War Swords

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The Girl with No Name

Eventually Weston found the kitchen. He remembered Aero pointing it out to him when they'd first arrived.

He hoped that Aero would be there to see him off when they left. There was something calming and reassuring when he was around.

As soon as Weston pushed open the wooden door, he was completely overwhelmed by the smells and scents of the kitchen. With everything going on, he didn't realize how hungry he was until that moment.

Kane was sitting at the table, picking at his food. It looked as though it was his third plate. Cas was seated near him with a book in one hand and an apple in the other. He had both feet propped up on the table, leaning back in a chair leisurely.

Both Kane and Cas looked up at him as soon as he entered. Cas smiled brightly as he always did and Kane gave a polite nod.

"Weston! Where have you been?" Cas asked, picking his feet off of the table. He closed the book, waiting for Weston to sit down.

Weston shrugged. "I was just meeting with Lord Erion and Lady Vera about our journey back to meet up with the Rebellion."

"What did they say?" Kane inquired, scratching his head.

"Wait, wait, wait!" Cas interrupted excitedly. "First I want to hear about you, Weston." He grinned at him, looking to Kane for approval. It appeared as though they had discussed this before.

"Well, what do you want to know?"

The two other Rebels looked to one another before Cas turned to him. "Is it true? Are you really a half-blood?" It was almost as though he half-whispered it to him.

Weston nodded, revealing a small smile. "Yeah, it is. My Dad was a soldier here, I guess. That's what they told me," he motioned towards the door. "My mom told me that my father was an Elf when I was young because of uh..." he trailed off and then reached up to his hair, pulling it away so that they could see the small tips of his ears.

Cas laughed out loud and Kane grinned. "I never would have noticed that," he confessed.

"Most people wouldn't," Weston countered. "It's the eyes, though, too." He pointed to his Elven crystal-like eyes."

Kane slammed his hand down, grinning from ear-to-ear. "I noticed that as soon as we got here! The Elves, they all have the same eyes as you."

"I must admit, I noticed that too," Cas added, shifting the book in his hands. "So, did they tell you anything more about your father?"

Weston shook his head. "It seemed like they knew him, but he died because of his relationship with my mother."

Cas looked down, his eyebrows furrowed. "That's awful."

Kane nodded, his eyes sympathetic towards Weston. "This law is just so stupid. Ever since we've come here they've been nothing but kind to us."

"You know," Cas interrupted. "It was Onar the Mystic and Dornus Ramos that made that law. The only reason it came into effect was because the Elves stood up to them when they started enslaving everyone."

"Then why does the Rebellion still follow it?" Kane asked. He seemed frustrated at this logic.

Cas shrugged, taking a bite of his apple. "It was hundreds of years before the Rebellion and the Divide. The Elves were already in hiding, and even if the Rebellion began to resist all of the laws that the Dominion put in place, prejudices were already made." He paused, taking another bite before continuing. "Laws are easy to change, but changing the way we think about each other is more difficult."

Weston and Kane were silent at his words, absorbing the truth of it all.

"You know an awful lot about this," Weston observed, gazing up at Cas. He grabbed for some of the food sitting in the middle of the table and took a bite.

He nodded, smiling. "Where I come from, it's all about what's up here." He pointed to the side of his head and winked. "Everyone is educated on everything about Calaria and our history and what not."

Kane cocked his head to the side. "So you didn't really want to sign up for the war? Did your parents make you volunteer or something?"

Cas shook his head vigorously. "No, no, not at all! I volunteered myself, of course." He picked up the book, turning it in his hands. "In Mesa, we fully support and supply the Rebellion in any way possible. Because we know so much of the history, we care about Calaria's future. The Dominion is corrupt and needs to be stopped."

Kane pounded his fist to the table encouragingly. "I agree. Are there a lot of people from Mesa in the Rebellion, then?"

"Oh yes," Cas answered proudly. "A lot of the older men and women are strategists and help with leadership. Their skills are valued considerably. But there are still some who participate in combat as well. I signed on with about thirty other boys." He paused, furrowing his eyebrows and looking away. "I hope that they made it out of the Lake alright."

Kane nodded. "I knew a lot of the guys I signed up with too. My three older brothers are in the Rebellion too, but they weren't at the Lake."

Weston smiled, turning to Kane. "What are their names?"

Kane lit up, obviously proud of his family. "Kurt, Kellan and Keanu."

"I always wished I had some siblings," Weston admitted, a hint of sadness in his voice.

"Trust me," Cas interjected. "It's not all that great."

"You have a lot, then, I take it?"

Cas laughed. "That's an understatement. I have seven siblings."

"Seven?" Kane asked in disbelief.

Cas shook his head, a small grin on his face nonetheless. "Too many to name. But I actually have a twin sister."

"Really? What's her name?"

"Branae," he revealed. It came out of his mouth carefully, and he looked as though he was thinking fondly to himself. "She is very much a part of me. It has been hard to be away from her for so long. She is my twin, of course, but we've always had a special bond. It's like we always know what the other is thinking."

"She didn't join the Rebellion, then?"

Cas shook his head. "Not yet. She wanted to finish her studies before she did so. She may be smarter than me, I put mine on hold. But I think she'll do well when she does sign up. She always talked about it and has been the more physically capable out of the both of us." He smiled, not like he was embarrassed at all.

"Well hopefully we get to meet her one day," said Kane.

Weston nodded in agreement. Since there was a lull in the conversation, he took the opportunity to tell them about the plans for their journey.

"So, uh, when I was meeting with the Lord and Lady Elves, they got to talking about our journey back to the Rebellion."

"Right," Cas answered, finishing up his apple and throwing it away. "Aero mentioned a little bit to us, but we don't know much."

"Yeah," Kane interjected. "We were hoping that they would tell you more."

Weston sighed, preparing to relay all of the information Lord Erion and Lady Vera had told him. "Well, we're going to travel back through the forest and up through Dragon Gorge."

He watched as Cas's mouth dropped open. "Dragon Gorge? With actual dragons?"

Kane furrowed his eyebrows. "You can't be serious."

Weston laughed a little to himself and shook his head. It did sound pretty ridiculous. "No, I am. They aren't wild Dragons, of course. There are Dragon Riders that live there. They keep the Raygorians out of Clalaria."

Cas nodded, placing a hand beneath his chin. It appeared as though he was pondering this. "I mean, it makes sense. Nothing separates us from the Shadow Lands except an invisible border, kind of like the Divide."

"So..." Kane started. "Are they friendly?"

"I assume so," Weston answered, shrugging it off. "They didn't really say, but Prince Solo talked about how he'd been there loads of times."

"Prince Solo?" The two Rebels asked in unison, their expressions completely perplexed.

"Oh! Yeah, Lord Erion and Lady Vera's son, Prince Solo, will be accompanying us on the journey."

"But what about Aero?" Kane asked, seeming slightly disappointed. "I really liked that Elf."

Cas nodded in agreement.

"I guess he has to stay here. But Prince Solo is great. I met him for a moment when I was with the Lord and Lady."

The two Rebels took the information with slight hesitation, but let him continue with the rest of it.

"So after that, we'll come out of the gorge and out of the forest on the other side of the Divide. Then we'll travel back around the forest to the northern shore of Greenthorne Lake where hopefully the Rebellion is still stationed," Weston explained. It sounded simple and easy enough to him.

"Well, I'm sure it will be fine," Cas finally said, picking the book back up and turning it in his hands. "Do you know how long it will take?"

Weston shook his head. "No. But they're gathering supplies and we each will get our own horse. That'll make things easier."

Kane lit up at that last bit. "Loads better. Speaking of which, do we know if the girl will be able to travel?" He asked hesitantly, almost unsure of what Weston would say.

Weston swallowed nervously, fidgeting with one of the sleeves on his shirt. "Oh, well, they said she's not well enough to travel. So she'll be staying here for an extended amount of time."

Cas bit his lip. "Maybe that's for the best."

"Yeah," Kane mumbled. "She can always come back when she's well. But it seems kind of weird to leave her here alone."

Weston nodded in agreement. "They actually said that after breakfast she'd be up for visitors." He shifted in his seat a little, now anxious to go see her. "I was gonna go now actually. Do you want to come?"

Kane and Cas eyed one another for a moment until Cas turned back to Weston and smiled. "Nah. You go ahead."

"You sure?"

They both nodded, Kane fixing himself another plate of food and Cas looking back down at his book. Weston sat for a few moments before finally peeling himself up from the table. He exited the kitchen and was finally back in the hallway. He remembered from the day before where the medicine room was. He assumed that she would still be in that area.

The young Rebel passed several other Elves in the halls of the white castle, all smiling curiously at him.

It was strange, though. For as much as Weston wanted to go see the girl and talk to her, he was nervous. The journey to where she was being kept felt both too fast nor too slow. When he did finally reach the destination, Thena had just exited the room. She closed the door behind her before she met Weston's eyes.

"Hello, Weston," she greeted warmly. "Were you planning on visiting?"

He nodded, still feeling anxious. "Uh, yeah, uh-- Yes."

Thena dipped her head and moved away from the door swiftly. "She just finished breakfast and is resting in bed."

"Thank you."

The Elf disappeared down the hallway almost without a sound. Weston took a deep breath and smoothed his shirt and pants. He could feel his heart beating faster in his chest, but moved towards the door anyway. He turned the handle quickly, opening the door and stepping into the cool room.

His eyes met with hers almost immediately. They were softer than he remembered, browner somehow. He walked over to her slowly, carefully.

Light was peeking in from the window behind her as she set down a book slowly. Pillows were tucked behind her head, and her short brown hair hung idly by her face, framing her cheeks.

Weston continued to move towards her, saying nothing, until he was right beside her bed. Without thinking, he reached for her hand, taking it in both of his. She didn't protest.

"Hi," Weston finally said, lifting one of the corners of his mouth.

"Hi," she answered. Her voice was soft, almost like a whisper.

There was a pause, but the silence wasn't uncomfortable. Weston held her gaze, not wanting to tear away. Finally, he took in a breath. "What's your name?"

The girl smiled a little. "Emiline."

"Emiline," Weston repeated, unable to hide his smile.

Emiline looked away, her smile growing larger. She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear before looking back up at him. "They say you're leaving today."

Weston's grin faded and he squeezed her hand. "Yes. Soon, I think. They say you're not strong enough to travel."

Emiline nodded, releasing her hand from his. "Yes, that's what they told me. They're good to me here."

Weston's face fell, not wanting to face the fact that she wouldn't be coming with them. "I wish that you were."

Slowly, Emiline reached her hand up to his cheek, letting her palm rest softly on his skin. "What's your name?" she asked, lifting her face near his.

Weston blinked, his skin tingling at her touch. "Weston."

Emiline smiled a little. "Weston," she repeated. Carefully, she brushed her lips to his softly, almost like a whisper.

Weston opened his eyes as she pulled away, her expression almost pained. He felt the ache as well.

"I'll come back for you," he told her, though it sounded more like a promise.

Emiline released her hand from his and nodded. "Thank you."

Weston bit his lip and slipped outside, leaving Emiline in her room.

Moon was waiting outside in the hall for him, watching him intently.

The Rebel smiled at his companion and the two began to walk down the hallways together. But his thoughts were still on Emiline. He didn't want to leave her. He was already aching to be away. But he knew that he had a duty to Rebellion and that he had to go on.

He would come back, though.

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