The Four Lands Of Arravan: Birthright

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Chapter Twenty: What Could Go Wrong?

Kaydence was the last to join the table in the morning, although the glum skies outside made it appear as if dusk was falling once again.

Mayfel had gone ahead and was already sitting beside Evan, talking away with plates of food in front of them, golden goblets placed at each person around the table.

Vasilios was sat on one end of the table, Ida the other shooting sharp stares towards him which he ignored as he conversed with Vallen, although he apparently wasn’t too engrossed with the conversation as his eyes resting on Kaydence.

Attempting to distract himself, Kaydence scanned the table and the rest of the room in search of his mother, but there was no sign of her.

He wanted to speak to her, get to know her voice and everything about her because, in a way it would allow him to find more out about himself too, it’d give him the chance to find out why there was an unfulfillable hole in his heart.

The thought of, was it all a dream induced by Vasilios? Had crossed his mind during breakfast, seeing as he had the power to control what he thinks and apparently dreams. Maybe it was just a dream.

With no words, Vasilios rose to his feet and all but glided with the utmost grace to Kaydence, stopping just short of an arms reach.

“Follow me,” he said before continuing his inhuman walk around him and towards the gallery of beasts.

Avoiding the eyes of everyone, he involuntarily followed, who knows what Vasilios would do if he were to refuse.

The tall man pointed to the desk atop the platform, silently commanding Kaydence on what to do as he himself passed to the far wall where a wooden box sat suspended on the wall, its two doors held closed with a thick, metal lock and arms that encompassed the entire thing.

Doing as he had been told, Kaydence sat down at the table where a bowl of freshly cut fruit and yogurt appeared, a spoon sitting idly within it.

It was indeed tempting yet Kaydence didn’t trust it nor did he have too much of an appetite with so much on his mind.

“What do you want?” he asked.

“The obvious. Your dream”

“What about it, you saw it for yourself and besides, I said all I wanted in the dream. There’s nothing more to talk about, or at least nothing I want to talk about”

“In that case, let’s talk about your mother, who is not a dream by the way, despite your suspicions earlier.” he suggested, giving a sideways glance simultaneously.

“Once again, there is nothing to talk about”

“Oh, I think there is. It’s a lot for anyone to take in, no to mention, finding out about their birthright too” the lock of the box clicked open and the doors swung open to reveal a book, one much different and clearly older than any Kaydence had seen in the halls of Evangelis.

Words had been scribbled on the dishevelled, leather front in another language, one he didn’t understand.

“What’s that?” Kaydence asked his interest piqued.

“Just a little book I like to read now and then. Do you like to read?”

“I don’t have time to read when people like you are always threatening my home”

“Don’t make me feel guilty” Vasilios mocked “Come now, I will let you read with me. I promise that you will find it an interesting read.”

“Considering I can’t even read the front cover, there’s no hope for me to read everything inside” Kaydence stated as if Vasilios hadn’t thought about that part.

“It is simple to understand it when one learns. I will teach you if you like, on one condition”

Eyeing him suspiciously as Vasilios placed the book down as gently as possible resulting in a, not so quiet impact and, shudder from the table, Kaydence asked him “What is the condition?”

“You make sure to keep it in good condition”

Quirking an eyebrow, Kaydence had no time to reply as Vasilios went on “Now come closer my boy, you have much to learn”

Scooting his chair an inch or so closer to the oddly layed back man, Kaydence peered down to the, now open, book that all but took up the entire table.

It was roughly halfway through and marked with a strip of leather bound to the spine, on its end was a circular metal disk, it’s middle cut out and between the line-bordered edges were lines and rows of letters matching that in the book. Letter he remembered, but the whereabouts remained shrouded in memory.

The picture on the right page was faint and he wasn’t entirely sure what it was depicting, but he could just about make out what seemed to be the four stones and possibly a fifth.

Of course he doubted that was what he was seeing, the picture was worn and could have been a number of things.

Vasilios flipped the pages back to the start, taking care Kaydence didn’t even think the man could possibly possess.

“What book is this exactly?

“It is an old one that I picked up from your lands centuries ago”

“Is it to do with magic?” he asked wondering if it was something he should be handling and reading.

“In a way, t could be seen as a type of magic. However, I will let you decide that for yourself” was what he said in response while slipping some loose sheets of paper from the back of the book. “Us these, they will allow you to decipher the language”

“Why are you showing me this? Your son is out there, why not show him?”

“Erabos has grown up knowing only his mother and only words about me. He is loyal to his mother and their cause, I couldn’t change his mind even if I wanted to”

“I won’t help you any more than the others would, if that is your intention then you can forget it” he said harshly.

“Maybe there’s a chance yet, you might come around after reading some of this”

“Are you after the stones?”

“No one can truly control them, not even the leaders of the High Councils can when they’re placed in their so-called righteous spots, despite what they’d have you believe. It would do me no good to have them unless Solon should disagree to return them to their places where their powers will be at their maximum. Before you ask, I do have a plan with them, but it will take time, so until then you will read and we will continue to talk within and outside of your unconsciousness.” he stated in finality.

Nevertheless, Kaydence hadn’t finished asking his own questions.

“Why does it have to be me? Can’t you just leave me alone?”

“There is something special about you, Kaydence Harkhallow. It is not just because of your blood, no matter how watered down by generations passed it is that runs through you. The same goes for the magic that accompanies it. There is something much more powerful, I know you know of it. The bond created between you and the other Fae, he purple eyed one, should have told you that much. Few would have survives the length of time you did, let alone the process of permanently biding two souls. There is a strength within you that I wish to release”

“How do you know all of that?”

“You saw things, didn’t you? When the bond was at its strongest, you had visions” Vasilios said completely emersed in his train of thought, so much so that he ignored Kaydences question.

“You know I did, I saw you in my last vision. You shifted into Bregan”

With a grin of recognition and amusement Vasilios uttered “I’m surprised it took you so long to figure it out”

“ow were you even in my head?”

“Your bond was tied to the spellbook that created it, all magic rituals alike have to be connected to a power source. I simply tapped into the power source linked to the book. It’s simpler than it sounds, imagine it like a reservoir, that is the power source, the rivers flowing from it are the powers roads that lead to each magic object, ritual, being and in short anything linked to the magical side of humanity. Now the villages at the end of each river are those things, the book included, now I can put my hand into those rivers without being detected and without disrupting the magic’s end goal. But as you know, not every river is so, there are smaller glens and streams that flow from it and the same with the villages. Your bond was a stream splitting from he village, one of the same source but in itself something completely new.” he explained almost appearing proud with his comparison.

“You’ve lost me” Kaydence admitted, half hoping it annoyed Vasilios.

Unfortunately it didn’t, if anything he looked more amused and curious as his one eyebrow raised and the corner of his lips twitched upwards in a half-hearted smile.

“You know Faeling, you think up some crazy things in your dreams and especially those visions”

“Please don’t call me that”

“Do you enjoy seeing people get hurt?” he asked

“You made me see all of those things”

“On the contrary, I can walk within the minds around me and control those that are conscious or awake. Those that are not, however, I cannot control what they see, I think you will find that it was yourself that altered my image. It is true that I was indeed in your head that day in your visions, but you were not conscious as the magic influenced you. I therefore did not elect to turn into Bregan”

“Or Dalamis” Kaydence added slowly coming to understand what he was saying.

“That was a very dramatic day if I do say so myself”

Ignoring his comment, Kaydence started to try and read the book, symbol by symbol of the title he deciphered, soon coming to realise what he’d gotten himself into.

“How?” he said in startled disbelief.

“What do you mean by how?”

“How do you have this book?” he asked again.

“Ah” Vasilios cheered, clapping his hands together as if in excitement.

“Keep it short, I don’t want to hear you babbling on about rivers and streams again”

Looking at him slightly irritated, Vasilios went on to explain a little less enthusiastically. “During the First War, when the mati fell and dear Ida was wrapped up in the safety of her people and the stones, she believed the book to have been destroyed along with the Mati, but she had been wrong. I came across it not long after, she had been foolish to think that the Mati would simply leave the book behind unprotected as they fought for the fae.”

“And what about this?” he said holding up the disk bookmarker that pried a string of cackles from Vasilios.

“It is no mere bookmarker Faeling. It is another set of rules above those written in here” he mentioned whilst patting the book. “But not rules for us”

“Then who are the rules for?”

Gazing deeply into Kaydences eyes, Vasilios replied “For the stones” no humour on his stern and serious face.

“You have actually gone mad, just like my father” he stated and stood up from his chair “I want to see my mother”

“That is hardly an insult, you may see your father as mad but his ideas are ingenious. He was wise to protect the books of Evangelis. As for your mother, I never said you couldn’t see her, she’s being kept in the west annex. Feel free to visit her when you wish, but you should know that she is not much of a conservationist.”

Beginning to leave, Kaydence thought he might make it out without hearing the sorcerers voice again but his hopes were dashed when the same hissing tone spoke up from the platform behind him.

“Oh and keep this between us, I’d hate for our little book club to become a group event”

Continuing to walk Kaydence couldn’t help but feel a little panicked, the book he had been shown that he had held was the one Ida spoke of so much.

The book that he and the fae alike subconsciously followed, that book that continued the one rule they broke that had cause the reset, their loss of powers and the Great Light.

The Elder Book.

It had been in his hands and in those of Vasilios, probably even his fathers.

What could possibly go wrong?

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