Chapter 27: Blood Chain
Terdar stops in front of the door, ordering the guards to remain outside and to let no one in. He enters and slams the silver door behind him, locking it. The room is small, it is smaller than the Prince’s bathroom. In the center of the room lies a Cauldron, filled with magical flames. It is the only thing in the room.
He walks over and curls his hands around the rim, the heat seeping into him. The flames jump and quiver. He waves his hand over the flames. They part to reveal a face. The girl bows her head, placing her clenched fist over her heart. “Your Imperial Highness, I am at your service.” Terdar hums, pleased to hear that. He is satisfied to see a creature as low as her recognizing her place.
“I have a new mission for you.” He states. She raises her head.
“What can I do?” She asks. He smirks.
“Duke Citagi is going to Gorus. He is ambitious man. He is going to take down the Children of Tevata.” Terdar says. “He is also an arrogant, stupid fool. I want him dead. He...disagrees with my ideas and has threatened to share with my parents my ideas. I can’t have that. He has a good standing with my parents. When Avdon kills him they will order the destruction of the Children of Tevata and two of my problems will be solved.” The Fauness says nothing only nods.
“Again, my lord, what would you have me do?” She questions gingerly. He smirks.
“Tell Avdon that you overheard Quvanian guards talking of Duke Citagi’s coming. Tell him you heard that the Duke is coming to destroy the Children of Tevata. He will slaughter the Duke and his fate will be sealed.′ The Prince instructs. She bows her head.
“I will do as you order, my prince.” He smiles.
“Do not fail me Stalia.” He warns. He waves his hands over the flames and she vanishes.
Amsyn tears the meet from the bone and dangles it in front of Sinnion. He snatches it from her fingers and devours it in a few sharp bites. She tears off the last piece and feeds it to him. Sinnion swallows it and burps up a small spark of fire and smoke. Amsyn giggles and waves the smoke away.
“You never did say how you found the Wyvern.” Avdon says. Amsyn looks to him and shrugs. She runs a finger down Sinnion’s head and neck. He purrs and nuzzles her hand affectionately.
“Helios and I were fleeing Udor. We took refuge in a forest. I stumbled upon a nest of Wyvern eggs. The mother had been slaughtered and all the eggs had been crushed except for one. I couldn’t leave it there so I took it with us. Helios had a fit. He thought it was absurd to keep a Wyvern as a pet, but he has been a faithful companion to me.” She smiles fondly. Sinnion puffs out his chest. Avdon and Amsyn laugh.
“You have quite the heart.” Avdon states. Amsyn flushes bright red and lowers her head allowing her curls to conceal her face.
Avdon comes to her side, his hooves knocking against the floor. He places a gentle hand on her shoulder. “Do not hide, flower.” He whispers in her ear. Sinnion utters a low growl. Avdon raises his head. The small beast glares at him. Amsyn reaches out to stroke the scales between his wings. He lets out a soft purr and lowers himself onto the table.
“Av, do you think Helios and Ra’venna will be okay?” She asks. Her voice is soft and vulnerable. Avdon reaches down to grasp her free hand. He rubs small circles on the back of her dainty hands.
“The prince can take care of himself and if not I am sure the mercenary will ensure his safety.” He assures her. Amsyn smiles up at him.
“I would really like for you to meet him. I think you’ll like him.” She says. Avdon scoffs. Amsyn playfully pushes him.
“The day the Prince of Quvania and I get along will be the day the world ends.” He declares.
“I am going to remember that.” She replies. Avdon chuckles.
“I have no doubt you will.” She goes to push him again, but Avdon captures her hand and brings it to his lips. He kisses her knuckles sending a blush to her face. He smirks and drops her hand.
There’s a knock at the front door. Avdon pushes himself off the table and leaves the room. Amsyn hears him open the door and the muffled voices as he ushers the visitor in. Amsyn pushes the empty plate forward and Sinnion takes its place. He curls up on the table, tucking his tail under his head.
Amsyn turns her head upon hearing approaching footsteps. Avdon reenters the room with Stalia trailing behind him. She smiles and waves at Amsyn. “Hi Stalia. Is everything okay?” She questions, frowning.
“No, well, nothing life threatening.” She assures her. The Fauness plops down in the chair next to Amsyn, the jeweled chain extending between her horns bounces with the action.
“Why are you here Stalia?” Avdon inquires. His back straightens and the leader in him reappears. He takes a seat on the other side of Amsyn, resting his interlocked hands on the table.
“I have learned of something.” She begins. She glances between Amsyn and Avdon. He signals for her to continue. “I was in town. I overheard the Quvania guards speaking of Duke Citagi. He is coming to Gorus to hunt the Children of Tevata. He wishes to kill our leader and destroy us. He is bringing a small army with him.” Avdon’s jaw tightens and his hands turn white.
“Av...” Amsyn whispers. His sapphire eyes flicker to her and he relaxes. He is silent for a moment, his face furrowed in thought.
“Gather our warriors in the square. I will speak to them. If he wishes to face the Children of Tevata, then face the Children of Tevata he shall.” Avdon declares. A deep, personal rage fills his voice. Stalia nods.
“I will.” She bids them goodbye and hurries out of the manor.
Amsyn waits until she hears the door shut before speaking. “Are you sure this is wise?” She asks. He nods sharply.
“I will not let this invasion go unanswered.” He snarled. Amsyn recoils, startled by his tone. Avdon’s expression softens.
“I apologize, my flower. I did not mean to frighten you, but I will not risk Citagi finding Ta’floon. There is far too much here to lose.” He explains. His voice soft and soothing. He takes ahold of her hand and draws it to his lips, placing a kiss to her fingers. “You can remain here, out of danger. If you wish.” She shakes her head.
“No, I’m going.” She insists. Avdon smiles.
“I was hoping you would.” He confesses. She blushes. “I must go speak with the others. Stay here.” He places his hand on her shoulder as he passes by her. Amsyn glances down at the slumbering Wyvern, curled up on the table.
Amsyn spends the next two days training fiercely with Avdon. He pushes her to her limits, but is careful not to harm her or push her too far. She has gotten swifter with her bow and has learned how to use the natural grace of her Elven heritage to her advantage in battle. He’s also taught her to wield her dagger with extreme precision and skill. Compared to Avdon she is a novice, but she knows enough to put up a worthy fight. Avdon has already promised to look out for her.
Amsyn pulls her legs up onto the bed, crossing them. Sinnion flies from one end of the room to the other, anxious. Amsyn does her best to ignore him. She gathers her arrows and files them into her quiver. Avdon insisted that she check every one. She slides her dagger into her leather boot and buttons up her Funay jacket.
There’s a knock on her door. Sinnion stops flying back and forth and swoops over to her shoulder. “Come in,” she calls, not bothering to raise her gaze from the quiver. The door opens and hove steps follow, which are unmistakably Avdon’s. She looks up, smiling.
Avdon is fully armed, clothed in leather pants, with his metal whip wrapped around his waist as a belt. Leather cuffs decorated with different colored beads are wrapped around his wrists. The same colored beads are woven into his hair and a dark red and black feather is pinned towards the front of his head. The thick, black lines of his tattoos stand out prominently against his sun-kissed skin. He looks like a true Faun leader.
“Ready?” He questions. Amsyn slings her quiver and bow over her shoulder and straightens her jacket. She rises from the bed and nods.
“I’m ready.” She says. Sinnion lands on her shoulder.
Amsyn exits the manor to find over half of Ta’floon’s inhabitants standing outside, all armed and ready to fight. Aka and Stalia are standing in front of the crowd. Aka has her spear strapped to her back and Stalia, her daggers are tied around her waist.
Amsyn remains beside Avdon’s side, per his orders. She keeps her head raised high, trying to look like the leader Avdon is.
“Today we will show the Quvanians the force we are. We will show them that we will not bow, that we are free. We are the Children of Tevata.” Avdon shouts. The rebels cheer, pumping their weapons or fists into the air. Amsyn smiles impressed by Avdon’s ability to rally a crowd.
He walks back to Amsyn and offers his hand. “Shall we?” He offers. She nods and takes his hand. The two lead the march out of Ta’floon.