The Four Lands Of Arravan: Birthright

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Chapter Thirty-Eight: Unthinkable

As if death never entered his mind, Mayfel shoved open the doors yelling out for Vasilios as he marched into the main hall.

The throne was empty but the dinner table was not, sat dining with a feast was Vasilios and Vallen with Elena by his side, a blank expression rendering her emotionless, not so much as a blink showing she was somewhat alive.

“I’m here for a favour,” he said.

“A favour you say? That’ll cost you a pretty price, of course, it depends what it is you want?” Vasilios mentioned, his fork making its way to his lips.

“I want someone dear to me back”

“Ah, miss Rena Lykaios, your childhood best friend. How touching”

“If we are going to get along, I will ask you not to read my mind,” Mayfel said with a firm and authoritative tone, not that he had any sort of higher ground to fight on when it came to Vasilios’ realm.

Tossing his feet onto the wooden table with a thud, Vasilios smirked, one that held mischief “It’s just so easy to” he remarked. “You don’t make easy requests. The Aqua and Ignis Clan burial ceremonies cause difficulty with magic such as this, retrieving the bodies is next to impossible, or at least what’s left of them”

“But there’s a way to do it?” he asked hopefully.

Tapping his fingers on his knee in a repetitive and ticking manner, Vasilios’ eyes lit up with greed and malice “Well, that depends on what payment you are offering” he hissed.

“It’s clear you already have something in mind, do stop playing around and tell me”

“I want what was taken from me” Vasilios announced, raising his head in anticipation to Mayfel’s reply.

“I won’t give you the stones if that’s what you mean”

“Not just the books, no no, I want the book and a person of interest”

“We didn’t even take the book” Mayfel stated.

Raising a pointed eyebrow, Vasilios appeared impressed.

“So Ida kept it hidden from you right under your noses. She always was cunning”

“Apparently so. Who is it that you want?”

“You know that answer”

Mayfel’s eyes flickered as he thought, the name Vasilios was referring to quickly dawning on him.

“Kaydence he muttered”

“You will get what you want, in return for the Harkhallow child and the other mentioned items”

“Why would you want Kaydence?”

Looking Mayfel square in the eyes, the replica snake eyes calculating and daring.

“You have unknowingly unleashed a dangerous weapon, that can wipe out humanity, into your world. I, personally, would like to be the one to manipulate his power, use it if you will for my creations. There is much that could be done with such energy.”

“Like I’d let you do that” Mayfel said as if it were obvious.

“Is that a no?”

“Yes, I’ll find another way”

“You did not come here to simply walk away unless you were stupid enough to think I would just let you go”

“Shrugging his shoulders, Mayfel stated honestly “Not stupid, I guess you could say hopeful”

“Well, hope no more!” he exclaimed as if it were something to be in a glorious mood about “This is where you will die”

“I will give you one of the items you want”

Quirking his eyebrow again, his eyes stony as he tried searching Mayfel’s mind. “And which one would that be?”

“The book,” he said.

“You do not have the book, but a good attempt none the less”

“I can get it though” he added.

Vasilios eyed him before saying “You have a negotiable side to you Mayfel Kierser. But you fear much of what you want and what I am capable of, yet there is a harsher evil at foot in the world. I sense the magic’s presence, it is heavy and dark, it is not just I that wishes to tip the balance of order. There are others seeking the same thing as I.”

* * *

Hearing of their arrival, Dalamis along with Stavros was already approaching the front doors of Evangelis when Kaydence and the team sent out to Salatia returned, his brother rushing along in front.

“Brother, it is good to see you well,” Dalamis said and scanned the scraped and unsettled looking crew, one member he expected to see was absent. “Where is Mayfel?” he asked.

“He’s not here” Kaydence muttered, his feet still rapidly moving.

Placing a hand on Kaydences back he began guiding him to the place they went to talk “Let us speak in private then” he suggested as Halda walked in with the King.

The nod the Captain of the guard gave to Dalamis told him that he understood and would handle the situation in his absence, just as Ida began her tale of treachery that took place in Vasilios’ realm, not missing a detail including Kaydences mishaps.

Dalamis, of course, saw no need for Kaydence to relive it all and he’d soon find out what he missed from Halda.

“Vasilios, a chaotic and deceitful sorcerer with the ability to control and read the minds of those around him. He has joined forces with Vallen Harkhallow in order to reach his goals. We managed to retrieve the stones, however, Vasilios plans to draw from their power to make a new age of beings” she said

“I am familiar with some parts of your story, Nerina spoke of attacks caused by Vallen, but I see that we have now unveiled his partner. Dalamis was right in thinking Vallen was not acting alone” said the King.

“He has mastered more magic than I ever thought possible, he has not only amplified his mind control and reading capabilities, but he has also sought out the ability to raise corpses from the ground”

“How do you know of this?”

“I have witnessed the result, he has raised Vallen Harkhallow’s long-deceased wife from the dead. Although, she is not as she once was, even more so now that any ounce of humanity she clung onto has left her” she noted in detail.

“Are they a threat as of now, in your opinion Ida?”

“He does not plan to halt his creations, he aims for worldwide panic throughout Arravan and any world through every portal”

“Do you know what he has planned exactly, or when he plans to strike?” Solon asked.

“No, but I expect it to be soon, we should be prepared for when he does”

Exiting the mountain and into the open air of Heaven’s descent, Kaydence was the one to strike a conversation with his brother, he didn’t know what it was that relaxed him enough to do so seeing as their brotherly bond was still blooming and he didn’t trust him completely yet.

“Mayfel went back to Pailings, the third realm of Maria Porta. Ida’s ex, Vasilios, Mayfel has risked his life to go back to him so that he can bring Rena back.”

“This sorcerer Vasilios, he can bring people back?” Dalamis questioned as if his mind was struggling to absorb the words.

“Yes” he replied simply

“That cannot be easy, I could not imagine being in his position”

“You’re right, you can’t. So don’t try to imagine it” Kaydence snapped.

Dalamis, looking out, as if to the horizon of the ocean, says “Love is a strange thing, isn’t I. You can try to hate him for what he has done, but no matter how hard you try little memories work their way upfront don’t they. They make your heartbeat just that little bit faster”

“So you’re in love too, with that pompous guy?”

A slither of a smile on his lips, Dalamis said “I think so, I haven’t felt love like this before. It is new to me, but I know I would not want to go back to the time before I met him, no matter how troublesome it was in the beginning”

Kaydence took in his words thoughtfully despite his reservations “When we were in Pailings” he began hesitantly “I met someone else”

“Where is this going?” Dalamis said cautiously.

“I’d never met them, but I knew them”

“Who was it?”

Kaydence took out the sheet of folded paper from his pocket “You should probably read this first before I say anything more” he mentioned handing it over.

Dalamis gave Kaydence a confused look but opened the page nevertheless and from the emotion that erupted on his face, he was familiar with what was written.

His eyes brimmed with tears and his hand made its way to his mouth as he turned to Kaydence.

“How did you get this?” he uttered sounding lost.

“Our mother”

“This is impossible” he stammered with trembling hands “It is not right to joke about these things+ Kaydence”

“I’m not joking, Vasilios brought her back as an experiment of his magic”

It was a difficult thing to believe, like Dalamis he couldn’t begin to imagine what it must be like, never knowing his parents had been hard but Dalamis had known them and he’d lost them just as he had.

His brother had the chance to form connections and memories but then Kaydence had only started to get to know his other, both were pretty tragic if you asked him.

“So you met her?” Dalamis uttered quietly, still gripping the page with fixed eyes.

“She’s exactly like you said. I told her all about you and she wanted me to tell you that she is proud of you and that she loves you”

As if replying to her words in his mind, he stared into space “Why didn’t you bring her back here?” he asked dropping his head “Why did you leave her there?”

“She gave herself up to save us, I wanted to bring her back so much I really did. But even if she escaped with us, she couldn’t have come here” he explained.

“Why not?”

“When Vasilios brought her back, she became tied to him because his magic brought her back. She can’t be too far away from him”

“I see,” he said, brushing his thumb over the smooth, paper surface.

“What if everything never ends” Kaydence voiced his thoughts, ever since being in Pailings that’s all he could think of, it was as though there was one bad thing after another with short hopeful breaks in between.

Maybe Vasilios would be the one to end it all.

Continuing his worries aloud, Kaydence joined Dalamis’ gaze to the far distance.

“What if we can’t find a way to kill Vasilios and stop his creations?”

“We will”

“But-” he tried to protest.

“We will find a way because we have to, there are no what ifs”

The sky had darkened and the weather had shifted, the storm was gathering, and the very air grew heavy and static.

It would be a tragic night, one to remember.

“Vasilios told me something while I was there”

With Dalamis’ eyes on him, he continued “We are very, very distantly related to Ida, she used to be a Mati member, she became King Helian’s advisor and also his love affair, as a gist, he gave her this” he said holding out Acuere, it’s shine dull as if it were ashamed he found out about its past. “We have a right to the throne, we are the descendants of the children of King Helian”

“I do not want it. If there’s a chance the King would accept the information, I will refuse”

“I would also, I just thought you should know”

“At least we agree on something” he joked, trying to lift the downtrodden spirits. “However, I do want us to agree on something else”

“What would that be?” he said a little more relaxed

“We do not tell the King. It would do no good right now and if neither of us wants the title or responsibility, then there is no use in bringing it up”

It was a tough decision, Kaydence just hoped that his brother would slip up and tell Halda, after all the man couldn’t keep anything from Solon, he probably told him what he ate for breakfast or how many birds he saw in the sky between the times of seven and eight.

Perhaps he was petty for not trusting him, or maybe he should trust his gut.

Nevertheless, he nodded in agreement.

Sat in the main hall around a small table, brought out by Halda, the group discussed the events of the past few days trying to piece together a timeline of sorts.

Evan, who had insisted he was well enough to attend the meeting, asked Solon about his comrades who had tagged along with Rowan on his own journey, the King of course said no saying he last he’d of them they had taken Andrew without permission, no doubt as a guide.

The news that came next, however, put a few on edge, Annalise had gone missing also but not even Solon could say whether it was Rowan’s doing or not and to Evan, it didn’t sit well in his mind to know a dangerous woman had gone missing and was on the loose.

“Those mortals are not our concern now” Ida noted, her attention directed to Vasilios only as she added “Vasilios informed us that even if he were to die, his creations would continue”

“It’s going to be impossible to stop him, plus did you see how many times Kaydence stabbed him and hurt him? It did not even look painful to him and it certainly did not kill him” Fraya said

“Everyone can die, he is simply a special exception because of his meddling with magic” Ida insisted.

Their meeting was interrupted by two pairs of footsteps, one lighter than the other, clearly being Kaydence and his bare feet.

The younger brother spoke up as he entered, the empty halls carrying his voice like thunder over the ground.

“Have you found how to get back to Pailings?”

“We do not plan to” Ida argued, her voice tense.

“Well how else am I supposed to kill Vasilios if I can’t get to him?” he stated but halted his words when Stavros hissed and groaned from the other side of the table.

Claw marks began to reappear along his forearm as if they had never healed, Dalamis was quick to act and so was Halda, the others holding confusion and concern on their faces.

Through the squabbling, Kaydences pointed ears picked up four sets of footsteps but it was hard to distinguish them amongst the babbling coming from Ida’s mouth.

Each word, every syllable pushed Kaydence further and further until he snapped, his hands landed on the table in fists and the voice that left his chest was the roar of lightning and the gods above.

“Shut up! If it wasn’t for you and your sudden willingness to help for once, Mayfel wouldn’t be in the hands of a maniac!”

The doors to Evangelis slammed open as if wielded to do so by Kaydences demeanour.

Stavros who had calmed down in his seat began to tremble as Everette stepped through the doors, but turning back to the table, there she was, sitting between Halda and Evan. It wasn’t her.

“Run!” he yelled

Taking his advice, they took off in different directions.

One of the Wisps that held the face of Everette pursued Stavros and the injury it left him last time but through his panicked breaths he called out “They’re here for the stones!” seeing the fake Everette’s eyes dart to the open box on the table.

Dalamis, who had been close by, snatched up both stones and against the calls of the others, he and Stavros took off for the open doors and the open air.

They ran down the steps and threw themselves off of the path, diving before rising into the air, bringing their bodies to a steady hover amongst the clouds.

The clouds moved and swirled as if the wind had passed through them despite the lack of a breeze.

They stayed in sight of each other but the deep grey clouds made it difficult to see as they passed by temporarily blocking their view.

Thunder rolled overhead as lightning flashed to Dalamis’ right before travelling to his left.

Stavros heard Dalamis call out but was unsure whether to trust it or not as his vision remained blocked by a passing wall of weather.

He did however catch a glimpse of Everette step out, barefooted onto a path of cloud, her body hugged by a golden, silk gown, her eyes wild and her lips raised in a smile.

“Stavros” she called out to him as she reached him, his name bitter on her lips.

Her delicate fingers grazed his forearm over the claw marks she once left, they were still sore to the touch.

“Is that a present for me? In that box?” she asked enticingly.

But he wasn’t falling for it, he refused to answer, his eyes moving away for one second to look for Dalamis.

It was one second too long as his body got dragged down out of the air, his wings flapping furiously to try and keep him up.

It was difficult to do so when her features began to change, her smile splitting her face to either ear as it unhinged displaying rows upon rows of slim pointed teeth.

Her eyes rolled back stealing away the amber sunshine, leaving nothing but cloudy grey as her skin turned a tint of blue in twisted and warped rags.

Dalamis appeared in the corner of his view so with a slit second chance, he tossed the stones to him as he continued to fall.

Dalamis seeing the box head his way, caught it in his arms and tried grabbing Stavros too.

He reached for his hand grasping it in fear of letting him go but he noticed the additional weight, due to this, his friend's hand began to slip.

Just as he was about to lose all grip, an arrow followed by another three pierced through the clouds burying themselves in the creature which definitely didn’t look like Everette anymore.

The claw marks vanished as did the weight providing enough leverage for Dalamis to fly them back to solid ground.

He handed over the stones to the King to ensure their safety, but it was quickly taken by Halda, no doubt wanting it anywhere near the King when it could endanger his life.

As he did so he ushered Solon back inside the protection of the mountain, wanting nothing more than to lock him away from the danger that surrounded them.

However, the mountain no longer provided any protection.

When their feet landed on the obsidian floors, an evil had already invaded and there was no way to protect them from it.

Vasilios, Vallen and Elena stood awaiting them in the centre of the hall, Vasilios appearing to be reading over their notes jotted down on the papers on the table.

Vallen, on the other hand, held Mayfel by knifepoint with Elena stood lifelessly beside them.

“Mother” Dalamis uttered with longing, his body trying to get past Halda and Kaydences hold.

“I’m sorry” Mayfel declared.

A clap drew them in further as Vasilios rose to his feet, his palms pressed together.

“Let the party begin”

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