

—————————————————————-

Aishani inspected the map, while cursing beneath her breath, then glancing to Kane. “We can’t go around and we sure as hell can’t place the army in danger by going beneath. These caverns are too unstable, the only thing we can do is wait on Aerian and the others to figure something out. Last option is the dragons and leaving behind the horses which will sorely cut time.”

There was a ruffle of people behind them as Ascondia made her way to the command tent “There is another option, we can go right through it without tripping it,”

Kane looked up his eyes on hers for a moment before motioning for her to continue.

“I open a portal, enough to get everyone and everything through,”

“You know what that would do to you? You may be powerful Ascondia but even your power isn’t unlimited,” Kane replied flatly “You’d be putting your life at risk,”

“The risk is worth it Kane and you know it, I can get us across. It will drain me fair enough but I can still fight well enough without my powers, you made sure of that.” Her last words caused her to glance at Aishani “It’s our best option, if this extends the whole way around and it’d be really bad implementation if it doesn’t, the centre is the castle, are you willing to risk three lives when we can just risk one?”

Aishani looked to the map, motioning for a soldier to gather it up and turned to face Ascondia. “The unicorns can offer magical stability in this venture to ensure life is kept and maintained. I know the ones that resided in Faerûn could do much the same. Summon them. I want to get one thing straight, Ascondia. You are not going to be a martyr in all this. While I agree, one life is greater then three…” She gave Kane a sharp glance. “I will send Shadow to gather the others.”

“Oh I have no intention of dying,” Ascondia replied sharply “But I can get us across, and they will be unaware of it, we retain the element of surprise, even if we sent the dragons over they would see them, we jump right over the defence this way. I’m doing it to help not some eternal plan to make myself the hero, honestly I’m happy to leave that you and Kane but I’m our best bet and you know that”

“Aishani is right, with the Unicorns you can avoid draining you yourself too heavily, your portals are handy as all hell, but we need you in this war.” Kane added “I have no want to lead the Everlands, Ascondia so I’ll be damned if I let the Queen wind up dead, the realm needs you, we have your back but you need to be alive when all this is done”

Ascondia adjusted her blade on her hip with a smile “I plan to be,”

Aishani chuckled to Ascondia words, though, moved to stand beside Kane. “Good, then we know the plan. Let’s get this done once Shadow has returned with Aerian, Virra and Domi.”

It wasn’t long before Aerian returned to the group, her eyes down cast as she made her way with Virra and Domi toward Aishani and her father “We can get through, but it is a bad idea for us to bring it down, of course we will go,” She stated softly.

Kane smiled softly and threw a glance toward Ascondia “We have a back up plan,”

Ascondia flexed her hands as she made her way to toward the ripple, she eyed the land beyond for a moment before rolling her shoulders, slowly her hands moved from the ground upward, a purple line following the path, as she moved up and then across the line expanded becoming a purple swirling mass, as she reached the ground on the opposite side the purple mass flickered and flashed into a stable picture just a few feet past the ripple.

Her hair was now plastered to her face, as she looked to Aerian with a smile, then to Kane and back to Aishani, as one of the Unicorns made their way to them “We shall hold the line Lord Kane,”

Kane drew his blade and nodded as he stepped through, it always felt odd to him passing through portals, like been pulled forward and then stopping suddenly, no sooner had he set foot on the other side than chaos erupted as hordes of undead sprung from the ground, Kane glanced around and kicked the closest back “Ah to hell with it, Aerian!!”

Aerian reacted to her fathers’ words, snapping her bow into position and drawing back the string a flash of silver shot into the air erupting high above them, within moments dragons descended from the skies above, roaring and reigning fire down ahead of Kane, the undead screaming in pain as they were cooked.

Aishani was close behind Kane, after he stepped through the portal, the instant the ground shook and the undead rose into the pandemonium of rotten flesh and bones, she threw a knife in the direction of an encroaching creature upon her husband with an easy flick of the wrist. When the rain of fire from the dragons, Aishani moved next to Kane while Jade entered through the portal with Hades and Virra with Domi and Aerian. “We have to make haste! The dragons will be seen from the castle. FORCES MOVE OUT!” Aishani bellowed, as the spiders lead by Shadow trickled through, then the other creatures on their side.

Virra spun her daggers in her palms at the ready to work the magic.

Hades was as dangerous as anyone on the field in that moment his blade worked with deadly accuracy. His foot work kept him close to Jade, but his eyes were on the forces now trying to assault them, as the dragons roared overhead. An undead lunged for Jade only to be caught by the back of the head by Hades.

Kane kept the line intact ensuring they moved forward “At this point our element of surprise is gone, though I’m sure they’re scrambling to figure how we got past without them knowing. Stay tight, head for the castle,” a flash of white as arrows streamed past them eliminating several undead in their path.

“We cover them,” Aerian called to Domi “And you make sure we don’t die baby,” she smiled to Virra.

Jade held her own amidst the battle with surprising ease and grace, ducking and reposting with a slice of her katana. The weapon gleaming wickedly, while Hades recognized the fact that her incisors had sharpened and those warm brown eyes were replaced with the humming yellow of the Kitsune. She moved with such stunning beauty, dancing and predicting the movements, as he dispatched the undead behind her, a flash and soft metallic whistle was heard as a throwing star was edged into the throat of an undead. Jade winked to him, as he watched her back, Jade did the same.

Aishani assisted Kane on keeping the line in tact, though, this separated them with the soldiers. Yet, he heard the grunt from her force that met the end of many undead and felt that pull of her ability blinking behind an undead then to stand before another, it was a succession of perfect moves while she remained strong and uninjured. The brilliance of her golden eyes glowing and her fangs grown to reveal the wolf at the surface to offer the strength.

Domi was already at Aerian’s side, positioned to offer the back up needed at the range while Virra kept the undead from attacking them and disrupting their focus.

Whatever they missed was quickly picked up by the rest of their forces or obliterated by dragon and spider alike. It was a focused assault that led them to the castle walls, as Kane called instructions for the dragons not to get too close to Elvera.

“Take what we can, we need to find the necromancers,” Hades called, no sooner had he than a flurry of arrows unleashed by Domi and Aerian were sent up onto the walls, screams told them they had found targets.

Among the scores of undead the necromancers wielded their magic now. The forces spread in a line cutting their route back off as well as blocking those coming upon them. Kane eyed the wall in thought before turning to Hades.

“I so hope you have a plan for bringing that wall down,” Hades chuckled

“We’re going to walk right through it, right into the throne room,” Kane replied

“Um, it’s a seventy foot solid stone wall, and your dragons can’t fly over it,” Hades replied with a grin

Kane kicked at a stone and the wall opened up a long stone corridor stretched before them, Kane threw Hades a told you so look.

“What in the…” Hades breathed

“I wanted to make sure that we could always get Ascondia out if we ever had to, this tunnel is … hard to explain” He replied

Aishani was fighting an undead that was easily dispatched and she glanced to Kane and then Hades, while her eyes hummed softly with a wolfish smirk. Jade at her side, the two nearly looked as twins with the eyes and grins, but, the stark differences were clear. “Then what are we waiting for? It’s time to get this over with.” Aishani said while Virra and Domi with Aerian moved up to the gathering. “Where is Ascondia?” Her eyes flashed to Shadow that appeared and Aishani looked to the creature for a moment with a nod. “Shadow is going to work on the infiltration with the unicorns and dires into the gates, those spiders can climb anything.”

Kane spun his blade in his hand looking down the secret pathway with a smile “They wont see us coming until its too late, we take out the guards, you kill your sister and we force their hand,” he stated firmly.

“Ceremon isnt going to go quietly,” Hades added darkly.

“I don’t believe Ceremon is the problem in all this,” Ascondia snapped as she pulled her blade from an undeads chest kicking it back with her foot,” He seems to be willing to give Z’ress anything she wants, like a sad little puppy looks quite weak pandering to that whore,”

Aishani glanced to Ascondia with a knowing expression and nod. “No, Ceremon is a pawn to all this. It is the culture of the Drow men are the lesser. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s locked up in a cell about now. My…sister Minra is a strong necromancer, it wouldn’t surprise me if she is the cause for the undead necromancers and horde.”

“How many damn sisters do you have?” Virra blurted out.

Aishani glanced to her with a narrow of her eyes and bare of her teeth, though, turned in her heel to enter the passage first.

“What? It was a simple question.” Virra shrugged as hard looks were cast her way.

Jade glanced to Hades, those eyes glowing softly and three sense of her predator beneath the surface was arousing. He had never truly seen this side of her and with the blood on her kimono and some splattered upon her neck and cheek was enticing, the bruise remained as a mark at her neck that his claim. “Well. Let’s get this over with.”

Hades leant down to Jade, placing a kiss just below her ear before he spoke low and only for her to hear “You look so hot, I cannot wait to take you to bed and fuck you”.

He straightened and stepped beside her, as the group made their way through the tunnel into the depths of Elvera Castle. As they neared the end Kane directed Aerian, Virra and Domi off allowing them to access a higher level and provide aerial cover for them.

A few moments later Aishani, Ascondia, Kane, Hades and Jade stepped out into the throne room, guards attempted to rush them only to be cut down without an ounce of mercy. Ceremon looked up with a dark glance, somehow he looked fragile, withdrawn almost.

“I told you not to count them out,” He scoffed angrily.

“We have the grounds, we have the lands beyond, we have the people this is over,” Hades snapped “Oh and your crazy son is dead too, most of your men are either dead or roasted alive by the horde of dragons we have watching our backs, time to stand down,”

Jade appeared to purr softly to Hades as he spoke his words, though, keeping close to him and followed him with the others inside the tunnel. This was methodical, as the tension was thick in the air making their way through the passages. The instant in the throne room, it was when all hell broke loose. The clatter of the guards moving forward to defend, lives lost and blood fallen. Aishani had an aura of danger around her and it positively oozed to her surroundings. Jade was at her side standing ground and not only covering Aishani but Hades as well, it was an out right massacre.

Only a handful of guards remained in position standing just before the risen seat of the throne. Upon the seat was Z’ress, she wore a white shift that sent a stark contrast to her ashen skin and concealed little, including the protrusion of her buds that pitched a tension on the fabric. Her blood red eyes remained indifferent, as her features were calm and composed, surrounded by the shroud of white hair. At her side was a female that held vibrant crimson eyes, white hair and a figure that was equal, if not more scrumptious then Z’ress or Aishani, this must be Xulljra. A small smirk formed on her lips to the sight of the group.

“Oh, that is quaint. You actually thought, I counted them out, Ceremon? Actually…I counted you out.” Z’ress waved a hand and it appeared as though an invisible hand grasped Ceremon to throw him past the guards into Aishani. “You have suited your purpose just fine, Ceremon. Daughter…”

Aishani growled, Kane felt that static pull in the air as Ceremon’s collision was only met with the floor. “You have never claimed me as your brethren since that fateful day…Don’t pretend to play nice now. Where is Xulljra?”

That is when something changed, even the air, as Ceremon began to laugh though it was a wicked laugh and turned female as Ceremon stood and the figure beside Z’ress faded into nothingness. Just then the woman multiplied and Ceremon melted away, they were surrounded by seeming ten of the Drow female. “Hello, sister…it seems my plan was thwarted by that little red head, your daughter needs to be raised proper…hm, where is she now?” The voice seemed to echo from all the figures around them.

“Watching you very carefully,” Kane chuckled in reply, “She has a way of pissing people off, still considering you’re here and Ceremon and Z’ress are not, they have fled already?”

There was something in Hades that simply switched, all emotion simply vanished as his blade plunged into one of the females, despite her been a mere image it collapsed instantly his blade already targeting the next, “Anyone ever tell you that your sisters are real pains in the ass?”

A flurry of arrows splintered the through the air erupting into a volley that rained down over them, perfectly placed to avoid her parents and their group, but with enough precision to eliminate more cloned images”

“Or she could be just screwing up another of your plans,” Kane laughed darkly now “You seem to think at this point we care, let me clue you in, we don’t, we have one goal and I will burn this city to the ground if need be,”

It was exactly as Hades predicted the vision of Xulljra dissipated, as did the next. Yet, when the rain of arrows flew down dispatching five more visions leading to only a handful left. Z’ress hadn’t dissapeared, standing in her position behind the guards and the throne, watching with idle interest, just as a glisten of metal was seen and a throwing star lodged into the neck of one multiples of Xulljra causing her to scream in pain, only to have it gurgle and a body slumping to the floor. A pool of blood spilling about the body, as Jade moved over to dislodge the weapon, licking it briefly, then looking to Z’ress.

Aishani never moved but held her glowing golden gaze upon Z’ress with deadly purpose. “You have sufficiently killed your daughter…”

“She was too weak. Now. For you, my dear sweet heritic…” Z’ress stepped forward as the two guards looked confused and shaken, almost as though, they felt the tides turning and the traitor title to end their lives in a trial. The way she moved was oozing with sexuality and prowess, it didn’t take a genius to figure out that Aishani had taken that walk.

Aishani spun her blades in her hand now, gripping the hilts. “You are NOT my family. My family is here with me and backs me up. One more move and my daughter will strike you down with her arrows…Go on. I dare you.” She growled with a low rumble, fingers flexing on the daggers. “You have lost this war, Z’ress. No more lives will be lost under your reign.”

As if to make the point ever more clear arrows slammed into the ground at Z’ress’ feet, another whistling eerily close to her ear and into the throne behind her, the air held tense and dark in that moment. Hades stood beside Jade with a dark smile, the darker Jade became in her actions the more in love with her he found himself, something given a chance he knew was going to bring them together in a way they couldn’t have predicted.

Kane had all but removed himself from the scenario now as Aishani made her warning and Aerian made it crystal clear. Ascondia now stood blade in hand “Now get the fuck out of my home, because if they don’t end you, trust me you crazy bitch I fucking will, this is my home and I’m tired of watching them gush over each other,” she threw a look back to Aishani “No offence,” before her eyes slid back to Z’ress “Walk away or I will make sure you don’t,”

Jade licked her lips, glancing back to Hades with her upper lip curled back in a silent growl, exposing her fangs to him but then stood back watching with keen eyes.

Aishani rolled a shoulder dismissively, though, moved to stand at Ascondia’s side. Daggers at the ready, while suddenly sheathing one and lunging to catch onto Ascondia. The static pull was felt in the air as both, Aishani and Ascondia disappeared, then appeared beyond the guards and behind Z’ress. The Drow female had little time to react, as Aishani stabbed a dagger into Z’ress’s side with the blood staining her white shift. Such surprise written on her face, as Aishani nodded to Ascondia, giving her the right to end this woman and claim her throne.

Ascondia didn’t need a second offer as she grabbed the back of her head causing her to yelp in surprise, it was quick and clean but her blade was across her throat almost as quickly as they had appeared, a well placed foot to the spine sent her crashing to the floor “You were warned,” she snapped angrily, wiping the blood on her cloak before turning and seating herself on the throne.

“Anyone else care to defy the Queen of the Everlands?” She stated darkly looking to the fallen forms of Z’ress and Xulljra.

Kane bowed with a smile not in respect but more a mock defiance a reminder to Ascodnia they had her back, but weren’t hers to command at will. As guards now began filing into the throne room, it was clear the city was now theirs.

Hades sheathed his blades and grabbed at Jade kissing her deeply, a low growl from his throat as did so. Aerian, Virra and Domi also now joined them in the throne room “Is it over?” Aerian asked quietly.

“By the fact these two are out of the picture, Ceremon seems to have split so yes, it’s finally over,” Kane replied sheathing his own blade, making his way to Aishani “You alright? I get they’re not family really but still, thank you,” His words loud enough for Ascondia to hear a reminder again where things stood between Dentarius and the throne.

Aishani glanced to Ascondia as she sat on the throne, while no movement from her head but the eyes lowered to the bodies of Z’ress and Xulljra, the expression on her face unreadable for the moment, though tipped her chin down to Ascondia and walked down the steps.

Jade bit and suckled on Hades’ lip within the kiss, but, that fire was more primal then it had been before. Though, once Aerian, Domi and Virra arrived in the thrown room, Jade grinned ruefully to her. “I’m rather disappointed at the fact that it was easy…”

“Yes, a build up to a killing as easy as this, has me hesitating…” Virra commented, while wrapping an arm around Aerian, while Domi moved to near the steps of the throne and appearing to inspect for something on the ground.

“If Z’ress had Ceremon wrapped around her finger, I do not think he would flee.” Domi said, just as a guard looked to him then the others.

“He is locked in a cell, she used him up until. The enchantress had played his roll since we came to the castle.” The guard said with his head bowed down.

Aishani hit the last step while considering then, suddenly, crumbled to her knees hard. This was unexpected, as even her gaze appeared surprised but now she was having a problem breathing.

Kane was at her side within a moment his blade drawn as he leant to her “You Ok?” His eyes already searching the room for the cause, Hades too had his weapon drawn as he followed Kanes path of searching the room.

She appeared to struggle to breathe, while the colour had drained from her face, shaking her head. “Shadow…Find…” Aishani managed to gasp.

Virra looked confused to Aerian, then Domi. But it was Jade that spoke. “She…is she bound to the creature?”

Aishani couldn’t speak now, but nodded slowly.

Aerian was on her heel before Aishani squeezed the second word out, as she tore through the castle and out into the courtyard, it was an ease that she vaulted up onto the wall and took off toward Shadows last know location.

Kane remained with Aishani as he looked to Hades who nodded and leant to guards issuing orders to secure the last areas of the castle.

Aishani looked to Kane, while her golden eyes were dulling as every second passed. Mouthing the words. ‘I’m sorry’.

Aerian took off in such a rush that it left Virra and Domi behind, stunned at her speed. Though, Jade took off shortly after her, the speed was incredible and the Kitsune could easily follow the scent. But, the last known location of Shadow was to secure the entrance of the castle, that is where Aerian found the large arachnid as a female Drow stood over the creature with a dagger drawn to come down to end Shadow’s life as the arachnid lay on the ground with the legs spread out.

Aerian leapt from the wall drawing her blades in mid-flight with speed as she dropped, her blades driven into the shoulders of drow female, landing clear ontop of her there was a crack indicating broken bones. She with withdrew one blade and proceeded to drive it into her rib cage with force.

“Not going to happen bitch,” Aerian snarled darkly, she shifted turning the female over now pinning her to the ground by the throat her blade poised to end her “You don’t screw with Elcarus family or did they not teach you that bit?”

As Aerian grew closer to this Drow female, it was then realized that this was not a living being. The flesh was partially rotten from the bones and the eyes glowed an unnatural blue, but, as the weight crumbled under the creature, it was then that Aerian realized that it was controlled.

Jade appeared a few moments later, landing easily on the ground, straightening and moving to Shadow and kneeling down. That is when Aerian saw it, a strange aura growing around Jade in the form of a fox. Her hands were on Shadow now, as her eyes were closed in concentration.

Looking around Aerian only saw the wounded and dead, nothing denoting the caster to control this dead but a dagger was on the ground of a gold with the detailing of a spider at the hilt.

“Did I ever mention I fucking hate necromancers,” Aerian muttered, her blade driven into the forehead of the undead drow to ensure it stayed dead, before she stood and made her way to Jade “Can you help?” Her voice trembled as she picked up the dagger looking it over in thought “I’m guessing we’ll be ending another one of Aishanis family before today is out,” again she returned her attention to Jade now.

Jade glanced to Aerian, while inhaling deeply and rising, looking to Shadow that appeared to be alive then to Aerian. “I have healed the wounds, best I can…though, the rest has to heal on their own. It will take too much power, which I don’t have to heal the life threatening wounds. I think that Shadow will be fine.” She paused while coaxing Shadow to rise, sure enough the spider rose but it was weak. “Let’s get back to the others. I think, that this was a diversion for an escape.”

Aerian spun her blades in her hand before sheathing them and nodding, she bowed lightly to Shadow and then led Jade through the courtyards to the castle. As they moved through the main doors soldiers were pulling the dead out the castle. Staff had already began cleaning blood from the floors and walls, as they reached the throne room Ascondia was still sat on the throne.

Kane remained at Aishanis side though was grateful when Aerian returned, she crouched to them and sighed “I’m sorry, some necro was trying to take down Shadow, I got to it’s thrall, before it was fatal, Jade healed as best she could and the necro got away no doubt to become a thorn in our collective asses later,” She kissed Aishanis cheek gently before making her way back to Virra and Domi.

Dutifully, Shadow followed Jade while the arachnid had difficulty a few times and Jade stopped to help the creature with a smile. When they entered the throne room, Aishani was still laying weak with her head in his lap and hand within his. She inhaled deeply with a smile as Aerian kissed her cheek, this was the first time that Aerian had ever displayed such affection aside from an embrace.

“No, fucking doubt. But, at least the threat is over. What about Ceremon?” Virra asked, turning her gaze to Ascondia. “I suggest you reconsider the Council Members, it seems that half of them are dead and sided wrong on this war.”

Shadow moved to lay next to Aishani, as her hand was placed on the spider with her eyes closed. “Minra…She used that necromantic Drow to escape. Shadow nearly had her…No, you did not fail me, my friend…” She smiled weakly to Shadow, as the leg lifted to caress her face with the fine fibers of the tips.

Virra curled an arm within Aerian’s waist, watching Kane with Aishani, while Domi draped an arm over Aerian’s shoulders. She was surrounded by those that loved her and weren’t afraid to display this to everyone.

Jade moved to stand near Hades, though, what no one saw was that she was leaning against him the healing clearly took much from her.

Hades hand slipped around her waist ensuring she was subtly supported, so as only he knew she needed the help.

“If he’s in the cells, keep him there for now, let him think about his actions maybe this will teach him though I highly doubt it,” Hades stated firmly.

Ascondia nodded in reply before looking to Aishani and Kane “I have decided to rule, the council will be made of representatives of each city but I will be the one who makes the choices now, I’m sure if my choices are wrong you’ll make sure I know it,”

“Just be careful Ascondia,” Was all Kane said before returning his attention to his wife “We should get you both home, now this war is done we can finally breathe easy. We’ll speak with Arak’neth and ensure she keeps her kin inline,” He eyed Ascondia once more “You need to inform the people they are equal as any other here now, give them no reason to be a threat, I made a choice and they saved our asses,”

“They did and I won’t forget it,” Ascondia replied softly “I want to thank you all from me and the realm, we lost a lot of people, innocent people but we survived because of you,”

Kane waved away the thanks, before helping Aishani back to her feet holding her to him. Hades had already begun to escort Jade into the courtyards beyond to a carriage already now waiting for them.

“Keep your head mom, you can do this,” Aerian smiled softly before taking Domi and Virras hands and following Hades.

In the carriage, Aishani simply lent against Kane while it was still apparent that his wife was weak even still. Jade and Hades sat across from them, as Virra insisted on kicking off the coach man to drive her new family home. Besides the carriage wasn’t large enough for everyone. Virra showed her fist to the driver and shouted for him to get off, as the man scrambled away too shaken by the events of the day to argue. Domi helped Shadow upon the roof of the carriage, as Virra grasped Aerian’s hand to pull the fiery red head up to join her and Domi on the drivers seat. Not before too long, they were on the ride home to Dentarius.

Virra held a hand with Aerian since her other was needed to drive the reigns, while Domi held an arm securely around her. All of then watched the world move by and it was suffice to say that the bodies that lined the path was a horrific sight, even if most were that of the undead but even still there were guards and soldiers.

Soon after within the carriage, Jade fell to sleep upon Hades’ shoulder while Aishani mirrored much the same on Kane’s, each woman held the hand of their significant other. Now, since this war began time was given to Kane and Hades, a chance, to talk to each other, as the tension had melted away and relief that all this was done gave the realm a breath of fresh air.

 

[Ending A War] Trying for the Future

Hades caught the edge of the dummy with his blade a he flash of sparks erupting on contact, he turned as he kicked out catching the dummy with a thud before landing just behind. He spun his sword in his hand a wiped the sweat from his brow.

Since leaving the meeting Hades had trained to the point of exhaustion and yet was refusing to rest for a moment, he looked over his sword, the edge still shone with a darkness, as sharp as it had ever been, Hades was going to war and had every intention of coming out the other side alive and well.

Jade silently watched Hades as she sat upon a crate, the Katana fixed to her hip and hair flowing lose around her shoulders in a dark waterfall. The bruise still around her neck, while rising now and nearing him. The scent of cherry blossom enveloping him in her presence. “You’ve had enough. While it is good to ensure that you are in excellent condition, also it falls in line to not be exhausted.”

“I know Jade, truly I do, but there is so much anger and hatred behind this blade, being that clouded will serve us less to this war” He felt her hand take his sword, just for a moment his grip help before he nodded and released it to her.

“Of course being exhausted will serve us less” He eyed the bruise on her neck, just for a moment he felt a twinge of regret curl at his gut, quickly buried beneath the memory of how responsive and wet she was during the whole thing, “I love you, Jade, you know I’m doing this for you. All of this from me is because I love you, I will lay down my life if it means this realm is safer for you,” He drew her to him with a gentle grin “Not that I have any intention of winding up dead, I refuse to give Ceremon that satisfaction, even if I know he isn’t going to end up dead either,”

She pressed herself against him now, closing her eyes. “Just don’t do anything rash and I believe we will make it out with another win for the realm.” In her lean, he saw those delicate fingers trace the bruise lovingly at her neck. “We are not only doing this for each other but for the next generation of Elcarus to this realm.”

His hand ran over her neck slowly, as his eyes settled on her cleavage. She could hear the thud of his heart as beat beneath his chest, a heart which he often denied existed until she became his. He remained silent but continued to caress the bruise a reminder of her trust in him. And his for her, he had shown the darker side of him to her, the one he protected everyone else from. It was for her and her alone.

“When this war ends you will be bringing forth the next generation, our child” His hand now slid to rest on her stomach.

Her own touch hesitated as his hand lifted to caress her bruise, raising her head to offer him more flesh to touch. But it was as his hands ended on her abdomen, that her own was placed upon his, looking down. “I just…hope it’s possible…” She whispered, reserved. It was true that only Kitsune bred with the same of their kind. Such was not known outside the world if such mysterious creatures.

“I don’t know Jade, truthfully your kind are so rare, you’re almost a legend, but we are meant for each other which means if we have faith in us, what is meant to happen, will happen” He ran his hand over her stomach softly “I was once told the less you think about it, there more likely the odds the realms will deliver, though half kitsune half demon? Could be fun,” There was a softness to his voice, a part of him wanted to assure her that children were in their future but he couldn’t make that promise and he knew it. “I can tell you this for sure though, if you can then that’s incredible and I can’t wait, if you can’t then it doesn’t matter because I still have you, which is more than I could ever want for, no matter what happens with children, I love you and that will not change”

“Oh…I don’t know about legend…” She said with a blush, that shy girl coming forth once more. But Jade listened to his words, nothing was needed in response as her lips were upon his, to act upon his words.

Hades melted into the kiss, his arms wrapping around her waist and hoisting her to his hips before roaming her back gently. Reflected in the kiss was the self same fire she drew out in him, a deep and as passionate as they ever were.

“I think its time we went to bed to finish what we started earlier,” He growled against her ear, with that he slid his arms under her backside and made his way to their room with her still locked around his waist.

To the hoist she compensated by linking her ankles behind his back and wrapping her arms around his neck for ample support, a croon parted her lips to the fierce growl that echoed in her ears. He felt her heart racing as her bountiful bosom wrapped in the fabrics of her kimono thunder against his, but, leaned her cheek against his shoulder as he walked her just this way into the estate and their room.

As he kicked their door closed behind him he made his way to the dresser sitting her upon it as he was now between her legs, his hands once more returning to roaming her back beneath her kimono, his touch light barely touching the tender flesh yet letting his fingertips glide over every inch of flesh. His lips now working down over her neck and collar bone in soft kisses.

Jade eagerly clawed at his tunic while her lips parted in a rush of pleasure while his own touch invaded the fabrics of her kimono to present the silken surface beneath his greedy touch. She tilted her head to expose more of her neck and shoulder to him, that bruise lingering in the release of his previous darkness but such a side that he shared with her.

Hades kept his touch light, as he worked down over her shoulder, slowly he kissed her shoulder slowly. His hands slid down her back around her hips and slowly up along her stomach slowly. Before sliding back free of her clothing and began working her clothes from her body.

She sat on the dresser now, cradled with the fabric of her kimono pulled around her. Each touch of his hands and lips caused a soft croon from Jade. While the exotic beauty was revealed to him in the most intimate detail. Now she leaned forward to peel his clothing from him in a ritualistic manner.

Hades allowed her to undress him, offering no resistance to her revealing him to her, his hands now working back to run over her breasts before pinching her nipples a little. Before moving in to capture her lips in a deep longing kiss, his hands now returning to roaming her flesh slow and tenderly back to taking his time.

She yelped softly to his administration to her buds, this caused the delightful buttons to peak and tense. Though she fell into the kiss with a shudder, slowly within the tangle of the slick muscle the depth intensified. Her hands lifted to tangle within his hair in order to keep him close and locked into the kiss.

His hands now slid to her hips as he stepped forward his manhood pressed against her, his hands worked her hips for a moment to position her before he repositioned himself to enter her.

As the position was prime, she lifted her legs to curl around him with heels pushing him forward. A cry of sheer joy parted her lips as his tool plunged within her molten depths, holding still, and then clamping her lips upon his and scooting to near the edge of the dresser.

His motion was slow and measured, easing back from her before slowly sliding back into her each time holding within her for a moment before sliding back, his hands running over her back slow and deliberate now there was a deep passion in the way they were entangled with each other, Hades kept his rhythm slow and tender now, the very opposite of the last encounter they had with each other.

Her sounds were incredible within this encounter, it seemed not only her mind but body reacted with the lubrication her honey provided. When he would sunk within her, those legs tightened almost as though silently pleading for him to remain only to be denied. As his fingers caressed and kneaded at her tattooed back caused a gasp to part her lips, her own hands kneading into his upper shoulders.

Hades moaned her name gently as he plunged into her, his eyes one hers intently as he now withdrew this time holding back from her, as she was about to protest he slid into her this time slow and deliberate allowing her to feel every ridge along his hard tool as it entered her until he was deep within her.

Her eyes met his causing this time to be intense and passionate, indeed her mouth posted to protest but was silenced by the plunge forming into the deliverance of her praising sounds. Jade tiles her chin back this have him a view of the bruise on her neck. Her hands had lowered to knead against his lower back pleading for him to speed his movements.

He didn’t, Hades had control and this was just another way of tormenting her, a reminder she was his world and he would show her every piece of him. As he withdrew and slid into her slow again his breathing unsteady in that moment, a control of her also meant he had to control his own wants. The heat of her as surrounded him inch by inch was still as enticing as the first time and as hot as the last, he groaned hungrily but remained slow and controlled.

Jade cried out, while his show deliberate movements proved to be pure torture for her as she begged and pleaded to be taken harder and faster. While after her lips crushed against his, his control reinstated even with her begging, lips folding against his and slick muscle tangled. Her body went rigid, that is when he first felt the throbbing and all at once a powerful rush of juices flowed, again and again, washing him with her ambrosial nectar.

He held deep within her feeling her muscles as they clamped against him, he moaned softly before he withdrew from her a soft smile, he broke the kiss for a moment “I love you,” he stated gently.

Jade was groggy still but to this new position, her eyes widened and the sound of joy parted her lips. He felt her shudder and silken fold clamp upon him. The two were parted for just a moment and combined again, it was sheer rapture. One hand was placed upon his chest, as her hips began to roll, slowly at first.

He breathed deeply, the feeling of himself so deep within her was incredible to him, as her hips began to roll, his hands reached tracing over the flesh of her stomach and breasts slowly, his touch light and tender now.

Jade tilted her head back while the soft sounds she made and the way her flesh rolled beneath his touch voices the pleasures this have her. Her hips moved causing his tool to feel every ripple within, it was magnificent as the love to his life was so vulnerable to him. Even with the bruise around her neck as the mark to the darker side that she had accepted. While to others saw her as was fragile, he knew better. She was a strong and amazing woman, not very many could see past her layers.

But her rocking grew to a higher speed and urgency, taking forward to integrate a deep passionate kiss.

Hades growled in reply now his back arching forcing himself deeper within her as he shuddered, a groan and he released himself deep within her.

It was a tender but powerful moment as her warm lips caressed his when her folds clapped down upon him and he felt the essence drip down his thighs. The two had hit their climax at the same time, Jade collapse on his chest panting as his throbbing flesh remained in her living flower surrounding him.

His arms instantly slid around her waist holding her to him, his breathing broken and ragged from the passion a moment they shared, a reminder that their world was their own, his hands ran over her back then to her ass and back to resting against her lower back.

[The Turning Tide] Changing the Tides of War

The cell was cramped as Aerian sat in the corner her arms wrapped around her knees, quietly she waited on word to bring down the defences of their home. Quietly she hoped there was a plan

Aerian was not alone, Virra held her arms wrapped around her fiancé with their hands together, ring against ring. She would periodically press get lips against her neck to offer support, while it was bleak, cold and damp; though made up for such with the body heat of one another. All they could do was wait, it was agony for the two young lovers. The unknown devouring them like a ravaged beast, they did not know if Hades and Jade were safe or fighting. 

Hades watched the hall for a moment before leading Jade along it and down through the hidden passages to the cells, pressing Jade to the wall he crept along the low ledge, one short leap had him behind the guard before cutting his throat and lowering him to the ground.

Quietly he motion for Jade to lock the Jails main door before working on picking the cell door. It took time but he got it in the end the lock clicking as the cell door opened he tossed in Virras blades and Aerians bow.

“Up for a little Jailbreak ladies?” he voice low but with a smile “We have this, your dad is on his way and is bringing re-enforcements we just have to keep Hareavor and his goons busy until he gets here”

Jade easily kept up with Hades, while the delicate flower was just as strong as the gemstone. She gathered the keys and opened the main dungeon door, watching for Hades to enter while keeping watch. 

As the cell creaked open Virra released her arms from Aerian, tense initially but once her blades were thrown in and Hades spoke, a cruel smirk appeared on her lips. “What took you so long? Reinforcements are good.” She kissed Aerian on the neck but gathered her father’s blades with a spin on the palms of her hands. “What reinforcements?” 

“Oh this you’re going to love” Hades chuckled with a smile, “But for the moment we should go before you’re daddy realises I’m no longer locked in the library”

Aerian grabbed her bow and pulled the quiver to her shoulder “What’s the plan, to just stay alive? Because that’s really dumb!”

“No we fight, on the ground, keep their eyes on us” Hades smiled softly “He will be here, but right now I need you to drop the defences”

Aerian suddenly looked to the dead guard then to Hades “Wait if they’re still up, how did you …”

“Doesn’t extend to here, can’t really torture folk while they are up, we just don’t share that fact” Hades shrugged softly “It makes sense and you know it”

Virra fixed her sheaths to her hips while adjusting them to fit securely. She grinned wickedly to Hades then took Aerian’s hand. “I think this is what we have been waiting for, Firefly. Drop the wards. Let’s have some fun. But you owe us an explanation, Hades.” 

Jade moved to the cell door, peering in. “We don’t have time. Come, we have to go.” 

Aerian hesitated, her eyes looked to Hades then to Virra, before she flicked her wrist “OK they are down”

The screams above told only of the misery as Harevors forces poured in through the gates, Hades had already evacuated the young, the woman and the elderly into the hidden ruins beneath the mansion, the wards there would take they would take some breaking, or finding for that matter, the staff above fought and weren’t so lucky.

“We stay close and we stay until Kane gets here,” Hades smiled softly as he led them up into the Mansion, undead and vampires alike were now attacking anyone insight, Hades caught one with a right hand before dispatching a second with his blade, a third caught him in the right arm only to have its head slammed into the pillar they were behind.

“You OK?” Aerian whispered only for Hades to wave her off with a frustrated nod wrapping the wound quickly, “Let’s go”

Virra grinned wildly, clearly she was going to enjoy this. She fought along with Hades, driving her blades to spill blood of vampires with half decapitation and making some undead immobile with daggers plunged ripping into legs. Jade too had a blade but this was unfamiliar to the lands, specially made with a gleam that appeared to be alive with a strange power that appeared not only fuelled by her but the energies of the very realm. 

As the vampire was slammed with his head against the wall, it was Jade that decapitated the creature. Her warm brown eyes glowed with a slitted almost canine ferocity, baring her teeth now displayed points to her canines. 

Hades nodded to Jade as he threw open the doors, Hades watched the chaos outside before his blade snapped to his chest to deflect Hareavors attack, “Why will you not just die?!”

“Oh where’s the fun in that!” Hades laughed coldly, before slamming his hand into Hareavors chest driving him back. Hades led their small group into the crowds of enemies, a well placed arrow took out a Vampire just about to drive his blade into Virra. Hades moved with purpose, throwing enemies with deliberate intent into the waiting blades of Virra and Jade alike, he clearly had intent as they moved toward the gates.

It was as they reached a small alcove Hades grabbed a man kicking the back of his knee and bouncing his head off the wall rendering him unconscious “Him we need alive,” He smiled and pulled Aerian, Jade and Virra beneath the stone wall above them “Aerian mind giving us a little cover?”

“What’s going?” Aerian whispered her foot pushing the man over to reveal him to be Virras father.

There was a roar beyond that drew their attention as dragons swept down raining fire over those within the court yard, Aerian quickly threw up the spell to keep them alive and uncooked in the alcove.

Virra kept at it, fighting through the hordes of enemies. She was just as cold and vicious as Hades, it was though apparent in her, the trust she placed in not only her fiancé but of those around her. 

Jade on the other hand was graceful and elegant in every move, as though it was a practiced dance with the sword as an extension of her body. Even her aura began to change into that of a fiery orange. 

By the time everyone was in the alcove, Virra sneered at the unconscious form of her father, though it was not long lasting after all weapons hidden and other had been removed from him that the deafening roar was heard. The spell went up just as the world erupted in flames. 

Jade, whom held her Katana blade down to the ground clutched to Hayes’s arm, starting wide eyed at the sight of the dragons. Some swooped down to pick up enemies just to drop them while others were burnt to a crisp. It was difficult to tell from their angle add to whose side the large beasts were on. 

“You’ve gotta be kidding me…” Virra groaned. “Dragons? Ceremon had fucking dragons?!” 

“Oh no those are on our side” Hades laughed darkly “For now anyway”

Aerian dropped the defence spell allowing them back out into the court yard, Hades dispatched several burned Vampires with ease, his eyes searching the darkness that had now descended, ahead a wall of flames as a figure walked through.

“I told you not to burn my house down!” Kane laughed softly as he slid behind a Vampire snapping its neck with precision and ease.

“Bah you’re late as usual, and dragons no less?” Hades retorted as he held Jade to him now.

Aishani moved through the fire now while standing at Kane’s side with a smirk and a hand on the bulge of her belly. “Admit it. You had fun dispatching the enemy, quit your bitching.” She chuckled. 

While Jade was held close to Hades, subtly her hand was touching his wounded shoulder. As he felt a pinch of pain as it seemed the flesh was weaving together in a heal. “Oh my…you are showing, Lady Aishani…” If Hades didn’t know any better, being as close to Jade as he was, it almost sounded like envy. 

Virra chuckled darkly, though kept her eyes on the unconscious form of her father, while holding Aerian’s hand with their rings glinting in the firelight. 

Kane simply smiled in reply before backing toward Hades “We hold the Mansion, force them back”

“To where?” Hades snapped in reply “In case you hadn’t noticed there’s bloody dragons in the sky!!”

“To Elvera!” Kane growled in reply “They will make a stand and we will break them down”

Kane and Hades both took down a vampire who was headed their way, the flames of the dragons now directing the remaining forces away from the mansion, any attempt to go another route was met either by dragon or by fire.

Aerian was impressed at her fathers resourcefulness as she leant against Virra, her arms slid around her waist with a smile “He brought dragons to save us”

Aishani smirked to Aerian as though hearing her easily with the gift brought by the werewolf in her but also the glanced down to her hand in Virra’s that exposed their rings. Then to Jade and Hades with a tilt of her chin to Kane. “Seems everyone has been busy…” She mused. 

Virra remained with Aerian, while Jade pushed from her lean with a kiss to Hades as him and Kane took out a vampire. He felt a lingering sting, but overall manoeuvrability of his arm has returned thanks to Jade’s inconspicuous healing. 

Now with the backing of the dragons, there was more hope in the changing of the tides to this war. 

[A New Path] Return of the Dragons

Aishani remained standing her ground but moved over to check in Kane, once he was standing she went to settle down in a lotus position before the massive dragon displaying no fear only respect.

“The odds are not in the Everlands favour. As you know I am with child and wish for the legacy to continue. I am aware of the Dragon Wars. Many were lost in both sides. Instead of working against each other. Why not work together? I’m not meaning to hold flowers and sing together in peace. You wish to remain at peace, resting. This will be found once this has ended, but we are in dire need of the strength, as we speak Ceremon’s forces are surely enclosing on the Elcarus estate and the people. This world has seen enough bloodshed, youth and innocence lost. An army from the skies represented by myself, Kane and you, will take them by surprise. We need this alliance to aid the panic and fear within our walls, and against their ranks in order to strike. With the unicorns and dire wolves at our side, the strength will grow. This is more then just a conflict between houses. This is war in the realm.”

“You’re a smart one, but one dragon is no good against an army, especially one who hasn’t taken to the skies in a long time” Arak’neth replied

Kane pulled himself to sit with a groan “Ow, I forgot how damn quick Dragons can be, you can have that one for free, but I was actually coming to you with a proposal that would suit you better than it would us, with a few conditions” Kane groaned as he laid his head against Aishani

“You have strength, I will hear your words” Arak’neth replied

“We can bring the dragons home to Dentarius, your family back to our skies, as long as you abide by its rules and its balance, and you don’t go eating innocents for fun,”

Arak’neth lowered her head to Aishani and Kane “You would open the gates for them? Willingly?”

“To protect the Everlands, yes” Kane replied firmly

“And what of you? Would you bring forth dragons knowing our strength?” Arak’neth watched Aishani intently now

She caressed Kane’s cheek while turning her lips to kiss his forehead, turning her mismatched gaze to rest on the dragon. “I am a mother to be and a Queen. I will fight for this realm with all that I am worth, even if I may not be blood of Everlands I will fight for my home. Yes. I knowingly do this for the benefit of the realm. Will you abide by the rules set before you?”

“The rules are ours to obey, I will bring only those who can be trusted to abide by your realm, and I will remain here as I have” Arak’neth replied “But beware once you bring us forth we will not be returned”

“I know,” Kane replied firmly, slowly he pulled himself to his feet as look to Arak’neth “We need to get through to the Vortex”

Arak’neth shuffled and then took to the air for a moment, Kane reached for Aishani and led her beneath the huge form of the dragon that now hovered above them. As they passed beneath she landed behind them causing the ground to shudder beneath them.

Aishani stood on her own, but it was the mention of the vortex that caused her to flick her gaze to her husband for a moment. When the ground shook it caused her to lose her footing but held to Kane for support.

Kane kept his arm around Aishanis waist before they made it into a cave, a flight of steps that wound down into the very heart of the mountain before finally opening out, the rock fell away to a drop and deep below a swirling purple mass that lurched and growled as if it was its own entity.

Kane stepped to the edge looking down before he stepped back, pulling one of his daggers and a few things from his back pack he sat on the edge, looking down there was a prickle in the air that caused the hairs on his arms to raise, the very heart of the Everlands now lay below them.

She settled beside him now while her eyes were transfixed to the purple mass, a hand on her stomach and the other gathered his to feel the movement of their children with her body. “They are restless, my love.” She whispered add though unwilling to disturb the heart of the realm. 

“Probably none too happy being here, can’t say I blame,” He drew the blade over his hand opening his hand for a moment, before coating his blade, looking to the skies above “Of all the bad ideas I’ve ever had, this may be the worst one yet,” his words were more to himself than anything else but he tossed the blade into the void below.

It seemed to take a while before a flash and the purple mass erupted above them a roar could be hear growing louder until as sudden as it erupted the column of purple was gone followed by a flash and there high above them a dozen dragons.

Aishani looked to Kane as he sliced his palm and threw the dagger down into the purple mass. But took his uninjured hand with a squeeze while offering him a nod and offering strength. Both had their doubts but it was the extent they were willing to go to save their home and ensure it remained for their children. 

She stood now as the dragons appeared as a horde above them drowning the sky. “We best go address them.” 

Arak’neth was waiting for them as they exited the inner cave, a short ride by dragon had them back on the ground among the others as they all watched Kane and Aishani carefully.

“You of my blood, will listen to those who brought you here, while we do not serve the lesser races, they do need our help to protect their home, and in protecting their home it will become ours,” Arak’neth roared, there were roars in reply before another dragon spoke

“We thought you dead mother, downed by the dragon slayers, and now that blood brings us forth? Why should we answer to them?”

“He saw me saved and returned to health, that is why, and he will allow us to remain here, as part of their world, as part of our rightful home!” Arak’neth snarled “You would dare defy a Brood Mother?!”

“Of course not, but this realm has already proven it cannot be trusted, it should be laid low and reclaimed for dragon kind!”

“Yes it should, but we wont, we have already lost that fight, and besides the female from another realm has more honour than any other I have met”

Aishani stood beside Kane, though silent, as she watched with those two mismatched hues; gold and milky white. “I commend you for speaking as such, Brood Mother Arak’neth. Though, I have the next generation growing in my womb, she is looking out for the benefit of her own. Kane has seen to her safety and peace. As such it would not remain so due to a conflict that it’s threatening the destruction of Everlands. We welcome you to fight alongside us, since we all have lost. But there is much more to be gained working with each other then against. I would much rather my children and generations to come not see dragons as the enemy but as the fibre of magic and beings of this realm. Fight along side us, the dire wolves and unicorns to right the wrong that had been done this far. Now who is with me, Kane and your Brood Mother!? This is your home and we welcome you.” 

There was a collective roar to Aishanis words, Kane looked to her before crossing the small gap and kissing her deeply.

“Time to show Ceremon why he really shouldn’t screw with power”

She welcomed the depth of the kiss from Kane, though when she leaned back and looked from him to the dragons a smirk formed on her lips. “Yes. He needs to be put in his place.” 

[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.

[Circles & Lies] Deeper Lies

The Elders were as ever sat at the table at the head of the room as those in the galleries looked upon the room. Kane was sat in the same spot he occupied while on trial, flanked by Heart and Sasnistra. The Dwarven Male stood now.

“You called this meeting Lady Aishani, might we enquire as to why?” there were whispers the whipped through the galleries above

Aishani looked to the dwarven male, while then her golden hue skimmed the other Elders. “It is time that I take the reins. There has been too much shadow and too much whispers. I will not stand for it, any longer. Times are changing. Go with the flow and make these additions. Trade needs to begin being instigated between the Upper crust and below, crop we do not have below as they have above and the metals, minerals of the caverns. It will benefit the people.”

“She intends to take control?” Barked the mage in red “She has no right to such things”

The dwarven male looked to Aishani for a moment then to his Elder collegue “It is not an entirely unexpected move, and it has been foreseen, but she is correct there are too many agendas, we have been in the darkness for over two generations and admittedly the last time I saw the surface I was a child, a luxury I would enjoy once more”

The Drow female stood her eyes glaring to Aishani “Excuse my friend Hollangar he is feeble of mind, and nostalgia clouds his tiny dwarven sight at times, we have kept our people safe by keeping the outside out, some have slipped in that respect betraying our laws and have been spared out of courtesy”

Sasnistra simply shifted awkwardly as she lowered her eyes to the desk, Kane stood as he was about to step forward with an argument as he was struck in the shoulder by an arrow from the rafters, the room erupted in panic as the cries of scared villagers was quickly followed by them rushing to escape. As Kane staggered he stared to the Elders his eyes crossing each of them before he barked for them to go and get themselves to safety. Heart pulled Kane to the ground.

“You OK?” He asked quickly

Kane nodded and was already over the table to Aishanis side “We gotta go my love” he leant to her ear “We need to talk, but they need to think they won this round”

“You have not kept your people safe, you have kept them under your control in speaking lies to all of them. Filling their heads with such words when even my blood in Underdark traded with the upper world. You want to be in control. Too long have the Elders made the decisions for everyone, now it is time that there is a voice for the people” She spoke loudly in a voice full of authority.
 
Aishani glanced to Kane, then to the rafters, nodding briefly and then offering a tip of her chin to Heart and to Sasnistra. “Yes. We need a safe place that is unknown to them.”

They wound through passages within the city before finally entering a basement ushered in by Sasnistra. Kane slid down a wall leaving a trail of blood as he growled. Heart made his way to Kane looking to the arrow then to him “Usual deal”

Kane set himself against the wall and nodded, Heart reached in and with a wet rip pulled the arrow free causing a groan from Kane.

“Fuck I forgot how much that hurts, on the upside at least they weren’t trying to kill me, more for show, or a threat to Aishani is more likely” Kane had his hand clamped against the wound but blood still spilled through his finger, Heart looked to him for a moment “I’ll go fetch a healer, I know a couple I can trust they can at least patch you up, your vampiric half will have to the do the rest” and with that he was gone back the way they had come.

“How can you be so sure it wasn’t intended to kill you?”Sasnistra enquired now her voice fraught with the obvious panic as she looked to Aishani

Kane tossed the arrow at her feet “Because that shot was too clean, intended for the soft tissue of my shoulder, intended to take me out of the equation, I suspect another was close by waiting to attack Aishani, and I’m guessing they didn’t have all the facts and either realised Aishani wouldn’t go down as some mere woman or were spooked I didn’t immediately react by blasting the balcony into oblivion”

“Why did you not? You have that power?” Sasnistra looked to Kane, her eyes held the secrets of dawning in them as if she too was quickly realising he was no mere vampire.

“Doing so would have killed innocents, I gave my beloved my word I would not harm ANYONE while I was here, even if they harbour ill will toward me” Kane shrugged the grimaced “Forgive me love, you were a little more exposed in that moment that you should have been, but I’m thankful you chose to leave despite intentions to kill those responsible”

Aishani moved quickly with the others, while she was not speaking at that moment. But, silently watched Heart while he pulled out the arrow, squatting to remove her cloak in order to place under Kane’s hand with a press of her lips to his. Rising she looked to Sasnistra, though, leaned down to inspect the arrow in her hand that was slick with Kane’s blood. “My love, I have to face the facts that I will be exposed in the position that I mean to accept, you have to as well. I’ve lived through much, as you have. While, I may not have had vampiric blood in me…nor werewolf at that time…I survived because I was not willing to be bested. The phrase survival of the fittest isn’t a farce.” She leaned her shoulder against the wall, turning over the arrow in her hand.

“Can honestly say I didn’t see this coming, I would have expected something more direct in dealing with their issue of losing power” Kane replied softly

“Attacking Aishani directly would only serve to strengthen her position, it is likely an attack on her would have given her the necessary public sway to take the throne by force” Sasnistra offered up meekly

“If she wanted it by force we would have walked in here with most of the Everland forces, she wants to protect you, all of you, besides the days of doing things by a show of strength isn’t always the best way to peace, trust me I’d know” Kane was finding it odd to focus as the pain wrapped around his mind

Aishani glanced to Kane and Sasnistra as the two spoke, then broke the arrow in half, to throw it down on the ground. Moving to settle beside him, her scent enveloping him to offer him that strength in her presence. “He speaks the truth. My placement is not on the seat for selfish and controlling reasons. I am here for all of you, wither you desire it or not. Unfortunately there is a call for a show of strength but not in the means that such was thought. Sasnistra, you found love in Krystal…and I found love in Kane. We are different but not so much. It is time to stand up for ourselves and our beliefs. Others have had a veil drawn over their eyes, it’s time to lift it. We need to strike them, where it hurts and that is with the people.”

Kane snapped his eyes open as her scent hit him drowning out the need to pass into unconsciousness, his eyes slid back to the arrow with a cold smile. “Fortunately for you my love, you have of the best talkers I can honestly say I have ever met, Heart will be quite useful when the time is right”

“You should rest allow your body time to deal with the poison, you’re in no condition to take on the elders, Aishani and I will speak with a few people and see how the people stand” Sasnistra spoke softly

Kanes eyes slid to Aishani then Sasnistra slowly.

Aishani replaced her hand to place pressure upon his wound, looking to Sasnistra. “I am not leaving him, until Heart has returned. Kane needs to stay aware until then…I will of course reluctantly leave to tend to the people and hear them. But, not until then.”

Heart returned a few moments later as he eyed Sasnistra curiously for a moment before ushering in the young elven man, there was fear in the young mans eyes as he moved to kneel before Kane. He tended Kanes wounds and had Kanes upper shoulder bandaged quickly, Kane barely flinched as this occurred.

“I have done what I can, the bleeding is slow and so shouldn’t affect him further, the poison however is drakes blood, specific for vampire hybrids, it will take sometime to clear his system leaving him rather vulnerable” The young elf looked to the floor in an apology “I’m sorry there is little further I can do, but keep him clean and comfortable”

Aishani remained at Kane’s side while Heart returned to the young elven male tended to her lover’s wounds. A snarl ripped past her lips to the fact that nothing else could be done to ease the poison in Kane’s system, her canines extended in fangs past her lips while her milky eye flashed a brilliant gold to match the other. She closed her eyes to inhale deeply, speaking to Heart. “Get him a new shirt, no sense in keeping the poison against his skin. Ensure that you clean it regularly, the rinses should not only keep the wound clean. But, you know what to do…Thank you for coming to help, it is much appreciated. Times are just unpredictable.”

Heart nodded before taking Aishanis hand leading her away from Sasnistra, the elven healer and Kane his voice kept low “We need to be careful, it’s no accident they used drakes blood, enough to take him out of action but not enough to kill him and risk you bringing the forces of the Everlands against them, someone knows a little too much about our inner circle and it bothers me”

Aishani glanced to Heart at his words then to Kane with Sasnistra. But her own words were soft barely above a whisper to him. “In this line anything is possible Heart. I would not put it past the Council. But we have no proof. Look at the arrow it may hold a key. Fibers. Scent….Scent. That is it. I can smell the handler and even if the assassin was around another…”

Hades kept his eye on Sasnistra for a moment before looking back to Aishani “Honestly I think we are both been played, you to take power as you rightfully should and me to ensure no one is the wiser, and I’m sure I have been played since I arrived all those years ago”

“You really think…” Aishani whispered, catching the fix of his gaze upon Sasnistra. “Come to think of it…She wished me to go with her to speak to the people…to get me alone. I told her I would not leave Kane.”

“Who else would know details of how to drop a vampire without killing him? More to the point an Elcarus? Who else has pushed for your part against the Elders above all else?” Heart sighed softly “She is the reason I haven’t been thrown out or removed from Emerald City, she used her position on the Elders to keep both me and Krys here”

“Then we need to tap her in her own game. What do you suggest Heart?”

“You remind her who you are, I will get Kane moved to the Inn, there is a small contingent of the Emerald Guard who are loyal to the throne, if you allow me to assign them in your name Kane will be safe, speak with Hollangar and Reagis if you get those two you will have no trouble getting the rest of the Elders to agree to you taking the Emerald Throne. Before you do I am certain Sasnistra will make her move. In the mean time I will take her second to dinner and then to bed” Heart smiled softly “Perhaps learn more of her plan”

Aishani considered Heart’s words, glancing back to Kane and to Heart with a brief nod. “Do it, Heart. Please, do not fail me now, I trust you and you have proven yourself. I do not believe that Kane nor I will stand for any betrayal at this point. I know you told me that you would disappear to save your own neck. But, this is the first time and only time, I will tell you to stand strong. We need you more than ever, Heart.” She lifted a hand to pat at the side of his face. “Such a pretty boy. I will agree to move with Sasnistra to speak to some people, but, it will be me making the decisions. Then we just have to keep her busy.”

“I’m still alive because of him Aishani, believe me when I say I owe him this” Heart moved to Kane pulling his arm around his shoulder and with a groan aiding Kane to his feet “Come on, let’s get you somewhere more comfortable”

“And a drink” Kane muttered as he looked to Aishani before been escorted out by Heart and flanked by the elven healer.

“He’ll be fine, Heart has a high opinion of him” Sasnistra stated as she made her way to Aishani “We should go speak with Reagis, I believe he will be one we need to convince”

Aishani caught Kane’s eye as he was assisted to stand by Heart, remaining in place with her head at an acute posture which was vindictive of her determination that Kane had begun to recognize. A smirk lingered on the fringes of her lips, a special expression for her heart.
 
“I do not doubt that, I have seen it in his eyes.” She then glanced to Sasnistra, now, Aishani was in the den of wolves and the singular spider amidst to inject poison and it started now. “No. We will go speak to Hollanger first. Then proceed to Reagis.”

Sasnistra looked to Aishani just for a moment before she smiled “Very well, to mines first Hollanger refuses to simply be an Elder” She led Aishani from the basement and they were quickly flanked by two of her own guards, leading Aishani through the city “It is unfortunate that Lord Kane was hurt, weapons in the great hall are forbidden which means they would have had to know how to avoid our guards”

“Hm, yes, I find that very interesting. Even more so, that the poison was specifically for a vampire hybrid.” She took in her surroundings in the walk, sniffing every now and then beneath a turn of her head to attain the familiarity of Sasnistra and her guards. “Weapons in any meeting are forbidden. Regardless of rules it is common courtesy. Possibly. Very possible.”

“Poison tends to be the instrument of choice down here, materials for such are hidden in the depths of caves and craters readily accessible, but the knowledge that can only be gleaned by one who knows the target?” Her words were calm and yet pointedly leading toward Heart as they stepped down a flight of stairs they heard dwarves shouting and yelling instructions, another few steps and the land opened to mine entrance.

“Get yer bloody arses moving, we need these materials for repairs to the Emerald Castle, we don’t have time for yer belly aching!” Barked Hollingar who had ditched the Elder robes in favour of heavy leathers and a pick axe. His hair curled and grey.

Aishani cast a sideways glance to Sasnistra, though, kept her posture and walked with each steady stride beside her the heels of her knee high boots clicking upon the ground on the passage through the streets. But, it was at the mine that the sound was muffled and covered by the shouting and yelling of instructions.
 
A chuckle parted her lips, in that rolling purr, as she spoke in a strong and steady voice directed to Hollingar. “I see you shed the skin of an Elder, it fairs you well, Hollingar. Back to your roots.” A smirk was upon Aishani’s plush stained lips, golden hue fixed to the dwarf in his leathers.

“My family have been miners and I’ve been in the mines since I was a tot Milady, but enough of me what bring you all this way?” Hollingar eyed Sasnistra for a moment before tossing his axe to a stone table and looking toward Aishani

“Oh, please, Hollingar, I have no issues on speaking of your family and past. But, on that note, yes, I have come to see the production and enterprise of the mines. Plus get to know the overseer. Interest on expanding the trading for resources not readily available here from the surface and vice versa. The supplies from my understanding of mythril are difficult since the Dragon Wars, not impossible.” Her golden hue flicked to Sasnistra but then back to the dwarf. “I’d really be interested in hearing your opinion on things thus far. Though, first, I heard mention of the repairs of the Emerald Castle. What occurred that it is in a state of needing such?”

“Our last empress died some 9 or so years ago the Elders have ruled as she had no heir, thus the castle was abandoned and has fallen to disrepair, nothing the carpenters can’t handle” Hollingar replied with a smile “And aye mythril on the surface is getting scarce, much like iron down here, we have plenty mythril and the surface has plenty iron ore, so a trade would be appreciated” Hollingar tossed her a rock heavy and cold, the rock was composed partially of rock but lined with the blue veins of mythril so richly sought “A good smithy can make a decent weapon outta a rock that size and we got plenty of that and ten times the size as well”

Aishani captured the tossed rock easily due to her refined reflexes of the werewolf and strength, she looked down to the blue vein, a smirk on her lips. “Seems we have much business to discuss, Hollingar. Though, all awaits the seat to be awarded to me. My concern, is that the Elders as a whole, not singling some out, are holding back progression of our two worlds.” She then displayed one of the two blades that Kane had gifted to her as her engagement gift instead of a ring. “Kane had these made by a very stoutly and talented Dwarf on the surface. I actually think the two of you would hit it off very well.”

“At least some of us chose not to hide” Hollingar spat angrily “And those that want to leave simply can’t we’re seen as an issue to be dealt with, my place on the Elders affords me the luxury of not getting my head cut off as some would see fit to do so for their own end” His words were cold and bitter “But you have our support all 4 of the dwarven houses will stand with you, we are tired of politics not cut out for it you see, much prefer earth and dirt to ink and words, at least you know the rocks want to crush you”

Aishani tipped her chin a slight while absorbing his words, a hand lowered to place on the muscular shoulder and looking him directly in the eyes. “Thank you, Hollingar. While it eases my heart to hear such, I do not believe it right for you to speak for all the three remaining dwarf houses. Will you accompany me to visit each in order to affirm such is a solid ground.”

“They will be at the grand summit tonight milady, better to ask them then” Hollingar replied with a smile “Most are deep in the mountain right now, they would be rather unhappy if we call them back now”

“Very well, inform them of our discussion before the Summit tonight. Rest assured I will be present, the attack in the open before the Elders and people showed much distaste but this will not stop me from doing what is best for the people and bring them out of seclusion and open the doors.” She grinned to him while glancing to Sasnistra. “It is time we return to Kane.”

“We should speak with Reagis first milady, at least then we will have a good idea of the Elder balance, Reagis will be in the temple I expect” Sasnistra replied confidence now slipping back into her voice as she looked to Hollingar “Then we can check on Lord Kane, I expect he is just fine with Heart, unless dear heart is in undue danger then perhaps not so much” Sasnistra last words were an attempt again to push suspicion toward Heart, her own ambition to hold the cards that Aishani was dealing only clearer in those moments.

“Hm, you make a good point. The Inn is on the way to the Temple, we can make a stop. Regardless of a healer with them, I wish to check up on Kane.” She patted Hollingar, casting him a brief glance and then turning from the mine to begin their way to the Inn. “Just to make sure nothing has befallen, my beloved.”

“Very well” Sasnistra replied almost in frustration though it was held beneath her cold fascade as she smiled to Hollingar and led the way back through the city, the made the Inn in very little time, two heavily armed guards in white chainmail now held the doors for her.

As Sasnistra eyed them she looked to Aishani “Employing the Imperial Guard already? A wise move” Inside the Inn was no different the patrons drank at the foot of the steps were another two guards, Heart leapt the bar and moved to scoop Aishani from Sasnistra her attempt to follow quickly cut off by another guard as Heart led her upstairs to their room.

Kane was sat in talks with the Elven healer his eyes slipping her to her the moment he felt that scent creep in on him “Still here my love”

Aishani inwardly felt a victory at hand, Sasnistra had already implicated herself and was unaware, this pleased Aishani. But at the Inn, Aishani tipped her chin to the guards in the white chainmail passing through to be swept away by Heart in their entry. She easily kept up with the male, as they entered the room with a smirk. “I could say much the same for you, my love.” Aishani purred in amusement, walking over to settle near him on the bed. “How are you feeling?” She inquired while pressing her lips against his neck with a playful nip, her golden hues fleeting skimming over the healer to gather an expression with a hint as to his current diagnosis.

Kane smiled an attempt to play harder than he was “Shoulder is out of action for a while, but it will heal, as long as we’re not forced into combat I’ll be fine”

“The arrow did damage as it was withdrawn, and the poison is severely hindering his regenerative abilities, make no mistake milady he is hurt worse than he admits” The Elven Mage replied a tone of utter frustration in his voice “And yet he insists he will be at the Grand Summit I highly advise against this course, if they chose to attack again he will not be able to defend himself vampire or otherwise”

“I wont need to fight, you have enough firepower in the Imperial Guard to take the throne room by force, and we needn’t start a war as they answer to the Empress, you give them orders to quell the attack and they will do just that” Kane replied with a smile “Lovely way they program the imperial guard all drilled instruction and no mistakes”

“Which is not an option at this point, my love.” Aishani scolded him, though, glanced to Heart and the elven mage. “I’d like to look at the wound, if you do not mind. It is not a matter of believing you not competent but to ease my own mind on matters. Truth be told, I am compelled to make contact with it. You said that this…poison, was specifically designed for vampire hybrids, correct?” Aishani began to release the pressure of the bandage while carefully unwrapping the gauze, to set in her lap. The delicate flesh of her nostrils flared at the stench of the poison within his blood, caressing his face gently, then setting her hand upon the wound. Her eyes closed, but, there was something else different…in the next moment, her eyes opened and the golden was replaced with a very vibrant red and the fangs were revealed with the curl of her lips. Very fine veins began to protrude from the base of her jawline and traveled a slight. But, that is when Kane would feel it, a stinging burning feeling that was born from the very depths of his internal damage, as though threads of fire stitched him. The pain was slowly trickling away, almost as though swept to the contact of her hand in an absorption. The veins thickened upon her jaw and grew darker, nearly black as spider webs, a hiss parted her lips with a bare of her teeth.

After what seemed hours, though, it had only been minutes, Aishani fell to her back upon the bed panting. Kane’s injury had melted away to only a small abrasion, while the detrimental effects of the poison had all but faded and he felt incredible. She held her hands up as though to stop any from interfering, as her chest rose and fell rapidly but it was when the vivid red faded and her eyes returned to the gold and the dark spider veins had receded to only be a whisper of a memory. “Wow…” She whispered.

Kane eyed the injury flexing his wrist and arm “OK that’s new ….” He breathed softly, the Mage had now pressed himself flat to the wall and Heart merely looked on curiously. After a few moments Kane diverted his eyes Aishani “Don’t suppose you have an explanation?”

Aishani stared at her hand, flexing the fingers against her palm, then sat up with a lazy one-sided smirk. “I have…no clue. It…it was strange, I…I desired to take your pain away, my love. Then this pull, almost as though, compelled to touch your wound…I could feel it. All of the poison and the muscles shift beneath me. Did…did I heal you?” She looked to the frightened mage and then to Heart, back to Kane.

“It appears so, and I’m thankful for it, I guess this is just part of you joining our realm” Kane smiled softly as Heart handed Kane the bandage with a smile “One more surprise for our would be assassins?” Kane smiled darkly as he offered them back to Aishani “Lets not let them know what we know?”

“Only those in this room will know.” Aishani said while beginning to bandage Kane up as though nothing had occurred. Once finished she met his grim with a secretive smirk of her own. “Do you think you can play the part of poor… Poor injured you?”

Kane smiled softly “Indeed I can, I will remain here for the moment I trust your conversations with the Elders have gone well? Just watch your back Heart is right Sasnistra is playing a dangerous hand and you are the target, it troubles me I’m not at your side but I am supposed to be unconscious”

He sighed softly as he looked to Heart “We stay sharp, keep your lines of communication to us open, if anything goes down”

“You’ll know within a minute or less Kane” Heart replied with a smile “I have my hands all over this place”

“Why am I not surprised” Kane replied with a grin “Very well, my love continue with your diplomatic time line, Heart will go find what he can and I will begin working out an exit plan should we need it”

Aishani smirked while glancing to Heart and then back to Kane. “No. I know for a fact, she had something planned. She insisted on speaking to Reagis before coming here, bringing in mentioning of something to occur here and implicating Heart as the betrayer. After speaking to Holligar, she pushed for me to go to Reagis in the Temple. Almost as though, she was trying to avoid coming here…Then her surprise to the Imperial Guard’s presence. But, on the bright side, from Holligar, we have all four dwarven houses on my side. He seems to entertain the idea of trade from the mithril that is abundant here to the iron that is plentiful on the surface. The dwarves are tired of being tied up in ink and paper, then dirt and earth.”

“Be wary of Reagis Aishani his agenda is his own” Heart replied solemnly “Everything is a means to an end with him, and that end is bringing back his masters” Heart shuddered visibly at those words

“Dragon Mage?” Kane asked looking to Heart

“There are 14 here at last count, being so far away from their upper world counterparts has left them in need of a way to regain control, they sent for the glass eye from the old dwarven city but were beaten to it, though no one seems to know by whom or why.”

“I thought Ascondia had all the eyes destroyed? And more to the point who could get into that city in one piece and out without been squashed by golem?” Kane sounded almost perplexed before it dawned on him “Oh….” His voice trailed off almost as quickly as it had come

“You know who took the eye?” Hearts voice raised slightly

“I have a good idea, and I’m not about to part with that information until I confirm it Heart, right now we need to deal with this political mess, the mages didn’t get the eye which means they are no closer to bringing back the dragons now than they were a decade ago, though he is right my love his agenda will be his own even if he supports your ascent to the throne he will only do so as long as it supports his needs” Kane leant down to kiss her shoulder gently “We need to tread carefully”

Aishani was silent, simply staring at her hand that had touched Kane’s shoulder, but, by the way her posture was on the bed it was clear to those that knew her, she was listening and avidly to the conversation. At the mention of the glass eye, she lifted her gaze to Heart and then to Kane, a knowing smirk forming upon her lips. “Then for now, it is in safe hands.” Clearly, she had picked up on his suspicions. “I am aware I am walking on eggshells. Though, let us prepare. Heart, there has to be a hidden way out of the Inn that does not require entrance to the main floor. You and Kane need to move locations, do not be concerned about me finding you. I have Kane’s scent imprinted into my memory. If Sasnistra made any plans to kill Kane while he was down this would be the best place to do so and place you as blame. Not to mention, I can manage my own, there are abilities…that they are not aware I possess. I still have tricks up my sleeve. Unfortunately, Shadow I left to watch over Aerian and Virra. But, I hear the whispers of all the spiders in this subterranean city and they have agreed to serve me.” She rose but leaned to kiss Kane on the lips. “But, I agree and escape plan may be needed.”

“We could try our old trick Kane” Heart replied with a grin, Kane cocked his head at Hearts words before running a hand through his hair.

“Didn’t I almost drop us off a cliff the last time we tried that?” Kane replied with an air of playfulness

“Almost, but I know Emerald City better than most of the Everlands, you were guessing then this time you won’t be” Heart tapped his head with a smile “I know somewhere we can go, Anya keeps it well stocked just in case I ever need to avoid an unwanted husband”

Kane glanced to Aishani with a grin “I can use displacement, tap into the map in Hearts head, it isn’t conventional but it has saved us more than once, he will then return and ensure people think I’m still here” Heart nodded reassuringly “The safe house is on the outskirts so if a quick exit is needed we have a way out into the mountains, if we need it”

Aishani looked to the two old friends, a smirk whispering at the fringes of her luscious lips. “Do what you have to do. But, I want you, Kane to make a surprise appearance amidst The Summit, I do not care how. I will make the order with the Imperial Guard to protect, give the pretense I am scared but they will remain to guard here as I will take two with me.” She leaned to kiss Kane briefly, caressing his face with the trail of a nail against his jaw. “They wish to play a game with me. I was born Drow and know all the tricks.” She passed Heart, patting his cheek with a chuckle in that rolling purr. “Have fun, boys.”

When she left the room, Aishani spoke the guards outside to relay her orders and instruct them to join her on their meeting with Reagis. After descending the stairwell, she spoke in a hushed tone to the two guards that remained in order to guard the stairs and prevent any from entering due to Kane’s state of being ‘unconscious’.

Aishani then scanned the interior of the tavern to locate Sasnistra and neared her, offering a saddened expression. “It seems, my beloved is not doing well. One can only hope he recovers soon enough…But, I have business to conduct. Shall we then proceed to Reagis?”