Ashie was thrown back into her own body. She sat straight up in her throne as her eyes went wide. The magic Aryian had cast destroyed every last one of her wraiths and sent her flying right back to Uffern. Blood had been shed but she had no idea how much. There was no way to measure if it had been a win or a complete failure. Frustrated, she resigned herself to sit back and contemplate the events in attempt to formulate a new plan.
Perhaps she had spread herself too thin, Ashie wondered to herself. She had needed to be in more than one place since morning and energy had been spent as a result of it. But, in doing so she had learned valuable lessons. Daemons could breed with humans. Verdin returned with his pregnant human hours prior to the assault on Ellyllfa. They stayed locked behind closed doors in his residence. She smiled knowing that the locks were a mindless and useless form of nothing more than comfort.
The wraiths however useful Ashie had hoped they would be had failed miserably. They were all too easily cast aside. She would have to find a way to make them far more resistant to the magic that the angels held. She thought on it for a time before Adrian appeared before her. She could see the exhaustion and strain written across his face as he took a seat in the grass next to her three headed hound. The beast didn’t bother to raise an eye at his presence.
“We need more power,” Adrian sighed resting his head on his knees.
“You think?” She replied with severe sarcasm.
“This hybrid might be the answer.” Adrian hoped out loud.
“Should we move her along swiftly then?” Ashie smirked.
“As soon as our energy returns I assure you that is right where I’m directing it.” Adrian chuckled.
“Good, we have a lot to do to occupy ourselves until then.” Ashie replied sitting back in her throne.
“Perhaps our batteries would recharge faster if we performed another ceremony.” Adrian stated seriously.
Ashie laughed hysterically before answering, “No, I have other plans in mind.”
“Very well, I will leave you to it my queen.” Adrian replied as he pushed himself off the ground.
Adrian excused himself without another word and made his way back from the woods. He continued walking past houses and people until he reached his own home. He made his way into his office and looked through the stack of papers he had left there from the night before. He was sure he could find out where the plan had gone wrong if he studied it long enough. The only answer that had come to him out of his studies wasn’t something he could say out loud. The problem didn’t rest within the magic. It rested within the woman chosen to wield it for all of them. Perhaps there was a way he could redirect it back to him and cut her out of the picture if it became necessary to do so.
Verdin held Lisee close as she slept next to him. She looked so fragile and pale. He worried for her and what Ashie had planned for their child. He took a deep breath and let it soak in. He was having a child. The thought frightened and excited him at the same time. If only it was under other circumstances. There had to be some way to protect her and their child from the damnation. He just had to figure out how. Even if it meant he would never see them again, it would be worth it.
Lisee stirred as Verdin pulled her closer. She could feel his intent as he held her tight. She turned to him and smiled.
“It was my choice. Stop trying to think of ways to get rid of me.” She said with a chuckle.
“I can’t help it. I want you two safe. Who knows what Ashie is going to do.” He sighed.
“What we have is a miracle. It doesn’t matter what happens to us after the fact.” She replied kissing him tenderly.
“I don’t believe in miracles anymore. I believe in what is seen and what can be done. Both of which scare the crap out of me when it comes to you.” He said managing a weak smile.
“I have to believe it’s going to be alright.” She replied seriously.
“It will be, whatever it takes.” He promised her as he brushed her hair away from her face.
“You have to let me take care of you too. You may be able to live forever but you can still be wounded.” She pouted.
“Only by you,” He replied kissing her softly.
Lisee laughed at Verdin lightly. She went to kiss him back and received a kick to her ribcage for it. He touched her stomach amazed at the vibrant life inside it. She shook her head as the pain faded away as quickly as it had come and the baby settled back in quietly. Verdin stole the kiss before the child inside her could interrupt again. He held his hand there for a moment longer wondering if he could get some indication of what they were expected but received none.
It had only been a day that had cost them eight months worth of time. Lisee accepted it a lot easier than Verdin did. He had promised himself a life away from all that they had been dragged into. Now, he had two lives to worry about above his own. He had no idea if his child would be able to protect itself from magic, or if it would be magic at all. Everything was fragile and new and frightening to him in the unknown. He sighed, rested his head back on the pillow and kept her close as he waited for answers.
Lilith was alright. The keep hadn’t been breached in the attack. Only the angels that had been out in the open had been wounded. Aryian was relieved as he held his daughter and watched his wife pace. Calypso couldn’t wrap her head around it. How could the father let Ashie get away with using the humans against them? He had given strict orders that they were to leave each other alone. She was infuriated that she couldn’t even retaliate. She should have killed her when Aryian had asked her to. Now, it was too late.
“You should rest before we meet in the morning.” Aryian scolded.
“I’m too upset to rest.” She said harshly.
“I can see this,” He replied as he put Lilith to bed.
“I’m sorry,” She sighed as he wrapped his arms around her.
“At least heal your wounds,” He asked as she buried her head in his chest.
“No,” She replied. “I want this to scar and be a reminder for the rest of my life. Mercy is for fools.”
“You have such a good heart, my Calypso. Do not let this change you.” He begged.
Calypso sighed and did not give Aryian a reply. He stripped her blood stained clothes away and let them fall to the floor. He shed his own filthy clothes and steered her toward the bathroom. She stood there leaning against the door frame as he filled the tub with hot water and nudged her toward it. She gave up and climbed in. They sat there soaking together silently until the blood turned the water orange.
“Come to bed with me.” He said kissing the back of her neck.
“Alright,” She resigned, climbing from the tub.
Calypso reached for a towel as Aryian drained the tub. She wrapped up in it and made her way back into the bedroom. Lilith was sleeping peacefully as she checked on her and then made her way over to the bed. Aryian sat down beside her and gently let his hand trace down the wound of her shoulder as he looked upon it sadly.
“More than anything, I love you and I want to protect you and our daughter from everything. I failed you today.” He sighed.
“I failed my people. We almost lost Bree today and so many others. I should never have let her go and now it’s too late to change it.” She sighed.
“We will find a way to make it right.” He said kissing her softly. “I promise you.”
“We can’t let her use the humans against us. It’s not right. We can’t blame them or retaliate either. I only see one option my love. We have to leave.” She replied.
“What do you mean?” He asked.
“Caerfyrddin,” She sighed. “We need to return to our place beyond the mountains so the humans can live in peace. It’s time to go home Ary.”
He smiled at her although she showed obvious sadness, “You’re brilliant.”
She looked at him as if his mind had been lost to him as he swept her up in his arms. He lay her down on the pillow brushing her hair away from her face kissing her tenderly.
“We retreat to the mountains where we can keep our people safe. There is no shame in that. We can live out many generations quite happily there.” He stated. “It is the best any of us can do and we will make it safe. Ashie or her creatures will never be able to reach us again.”
She smiled at last, “We can do it. We can keep our people safe by leaving the world of the humans behind.”
“I know this was your father’s land and leaving it will be painful for you. But, it is the right thing for our kind. We can inform the others in the morning of our plan and all whom wish to join us can.” He said proud of his wife’s strength.
Aryian watched Calypso sit up and rest her head on her knees. The wound on her shoulder slowly rebuilt the muscles and tissue closing up before his eyes. She sat there looking at their daughter across the room in silent hope that it would be enough for her to grow up in a world without humanity. He wrapped his arms around her shoulders and together, they watched their child sleep peacefully until the sun came up.