The Chains that Bind

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More manipulation

The next morning Siegfried had returned to the palace early in the morning, having set up a meeting with Mael last night.

He hand selected a group of knights and had them move towards the island, Siegfried could see Mael and several elven warriors waiting for him by the shore, and both parties met.

Siegfried bowed respectively and his knights did the same, after Mael and her soldiers returned the gesture he began to speak "We all deeply saddened by the loss of Queen Rival, but we believe her death is connected to the loss of magic in several areas of the world."

"It is, as you all know the elves had control over the magic of this world before the humans did, and we collected the most powerful magic in an orb in the center of our island, that orb was also the focal point for all magic in the world. My mother destroyed the orb effectively cutting off magic to all areas of the world, and negating all magical effects."

Siegfried shook his head "Why would she do that? Magic is good for the world."

"Is it? Magic was what destroyed our wedding after all, and killed King Merek; without magic none of this would have happened."

It wasn't magic, it was a choice I made Siegfried thought feeling the guilt already settling into him, but still he felt obligated to defend his people "Several people were dependent on magic for survival, thousands of magical creatures were wiped from the world, people died Mael."

Mael winced at those facts but she responded quickly "How many more would die if magic ran rampant across the world? My mother might have done the right thing."

"Your mother's mind was shattered by the events of the wedding, she was crazy."

Mael felt a small bit of anger rising in her as she defended her mother "My mother wasn't crazy, and she did the world a favor! Magic is unpredictable and a violent force!"

"Several people died, and the human realm is descending into chaos, magic was the only thing keeping it stable!"

Both leaders stared at one another, all thoughts of last night and the love they had for each other in the back of their minds, they both had to be strong leaders now.

The tension in the air was thick and it swirled around the leaders as they stared at one another locking eyes, finally they both turned away with a huff.

Mael closed her eyes as she spoke, already regretting her next words, "Siegfried I think it's time for you to leave."

Hurt flashed in Siegfried's eyes, but he nodded and walked off the island with his men in tow.

Mael returned to the elven palace with tears sparkling in her eyes.

Meanwhile a shadow watched the exchange and smiled. The old man played with his staff and thought: First we divide them, and then they will fall, oh knight why didn't you listen to me?

Around a week later reports came flooding in to the King, reports of the Elven Island making preparations for war, and refusing any and all human interaction. Mael what are you up to? Siegfried thought she hasn't offered to meet with me since our argument.

His advisors crowded around him and offered their guidance:

"Why would the elves be preparing for war, what is there to fight?"

"Sir, should we prepare defenses?"

"We must launch an attack against the elves, should our navy will surround the island?"

"We should never have allowed them on our land."

Siegfried finally put an end to all the questions and comments and with a heavy heart gave his next order "Get our navy ready, the island should stay in one place now that the magic powering it is gone. I will lead the fleet personally."

"Yes milord!" The advisors rushed to prepare the navy, happy to be doing something.

Finally the ships set out towards the island, each crewed by fifty men, and adorned with bolt throwers and knights ready to board any target Siegfried gave the orders from the lead ships helm which also happened to be the largest.

"Remember we are not attacking the elves, but we are showing our strength and hopefully getting some answers."

Mael was supervising war preparations and the training of the elven warriors when the human ships came into view. She walked over to the shore and stared at the lead ship and at the lead figure at the helm knowing it was her husband.

An elf ran over to her "Milady, should we attack?"

"No, keep your weapon arms ready though, but don't attack unless attacked."

"Yes ma'am."

Siegfried's ship moved closer and a small rowboat was lowered down, depositing Siegfried and two knights who rowed their king to the island.

Siegfried walked over to Mael who was also flanked by two elven guards, and smiled at her.

"Why are you preparing for war and refusing contact with our ships?" he asked.

"Why are your ships surrounding our island?"

"Mael, we are being manipulated. I need to tell you something about the day I met you. You were attacked by trolls and I saved you, but what I didn't tell you was that an old man came to me. He was connected to the Earth somehow, and he told me to let you die or else a war would come to our land. I didn't listen, but I think we are being manipulated."

Mael's face was one of absolute shock as she heard what her husband was saying. She opened her mouth to speak, but before she could the ground between them opened and more of the plant creatures popped out. The same ones who attacked their wedding!

The plant-men rushed forward as Siegfried drew his sword and sliced one's head off, splattering himself with the sap like blood. "You destroyed my wedding!" he screamed letting out some pent up anger on the creatures.

Mael drew a dagger and stabbed deep into a plant-man ripping it apart. The elves were soon set upon from plant-men from all sides as Mael and Siegfried moved back to back again, reliving the events of their wedding day.

Siegfried cursed as a thorn sliced his arm, he hacked the plan man to pieces and yelled at Mael "I thought all magic was removed from this world?"

"I don't understand what's happening."

A massive thud pierced the ears of all present as a bolt from a human ship rammed into several plant men destroying them.

"What?" Siegfried turned and screamed to the crew "Cease fire now!"

"Milord, it's not us! We are under attack too!"

The human ships were swarming with plant men and the crew was also fighting them and trying to keep their king safe.

The elves were fighting the plant-men and also returning fire with catapults on land.

All three forces clashed as Siegfried turned to Mael who was watching the human ships bombarding her island, although all ships were also swarming with the plant-men.

"Have your humans stop bombarding my island!"

"Have your elves stop attacking my ships!"

The plant men were already starting to crumble back into the soil from which they had came, but the other two forces kept fighting each other disregarding all previous orders.

Mael turned to her husband and took the ring off her finger realization coming to her "If you had told me about this earlier my mother would still be alive!"

Siegfried shouted back "If I had told you about this it would have destroyed our marriage!"

"It's already gone…." Mael hurled her wedding ring at her now ex-husband and the diamond on it scarred his face as it passed by.

Siegfried stared at her in shock as his guards began to pull him back to the rowboat. "Retreat!" he called to his ships, and they began to pull back with each side firing a final volley before getting out of range.

Siegfried walked over to his generals and muttered "Prepare for war, and keep the navy nearby, I don't want any elves getting off that island."

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