Chapter One: The Passing Of Time
The wooden planks of Heaven’s Descent, is where Kaydence found himself in the late spring afternoon, a month or two had passed since the fall of Mater Arbor and Spring had let itself into the world bringing light to the heavy air as each day slipped on by.
It had brought a newly born world upon them, it was fitting, to say the least, after all of the death and ruin, spring breathed some new life into Arravan, a clean slate as it were.
But Dalamis clearly hadn’t felt the change of atmosphere around Evangelis and had the bright idea to attempt to teach Kaydence how to fly, seeing as his ability to do so was less than mediocre, perhaps even close to slipping below ignorance.
Mayfel hadn’t been any help in changing his brother’s mind and had instead urged the idea saying it would be fun, of course, Mayfel wasn’t the one that would be standing on the edge of a four-thousand meter drop to the ground.
In short, he was terrified, so much so he couldn’t bring his legs to move to the edge but of course, Dalamis solved the problem by taking his hand and dragging him there instead, leaving his toes to hang over the splintered planks.
Dalamis started to tell him something but what exactly he couldn’t be sure of, his lips were moving but Kaydence was far more focused on ways to not die.
There was no time to ask questions when his brother clapped his hands together and with a grin said “Time to fly” shoving him into the open air.
Despite his injuries that rendered his wing stiff and inflexible Dalamis seemed to have a lot of faith in him that he could do it even as he nosed dived next to Kaydences plummeting body, arms and legs flailing as if to grasp at ledges and ropes that simply just weren’t there.
On the verge of passing out, the entire world below him spiralling and the skies around him blurring into white and blue streaks, Kaydence felt a pair of arms wrap around his torso.
Dalamis flared his wings bringing them to a sudden stop mid-air giving Kaydence a chance to catch his breath instead of the oxygen being forced into his lungs.
It was safe to say he didn’t trust the leap of faith like his brother.
“Why did you not follow my instructions dear brother?” Dalamis’ voice asked, his chest rumbling against Kaydences back as he spoke.
If not a little baffled Kaydence replied to him saying “I was a little too busy thinking about how stupid I was going to be for voluntarily throwing myself off of the mountain top. Again might I add? So, I sort of missed out on what you had said”
“You should have asked, I would have repeated myself,” he said bringing them to hover in the vast open air.
Turning to face his brother slipping and tumbling slightly but kept up by his brother’s hand, Kaydence argued back “Well unless you’ve forgotten, you didn’t exactly give me the chance to”
Dalamis rolled his eyes as he often did when it came to squabbles with his brother, but nevertheless, he repeated his previous instructions “You have to remember to open your wings according to what you wish to do if your intentions are to hover then your wings need to be at their full extension. If you’re diving then tuck them in for an increase in speed. There are updrafts so you have to adjust them to those also, so you can feel the resistance against them. Why don’t you give it a go?”
Seeing as Dalamis wouldn’t let him back onto the solid ground without trying at least once he unfurled his wings one of which was a little far from its full span.
“There you go” Dalamis encouraged knowing his restrictions.
Sure enough, as his brother had assured, the wind began to run under his stretched wings becoming trapped beneath his feathers.
With surprise in his voice, Kaydence calls out “It’s working”
“Did you question my teachings brother?” he said with a grin on his face, something Kaydence didn’t think he’d see for a while with the King’s incessant nagging for him to take the position as Evangelis’ Leader of the High Council.
It had put quite the strain on his brother and for a week or so he had grown distant leaving only times like these for him to relax and escape, the skies were his release, his paradise.
“Of course not, I just doubted them” Kaydence teased.
Dalamis seemingly observing the wind below them as if he could see the streams of air plain as day, looked back to Kaydence stating “Give your wings a flap”
Doing as he said he raised his wings momentarily feeling off-balance before forcing the brown-purple extremities down feeling more resistance than before.
The sudden upwards motion threw him off altogether, Kaydence fell sideways dragging Dalamis down with him below the swirling peach clouds and out of Mayfel’s view.
“You imbecile you knew that would happen” was what Mayfel heard next as both men emerged from the clouds, typical he thought as Kaydence was dropped onto the wooden floorboards somehow managing to keep his footing.
Deciding to poke and prod Kaydences mood further Mayfel asked him “How did it go?” not dropping the playful grin.
“Peachy” Kaydence said in reply sending a glare in his brother’s direction as he received a pat on the back.
The floorboards to their right creaked, their heads turning in the same direction simultaneously bringing their sights to a member of the Mati followers who swiftly backtracked his steps into the mountain.
“I don’t like them being here” Kaydence admitted out loud.
During the trials held days after their return to Evangelis, as promised Solon had been lenient with the traitors not seen to be within Bregan’s inner circle, the result of such niceties lead to the prisoners being parted into groups and placed within the city walls of The City Of Embers, Salatia and as expected Evangelis too.
It had caused great upset to those who had lost loved one’s to Bregan’s conspiracies and Kaydence could hardly blame them for diverting a sharp eye to those free to walk around their city halls as if they were their own.
He saw the way his brothers smile faded, the way his eyes grew almost tiresome, It was another reminder of the pressure upon his shoulders, it was the same when he and Zack sat upon the council thrones in the main hall listening to every plea and claim the traitors had to offer.
It certainly seemed like much less of an honour and more of a tedious task that they’d gladly bestow unto another.
“None of us do brother, but it is by Solon’s decision that they remain here.”
Mayfel who spoke up his eyes long parted from the doorway and now pinned on Kaydence said “No one dares talk to Solon about it, they’re too scared he’ll react badly”
“But surely he’d understand that having bad people roaming around would put the others living here on edge, he’d feel the same if they were on Haven’s Gate” Kaydence protested.
As Dalamis shook out his wings and tucked them to his back he let out the words “Even so the choices were made unless you wish to bring it up with the King, I’d try to let it go. Nothing will come of talking about it behind his back”
Kaydence watched him walk away with nothing else to say, he couldn’t just let it go, afterall it wasn’t right. But he didn’t have the courage to argue against the King, unlike Ida who made it a frequent occurrence.
She was adamant in many things she said, the placement of the stones being one, of course, she saw it best for them to remain with her although Solon disagreed and saw to it they were placed in a secure and secret place that only a few were informed of, that being Halda, Florenta and Solon himself.
Solon had arranged a meeting with Nerina Barika- Leader of Salatia’s High Council- and Sorin Ribaya- Leader of The City Of Embers High Council to discuss the matter of the stones being returned to their cities seeing as how Salatia’s began to act when reintroduced to its resting place.
Ida knew the dangers and made sure to point them out with every chance she got, how Solon managed to keep everything under control while still resuming a calm and collected composure baffled him beyond belief.
Especially through the frustration of having his offer declined repeatedly by Ida, he proposed she and her people including those of Kyril’s realm and the others to make Arravan their home also, seeing as Mater Arbour was no more and soon the other realms would follow suit with no power running from the mother tree.
A lot was up in the air, the accords that were broken had to be fixed which called for more meetings and plans on Solon’s behalf, it was fair to say many complexion’s had changed in the past month.
His own had aged a touch and seen the welcoming of longer hair, his brother still managed to look presentable as did Halda and the royals but Zack who had seen more stress than most definitely took less care.
His facial hair had exceeded a little more than stubble and his hair had made it past his ears, a more rugged look Kaydence liked to call it.
“Should we follow him?” Mayfel asked seeing Kaydences eyes wander further into a reverie.
Knowing what his brother would say if they did he replied “No, let him be. He needs some time alone” as he collected up Acuere from the wooden flooring.
There were little to no places they went without a weapon these days, with traitors living amongst them he didn’t trust a single soul.
“Then how about Rowan? Maybe he wants a visitor”
Strapping Acuere around his waist before bringing his eyes to meet Mayfel’s he said “We both know he won’t be there”
Rowan after his life-threatening injury had against all odds recovered, or at least just enough for him to leave the recovery room by his own accords, of course, opposing the nurse’s wishes and demands.
Rowan, after dragging his exhausted body from his recovery bed, had sadly found Kaydence and Mayfel in the corridor, they had to break the news of Jeanove’s death to him as well as catching him up on everything that took place afterwards.
It wasn’t unexpected with how he coped, it was a lot to take n for anyone, especially someone who had been unconscious for the time he had, how he had even got out of bed was beyond Kaydences comprehension.
And yet despite it all Rowan made sure to attend as many of the funerals and the trials as he could handle, as did Solon and a few of the others as if it somehow made things better.
That was until Rowan caught whispers from the residential Mati members of Evangelis, rumour grew of Braylen’s child having survived.
The change in Rowan didn’t go unnoticed, Kaydence and Mayfel saw it immediately but others took a little more time to figure it out.
Rowan became almost, more determined in a way, or perhaps obsessed would be more of an accurate description.
Solon had arranged for Stavros and some others to inspect the home where Bregan had taken Dalamis and Erabos after the mishap of Bregan and Jeanove’s trial, he wanted the ritual pages from the book stolen from Evangelis’ library found.
Bregan had said they existed and that he had in fact spared them but it made Kaydence question why Solon would believe him when everything else had either been lies or delusions.
Nevertheless, Rowan had tagged along with the group against the instructions of the nurses and the cautious words of Solon himself, if there was a chance he could find Braylen and her child then he would take it.
Not all went as expected however, arriving at the home they found a gruesome scene that left Rowan overwhelmed with grief.
What he presumed would be a simple mission of finding her and the child became both easier and harder all at once, he found Braylen deceased with a bullet wound to the head which meant he didn’t have to search for in his grieving state.
The matter of the missing child however troubled him deeply, Kaydence knew Rowan had countless questions he wished he could ask someone but in all honesty, there was no one.
It was something they were all thinking about, but not as much as Rowan who missed nights of sleep in front of a map of Arravan, hair a wild mess and his eyelids barely able to stay open as he scribbled and marked the map with pencils and pens.
Kaydence worried about the man. He really did.
The pages Solon hoped to find, to prevent them falling into clawed hands remained missing, if Kaydence had to take a guess he’d say that whoever had taken the child also could have taken the pages.
Kaydence felt as though whatever the kidnapper had planned for both the child and papers would come to light soon, afterall nothing is peaceful or prosperous in Arravan.