The Ardtrean Chronicles: Morality

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He was definitely over six feet tall, and still incredibly thin, but whatever mass was there was all muscle, so chiseled you could have named every one and counted the fibers. He wore what looked like to be a very thin, transparent blue tunic which allowed for nothing to escape their imagination, and pants that looked like they had been hand made from very large leaves, and they came to just above his knees. His hair was a dark brown that stood up off his face as if he had used super glue to keep it there and eyes such a bright shade of blue they were almost white, looking like stars. When Vitania looked closer though, she slapped Detalia in the stomach, harder than she expected, which made her cough and growl, looking up at Vitania who was still staring ahead and whispering to her.

“Look at his feet.”
He was bare foot, which in the warmth of Ardtrea wasn’t the odd part, they didn’t touch the ground. When he came closer to them, they noticed a quiet whir surrounding them like a thousand dragonfly’s hovering, and eventually when he touched Earth the opaque wings that were supporting him came to a stop folding neatly against his back. For a while they just stared at him. What else could they do? Detalia had never seen one and Vitania had only ever read about them, but they normally didn’t interact with Lycans or Vamps.
Eventually he snapped his fingers cockily in front of them.
“As much as I love when the ladies stare at me, it does get quite boring after a while. Shall we be on our way?”
Vitania shook her head.
“No way am I going anywhere with you until you tell us who you are, why you got us from Saphyr, and not just why but how the hell you did it. How you knew to do it as my father, how you looked like him, how you even knew we were there, how you tricked the Lycans, I mean I know they aren’t super brilliant but still-“
“Okay alright calm down princess.” Vitania bared her fangs and a low hiss. “My name is Spiros,” he held out his hand then retracted when Vitania, not surprisingly, didn’t take it, “and I am a Sealie Fetcher.”
“A what?” Detalia’s question came to no ones surprised.
Vitania folded her arms and stated in an unimpressed tone, “he’s a Faerie.”
“In laments terms, yes. To go into depth by my title, I fetch things. In this instance, I was hired to fetch you two.”
“By who?”
“Ah that I cannot tell you because that would be breaking the confidentiality rules of –“
Vitania lunged at him to which he dodged instantly, chuckling, until she managed to grab hold of one of his wings to which he let out a yelp and she pulled him to the ground.
“You might be able to fool the Lycans and turn on the charm with other species but I’m a little more experienced and you are too new at your title to sense that. Now tell us who sent you.”
Spiros looked up at her with a scowl more menacingly than she thought Sealies were capable of, and stated through gritted teeth; “I do not enjoy being twinged.”
“I’m sure you don’t, and I will let you go, as soon as you answer my questions.”
He twitched his wings a little, letting out a sight of compliance before continuing.
“I was hired by a Jaw who is supposedly old friends with the Majesters of my court. I was not told a name, just told to find you and bring you back safely because they could not be permitted to be seen by either Fangs or Jaws. I was given your name and fathers identity so that a spell could be cast upon me to resemble someone that you would undoubtedly trust. I was warned you might see through it but was obviously over confident in my abilities.”
He stared up at her but she didn’t loosen his grip.
“Contrary to belief, I am not a complete fool Vitania Masters, I would not knowingly take someone to their death, the repercussions of such actions are not worth it.”
“Faeries don’t normally associate with us, why are you doing this.”
“I’m simply following orders my liege.”
“Stop kissing my ass.”
She let his wing go and turned to Detalia, who was still awestruck. She slapped her across the face.

“Ow! Will you stop hitting me! I can focus on my own yah know.”
“Are you sure? Because you seem to be having a hard time focusing on anything other than glitters over there.”
Spiros winked behind her.

“What did he mean by Jaws and Fangs?” Detalia sounded worried.

“It’s Faerie slang for Lycans and Vamps. Listen, we’re going to have to go with him.”
“What? Are you serious? What if it’s a trap?”

Vitania sighed and rubbed her temples, watching Spiros float in circles watching them, a cocky smile spread across his lips.
“The Faeries don’t just trust anyone, so if they trust whoever is looking for us, it would be in our best interest to unfortunately trust their judgement, even if they sent the freshest Fetcher they had.” Detalia looked sceptical and Vitania shrugged her shoulders. “It’s better than standing here like idiots and waiting for it to get dark so the things out here can come after us.”

They walked over to where Spiros was now floating upside down, combing his hair.

“Alright Faerie let’s get going.”
“Finally! Women take forever to do anything.”
This time he dodged Vitanias jabbed and waved his finger at her letting slip a ‘tsk tsk’ noise before floating off down a path to the left of where they came in.
The sun wasn’t too high when they originally left Saphyr, and they could feel the long hours as the sun sunk lower. Eventually their shadows elongated until they were well under Spiros, who was flying along multiple feet in front of them. Vitania never broke watch with his back, but Detalia couldn’t help but talk to the strange creature.

“Don’t your wings get tired?”

Without missing a beat Spiros turned to face a caught off guard Detalia, still flying along.

“They do get slightly sore, but they are made to fly for long periods of time. We are messengers of the Gods.”
Vitania leaned over to Detalia. “They believe they come from an ancient ancestor that resembles the Greek God of Hermes. That they can fly like the wind, be silent, that they are almighty.”
“I don’t know who these greakes are you speak of, and I wouldn’t say almighty, but we are very high up on the Special Ladder.”
“This is why they don’t get along with Lycans or Vamps, their egos are too big to be housed in a city near us.” Vitania’s tone was laced heavily with sarcasm and annoyance.
“Actually,” Spiros was now face to face with Vitania and they had stopped walking, “we don’t live around your cities because they are polluted with negative energy. We also prefer to live in the forest because we are more connected to the energies of nature than your species.” He was standing on the ground now, hands on his hips, his cheeks going a slight purple in his defense.
“That and your race breeds like the world is ending.”
“We happen to enjoy the pleasurable things in life, what is wrong with that?”
“Your reputation as love making hippies precedes that of your fantastic messenger abilities Sealie,” the word was drawn out like Vitania was a snake, “so excuse me if I’m a little insulted about being fetched by a horny, spaced-out, Faerie.”
Her fangs had come out and the crystal clear vision made it obvious that she was letting her emotions get the best of her, which made her stomach turn. She never let them use her like this back home and didn’t know why it was affecting her so much here. It was probably just because this Faerie was being an absolute pain in her rear.

“That’s it Vampire.” The words came out gritty and Spiros lunged at her with Detalia screaming, but Vitania ducked.
She could feel the wind from his wings whip by her ear. She hit the ground and jumped up, scanning the ground for her Fetcher. She caught a glimpse of him out of the corner of her eye and brought her hand up just in time to catch his temple with a punch. She heard him let out a groan and she landed on his opposite side. She waiting for him to fall in front of her, sure she had knocked him off balance but she never saw anything. She stood and tried to hear a sound, any sound, but all she could hear was Detalia whimpering from somewhere to her left. Then she felt a sharp lunge on her back and the breath was knocked out of her. Gasping she threw her arms out in front of her and tucked into a summersault landing crouched holding her abdomen and gasping. Spiros walked up to stand in front of her.

“Just because we look good, doesn’t mean we don’t know how to defend ourselves.”
Vitania flung out her arm and her wick, grabbing Spiros’s feet and bringing him to the ground. She brought the blunt end of the wick down on his diaphragm knocking the wind out of him and brought the sharp end next to his throat, digging in far enough she could feel the vain pulsing through the metal to her fingertips. She could see the sweat starting to form on his forehead.

“You may know how to fight, but you should know to never approach your rival, from the front of the back, until they are no longer breathing.” She pressed the wicks end deeper. “You know I have the ability to end you right here, right now.”
“But you won’t.”
A familiar voice resonated from behind Vitania, which made her almost instantly retract the Wick. Spiros immediately flew up and as far away from Vitania as possible, smiling triumphantly at still breathing.

“Tal!” Detalia lunged from her hiding spot to tackle her boyfriend, smothering him with kisses. “Where have you been?! Are you okay?”
“How did you get here?” Was the first thing Vitania asked.
Tal nodded over to Spiros who was rubbing his jugular where the wick had just sat.
“Tal and I have a history and he sent me a message saying he urgently needed to get back into Ardtrea. Obviously it was something important because I know how much he hates this place. Now I can see why.” He was looking at Tal and Detalia hugging. “The strange things you species do, settling for only one mate.”
“You’re the one who sent for us then.”
“I obviously can’t go to Saphyr, they would have my head. Spiros and the Sealie Majestry was the only chance I had in finding you two without putting everyone at risk.”
“I can take care of myself.”
“I know you can Vitania, but if they found out why we were here, you wouldn’t have a chance to explain yourself, and they definitely wouldn’t let me or Detalia go free.”
Spiros landed beside Vitania, but careful to stay just out of arms reach.

“You three will be the humble guests of the Sealie Majestry tonight.”
“What?” Vitania’s tone was not impressed. “I’m not staying anywhere with him.”
“Vitania, you need to. They have important information regarding your mother.”
She stood for a while. Her eyes were on Spiros, his albeit beautiful body but incredulously arrogant personality and bright eyes taunting her, the expression on his ace cocky but apprehensive. Tal and Detalia were both watching her, Tals’ face showing no expression as per the usual and Detalia’s split into a huge smile at being reunited with him.
“Fine. But I still don’t trust the Faerie.”

“You don’t need to trust him, just the head of Court.”

They walked for a little while longer until coming to a stop at the base of a Willow tree on the edge of a stream. The tree was magnificent, standing tall enough she couldn’t see the canopy, and each leaf was the greenest of greens.
“Beautiful isn’t it.” Spiros was beside her again.
“Very. Now get away from my face.”
He shook his head and floated forward, slipping through the vines of the tree. She expected to see him come out the other side of the river and wondered how they were going to cross, but she never saw him emerge. One eyebrow raised and she looked at Tal who chuckled and followed Spiros. Detalia promptly followed Tal without a second thought which left Vitania standing alone.
Tentatively, she reached out her hand and ran her finger tips through the leaves, remembering what happened the last time she put her hands on something strange. Instead of a pull like the rift, she felt a tingling sensation, like the tips of many tiny feathers were running over her palm and fingertips. She stepped forward and a pins and needles sensation fell over her body. Slightly shocked, she took a gasp and became dizzy, finding the only lose ground to trip over. Spiros caught her on the other side, his arms wrapped around her and helping her to her feet with no problems. Her distraction evolved from him, to the setting behind him, the Sealie Majestry.
When she looked up, what she saw was a canopy of leaves many, many feet above her, and small glittering objects of different colors dancing through the branches. She followed the branches until they met the trunk of the willow tree that not looked to be a hundred times its original size, and saw small notches that looked like windows, glowing lights popping in and out of them. She looked in front of her to see the path they were on led right to the bottom of the trunk, with smaller paths leading throughout the grass, through the clearing into rural areas. There were small farms and houses here and there, gardens and families of Faeries. There were even other trees here and there, but non as impressive as the willow they were under right now. In front of them was a small pink bridge going over the river, although this river was much smaller than the one they were just in front of, the water looked so clear it she could have drank right from it.
“Are you alright Vampire?” Vitania looked up at Spiros and for a second noticed how beautiful his eyes really were, how much more brightly they shone under the willow tree. Then her stomach churned and she pushed him away, shaking her head.

“Get off me Faerie.”
He gave a little chuckle and walked towards where Tal and Detalia were waiting, Detalia taking it in just as Vitania had been. The foursome walked the path through the Majestry; all eyes followed them as they went. Most of the smaller Sealie had probably never seen a Werewolf or a Vampire before and some floated close enough for them to almost touch Vitanias skin. She gave a little smile and played along, flashing the tip of one of her fangs in a small hiss, which resulted in fits of glitter and giggles and small Faeries scattering back to their parents. They passed through small clusters of houses; sort of like neighbourhoods but not quite as there was only grass in between every home. Why need made pathways when you never walked? She even noticed that the pathway they were walking on consisted of just slightly softer grass, mushroom tops and some dirt, but nothing harsh like stone. Their houses resembled huge tree roots that had snaked in and out of the ground and been hollowed out to live in, each one with its own symbol carved over the door. The root houses grew in size as they got closer to the trunk of the tree, the larger homes wildly decorated and were probably only for the oldest Faerie bloodlines.
Spiros floated up to the grand entrance of the Majestry, leaving the three Earth bound parties behind, not caring to look back. They looked at each other and Vitania shrugged her shoulders, launched herself upwards and leaping off the ridges naturally grown into the tree, and landing behind Spiros. Detalia and Tal waited long enough to be carried by Faerie servants the couple feet up.
“Impressive, Vampire.”
She rolled her eyes at the smirk on Spiros’s face, and when they turned around, two very sharply dressed Faeries were floating gracefully towards them. Spiros bowed, and the rest of them followed suit. Looking back up she was taken aback by the look of the King and the Queen.
Most of the Sealie races were slender creatures, and even though they all stood at least six feet tall, these two surpassed that. The male stood probably seven feet tall, and he actually stood with his translucent gold wings folded down behind him. His skin was a very pale blue close to white, his eyes almost black. He was in a white, long, toga like apparel trimmed with gold. On his wrists, around his ankles and around his neck were gold braces that matched the crescent crown sitting atop his head both in color and shine. He had a stern, chiselled face with kind eyes. He smiled down on his guests, looking genuinely excited to have company in his midst.
The Queen on the other hand came across to be his opposite. She stood much taller, eight feet or more, with skin that was a pale green. She wore the same type of clothing but hers was more of an off white, almost cream color. Her trim and her wings were translucent silver. She had no ankle braces, and the one that wrapped around her bicep was a darker green rather than a matching silver. She had a grand necklace on, glittering with what looked like millions of small stars embedded in a silver holding. Her crescent crown was plain, and stood out very clearly against her long, straight, black hair. Her expression was non-existent, and she avoided direct eye contact with anyone.
“Your majesties,” Spiros put on his respectful act, “I bring you our guests.”
The man opened his arms wide and the woman bowed.
“Welcome to the Sealie Majestry young ones. I am the Sealie King Terezi and this, is my beloved Queen Lipani.” The King bent down and kissed the Queens hand so gently but with an air of how much he obviously cared for her, and then addressed his Fetcher. “Thank you Spiros. We can take it from here.”
“Sir?” Spiros made as if to step forward but the King held up his hand.
“You have your leave Spiros.” Spiros looked slightly hurt, but nodded and backed out through the grand opening.
“You may follow us.”
Hand in hand Detalia and Tal walked ahead of Vitania, annoyingly close to each other and whispering coo’s, and they were taken through what resembled a great hall. The tree seemed to grow in size the farther into the Majestry they got as the hall could have held upwards of two hundred standing personnel as well as however many floating personnel upwards to the ceiling. The floor was polished, the visible rings of the tree telling its age but not its stories, and roots travelling towards the skies made up the walls and the canopy ceiling overhead. There were no leaves in this room, just floating lanterns, magically being lifted and proving to not be dangerous to their wooden surroundings. The staircase they came to and took upwards, was cut out of a large root and led them up into a hallway, everyone followed the King and Queen to the room just to the left but Vitania was looking down the hall on the right, where at the end an archway covered by a canopy of willow tree branches, that just struck her as out of place. She was never one to snoop, and in this time it was definitely not the place to start, but something was drawing her curiosity to it, and so she started down the hall.

In this particular hallway the tone of the bark became darker, almost as if it had been burned, and when she got to the curtain of willow branches, she felt a cool breeze slip through and beckon her in. With one swift movement she slipped between them and was in what looked like a giant gallery.

A round room with a domed ceiling laid before her, the dark wood making up the floor, ceiling and walls, unpolished and rugged. Around her was tapestries and great canvas art works depicting the Sealie’s history. A lot of the photos in here were of the first King and Queens of the original Sealie races, as well as the giant historical copulation that created the boom in Sealie population. Vitania grimaced slightly at how detailed they had been in this particular painting. She had begun walking through the room absent mindedly, taking in the other portraits and found herself in front of a very vivid tapestry, well over twelve feet wide, depicting a moment in history she couldn’t recall reading in any book.

It was of the Spire members, seven of them, one of each of the originals that much she knew; Vampire, Lycan, Sealie, Ancient, Spirit, Nite and Fallen. They were depicted standing in the middle of the tapestry overlooking another member, decorated like one of the Spire with deep black eyes and almost scaly skin, who she could only assume was an Underworlder. There weren’t many photos of them in the books, but she knew there used to be eight Spire members in total. Looking into the background there were three larger, vengeful looking figures. The first one was easily the demon of Chaos, a fallen Goddess after she was seduced by the Underworlds King, the male that was standing beside her was who she assumed that to be. The demon of Chaos had her hand on the shoulder of a young child, a girl, looking scared at the sight before her eyes but the demon making her look upon the banishment of their own kind and the perpetrators before them. The look on the childs face was in awe, unsure of how to process what she was witnessing. She felt a pain for her mother, knowing that she could empathize with the demon child on how it felt to not know how to cope with an incident, even though part of her hated that fact she was thinking of empathizing with a demon at all.

“The Great War.”

Vitania jumped at the sudden voice beside her and looked to see the King standing next to her, hands folded in front of him, taking in the tapestry on the wall.

“Your majesty I-.”
“It is quite alright, I am not surprised in the least to find you in this room, let alone in front of this tapestry.”
His kind expression had faded to one of almost remorse as he looked at what was displayed, but that quickly changed back to a smile as he looked back at her.
“Shall we go join the others?”

They walked back in silence, Vitania sure she was going to be in trouble but it seemed like she wasn’t gone long as no one was overly concerned that the King had gone to “find” their guest, except for the Queen who was just watching them with the same distasteful expression she was previously wearing. The King pointed to Vitania’s empty chair at the long banquet table that had been covered end to end with foot, and then took his place.
“We had the kitchen prepare a suitable meal for all parties.”
The King seemed pleased with himself but the Queen said nothing.
“It all looks lovely thank you sire.” Detalia was practically foaming at the mouth looking at all the food laid out in front of them, she realizes she had no idea when the last time they had eaten or how hours worked in Ardtrea; but the last meal was breakfast and this one was dinner and she was suddenly very hungry.
“Thank you.”

Detalia and Tal had five or six different large trays of raw meat, the plasma, with a faint hint of blood, still dripping off the end of the plate. They dug right in, no utensils required. ’It must be nice being a species that isn’t expected to have manners.’ Vitania sat down on her side of the table and was impressed with what she saw: real food. Cooked roast beef, mixed steamed vegetables, and a kettle of fresh blood keeping warm over a small fire. The King sat down at the head of the table to her right, the Queen far away at the other end to her left.
“Is your dinner satisfactory miss Vitania”
“It looks delicious, smells wonderful too. How did you know?”
“We know that you’re not full Vampire.”
“Right. Half Vamp, half human.”
“Yes,” the Kings expression changed again to the one he had in the other room, “half Vampire. And being so we figured you would have preferred something cooked. If you don’t drink the blood I’m sure we can provide you with something else.”
“Oh no thank you, the blood is perfect.”
She took a sip and was relieved to taste that it really was amazing unlike his Fetcher from earlier.
“How did you know my name”
“We know a lot, if not everything about you Vitania. We know most of what happens in Ardtrea simply because the world forgets to look for us when we are right in front of them.”
Tal and Detalia looked up from their ravaging and Vitania set her glass down, fangs out she covered them shamefully.
“Forgive my fangs your majesty.”
“It’s quite understandable. We know you have quite the temper, and drive. For instance, you have come back to Ardtrea, on your own, in order to find your father and warn him that your mother has been taken and needs assistance. We normally prefer to stay out of the affairs of anyone not our own kind, but when it threatens our world too well, we can’t just sit by.”
Vitania just stared at the King, unsure if she hear correctly the words that had come from his mouth. He had just told her of her plan, more or less exactly as she had planned it, without them telling them anything. She knew that the Sealie Court were the history publishers of Ardtrea being able to be in every event without being seen, but they couldn’t have possibly been at the rift when they came through, or in her home town in the mortal world. She cleared her throat and tried to sound as confident as possible, ashamed that she was letting her confidence slip at all. “I actually was trying to stay away from my father because he would most likely send me home.” She paused only for a moment and then asked a question she almost immediately regretted. “How does my mother being taken effect you? Unless those things were Rogue Faeries which would explain why they never touched the ground-.”
“Your mother was not taken entirely by force. In fact, I don’t even know if you would call it being taken away, more like.. being taken home.”
Vitania just sat there, blinking. “I don’t understand.”

“That thing that took your mother has a name and you should learn it well. Like the Devil of your world, we call it many things, every species has a different name for him, and them. His most known name is Carinthers, and he is the Leader of what are commonly called, the Underworlders.”

Tal nearly choked on his meat. “She works for the Underworlders?! You have got to be kidding me.”
“It’s not exactly like that Taliesin.”
“No.” Vitania was staring at her plate, and everyone was now staring at her. “That’s, that’s not possible.”
“I had hoped you would have been able to fight it when you were in this place, but when you were drawn to the tapestry room it had become apparent you cannot. There is a reason you went to the painting you went to, that your body just walked, that you found yourself there subconsciously.” The King addressed the rest of the table for the explanation, “it depicts when the rest of the Spire banished the Underworld Elder to its place in hell for using dark magic, for doing dark things. In this tapestry are three Underworld beings. The Underworld King; Carinthers, standing with his beloved fallen Goddess Midian, ruler of Chaos. The child she holds in this picture is one she bore with the Underworld King, the first hi-bred child of our time; half Goddess and half Demon.” He turned to face Vitania now. “You are a Halfling Vitania, and half Vampire is true. But the true genetic make-up of your other half has been a lie, it is not human, for the child in that tapestry is your mother.”

Vitania had gone numb. It wasn’t possible. She thought of every happy, smiling memory she had of her parents together, of their family together. They maybe didn’t do a lot of normal family things but they were still a family. Her mother loved her father, loved her, she never would double cross her father like that. If he knew. What if he did know? And chose to ignore it. All those “business trips” she took was her traveling to the Underworld? She just stared at her plate.
“I knew she wouldn’t be able to handle it. Look at her.” The Queen had finally spoke up, with a surprisingly heavy accent that was laced with annoyance and slight concern. “She’s gone completely rigid, we’ll be lucky if she doesn’t take an attack out on us.”
The King was staring at Vitania, he reached out his hand to place it on her wrist. His touch sent sparks flying through her body, and she could suddenly hear his voice in her head.
‘It is not all your mothers’ choice, and your sixth sense to save her is right on track. No one knows your secret except for me, my Queen, and you three. If anyone gets wind that you are half Underworlder you will be hunted.’ She looked up into his eyes. ‘We came across the information by accident and if Taliesin hadn’t fallen into our hollow, we would never have even come in contact with you. It’s obvious the Fates sent you to us to learn the truth.’
She thought then about the Fate in the dying grass, and the Lycan that had been torn. Was that someone who had been trying to get her attention? Or keep her from making it to the Sealie Court. Looking up she saw Tal staring at her with an unreadable expression of extreme emotion, but she couldn’t blame him. Half Underworlder, the thought itself made her skin crawl. The history books always marked them as soulless, heartless creatures. They used dark magic so powerful that they had to be forced underground. That wasn’t who she was, it couldn’t be true. “I’m sure you have noticed some things about you that are different now that you are back in Ardtrea, sense and emotions that are harder to control, it is being in your home world with the energy that resides here bringing out your other side.” He looked up and let go of her wrist, the mental tether pulling at her nerves like someone pulling a hair out of her head.
“No one is to know about Vitanias true nature, do you understand?”
His voice sounded like everything was off in the distance, the King was talking to Tal and Detalia, who only nodded in response.
“Vitania,” she could feel tears welling up in her eyes, regardless of how she tried to keep them down, “you have a lot more power in you than you know. Being a Halfling of this nature has given you quite the leverage; as long as you can learn to use and control this power.”
Her blood boiled inside her and her vision started to blur. She lost any emotional control, years of lessons gone from her mind, only the truth was out in front of her and she wanted it disappear as quickly as it had come.
“I don’t want anything to do with this other power. I’ve done fine without it and I’ll continue to do fine now.” She had started to raise her voice more than she intended and was shamed at how she was letting herself react. She pulled her hand away from the King who showed no offence at her recoil.
“You’ll have to do more than fine to get your mother back.” He showed no change in tone at her lash out, which only made her feel more guilty that he expected this and was not offended, she was acting like a child.
“Thanks for the meal.” She was already walking away, needing so badly to get out of this place and away from the obvious lies she was being told. She knew never to trust a Sealie. Stupid Faeries.
“Tal,” the King motioned for him to lean in. “Underworlder powers feed off negative energy and she is full of it right now, creating her own negative aura and the power will just feed from it and then dispel it in a constant circle of negative energy. She needs to learn to control it. The only ones in this plane that can teach her how are the Ancients as they are masters of every form of control.”
Tal let out a long sigh, rubbing his temples as Detalia held onto his arm looking up at him with confusion and concern. He looked into the hopeful eyes of the King and rolled his own in response.
“Alright, I’ll take her.”
“If you get into trouble, find the Sycamore tree and you will find my brother. He will give you shelter, I will warn him you might be coming by.”
Detalia shook the Kings hand and bowed to the Queen.
“I will look after her. Thank you for the meal.”
They found Vitania at the edge of the original path, arms crossed waiting for them.
“We’re going and we’re going right now.”
“Are you okay?” Detalia put her hand on her shoulder but Vitania shrugged her off immediately and stepped through the willow vines, the two of them scrambling to keep up.

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